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75 posts. Alias of Zachary Herbert.


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Ah. I didn't catch the bolded thing. More visible would be good, but at least it's there. Wish I'd have caught that BEFORE going through the whole list!

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Would it be possible to change a few conventions in the errata documents? As is, they are unnecessarily difficult to use...

1. Can we please use "replace [sample text]" instead of "replace the 5th sentence." Scanning and counting periods not only takes longer, it makes it much more likely that we replace the wrong passage!

2. Similarly, could we use "delete the sentence beginning with [sample text]" instead of "delete the final (or nth) sentence." Particularly in the case of "final," that gets difficult for those of us who are actually updating our pdf's.

3. Related to #2, would it be possible to separate or otherwise highlight errata from previous documents? (Or maybe * the new ones?) I know this one doesn't affect as many people, but for those of us updating our documents, it would save a TON of time since we wouldn't have to keep going back through the entire list. (Or wondering if we already deleted the "last sentence" of a passage!)

So one of the main issues I've had with 2E is the lack of verisimilitude in the skill system. (Everyone knows everything, anyone can fix anything, master basketweavers forge master katanas, but expert swordsmiths can't, etc.)

Now, I get that a bunch of people like the new system and don't care about "realism" and that's fine. But it looks like there's a very easy way to cater to both sides on this... and that's the already existing rarity system.

For those of us who value in-fiction realism, it turns out that the only two major issues with skills are:

1. Parceling out Craft and Perform to be more in line with Lore. (That way every musician can't play EVERY instrument, and not every stonemason and cobbler can use an alchemists lab to identify potions.)


2. Control which activities are available untrained.

Number one is an easy houserule. So if the book stays as it is, so be it. It's an easy fix for those of us who care.

Number two is actually an amazing way to tailor the game world to each individual campaign ... which is also the exact purpose of the rarity system!

For my game, I just edited the p143 skills summary table in Acrobat and moved the lines around to match the in-fiction particulars of my game world. For example, I have an urban monotheistic world. So I allow Religion and Society to have untrained Recall Knowledge checks. But not Nature. (And I moved Repair and a few others.)

It's a perfect fix for me, so I'm all good. But it just occurred to me that, if the devs just used the Rarity System colors on skill activities, it would highlight the ability for EVERYONE to bake in their own brand of realism.

1. Make untrained skill activities COMMON. ie. That's what MAKES then available untrained!

2. Make trained skill activities UNCOMMON. You can still use them, but you need to have an in-character reason that you can. (ie. You have the skill.) It's already the very definition of access to uncommon items!

Then, if you have a low magic world, like I do, you just make all the Arcane/Occult/etc untrained knowledge checks be uncommon (trained).

If you have high magic, maybe bump a few trained uses into common.

Same thing with all the others. Everyone gets to tailor their perfect setting. And all Paizo has to do is color code the skill activities to the rarity system!

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sadie wrote:
How about keeping the combined skill but gating each crafting specialisation beyond basic level with a skill feat?

That would work too. I think anything that makes it more granular and reintroduces a bit of realism would fix it.

I actually came up with a skill system fix that works perfectly for my purposes. It brings back verisimilitude and still gives the players the ability to do the existing "all the things" approach by making it an intentional character choice (instead of a worldwide default). And it doesn't require mucking with the math under the hood.

For those of us who value in-fiction realism, it turns out that the only two major issues with skills are (somehow) parceling out Craft and Perform to be more in line with Lore. And then controlling which activities are available untrained.

I just edited the skills summary table in Acrobat and moved the lines around to match the particulars of my game world. That, plus a couple feats literally fixes the whole thing!

The thread is here for anyone who's interested.

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I just went through the Skill chapter again, and I think this will work really well. You just have to bump some of the untrained activities into trained. Add a few feats to allow untrained use of certain things (for characters who specifically CHOOSE to be Handy/Know-it-Alls). And require Craft and Perform have a type, just like Lore/1E. (That way you can't play EVERY instrument in the world, or craft EVERY item ever.)

It also lets you tailor to your setting. (For example, my campaign is an urban monotheistic setting. So I'll allow untrained Recall Knowledge for Religion, but not Nature.)

It seems like Paizo is going for something a little more gonzo. But for those looking for a bit more verisimilitude... this is looking like a solid fix!

Mergy wrote:

I can get behind wanting a master sailor to handle your flagship. That makes perfect sense.

