Laughing Elf

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Tholomyes wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
I could see the crit system being adjusted, but not removed wholesale; it is the single biggest fix to save-or-die spells that the system has ever seen, and I have no interest in losing that.
The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that the 4-tier success system was entirely created for that purpose, and a lot of the issues of tuning with Skill DCs and enemy ACs seem to stem from the application of a system broader than what it was designed for. There's a certain elegance in design for having the same system work across all rolls, but I can't help but think, maybe that elegance isn't worth the downsides.

I am certainly of that mind myself. The 4 tier system isn't exactly what I would want in a fix to save or die spells, either, but if it's limited to saving throws, the problems it causes don't leach out system wide.

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master_marshmallow wrote:

...This means more forced specialization to still have the coin flip scenario with the d20. This probably comes from the crit system with it seeming to indicate that the devs want you to always have a chance to both critically succeed and critically fail (and for some reason keeping the nat 1 and 20 rules don't suffice for this). Thus the game's engine requires you to have such values recorded on your sheet for the game to give you the experience that the devs want you to have. Bards for instance, must always have a chance for their performances which cost resources to not work. Doesn't matter how much you invest into it, etc.

This means the actionable tasks that players engage in are not getting changed, except in a few places where it becomes more difficult, not less. As you progress in levels, the tasks you are expected to get better at don't get easier, because their difficulty is set at a rate, not a flat number. Again, bards are the easiest example off the top of my head.

This is basically the biggest problem of the entire system: The crit rules need a specific value range to function, so modifiers to rolls need to be bounded heavily. This wouldn't be all bad, the system could be designed in such a way that it presents players a way to mechanically differentiate their characters via options that don't need to interact with the d20, but given the limited nature of the content provided in the playtest, it just isn't there. I think too much of the game acquiesces to the crit system to its detriment, and it's the crit system that needs to go to open up more design space.

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Gorbacz wrote:
Ch0ppa wrote:
Okay, let's drop the arcane. Athletic and legendary in it 1 lvl warrior this 20 str vs 20 lvl invalid of any class this 5 str. Same situations for every skill. Performance, acrobatic, crafting... You can not find excuse for everything, there is a logical problem in the system.
The level 20 STR 5 person with disabilities (because calling people "invalid" is so 1970) is a legendary adventurer who can do amazing things despite their frail frame. He or she is basically Splinter, Master Roshi, Yoda, Cohen the Barbarian or any other "Old/Weak/Frail Master" trope representative.

Those are bad examples. Splinter is a ninja/monk, Roshi is a monk, yoda is a monk, and Cohen was a barbarian. These are characters who have specifically trained their bodies (in yoda's case his mystical connection with the force), and have received dividends from it. Roshi is actually incredibly strong and able to manipulate his form to better suit his needs.

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Steve Geddes wrote:

The only equivalent playtest was PF1 - the others have been of bits and pieces of an already existent system. The playtest of PF1 made huge differences to the final product and Paizo are clear that this one will also be considered carefully and that nothing is set-in-stone.

If this playtest is essentially a sham, they're not only being explicitly dishonest but also expending an enormous amount of energy for nothing. I don't believe either of those things about Paizo. (In my opinion, people often confuse their dislike for an end-product with some kind of insight into the process used to produce it - I suspect Paizo's "reputation" you mention is an expression of some people's dislike for various products).

There's nothing to confuse here, playtest of thing was bad, people pointed that out, nothing satisfactory was done about it, and the end product was bad. It would be different if they just released an unsatisfactory product without asking for feedback, but Paizo has repeatedly released prouducts that have had public playtests that revealed that the material broke down at a certain level or had problems in play, yet these issues made it to print. This has been Paizo's recent MO, and this is what I assume will happen come the playtest.

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Dark Midian wrote:
I'll be blunt: This playtest is not an alpha, not by a longshot. It's barely even a beta. This is more like an interactive sneak peek of their new system, with the chance for us to help tweak a few minor numbers. I would estimate that unless there is some very, very strong universal feedback on certain mechanics like say resonance, nearly all of the major mechanics are set in stone.

