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thejeff wrote:
I'd say the biggest paradigm shift in D&D history was the introduction of the "build game" in 3.0, with precursors in late 2E. That was a fundamental shift that many today can hardly conceive of playing without.

Totally agree that 2E to 3E was a HUGE shift.

I have been assured by some that the post Skills and Powers era of 2E was a big step in the 3E direction. But I had already abandoned 2E for "better" games.....

As to whether or not PF2E is also a huge shift, I am honestly boggled that anyone can claim a move from "look at each item and add up the impacts based on what they are" to "+ level puts you in the right 'balance' area" as a major objective change. It is.

Again (again, again, again) I have ZERO claim on the subjective merits of this to any other person anywhere. But it IS funny to me when someone else will simultaneously tell me that it is WAAAAY better and then turn around and tell em that it is unreasonable to see it as different once I explain why *to me* it is unappealing.

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dirtypool wrote:
Isn’t it a little hyperbolic to say that the paradigm has been changed?

I can't speak for your point of view.

To me simply saying you roll D20 and add a number and then look at a target is a massive failure to perceive the relationship between mechanics and the experience role-playing.

It is a total paradigm shift to go from a system that built those modifiers on narrative identities (one example among many many options: choice of armor and how that impacts AC) to one which built those modifiers on gamist balance (all L8 characters will have an AC is a certain target range, narrative elements may fine tune this).

No claim about any individual's preference or the merits of liking one over the other. The PF2 approach is an instant no-sell to me, and that is relevant to me and nobody but me. And I absolutely respect that other DO see it the opposite. That is cool and makes a great diverse world.

But IT IS a paradigm shift of major significance.

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Rysky wrote:
The very same sidebar talks about Drow hunting down Good Drow so it proves non-evil Drow exists as well.

That is a pretty slanted reading.

The sidebar starts : "Are there good drow? No."
That is a pretty solid baseline that flies in the face of "proves non-evil Drow exist". True, it does quite clearly leave Neutral in play, but you added the context of "hunting down Good Drow".

As to what the sidebar actually says:

"If a drow were to exhibit good behavior—inordinate kindness, cooperation, or empathy—the individual would be assumed to be either enchanted or ill. Attempts would be made to cure the individual (because a good tool should
never be thrown away), but if the condition persisted, there would be no choice but to enslave the obviously insane drow or turn him over the fleshwarpers to create a drider,as a warning to others."

That is not hunting down good drow. That is observing anything short of a consistent non-good behavior and finding it intolerable abberrent. "Hunting" implies that they are outside society and can be found, the text implies they are right there acting in socially unacceptable ways in front of Lloth and everybody. And that it is not a state of being, but likely an outside influence.

You can squint and tilt your head and read that paragraph as a loophole. But even with squinting it doesn't talk about "hunting good drow". And even with squinting,the entire sidebar still starts with "Are there good drow: No.", so anything that takes that bedrock starting foundation away and treats minor refinements under that declaration of truth as more important than the direct response is simply a misrepresentation.

If they have changed their perspective, then that is all them. No quibble here on their peragative to do so. But revisionism is just silly.

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swoosh wrote:
Even 5e has "a chunk" of people who dislike it, sometimes very vocally. So not really.

Ok, if you are going to stand on that argument as remotely equivalent, then I'll find that telling of your open-mindedness to the situation.

But you said you like 5e, while you dislike PF2, so those people aren't part of the narrative you want to construct.

And yet, against the great majority, I also state that I *prefer* PF1E to 5E. I should be one of the people complaining. But, quite simply 5E rocks in its own right and is hugely popular and deservedly so.


That's the meat of this, you keep trying to abstract the conversation into broad strokes about fanbases and consumer trends but really it's about you being upset this game doesn't cater to you.

That's fine, but trying to aggrandize the issue doesn't help.

So now we come to the part where you tell me what I'm thinking. Well. you are wrong.

Do I wish that 2E had retained a focus on the aspects of gameplay that I expect? Of course I do. But the fanbase alienation is a thing and would be a thing if I happened to love this edition and would be a thing if I never heard of this edition.

I'd say it is better to be honest about the reactions across the market as whole rather than to just stick your head in the sand and get angry at people who point out what you don't want to hear.

