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The Raven Black wrote:
Truly things have gone full circle if the new and better way of TTRPG is based on "the GM has all the power because surely that is the only way great stories can be told". Gygax loved that paradigm. I do not because not many GMs have the skill to provide fun to players when being all-powerful.

If you are selecting a game system based on the presumption that the GM is bad, then you have already given up on the possibility of the best possible games.

I choose to only play in games with great GMs (or at least people who aspire to be great GMs, and young players with that mindset still avoid the issues you bring up).

Systems that try to prop up a bad GM ultimately can only do so much because a bad GM is still a bad GM. So the only thing bad GM systems do is stunt the development of future great GMs.

And, I do agree with you that PF2 turns the dial in that direction of optimizing for inferior GMs rather than superior GMs.


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thejeff wrote:

Not to dig into edition warring, but didn't 5E also take this kind of "Screw versimilitude" approach and do pretty well?

At least to the extent of different PC/NPC builds? As did Starfinder, which also seems to be doing well.

I would say very much "no" to the first part of your question.

Go ask a 4E fan the same question. I play 5E and really enjoy it and see it as (among other things) WotC correcting from the "screw versimiltude" approach of 4E.

There is a big difference between being relatively rules light and being as Gorbacz summed it up "screw versimiltude".


Cyouni wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Screw versimilitude and the nice fuzzy feeling that reality fits neat little boxes in your brain you've made for yourself. And that those boxes are nice and orderly. Oh and your boxes are the same as the boxes over there.

It's a game, opponents are supposed to be challenging, encounters are supposed to be interesting. I don't care if my PC could potentially do the same things the Gladiator NPC can do, I want it to be a tough cookie I can fight and have satisfaction from winning. Pretty much nothing else matters.

It might be just "a game" to you. There are tons of games out there.

I greatly enjoy TTRPGs for the creative storytelling and immersion.

I can join others in throwing stones at wonky bits and pieces in PF1. But the book is closed there. It was a phenomenal success in the marketplace and delivered years a great stories at my own table. The game is a lot more than a simple fixation on the wonky bits.

Paizo has clearly taken a strong step in the direction of your desire for a "game" which focuses on setting up fights and letting you high five yourself for winning the fight. And Paizo is clearly willing to move away from me in order to better deliver that product for you.

Time will tell if that strategy delivers for them.

I'm curious to see an answer to this: what breaks verisimilitude and immersion for players if the imp no longer has a magic +2 racial bonus to its poison because it has to?

Nothing.


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Gorbacz wrote:

Yes, it's just a game. And there's nothing that makes PF1 better at at facilitating storytelling and immersion than PF2 or any other RPG. Matter of fact, I'd say that the PF1's amount of super-deatiled rules in some areas coupled with ambiguity in other areas actually impedes storytelling and immersion, because nothing kicks you out of your evening of pretneding to be a fair elven archer than an hour long argument on about how exactly do feat X, archetype Y and spell Z interact. Dungeon World fares much better in thie regard. So do older editions of D&D with their light rules and explicit GM IS ALWAYS RIGHT disclaimer.

Consequently, framing the argument that PF1 is the game for refined storytellers of beautiful tales while PF2 is a dumbed down casual game of killing stuff is silly, beacause both PF1 and PF2 are essentialy the same - tactial wargames with some tiny flecks of narrativism sprinkled on the top. There are both mid-school RPGs with dozens of tables, little to no player narrative agency that isn't character agency, no meta-mechanics, overt focus on combat and other things that scream 1980 and ignore most of development in RPG design over the recent 20 years.

Yes, yes, the exact same arguments were made when 4E came out. They were flawed then, they are flawed now.

As to "framing the argument", you are the one who framed it that way. I simply commented on the implications of your framing.

You said "Screw versimilitude" then you turn around and say "there's nothing that makes PF1 better at at facilitating storytelling and immersion than PF2". It may be entirely true that PF2 delivers 100% of the immersion that *you* gained from PF1. But your initial comment was the honest point of view. You are simply trying to turn a180 now that the downside of your blunt statement is exposed.

Quote:

PF2 at least cuts down the lard a bit and acknowledges things such as non-binary degrees of success. Yay, Vampire the Masquerade did that in 1990, D&D is slowly catching up.

Of course, none of the above matters if you're having fun, and I've have had a lot of fun with PF1 and likely will have it with PF2. It's just that I am fully aware of what D&D and its offshots are. You folks should really get out and play some newer RPGs out there, because game design has really moved on in the recent two decades.

First questions would be, is it the same or is it not the same? You can't have it both ways.

As to 20 years, please go back and read comments I've offered over and over. PF1, while great and a proven success, it also clearly deeply dated and showing that. I was a fan of a new edition from the moment it was announced. You are right that game design has moved on. And the gutters are full of games that tried the more about the game, "Screw versimilitude" approach. It is a logical fallacy to leap from "a new game is needed" to "therefore any critical comments on the current version are invalid".

PF2 will sell well Day 1. (remember 4E made Mearls a NYT bestlling author). Talk to me in two years. But we already know from history how that plays out as well. Right now you are telling the people being left out to get bent, two years from now you will be saying everything is our fault.


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Bartram wrote:
That's because it is an abstraction meant to create a fun game for us real humans to play. Not a physics simulator.

The question is "does it succeed at creating fun?".

Three years olds throwing knives are pretty much outliers. The wonkiness there does nothing to impact the actual fun at the table.

But when "not a physics simulator" becomes an in your face rejection of consistency then that very much CAN be a bummer at the table.


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Gorbacz wrote:

Screw versimilitude and the nice fuzzy feeling that reality fits neat little boxes in your brain you've made for yourself. And that those boxes are nice and orderly. Oh and your boxes are the same as the boxes over there.

It's a game, opponents are supposed to be challenging, encounters are supposed to be interesting. I don't care if my PC could potentially do the same things the Gladiator NPC can do, I want it to be a tough cookie I can fight and have satisfaction from winning. Pretty much nothing else matters.

It might be just "a game" to you. There are tons of games out there.

I greatly enjoy TTRPGs for the creative storytelling and immersion.

I can join others in throwing stones at wonky bits and pieces in PF1. But the book is closed there. It was a phenomenal success in the marketplace and delivered years a great stories at my own table. The game is a lot more than a simple fixation on the wonky bits.

Paizo has clearly taken a strong step in the direction of your desire for a "game" which focuses on setting up fights and letting you high five yourself for winning the fight. And Paizo is clearly willing to move away from me in order to better deliver that product for you.

Time will tell if that strategy delivers for them.


Thanks much


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
The difference is that the unarmored one's AC will go up as they level

Do we know this as an absolute fact?

Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty confident you are correct. But the wonkiness of AC if everyone is adding level but might suddenly lose that significant bonus when putting on even light armor has been noted several times.

So it seems possible they have further changed the AC system to account for the change in untrained proficiency.

It is also still very likely that I simply missed the comment somewhere.

Anyway, I'd love to know if this is truly fact, or if it is just really likely.

Thanks


MaxAstro wrote:
That's completely fair. I think the only point I'm really trying to make is "on average, people give anecdotes more weight than they actually bear, which is where sayings like 'the plural of anecdote is not data' come from".

You are right.

And as the guy who said the plural of anecdote is data, I'll readily agree that there is a steady spectrum from "an anecdote", "two anecdotes", "several anecdotes", "really bad data", "pretty bad data", "poor data", "data", "good data", "scientific method".