However, that's with Assurance, which is currently seeming like quite the steep feat cost. Not only because it applies to a single skill, but because it's really quite boring as a feat. Look at Intimidating Glare, Cat Fall (especially Cat Fall!), Wall Jump. Those are all impressive actions. Assurance, by virtue of the problem it seeks to solve, is just not impressive. It's necessary though, which is why I'm starting to think baseline Assurance should just be available to everyone. If you're Trained you should be able to use Assurance and take your 10. Expert, take your 15.

Let us spend our feats on fun and interesting things!

I also like the idea of baking it in. Maybe use a feat to raise the assurance # even higher if that's something important to you.

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Mergy wrote:
At the very least, it could be so that a natural 1 that still succeeds should only fail normally and not critically.

It actually is that. A nat 1 that would have otherwise succeeded is just a normal failure. Not a crit fail.

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Xenocrat wrote:
One issue with "I can craft anything" is that really it's "I can craft anything provided I have someone's drawing and instructions tell me how to do it." You're not (without another feat) some creative genius making anything you can imagine, you're an extra skilled Ikea customer.

Yes, but you can reverse engineer anything to get the formula. So everyone is more a genius level tinker. (Give Dorothy, the master basketweaver, a master level katana, and she can break it down, create a plan and forge up a few new ones.)

And the alchemical identification use doesn't even require a formula. Every craftsman moonlights as a chemist. :P

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So it seems that allowing untrained use of certain skills creates all kind of weird in-world side effects... (Anyone can Repair anything. Everyone Knows everything.)

I get untrained attempts at physical activities. (Anyone can try to Balance.) But it gets weird with specialized skills.

So what about taking away untrained use of those skills and gating broad-spectrum actions like Repair and Recall Knowledge behind general feats?

For example...

Handy: You can use an artisan kit and attempt to repair items as an untrained activity. The usual untrained penalties apply.

Know-it-all: You can attempt Recall Knowledge actions for untrained Lore skills. The usual untrained penalties apply.

At least that way it's a character design choice. "I want to play a handy/know-it-all character." Rather than some random default ability of everyone in the world.

Edit: And that also rebalances/grounds the whole +1/level thing... My handy character gets more handy... My know-it-all gets more know-it-all-y...

I could see a "handy" feat that allowed untrained repair attempts at repairing "whatever you get your hands on." (With the normal untrained penalty.)

Edit: At least then it's a specific character design choice. And not an inexplicable default ability of everyone in the world.

Edit 2: I created a New Thread to discuss this direction. The more I think about it, the more I like the Skill-Feat-Unlocks-Untrained-Use idea...

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I'm in agreement. Too many things feel like function calls (over fiction). It creates all kinds of usability issues.

E.g. Bulk seems wholly unnatural. It removes a unit of measure that we instinctively understand and adds an abstraction that we need to constantly reference to figure out what it is. I get the "some things are extra bulky and that matters more than weight." But that's a corner case. And now I can't even answer how much a weapon weighs.

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The choices on timeframes for many actions seem to be driven more by a sense of mathematical balance. Rather than by any kind of in fiction realism or facilitating enjoyable gameplay.

Identifying one potion takes an hour. Cleaning and bandaging wounds takes two seconds flat. (Battle medic.) Its all over the place.

I'm leaning toward dropping the +1/level for untrained actions. But only for the skills like Lore that require specified subjects. That would still give small chance at knowledge(everything). Without having the high level barbarian giving guest lectures at the local medical school.

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For my game, I'm doing lower power, later era. So I'll just require dedicated craft skill like 1E. It's a pretty easy houserule.

Perform, I'll probably let each skill point do two (e.g. Guitar and sing).

The +1 per level untrained thing is just going to require constant gm intervention. Otherwise every high level person will be better at repair or recall knowledge than any journeyman/grad student. Perhaps I'll mark certain skills that you don't add your level to untrained actions.

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Also just realized that literally everyone in the world who is trained at crafting anything at all--cobbler, painter, tailor, cook, blacksmith, everything--can identify any alchemical item in 10 minutes given access to an alchemists kit.

I know the idea was to simplify the game. But this really just needs to keep the "pick a craft" aspect of 1st edition.

Same with perform. Anyone who can play ANY instrument can play EVERY instrument.

Easy to houserule, but still...

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Another consideration for those who dig the "high level people have learned a lot in their travels" explanation for why characters in 2E seem to know virtually everything...

