It's a bit odd that unconscious creatures only take a -4 penalty to Reflex saves even though they won't be woken up by the triggering action (for example, if they are dying).
It makes more sense to me that a creature who is unconscious takes a -4 to Reflex saves only if the triggering action causes the creature to lose the unconscious condition. However, if the triggering action does not cause the creature to wake up, the creature instead critical fails all reflex saves.
Those abilities aren't spell like abilities; they are supernatural powers that explicitly do not emulate spells. For example, Hidden Paragon cannot be purged by any magic that detects or purges invisibility; the only way to beat it is by using ungodly powerful hearing/smell/non-visual senses to find that rogue. Similarly, the Dragon Rage Breath is not a spell-like ability in the same way that a dragon's breath is not a spell-like ability. You literally grow a dragon breath gland (or however dragons breath magic) and do it through sheer superhuman biology. It can't be dispelled or countered like a spell can.
The kineticist, meanwhile, relies on having having powers that emulate spells, but are not spells. That's why I think they will have to be completely rewritten as a focus or slot caster (focus is more likely, given their niche as all day blasters). Alternatively, they will have to be given a huge number non-spell magical abilities that scale to level, akin to the other martial "superpowers", and will be difficult to balance. That sounds like a class that's extremely difficult to maintain with later publications.
evil homer wrote:
Half human races don't actually need their distinctive ancestries; you just need a heritage prerequisite for their respective Dragonmarks. The 2e core book already has heritage-specific ancestry feats.
House Scion should be handled though separate backgrounds. Each House would offer different skill and ability bonuses, a skill feat, plus Guild Lore. Jorasco, for instance, would give +2 Wisdom or Intelligence, +2 free, the Medicine skill, and Battle Medicine.
Psionics would be out, but with Occult sorcerers and bards, it wouldn't be too difficult to just refluff. Most magical performers in Eberron are Dragonmarked elves or other mundane characters with minor training (eg a rogue with a spellcaster multiclass), not truly bards.
I'm the one who mentioned basing Artificers on Alchemist. I wouldn't replace Alchemist, as a ton of "mundane healers" (eg in Jorasco healers) would not be Clerics, but rather Alchemists. This was represented in a very flawed manner back in 3.5 by making them rogues with alchemy related feats and prestige classes. Similarly, it would make sense for Vadalis magebreeders to be familiar with mutagens.
The various national backgrounds shouldn't really be heritages or backgrounds, but rather just handled the same way as Golarion nations. Regional feats (or similar rules) will show up in the Lost Omens World Guide. I'd wait for that book to come out and start with repurposing/refluffing the rules there.
Finally, onto heritages, Keith Baker himself actually mentioned that the various Eberron cultures of elf, dwarf, etc, are not subraces (explicitly to answer a 5e question about whether Valenar elves are wood elves and Aerenal elves are high elves). Because of that I would probably make ancestry feats and backgrounds related to being of Valenar, Aerenal, Talenta plains, etc, but not separate them into heritages. The default ones work well enough for Eberron races.
Mesmerist should just be a bard archetype that trades out performance for other things. Back in 1e they're already similar enough in niche. In 2e both will be occult casters. Adding options to bard so that they could just BE mesmerist if they want to sounds better than an all new mesmerist class.
Kineticist should completely ditch the burn mechanic and take advantage of the new focus system instead. But the main issue with the class is that it simply doesn't fit the core design principles of 2e. There's no more spell like abilities; everything that works like a spell, IS a spell, and if it comes from a class it must use either a spell slot or focus. Just look at how Wild Shape works now. The same problem exists for Shifter.
I don't see how you couldn't replicate a hunter with just a druid that multiclasses ranger, or vice versa.
That sounds promising, just like the Cavalier archetype for anyone that wants to be mounted.
If they're bringing back the Vigilante class for 2e, an archetype is almost certainly how they will implement it.
I always thought the old restriction against metal armor was because natural spirits can't communicate through metal, due to the natural aversion they have to cold iron (as seen by fey type's DR). So druids can use metal weapons, but they can't wear metal armor because that would create a barrier around them that prevents communion with natural spirits.
Keep in mind that some classes require mechanics that don't exist yet, but I'll try my best to use class thematics as a guideline rather than the nitty gritty of 1e mechanics. The hybrid classes are going to be the easiest.
Arcanist - Arcane bloodline Sorcerer, pick up Arcane Evolution, multiclass Wizard.
