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Myself, I kind of like the idea that medics in-universe are capable of honing their skills to the point that the gap between properly applied medicine and "Hurt-B-Gone" magic is much smaller than it used to be, although the gap is still present. Medicine can whiff a lot harder than healing magic, for one, and even with investment it takes a lot longer than ol' Hurt-B-Gone, especially in groups. Somebody that trains extensively in medicine being able to meaningfully heal wounds with their skill checks is good, in my view, and the fact it's something anyone has the capacity to train in removes the feeling some groups have that a party member with healing spells is mandatory to allow the party to progress through multiple non-speedbump encounters a day. For the most part in 1e wand of CLW was unquestionably one of the most useful adventuring devices while healer's kits were pretty useless without skill unlocks or extensive houserules; personally, I like "the party takes a moment to let the doc bind up their wounds and ensure everyone's fighting fit" as an image more than "the party groups up as the designated wand-wielders break out the stick o' life and magics all their injuries away."

Magic is still unquestionably what you'd do for in-combat healing in my book; even if you have Battle Medicine, healers' tools take two hands to use which means a ranger who's also a field medic is going to have to make some quick decisions vis a vis his crossbow and an injured ally while the guy with a Heal spell does not.

Making it easier for parties to patch up and keep going makes for longer adventuring days so you don't have to keep retreating from dungeons to rest, which just disrupts flow and isn't any fun. The GM will use the time needed to heal up to complicate the situation if they're wise, while the party doesn't feel like a bunch of babies who have to bail on a dungeon after a few rough fights or risk future encounters being more than they can handle.

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Another thing I like about the dwarves having a clan dagger from birth is that it does seem like a perfect weapon for any dwarf that's expecting trouble in their line of work to carry with them.

A lot of dwarvish fighting goes on in tunnels where you're in extremely close quarters. It's hard to carry a spear, and swinging a sword or an axe is very difficult...but the trusty clan dagger you carry everywhere is on hand to protect you even when you're chin-to-chin with tunnel monsters and your back is to the wall.

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I wonder if dwarves will be able to retain their resistance to magic in 2e, it was one of the strong factors in why I preferred them to Elves. They've always been a very solid race, although neither dwarves nor elves have ever featured prominently at any tables I've played at.

I like the idea of things like clan daggers, and the Elves using long memories to have a floating proficiency; being able to pick up a corner-case skill on a day when it's useful is a handy little niche.

It is kinda weird seeing a dwarf lady with no beard, though. I know a lot of dwarf women don't have them in Pathfinder art but I've always just liked the notion that all dwarves have beards no matter what. Possibly with the additional factor of no bearded elves.

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I'm aware the original post is sarcasm, but on the other hand I'd have to say the only (and I do mean ONLY) problem that'd exist for half-ogres as a core race that isn't in place for half-orcs is that the half-ogre template from PF1 would be too powerful to get for free. Everything else (assumed to be a rape-baby, assumed to be the child of an evil rapey father and a very unfortunate mother, assumed to be predisposed to violence and cruelty by merit of having a monster father) is baggage the Half-Orc has dealt with and tried to move away from.

I don't see "some goblins are good and some goblins are bad, much like humans, halflings, gnomes, elves, dwarves, dhampir, tieflings, aasimar, etc.," is asking players to wrap their head around too much. The Saxons thought of the Danes as godless demon-men because of their Viking raids, but there were a number of times and places where the two were able to live in peace and even trade with each other. So it really doesn't seem too out there to me that when you're dealing with an entire species "the Red Teeth clan are a bunch of bloodthirsty lunatics that would kill you as soon as look at you, but the Float-Stone clan by the river are all right" is more likely than "all of them, everywhere, are evil. Best to just kill 'em all if you see 'em."

Devils and Demons can be inherently evil, but Gobs and Orcs and that sort have free will. Always Chaotic Evil's a bit of an old hat except for the physical manifestations of chaos and evil. As some others have said, establishing when you're dealing with bad guys is incredibly easy, you just have them do bad things that the PCs have to put a stop to. The parties I've GM'd for have spilled plenty of human blood without any great moral quandaries because the humans they've killed have been invading armies or attacking bandits or evil cults tormenting puppies for entertainment or slavers. We've killed a number of chromatic dragons and not any metallic ones, but that's because the bronze dragons we've met have been friendly and the green dragons picked a fight.

I don't really think there should be a race where it's considered good to go kill them when they're minding their own business, mostly because the inherently evil creatures are never minding their own business; devils and demons are always finding ways to torment mortals while they're on the plane and the undead ceaselessly look for living things to kill. A bunch of orcs hanging out on the mountaintops nearby not bothering anyone haven't done anything to earn the party's emnity, but if you need them to fight, it's pretty easy to just have the lore say that these particular orcs ARE bothering people. Trust your players to recognize the bad guys from the good because the bad guys are doing bad stuff, rather than relying on "green people can't be trusted."

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I mean, as it is right now there's also sort of a monoculture thing going there right now in 1e, while it would probably be a lot more realistic if there are SOME tribes of goblins that are warlike, cruel, and destroy for its own sake and cannot be reasoned with, while there are also SOME tribes of goblins that are perfectly fine to have as neighbors, maybe even handy to have around for one reason or another.

I mean, unintelligent undead, devils, demons, and constructs form four handy types of creatures that can be destroyed mercilessly without any arguments that this is not exactly the moral thing to do, I don't see why green humanoids all gotta be evil until proven innocent.

Ed Reppert wrote:

Everything is a skill. Your chance of success with a skill ranges from some minimum level (the "skill base") to some maximum level (100+ your skill base). When you start out, you will have mastered a skill to some level at or above your skill base, depending on the skill. As you continue to use the skill, you may improve your understanding of it. The more you know about it, the harder it is to improve. Some skills can be learned on the fly (when you fall off the ship, you learn to swim, though probably not very well), some require training (piloting a ship, for example).

But that's not Pathfinder, it's a different game.

I mean...yes?

A new edition is a different game. Dungeons And Dragons editions 2-5 have all been very different games.

Not much point to having a new edition if it's the same as the old one, right?

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I mean, there's already situations in PF1e where the GM would go "no, you obviously can't use Fabricate to make uranium and cause a nuclear reaction, and there is no reason your character would ever think to do that."

You want to make a craft check to build a computer?


1. That's not a craft skill. It cannot be done untrained, or at all.
2. How?
3. With WHAT, exactly?
4. Where does the idea come from?
5. Did you also invent man-controlled electricity in the process? Where did you get the materials and idea to do that?
6. How did you do any of this untrained? This is at least master-level complexity stuff we're talking about here.

Your level 17 character doesn't know any magic but he knows what a frigging dragon looks like at this point in his career and might have at least heard of something that might be of use for it. He does not, however, know anything about how to identify spells or deduce the purpose of arcane sigils because he isn't trained in the skill.

Similarly, a high level untrained character on a natural 20 with craft (devices) would likely amount to "yep, that sure is a device. Some sort of letter-arranging one, judging by all the buttons with letters on them."

Not being able to build one.

Alchemaic wrote:

I sure hope that CR math is getting fixed this time around, because this is going to make encounters comprised of multiple lower-CR enemies into complete jokes.

Well, more than they already were.

I've gotta say, that's not something new. Mooks being a threat isn't really a thing in pathfinder and to the best of my experience has never been a thing in pathfinder. You can swing that in a setting with bonded accuracy, but in the existing pathfinder pretty much the only thing that will make low-CR trash a threat to a party that is not low-level is going for broke on GM fiat.