The players are PLAYING through those levels. And the things that they encounter along the way become immediately accessed knowledge. Meaning, you've already fought a blue dragon back at level 7. You don't need to roll to know what its breath weapon does.

So really, the only things you need to roll Lore for... are the things you've never actually encountered on your path to higher levels. Yet you seem to know them all anyway.

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Untrained use isn't the issue. I'm actually okay with that part. Any untrained person can attempt to repair something. But they probably suck at it. (Though this is another place where +1/level starts to creep in to weird effect, since a high level person can suddenly make better repairs to any object in the world.)

The big problem is that once you are trained, you are trained at EVERYTHING. They gated item quality behind proficiency rank. Which helps a little. But it also highlights the absurd side...

Consider this:

During an adventure, I find the formula for a Master level katana.

Back in town, we have a swordsmith, Hattori Hanzo. He's an expert with 30 years experience forging katanas.

Unfortunately, Hattori can't help. He's not a master. He can't forge that sword.

But all is not lost, because Dorothy lives down the street. And she is a master level basketweaver. She's never made a sword before. Can barely lift a hammer.

Not to worry. She's a master. So I hand her the plans, rent a forge, and she whips up the master level katana of my dreams.

Step aside Hattori. Dorothy is gonna show you how to make a TRUE samurai weapon!

Senkon wrote:
Yeah I just realized we've been talking over each others head all this time lol. Like we thought we were on the same page with parlance but we weren't. Glad that got cleared up :D

Yes!! So building upon that success, that's all I'm saying about the other ones too. Include the approach. And make sure the approach makes sense in fiction. And if the approach doesn't make sense, make it legendary. (Or make it magic, which is just the fixall "because". But that's okay because "magic" has already been balanced into the system.)

Low level medics, healing people without magic, without tools(!), without limit, in two seconds flat(!!), doesn't make sense.

So require tools. Make it take a believable length of time. Make it get faster as you get better, I don't care. Let legendary bandage your wounds in two seconds. Let the first level guy take a minute. As-is, it feels like a math block to fix a balance problem. (We need nonmagical low level healing.) Fine. Come up with an in fiction explanation that works.

Same with crafting. Same with a few other odd spots. It's just a few odd spots that need grounding. And they're easy to ground. So let's just ground them in the playtest! (It's these very things that end up errata'd anyway!)

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Senkon wrote:
Ok you seem to be confused about one thing which I now finally realize. The rules about how survival skill works won't be found each feat about survival. It will be found in the general rules, presumably in the how to play section. That's where the how is.

OMG finally. THAT actually makes sense. You are absolutely right. "The HOW is there. Just not THERE." And the how IS there.

And you don't get to make crap up to auto-succeed. And you can't forage where there's nothing to forage. And you can't just *poof* make something alien and purely toxic, suddenly nontoxic. And it doesn't require legendary handwaiving. And it isn't magical.

You are absolutely right on Planar Survival. The HOW is there. It just isn't THERE.

Planar doesn't give you the in world approach. Only the outcome.

"You find food. Even where there was none." Or alternatively, "you make toxic something's nontoxic."

It doesn't say HOW. It doesn't say what you DID. You didn't have food. Poof. Now you do.

Fireball says HOW. It states the approach. It doesn't state the result. "You cause a magical explosion of fire."

It states what happens in the world. Not the outcome. If the outcome is "bad guys die." And you ash how? The answer was in the spell. You fried them with fire.

Planar doesn't. You got food. There's the outcome. You ask how? Well you have no idea. You have to make it up. What if there was no food? What if toxic means toxic? What it what if what if. The mechanics are dissociated from the world. Is it magical? perfect. Say so. Now we know it doesn't work in magic dead planes. Are you nonmagically purifying materials? Great. Do I need equipment for that? Seems like I should. Every other class does.

And for the millionth time. Planar Survival is NOT legendary!!! That's my entire f'ing argument!

If it's going to create an inexplicable dissociated result. Make it legendary!

That seems to be the entire definition. Gonzo + unexplained = legendary. And I'm perfectly perfectly fine with that convention.

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AnimatedPaper wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Ultimately, I agree that some of the points could be better worded to prevent odd rules interactions. But some of the points brought up are just matters of taste, and I don't think we'll fully reconcile it all.

Lol to Dorothy!

I know. I'm arguing at too meta a level I think. I should have just questioned the time and resources of battle medic and suggested a different wording that made it clear that you are "cleaning and bandaging the wounds of living creatures."

I pointed out the underlying design philosophy and now everyone is freaking the f out.