Bloodrager - Barbarian multiclass Sorcerer.
Brawler - Monk multiclass Fighter or Fighter multiclass Monk.
Cavalier - Fighter with Ranger multiclass in order to obtain an animal companion at level 4. It's not perfect, but it's the quickest way to get a mount without giving the character divine or primal flavor. Note that Cavalier will be a mounted combat archetype open to all characters.
Gunslinger - Fighter or Ranger with archery specialization, but you would need to homebrew some gun rules for now based on Bows. Guns would have the Deadly or Fatal trait, a new trait that grants you a bonus to hit at close range (probably small at first but increasing depending on your proficiency), a different critical specialization, and misfires if you roll a 1 or 2. Most notably misfires should not be based on critical failures because you will misfire more against heavily armored opponents, which makes no sense.
Hunter - Ranger multiclass Druid
Inquisitor - Warpriest doctrine Cleric, multiclass Ranger for bonuses against a single target (replicates Judgements and Bane).
Investigator - Rogue multiclass Alchemist. Keep in mind this class is coming in a playtest in October and it's possible that they will no longer rely on alchemy.
Kineticist - Elemental Sorcerer is the closest, since damage cantrips can already emulate Kinetic Blast pretty well.
Magus - Evoker Wizard multiclass Fighter. Pick up the Bespell Weapon feat.
Medium - The spirit mechanic is currently not possible to emulate, since this class effectively lets you switch what class you are every day.
Mesmerist - Bard. Just straight Bard is already pretty close. Pick up a Cleric multiclass if you want to focus on Touch Treatments.
Ninja - Rogue multiclass Monk. Pick up the Minor Magic feat a few times too.
Occultist - Bard multiclass Wizard for a bonded item. But you only get one, unfortunately. You can probably just fluff your collection of wands/scrolls/etc as Occult Implements.
Oracle - Any of the divine bloodline sorcerers. Unfortunately there's no way to emulate curses. This class is also coming to playtest in October.
Psychic - Aberrant Sorcerer or Bard.
Samurai - See Cavalier.
Shaman - Druid is already close enough, but multiclass Sorcerer or Cleric if you like.
Shifter - Monk multiclass Druid (Wild order)
Skald - Bard multiclass Barbarian
Slayer - Fighter or Ranger multiclass Rogue; or Rogue multiclass Fighter or Ranger, depending on your build.
Spiritualist - Death domain Cleric comes closest, but it's impossible to emulate a Phantom companion currently.
Summoner - Any arcane sorcerer, focused on Conjuration. Eidolons are impossible to emulate right now.
Swashbuckler - Fighter multiclass Rogue. The class is also coming in the APG playtest in October.
Vigilante - Pick any class and just focus on taking Deception skill feats. Multiclass into Rogue if you want.
Witch - Hag sorcerer comes the closest, but we're also getting this class in October (well, the playtest version).
Warpriest - Warpriest doctrine Cleric, multiclass Fighter.
I remember in 1e, there's a rule about specific rules having priority over generic rules. I think the reasonable approach is to assume that rule as well. Interact actions requiring a free hand is a generic rule; this particular item requires you interact by clicking your heels, which is a specific rule unique to the item, and therefore you can do so without a free hand.
Dragonborn is pretty easy to convert since each heritage is just a different dragon color. I'm hoping for draconic heritages to be released proper in PF2e though.
Warlock should work somewhat like sorcerer, with a different tradition depending on patron (Divine for fiend, celestial and undead, Occult for great old ones, Primal for fey, etc). Although given the amount of options available for sorcerers already, I actually think it would be easier to wait until Witch comes out in APG (playtest in October) and just make a sorcerer with witch multiclass archetype. All you really need is homebrew the Eldritch Blast cantrip.
I'm actually thinking to base the artificer class on Alchemist; no spells, but a whole lot of crafting options, including the ability to add temporary runes to gear.
The Starfinder Mechanic class is another inspiration. The artificer could easily have one of 2 focuses: a homunculus companion (sort of like a miniature golem), or a set of custom gear. Class feats can easily let them mimic spellcasting by recharging wands.
As for races, Shifter heritages are pretty easy to convert. Shifting itself could be handled like barbarian rage, but I'm also curious to see how skinwalkers are handled in 2e so as to avoid anything too incompatible.
