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Why extra hit points at 1st level: to increase 1st-level survivability.

Why vary these extra HP based on ancestry: flavour.

Also, the hit points aren't going to become irrelevant in just a level or two unless you are a high Con barbarian. If you have, for example, a Con 14 human cleric, your racial HP is slightly less than 10% of your total HP even at level 8. Level 8 is also the cut-off point where +2 Con gives you the same HP for a human.

If you mean that the difference between the ancestry hit points (a spread of 4 points) becomes irrelevant, that is pretty much true for all ancestry-related parts of a character: the different visions don't matter if you can get a magic item that replicates them, magical flight becomes available so your speed doesn't really matter (even less so if you're a monk since your bonus to speed eclipses the base speed, much less the differences between the ancestries), and you get way more ability boosts from level than you get from ancestry.


In the glossary and appendix, this is located under DC (Difficulty Class), page reference 445, and Difficulty Class: "To generate a DC from a modifier (like Perception DC), add 10 to the modifier".

On page 445, the information is in the right column, subheading Calculating DCs.


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Not a typo, but in need of clarification:

The rules for damage starting from page 450 do not specify how to handle damage rolls with penalties that would reduce the damage to 0 or less.

Resistance is mentioned to having a minimum of 0, but a penalty to damage rolls is not the same as resistance.


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Technotrooper wrote:
Jürgen Hubert wrote:
....is it just me, or are the naiad and dryad queens missing some text in their action descriptions?
It does appear like key action information is missing. If this is true, let's hope this is not the final copy (in the book) we are seeing.

The action descriptions are in the general section for the queens.


lilly sinclare wrote:
once you reach Level 5 Armor no longer scales and dose anything. with proficiency added to everything + Strength a average melee user is hitting with a +9 before Dice roll (at lvl 5). the barbarian with the giant tree and min maxing can at level 9 get a + 20 to hit before dice. Armor needs to be looked into.

I am not sure what you mean with armor not doing anything.

You can get magic armor way past level 5, increasing its effectiveness.

Or are you not adding your full proficiency bonus to AC? As in, including level. The same way that a melee attacker is hitting with a +9, a level 5 character with just a non-magical studded leather armor and Dexterity 14 has AC 19.


Kaelizar wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:

The problem with drastically changing the proficiency numbers is that they don't apply to just skills, they also apply to attacks, AC and saves.

That means you're basically dead against anything that forces you to save with Trained or even Expert against a Legendary DC (you know, every high-level spellcaster with all of their spells) using the numbers suggested by Kaelizar. Most characters are only Trained in at least one save, and rarely get more than one save at Master or Legendary.

Monster will either be unable to hit the Paladin and Monk, or almost never miss the Barbarian and Cleric.

Very good point. But it's still somewhat true in the current system. If a 12th level party is up against a 16th level caster with Legendary DCs it's still going to be a bit harsh, just due to '+level' alone. At the very least I'm happy about the change, and it give me confidence that they are trying to make the new system simple to implement and 'balanced' to a manageable point.

Absolutely true (well, spellcasters dont get Legendary spellcasting at that level, only Master). But I see level difference causing this being less of an issue than the fact that increased difference between the proficiency levels causes it. If level is taken out and proficiency increased, a level 20 Barbarian cannot avoid the blows of a level 5 Fighter to any appreciable degree.


The problem with drastically changing the proficiency numbers is that they don't apply to just skills, they also apply to attacks, AC and saves.

That means you're basically dead against anything that forces you to save with Trained or even Expert against a Legendary DC (you know, every high-level spellcaster with all of their spells) using the numbers suggested by Kaelizar. Most characters are only Trained in at least one save, and rarely get more than one save at Master or Legendary.

Monster will either be unable to hit the Paladin and Monk, or almost never miss the Barbarian and Cleric.


in◆⃟ wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
That isn't a problem of keeping things in a comparable scale, that is a problem with the scale chosen. Proficiency can be made more noticable without having to have separate subsystems.

The problem is that the scale required to be significant on a single roll is significantly different than the scale required for the aggregate of multiple rolls.

Different scaling methods are required.

Wouldn't the better solution then be to move the skill system to require more rolls just like combat does instead of piling on bigger modifiers to patch the current implementation? Which is exactly what the Playtest does for disabling devices and picking locks.


in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.

I don't think it limits creativity at all. It opens it up to whole new possibilities.

Off the top of my head you could never have had the following idea in PF1 because skills operate on such a different scaling it would be impossibly strong.