Senkon wrote:

Not sure in which way you agreed with me. I'm just not seeing it.

But the pearl of fire isn't mentioned in the text. I meant that is the part the player makes up instead. Keep the what but not the how.

The HOW is still implicit in the damage type. It's fire. If you remove that, and allow the player to invent it, you start to damage the integrity of the game. "Oh it's a troll? It's fire. Now it's a fire giant? It's coldball."

Not that you can't have a variable type spell. But it will be higher level because the variability carries an in game advantage. No one picks third level fireball when they can pick the same statted third level DamageBall instead.

No. I'm too busy reading the actual posts in this thread.

For the 12th time, planar survival is NOT lengendary.

And for the 20th time: just because you can fix the books omition by inventing your own explanation doesn't mean the omition didn't happen.

"I can solve the problem myself, therefore the problem doesn't exist" is not a valid solution to anyone but you.

A brand new gm doesn't have that luxury.

Senkon wrote:
Way to use hyperbole. Planar survival does have limitations. It only finds food. It needs resources or natural phenomena, just not the ones that you normally need. I never said remove the mechanical limitations, I just made a case for no flavor text. Fireball would then still have dmg numbers, range, aoe, dmg type etc. It wouldn't say it's a ball of fire though. It could be a grenade or it could be a pearl of fire that expands at the end of it's trajectory.

I was actually agreeing with you. (Other than forcing new GMs to invent their own fiction.)

Planar Survival says WHAT. It doesn't say HOW.

And "a grenade or it could be a pearl of fire that expands at the end of it's trajectory" is still inserting the flavor. It's just a different flavor.

You claim hyperbole, but it was actually a specific point. Flavor matters. Which you just demonstrated by reinserting the grenade/pearl flavor (along with Fire damage type).

Senkon wrote:

It's the best way to get new players and dms to make up their own flavor to skills. I mean I would never reflavor fireball for example. It seems wrong to do so. But if the spell didn't tell me anything I would have to and I would probably be happier for it.

As for the rest yeah I don't like too much healing either. The find food stuff seems kinda weak but whatever.

I would argue that any unnecessary vaguery does more to discourage new GMs and acts as a barrier to them ever playing. Step one is "learn what the hell the game even is." Let "tinker and fuss and invent my own rules" be step two or three or four.

Re: fireball. That one already has the flavor text I'm asking for. It already says HOW. It's a ball of fire that burns things.

But more than the flavor, we got CONTEXT. We got LIMITATION.

What if the spell was just "DamageBall. You cast the spell and things take damage?" Or "DamageBolt"? Or "Increase Hit Points?"

There's no more flavor. There's no context. There's no limitation. DamageBall damages EVERYTHING... fire elementals, demons, undead, people.

"Increase Hit Points" just makes hit points go up. Buildings. Structures. Undead. Golems. Characters.

The world is a lot less interesting when it lacks context. And strategy and tactics vanish almost entirely.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Battle Medic: "You can use a healers kit to clean and bandage the wounds of living creatures. Using this feat expends one use of the healers kit."

Hate to bring this up, but Healer's tools don't have uses. So I've no objections to the first part, but the second part is not needed.

Another way I might accomplish the same goal is to put in the Medicine skill description itself that you need healers tools to attempt any use of the medicine skill (except Recall Knowledge. Also I would add a Recall Knowledge task to the skill), and that not using healer tools imposes a -2 penalty because you are considered to be improvising it. There's a couple other skills I'd want to add something like that to as well. Edit: actually, no, it's just Medicine. Craft and Theivery already have something close enough.

Edit: edited to be less of a jerk

Perfect. Problem solved again.

(and lol to edit)

Grapes of Being Tired wrote:

I think people are horribly misconstruing the point of the OP, or at least his main point.

Yes, a Ranger might be able to literally just create food for other people out of essentially nothing. He makes boiled leather palpable or somehow derives nutrition from sweat.

Basically I'm making two points on this one...

First, add some flavor text explaining HOW you do it. Almost every other thing in the book does this. This one probably just got missed. Saying that "but I can imagine my own HOW and flavor text" is not a fix. Yes, you can invent your own. So can I.

...said the GMs with 30+ years of experience. What about new GMs? Should we leave it to them to explain as well? Is there any particular reason why we should just WILLFULLY OMIT that text? It's easy enough to add. Why not add it?