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MidsouthGuy wrote:

Oh boy, yet another solution in search of a problem.

The more I see, the more I am not looking forward to PF2.

I mean, "save or sucks are the absolute WORST" has been a complaint since 3rd edition started, let alone pathfinder, to the best of my knowledge. People have long greatly disliked the binary of "either the enemy saves and you have wasted your time and resources because nothing happened" or "the enemy has failed his save and this fight is now all over but the crying."

This is a solution to a very old and very annoying problem. Having degrees of success and failure means you have fewer cases of "this spell either fizzles or stun-locks a bad guy so badly your friends are reduced to playing mop-up with the gormless sots that failed their saves" and makes "save or something bad happens" monsters less of a dick move to throw at your players more frequently. Toss out a batch of basilisks in PF1 and you can often get situations where polite dice make the encounter a non-threat because basilisks aren't scary if you save against their gaze, while a bad batch of dice can murder the entire party before blows are even exchanged. Having a wider variation between "nothing happens" and "you are boned" is a very welcome change.

On a similar note, I like the idea that it matters if you beat the enemy's AC by a LOT because that means a player whose great combat skill gives him a much higher to-hit than his comrades is rewarded for his prowess while the guy who can consistently beat the enemy AC but not by a wide margin is contributing but not doing just as well as the guy who is seeing right through the enemy defenses. It'll help further distinguish classes that are really good at combat from the dabblers even though they both hit.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:

If I'm playing a human fighter there's a good chance I'm looking to play a non-magical character. I'm looking to play a character grounded in reality (no matter how fantastical the world around me might be). If I'm "so awesome" I get to cut reality and create a portal to the plane of fire with my sword (because martials have to be comparable to casters) then I've ceased playing the character I want to play.

Saying "magic permeates the air and all fighters have gained magical powers through osmosis" might make sense in game. But if Pathfinder 2nd ed requires everyone to have magic powers (or pseudo-magical powers), I'm not going to get to play the type of fighter I enjoy.

At high levels, that "fighter grounded in reality" is quite capable of wrestling a rhinoceros to the ground and pinning it there without the least bit of training in grappling. It's not even hard for him.

Grounded in reality and high level go together like water and oil. E6 fighters are gritty. Going higher than that and expecting it to be a regular guy is not what the game offers as it is now, and I wouldn't expect it from PF2 either.

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Arssanguinus wrote:

People are using examples of media that have characters doing such martial things as you describe rather than using them as insults and you know it, and it’s rather insulting for you to try to play the victim to disable trying to have an honest discussion over preferences here. ‘Upper half Marvel’, ‘cartoon physics’ etcetera. Can you stop just attacking the terminology and actually just engage the discussion? Please?

Many people have mentioned ‘impossible for a human but not for physics’ as a standard. Start there.

Although that would have to take into account that physics and pathfinder don't have a very good relationship to begin with. We understand that dragons are magical creatures, but they're not using magic spells to fly, they're allegedly using wings that are incapable of actually propelling them through the air by the laws of physics as we know them. Numerous wholly nonmagical creatures in the bestiary can violate the square cube law, and the troll's capacity to heal so fast that death and dismemberment just piss it off unless you burn the wounds is something it achieves without any magical powers at all.

So that creates a third level of abstraction, where we have to consider what's possible for humans, what's possible by physics, and what's possible by physics in the setting Pathfinder takes place in, which supports dragons and other assorted things that make your physics professor shake his head no.

I generally read the third category here as "Pathfinder physics work on the Rule of Cool since we're trying to play a high-fantasy game and so what's cool will beat what's scientifically accurate every time," so that makes it hard to set markers for what "should" be possible in such a fantastic world and what should not.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, people have been stopping a campaign before Wizards and/or the necessary opposition gets absurd, so if you don't like it I do not understand why you cannot do the exact same thing with "fighters suplexing flying dragons".

As a rule it's generally better to include fun options for people who want the thing and let people omit them from their own games to fit their personal aesthetic sensibilities.

I've never stopped a game early because "the wizard gets too good". I have stopped games because "the PCs get too good" but assuming equal skill in optimisation the issue has always been the PCs overall rather than specific classes (we do not allow the worst examples such as summoners. Wizards do frequently get played. As do fighters, barbarians and oracles).

[EDIT]: Juggling trains or whales is not what I want from my martial characters. Nor is splitting mountains in twain or swimming across the Pacific Ocean or ceasing to need to breathe.

But you do concede, I hope, that there is considerable interest from a number of other people in these threads for martials that can indeed to the kind of stuff the heroes in epics and mythology can do at high levels?

I agree with PossibleCabbage on this one. It's easier for everyone if the whoa-nelly options are included and people like yourself that say "I'd rather not" have the option to nix those options while the people that like them have access. The other way around, the option doesn't exist in the first place, the people that are interested in that would have to make them up, and in most cases get shut down hard by GMs because your view is the only one being supported by the existing rules.

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On the other hand, I think it's really stupid to try and pretend anything is or should be grounded at level 15+.

Casters at that level do not look out of place in series like Dragonball Z, where planet-destroying energy blasts are more the medium of violence than blades, and yet they're travelling with a high-level fighter who is still trying to pretend he lives in Game of Thrones despite the fact you could fire off weapons meant to sink battleships in his face and mildly injure him.

At level 8, a brawler can punch out the spine of a Triceratops with relative ease, but him jumping more than four feet off the ground at level 12 to pursue a cowardly mage trying to strafe him from the air is somehow going too far.

Turmoil wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:

I think you're extrapolating rather far in that point. I would wait to draw any conclusions on that matter until we actually discuss how weapons and armor work, because from what I'm reading of this it will not be similar to what we're familiar with, and degrees of proficiency will matter.

I'm going to go out on a limb and suspect that not having any weapon or armor proficiencies at all, which is where I imagine our friend the wizard is going to end up, is going to effect a fight with a group of lower level fighters in which he is not equipped and doesn't use any of his abilities in ways that make it easier for the Expert-level fighters to combat him.

I admit that I'm extrapolating, but I don't think I make any unwarranted leaps. Mark's post did not assuage my fears because like you, he assumed a decked out wizard whose magical gear almost completely prevented the fighters from hitting him (the suggested hit and run shield block tactic also seems iffy if it still costs an action to raise a shield, in which case it's not possible to attack, double move and block all in one round, but these things might be in flux in internal playtesting).

I may well be mistaken, but to me, this is what it seems like universal proficiency scaling by level gets us: unless wizards have zero even simple weapon proficiencies and there are crippling untrained penalties to weapon use which make it (virtually) impossible to deal damage (unlikely, and difficult to square with improvised weapon rules), a naked level 20 wizard will have +20 (+18 untrained) to hit with a STR of just 10, and an AC of 30 with a DEX of just 10. Against low level foes, his attacks will very often clear by 10 to crit for double damage, while he himself is impossible to hit on anything but a 20. He can demolish group after group of low level fighters without breaking a sweat.

I'm honestly interested in whether people here approve of changing the game in this direction if that's where the developers are...

I understand your concerns, but I am of the opinion this probably occurred to Mark and the others while they were designing weapon and armor proficiencies. If I can share a thought that might put your mind at ease as it does mine...