Imaginary Psychic based class

Coercive Manouvre
You may use your Diplomacy skill for trip, bull rush and disarm attempts. If you are expert in Diplomacy you may attempt these actions from 10ft away, Master 15 or Legendary 25.

I understand that this does become an option. But at what cost?

Now skill modifiers are required to be as "tight" as combat modifiers. In a single combat encounter, a single character might be throwing five or six "attack" rolls. In total, the players might be making in excess of thirty rolls. When that many dice are being rolled, the +1 or +2 proficiency modifier afforded by being more trained might become noticeable amid the d20 "random noise".

On the other hand, in a social context, at least in most of the Pathfinder I've played, the number of skill rolls is much fewer. To make a modifier more noticeable when rolling a single die, a much larger modifier is required.

But where do you draw that distinction? Is Bluff a social skill or a combat skill? Intimidate? When the system defines your Will, shouldn't you use that one value in and out of combat?

To me, the unified proficiency system is the answer.

There's no such distinction. The difference is in the effect...

You can literally scare people to death with a skill feat. A critical success on a normal in combat Intimidate causes the Fleeing condition, taking an opponent out for one round, potentially two.

I can understand that it feels lazy, but for me it feels like there's an error in the system when taking Iron Will or having a Cloak of Resistance does not make you less likely to be intimidated, only less likely to be frightened by a dragon.

Not to mention that PF1e Intimidate requires its own way to calculate the DC, but Bluff is an opposed skill check (with a special modifier for the defender) and Diplomacy is against yet another difficulty depending on the target's disposition and Charisma (meaning that the greater their presence, the harder it is to make friends with them). No rhyme or reason.


in◆⃟ wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.

I don't think it limits creativity at all. It opens it up to whole new possibilities.

Off the top of my head you could never have had the following idea in PF1 because skills operate on such a different scaling it would be impossibly strong.

Imaginary Psychic based class

Coercive Manouvre
You may use your Diplomacy skill for trip, bull rush and disarm attempts. If you are expert in Diplomacy you may attempt these actions from 10ft away, Master 15 or Legendary 25.

I understand that this does become an option. But at what cost?

Now skill modifiers are required to be as "tight" as combat modifiers. In a single combat encounter, a single character might be throwing five or six "attack" rolls. In total, the players might be making in excess of thirty rolls. When that many dice are being rolled, the +1 or +2 proficiency modifier afforded by being more trained might become noticeable amid the d20 "random noise".

On the other hand, in a social context, at least in most of the Pathfinder I've played, the number of skill rolls is much fewer. To make a modifier more noticeable when rolling a single die, a much larger modifier is required.

But where do you draw that distinction? Is Bluff a social skill or a combat skill? Intimidate? When the system defines your Will, shouldn't you use that one value in and out of combat?

To me, the unified proficiency system is the answer.


Megistone wrote:

Instead of scrapping an otherwise good tool, I would add a nice, comprehensive list of static DCs for most skills. Even if it only covers the lower levels (so that every group is free to decide what higher levels characters can really accomplish), it would be helpful in many ways.

First, it's a clear example that shows how the 10-2 should be used, and how it should not: even if I misunderstand the intent of the table, reading the specific DCs page would probably make me reconsider my interpretation of the rule.

I think this highlights one of the problems with the playtest book: it's not organized well.

The very thing you ask for is in the playtest book. It's on the page right after table 10-2, in the form of tables 10-3 to 10-6 and the surrounding discussion on setting DCs. But because the table and what the difficulty categories mean are discussed first, nobody seems to pay any attention to them.

Someone with more time and interest than me might be able to go through and see if the playtest rules actually provide the same or close to the same DCs as the PF1e core book does.


The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.


Niroh wrote:

[...]

Legendary-Max Proficiency +25 (20 levels +5 Bonus)
Master- +20 (17 Levels +3 Bonus
Expert +15 (14 Levels +1 Bonus)
Trained +10 (10 Levels, no bonus)
Untrained +5 (9 levels, -4 penalty, though could also be 7 levels -2 penalty if it was switched back)
[...]
Combined with more feats or class abilities adding improvements to these ranks, especially for non-skill proficiencies, and it would allow for greater distinction between characters. A level 20 legend in martial weapons would be able to have a +25 to hit, which would far outstrip someone who was only trained at +10, or an expert at +15. I don't necessarily feel like this is a perfect system, but I do feel like it would make for greater variability in classes and characters, and make more of the choices we have matter.

I welcome anyone's thoughts comments or ideas on how this might be improved. If nothing changes, we still enjoy the new system, but what I could always do is make it a house rule at my table, so I want it to be the best it can be.