We don't have proof. But just as people also put too much weight on their personal ancedotes, people put too much faith in what they wish was true.

You can step back and make an honest effort to evaluate the collective available ancedotes. If you do you will see that there is a strong resemblance to the reception of 4E.

The fact that there is a solid niche of people who LOVED the playtest in general or "+level to everything" in specific (which is completely true) does nothing to offset that intense alienation and dissatisfaction was also created by the playtest. This industry is not the place to be creating those levels of rejection.

Did they make the kinds of changes in the yet-to-be-seen "real 2E"? Who knows? If they did then nothing I say matters anyway. As I said before, I am very confident that Pathfinder, by its very name, will get a solid boom out of the gates. And so if it is a good game ("good" defined as appeals to the marketplace widely) then all issues with the playtest will be quickly forgotten. If the final product remains too much like the playtest, it will start to feel that quickly. (or, for completionist sake it could be completely different but still flawed).


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MaxAstro wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Time will tell on the goblins. And I'm sure you will be here pointing fingers of blame at everyone else.
Does that mean you'll be here apologizing for comments like that if everything turns out fine?

Certainly

Will you be here apologizing if it doesn't?


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Bardic Dave wrote:


EDIT: And as we know, the CR crew switched from PF1 to 5e shortly before they started streaming. One can infer that they at least believed 5e would help their stream in some way (e.g. it’s a more popular system, easier to grok rules for their rules-lite approach, etc.)

I can't link this, but Matt said that it was an important part of the planning.

I don't agree that it impacts anything from a viewer side and I don't agree at all that it supports a difference in RP. There is a lot of discussion out there about the campaign pre-CR and I find it inconceivable that they would agree that RP changed. ( at least not due to mechanical system)

The reason stated was simply that it was much easier to prep on a fixed (this is a job now - not purely recreation) schedule and also less inclined to call for in-session rules look-up.

As someone who thinks 5E is great, but likes PF1E even more, I'd use 5E without a doubt if I was running a spectator campaign for a paycheck.


To be clear on one point, I'm not saying it should seek to actively copy 5E. When I say "awesome like 5E", it can be a very distinct game, but it needs other awesome things (the 3 action economy and crit/crit fail approach are a good start, IMO).


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I 100% agree that 5E has blown away prior editions.

It is an outstanding game and has learned a great deal from the successes and failures of other games over the past couple decades.

There are still tons of "simple" games that have fallen by the wayside.

Also, keep in mind that late 3E, or at least late 3E-era Wotc, was frequently mocked because better product was coming from other companies. The ton of D20 crap/glut notwithstanding, there was enough great stuff coming out to put a dent in WotC's share. Which still isn't to say that 5E isn't outselling all of that combined. It may be. It probably is. Hell, the population has grown and the "geek chic" thing is still on an upswing. D&D is much more accepted than it was even in the 2000s. There are a ton of factors and it is impossible to parse it all out.

But certain facts remain.
3E was a huge hit. At its height it was receiving criticism that its market dominance was shutting down innovation because everybody was doing D20 stuff.
Pathfinder is the only game (aside from a brief instant for WoD)that has ever knocked the D&D brand off the top.
4E was trumpeted as an easy to DM, easy to learn, low entry point game. And it failed.

If simplicity over complexity alone was the answer, then 3E would have crashed and burned. Pathfinder would have never existed. And 4E would have been monstrously successful.

Yes, 5E is simpler than 3E/PF. But there is a great deal of depth there and it is a step away from the low entry bar of 4E. But, more importantly, it is simply an awesome game. all indications are that, within reason, complexity is a plus for success. But that is not remotely the only lever. 5E is awesome in a lot of ways.

Now step back and take a fair, honest look at the conversations going on and compare them to the run up to 4E and the run up to 5E. The playtest 2E (and I still consider it vitally important that we don't know a great deal about the final 2e) is described by both advocates and detractors in terms and concepts that strongly mirror the conversations in the run up to 4E. And 4E fans who loved "simple low entry" still to this day decry 5E as a "step backward" (the massive success having no impact on their assessment).

I'm not a defender of sticking with 1E. It is **OLD** and outdated. Now, *I* still love it. But the marketplace has left it behind and I'm entirely open to a great new game.

For my taste, the product reflected in the playtest was not remotely great. And, again, the tone of debate is disturbingly similar to pre-4E. Right down to the "thats just an anecdote, the professionals know what they are doing" The plural of anecdote is data.

My point regarding pro-complexity is just one of many lines of evidence. And, in this case, was in response to the suggestion that less complexity itself was a boon.

Will 2E be awesome? I hope so and I truly don't know. But the debates here still center around the ideas intrinsic to the playtest becasue we know so little else. 4E had a low entry barrier, but in so doing it drove fans flocking away. It didn't remotely compensate.

I expect that ANY 2E is going to be streamlined compared to 1E. Fine. Make it awesome like 5E and it will do very well. I see tons of differences between 2E and 4E, but the heart of the approach is very similar and the responses for and against are practically identical. For good reason.

Bottom line, you can't just take that one topic, point at 5E and ignore everything else. One thing 2E is not is 5E.


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

For those who do have a problem with adding your level to attacks or skills, I am curious- did you have a problem with Full BAB classes? Or an issue with people putting a rank in a certain skill every level? Doing both of these are just adding your level + profiecency (aka class skill) to what you're rolling. They've basically just streamlined that. Now every character who was doing that anyway doesnt have to make sure they don't miss something and fall behind on things they're supposed to be good at.

Of course not.

The mechanics must have some baseline. The whole D20 system is arbitrary. There are good % based systems and GURPS is a pretty solid 3d6 system.

The idea that attack scales at +level modified by a d20 roll is the foundation of the mechanical structure. That is the definition of "maximum progression". And that same progress was embraced for skills, if you are "the best" you improve at that pace.

You said "supposed to be good at". It is absurd to say that everyone is supposed to be good at everything at the same numerical level.

(And yes, I get the 4 tiers, I like the four tiers. If you bring up the four tiers in response here you are just admitting that you can't wrap your brain around the point and I'm going to let the knowledge of that be its own response.)

Having characters that are the best at things alongside character who are less good at those things is a critical non-optional element of narrative storytelling.

Quote:

Sure, they run the risk of things getting too samey. But proficiency will add the variety, and critical successes will make the differences felt.

All pf2 really does with +level is expand upon what we were already using that worked pretty well before.

If you take a system that work well in one place and you apply it to everything, then yes, that is an "expansion" of the mechanic.

If clanky dwarves can now sneak despite their narrative idea and nerdy wizards can dodge orc greatswords while naked and standing in an antimagic zone, then the results are regressive with regard to modeling the story correctly.


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The Raven Black wrote:
BryonD wrote:

Now, hopefully, they have done more than ditch +level from untrained skills. So, hopefully, I'm just complaining about an obsolete playtest mechanic.

I'm eager to see a game that improves on 1E. There are certainly things that have been learned in the past two decades which show how that hugely successful game can be significantly improved. But we keep getting stuck in the broken logic that because some change could be an improvement that any change must be an improvement. History has shown us that this is very far from true and it is much easier to make things worse than it is to make it better.

They say they learned a great deal and the final product is substantially different than the playtest. Here is hoping.

They obviously took into account the surveys' results as a major input when designing the final version of the game.

It might not end up with dropping +lvl to everything though. That will depend on whether it was popular or not at all.