This 100% the case. I think anyone expecting major revisions to the system is in for a disappointment. Paizo has earned a reputation for going forward with releases despite clear feedback and even clearer problems with their products, take a look at the last few hardback releases especially occult and wilderness adventures.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
It isn't narrower than 5E in comparing characters of the same level, though it's certainly narrower than in PF1 in that regard. They do still have up to an 18 point swing between characters of the same level (in skills, some other thing might have a slightly higher or lower divergence), though, along with an increased suite of potential abilities (in the form of Feats) which has greatly increased customizability within the numerical range available.

Yes! Sorry, I was talking about narrower in comparison to PF1.

I don't think that 18 is likely when comparing two characters of the same level, nor even attainable given the default assumptions of the game (Stats cannot be lower than 8, and proficiency levels are gated by level and class).

A wider range of abilities isn't mutually exclusive with regards to divergent bonuses, such abilities and customization could easily exist within a framework as divergent as PF1 is. So this is not where complexity is spent, the design space is simply there. Flatter math on the other hand is mutually exclusive to divergent bonuses, and is where the complexity is spent, in relation to PF1, Paizo has chosen to reduce complexity in this area.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
You're quite correct that monsters won't scale well, however by making a system where PCs will be within a fairly narrow variance at any individual level, and making the leveling process relatively simple in and of itself (+1 to everything), they enable GM monster creation to be much easier, and also make leveling monsters themselves much easier.

But that hasn't opened up encounter design space at all. There is no change in variance with regards to what we can expect to fight at each level, in fact, because the math is flatter, there is less variance in what we can expect to fight at each level; monster statblocks of a given CR are going to be more similar to one another.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks significantly. I also don't think this is a 'complexity' argument per se. It's definitely a game quality argument, but not one about this aspect of the game having gotten more complicated.

I think my point is that I fear that 2e is making sacrifices to complexity in areas without getting much in return, I think flatter math is by definition less complex than less flatter math.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, but if seven of those modifiers are conditional, and a lot of people thus don't have them written down, and you just leveled so three of them just changed...

I'm not really even exaggerating here. This is an issue.

Ease of math is something of a subjective issue, A lot of people find it much easier to keep track of a few dice with static modifiers. Extra dice aren't going to help your fellow players if they don't keep track of the character on their sheet. I can just as easily see a world where "Is Deadly a d10 or d8" or "Hey I'm flanking this guy and using kidney punch is that 3 extra d6's or 4? Oh wait is his back turned I think I forgot to add my Backstab dice!" becomes the norm.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
That's less than ideal from both a thematic and mechanical perspective.

The opposite is true actually, consider the dichotomy between a greatsword and halberd in PF1, mechanically speaking a greatsword is far superior to a halberd. If you wanted to create a character who used specifically a halberd to do damage you would be at a loss, but the loss you would be at wouldn't grow with your level, you could tolerate that loss much easier. In PF2 that loss will grow with levels so the difference would be more pronounced, and the avenue of characters who specifically use a halberd to do damage is cut off.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

That's a huge issue and one that's worth a bit of complexity. Especially because this is entirely designer facing complexity, not something players or GMs need to concern themselves with at all.

I'm perfectly happy to let the folks at Paizo make their own job as complicated as they want to in order to give us a better game. I wouldn't dream of demanding it of them, but if they volunteer I'm not gonna argue with them.

Remember that players and especially GMs are designers themselves as well. Unless PF2 is only going to be designed to run adventure paths, it has to bear in mind that GMs are going to want to create their own content to run, and it needs to be designed to support that.

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John John wrote:
If you don't do this you end up with big variances in whatever abilities effect, which is kinda cool to see, but propably doesn't play out very well game wize

This is the same reason why I am against dice pools and why I am confused about their inclusion.

John John wrote:

Die pools instead of static modifiers add more variance. For example if my attack roll is 1d20+1d10 instead of 1d20+5 it means I can hit ac 26-30 without a natural 20 and I can miss ac 5. So I can see a certain design it could be useful (aka orcs can still threaten you at high levels).

Now you are propably talking about +5 greataxes doing 5d12 damage? That's easy to translate to 1d12+26 damage (or 3d20+1 damage :P).

The general thing is swingy dice rolls are kind of part of the fun of dnd, though I do understand that some people (including my past self) are annoyed by that swinginess and are glad that the high levels minimize this short of thing.