The problem here is twofold: first, in anything combat-related, everybody now has to become an expert at the least or they're just going to die against anything at 20th level and second, this wouldn't have affected anything in the scenario you cited as the inspiration for the change.

Looking more at the first problem, this arises from monsters and challenges needing to be balanced against some baseline. Even discounting Untrained, we have a spread of 15 points, meaning that practically anything the Legendary character can miss the Trained character can't hit, and anything that can hit the Legendary AC cannot miss the Trained AC. And the same goes for all saves, as well as skill checks to grapple, intimidate, etc.

If we then give the possibility of becoming a Master in weapons, armor and saves to anyone, we will likely end up with everyone being Master. While this does lead to a greater numerical difference compared to the current system (+5 Master~Legendary to +3 Trained~Legendary), it leads to less difference conceptually.

For the second point, both of your example characters are Expert in their respective armors. They are also such low level that the suggested rule still wouldn't have made a difference if one was Trained and the other was Expert since the cutoff point for trained is several levels away at that point in the adventure.

Which gets to a follow up point: the suggested rule is, for the most part, choosing a benefit that will not affect you for up to 10 levels. This same problem existed with signature skills and was one of the cited reasons for their removal.


Rob Godfrey wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
because as far as we can tell the monster creation rules are 'just make something up within these arbitrary level gated bounds' which shatters consistency and verisimilitude into a million pieces while gleefully defecating on the heritage of DnD either PCs and NPCs follow the same rules... Or why have rules at all?
Defecating on the heritage of DnD the same way that the 2nd edition human bandits, knights, berserker, etc. did?
No, because those came out as fixed stat blocks, if you wanted something else you stated out a PC of the appropriate level. It may be slightly hypocritical, but at least it was consistent, this isn't.

Yeah, I'm not seeing the difference. PF2 is also going to have fixed stat blocks for different kinds of NPCs, and the devs have said -even before the playtest bestiary was out- that you can make NPCs by following the PC rules.


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Rob Godfrey wrote:
because as far as we can tell the monster creation rules are 'just make something up within these arbitrary level gated bounds' which shatters consistency and verisimilitude into a million pieces while gleefully defecating on the heritage of DnD either PCs and NPCs follow the same rules... Or why have rules at all?

Defecating on the heritage of DnD the same way that the 2nd edition human bandits, knights, berserker, etc. did?


Matthew Downie wrote:
Quote:

The steep stairs from area 14 lead to an uneven stone bridge extending over a dark pit. The bridge slopes downwards 40 feet to another stairwell leading down.

Moisture drips down from the high ceiling, covering the bridge in a slick moss that hangs over the edge in green cascades. Any creature moving along of the bridge must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed saving throw, a creature can attempt a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to cling to the bridge rather than fall off into the darkness.

There are enemies shooting arrows at the PCs from the other side of the bridge. Falling is dangerous, but not instant death.

I'm going to stick with Hard level 0 that p. 337 gives for a rickety bridge. Bumping up the category twice (slick and sloped) makes it an Ultimate level 0, so DC 16. Note that in the playtest, you generally only fall if you critically fail the check (see Balance, p. 144) but are flat-footed while balancing.

Catching yourself I'd base off Climbing. Table 10-4 gives a cliff as Hard level 2. I would peg the bridge as about the same but maybe a little harder due to being smoother (I imagine a cliff to be quite jagged), and increase the difficulty by one category for the moss again, so it'd be an Incredible level 3, DC 19.

Grab an Edge (p. 144) doesn't hint at additional DC increases for catching yourself, but I could see a general rule that it increases the level, similar to how swimming in a stormy ocean is a higher level challenge than swimming in a calm ocean.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Starfox wrote:
This is exactly how NOT to use table 10-2. Each DC should be based on the problem's "level", as defined by the setting. Not the PC's levels.

Let's say the party are crossing a wobbly bridge with a broken handrail, and I'm trying to set a DC for them not to fall off. I want it to be pretty easy, because the entire party has to get across, not just the most skilled PC.

The party is, let's say, level 7. What is the level of the bridge?

According to table 10-3, balancing on a tight rope is level 3 Hard, and balancing on a log would be level 1 Hard. I'd say that puts a wobbly bridge at level 2, with the broken handrail meaning that the difficulty is pushed up one category. So level 2 Incredible (DC 17). If there is a strong breeze or the bridge is extra slippery, the difficulty would rise to level 2 Ultimate (DC 19).