Changeling is probably the hardest one to handle. I'm tempted to make shapechanging an innate cantrip.
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
I'm probably going to wait for a few more books to drop before starting on anything. Notably the GM's Guide, APG playtest, and the 5e Eberron books that are coming out end of this year.
If the intent of removing level bonus is to allow lower level enemies to remain threatening, what would actually be more helpful is robust horde/troop rules for large numbers of enemies. More than just stats for a few common hordes like zombies or orcs; the ability to convert ANY enemy into a horde would be highly useful, as it will both allow individual mooks of low level to be trivial to defeat for a high level PC, and to simultaneously allow an entire army of mooks to pose a truly epic threat.
But....why would that happen when skill increases are gated behind levels? No matter how many skill increases you get, you won't hit Legendary until level 15, period.
What if we remove +level scaling to proficiency, but also let characters gain ability score increases more often? Say, rather than boosting 4 ability scores every 5 levels, you let players boost 3 ability scores every 2 levels, or 2 ability scores every level (although you might want to also rule that no ability score can be boosted back to back)?
This way, accuracy is still bounded for anything the players don't feel like investing in, but become much higher in things they do put effort into.
Dragonmarks will definitely be focus spells, written as a feat chain with both minimum level and the previous version of a Dragonmark as prerequisites. These feats would be Ancestry feats because Dragonmarks are always tied to race. Least Dragonmarks would be a level 1 Ancestry feat, Lesser level 5, Greater level 9, and Siberys level 13.
A Dragonmarked Heir archetype can also be easily modeled on the sorcerer multiclass archetype, granting you thematic spells depending on your dragonmark of choice and proficiency increases in the corresponding dragonmarked skill (Least = Trained, Lesser = Expert, Greater = Master, Siberys = Legendary).
Aberrant marks could simply be replicated by picking up a sorcerer multiclass.
Multiclassing should not let you be as good as the main class at anything, even at the capstone of level 20. So yes, this does seem too much.
If you're so concerned about there being a hole in spell progression, you could easily delay your archetype entry by picking up the dedication feat at 4th level. This way you'll have a smooth ride from spell levels 0 to 8 without any gaps in the middle.
An alternative to E6/E7 could just be removing the +level bonus from all proficiencies and get something close to D&D5e's true bounded accuracy. You can also subtract a monster's level from all of its modifiers with minimal effort.
You can also look into classless systems like Savage Worlds where characters don't have levels, but they do have tiers. So while characters don't get significantly bigger numbers as they gain more XP, they still gain access to abilities that are much more powerful thematically and narratively. Being able to teleport for instance doesn't automatically mean that you are also virtually unhittable by a common soldier.
I have no idea how you would handle class features though. Perhaps make them feats with a number of class feats as prerequisite?
The thing that confuses me somewhat with this entire discussion is....did people miss the part where succubi can shapeshift? Anyone who isn't fully asexual can be attracted to a succubus because a succubus can choose a form that is attractive to that individual. A succubus will turn into a big muscular man to seduce a gay man who has a thing for buff warrior types, or an androgynous leafy tree person to seduce the agender ghoran who has a fetish for big leaves. No succubus is stupid enough to assume one form fits all.
And if the succubus is in the presence of 3 people who are sexually attracted to 3 different things, she would take the form most attractive to the one she wants to seduce the most, and the other 2 people in the room won't take the -2 penalty. If a character is completely asexual (or a child way too young to have sexual attraction, or a beast that's just not attracted to humanoids) then that -2 just won't apply. A succubus isn't something that show up every session of a campaign, and I doubt many players will intentionally make asexual characters JUST to defend against that one ability on one monster.
And if every PC in your party is asexual for whatever reason, just don't use the succubus. There are plenty of other demons in the Abyss.
Would it break the game if characters can freely choose a general OR ancestry feat at level 3 and every odd level beyond?
Similarly, would it be any way unbalanced if characters can choose either a skill feat, or a skill increase, at every level?
Obviously all level and proficiency prerequisites would still apply, since we still can't have level 5 characters running around with legendary skills. I'm just curious as to why players are limited to an even split between skill feats and skill increases, as well as between general and ancestry feats.