Variance is necessary to a point; I don't think most people would respond well to completely deterministic outcomes. Larger dice pools are actually more likely to give results closer to their average than smaller dice pools with fixed modifiers, but they have more variance in what results they can produce. This means that in practice there isn't much difference between 5d12 and 1d12+26 with respect to outcomes, super high and super low results are very marginal. You are correct, it is very easy to translate a dice pool to an average modifier plus a single die, but since that's the case why use a dice pool at all? Its not any quicker to add up than a single dice plus modifier, and save for the extreme end results, a dice pool produces about the same results. So the extreme end results are what the determining factor is. (I know I'm just retreading ground here but bear with me.)

My concern is that extreme end results have a poor track record with regards to player enjoyment. You need only take a look at all the different gripes that the firearms rules for 1e produces and how controversial critical failure and critical hit charts are.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

The stat limitations are necessary to make the math work out the way they want. Also, they aren't actually super complex. It's pretty basic math, really.

I think that flatter math can actually limit design space in a d20 type system if it's not handled well. In the case of 5e, it's tight bounded accuracy and expected damage values make magic items that break these expectations very powerful and very rare, designers have limited design space in these areas, conversely, monsters stay far more viable for longer across character levels in 5e, so complexity across characters was "spent" on encounter design space. In 2e, there is de facto bounded accuracy, but the range is much wider across levels yet it is much narrower when comparing characters of the same level. Monsterw unfortunately will not scale nearly as well with loves. My fear is that the system was designed in such a way that it eschews the complexity of mechanically distinct characters but doesn't reap any benefits elsewhere.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

I also really don't think rolling high numbers of dice is any more complex than adding the 8 different static modifiers you do on each attack in PF1, and it makes balancing high damage die weapons with low ones vastly easier since damage die matters.

I disagree, static modifiers are much easier to predict, especially when compounding it across rounds. If I had +12 last round unless anything has changed I have +12 this roll as well. I'd argue that weapons are even harder to balance now. Consider that in the case of a battleaxe and a dagger the dagger is inherently weaker than the battleaxe, so a dagger needs to have other factors to make it at all attractive to take, the problem starts with magic weapons, a battleaxe gets more out of being +1 than a dagger, an extra d8 is worth more than an extra d4, so now we need an ability that scales with enhancement bonuses for the dagger to compete, you factor that over each weapon and now you start to see where that can be hairy.

Looking over what has been released this edition, I don't think its any less complicated than 1e and while that's not automatically a bad thing, I do think where that complexity is in the game, is starting to look like an issue. One example I can cite is the "Mearlsiean" obsession with large dice pools over static modifiers. Another might be the odd way that they handle heightened spells as a prepared caster, and spell lineages for spontaneous casters. Capping ability scores is another headscratcher, especially in the face of such rapid growth of level based proficiency. What I fear most is that the design team is simply shifting complexity around for its own sake, in an attempt to both imitate 5e and subvert expectations rather than for the sake of the game.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

In PF2, a 10th level Human Cleric with Con 12 will have 98 HP. In PF1 they'd have 73. In 4E they'd have 69.

Wait, am I missing something? I get 58 for 12 Con cleric 10 in PF1, 68 with FCB.

Level 2-10: 5 (from class) + 1 (CON) = 54

Level 1: 8 (from class) + 1 (CON) = 9
Favoured Class Bonus: 10 = 10

Total: 54 + 9 + 10 = 73

It's a bit cheeky counting favoured class bonus, but to be honest I'd look at a CON 14 cleric which is effectively the same thing (it only increases the 4th ed cleric to 70).

Ahhh! Rounding up, ok yeah that makes up the 5 difference. I thought conventional wisdom was to use 4.5 for d8.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

In PF2, a 10th level Human Cleric with Con 12 will have 98 HP. In PF1 they'd have 73. In 4E they'd have 69.

Wait, am I missing something? I get 58 for 12 Con cleric 10 in PF1, 68 with FCB.

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Squeakmaan wrote:
I think perhaps part of the problem may lie in an important distinction, playtesters are not designers. I've seen enough playtests on these forums to know that seemingly self-evident bit of wisdom can be forgotten quite easily. When we forget that, we stop being helpful to the playtest. Major changes like goblins being added as a core playable race aren't what we're testing, we're testing how things like ability scores might unintentionally make for an overly powerful build compared to every other race (as a possible example), but we need to actually test that, not just theorycraft it.