The second point: This one is a little overpowered and random compared to the rest of the game. (And again, IT IS NOT legendary!) Even IF, you interpret the vague entry as "well it didn't really mean NO food, it just meant THINGS ARE THERE, THEY JUST AREN'T NORMALLY EDIBLE." Ok fine.

Lets compare that to making poison. What skills and abilities does it take to make a poison? It appears now that you need a formula to make each individual poison. Plus experience. Plus familiarity with the materials.

And now we get Planar Survival. And with a single feat and no formulae and no equipment, I can visit ANY ONE OF AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PLANES... And with a single role, I can gather toxic, foreign substances of unknown origin, and process them perfectly into a new substance that can substitute for healthy food and water.

If you want to allow that, fine. Knock yourself out. I'm just pointing out the inconsistency with all the other abilities in the game.

TheFinish wrote:

Also, that tent full of naked medics patching up an army is called a mobile army surgical hospital unit. There was a long running TV show in the 80s about one, And a movie before that. I'm absolutely amused that something like THAT is unrealistic, but a single cleric patching up everyone is apparently more believable.

Yeah but the "naked" medics patching an army had, you know, tools and supplies and such. A guy with Battle Medic doesn't even need healer's tools (unlike someone using Administer First Aid), he just heals you by touching you.

I mean if Administer First Aid requires supplies, surely something that heals even more would also require supplies? At least, that's how I understand OP's position.

Yep. That's all I'm saying. Well, that, and those mobile army surgical hospitals took more than TWO SECONDS to do their thing.

Re: the claim that "but you can't possibly fix all this."

How's this?

Battle Medic: "You can use a healers kit to clean and bandage the wounds of living creatures. Using this feat expends one use of the healers kit."

Problem solved. Well, that and extend the number of actions required. Sorry, but I can't imagine every first level shlub accomplishing those activities in two seconds flat. Give the two second ability to the Legendary medics. Not the first level ones.

bugleyman wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
They can move it fast, but you can't launch it fast. The last guy in the line throws like just another commoner

So...instant transportation of goods over infinite distances doesn't qualify as "dissociated"?

As has been pointed out (ad nauseam), ALL RPGs are by their nature full of abstractions. At this point the willfully obtuse should simply be ignored.

How is this so difficult to understand? Mechanics aren't dissociated because they lack consequences in the world. They are dissociated when they lack an EXPLANATION.

Yes. Games are full of ignorable real world consequences. Just like arid conditions and decanters of endless water.

This game is also 99% full of EXPLANATIONS of what feats and skills DO. Pointing out the few that don't isn't being obtuse. It's calling attention to an easy fix of what is usually an oversight.

Does a battle medic need a healing kit? Is the healing magical? Does it work on golems? What about undead? What exactly is he doing? One line of fluff fixes all of it.

And that same line of fluff will call attention to the areas where the mechanics might not work as intended. Like Dorothy the basket weaver making better katanas than Hattori the smith.

Just because you can imagine a fix to a problem, doesn't mean a problem doesn't exist. And when 99% of the book grounds in world explanations. That might just be a hint that the remaining 1% is an oversight.

RangerWickett wrote:

I think you're suffering from a lack of imagination. This is a fantasy setting. Magic pervades reality, to the point that a guy who knows the right words can wiggle his fingers and levitate a rock.

So if you've got Planar Survival, you've learned how to weave the reality of whatever plane you're on into something that will sustain you.

So say that in the feat. "Your ranger has learned how to weave the powers of magic to create food from nothing."

"The world is full of magic. And every basic schmo who has trained in medicine is now magical, and they can tap you on the head and heal x HP in a single action. Without expending any resources or casting or memorization or any of the other things that casters have to do."

At least that bit of odd fluff would tell me that neither one would work in an antimagic field.

Fabius Maximus wrote:
It may be that the flavour descriptions are not finalised yet, though, and the final product will look different in this respect. Maybe you will need to expend some resources to use Battle Medic.

That's all I'm calling for. A bit of flavor text editing and it's fixed. This isn't some intractable, unsolvable mystery.

Add the fluff HOW to the math's WHAT, and it's done.

"You use a healers kit to staunch the bleeding and bind the wounds, healing x HP of damage."

Perfect. That tells me a lot. (Including, "that can't be done in 2 seconds.") But at least I know what's going on. And it probably won't work on a golem. And I need a healers kit. And the healers kit has a limited number of uses.