If people liked it, it stays. Simple as that

Well, I think the meaningful "as simple as that" statement comes later. Three years from now 2E will either be a hugely popular game or not. And either they made a game that appeals to a large audience or they didn't. Simple as that.

To me there is an obvious glaring flaw in their playtest methodology. They preached to the choir. People who didn't like it dropped out very quickly and many of them didn't even bother to complete the surveys. A great majority of them walked away. If you take a poll of people who like something and conclude that everyone likes it based the results of the poll, then you better be nervous about your accuracy.

Look at how few people are engaged on this forum.
Look at Paizo's own facebook page where they can't start a post about 2E without the complaints taking over.
Look at the vast silence everywhere.

Yes, there are people who LOVE it. I get that. But "simple as that" is coming.

I was told (over and over) that everyone was upset "about change" but the complaints about 4E were bogus, WotC were professionals, they knew what they were doing. And then, don't forget, 4E made Mearls a "New York Times Bestselling Author". It was a smash success. And then it wasn't. And yet, today, there are still holdout who LOVE 4E. And when you talk to them they don't say "gee, we should have listened and compromised" They blame h4ters. I don't expect that pattern to change.

But there is hope. 4E was a controversial issue, to put it mildly. But it sold like gangbusters Day 1 because it was still the new D&D. ("bestseller") I believe that 2E will sell like gangbusters Day 1. I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy it. So, if they really made big changes and those changes really capture the issues then they get a complete second chance. If it is good game then people will completely come around, and quickly. The playtest mis-steps will be ancient history.

But if they have not really made changes that truly attract the people they have turned off, then history will repeat itself. Simple as that.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
BryonD wrote:
But the numbers increase in ways that fit the concept. A warrior increase his to hit much more than a spellcaster, an agile foe gets much better at Ref, but not necessarily at Fort. Every mechanic asks what the character is first.

I feel like proficiency being a scalar is a much better way to model this than bringing back fractional math, however. Not only is "no fractional math" quite a bit simpler but the problem with fractional math is that the gulf between, say, one character with a good will save and one character with a bad one widens as characters level up. I think it's better to say "this person has great reflexes" by having their proficiency with reflex saves to be expert or higher at higher levels.

In general "the modifier we add to this one is bigger" is a preferable solution to "this number grows faster than this other one."

You made two points here: simpler and PC talent gap. Both of these points have been done to death and you have not refuted the issues presented for either.

Frankly, "simpler" is just a nice way of saying they dumbed it down. Open-ended narrative driven TTRPGs are *very* complex. If someone can't handle the basic level fractions that PF1E contains, then they also can't handle the demands of modeling a story in a way that truly attempts to capture the nuances of what is happening. I have the ability to enjoy a game that meets my standards and I have the luxury of rejecting games which fail to match that standard. The playtest failed that test badly.

They are way more complex games than 1E. Some I like and some I don't. When someone says that they like a more complex game than me, then I'm very much cool with that. But history shows that this model hit a sweet spot and was a huge success. There is no need to give away depth. And the playtest gave away a ton of depth.

The character difference thing isn't even covered by "bug not feature". It is simply choosing to model characters wrong to make it easier to balance. As I said, we have had that debate before and unless you are suddenly going to say something new to honestly address that flaw, then there is not point in repeating that issues. Just go google it.

I don't know where the final 2E will land. We know that for skills they have made a change that moves nicely in an improved direction. But we don't know anything about saves and combat. For saves, I do not see it as a big deal. There is plenty of abstraction there anyway. But for combat it is a deal breaker. Again, not going to re-debate that here, go hit google if you need the conversation. I am not optimistic they can salvage the +10/-10 mechanic for crits. Hopefully I am wrong. I am still on the sidelines waiting to see.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, one thing +Level lets you do, is if you want an especially badass version of a particular monster, you can just increase its level and thereby make it a lot more dangerous.

Like you can just make a level 12 skeleton. It's a lot more dangerous than a level 0 skeleton.

So taking a monster and adding +11 to everything is exciting? Really?

I use advanced skeletons (and numerous other low level monsters) in my 1E (currently L14) all the time. The advancement includes, in part, some increasing of numbers. But the numbers increase in ways that fit the concept. A warrior increase his to hit much more than a spellcaster, an agile foe gets much better at Ref, but not necessarily at Fort. Every mechanic asks what the character is first.

+11 to everything is the height of anti-narrative and boring.

Now, hopefully, they have done more than ditch +level from untrained skills. So, hopefully, I'm just complaining about an obsolete playtest mechanic.

I'm eager to see a game that improves on 1E. There are certainly things that have been learned in the past two decades which show how that hugely successful game can be significantly improved. But we keep getting stuck in the broken logic that because some change could be an improvement that any change must be an improvement. History has shown us that this is very far from true and it is much easier to make things worse than it is to make it better.

They say they learned a great deal and the final product is substantially different than the playtest. Here is hoping.


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I'll back up and stress that I'm still of the opinion that the game should be as open and flexible as possible. I want the game to be able to readily handle goblin PCs. Of course, I also want the game to be able to readily handle orc or other "monster" PCs.

But there is a big difference between embracing a flexible game and making goblin PCs core. And acting like it doesn't change anything is not thoughtful position. It changes things, and it has a cost.


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oholoko wrote:

Is that really bad though? I mean even with the ranger/paladin less magical weird rework, pigeonholing paladins into the armor and rangers into the weird category it only made the community debate what it means to make them unique characters.

I think the debates about goblins adventurers will likely only open new doors, i mean half orcs are an example of a weird evolution where they were monsters before and now are quite widely accepted as heroes. So i wonder if that wound is really a no-win wound, or you are just pessimist because you don't like the idea.
possible cabbage wrote:
I mean, regarding "Goblins are going to be everywhere, you won't be able to avoid them"... how many PF1 products had such a heavy gnome presence that their essential gnomeyness is unavoiable? How many games were derailed by the fact that gnomes are biologically compelled to be pranksters? Anime haired mischief-addicted gnomes are every bit as much a potential minefield as goblins are, IMO, and yet it was fine.

Yes. I agree with both of you.

I can in most cases rework around goblins.

But, first, keep in mind the claim I replied to. It was stated that there was no difference. I've identified differences.

Second, Paizo wants to trade their products for money. Forcing people to work around things has a non-zero negative impact there.

I don't at all agree with the gnome or half-orc equivalences. Half-orcs have been around for decades and accepted as just that "HALF" orc. If you want a half-goblin core race, then I'll start over in the conversation. I'd be just as opposed to an orc core race. As to gnomes, we agree that it didn't appeal to the type. Time will tell on the goblins. And I'm sure you will be here pointing fingers of blame at everyone else.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But I don't really see a difference between "core" and "not core" other than "what books these things are in" so I have no quarrel with core goblins.

I believe this will be objectively shown to be an erroneous assessment in the near future.

Now, I certainly will hold out hope that I'm wrong. But it seems unlikely.

If goblins get equal treatment with other core races in their appearances as NPCs in published material, then that will make a huge difference. And it will seriously dampen the appeal of those products to some portion of the fan base.

And how far you go with "what books these things are in" is important. How much page count per book becomes goblin themed? I seriously doubt it will be high. How much PF1 material can be called "elf specific"? Not an overwhelming amount. But on the other hand, how much is "too much"?

If the 2E NPC guide has roughly equal representation of goblins as the 1E version does for half-orcs, then the value of the product will be sharply harmed to me.