For a level 7 party, that falls between an Easy and a Medium difficulty check.

Edit: Actually, p. 337 gives crossing a rickety bridge as an example of a level 0 Hard check.


citricking wrote:

Gorum cleric

18 str 16 dex 14 con 10 int 18 wis 18 Cha
12 + 4 + 3 = +19 to hit
4d12 + 6d8 + 4 + 4 = 61 average damage

Correct me if I've missed something, but wouldn't a 12th-level cleric's channel deal 11d8, not 6d8 since the smite uses the single target damage?


dmerceless wrote:
I would also like to add that, in my opinion, potent items as they stand are very unhealthy for stat balance and for the game in general. The +2 part is fine, maybe a little boring, but fine. However, getting any one stat straight to 18 really encourages people to dump stats in the long term, since a bump to a stat from 10 to 12 for example will be completely wasted when you get an item that boosts it straight to 18 anyways.

I would agree with this if it wasn't for one detail: a character can only benefit from one Potent item.

If your character could manage some 10 levels without a high stat, that character isn't suddenly going to become overpowered for having an 18. It might be a problem if you're creating characters of a high level who can start with one, but as a general system consideration they're fine.


michael199310 wrote:

Since the beginning of the playtest, I thought that saving throw DC is basically enemy roll vs your roll (or vice versa) - like Athletics vs Reflex roll. Someone said that it's wrong and Reflex/For/Will DC is calculated like AC - 10+modifiers (page 291 in rulebook).

Is this true? Are saving throws now a fixed value when talking about their DC? It feels kinda... weird, as you won't be able to counter many threats if your DC is always 10+something (which means you're forgoing an extra 1 to 10 value from rolling d20).

It varies case by case. Each rules instance tells you what is rolled against what.

For example, the Demoralize action of the Intimidate skill is against the target's Will DC. In that case, you are rolling your Intimidate bonus against 10 + the target's Will save bonus.

Other times, you're rolling your Will save against, say, an enemy's spell. Your Will save is 1d20 + your Will save bonus against the enemy's DC.

In general, you never roll against someone's roll. This helps bring down the variance from 400 different outcomes (both can roll anything between 1 and 20) to 20 different outcomes.


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Didn't they release specific pregens for the resonance test? I would think altering those characters would be distorting the resonance test.


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Rysky wrote:

*narrows eyes*

*writes Barby 1 on character sheet*

Go for Barbie instead. It gets around the spelling blocker.

*nods sagely*


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
The duration of a rage should be roughly 75% of the length of an average encounter. Otherwise it doesn't matter and you should just always assume rage stats. 3+ Con rounds is way too long in most fights. The fixed 3 felt fairly reasonable in terms of how it fit into battles.
The problem is that most battles I've come across in the playtest have taken anywhere from 6 to 12 rounds between outliers and the difficulty ramp, so having it be "3 rounds" is unrealistic by my experience, and if the bad guys have healing, flying, or Mirror Image shenanigans, it's even longer. Final fight in Part 4 took 20+ rounds due to stupid Mirror Image and heal shenanigans, would have been even longer and more difficult if the final fight wasn't nerfed due to scenario conditions.
True, but it is unarguably true that the original way rage worked resulted in you raging more or less 75% of any given battle. :)
Yes, but combat was much shorter then. We didn't have combats lasting 20 rounds back then except in extreme circumstances. Here, I've seen combat lasting 6 rounds in a minor fight and 12+ rounds in a more difficult fight, and boss fights being 20+ rounds, within 4 rounds of play tests. The combat duration only gets longer in the higher levels, and 6-10 round durations means that Barbarians need to know when the right time to Rage is. Because if they rage too soon, they're out to dry, and if they rage too late, they might have lost significantly more resources for it. The strategy has both been changed and is now more player reliant, which is really where it all falls on.

The length of combat doesn't really affect it based on the playtest release Rage, though. There is no limit to only raging once per combat, so your character should pretty much be raging 75% of the combat: three rounds raging, one round fatigued, repeat until combat is over.


Based on the examples the system does have, it seems bulk is actually some sort of an expanding scale. It's not really 5 to 10 pounds to each bulk, it is 5 to 10 pounds to exactly one bulk, and probably something like 11 to 50 pounds for 2 bulk, etc. until you get to the values of small creature being 4 bulk and a medium creature 8 bulk.

I thought the devs said in one of the threads leading up to the release of the playtest that there would be a table or illustration to help determine the bulk of creatures (and thus, items based on size) because carrying people was a big complaint for Starfinder. Anybody else remember reading that?