From what we know of the system, your degree of proficiency will be of considerable importance to completing tasks rather than going purely by raw modifiers as 1e does. With how Mark has laid things out on the earlier subject of climbing...yes, a 20th level wizard untrained in climbing still has a formidable bonus to simple climb checks, but as he also pointed out, an expert climber less than half his level has features such as a climb speed due to his superior training; it is literally impossible for the untrained climber to defeat an expert climber in a race to the top, because the climb speed lets the expert ascend at least twice as fast, and probably more like three or four times as fast on the easy climbs the untrained climber is competing with him at.

I extrapolate from that that an untrained weapon-wielder will be at a significant disadvantage against someone who is an expert with their armor, and similarly someone untrained in armor will be at a significant disadvantage against an expert or master weapon-wielder. These disadvantages would stack to form a twofold edge a fighter who is a master of weapons and an expert in armor (likely achievable even at very low levels) can use to threaten a much higher level wizard who is wholly untrained in weapons an armor (fairly plausible, D&D/PF has never been friendly to the idea of armored wizards and even most simple weapons are too much for wizards to handle).

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, Pathfinder at high levels does exist in that genre where "Let's go beat up Cthulhu" may be a valid solution to somebody's problems.

We should probably keep in mind that the reason gods don't have stats is because a high-level party would figure out how to kill them otherwise, yeah.

Link2000 wrote:

I'm actually okay with a Level 20 Wizard being able to tear apart a Level 1 Fighter with nothing but a dagger.

That level 20 Wizard (Bob from hence forward), has seen things. Experienced things. Bob has had to face down Dragons, Demons, Devils, and gods knows what other horrors.
Bob has created entire planes of existence simply because he desired it. He has terra-morphed entire landscapes because he did not feel like teleporting around a mountain this morning.

Then this Level 1 Fighter (Phil) want's to raise a blade against him? Who is this Phil anyways? A once upon a time farmer who picked up his grandfather's sword? He's been "training for months" on how to wield it. Like that's supposed to mean something to Bob.

The more you've experienced, the better you are. Bob has experienced ALOT (19 levels worth of crap), Phil may not have even seen a zombie in his life, and is supposed to be a challenge to Bob simply because Bob is only armed with a knife and decided it would be nice to leave the spell book in his tower within the demi-plane "Bobbiton"? I don't think so.

Just my feel on it. If you think a level 1 should be able to compete with a level 20 simply because circumstance is against the level 20, that's okay. I just so happen to disagree with the sentiment.

Oh yeah. In a one on one confontation even if the 20th level wizard is completely defenseless he will wipe the floor with a 1st level fighter in a matter of in-game seconds.

I think you're extrapolating rather far in that point. I would wait to draw any conclusions on that matter until we actually discuss how weapons and armor work, because from what I'm reading of this it will not be similar to what we're familiar with, and degrees of proficiency will matter.

I'm going to go out on a limb and suspect that not having any weapon or armor proficiencies at all, which is where I imagine our friend the wizard is going to end up, is going to effect a fight with a group of lower level fighters in which he is not equipped and doesn't use any of his abilities in ways that make it easier for the Expert-level fighters to combat him.

Turmoil wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
The NPC codex wizard has magic items. Did you read my post?

I did, and deliberately ignored the bit about not having any items because that's not something an NPC enemy OR a PC is going to have going on in a fight that's actually indicative of their skills. It's a pretty short hop from there to "the rogue is the strongest class in the game if your enemy is sleeping."

kyrt-ryder wrote:


He would have done better if he full-attacked one repeatedly until it died, then the next and the next.

Why would an intelligent being divide its attacks the way you described?

I suppose I threw that in because I figured the advantage was to the wizard and I might as well include something "realistic" like the distraction of fighting a gang of enemies from every angle.

Honestly, even fighting like that he'd probably have won if he'd pinned and tied up the last fighter, which despite being an 8 strength old elf he would have accomplished handily. But that might have been seen as unfair.

Turmoil wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
On the contrary, I'd say that stat spread is EXTREMELY unusual if you're not using basic stat array. Wizards tend to ignore strength, but dexterity and constitution are both stats adventuring wizards prioritize and even NPC wizards tend to have plenty of both.
I'm perfectly happy to go down that road if you honestly think that I'm misrepresenting the situation, but if this is just nitpicking and you're not really challenging the conclusion I'd save myself the effort. So do you want me to do the exact math for a couple of level 1 optimized fighters against an unarmored level 20 Wizard without magical items with a different ability score spread of your choosing?

Eh, I took the time to run the dice myself for the level 1 fighter from the npc codex times six vs the level 20 wizard from the NPC codex without his buffs.

Running through it, the wizard killed five of the fighters but the sixth managed to bring him down before he could finish him off, assuming they were all able to flank him, were using longswords to threaten crits semi-frequently, and the wizard did nothing besides full-attack the one that damaged him most recently. The wizard might have done better if he'd used Hand of the Apprentice while moving around, but that might have been unsporting.

The lone ogre vs the same wizard didn't do nearly so well.

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Turmoil wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
I gave the wizard 10 STR 10 DEX 12 CON. Not terribly unusual. No magic items, just his robe and a dagger. The fighters were very unoptimized as well; this was just ballpark figures. I could haven given them 18 STR, greatswords and power attack and needed even less of them. Or made them level 2. It doesn't matter, the point stands.

On the contrary, I'd say that stat spread is EXTREMELY unusual if you're not using basic stat array. Wizards tend to ignore strength, but dexterity and constitution are both stats adventuring wizards prioritize and even NPC wizards tend to have plenty of both.

thflame wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Eh. A level 20 wizard with a knife is going to handily defeat a few low-level cutthroats that try to jump him without needing to spend any spells. And considers being savaged by a T-Rex more vexing than lethal.
With or without 20th level gear?

I should hope without, given that I've seen a 9th-level wizard survive a T-Rex bite and kill the thing before going for medical attention.

EDIT: In answer to your second question, he'd need spells against the T-Rex, but my point was that a bite that tears dinosaurs limb from limb is troublesome but not lethal to a high level wizard. A couple twerps who have never been in a real fight with knives or clubs are not going to ruin his day.

Don't T-Rexes have Improved Grab? How did the wizard manage the grapple?

Natural 1, in the case of my player. It'd probably have gone worse for her if she'd been grappled, but she did have hero points if it'd come to that.

In the case of the level 20 wizard, I strongly doubt he got to that level without the capacity to get out of being grappled, and that bite damage certainly isn't going to kill him outright anymore than it killed my player.

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Turmoil wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
A couple of level 1 fighters lose to a particularly vicious HOUSECAT. A level 20 wizard would slaughter them all long before they did enough damage to even moderately inconvenience him.

Do we really have to do the math for things we all know to be true?

An unoptimized level 1 fighter with very ordinary stats would have something like 12 HP, an AC of 17, and an attack +4 for 1d8 + 2 damage. The level 20 Wizard with a dagger might have like 90 HP, an AC of 10, and an attack +10/5 for 1d4 damage. Ball-park math has each fighter dealing an average of about 5 damage per round, and surviving an average of 5 rounds. Take a group of 6 fighters. In the time the wizard kills 1 fighter, he's down 30 HP (6 fighters * 5 rounds). For the next, down 55 (5 fighters * 5 rounds), the next, 75 (4 fighters * 5 rounds), the next he's dead. So he would take down 2 or 3 of them and then die. These are ball-park figures and rough calculations, but you can easily do the exact math with exact stat blocks yourself if you want.