Now, I can back up to the underlying philosophy and agree with you. I have absolutely everything I need to drop a goblin PC in my P1 campaign tomorrow. And if a player came to me and requested to play one, then I would have a large "sell me on the concept and why it fits" hurdle in front of them. But I'd also be looking to interact with them on their idea and help them overcome the hurdle. Their is an important yin/yang between the archtypes of my story and setting and the great value of players cutting hard against the grain. So I want to find a way to say yes. But the standards behind yes must still survive.

In 2E, assuming I play, this will be the same. I've no interest in a setting which embraces the ideas implicit to goblins as core. But a one off would be welcome, once it passes the same threshold as I have for 1E. This is really a completely system neutral thing. The story and ideas are 100% unchanged.

So I ban goblins from the word go and then we work from there. Of course, players will be even less likely to ask to play a race if I've found the need to ban it up front....

So all the products that Paizo sells month over month have to either give short shift to goblins and alienate the people who likes the idea, or they have to embrace them and alienate the people who are opposed. It is a self-inflicted no-win wound.

And, with all that aside, if we presume that PFS is thriving two years from now, I think it is a very safe bet that the "goblin thread" will be a thing with the same unending arguments over "the new kender" bringing down the fun, and goblin players complaining that people unfairly refuse to game with them because that other guy played a jerk goblin.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

It feels like the PF1 granularity of specialization was too fine. It's better to do this with weapon groups than specific weapons.

Like if you are a master of the halberd, well all polearms are essentially a pointy part and a hacking part on a stick. So if you find a lucerne hammer, poleaxe, bardiche, a spontoon, a corseque, a bill, a fauchard-fork, or a glaive-guisarme everything they know about halberds should still be useful.

Yes. I think this is a very reasonable take.

There is a lot of room between having the ability to tone down how great and archer your character is in exchange for other perks, on the one hand, and having your great archer only be really great with the shortbow and lose half the effectiveness if wielding a longbow or crossbow.

I'm sure that there are those that want this level of granularity. But there seems to be no evidence that there is a huge market cry for longbow archers who are notable less skilled with a shortbow. (or halberd masters who can't quite get it with the glaive)

It is like, one empowers characters to refine where their coolness exists (all archery vs a lot of archery and some other things) and the other just constrains. It is an important distinction.


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I don't see that as a compete assessment of PF1.
I've seen numerous archer builds in PF1. And you are correct that there are several feats that every single one of them took.
But what you leave out is that they still each ended up feeling (mechanically) like very different characters. There has been consistent meaningful customization.

None of that says anything useful about PF2.
One could turn your argument on its head and claim that PF1 gave you more options to be less optimal at archery in exchange for more customization and PF2 takes that away in the name of consistency, which means that PF2 archers become cookie-cutter. Now I think both of us would agree that this isn't a fair evaluation of PF2. But it is no less fair than your evaluation of PF1.

Ultimately the history of PF1 is written. It was a huge success. Now it has been eclipsed and clinging to the past is foolish. But ignoring the past is also foolish.

Can PF2 match the success of PF1? Time will tell.
But if you want to contrast PF2 to PF1 and your tone presents PF1 as a deeply flawed system, then your conclusions are likely questionable.


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A few months ago the central point was that *any* character would be capable of sneaking past guards, dodging virtually any attack by any low level creature regardless of circumstance, climbing with some reliable assumption of skill, know something about magic, etc, etc, etc...

And this was all with complete disregard for the narrative nature of the character. These were mathematical mandates of the mechanics. Narrative choices were secondary to these universal truths.

Now we are promoting the significance of purely narrative ideas for telling the mechanics how to behave. I have no idea if the game will be great or not, but this is an excellent change in focus and attitude. So that is a huge encouragement to me.


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Edge93 wrote:
Brew Bird wrote:


In the playtest, very rarely did a character feel awesome or heroic.
Yeah, that's... pretty subjective and not something to be stated in such an absolute manner really. At my table the characters felt awesome and heroic on a regular basis throughout the entire Playtest, so it's not a ubiquitous issue.

But surely you agree that this was frequently noted and thus something that should be taken as a serious consideration. Right?

Just as I do agree that it is subjective and some groups, apparently including yours, did not.

Do you agree or deny?


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I think having a table of reference values is very important. But it rapidly becomes a table specific issue and a place where groups can make their own feel. So the details of the table are not nearly so important as the gross "ball-parking".

The system need to figure out if it is going too be tight (incompetents always have a chance to get lucky and heroics can always fail on a really bad roll) or wide (incompetent can be off the scale with no hope and heroics can be off the scale with no need to roll) or they can go for some flexible clever compromise. That is a big important choice.

Once that is set, where the DCs land just needs to be reasonable. And having the designers state intent with regard to "a 14th level character has a better chance at a 'hard' L14 thing than that character had at a 'hard' L1 thing at 1st level", vs. "hard remains roughly 30% success at all levels". But that is really just good information for the GM to have. If a good GM wants to stay with 30% and understand that the core mechanic has progression built in, then the GM can adapt. If the good GM wants his game to be harder or easier than the default, than, again, it is easy to adapt.

Clear communication of default numbers and the basis for those number is important. The specifics much less important because it is so easy to modify numbers so long as the core mechanic works.


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Gloom wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
This is such a nonstarter it baffles me that people keep repeating it. If ignoring the rules works for your table, that's great. It doesn't work at many other tables though.

If it's such a non-starter for you to forego rolls and it has strong narrative importance that your character is "bad" at certain things, you can always choose another option.

Talk to your DM. Let them know that you want to play a character that can't swim, is frail and can't climb or jump well, or can't read. Ask them if you can give yourself a penalty to some sort of roll that represents your character's disadvantages.

That way you can attempt it all you want and almost never succeed.

Just don't expect the DM to give you anything for it.

That is all fair. But tell me this. Why isn't "So play another game that works better" a superior choice to the options you have given here?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
BryonD wrote:
And, yes, your examples demonstrate that flaw in 1E. That is totally true.

Here's the thing though, I don't think this is a flaw in PF1. I think that this phenomenon was present in PF1 (and all editions of this family of games honestly) shows that viewing a character as a series of statistics on a character sheet is a mistake. Otherwise you end up with things like "I increase my wisdom, making me better at every profession in the universe" or "as my fighter levels she is now better at every weapon ever designed"

For me, the character sheet is not the character- what my character does, sees, says, and experiences through the course of the story is the character. A character sheet is there to inform what happens, but it does not define what happens ergo it does not define the character. At most all those numbers define what potential my character has if they do end up doing something, but the character is not the quantum superposition of all possible futures, the character is an accounting of what they have done, what they are like, and what they wish to do.

I mean, mechanically character building is a series of choices, and I care about the choices I make making my character better at the things I feel define that character. I do not care what things I am disinterested in doing that my choices incidentally make me better at, since my character isn't going to do those things so it doesn't matter how good or bad they are at it. So I care that precise shot and deadly aim make my halfling fighter better at the slingstaff, I don't care that they make me better at throwing javelins and shooting crossbows. My preference for "this character uses a slingstaff" is expressed by taking things like "weapon focus (slingstaff)" and weapon training in "thrown" and not "bows" or something.

You are still changing the subject and ignoring the point.

I have never met anybody who was confused between the concept of their character and the character sheet. That is simply a red herring you keep throwing up.

But we are still talking about a game. And the mechanics are important. If I have a choice between two games and one draws attention to the disconnect three times as often as then other, then the one that doesn't rub your face in the character sheet failing to capture the actual character is going to have a leg up. If the trade-off brings some other value to the play experience, then ok, let's discuss that. But your entire point is "I can ignore it". You keep repeating that one note song. So that is an admission that it doesn't add anything.