I could get behind that opinion if and only if Paizo decided to come out with the stance that there are non-negotiable aspects of their designs. As it stands now not pointing out severe flaws that ruin play experience outside of the testing parameters is going to be difficult for most people.

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

Concerning goblins and how they fit in Golarion: Times change and so do people's opinions. Goblins as PCs have been a part of our world since the first "We Be Goblins" adventure. Many of the comments here echo those from back during the launch of 3.0 when Half-Orcs returned to the game as a player choice. There was a lot of conflict at first, but the tone of them shifted over time.

We always knew this would be a bit controversial and that there were some who would loudly proclaim "not at my table" and I get that. It's your table and your game after all. We are moving forward, trying to allow players to explore these characters, their culture, and their viewpoint. We are hoping to give you plenty of reasons, both mechanically and story-driven, to allow goblins in your game.

Hope that helps

I think if you continue down this line of thinking and current mechanics you will find that "Not at my table!" will soon become directed at 2e instead of just at goblins.

Sub-Creator wrote:

You're right . . . Paizo should not expect their fan base to have the imaginative capacity to adjust to this. It's simply asking too much for a creatively-driven fantasy RPG! ;)

I've actually noted that this is something that 3.x did in general. People seem to lack the ability to creatively interpret things in their own brain anymore. We often joke around about this in our group when the GM says, "I don't have a map for this section, folks, so you'll have to picture it in your heads."

The joke seems to be, "What?! You want us to use our imagination? Are you insane, man? We stopped having to do that when we gave up 2e!"

That said, I think you'll all do just fine with the paradigm shift. Don't sell yourselves short . . . You'll be amazed at the things your brains can do! =)

Yeah we can just imagine everything, just put away those dice! No need for anything like rolls or nothing! ;)

My point is that the mechanic is sloppy, out of place, doesn't fix what they want, and introduces a new host of problems. I think they've lost the forest to the trees on this.

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RumpinRufus wrote:

That's just how you flavor the hits. A 5 damage doesn't have to be "stepped on a rake"-level, you could describe it as a massive gory guts-spewing-everywhere blow. Whichever way you describe it, it brings you to Dying 1. Likewise, say, a Rogue 1 henchman manages to crit you with a deadly weapon and does 20 damage when you were already struggling - but his Death DC is low, so instead of describing it as a knife straight to your jugular, you can just say "he cuts you across the chest."

It does require a paradigm shift from "describe killing blow commensurate with damage dealt" to "describe killing blow commensurate with Death DC", but once you make that shift that solves your verisimilitude problem.

Regardless of the edge cases, I think the general audience is going to have a hard time doing that, especially considering that the whole paradigm actually has to shift. Everywhere else in the game, damage is a measure of how serious a blow is, even with falling, and yet for death, in the case where how serious a blow is arguably at its most important, it breaks this trend. I find that very sloppy with regards to design and very dissatisfying

Rysky wrote:

You can try and justify it after the fact as much you want, it's disingenuous to claim that her design was not based on sex appeal.

Case in point, Ezren, Wizard, suffers the same ASF chance as Seoni, still wears a lot more clothing.

Off topic but I think there's evidence that Ezren is also pretty cut himself.

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gwynfrid wrote:

...for 3d8+11. The range is 13-35, with a 60-40 repartition between the lower and higher halves of this range.

Looks like the PF2 fighter is quite a bit more predictable than his PF1 twin brother, don't you think?

Don't you also multiply the static damage on top of that? I don't know, if that was part of anything that was released about crits. Additionally, it looks like magic items add their weapon's dice to the damage output rather than a flat modifier. There also seems to be weapon qualities that add dice to crits, like the shortbow that adds an additional 1d10.

I can see a world where your regular/crit damage with power attack looks like 3d8+5 / 5d8+5+1d10, and a spread of 8-55 for any given hit is kinda scary.

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KingOfAnything wrote:
It's not whose voice is louder. It's which way is easier to assume is default. It is wayyyy better to assume competent adventurers. It is easier for a GM to agree to introduce a flaws system if players want than it is for a GM to introduce a generous competence system.

Overall player perception ABSOLUTELY matters, This was Paizo's first lesson with 4e.

Its not though, it is less work to write out a rule that encompasses all skills at once than it is to encompass weaknesses into all skills individually.