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Gratz wrote:
BryonD wrote:
But all that aside, I'm comfortable sitting on the limb labeled "alienating a chunk of prior fanbase is not good".
I think this was inevitable. I doubt there is a way Paizo could have done a new edition without alienating some people. From reading the boards, I get the feeling that the "I wanted a natural progression/evolution" people, feel alienated right now, as they wanted what PF was to 3.5 from the new edition. This would have raised a lot of questions though for why even release a new edition and in the process alienating people who were looking for a change and not more of the same.

Shrug. I don't think that is at all accurate.

I seem to find that the "natural progression" theme is just a red herring constantly thrown up to focus the conversation on hypotheticals and avoid discussing the issues with the real game that does exist.

WotC has demonstrated that you can produce a game that fragments your base AND you can produce a game that pulls your base together. So, clearly, it is not unavoidable.

But, in the end, it seems we are in agreement that "alienating a chunk of prior fanbase" happened [I certainly do and you are labeling it "inevitable"] and I presume you agree that avoiding would be preferable.

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Darth PUGS! wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:

Not that a critical mass of people now have their books, I want to ask a general question.

Is Pathfinder 2 a better game then its predicessor Pathfinder 1?

That is like asking if D&D 5th edition is a better game than pathfinder 1st edition.

Yep, this.

If you ask me and just me, then PF1E is a "better" game than 5E, but only slightly. Both are great.

If, on the other hand, you magically quantify total hours of "person-joy" created, the PF1E might be leading through sheer age, but 5E is steamrolling along and will take over (if it has not already) and is certainly way ahead if you just compare both games at the same age.

But there is no "truth" in any of those metrics. Maybe there is one person at Paizo who set out to make their own personal dream game and all else is just happenstance. If that is the case, then we will never know if it is perfection or a fiasco.

But all that aside, I'm comfortable sitting on the limb labeled "alienating a chunk of prior fanbase is not good".

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GentleGiant wrote:
No one has said that you're not allowed to dislike the changes. The manner in which these complaints are worded, by some, is the biggest issue people seem to have.

People are unhappy on both sides, and the internet isn't exactly known for moderating expression. And, of course, people recognize the harsh statements from the other side and fail to perceive the provocation being created by their own side.

But, at the end of the day, the pro-2E folks are the ones with the most to lose. The ship may have sailed on the product itself. But if there are some people on the fence, being reconcilitory and open to other points of view will do that little bit to sustain the fanbase.

Or, fans can dig in and drive the wedge deeper.

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GentleGiant wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Your mistake was not realizing that wizard players got so used to optimizing the s~++ out of Fireball so that a 20 ft radius spread competes in damage on singular targets that they'd throw a tantrum when it returns to "AOE spell" status.
Indeed, a lot of the grumblings seem to stem from not being able to do the same with the Second Edition core book as you could with PF1 core book + XYZ books (and the sometimes silly feats and combinations between them).

"A lot" of grumblings from former fans is not a good sign.

Telling them they are wrong won't make them go back to being fans.

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Lanathar wrote:
Well there was an "I feel" there. So clearly an opinion.

Yes, it is an opinion. It is an opinion which based on attributing motivations to others. Naming it "opinion" does nothing to resolve the issues with attributing motivations.


Do you have a counter opinion as to why there might have been insufficient feedback decrying the power down of magic?

Or do you think there were loads of people who hated that wizards power didn't increase exponentially as higher level spells were unlocked and that they were all just ignored

I don't think it is fair to try to lump everything into one issue here.

Paizo has agreed that there was an implicit "preaching to the choir" (my words) aspect to the playtest. The input was strongly self-selection biased toward people who liked most or all of what they initially saw.

I responded to the very early survey, but I stopped almost right away. I was heavily engaged in the message boards and following on facebook. I was told point blank that issues that were significant to me were off the table for change. So there was no point in me continuing to participate.

I don't have any problem with changing the power of martials vs. casters. But I think the "balance above all else" approach was not a good one.

So just because I don't like *this* solution doesn't mean I'm opposed to solutions. And just because some people did not think this was a problem needing to be changed does not mean that you can lump everyone who felt left out of having a voice in the playtest in one group.

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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".

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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.


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.

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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.


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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?


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.

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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.


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.

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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.

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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.


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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