There are better ways to do this. "I can ignore it" is not a decent defense for making an issue more prevalent and more mechanically significant.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Well, you can either look at it as the rules say your character is good at it and you are ignoring the rules.

What I am saying is that I can have a +75 modifier to something and nonetheless my character cannot be seen as "good at it" if they never actually do it.

It's like when a skill has two separate unrelated uses, say bluff is for lying and feinting. I can have a character who is great at lying but never feints, or a character who is great at feinting but who never lies. No one would say my incredibly honest feinter is "a good liar." I had a character with max ranks in "sleight of hand" since they were a juggler, who never picked a pocket because they were a lawful person who believed that was wrong, no one would call that character "a talented pickpocket."

I mean my halfling fighter who happens to have a whole bunch of archery feats (point blank, precise, clustered, rapid shots; deadly aim, etc.)to use with a slingstaff is not "a good archer" just because they have those feats, a high dex, and proficiency with longbows. In order to be a "good archer" I would need that character to own or at least sometimes use a bow.

Bryond in the very next sentence wrote:
Or you can look at it as the rules are just completely wrong about your character.

That is what you are doing. That is fine if it works for you.

The rules absolutely say that your character is a freaking awesome liar. The gameplay experience may not reveal that. And you as player may actively reject that. But the RULES, the MECHANICS, make an absolute non-subjective statement. The statement the rule is making is simply wrong.

If you slingstaff character DID decide to pick up a bow the mechanics state he would be awesome with THAT.

And, yes, your examples demonstrate that flaw in 1E. That is totally true.

I'm open to improvements. I'm opposed to blatantly embracing this flaw and making it bigger.


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gwynfrid wrote:
The problem in PF1 isn't about number inflation, it's about inflation of the gaps between characters. That gap becomes so large eventually that it makes the die roll pointless: Given any check of whatever DC, either the specialists can't fail it, or the non-specialists can't pass. The playtest gets the d20 back to the center of the action, where it belongs.

Obviously a lot of people have this complaint. So I won't suggest it isn't real.

But I will offer an alternative view. In 1E the rolls only matter when they SHOULD matter.

I have literally had a recent game where the monk didn't have to roll to climb a tower while other characters ended up needing help to get to the top and some climbed with decent rolls and then later the monk was rolling to climb a tall stone wall that nobody else could even consider.

In both cases the system worked right because the monk was able to be awesome and skip rolling on the moderate wall, while the people who were typical were rolling. The monk not rolling was right. The others rolling was right.

At the "epic" wall the monk rolling was right and the other knowing better than to roll was right.

The game allowed this giant space for the story to happen within, and the mechanics work when they are supposed to and step out of the way when the story doesn't need them.

I really like that.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
This is such a nonstarter it baffles me that people keep repeating it. If ignoring the rules works for your table, that's great. It doesn't work at many other tables though.

How does "not rolling for something I believe my character should not succeed at" involve "ignoring the rules"? It seems like a basic principle of "you are in control of your character" that you will only be attempting things you choose to do. Like this is a pillar of the entire roleplaying hobby- a game where my character is regularly forced to attempt things I don't want them to attempt is a game I would not play.

I mean sure, there are situations like "you fell off the boat, try not to drown" where choosing to fail would involve character death, but I guarantee every "I am from the desert and have never seen more than a puddle so I can't swim" character would have tried their best to not drown if it comes up.

Well, you can either look at it as the rules say your character is good at it and you are ignoring the rules. Or you can look at it as the rules are just completely wrong about your character.

I'm a huge proponent of the idea that any system that tries to solve every problem is going to suck. So far I've never seen a strong system that didn't concede a lot to assuming the people at the table are reasonably intelligent and are working together to have a good time. So I'm completely onboard with the mindset you are proposing.

But in the case the problem is that the mechanics have gone out of their way to make the math work and proactively say the high bonuses exist. So you are not supplementing the mechanics so much as willfully thwarting them. That is a big signal that they system has a serious problem.


Joe M. wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I do find the comment about opposition to change to be closed-minded and counter-productive. There is a huge difference between being opposed to change and not liking a particular change. The fact that he lumps PF1E fans into the bucket makes it even worse.

FWIW, I didn't get the impression of this kind of attitude from watching the stream. If my notes suggest such an attitude that's unintentional.

My impression is that Jason was just saying that of course they knew there would be folks who didn't want any change (after all they benefitted from that before!), and that's fine. I very much did not feel that he was using that observation as an excuse to dismiss any playtest comments (saying "oh that's just because you don't want change" so I won't bother listening to you)

Maybe if you listen to that portion of the interview you'll have a different impression than me, of course, but do keep in mind that I typed all of this while listening live and posted immediately after. So there are of course going to be instances where I didn't capture everything or my summary doesn't fully reflect the discussion.

Always check the source!

Thank you

And your last sentence is well noted.

Thanks


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A lot to digest there. And also plenty of vague comments with room to misinterpret.

If the final game has a strong narrativist foundation then there is every reason to think I'll enjoy it. If it is overtly gamist then it won't happen. For some reference, PF1 was very much narrativist and the PF2 was dripping gamism.

I do find the comment about opposition to change to be closed-minded and counter-productive. There is a huge difference between being opposed to change and not liking a particular change. The fact that he lumps PF1E fans into the bucket makes it even worse. Really, history has shown that 4E had issues. So to dislike it obviously can't be cast aside as simply being opposed to change. And, differences between 4E and the playtest not withstanding, the +level / +0.5X level comparison and the heavily gamist outgrowth of that foundation is a strong common theme.

The statements that AC *will* change in a manner consistent with the other DCs is very encouraging. But, again, it is very vague.

Overall still maddeningly vague. Anxious to see if they put story first or math first. Easy to say that they both are important. They *are* both important. But it matters a great deal which one comes out on top. Will the final version be a story system or a balanced conflict resolution mechanical network? I'll be here with my optimism going when they show us.

Small matter: wands. Kinda funny. First of all, things like wand of fireball have been around way longer than 3E, so I'm not understanding why that is put at the feet of 3E. I grew up playign that way, so I'm ok with it. It doesn't get much notice from me. But I do LOVE the idea of better wands. I didn't like resonance, but my personal pitch was they should keep it specifically for things like wands. Make the PC be the power source and the item be the channel. But the idea of wands as open implements is certainly more cool than the idea of spells in a stick.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, I just started lurking in the Starfinder forums as we're going to start playing that soon and it's interesting to me how many things in Starfinder are familiar to me from the playtest and how the community has just adapted to them even if they could have been better (in some cases the PF playtest *has* a better version of the rule.)

So I figure everything is going to be fine.

the complete lack of "+level to everything" in SF is certainly a great start.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Devlopmentally speaking. Basically everyone got better at things by simply watching others do so. Almost every child does this naturally.

They only get better at things they practice a lot.

To use the model, all children are experts or better at walking and talking by the age of 4 and they have many many dozens of hours practice.

Children do not remotely become good at everything they see.

There is a persistent fallacy here that because we virtually always require instruction and/or examples to emulate in practice that you can then ignore the practice part. So people are pointing to watching and waving there hands and saying "don't look at that guy spending hundreds of hours practicing behind that curtain". Watching + a ton of practice is not remotely learning by simply watching.

