Personally, I'd rather have the so-called Vancian system terminated and replaced by a reversed "charge up and fire (on a earth-shattering-kaboom scale)" type magic system, cast at-will. Spells should take up more time to chant either by being a higher level or potentially able to break niche protection more widely, with proficiency reducing up required actions per casting (up to a minimum of 1 action).
That way, you no longer need to track slot usage, and promoting actual teamwork with martial classes by giving them a definite purpose during combat in protecting the big guns until they successfully bake up a relevant problem solver (which is hopefully not that spotlight-stealing).
So make Proficiency work somewhat like how in 5E creatures' Size matters in initiating grapples? Hmm... Frankly, I'm extremely tempted by the promise of advancement in PC-NPC transparency, but as others said, it's still much more simpler just to have like all skill feats scale to eye-bulging epic levels.
Umm, I must be getting old, my English reading comprehension is failing me...
What does that mean? Is it that the playtesters were frustrated with magic item damage dependency, or the opposite (wants the dependency to stay)?
If the concept of "legendary weapons" (that let even a total newbie rip through dragon hide like tofu) and "legendary warrior" (who could dish out similar hurt with a random twig nearby) is to coexist...
And there are extra proposals to help with niche protection, scale of importance between tools / training, and such;
* Damage does not scale with proficiency by default, but the so called "martial" classes (Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue) have odd-level class features that explicitly allow this. In case the "caster" classes want it too, multiclass feats give this feature slower than the full "martial" class.
* Proficiency-based damage dice scaling can be not-quite linear. For example, Expert giving +1dx, Master giving +3dx (instead of 2), and Legendary giving +1d5 (catching up with the best potency runes via skill alone).
PF1 Dwarves were too powerful anyway. Way more baggages of +1's with slightly varying but usually NOT useless, only countered by their physique IF the player is into lookism at its worst...
So, if PF2 Dwarves must have their former plusses return, all other core races must gain new bonuses of equal value to compensate. Yeah, seriously.
I want to chant "QFT" more than a googol times on this... It looks like you were inside my wildest dreams and wrote about it.
Personally, I prefer the "+Level to everything" policy of PF2's playtest (why not play 5E if your 20th level Fighter can't curb-stomp troll warlords ungeared and sleepwalking). However, I also know well that the fact defense and general DCs scaling too also robbed the "feel" of character improvement, since in the end, your "natural X on the d20" either stays the same, or can't catch up and go up.
So I wondered; "If you want the feel of numerical character development, is Rocket Tag inevitable?"
When both sides of a dice rolling contest in game has level scaling, for the proactive side to feel stronger as they level up, they will eventually require lower natural X's, which means their bonuses towering over the reactive side's respective bonuses, eventually. As the GM's side of the table will eventually get similar bonuses too on their own stat blocks, I can only see the rocket tag phenomenon as inevitable, at least in the numerical statistics part of the game...
At least that board game seems to have not lied about class power differences... If the 3E system's developers decided to be frank and like measured non-casters' CRs as much lower than now, I wouldn't have been this livid about that LFQW issue.
And 5E is incredibly fun in-play, yeah. For the first time in forever (snort), Monks can move and whack thrice via ki-charged fists without any accuracy penalties, way more truer to their genre of origin.
As Pathfinder is going the opposite direction of the "Mother May I" style, such questions are vital, yes I agree.
And I'd add one of mine: "Do fire damage spells burn unattended things unless otherwise noted?" Yes, I heard horror stories of 4E when an incompetent D..referee disallowed fire powers from burning stuff because it ain't written so.
That iterative hit penalty for martial characters is an ugly remnant of the early 3.x era, created by the system's original creators for some (probably nefarious) reason. Oddly, unlike common perception, it seems you have to blame one or both of the remaining two other than Monte Cook (who as far as I know doesn't care that much about nerfing martials, instead spending his time on drugging up wizard-esque characters).
Yes, I couldn't agree more on this. It's heart wrenchingly depressing to see the laws of the in-game universe thrown unto horrible discord as such. But it seems at least some people prefer it that way...