And it also tells me how to houserule the ridiculous ones... "Sorry, but Dorothy the basketweaver can't out-katana Hitori Hanzo. You need to take Craft skill for each area of expertise, just like 1E."

GameDesignerDM wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Aren't most uses of skills something that we can't explain before they are attempted, so you can't help but provide mechanics before context?

Not at all. The diplomacy skill says what it does. You are talking to the person and trying to convince them. Or persuade them to react a particular way. That's why you have to speak the same language. If they can't understand you, you can't persuade them.

It doesn't say, "spend one action and the creature thinks better of you."

Yeah, but it doesn't state how every single use of Diplomacy is going to go, because the narrative is always shifting.

Same for Planar Survivor.

No, it doesn't explain every possible outcome. But it still gives an explanation. It tells you what diplomacy IS.

Planar Survival gives NO explanation. It says "roll a die and if you succeed, food appears. Even if there's no food." Battle Medic says "spend one action, and the target heals x number of hit points."

Neither one says HOW. Neither one is grounded in the world. They're both just a disembodied math block that gets applied.

The whole thing that makes an RPG what it is, is that there's in-world fiction that contextualizes the activity. And gives the gm and players a way to reason through whether an action is successful or not. Or what factors might get in the way.

For everyone who thinks that none of this is an issue, would you also be in favor of removing the explanations everywhere else from the game? We could greatly cut down the length of the book if it's just a long list of math.

How about this one?

Spend two actions. And everyone in a 30' radius takes 6d6 damage. (old fashioned fireball.)

Or this one?

Spend a standard action, and your target gets 1d8 hit points. You may only make this action once a day. (cure light wounds)

Once you remove the game world, all of the context is gone. What about beings immune to fire? What if your target is undead? Oh, well then that's different. The fire giant didn't care about your 2 action, 6d6 function call. The undead got hurt by your 1/day standard action instead of being healed. Suddenly the details matter.

But if we never know the details, we never have any context. It's just "spend one action and get hit points." Or "spend an action and your target likes you more." (What if it's a golem?)

Everyone is arguing that the 1% isn't a problem, simply because you can imagine ways to fix it. Yes, that's true. You know what else fixes it? Giving an in-fiction explanation of the math block!

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Aren't most uses of skills something that we can't explain before they are attempted, so you can't help but provide mechanics before context?

Not at all. The diplomacy skill says what it does. You are talking to the person and trying to convince them. Or persuade them to react a particular way. That's why you have to speak the same language. If they can't understand you, you can't persuade them.

It doesn't say, "spend one action and the creature thinks better of you."

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Visanideth wrote:
1. creating a game with no inconsistencies that is also playable is factually impossible.

I'm not advocating the creation of a game with no inconsistencies.

I'm saying "don't print math blocks without an in-fiction explanation."

The explanation doesn't need to be perfect and corner-case free. But it should provide some context to how something works in-fiction. And in so doing, provide some realistic expectation of what circumstances might countermand that action.

If all it says is "spend one action and your target regains 2d8 hit points," there's no grounding in the world at all. It's just a video game function call. Subtract one action - add extra hit points.

It's not impossible to add explanations to the game. They already did it with 99% of the book! Is it really that unreasonable, that in part of the process of getting feedback, to make changes to the game, that they might make THAT change? And add the missing 1%?

I'm just not sure that "the gm being able to explain away all the inconsistencies" is a useful substitute for "making a game with less inconsistencies."

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Yes, because while she could make a master level sword, her bonus at making master level baskets (and what a weird picture that conjures) is still higher than for blacksmithing. She probably knows how to make more items too.

Hmm. In that case, I guess it comes down to supply and demand.

If you just need a bunch of middling level katanas, you go talk to Hattori Hanzo the expert smith.

But if you need a TRULY master crafted blade. Go see Dorothy the basketweaver.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Edit: Now, due to the way Lore works, Dorothy has a shot at making a living as a sword crafter, but she'd do better to simply stick to basket weaving and let Hattori make the swords. Both of them earn more sticking to their specialities in that respect.

Are they? The prices are way higher for master level items. That may be enough to tip things where Dorothy is better off snatching the high level plans and putting Hattori out of business as a weaponsmith.

Fabius Maximus wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:

(Also, the fighter would be at negative hit points and close to death in your second example. I would imagine him bleeding out on the ground.)
Instead he's standing with 23 hp and full combat capabilities, so the question still is: did that 1500 lb sword hit or not?
He's lying on the ground bleeding. 23-31 equals -8, does it not?