I know of a lot of great guitar players who were never trained. Thus you can claim they learned to play the guitar simply by copying. But you would be ignoring the massive time spent practicing.

Learning the idea by observation is common. Becoming expert at a skill without working at that skill is virtually unheardof, with maybe some really extreme "savant" type stories.

Not a single example provided in this thread has skipped the training portion, save the wild claim of personal mastery of stealth in a minute. And a lot more evidence is needed in that case.


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Raylyeh wrote:

Sure BD, I’ll take the bait! I am ONE of those persons as are a number of people I know. Observational learning is real and for many tasks it takes only a couple minutes to see large improvements. As it is one of the things that you HAD to use caps to ask. I hunted a fair bit with family in my early teens. Hunting requires you to be quiet among other things (stealth). Now my stepdad and grandfather never thought to tell me about how to quietly move through a forest in the middle of autumn. I tromped on in and almost immediately realized I was being too loud. So with no prompting I watched how my elders moved and within a minute I was walking as quietly as they were. Is that enough PROOF for you BD?

Now go crawl back under your bridge.

Yes, the classic "there are no blue zebras" which is immediately followed by people coming out of the woodwork to say they see blue zebras all the time.

No. It isn't proof at all. I have no idea how stealthy your stepdad and grandfather were. But claiming you became an expert in stealth within a minute is a remarkable claim requiring quite a bit more than saying so.

The superbowl is in a few weeks. Apparently everyone will be a star quarterback come February 4.


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Cyouni wrote:
BryonD wrote:
MER-c wrote:
I disagree, a lot of human learning is simply observing, training involves both observing and then attempting, to the point where you become competent. Since any critically thinking human can glean useful information from observing and experiencing then I see no reason why any PC is not able to at least imitate trained people after years of observing trained people. Thus I prefer adding levels to untrained checks because experience counts for something granted I do it at -4 or if that’s still not a large enough gap -5.

Can you provide ONE example of a real person who got better at being stealthy simply by watching someone else be stealthy?

Can you provide ONE example of someone who got better at climbing simply by watching others climb?

And they have to be seriously meaningfully better.

I'd note the irony of how you try to make -4 (or even minus 5!!!!!) sound like this serious give, when you casually embrace +20 over 20 levels as no big deal. But the core statement is so divorced from reality (and you are the one claiming to invoke how things really work) that this really doesn't matter.

And this is why martials aren't allowed to have nice things.

Please provide ONE example of someone who can rip a hole in reality and make another plane, or someone who can fight 20-ft-tall giants with swords to match.

As I specifically noted, he was specifically claiming that this mechanic was consistent with the way things really work. So your reply moves the goal posts into another stadium where they are playing a completely different game.

If you do want to go there, I'll simply point out that I have clear genre based expectations of what character should and should not be able to do. Super feats of magic are included in those expectations. Clanky dwarves sneaking around just because they have a big number is not within that genre expectation. Bookworm wizards climbing cliffs and swimming great rivers without magic is not in that genre expectation. Naked wizards dodging orc greatswords while in an antimagic zone is not within that genre expectation.

So, if you want to look at reality as a guide, the model fails.
If you want to look at fantasy as a guide, the model fails.
If you are going to say one and then bait and switch to the other, then your approach fails.

Martials have a lot of great things in my game. Just ask the players. They just don't have silly genre busting big numbers for no reason.


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MER-c wrote:
I disagree, a lot of human learning is simply observing, training involves both observing and then attempting, to the point where you become competent. Since any critically thinking human can glean useful information from observing and experiencing then I see no reason why any PC is not able to at least imitate trained people after years of observing trained people. Thus I prefer adding levels to untrained checks because experience counts for something granted I do it at -4 or if that’s still not a large enough gap -5.

Can you provide ONE example of a real person who got better at being stealthy simply by watching someone else be stealthy?

Can you provide ONE example of someone who got better at climbing simply by watching others climb?

And they have to be seriously meaningfully better.

I'd note the irony of how you try to make -4 (or even minus 5!!!!!) sound like this serious give, when you casually embrace +20 over 20 levels as no big deal. But the core statement is so divorced from reality (and you are the one claiming to invoke how things really work) that this really doesn't matter.


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gwynfrid wrote:

Of course, but no one is proposing anything like this. Especially not PF2, where superheroic stuff comes from skill feats, not big skill numbers.

There is wiggle room in the definition of "superheroic" . But many of the statements made regarding +level have been proposing exactly that.

People complain to no end that their clanky dwarf can't sneak past the guards. +Level does NOTHING for the clanky guard other than wave hands in the air and proclaim a much bigger skill number. This does nothing to change the narrative concept of the clanky dwarf. And yet somehow it is an achievement to sneak past the guards.

Literally, ignoring the recent change to untrained, the initial version of 2E simply gave clanky dwarves and everyone else a big skill number bump. That is the difference between 1E and 2E. The big clanky dwarf doesn't have any skill feat or unlocks. The big clanky dwarf has a big non-clanky skill number for stealth.

You can make this same case for every single skill.

And, it is obvious on its face. If it had nothing to do with bigger numbers then there would be not a single person complaining about the removal of +level from untrained. There was more than a single person.

Yes, there are skill feats and unlocks (though even the pro +level folks tend to agree that the unlocks were underwhelming). But the presence of those items don't remotely remove the "I have a big number, watch me high-five myself now" issue.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I think people are taking issue with the fact that, apparently, Wizards can't be good at avoiding attacks. Why does a Wizard have to be bad at avoiding axes or fireballs to the face? Because he's a Wizard? It's just silly

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

This was an argument made in response to people saying Wizards shouldn't be able to defend themselves well in combat physically.

But hey, if you like strawmen, by all means keep making them.

Interesting that you call that a strawman, while in your tiny little post you misrepresent the position you oppose despite having it already clarified for you.

There is a massive difference between
(A) Wizards shouldn't be able to defend themselves in combat
(B) Wizards should typically rely on magic resources (gear/spells/tattoos/ whatever) for defense
(C) Wizards may or may not choose to learn to have some defensive martial prowess (or other non-magical combat skills)
(D) The system decrees that all wizards everywhere quickly achieve the ability to dance naked around greatsword wielding orcs even when they are in an anti-magic zone

One of those is the relevant point.

You should not drop a strawman argument in your complaint against strawman arguments.


Unicore wrote:
BryonD wrote:


They were pretty firm that they would not move away from +level. Then they did. If they then turn around and make that change moot then they will have done nothing but work up the slice of fanbase that like +level while doubling down on alienating everyone else. I'm pretty sure their goal is to widen the net.
For skills, I think you are right. They will leave some low DC skill checks for things that are primarily flavor things, but for anything that matters, I don't see trained being a viable proficiency level. Jason pretty much called this out himself when he said wizards will automatically get expert weapon proficiency in their starting weapons by a certain point. Armor proficiencies, including unarmored will have to be the same. There is no way that they can have legendary opponents attacking PCs with trained armor and expect the PCs to live for very long. (or legendary spell vs trained saves) It massively out stripes level. If level +4 is supposed to be an extreme challenge, then more than 2 proficiency differences in important stats is also going to be too swingy.

Yeah, entirely possible and I suspect you are probably right on this part.

But we really don't know.

If automatic progression is locked into AC, then this is still going to be a complete dead in the water system for me. We don't need to revisit the difference of opinion on that. We both are well aware. I;m just stating that the naked wizard and the orc needs to be solved or else I'll play a game that already has it solved. And, IMO, a lot of other people will as well. So I hope you are wrong.