Albatoonoe wrote:

Come on, man. It's been explained that the skill check is not the defining metric of how good you are. It is really just a determination of how seldomly you fail. Skills are gonna be a lot more than just that number. It's gonna be proficiency and skill feats and whatever.

This thread is starting to argue in circles because people are refusing to acknowledge anything EXCEPT the numbers being the indication of skill.

No one is saying that only numbers are an indication of skill, its people who refuse to believe that numbers are a part of over all skill. Come on dude, listen to what you just wrote out.

Albatoonoe wrote:
It is really just a determination of how seldomly you fail.

How likely you are to succeed in a given skill is by definition your margin of success, and that factors into skill.

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thflame wrote:
The idea, which has been explained NUMEROUS times at this point, is that the average adventurer, at high level is going to be competent at standard adventuring stuff. To be incompetent is outside the norm.

This is the assumption that is the problem, there is no reason to expect this. If we find that most people are arguing against it (and I think we will), then Paizo needs to change the system and if you're unsatisfied with that YOU can house rule it.

Charlie Brooks wrote:

I'm not sure if you're using the climbing a tree example as a deliberate simplification to prove a point, so forgive me if I'm missing your point here...

In 1st edition, a paladin in full plate mail with 0 ranks of Climb will almost never successfully climb a tree. At 15th level, she can leap onto the back of a dragon and battle it in the sky, but that tree remains insurmountable to her without some sort of help. From an adventure design standpoint, this also means that any encounter which requires climbing a tree turns into a roadblock for the paladin. If nobody in the group invested in Climb, the adventure could potentially grind to a halt because of a tree that the designer/GM never considered a major obstacle.

In 2nd edition, the paladin in full plate mail is considered to have picked up some of the basic skills needed to climb a tree (identifying handholds, estimating weak spots, etc) through sheer experience - sort of like how a wizard gets better at swinging a weapon even with little actual weapons practice. She probably still doesn't go around climbing trees all the time because why would she? However, if an encounter requires some tree-climbing, it's no longer something that turns into a major stumbling block.

From a player's perspective, it means they won't necessarily hinder a group's chance at success because they never invested in Climb. From an adventure design perspective, it means that it's easier to set an obstacle that can challenge some parts of the group while being easy to surpass for others. You know that climbing a DC 15 tree could reasonably challenge...

Yes, I was using it to prove a point.

My question then is why is this tolerated in other contexts, like a party fighting a ghost? If you don't have any access to magic it becomes a wide awake nightmare when dealing with it. You can flatten this easily by giving all characters access to magic, but then that trivializes what a caster can uniquely bring to the party, its the same way that a summoner can trivialize any of the martial characters by bringing a big beefy frontline eidolon. So why don't we do that as well?

If you're not putting obstacles in front of your players as obstacles why are you putting them in front of the players at all?

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

For challenges that challenge the whole group the specialist will probably auto-pass, while the person with no investment has a chance of passing. As opposed to PF1E where the specialist will probably pass, but the person with no ranks will definitely fail and then the whole party has to fight the guards anyway because Clanky’s armour check penalty removes any option for group stealth anyway.

If the DC to climb a tree is 15 and you’re level 15 why are you throwing a tree climbing challenge at your party anyway?

You should be throwing them against the DC 25 cliffs of insanity where your dedicated mountain climber has no trouble but your weak ass wizard still has a ~60% chance of failing (so maybe he’ll need some assistance from the mountain climbing ranger, or spends a spell to fly).

If however a group of high level orcs on Worgs come chasing the party the wizard hasn’t the option to climb a tree, which is no more a challenge than mobile fighting. Even Gandalf can climb a tree.

So that necessitates level dependent DC's then. Otherwise you run into situations where either everyone is ok or everyone is going to fail, which trivializes the investment of the character. Why is this ok in the case of skills but not class features?

If I need to put a tree somewhere why shouldn't I be able to? This is an argument for level based DC's, and further why should we forgive the wizard for not putting any ranks into climb? Why should Gandalf be able to climb a tree without expending his magic?

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Mark Seifter wrote:

Level-appropriate DCs are not a built-in assumption. An oak tree is an oak tree; it doesn't change its DC just because you're higher level.