From experience in running PF1 games, removing alignment is as simple as rebranding Good and Evil, Law and Chaos to Holy and Unholy, Axiomatic and Entropic (or whatever terms you want to use). Deities and outsiders have an alignment because it refers to the nature of their plane of residence. You could attach alignments to mortals that are connected to the planes too -- in this case, a cleric of a deity that resides in Heaven, say, Iomedae, will always detect as Holy and Axiomatic without exception. You can even play around with sorcerers so that magic will always detect a fiendish or undead bloodline sorcerer as Unholy, even if they have never hurt an innocent and saves a puppy every day. You can apply the same logic to planetouched races.
In terms of regulating behavior, divine classes already have oaths and commandments from their deities to control that, which SHOULD bring them in line with their supposed "alignment". For everyone else, alignment is either their planar connection should it exist, or they count as true neutral.
A formatting suggestion: what if the saving throw type is listed at the top, along with casting/range/area, like this:
Saving Throw Reflex (basic);
This way, if the saving throw deviates from the standard, it can instead be listed this way:
Saving Throw Reflex (special; see text);
This basically allows you to at a glance how to save against a particular spell, rather than having to read the text to find out every time.
Varun Creed wrote:
I like Spontaneous Heightening too. My problem with it is that it only applies to 2 spells per day, rather than every spell the sorcerer knows. They still have to spend MORE spells known, in order to get to cast higher (or sometimes, lower) level versions of other spells.
Spontaneous casters are meant to be restricted but highly flexible within that restriction. Why dampen their flexibility in addition?
Spontaneous heightening seems arbitrarily restrictive to me. Why limit the ability to 2 spells per day? I appreciate the ability to choose what spells to be heightened, but it just seems more intuitive that sorcerers (and other spontaneous casting classes in the future) gain this ability automatically for ALL spells they know.
It would certainly help keep a sorcerer on theme compared to prepared casters. Spontaneous casters are limited in their width of abilities, but should excel at whatever narrow range of powers they have, as compared to the broad competence of prepared casters. Given that spontaneous casters don't even have the advantage of extra spells per day compared to prepared casters now, spontaneous heightening for all spells seems like a baseline level of balance rather than anything overpowered.
Is there a NEED for lowering the hit chance without increasing fumble rate, though? I would think for something like concealment, when you literally cannot SEE your opponent, it makes it so much harder for you to do something exceptionally well and so much easier for them to take advantage of your misses. It's actually one of the cases where it makes a lot of sense to introduce a flat penalty.
There might be other situations where changing the success rate without impacting criticals is necessary, but I can't really think of such a situation...
I don't think I'm a big fan of flat checks. I disliked miss chances in 1e as well. It adds additional dice rolls to a situation where a penalty would suffice for producing the same statistical spread.
In addition, changing miss chances from an extra roll to a flat penalty would create the additional effect that concealment increases the chance for critical failures, and reduces the chance for critical successes. That would also make sense for being unable to see clearly.
What's the design philosophy behind separating skill rank increase from skill feats?
Wouldn't it be simpler to give all characters a skill feat every level, except for rogues, who get two? And make Proficiency Training a skill feat that allows you to choose 1 skill to increase its proficiency rank by 1?
How does a wizard cast 9th level spells without having a sorcerer bloodline?
Is it that hard to imagine that, in a world where PEOPLE COULD LEARN TO CREATE DEMIPLANES, they can also potentially learn to jump 30 feet?
Just to clarify -- we mean Marvel Thor. Chris Hemsworth Thor. The Thor who, while indisputably superhuman and superheroic, is not, technically, the Norse God Thor. There's probably some weird stuff in the comics (and everyone's power level fluctuate significantly in comics), but as far as the movies are concerned, both Thor and Wonder Woman are very good examples of what a high level martial should look like.
I'm actually of the opinion that stuff like building a demiplane or talking to gods shouldn't be easily done by high level casters either. I tend to make those costly rituals that require a quest that involves the whole party. The caster is the key, but he's not the only one doing anything.
In fact, that's something I hope PF2 also takes care to address -- don't let powerful spells make fun exclusive for the caster.
I don't. The only thing that should be able to kill a superhuman hero is another superhuman villain (or another superhuman hero. Up to you.).
I said "nominally".
What I mean is, in theory, if he gets a fireball jammed into his throat while he's sleeping, or chained to a wall and shot at by a firing squad, he should be at the very least gravely injured. In practice, that's not something that will ever happen in a game, and his reflexes will ensure that no fireball (or bullet storm) ever even comes close to his face, whether by dodging or shield blocking.