The exact stat block from the NPC codex for a level 20 wizard suggests HP and AC are twice as high as you're ballparking it. It'd take a while for the wizard to do 14 damage to each of them but he's got the time even six on one.

Unless you're suggesting a naked dex 10 con 10 wizard vs six optimized level 1 fighters, but let's be frigging real, bud, when was the last time you REALLY saw a wizard with less than 14 of both?

Lemartes wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Eh. A level 20 wizard with a knife is going to handily defeat a few low-level cutthroats that try to jump him without needing to spend any spells. And considers being savaged by a T-Rex more vexing than lethal.
With or without 20th level gear?

I should hope without, given that I've seen a 9th-level wizard survive a T-Rex bite and kill the thing before going for medical attention.

EDIT: In answer to your second question, he'd need spells against the T-Rex, but my point was that a bite that tears dinosaurs limb from limb is troublesome but not lethal to a high level wizard. A couple twerps who have never been in a real fight with knives or clubs are not going to ruin his day.

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Turmoil wrote:
A PF1 level 20 wizard with a dagger will lose against a regular ogre, a level 4 fighter in mundane gear, or even a couple of level 1 fighters. The new rules seem to imply that a level 20 wizard will demolish such foes without even taking damage.

A couple of level 1 fighters lose to a particularly vicious HOUSECAT. A level 20 wizard would slaughter them all long before they did enough damage to even moderately inconvenience him.

Turmoil wrote:

Here's something that hasn't been discussed so far, but is relevant to the ensuing martial/caster debate. I'm assuming intelligence will still contribute to skill ranks in some manner. If so, is there anything that balances the scale so wizards will not have an easier time of becoming legendary athletes and/or acrobats and/or sneakers than martials? Having set-in-stone class skills could help, but would conflict with customizability via ancestry/background as alternative paths to "preferred" skill access (I was going to say "treated as class skills", but that kind of language is supposed to go away). And this solution is obviously vulnerable to level-dipping, so not very robust anyway.

In the PF1 system, of course, there was for the most part just this 1-dimensional DC scale to measure the total magnitude of a skill against, so attribute bonuses easily prevented standard build wizards from ever really competing at strength/agility based skills, but it seems that the raw modifier now takes a back seat to proficiency levels in determining actual competency, especially given that there are skill feats which grant auto-success depending on DC and regardless of modifiers, and that there will have to be a system of proficiency-gating to ensure that high skilled lower level characters aren't hopelessly outclassed by untrained higher level ones due to the extreme level scaling. If intelligence only contributes to breadth (and/or if wizards get less base skills from their class than martials) then some of the problems are ameliorated, but not solved because the "modifier depreciation" issue would still be there.

Couple all this with the automatic +1/level attack and AC scaling, and it looks like it will be very easy (hard to avoid, even) to build high skilled combat machine wizards who absolutely demolish all lower level threats via pure physical superiority, without even needing to dust off their spell book. This certainly rubs me the wrong way; my image of a wizard is an arcane specialist who is in big trouble...

Eh. A level 20 wizard with a knife is going to handily defeat a few low-level cutthroats that try to jump him without needing to spend any spells. And considers being savaged by a T-Rex more vexing than lethal.

Pathfinder wizards just aren't very squishy, particularly not PC wizards who build for lives of danger, not sedate study.

That said, since they're mentioning that proficiency unlocks a number of options an untrained person doesn't get, I strongly suspect that a wizard who is not proficient in weapons and armor that finds himself in a knife-fight with someone that IS doesn't have as much of an advantage as you fear.

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People already need to stop playing the game less than a third of the way through (E6) to play "gritty" adventures as it is.

It is always, always, always easier to go long and then set handicaps for people that don't want to reach that level than to kneecap what you can do and force people to make up their own rules if they want to go beyond that. Lots of people have been talking about "accommodating both sides", but the way I'm seeing this break down:

Option A: The rules accommodate being able to jump to incredible physics-breaking heights with enough training. People that want to be able to make incredible jumps and play things like the Final Fantasy's dragoon class are able to, and the people who don't feel like that fits the game world they want can soft-block that level of skill mastery or play exclusively at low levels for a grittier feel, much like people already do. Both sides can play the game they want to play.

Option B: The option to make the hundred-foot leap doesn't exist in the first place. The people that didn't want it are happy and the people that wanted to do things that were impossible in 1e are not.

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Frankly I think cutting down on the numbers of weapons would probably be a good thing, and you can bin most of the "exotic" weapons or fold them into martial weapons without losing anything.

I don't feel like the game is losing anything in particular if a katana's just a longsword but it's understood that since this is an east asian flavored area of the game world it is a katana. We don't mechanically play out the nitty-gritty in how you're using a sword, after all, so there's no particular reason you can't say this longsword happens to have a single-edged curved blade in settings where that is what swords look like. You don't swing a sword and axe in at all the same way, but any given fighter is equally capable with each before investments, after all.

We already do this to an extent. The scimitar and the cutlass are different kinds of sword but mechanically it's just scimitars because they're close enough and you get the idea. I don't think we lose anything by increasing this. Longsword and Katana are both swords that deal 1d8 slashing, have a somewhat better than normal critical hit rate, and can be used with one or two hands. I don't see any reason for there just to be the stats for one sword with all these traits that can be either of them as flavor demands.

As far as I'm concerned, "exotic" weaponry should be strange and more to the point powerful unconventional weapons that can do things you can't normally do with weaponry, not weapons you have to pay an extra feat for because they're japanese or nonsense like that.

Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:

Say two character with the same Dex (a rogue and a archer). They are both lvl 5, so let's say the rogue is Expert in Stealt and the Archer is untrained. The diferente for their bonus on that skill is only 3.

Now both have to pass a DC to pass by something (if the problem is it to be the guard without Wisdom, consider it to be a druid with high Wisdom). The DC is higher enough that the rogue cannot ignore. He must roll.

The rogue invested a lot of resources in that skill, he maybe able to do some cool stuff, such as hide in plain sight, move full speed when stealth, don't be detect by smells, etc.

Nothings this matter if in the end he rolls bad and the archer roll better and pass.

In the end of the day, is the number + dice who will say he can succed at something.

The passing or failing will influenced a lot by the dice, because the diference between a highigly treinaed character to a one without a single class or race feature focuses on it is TOO LOW.

Doesn't matter the cool stuff a highly-trained character can do, doesn't matter his chance of crit. It will be beaten by an untrained character with the correct ability score a lot of times.

And, if you consider magic itens. It's probably that someone untrained using a magic item will be away better than someone trained depending on the bonus provided by the magic item.

This still won't happen, because if it's something the Expert has to roll on at all odds are fairly good it's a task the untrained archer isn't even allowed to attempt.

Again, the fact that with a feat investment the expert will automatically be assumed to succeed on tasks below his point of competence means if there is something he has to roll on at all, it's not something you can do untrained in the first place.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Malwing wrote:
The lack of opposed rolls makes things very different. To the point where I understand less about what's going on. It's really hard to determine if this is good or bad.
It's basically the transition from opposed rolls in Combat Maneuvers to CMB vs CMD

Which would honestly be more convenient for some things. When I GM, for example, it's with an online group; our dicebot rolls in the open so I don't ever fudge rolls and the players are at least aware something is going on, which I assume is also the case for face-to-face games just with the dice behind a screen.