As to the question "So what's the difference here?" Well it's certainly true that a Stealth-focused character at level 15 in PF1 (probably has in the +40s without even relying on huge bonuses from spell) is going to crush the Stealth check against a basic max ranked level 15 guard (who might have +20 or so if Perception is a class skill and maybe 14 Wisdom at best with the way elite array and stat raises make secondary stats tricky in PF1), so that hasn't changed much. But the difference is that in PF2, the untrained 14 Dex 15th level fighter is at +15 (or worse from armor, perhaps +14) instead of +2 (or worse from armor, perhaps +1), so while he is still more likely to fail than succeed against DC 28, he at least has a reasonable shot at trying, rather than no chance at all (opposed roll +1 Stealth vs +20 Perception).

Except in the case where you need to challenge a group. There come levels where even untrained it becomes trivial to pass a DC 15 skill check, so even those who have never even seen a tree in their life could climb an oak tree without even so much as a dice roll. Why? Why should they have a chance? You don't let the fighter just errantly cast spells, the wizard doesn't just get rage like a barbarian, and the ranger doesn't get to smite evil. These things are often available to classes via multiclassing or archtypes, but that requires a base level of investment from the character, why should skills be any different? What you are saying and what the system says are diametrically opposed to one another, automatic progression in untrained skills DOES undermine investment in any particular skill set. The fact that there are extras added or that untrained folk have a reduced opportunity to use their untrained value doesn't fix this, because it either has to be so restrictive that you might as well not have the skill to begin with or its so loose that we're back at the first problem.

My vote would be to take a page from kirthfinder and split will saves into two different saves, Compulsions, charms and emotion type effects go to will saves which are now charisma based, and illusion, curse and false memory type effects go a new save called intuition and are wisdom based.

thflame wrote:
Forgive me, but I find it hard to believe that a 15th level character, who can potentially have a Legendary Proficiency in a Skill(aka breaks physics because he's just that awesome), and has been making a living by trekking through dungeons for a LONG time, can't climb a basic rope, or what equates to a rock wall you find at gyms. For one, he most likely would have died by then falling to his death at some point earlier in his adventures.

Well you need to forgive me but I find it hard to believe that Old Master Orswald, 15th level hermit of the desert kingdom, who has never seen a body of water larger than a bathtub, can now execute basic swimming with more proficiency than a 2nd level pirate.

thflame wrote:
Another option is that the "Climb" check isn't actually your character proficiently navigating handholds and footholds, but them tapping into their magic (in the case of a caster) to help them climb, or jury rigging something together to make the climb easier. Perhaps the party has worked out some method to help this guy climb rock faces, and his roll is simulating how well that method works? Perhaps a good chunk of it is luck (if you lived through 14 levels, you probably have some amount of luck on your side).

The problem is that there are better ways to use existing skills to simulate what you propose.

Magic -> Spells like Spider Climb
Pully System -> Knowledge engineering
Helping the guy is aid another, or having the guys at the top use a strength check to pull him up.
Luck-> Hero Points.

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Raynulf wrote:
Arguing about changes to mechanics breaking physics or the limits of suspension of disbelief are... well... not that useful.

I have to reject this notion. Game "feel", presentation, and verisimilitude ARE a part and parcel to a systems's end goal of fun. Pathfinder itself owes a part of its existence due in part to people's dissatisfaction of how 4e handled this part of the experience.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Here's the thing though, "computer hacking" does not need to be a skill any more than "ice climbing" does. It's a subset of a different skill (say, hypothetically "Computers") so a character from Golarion who is transported to 21st century Earth would be untrained in "Computers", sure.

But if that character is sufficiently high level that they have accumulated confidence, careful observation skills, and a willingness to try stuff they could make "Computer" checks untrained, sure. So what sorts of things could someone untrained in computers attempt? Perhaps, they could use a word processor or edit a spreadsheet or sign up for a twitter account- things anybody who can figure out a keyboard and a mouse and learn how these things are correlated to what appears on the screen. More of an issue than "what happens if I press this button- oh, it does that, now I know" is that people from Golarion likely cannot read any earth languages which would probably prevent them from making appropriate checks. Like in PF1 a character cannot make a research check in a library if none of the books are in a language they undestand.