I prefer martial heroes to be resilient in combat through technique and training they gained from experience, not transform into something that is by nature invincible to "normal" attacks. Large amount of hit points, high AC, and high saves are good. Flat immunities (especially flat immunities that can only be overcome based on level) to me just feels cheap. 3.5 epic was kind of like that; it felt cheap.
I think that's fundamentally the argument here. I enjoy the Marvel movies quite a lot, and I'm not against high level martials doing anything Captain America or Black Panther can do. Thor is an odd case because he's gishy (all the lightning channeling stuff) but by level of general strength or resilience, that's acceptable too.
Hulk....Hulk is where I personally draw the line. Hulk is quite literally invincible and immune to pretty much everything. I prefer my superhuman heroes to still be mortal, at least nominally.
I personally have trouble seeing anyone NOT running into caster/martial disparity at level 15+ at all. I'm starting to see it at level 9-11. You don't even need to be a full caster to do it -- even tier 3, 1-6 casters can come up with plot-derailing tricks if they build for it. I once played a bard who, by level 10, can pump Bluff into the high 50s without even trying.
And if you're trying to compare damage, our Skulls and Shackles game has a druid who can end a boss encounter in one round by summoning 3 augmented cyclopes and have all of them use flash of insight for 9d6+42 each. I'm not going to argue that pure martials do more sustained damage over the day, but given the relative short adventuring days in most APs, high level casters can even surpass martials on total damage if they choose to.
E6 is invented because the most physically powerful human in the world is at most level 6.
What we should be looking for is action movie hero levels of "realism". Clearly not feasible, but visually realistic enough to suspend disbelief. Dodging explosions, backflip trickshots, reloading a gun in the blink of an eye....etc. And most importantly, give martials something that casters can't do (or at least, can't do as well) with just a low level spell.
I think it's safe to say that most people do want to keep the blatantly reality-bending stuff to magic -- teleportation, summoning, that kind of thing. But what isn't unreasonable is for martials to have superhuman prowess; stuff that doesn't violate physics per se, but human beings are definitely incapable of doing in real life. Jumping several times your body length, for example, or swimming across the entire ocean, doesn't exactly break science. A lot of animals can do it, after all; it's just impossible for earth humans.
That's at least what I personally want out of my legendary abilities. Stuff that's still distinctly martial, not magical; just superhuman in scale.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Pathfinder 1e is GOOD. Is it perfect? Not even the people who made it (not to mention the vast majority of people who play it) think so. I've rarely played in a group who don't use houserules or homebrew in some way. Very commonly, houserules address the very problem being addressed by this new skill system -- martials not getting their share of superhuman abilities at high levels, while casters have them aplenty. Feat tax reduction, limiting high level spell access, retooling skill usage...I can find a whole lot of them floating on these forums alone.
Again, we haven't seen the new edition in full yet, and I'm still quite reserved on the whole level-scaling proficiency thing. But giving martials good stuff? Yes please. It's practically necessary if you don't want them to take away your casters' Time Stop and Earthquake.
I think I might bow out of this particular conversation. It seems that addressing this particular segment of the customer base is not one of the goals. I’ll sit back, watch and hope what emerges feels enough like a game that can support playing my home brews in instead of one that would require me to chunk them in order to adopt it. Might comment on other portions, but it appears this ship at least has completely sailed.
There's nothing really stopping you from playing E10, or houserule banning legendary skills (and whatever other option that's too "epic" for you). The jumping 100 feet stuff is there for people who wants it.
I like a mid point between reining them back and unleashing the full potential of p1. What if we just make the most powerful, reality-changing stuff, hard-to-find rituals? Stopping time for a few round is really powerful, but mostly a combat buff. Creating a whole demiplane should be the crux of a whole quest rather than a spell you can scribe into your book when you level up.
Mark Seifter wrote:
I'm actually curious to separate jumping 100 feet into the air from splitting mountains with a sword slash, even though these two are some of the stock examples from superpowered fiction that are often grouped together. Mostly because jumping 100 feet in the air seems like something reasonable to expect from a high level character, reasonably easy to balance against in game assumptions, and beneficial to high level games where flight magic is readily available, whereas cutting a mountain in half (and thus presumably destroying the entire dungeon that was on the mountain, possibly multiple dungeons on that mountain) seems pretty disruptive no how you slice it (yes, intended). While, again, they are often grouped together in examples, just because we're giving you more options to have your martial characters do things in the vein of giant leaps doesn't mean we're adding in slicing mountains in half.