If you are wrong, then your analysis of issues is very much correct. They will need to implement pretty serious changes to make those problems go away. I'm not saying it is easy or at all obvious. And thus, it seems more than slightly possible that you are right and the naked wizard will just dance on.

We will see.


Ssalarn wrote:
This seems like a fundamental misrepresentation of the + level system.

No. It really is not.

Quote:
Pathfinder isn't a video game where you level-gate parts of the world with arbitrary level requirements, and that's not how you'd design an adventure.

Agreed. I never said it was. That is kinda the point. (though thejeff *did* say "you just don't go there", so I guess he thinks there are level gates to some degree)

Quote:
If crossing a river was legitimately expected to be a 12th level challenge, it would probably be a roiling cascade of elemental ice with magic-disrupting properties encircling a keep protected by storm clouds that lash out with deadly lightning bolts that strike down anything attempting to fly over the river.

Well, in 2E as presented in the original draft (which is what I specified) there is also a table which tells you the appropriate DC. There is no need for ice elementals or anything like that. Now, I prefer your approach. But these elements ignore the context of the post to which I replied. That isn't really at all fair.

Quote:
The world doesn't and shouldn't level with the PCs; rather the PCs should level out of certain types of challenges, and likely certain areas of the world as a result. There will be things that simply don't threaten or challenge the PCs in any way meaningful way, and that should be one of many things spurring them to seek out new and greater challenges. PCs who don't would plateau, because they're no longer facing challenges that are meaningful and gaining experience.

Where did I dispute this in any way?

Quote:
+ level scaling creates an arc and growth whereby the characters fundamentally grow beyond things that pose a risk to lower level characters and gain the power to challenge foes that otherwise wouldn't challenge them. If a challenge such as a river wouldn't be a challenge for the PCs, you don't make it a level 12 river, you come up with a better adventure that's actually appropriate for 12th level PCs.

OK, again I like it. This is good DMing and I'm a fan. But you are ignoring both the matter-of-fact on how 2E original draft works and you are ignoring the context of the post to which I replied.

Ultimately if there is a chunk of river *somewhere* that is just really freaking hard to swim across, so hard that the options are either it is tier gated out or it has a "nigh impossible" DC unless you are high enough level, then that chunk of river exists and works out the same, regardless of system being played. And in the original 2E draft the answer would be the nigh impossible DC. And exactly because the world doesn't change with the characters that DC exists for lower level characters.

I totally agree there are much better ways to do this. (And, to be clear, you can just slap high DCs on stuff in 1E as well. This REALLY isn't even a slam against 2E. It is simply a correction of a factually incorrect statement)


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thejeff wrote:

No. You just don't go there. Or it's treated as an impassible barrier by low level characters.

It's not like there aren't essentially unswimmable rivers in the real world. Or sections of rivers, more accurately.

That's not something forced by a "+ level" system. It's just the world.

Right.

I did say it "forced" it. But I think I didn't express that quite clearly enough.

To be clear again, I completely agree with you that it is just part of the world. I said I like that fact.

Mechanically "+level" very much *does* force it. But it is only a side effect of scaling challenges.

He said that the 2E approach was better than a DC which makes it "nigh impossible". I pointed out that you can easily still have impossible DCs in 2E and declared this ok. You are taking issue with me and proclaiming that I'm wrong because instead it is "impassible" or "essentially unswimmable". Which is exactly the point I was making, "impossible" DCs still exist.

I believe this is known as violent agreement.


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Gloom wrote:

Pretty much every argument that I've seen with people praising this change has been some form of "If you have never spent any of your time training X then why should you even be able to attempt X?"

That's not really how it ends up playing out though. If you simply use ability score and other modifiers on the check and don't add a proficiency or level modifier you will be able to attempt and succeed at some low level checks to some degree of frequency.

The moment you start getting up to 5th level and higher challenges however you'll pretty much always fail. While I do not disagree that higher level and more difficult challenges should remain something that should not be attempted by people who are untrained in a skill they had a MUCH better method of representing this by requiring some degree of proficiency for more difficult challenges.

I'd much rather tell someone that in order to cross a river in a downpour, something that I've set as a hard level 8 athletics challenge they would need to be at least trained in the skill rather than just giving it a DC that makes it nigh impossible to succeed.

But + level forces the world to be filled with things that have DCs which are impossible to succeed. That is supposed to be part of the goodness of it.

Lets say a river exists in Golarian an it is in an AP intended to be encountered by 12th level characters. Well, that river exists in the world. And if 4th level characters go there then it will be nigh impossible for them to swim across.

To be clear, I have no problem with this. I like it. I'm just pointing out that the 2E original draft still had this issue. And I fully suspect some will argue that you adjust the world to fit the characters. The debate over that approach is well covered elsewhere.


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Unicore wrote:
Thinking more about Armor proficiency, I am pretty sure that everything about higher level proficiencies (with the exception of skills) is getting completely overhauled in PF2. I am not sure speculating about many of these issues based off of playtest math is even possible. With the new stretched out proficiency scale, it just doesn't make any sense for a "trained" proficiency to even be adequate for a defense that could come under attack by a legendary attacker.

Absolutely

Quote:
It would just be PF1 all over again, only with the added destructive power of a +/-10 crit system.

It would be more weird than that.

Quote:
I am officially revising my concern for PF2 as being centered on a return to numerical bonus defining everything about proficiencies now. The lack of +level from Untrained is not going to matter because untrained proficiency is not going to mater past level 4. Trained is probably not going to mater much past level 13 either. It is just turning into a sliding scale of three levels for 90% of the proficiencies you use, with one dropping off every time a new one becomes accessible.

At this point I certainly have no idea what they are thinking.

But I really doubt this is the scenario.
They were pretty firm that they would not move away from +level. Then they did. If they then turn around and make that change moot then they will have done nothing but work up the slice of fanbase that like +level while doubling down on alienating everyone else. I'm pretty sure their goal is to widen the net.

Further, when this was announced Jason specifically referenced things getting odd at high levels. They can't exactly fix high level with a change that is only meaningful up to level 4.

Quote:
Personally I'd have preferred lower bonuses and more proficiency gates, including feats that key off of having different proficiency levels not just for skills, but for weapons, armor, saves, spells and everything else, so that the game could open up as far competitive levels of proficiency running into each other. But clearly that is not what happened. I am worried that things are going to feel pretty cookie-cutter in the core rulebook now, we'll see if the first AP captures my fancy or if I will be waiting 2-3 years to see if supplemental material opens the game up more or if it feels even more locked down than people were complaining about the playtest feeling.

I was certainly disappointed that gating was so minimally significant. There is still room to improve that. But who knows


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Malk_Content wrote:


For future reference Byron just assume I preface anything not involving quotes from the developers, sourced market data or raw mathematics as having the words "In my opinion" in front of them. Just like how everyone else assumes. If you have an actual counter point then make it.

To be clear, a huge chunk of the conflict has resulted from people clearing inferring that their own experience is universal. And there was another "debate" over whether considering other's opinions was even reasonable. I think these issue are absurd and I'm glad to hear your clarification and I appreciate it. But, unfortunately, askign the question was well justified.

It is easy to say "just like everyone else assumes", but that position has been actively rejected. So it really isn't close to "just like everyone else".