Forget hit points if the "abstraction" causes so many problems. Let's use "unconscious and dying." There's no more abstraction. There's no more figurative anything. The state is what it is. It doesn't matter how you got there. It doesn't matter if you have "literal sword wounds." Or if you fell from a great height and broke bones, or just "suffered the abstract consequences of a great fall."

You are "unconscious and dying." It is what it is.

And the soup line of naked medics can still fix you up better than the cleric wielding healing magic.

Or at least, they can do more in volume. The clerics run out of spells. The soup line can fix a constant stream of "unconscious and dying" patients. Right back to full health. Thousands of "unconscious and dying" patients a day. With no resources. And no limit. Other than they can only see each patient once.

Grapes of Being Tired wrote:

Did they change how Craft worked in 2e? The book was a slog to read through and I might've missed some stuff.

Technically Craft had subtypes in 1e and 3.5, a lot of people just ignored them because it was a pain to spend ranks in Craft (Weaponsmith) or Craft (Baskets) or Craft (Cooking) unless your backstory...

Yes, that's part of what I'm complaining about in this thread. Now it's just "Craft(everything)". And a master level basketweaver can make the master level katana that the expert swordsmith can't do.

Visanideth wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So perhaps there is food to be found in Xal Karanith or something.

How can your players possibly enjoy the travel to Xal Karanith and the encounters they'll have within when the thought that the Ranger being able to forage food for them there is so dissociated from the fiction?

How are they supposed to be entertained by the tale of how he managed to boil and cook some disgusting, poisonous moss he took from the walls into something edible, when they know that fiction was born out of an impure, dissociated mechanic?

How will the players ever have fun by dealing creatively with a problem? When a single die roll can solve everything.

Let's use your example: We're on the plane of fire. And I know where there's a prison with food stores. Ok great.

But let's not bother sneaking in. Or playing any of that out. Let's not make an adventure out of it.

We're starving. There's a prison. The prison has food.

I make a forage check.

Ok done. You got into the prison and got the food. You aren't hungry anymore.

Was that fun?

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Except that Dorothy has never made a sword in her life. Dorothy has only ever made baskets. Hattori has made swords for 30 years. Doesn't matter. Dorothy can make the master level katana. First time out. Hattori can't even try.

Because Dorothy knows how to make that sword. Hattori does not. She's just that good.

If, as Renchard points out, you'd prefer craft be a bit more specific in how you apply your bonus (i.e., the speciality crafting feat was built into the skill, rather than on top of it), fine. But in PF2, the craft skill doesn't work like that, and you are getting mad at a cat because it isn't a dog.

Isn't that the entire point of a playtest? To say "hey you made this a cat, and I think it should be a dog?"

Why should Lore be partitioned out then? Let's just let one skill give us access to the knowledge of everything? One point, and we're essentially omniscient? Why should that be a problem?

If I can go buy the plans for anything... A master level katana, the golden gate bridge, maybe a cathedral, the Mona Lisa, hell pretty much everything. And I don't need to find a master painter. Or an architect. Or a mason. Or an engineer. Or a weaponsmith. I don't need any of them.

I've got a pile of plans. And I've got Dorothy the master basketweaver, who's never done anything but make baskets her entire life. But she can build all of it.

If that situation is palatable and believable to you, then more power to you. But you should be just as on board with a single master Lore skill. That gives you access to every bit of knowledge in the universe. Because it's exactly the same thing.

Visanideth wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
The food isn't there. By fiat. But I can MAKE it be there, simply by searching.

Well yes. But that's a different thing than your example.

The problem with your example isn't that there's no food, it's that it's impossible to look for food (so the check doesn't happen and the ability can't trigger).

In a less doctored situation you have plenty of solutions. The guy knows how to track shadow giants and steal some of their captured creatures to use as food. On Carceri, they know where to look for shallow prisons that may contain edible creatures.
On the elemental plane of Fire, they spot a trade route to the City of Brass and trade with Djinn for food or steal from their secret caches.

It's exactly my example. The feat doesn't say "I can spot settlements and steal their food." It doesn't say "I know how to find local prisons that contain edible foods."

It says I can FORAGE. Not steal. Not barter. Not buy.


Visanideth wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Your example doesn't work because in the "floating in the energy void" case the character wouldn't be allowed the check to look for food, since he's floating in the void.
Yes it does. That's exactly what it does. I can search for food in any plane of existence. Even planes that don't contain food.