Guess I really have to try making a free, Martial-Caster-balanced, zero-to-demigod game rule that work universally for all in-game entities all by myself...
What on Golarion (and the d20 system in general) do Fighters represent as something of its own? Just what is the Figher's class identity?
In the current iteration, every core classes other than the Fighter have a solid character by themselves;
Alchemist: Who learned alchemy(duh) to unleash (al)chemical reactions upon the world
Barbarian: Who bursts into a berserker state reminiscent of a human-sized killing machine
Bard: Who dug into the arts to gain esoteric knowledge of all kinds, including some high magic
Cleric: Who represents the gods (and hopefully some philosophes) as its divine petitioner (but unfortunately shoehorned to healer roles as an original sin)
Druid: Who is backed up by nature to unleash its primal fury as magic
Monk: Who learned Wuxia-style martial arts for extra oomph (and maybe a safe, traditional way to divine ascension)
Paladin: Who is the forceful fist of goodness (and hopefully other alignments) that supernaturally smite things to oblivion
Ranger: Who is the deadly stalker of the wilderness, shredding horrors via blade and arrows
Rogue: Who specializes on all kinds of skills from the professional to the shady ones
Sorcerer: Who were naturally born with spellcasting (but for some reason still relies on tongues and hands to use it)
Wizard: Who learned magic academically for cosmic-scale power
So what should the fighter be? At least, it must never be "that class which represents all other martial arts and fighting styles not yet specialized by other new classes," ever.
Like, Cavaliers took riding and field commander things (and ruined them with bad practice), Gunslingers took all guns (obviously), Magi (plus Inquisitors and other 2/3 casters) took gishing, and Vigilantes combined the Fighter and Rogue then attached some serious social stuff that actually works with minor superhero trappings.
I believe they need some serious examinations on class identity for them to earn their page in the books, other than being in a sacred cow position.
Wait, I thought the derogatory "Anime" cries originated from caster players who hated martial classes from climbing up tiers... Was I wrong?
Anyway, I feel the old PF1 ultra-magic returning is fine as long as PF2's martials get to enjoy some of its craziness too, without outside assistance (= by own class features & progression, not necessarily reliant on buffs/items).
A proposal for boosting success rates on skills for Master and Legendary characters without unbalancing the proficiency system as a whole
Well, it lessens/prevents awkward situations such as...
* Player vigorously accusing GM of cheating with statistics of a PC-race NPC, that looks and acts like something very similar to a member of PC-classes in flavor but not in practice
* Players getting disappointed when NPC numbers are vastly superior to PC's, and get to see no point in playing with measly digits their characters barely scratched up to play with
Actually, I am perfectly willing to compromise on this topic (NPC-transparency) if the final product version of PF2 ends up with a transparency level that is "as 5E, but with NPC proficiency bonus keyed to Hit Dice instead of CRs," especially for PC-playable races and filler-PC convertable characters. Special abilities that looks exclusive to such NPCs should be allowed by word to word as Uncommon+ feats/spells and such (it's a perfect opportunity to utilize that rarity system). Totally unplayable creatures like true dragons getting GM-friendly arbitrary bonuses, I care about much less.
If they roll back races into front-loaded packages, I think most races will need additional traits of racial-feat level power, to keep up with dwarves, who lost the most number of 0th level traits in the PF1 to Playtest transition; Greed gone, Ancient's Blood split from Hardy, 5 other features scattered as feats. I sincerely have little to no idea how come they ended up this powerful without consequences (but a hunch that this had to their in-lore not-so admirable looks; lookism galore...).
This means that all races will have to start with features worth around 7 feats (not counting ones wiped out for lore-matching, like gnomes).
Here's my choices...
==== PLUS ====
+ Proficiency bonus auto-scaling fits the d20 power fantasy quite well (though maybe LV./2 is fine for untrained creatures).
==== MINUS ====
- Individual feats of all kinds is usually very unimpressive, particularly the martial/skill feats.