Having enemy skills set a DC to overcome rather than two rolls opposing each other seems handy to me; it reduces the amount of rolling, flattens the variation in the skill challenge an NPC presents (my skilled liar trying to mislead the party into doing his dirty work is less effected by fluctuations in luck, so what we have to concern ourselves with is how well the players do trying to sense if his intentions are legit), and generally helps speed things along. Opposed rolls can get real swingy at times and are harder to plan around than the enemy presenting a DC to overcome in skill challenges.

Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.

One, succeed often isn't better than doing cool stunts if what you're succeeding at isn't particularly impressive in the first place.

Two, this system means the character who can do cool stunts ALSO succeeds more often. As I pointed out before, a trained climber will be able to make climb attempts an untrained climber cannot, but on equal ground the trained climber will ascend at least twice as fast and with an investment automatically succeeds at any task below his level of competence. As a result, not only can he do cool stunts the wizard can't in this scenario, he can't fail and the wizard can when they're on "equal" footing.

Not as often as PF1, an legendary is +5 better than a untrained.

Say, your legendary rougue is trying to sneak past a same-level untrained guard. Doesn't matter if you can hide in plain sight if you just don't pass the roll since you roll poor and the guard roll avarege.

Actually it does matter, because again, sneaking past an untrained guard is below Legendary competence.

I don't roll, I just succeed. Automatically.

Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Unless, off-course, the "proficience-gate" is so right that a untrained person can't even try. Which is the worst game design decision ever. I can oversight it for some skills, but not all.

I fail to understand how "you can't sneak untrained without cover or concealment" or "you can't practice law untrained" or "you can maintain your gear untrained in craft, but you can't make anything" is really different from "you can't attempt knowledge checks untrained if the DC is more than 10" or "you can't attempt UMD untrained at all"?

Nor do I really understand how "the wizard can climb a rope real well" makes the ranger who has a climb speed feel less awesome, to be honest.

Basic put both trying to climb and see the wizard succeed where the ranger fail just due to dice randomess.

Succed often ir better than do cool stunts.

One, succeed often isn't better than doing cool stunts if what you're succeeding at isn't particularly impressive in the first place.

Two, this system means the character who can do cool stunts ALSO succeeds more often. As I pointed out before, a trained climber will be able to make climb attempts an untrained climber cannot, but on equal ground the trained climber will ascend at least twice as fast and with an investment automatically succeeds at any task below his level of competence. As a result, not only can he do cool stunts the wizard can't in this scenario, he can't fail and the wizard can when they're on "equal" footing.

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Arssanguinus wrote:
Enough to have a better bonus than the guy whose career it is?

You seem to be absolutely refusing to accept the idea that there could be a game where having a bigger number doesn't mean you're better at something than the person who has more capabilities than you at the task.

"My high-level adventurer is a better mountain climber than the mountaineer because he's higher level and gets a big bonus to untrained checks," I believe was your earlier claim?

If you are judging "better mountain climber" by the high-level adventurer getting a +15 to the mountaineer's +10, which is how it would work in 1e, I suppose. But this isn't 1e.

The expert mountain climber doesn't need to roll to climb something an untrained person could climb. You do. Your high level adventurer can fail an untrained climb check, and the mountaineer can't.

The expert mountain climber can climb a number of things your higher-level adventurer cannot. He can attempt difficult climbs because of his training. Your alleged high-level polymath cannot.

On things that both characters can attempt to climb, for fairness's sake, the expert mountaineer will always climb twice as fast as your high-level adventurer no matter how well the adventurer rolls. You can roll five natural 20s in a roll to climb, get 35 after 35, and the mountaineer will still handily beat you to the top. Because he has more training than you do, and he will climb at least twice as fast and probably more like three or four times as fast.

You are not a better mountaineer than the career mountaineer.

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BryonD wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
To be fair, Jason said that it presented HUGE problems to them, as game designers, to design high level play. And certainly the number of APs that delve into lvl 20 is pretty small, and PFS ends at 12 I think. Maybe one of the reasons is because it's hard for them to properly design things at those levels because the math breaks.
He said "which distorted character choice and severely hampered design". You have ignored the first part. Not that it makes any difference to the real issue at hand.

With APs character select forcing and avoiding it when writing can be a bit of an issue that an organic campaign won't run into.

I don't run adventure paths with my group, but I see where this skill system would make things easier on AP writers. My dungeon design is spontaneous and comes as the campaign develops, and as a result the challenges the party faces will be at least partially if not heavily informed by what the party can in fact do. I know it is a waste of everyone's time if I've made a dungeon that has a number of challenges that don't reflect anything anyone in the party is good at.

An AP doesn't have that kind of flexibility. Characters that don't know about the scenario are inserted into a scenario the writers designed without the ability to know anything about who was undertaking the tasks they laid down. There are certain challenges the writer may have in mind that the group, not having any spoilers, doesn't know to be ready for and therefore you can't assume any level of competence with nearly any skill (I'll consider perception an exception to this rule, but that's because by osmosis it is commonly held among players you want max Perception no matter what your class or character concept is) because maybe nobody took that skill, or trained in it enough that it's even remotely possible for them to make the check at higher levels, and now the GM must step in to cover for this problem if it might mess up the adventure.

Adjusting things so that there is a baseline you can make assumptions that the party can at least be expected to accomplish this or that at the appropriate level does offer more freedom in design.

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Kalindlara wrote:
While I generally support this system, I will say: I'd really like an option to be Bad At That One Thing. (Sense Motive is the one that comes to mind for me.) Ideally with some sort of payoff, like a bonus skill rank or something.

This seems like it'd be pretty easy to implement with traits or flaws/drawbacks. Sacrifice untrained proficiency in a skill (but not capacity to train in it, I should think; lots of people like a character to be able to overcome their flaws as they adventure) to acquire a proficiency elsewhere. Possibly a 2:1 tradeoff to avoid minmaxing? The wizard has an uncommon-for-his-class skill for disguise, for example, but can't swim to save his life and has no head for climbing.

Things like-

Clumsy: +1 proficiency in a non-class skill, no untrained bonus to Stealth or Acrobatics
Guileless: +1 proficiency in a non-class skill, no untrained bonus to Bluff or Sense Motive
Overprivileged: +1 proficiency in a non-class skill, no untrained bonus to Profession or Survival

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Eh. I'll take "every high-level Sorcerer is good at climbing" over "no high-level Sorcerer is good at climbing". Wizard might have a choice between good and bad on any given skill, but that's only because they could afford tons of Int. Paladins, Clerics, Fighters, and Sorcerers just got to suck at almost everything.
Any sorcerer that wants to be good at climbing in Pathfinder can be good at climbing in Pathfinder.

That said, the opportunity cost for a sorcerer is four or five times higher than that of a class like a wizard on a given skill. The old ranks system regularly forced you to invest in intelligence whether that was part of your character concept or not, or a number of classes would lack basic competence in a lot of things. Skill starvation is a very real and persistent problem in Pathfinder, which is why I don't agree with the people feeling like the baseline should be sucking at extremely basic tasks even if you are a demigodly superhuman, which is what a high level character is no matter how you slice it.