The problem then is that they have a mechanical advantage over everyone else in the world that also isn't trained in "computers", simply by virtue of being higher leveled. Some guy who just got a new computer for his office has a higher chance of failure when setting it up without the manual than THRAGGNAR-ORCSPLLITTER, 12th LEVEL BARBARIAN, CHIEF OF MOUNT KILLKLEAVE, despite THRAGGNAR, with his INT 7, having a tenuous grasp on what exactly electricity is, much less a power outlet.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Snickersnax wrote:

I get that there is a desire to have a mechanic that keeps players engaged even when their character has fallen below 1 hit point (Death saves).

But these rules seem over complicated and create all kinds of weird edge cases. Especially having death saves based off the enemy (compare a low level orc knocking a character down with a ballista to a high-level enemy knocking someone down with a weak off-hand whip attack). What are the DC's for falling below zero when there is no "enemy" like falling damage, elemental damage, etc,

I really like negative hit points. Regardless of these rules, I'll probably use a system where a person below zero saves to prevent losing more points equal to the number below zero that the character was originally knocked, and a separate save to remain conscious.

That way dying characters can be conscious and still have a last breath speech or help their party by providing information on battlefield activities.

And stabilized but still negative hp characters could be unconscious.

This also plays well with creatures or classes that maybe able to still fully function in combat in the negative hit point zone like wild boar or raging barbarians

Much more versatile and immersion nurturing.

If the orcs with a ballista are dealing damage well outside the range expected of their CR then those orcs should have their CR adjusted to reflect that.

Most likely.

I mean you can try to do it based on damage, but that scaling doesn't really work and takes a lot of math to be close to working. Even assuming you found a good multiplier on damage taken such that the dying save was something you had a chance to both recover or die more (beyond a natural 20 or 1 of course); let's pretend that was a DC 10 + 2/3 of the damage you took or something like that, you're still going to be in an impossible situation on any critical hit because it's going to double the damage. Let's see that in action: Suppose I have...

Then isn't the issue with the baseline mechanic of setting DCs via monster stats at all? With negative hit points the system doesn't care where the damage came from only if it's in excess of your limits. If you want more durable PCs with regards to stabilizing you can increase that limit or change the scale of the DCs eg. Maybe only Evey 3 negative hit points increases the DC by 1. This way you don't have the weird cases of the proposed system.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium.

That's not the issue that I think is causing objection. It's that a tepid strike from a powerful foe is, by simple virtue of CR, more deadly than a powerful strike by a tepid foe.

We're in the dark wizard's tower, battling the wizard and some goblin lackeys. The fighter and the paladin both have 4 hit points, the fighter eats a fireball for 20 damage but he has his amulet of fire resistance and takes only 5, just enough to down him. The goblin pegs the paladin from across the room with a crit from a shortbow for some 26 damage. Why does the fighter have to make a higher DC than the paladin in that case?

CR is arbitrary, while with damage you can quantify which hit was bigger.

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There has been much assuagement from Paizo staff otherwise, but the more and more that gets revealed about the game, the more and more it looks like Pathfinder: We're 5e now!(I like 5e, but not as every game)

I'm starting to have suspicions that come the release of the playtest, these comparisons to 5e will be a bit more apt than most will admit.

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Seems like this will result in more rocket tag, more so if the rumors that they're going to multiply damage like sneak attack on a crit pan out. Also noted was the ability to critically fail/succeed saving throws vs spells and such. I hope this isn't a dev's baby and they're able to nix it after the playtest. We don't need more save or suck and we especially don't need save or suck or suck worse.

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Harrowed Wizard wrote:

They offered print versions of the playtest version of the 1st Edition of Pathfinder and there were plenty of big changes made between the playtest version and the final version. Paizo has realized that they have a market of people that will purchase special edition collectible level material from them when it is offered. As a business, why not offer something like a Special Edition Playtest version of a book they are already sending to the printers? That is just leaving money on the table, since they are first and foremost a business not a charity looking to design and develop a game for us to enjoy.

I already know of a handful of people that plan on pre-ordering that Special Edition book and at least one other book. What does that mean for Paizo? They've now just sold 2 copies of the book, instead of 1. Is it a money grab? Maybe, but we all get to vote with our dollars and people that make the decision to buy both do so know that.

I make no judgement about people who want to purchase a special edition of the book, what they do with their money is for them to decide. What I do think is that by releasing a special edition of a product that will be inferior to the release game by default, signals that they will be unwilling to make sweeping changes to the game if they are required. It is a poor value proposition if you end up with a fancy book that is fundamentally flawed and nothing like the delivered game. I think its safe to say that 2e larger in the scope of its changes from 1e than 1e is from its beta. My fear and the fear of the OP is that Paizo won't have the fortitude required to gut most of their new edition if its what it needs to be great.