But, again, I do appreciate that you see it that way. I don't presume that my opinion will sway you, but knowing that you accept that your statement is not universally true I will offer that some of the best fun times come when the players solve problems without simply using their big numbers as a sledgehammer. Yes, it is always great when the wizard gets that new big blast spell and uses it the first time. And a steady sprinkling over further sessions is nice. But it isn't the same every time. But finding a new clever way to change the playing field and create tactical advantage or something, even is nothing at all dies in the blast, is the kind of thing that gets talked about three years later.

And the situation where a character or group of character completely unable to swim are seriously challenged by a water obstacle that forces them to think outside the box is also the kind of "heroic" fun that is talked about years later.

I love playing and I have fun every session. But those "boom" events that get talked about for years to come are the gold. And they ALWAYS come when the party had some serious mechanical disadvantage. So having that "tax" be too high can truly ADD a lot of fun. And suddenly it isn't a tax at all. It becomes a source of more fun itself.


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Gorbacz wrote:
BryonD wrote:
If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table, the the DM needs to improve and you won't fix that by changing the mechanics.

Yeah, sure, expecting the DM to tell the story, run NPCs, set the mood, know the ruleset better than anyone at the table, select the music, resolve conflict, manage combat, make notes, remember that 3 years ago IRL time John the shy player interacted with the merchant he's now meeting again is everything so little expecting the DM to handle balance and make up for deficiencies in rules design is small potatoes.

I mean, after all, it doesn't matter how much skill, energy and time the game requires to run. It's 1979 and there's nothing quite similar on the market.

If you feel that you have described a reasonable equivalent to "If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table", then I don't think your assessment is going to be very helpful.

If you were intentionally being absurd, then I don't think your assessment is going to be very helpful.


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I find that the existence of the C/MD in 1E is tightly connected to the 15 minute adventuring day and the assumption of the game as a series of sequential set-pieces.

The group I am currently running is 14th level. The party includes:
Barbarian
Fighter (archer)
Dwarf Cleric (very classic tank / healer)
Human War Cleric (almost never casts heals, can spont cast domain spells instead of healing)
Human Earth Sorcerer
Human Bard

The clerics and sorcerer frequently do all the earth-shaking things that are expected and they get exclamations from the martial players.
But the martial characters, particularly the barbarian, get routine huge explosive moments that get the attention of the casters.

Everyone always enjoys the achievements of others

The bard definitely underperforms the rest of the party during combat. But she is greatly valued by the party. The game is a major long arch story with a lot of mystery. In addition to basic buffs, the bard is frequently instrumental in putting the party in good positions where they have advantages before the fight starts, have allies in their larger efforts, avoid some fights altogether, etc. The player really enjoys the character and the others clearly see looking out for her once initiative is rolled to be worthwhile, and within the metaconcept of the overall game, an added fun.

Because of the tweaks and RP choices of the war cleric, that character may underperform slightly. But he certainly holds his own and has a lot of moments when he nails the character concept. So fun is had.

Now, frankly, I'm a really good DM. I get feedback all the time and it is not uncommon for a new player at the table to say something. You can call me arrogant for saying that. But, really, this point undermines my case. I pretty much completely mitigate C/MD. And the typical game is not going to be able to do that as I do. If Paizo were to use me as their benchmark, then the game would fail. 1E does not have a solution for C/MD for standard groups. 1E has no training wheels and lets you fail.

So I'm not disputing anyone else claim of C/MD. I fully concede it. But it can be overcome. And with experience every DM will get better and better at it. Lowering the upper limits of what the game can achieve will only make the game have less long term appeal.

Which also isn't to say that there isn't room for improvement. Again, 5E proves that. But you are not going to contribute to that solution by going way too far. If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table, the the DM needs to improve and you won't fix that by changing the mechanics.


Malk_Content wrote:
Mellored wrote:
Unicore wrote:


For important things, this makes "untrained" a completely dead category of proficiency past level 5 for most things but completely so by level 10. So why bother having it?

I think that IS the point.

A character isn't just about strength, but also weaknesses. You need to bad at something to contrast the good.
A category for being unable to so something seems fine by me.

The problem is that in actual play this just adds a Training tax to Athletics. Somethings are so crippling to be THAT bad at you have to take them.

You present this statement as a truth. Do you mean it that way, or do you mean it as a point of view which is reasonable to not agree with?


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
D&D has always originated as a tactical war game, so of course it's gamist first. Not saying the other way around is wrong, just not it's originally intended design.

The key words here are "originated" and "originally". It is easy to look at the past 25 years of gaming and see that as the industry has evolved the games that embrace story, narrative, and so degree of simulation have eclipsed heavy "gamist" systems in popularity, and simply bringing more fans into the hobby and creating more fun for more people.

You are right about the 1970s though.

I can say that strides have been made to make narrative a more driving force behind the attraction, that much is true. But it hasn't evolved to the point of being primarily a narrative game, especially since Combat is still a major portion of how the game is played, which is heavily codified and, to no surprise, functions more like a tactical wargame than a narrative combat scene. I can assure you a lot of players, my group included, will drop out if we turned Combat into a chapter of a choose-your-adventure novel. Numerous GMs aren't storywriters (why else do you think APs are popular purchases? Because people can't be arsed to write a story due to creativity/time constraint), and it's much easier to force strategical thinking than creative illustration onto a person, if given the choice between the two.

IMO, There are other, better systems that offer more rules-lite options (or better yet, less codified rules), and I'm certain these narrative-driven players have already houseruled these implementations into their tables, well before PF2 has hit the scene; using it as an excuse to denounce something that has been run in a certain way, and has always been intended to run that way for nearly 50 years, is just plain baffling, especially when doing so is objectively more harmful to the game's image than helpful.

Well, now you are just offering vague and subjective statements. Of course opinions will vary and that is wonderful.

But the games that get the huge buzz and have tons of people excited to play have been on the "simulationist" side and the games which have seen difficulty in keeping people playing have been "gamist". Obviously 4E vs. 5E is the prime example, but there really aren't any examples to the contrary.

5E vs PF shows clearly shows that there are refinements within that which matter a lot. But 4E holdouts are still critical of 5E for "going backward". The 5E vs PF is a case study of nailing simulation for the 2010s vs the 2000s, but is still sim vs sim when compared to the serious gamist offerings out there.


Bluenose wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I've honestly never considered "legal" fights with referees as remotely a basis for TTRPGs. I mean, certain cool tropes might show up, but nothing that aligns with your point here. The fights are no rules and to the death. There might, on occasion be a gladiator type thing. But that is not what I presume. I doubt anyone goes to that as the default. Real world honest fights are very short. And, seriously, watch some olympic fencing. Even if I concede to "legal" you put weapons into it and the fight will be VERY short.
You might want to consider that once lethal weaponry is involved people are much less inclined to neglect defense. Caution is going to make fights last longer, between two reasonably matched opponents. Of course if one completely outclasses the other - as for instance a 15th level fighter would outclass a 15th level wizard - then the inferior party barely has any idea of how to defend against the other's attacks and the fight will be over quickly with none of the messing around attrition of hit points. You can see that in for instance the recent circus with Mayweather winning in the first round, as an example of how even non-lethal fighting between two people who aren't a good match in skill can end quickly.

Not sure how you have disputed me here. I certainly agree that "legal" fights can still end quickly. And, I suppose, if you have two combatants in a fight that involves a lot of space and cat-and-mouse type play, then, yeah, *that* could drag out. But "real" fights that are throw down and go in a manner similar to typical D&D fights are almost always really really short.

[not that it really ends up making a difference]

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