I strongly prefer the notion that a seasoned adventurer attains basic competence in a wide variety of tasks from a long and interesting career, and that being good at a skill means you can move beyond basic competence. From how I'm reading it, this system conveys that much better than the skill ranks system does, and the "right to suck at things" seems easily addressed for the people who insist their social skills should remain abysmal forever rather than growing from abysmal to bad/meh with experience by including flaws like 3.5 did. Sac proficiency in some things to get a benefit elsewhere, while letting people who enjoy basic competence in a wide field have their system. It's a hell of a lot easier to convince the GM to let you take a handicap on the skill system than imposing that handicap as the baseline and taking away people's right to play broadly competent characters to protect other peoples' right to play characters that are particularly incompetent at things.

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Arssanguinus wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Fortunately, yes. We can only hope it makes it into the final product, right next with resonance and non-LG paladins.
Hopefully it can be mitigated because there is a pretty sizable group of players that find it rather distasteful, however disdainful you might act of their opinion.

Eh. I feel like "I want my character to be more incompetent at stuff" is more easily patched with a houserule than making that the baseline and forcing players who LIKE broad basic competence from seasoned adventurers to talk the GM around to allowing that.

Hell, if it bothers people so much they can take another leaf out of 3.5's book and reintroduce Flaws in this system where you can go ahead and make your character incompetent at things for a payoff elsewhere without dragging everyone else down with you, which seems preferable to me to forcing incompetence at basic tasks on everybody so low-level NPCs can pretend they're playing the same game as high-level PCs.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
The untrained barbarian is more likely to know that Justice Ironbriar is the harshest judge in Magnimar than the law school student, but she still can't actually practice law effectively at all, let alone superhumanly well.

Wow. So we actually do get +level to untrained skills as well as trained skills? This seems worse than both 4th ed (+5 being trained bonus) and 5th ed (+6 being trained or +12 expertise).

It made some degree of sense being able to know certain things about magic and such simply from being exposed to it for 15 levels. But getting +level good at something seems too much even for me. This seems like a lot more is going to have be gated behind "being trained" which means either looking up what you can do trained or untrained or having to simply remember it all.

I'll reserve judgement until I see it. But this doesn't seem like we're getting to keep the flexibility of PF 1st ed.

I don't honestly think PF 1st ed was actually that flexible, because after the first couple levels if you weren't trained in a skill you only really attempted to use it if you didn't mind failing hilariously at it. Untrained skills paying off has never really been a thing in PF 1e in my experience both as a player and a GM.

And it's +level -2 for being untrained, so a trained person has a +3 effective bonus over an untrained person, an expert a +4, and so on. The numerical bonuses aren't as enormous as in 1e, partially because how much you beat or fail a skill check by matters more in 2e, but what the trained, expert, master, and so on can do comprises a number of different things while untrained are basic tasks any idiot could do. Wizards might not be the most spry fellows but I'm gonna assume a wizard who's been adventuring long enough to hit level 10 can manage to climb a frigging tree if he has to.

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Milo v3 wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
You aren't, the different tiers of proficiency gate what tasks can even be attempted

For some reason I think things like lying, climbing, jumping, surviving in the wild, and sneaking will all be things that you can do untrained.

characters already at those higher tiers of proficiency don't even need to roll.
I'm not comparing it to the higher level characters, I'm comparing it to the NPCs who will be low level and unable to keep up with heroes who are outclassing them at their jobs despite that hero never actually spending any time doing that skill.

You can do things untrained, from what I'm seeing of this, but I feel like people are looking at the number next to a d20 and going "this alone determines what being good at a skill is."

The guy who has a big jumping number and the guy who can jump, stand in the air, and piss on the first guy's head are not rivals. The guy who has a chance of sneaking around despite not being trained in it and tell a whopper with a straight face is not a rival to a guy who can hide behind his own shadow and quietly convince a bartender that he is in fact Shelyn to get out of paying for drinks.

Untrained characters can compete with trained characters in tasks that are so absurdly easy for the trained characters that they no longer need to roll the dice at all. I'm not going to go around saying I'm as good at math as Einstein because I too know my multiplication tables, or claim that being able to swim laps in a pool at the gym without drowning makes me a rival to Michael Phelps.

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rooneg wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:

I feel like calling everything 'proficiencies' and 'feats' might get a bit confusing, but maybe that's just me.

Also, it seems strange that the adventurer who's spent all his life plundering Ancient Osirani tombs might go to the sea and immediately be better at sailing than someone who's spent decades on the deck of a ship.

That said, I am all for making skills awesome again. By the time you hit level 15, logic goes out the window, and I can't wait to make a thief with Skyrim-style pickpocketing.

Your tomb raider actually wouldn't be able to practically sail at all, though you might know basic facts like the names of different ships that you read about somewhere. An actual sailor trained in the skill would be able to practice sailing. Now if your tomb raider became trained in it, that's a different story.
But that's part of the problem. If your higher level character somehow becomes "trained" in Sailing they immediately jump from "I know the names of some ships" to "I am better at this than everyone on the boat because I'm a 15th level character". That strains credulity. I'm not sure I like the way that level mixes in to this at all.

To be fair, situations like this can already happen in 1e.

You would run out of fingers trying to count the wizards that bang on about how it takes years of careful study to become a wizard but the truth of it is in game terms a level one rogue could spend a week adventuring, if that, and come back as wizardly as the 1st-level wizard that started his adventure at 60 because he'd been practicing cantrips for the last 30 years.

Or said rogue at level 9 finding herself a landlubber that's in a campaign with some nautical interests. Come level 10 after defeating a sea serpent, she decides to pause up on maxing out other skills for a bit and sinks 10 ranks into Profession (Sailor), which is a class skill. With her minimum +13 bonus (and probably more than that, given that rogues like their wisdom nice and high to spot traps and keep the will saves at bay) she has become a masterful sailor overnight.

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Bloodrealm wrote:

So your defense of a crap system like 5E is that nothing matters because you have about the same chance of succeeding or failing no matter what?

Advantage doesn't stack, by the way, no matter how many clever or useful things you do. You could set up an awesome plan and all you'd get is Advantage. In PF1, the GM might reward you with a total +10 circumstance bonus or something.

No, you don't have "about the same chance of succeeding or failing no matter what." A social rogue who has maxed his charisma and used expertise in Persuasion has a +17 to the check at high levels. Anything short of "nearly impossible," he succeeds on an 8+, and that's before he gets advantage. A rogue who is not charismatic (but didn't dump) and didn't train in persuasion is just rolling a d20. If he can manage to get advantage in some way, he has a decent chance of pulling off an easier bit of fast-talking but no, his chances of succeeding at a genuine social challenge are nowhere near that of someone that's actually trained for them.

I have never, in any circumstances, seen a GM hand out a circumstance bonus that big. The @%$*ing gods themselves descending to play background music on your intimidate check wouldn't wriggle a +10 circumstance bonus out of most GMs.

Which is a shame, because in Pathfinder you can have a +10 circumstance bonus and still be so far off from what the DC of the check you're attempting is that you're still guaranteed to fail, and so should not waste anyone's time by attempting in the first place.

5e's not obsessed with big numbers the way Pathfinder is. If you don't like that, that's fine, but personally I like a system where people feel free to try for long-shots and think about how they can get an advantage to better their odds. Circumstance bonuses are exactly as arbitrary as Advantage in how they're granted, tend to vary far more in size, and are much less likely to make a long shot pay off.

As a result, time and again, I've noticed 5e players experiment and try things outside their specialities, trusting that advantage granted for clever planning or good roleplaying can see them through trials outside their comfort zones. Pathfinder players stick to things they've specialized in enough to get their big auto-win numbers and will not attempt something outside their specialities because the system is poised to spank them if they do.