To be fair, collapsing a whole dungeon under a mountain can already happen when the druid casts earthquake. So...
Because, simply put, high level in a game like Pathfinder already implies some amount of mythic, larger-than-life quality to the heroes.
PF1 (and 3.5 before it) already gives ample amounts of world-changing power to spellcasters of that level. When clerics can raise the dead, druids can call up earthquakes and hurricanes, wizards can temporarily stop time and conjure meteors...it's narratively unfair that a fighter of comparable level and experience couldn't do much more than hit a bit harder.
Now, I understand the silliness some of these actions can be described to look like, and I understand it's fine to dislike, say, anime or superhero aesthetics when we think of our high level martials. But here's the thing -- powerful warriors with superhuman ability is a staple of fantasy and mythology, just like great wizards and mighty priests are. As many have stated, you're not Superman; you're Hercules, Cú Chulainn, or Beowulf. (I saw Sun Wukong mentioned but his trademark shapeshifting and summoning abilities put him solidly in gish territory. Sorry).
If you don't like the epic nature already baked into high level games (just previously reserved for casters, really), then it really is better to play lower level games. Or, ban legendary skill tricks and feats, BUT YOU SHOULD ALSO leave level 7+ spells out of easy reach of casters.
I have no issue with preference for either gritty or epic playstyles. I just want to close the caster-martial disparity, and elevating martials (rather than gimping casters) is simply the more option-friendly way to go.
This is my opinion on the matter as well. That wizard may have a higher number on paper, but lacks the feats and class features that realistically makes the lower-level fighter better in practice.
We will REALLY have to see. I will miss assigning points into my skill list every level, but as long as "optional incompetence" can be accounted for with drawbacks, I'm not entirely against the idea now as I was when I first saw it.
I think there's a crucial point most people have been missing here.
Being trained, expert, master, legendary, etc, may not JUST give you minor bonuses and extra perks. What if it makes the DCs needed to accomplish a task lower, as well?
So while both MagicPants the level 20 wizard and Climbster the level 10 rogue has +17 to climbing, maybe the DC 15 check MagicPants has to make is a merely DC 5 check for Climbster. This is in line with what we've learned: that having certain levels of proficiency eliminates the need to roll for "basic" tasks at all.
We simply don't know enough to judge, at this point. If it turns out that what I mentioned above is the case (don't quote me on this -- but I do recall it mentioned that it's possible for a high proficiency character to need lower numbers to succeed, than a low proficiency character), then the numbers themselves are really not quite so relevant. They're very likely JUST there for parity with Saves, Attack Bonuses, and AC.
What I don't understand is...why can't we just make wands work similar to 5e? Each wand has a small number of charges that recharges daily on a die roll, and may be permanently destroyed if the last charge is expended. It's simple, elegant, makes logical sense in universe, and prevents CLW spam because the same monetary investment is spread over a long period of time for far fewer uses each time (so you have ~5 charges a day forever, rather than 50 charges at once).
As for potion chugging, Constitution makes a whole lot more sense than Charisma. Drink too many and you start making fortitude saves or get sick. That makes more sense than resonance too.
I fully agree on this! That said, I would not want to see alignment completely removed from classes. I agree that alignment restrictions for a whole class has to go. But some archetypes or class options (e.g. divine abilities) being alignment-restricted is completely fine and makes total sense to me.
So for example I'd like to see paladins being able to choose their deities like clerics, and depending on their alignment they get different types of auras, with perhaps an archetype that exchanges the alignment-based powers entirely.
I voted for SF-style instantaneous nonlethal. I would like to add that my group tracks enemy death saves the same way as PCs (with the exception of undead and constructs) so the moment they fall unconscious, PCs do have a a few rounds to heal anyone they want to take prisoner or coup de grace. In this case, lethal/nonlethal damage doesn't do a whole lot of difference on the grand scale of things, except for number tracking.
One of my biggest gripes in 3.5/PF1 is that PCs gain progressively better bonuses to attack as they level, but increases in defense largely rely on magic items like amulets of natural armor and rings of protection. Not only are those items boring, but they also take up valuable slots for more interesting and flavorful alternatives.
It would be a step in the right direction to introduce something like a base defense bonus that scale with level. Not only is this good for eliminating "mandatory" items, but also paves the way for rolling "active defense" as reactions should the player want to.