You still need to be able to perform the action of looking for food, which floating in the void precludes.

It's like wanting to hold a sword without having hands. The rules never exclude the use of common sense.

And I would agree with you. Except that's not what's in the book. The book is explicit. A master level Nature skill with Planar Survival "can forage for food even if the plane lacks food that could normally sustain you."

The food isn't there. By fiat. But I can MAKE it be there, simply by searching.

Vic Ferrari wrote:
Renchard wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:

Huh. Different philosophies I guess. So would you be opposed to just letting players erase any damage after each combat? Or assuming that they always have enough food and water, even in locales that don't have food and water?

If not, is the objection purely math/balance related rather than in-world-fiction related?

Maybe I'm the odd duck here...

It's always immediately obvious who hasn't played Dungeon World, or Blades in the Dark, or any other narrative RPG.
Or played them and found them not to their liking.

Or realized that the whole point of a "narrative" RPG is to make the mechanics of the game "fit the narrative." Thus reinforcing my entire point for this thread.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Since the expert level swordsmith likely has the Specialty crafting feat for smithing, no, they'll still be better.

Only at a basic level. The expert swordsmith CANNOT forge a master level katana. But the master basketweaver CAN.

"Step aside Hattori Hanzo. Dorothy here is going to show you how to make a REAL samurai weapon!"

Oh, we're talking about master level swords now? We weren't before.

But yes. Dorothy, one of the best crafters in the region with years of experience under her belt, and who also happens to know how to make master level katanas, can make one. Hanzo, who while no longer a journeyman has probably not been in the game long, but has been crafting swords this whole time, just doesn't have the experience to make a master level sword yet. He might not ever. The swords he can make, he can make better than Dorothy could (his experience and training aren't useless), but there are tasks he can't do yet.

Except that Dorothy has never made a sword in her life. Dorothy has only ever made baskets. Hattori has made swords for 30 years. Doesn't matter. Dorothy can make the master level katana. First time out. Hattori can't even try.

Visanideth wrote:
Your example doesn't work because in the "floating in the energy void" case the character wouldn't be allowed the check to look for food, since he's floating in the void.

Yes it does. That's exactly what it does. I can search for food in any plane of existence. Even planes that don't contain food.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
I still think the entire crux of the matter isn't the dissociation of the mechanics but the problem with player agency, ie the player shouldn't be able to influence any event that doesn't depend on his character's choices (and even then in a very limited way).

I personally disagree with this, as when I GM I rely on my players extensively to fill in gaps with the setting by offering observations like "isn't there a fishing village near here" or "so a town of this size would absolutely have a [whatever], so I'm going to look for it."

Just "yes, and"-ing player observations save me a ton of work once your players are aware they are enabled to do stuff like this. It is, after all a cooperative storytelling game- I am interested in everyone's ideas of what the world is like.

So I'm floating in the negative energy void. And the party is starving. But my ranger KNOWS... that the secret recipe of KFC chicken isn't REALLY a secret. It was stolen by the nightshade many years ago. So before the party starves to death, I float over to the secret KFC vault, and pilfer enough crispy chicken to sustain us for another day.

Is this an acceptable explanation? If not, why not? Does the explanation of a math block REALLY need to match the fiction of the world? Who's to say that I CAN'T find the secret KFC stash in the void?

If the in world explanation DOES matter... Shouldn't we just avoid the dissociated mechanics in the first place?

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Since the expert level swordsmith likely has the Specialty crafting feat for smithing, no, they'll still be better.

Only at a basic level. The expert swordsmith CANNOT forge a master level katana. But the master basketweaver CAN.

"Step aside Hattori Hanzo. Dorothy here is going to show you how to make a REAL samurai weapon!"

Ouranou wrote:
Tell me more about these naked medics.

Oh, they're the BEST! They make clerics obsolete. And make armies immortal. They can stand in a line and hold-action, and when you're dying and unconscious, your buddy can pick you up and run down the line, and the naked medics all smack you on the butt in turn and yell, "we believe in you!"

And by the end of the line, you're fully healed, and you LEAP back into the fray at full health!

Hunterofthedusk wrote:
This seems to me to be a very intentional generalization to try to make crafting more useful to players

Agreed. My point, in all of this, is that dissociating the mechanics is NOT the way to make things "more useful." It becomes math for math's sake. And balance for balance sake.

All I'm saying is, for the 1% of situations where they made 2E "more useful" with math and math alone... Is "find a better way to make that 1% useful."

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