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Basically any situation where you would get a numerical bonus to your roll in Pathfinder gives advantage in 5e instead.

Flanking? Higher Ground or other terrain advantages? Doing something outside the box? You get advantage.

If all else fails, spend inspiration, a reward your characters should be getting on a fairly regular basis if your DM isn't stingy.

Also I find 5e's DC system is a lot better for players that are willing to improvise than PF's is, as 5e tends to err on "you're welcome to try, and if you can come up with a plan that lets you try with advantage your odds of success should be decent unless the task was quite difficult to begin with."

PF, by contrast, tends to err on "don't even try if you weren't built to do this."

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thflame wrote:

I never had an issue with low level threats not being threats to PCs.

GM - "You see a small band of goblins ahead."

Level 10 Players - "We got this!"

GM - "Roll for initiative....looks like the goblins go first."

Players - "What?"

GM - "The first goblin hits you and since it is the first round, they get to use Sneak Attack....45 damage."

Players - "Oh @#$%."

All you have to do is give "low level" enemies some class levels and stuff works out.

So Low-Level enemies not being a threat works out if...the enemies are not, in fact, low-level.

Personally I liked Bounded Accuracy when I GM'd and played 5e. Players don't get complacent because there aren't many encounters where they're in no danger of being injured, while the GM can throw out encounters that are a little quicker because the easier enemies don't have as much HP, but are still able to get some licks in to make their encounters something other than a transparent excuse to burn party resources.

A thing a lot of PF encounters end up being if you don't pack a LOT of beef into your encounters.

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The main guidelines I think should be kept in mind:

1. Feats should be nice, not necessary. Avoid or severely limit things that CAN'T be done without a big feat investment.

2. Do not overcomplicate trees. 1e's feat system is by far its most bloated segment of the rules and feats became needlessly dense and convoluted because there were too many chains, taxes, and things that didn't need to be related used to form feat trees. Feat chains should be concise and to the point when they exist at all, and scaling feats should be the norm, not buying the same feat again 5 levels later.

3. Do not design like a character has feats coming out of their ears. Pathfinder misstepped badly in my opinion in that the presence of the fighter and its bonus feats seemed to encourage combat feats in particular to be designed like you get dozens to spend. For the most part, you don't, which means putting too many feat slots on the price tag of something nice means it will only come up late-game or not at all for most classes. Fighters and other classes with lots of bonus feats BENEFIT from keeping feat selection concise and free of taxes, because in a world where you don't have to sink twelve feats into two-weapon fighting or throwing weapons to be good at either style a fighter could stand above other martials in the sheer number of styles he could master rather than making his claim to fame a way to pay his taxes on one style faster.

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Allow for feat chains where each new feat grants a new behavior, and more feats that scale.

Down with feat chains where you have to buy the same frigging feat three times over your career just to make it stay relevant.

Vital Strike
Prerequisite: BAB +6
Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the weapon’s damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision-based damage, and other damage bonuses. At BAB +11 and again at BAB +16, roll your weapon's damage dice an additional time when using this feat.

Two-Weapon Fighting: Allows you to fight effectively with two weapons by greatly reducing all penalties involved. As your BAB increases, you can make more attacks with your off-hand.

Improved Two-Weapon Fighting: You're faster with your two weapons, and can now make a double-attack as an attack action, striking once with each of your weapons. If you can make more than one attack of opportunity, you can also double-attack as an AoO, expending one AoO for each weapon strike.

Greater Two-Weapon Fighting: You're even better with your two weapons now, taking no penalties at all for using two-weapon fighting. You gain an additional benefit, such as the ability to make a free combat maneuver that doesn't provoke when you hit with your main and off-hand weapons.

Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike, Greater Vital Strike

The TWF chain as it currently exists.

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Meirril wrote:

Paladins get quite a few bonuses because they have a code of conduct they have to adhere to. Any violation, even under the influence of a spell, should be punished.

These are rules, breaking the black and white (even on a technicality) should get the punishment. This is like saying a Barbarian who loses his extra hp from a rage shouldn't die because it isn't the barbarian's fault. Sure, the monster/GM did this to them. Its part of the game. The GM should't be playing favorites here.

Where the wiggle room comes in is when the Paladin seeks atonement. If the paladin only committed evil acts under the influence of a mind control/illusions/ or even a fantastically successful Bluff check but came to regret those actions and fully upheld his oaths after the fact, the actual atonement itself should be painless. On the other hand, if the player committed an evil act because they know they can get atonement cast on them by another player or a NPC, it should be harsh or even impossible to complete the quest. The actual atonement is where the GM gets to be "fair".

Neither should the GM be actively looking to **** over one of the players when you know as well as I do he will do no such thing if a barbarian does something lawful or a monk does something chaotic, especially if it is not willfully done.

The powers of the paladin are granted either by gods of good or the very idea of goodness itself.

In the case of the paladin having a god, why on earth would a being next door to all-knowing take away one of their most devoted followers' powers when they know damn well the paladin is not willingly acting in violation of their principles? If someone looking to make the paladin look bad poisons the paladin's sword without their knowledge, there is no grounds for the god, who would KNOW this because the gods have access to knowledge mortals do not, to punish the PALADIN for someone else's actions.

In the case of the ideal of good, there isn't a sentient force that grants the paladin their powers, which means the only thing that would extinguish them is if the paladin no longer holds the ideal of good in her heart, possibly because of feeling unworthy or something else. But it's certainly not going to disappear on the paladin while they're being mind-controlled and trying to fight off their tormentor's will.

The paladin's abilities are not so strong that it's notably better than the barbarian or the ranger. It's absolute nonsense for GMs to feel like they're obligated to take a fall, which is meant to be a punishment for bad roleplaying as a paladin, and jump through however many flimsy hoops they need to in order to FORCE a paladin to fall even if the player has done nothing wrong.

There is also a BIG ****ing difference between "you are reduced to 0 hp because you were hit by attacks" and "because you rolled a natural 1 on your will save you no longer get to play your class until I feel like giving it back to you."

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I genuinely feel like the Paladin code should be viewed as a player taking on a roleplaying challenge, not as a hammer for the GM to wield against Paladins. I guess you could make a case for a GM using the code as a hammer if a player completely fails to take the code seriously, but any honest effort of playing a Paladin as "a genuinely good person, above reproach" should basically make you immune to falling (unless this is a story you want to tell about your character, in which case- talk to the GM!)

I feel like this is it exactly. The Paladin has some strong abilities (although not so strong that it's out of whack with the other strong martials in similarly capable hands) but comes with a double alignment lock compared to the Barbarian and Monk's one...and a roleplaying challenge.

The code of conduct wasn't built into the class to give the GM a handy "off switch" to take away the player's powers the second they put a toe out of line, even in situations like this where they're not putting a toe out of line so much as a third party appears and shoves them off the line. It's designed to give the player a certain set of rules that guide their roleplaying. Sometimes it gets in the way of doing the most expedient thing, but it's to help convince the player to get into the mindset of a real dyed-in-the-wool good guy. It's meant to be a tool the player uses to remind themselves of what beliefs their character would have been taught to uphold as part of their training, and a tool the GM can use to remind the player of something their honor would demand they do something about.