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Edymnion wrote:

The fact that they already have a print date of only a year from now tells me one thing.

The playtest feedback isn't going to be given much weight. It might revamp a skill or feat, or maybe get a class rewritten, but thats it. It tells me that they are hard set on the system as a whole and will not change it no matter what the feedback says.

If this 3 actions a round thing ends up pissing off exactly 100% of the tester base, a year is not enough to rewrite it (and by extension everything that relies on it, which is pretty much everything) and re-test.

For good or for ill, 90% of what they've got at this point is already locked in stone.

Unfortunately you are probably 100% correct in this assessment. Things like a special edition playtest book really tip their whole hand about this affair being a done deal and how this "playtest" will likely be little more than a great big preview.

My guess is that it'd be priced similarly to blindsense i.e. 4 points and in the monstrous category. It functions nearly identically to blindsense in what I'd wager would be the majority of times its used.

April fool's day is upon us and I thought I might share a bit of what I've been working on.


In antiquity, the Goblin King Bu'Gahr, heralded as the greatest (and tallest) to ever take the throne, had commissioned his court clerics to summon him a creature of such strength that he may once and for all crush that ever present thorn in his side: the human village of Gladepass. Long did Bu'Gahr's clerics did study and pray, and in the ancient Thassilonian legend of the Oliphant of Jandelay they found their creature. With careful (Goblin) planning they devised a ritual to entreat the beast, and on an most auspicious night the court put forward their plan.

No one truly knows what became of Bu'Gahr's court after that night; Bu'Gahr's kingdom fell into disarray shortly after it, but goblin oral tradition is strong, and there might still be a goblin shaman or two to the north of Gladepass who may be willing to share their knowledge of that ancient ritual. For the right price of course.

The Ritual:
Awaken the Glutton of Jandelay
School conjuration (summon); Level 4

Casting Time 40 minutes

Components V, S, M (Gilded sunflower seeds and mahogany wood shavings worth 1000gp), SC (at least 2, up to 8)

Skill Checks Knowledge (planes) DC 26, 3 successes; Handle Animal DC 26 1 success

Range close

Target one creature

Duration 24 Hours

Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

Backlash The primary caster takes 6d6 points of damage.

Failure A hostile elephant appears at the ritual site and attacks the the casters, at the GM’s discretion the elephant may have the entropic simple template.
The primary caster begins the ritual by mumbling the rites of Jandelay. The caster knows these rites from the research required to learn this ritual. The secondary casters must each hold on to an equal portion of the ritual’s material components whilst walking in a circle around the primary caster, the distance from the caster isn’t important, but it may not exceed 30 feet. Once the primary caster has uttered the final rite, each secondary caster must present the material components in supplication. Once completed, the ritual summons The Glutton of Jandelay, who serves the target creature for a period of 24 hours. While the Glutton of Jandelay is intelligent and understands both Jandelayan and Celestial, it deigns not to speak to anyone during the time it is summoned, opting only to serve in the capacity as a well trained guard dog might.

The Glutton of Jandelay:
Hamster of Jandelay CR 5
XP 1,600

CN Large magical beast (animal, extraplanar)

Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +13


AC 14, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +4 natural, -1 size)

hp 52 (6d8+24)

Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +3

DR 5/lawful; Resist acid 10, fire 10; SR 10


Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft., burrow 20 ft.

Melee bite +9 (1d8+9 plus grab)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks swallow whole (2d6 Bludgeoning damage, AC 12, 5hp)


Str 22, Dex 13, Con 19, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 10
Base Atk +4; CMB +11; CMD 22 (26 vs. trip)

Feats Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception)

Skills Acrobatics +1 (+5 to jump), Climb +9, Perception +13, Sense
Motive +7, Stealth +1, Survival +6,

Languages Celestial, Jandelayan

SQ improved initiative, power attack

Special Abilities

Cheek Pouches (Ex)
When The Hamster of Jandelay uses its swallow whole ability it shunts the creature it swallows into one of its two cheeks. The Hamster of Jandelay may swallow two creatures this way.

Sounds interesting! Are you still looking for people for this?