It's NOT there to play "gotcha" with the paladin player any more than the cleric losing their spells and domains if their god turns away from them is something that's SUPPOSED to happen to Clerics any time they get in trouble. Just because a class can lose its powers doesn't mean that it should unless the player is intentionally going way out of bounds.

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Zarius wrote:
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Paladins are Lawful, as are most of the gods they worship. I don't think a Lawful or Good god would punish their holy warriors for having someone FORCE them to do something. By magical OR mundane means. Because it is "willingly commits" an evil act. Even if there is just mundane corrosion that's not willingly.

Heck I'd go so far to say that temporarily being out of it because of severe head trauma might be iffy.

Though going in for an absolution would likely still be something to do in character, as would the Paladin being mortified at what they were forced to do.

Two points that have been pointed out. First, the RAW (which, in this case, is my main concern) states that the paladin only has to commit the act, not that he must be in any way complacent. The shell of a meat puppet that his soul wears merely has to go through the mechanical motions of, say, stabbing a relatively innocent person in such a way that they cease to be.

I take issue with this. If you are being mind controlled, you the player aren't doing jack. The person controlling you is committing the act, using your hands. A fighter who is possessed by a shadow demon and used to commit evil acts is not himself evil or committing evil acts; the shadow demon is. By the same token, the paladin ISN'T violating his code of conduct because he isn't doing anything except fighting against his tormentor's commands. This is not grounds for falling.


Second, if they ARE being controlled, and so weak willed that they are easily taken over by magical control (Will is a good save for them, and wisdom is a critical score), why would a god of good want the opposition to have access to that power? That's a good god's power, none of them would want their power falling into the hands of evil.

From both a RAW and a RAI, I think it's fair to say that, while a god might forgive them, a Paladin can be forced to fall against their will.

By this basis gods will always strip any divine class of their powers the instant things start going bad for them. Evil gods will immediately revoke their priests' powers as punishment for failing them if the priest starts to lose, while good gods will, by this logic, abandon their most dedicated servants when they go up against something powerful with mind-control.

This is obviously stupid. Shelyn would not say "tough cookies, kid, enjoy being a sock puppet. I've got ten more kids just like you I'll give your powers to instead," because the paladin sworn to her service was overpowered by an Aboleth, who is ancient and very good at bending even the most resilient minds to its will. Good doesn't abandon its own. It's one of the reasons it's good. If a god immediately withdraws any help they were giving you because you were put in a bad spot they are an evil god, and therefore wouldn't have paladins in the first place. You could almost make a point for evil gods being vindictive and abandoning their faithful at the drop of a hat to punish them for failure, but that's one of the reasons evil gods are different from good ones and somehow I never see people questioning if their clerics of Asmodeus should suddenly lose their spells because the antagonist beat them and Asmodeus does not forgive failure, or a PC antipaladin getting depowered out of the blue because his demonic masters are capricious jerks (even though demons ARE capricious jerks who enjoy screwing over their own side, unlike the forces of good).

People are way too eager to yank away a paladin's powers because the notion that it could happen somehow means it should happen, often in ways that imply the god pulling the plug was LOOKING for an excuse to yank this paladin's chain and seized on the first one that presented itself. That's really not how gods of good and law roll.

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Matthew Downie wrote:

Cú Chulainn lost his powers because he was under two geas obligations that came into conflict; never eat dog, never refuse hospitality.

Samson lost his strength because his hair was cut off.

Sometimes legends aren't fair.

Failing a Will save isn't much different from giving into temptation. From our perspective, he rolled too low on a d20. From an in-universe perspective, he didn't resist as hard as he could. (Doing your best is when you get a natural 20, maybe?)

Remember also that a Paladin's abilities don't come for free; they're assigned from a finite pool of holy energy. If one Paladin stops serving good, the powers that be can use that magic to help someone else until the Paladin atones.

I strongly disagree with this assessment. Failing a will save isn't "giving in to temptation", it is being overpowered by an outside party. If a paladin who considered celibacy a part of his oath was drugged or in some way overpowered and raped by a villain, that is not the paladin giving in to temptation, that is blaming the paladin for the villain being able to penetrate his defenses and taking away his powers even though at no point did he willingly violate the oath.

From an in-universe perspective, rolling too low on a d20 doesn't mean you weren't doing your best to resist, it meant the person attacking you was strong enough to pierce your defenses. You don't fail a save against poison because you didn't WANT to stay healthy enough.

A paladin who is subjected to mind control by someone stronger than them does not change alignment because they are not in control of their actions, and is not willingly performing evil actions. There's no point in having the player roleplay a code of conduct to remain a paladin if you can just have a bad guy get lucky on a single d20 roll, which always has at least a 5% chance of happening, and strip the player of their powers even though they didn't do anything wrong. Falling is supposed to be because of a failing of the player, not a result of getting punk'd by one of the bad guys.

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GM Rednal wrote:
An important thing to remember is that we don't necessarily want two classes to have the same sort of narrative power, nor for things to be totally unique to one class. (If ONLY a Cleric could heal, that would make them near-mandatory, regardless of whether or not anybody in the group wanted to play a Cleric.) In general, a class should probably have at least 2-3 areas it's pretty good in - one in combat and one out of combat, at bare minimum, and each area coming up often enough to be genuinely impactful on the game.

The "Three Pillars" seems like a pretty easy way to resolve things for class design.

Basically, every class should be designed with three things in particular in mind: Combat, Exploration, and Interaction. While none of the classes should be a master of all three pillars, each class should have features that are geared towards these three pillars to different degrees. For example, a Ranger gets strong combat and exploration abilities but limited (but still present!) interaction abilities, while the bard has decent combat and great interaction abilities and less developed exploration abilities.

The classes have niches, but each is designed to be able to perform outside of its niche, facilitating greater teamwork. I'd be putting the fighter next to the Vigilante here for an example of where I feel the latter is what I'm talking about and the former isn't.

The fighter's exploration and interaction abilities begin and end with skill ranks, of which he does not get very many. Even recent attempts to skill up the fighter with things that let him use his BAB as ranks, like Master Marshmellow's more versatile Shrodinger's Fighter, are dependent on being able to grab a feat that gives them the skills they're using. Once this is done, however, it's not so much a power that facilitates better exploration or interaction as the fighter has now brought himself up to speed with a normal character who has trained in the skill naturally.

The vigilante, meanwhile, is a character built with combat and interaction in mind, and to enable this he has a distinct pool of socially-oriented abilities that are distinct from the abilities he uses to get better at fighting, which are themselves formidable. With his social talents, the Vigilante can gain powers that improve his social interaction (and to a lesser extent, his ability to explore) beyond just having skill ranks in the right place. With Social Grace he can get a sizable bonus to a number of mental and social skills, while other social talents enable him to do things another face-oriented class would not, like gathering information in a much shorter period of time, fool magical lie detection, create absolutely secure hiding places, become a master of disguise to an extent even skill-unlocked rogues could only dream of, and so on.

Ideally, I feel like every character would have some separate pools of abilities, some of which are used to fight enemies, some of which are used to get around the game world, and some of which are to gain powers that facilitate new and interesting interactions with NPCs. Primary magic-users would get the smallest pool of such abilities to compensate for the fact they get magic, which already does this, while wholly nonmagical characters get a much larger pool of such abilities to compensate for not having spells.

Granted, I'm pretty sure Touch AC only exists so that ray-focused casters don't go crying to mommy that they can't hit the dude in magical plate mail at will.

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