Vic Ferrari wrote:

I hear ya, I guess I think of 1/day spells and such, as Vancian-esque/pseudo-Vancian (forget after casting, for a day), I will no longer say Vancian, as that entails the prepared slots deal and all.

So, right on, take it easy.

Sorry if I came on hard, I was just curious. And thanks for walking me through your thought process.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
I guess, if it's a spell, or prayer, or manouvre what-have-you, that you fire-and-forget, seems Vancianesque, to me.

You might want to prepare to be misunderstood in forum discussions, then. From what I have gathered, having a class ability that says "Once per day, you can cast fireball" is not a Vancian ability for most. The qualifier is not just discreet fire-and-forget spells, but also the slots you load them into. I've seen people say 5e's magic system is not Vancian because you don't prepare spells in slots of varying levels, just a total number of spells.

Vic Ferrari wrote:
Again, I am not saying Vancian is the bee's knees of magic systems, and only the original Vancian from Basic/AD&D is the way to go. It is very D&D, though, in some form, daily spell/resource management. Other systems are fine, great, I love alternate/variant magic systems (well, anything, really) in D&D, like 3rd Ed Pact magic, the aforementioned Blade magic from ToB, I even like Incarnum (I have converted all of them to 5th Ed). I also recently converted the Occultist to 5th Ed, I love that class.

Incarnum really suffers from not having enough support, especially when you consider the fact that the basic version of all effects is available at 1st level. But it is a fun system, and I'm playing a dwarf Incarnate/Ironsoul Forgemaster in a long-running game.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
Even the Tome of Battle classes are Vancian, to me.
Yes, again, Vancianesque, and it was a "snapshot" into 4th Ed design, at the time, they just ditched the recovery of Manoeuvres (powers) during an encounter.
So could you just answer if Smite Evil is Vancian?
Yeah, this is an old argument point, an interrogative to try and prove a double-standard (I remember this from the WotC boards), the rage and smite bit, well, as neither are a power (spell, or manoeuvre), no.

I am not really trying to prove anything, I'm trying to understand and you skipped right over a direct question in my earlier post.

I just don't see what you are using as the basis for deciding what is Vancian. My current best guess is formatting, not mechanics. So if Smite Evil was formatted like a spell, even if none of the mechanics attached to it changed, it would be Vancian to you. Would you say this is a correct assesment?


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
Even the Tome of Battle classes are Vancian, to me.
Yes, again, Vancianesque, and it was a "snapshot" into 4th Ed design, at the time, they just ditched the recovery of Manoeuvres (powers) during an encounter.

So could you just answer if Smite Evil is Vancian?


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Remembering he was arguing earlier that 4E daily powers were Vancian.

Vancianesque, very, every 1st-level 4th Ed character (pre-Essentials) has 1 daily power/spell, that they fire-and-forget.

I appreciate the attempts at gang culture, through.

I guess we have different internal definitions for Vancian. Do you consider the 3.5 Barbarian's Rage Vancian? The Paladin's Smite Evil?

To me, for something to count as Vancian, it needs to deal with slots that you interact with and discreet effects you can put in them. Preparing specific spells in slots or expending them spontaneously is Vancian. Even the Tome of Battle classes are Vancian, to me.

But having a daily ability is not Vancian, even if that ability is a spell. Casting spells using spell points, even if they are a daily resource, is not.

The 4e Wizard is Vancian since it gets to choose between two spells for some of its powers each day. The other classes have daily abilities.


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The biggest problem with table 10-2 is that it comes before tables 10-3, 10-4, etc.

Also, the example tasks need to have more high level examples, and guidance on when something increases the difficulty, and when it increases the level (based on the swim example, being in a storm increases level instead of the difficulty category).

That would help. It would be even better if 10-3 et al. were in the skills chapter with the appropriate skills to help set expectations for the players.


Wulfhelm II. wrote:
This becomes even more obvious when skill rolls are directly pitted against each other. To use my standard example, I am quite intelligent if IQ tests can be believed, I used to a somewhat proficient amateur chess player, so I guess I at least have a rank. So, when I roll my +3 and Kasparov rolls his +15, there is at least a non-zero chance (7% by my calculations) that I beat him, when the reality is that I could spend the rest of my life playing chess against Kasparov and that I would never beat him a single damn time.

What level would you then say is correct for Kasparov? What is the peak human level? Or is your point more that the skill system just does not work at all?

As a side note, I highly recommend anydice.com for figuring out probabilities. For example, here is the chance of 1d20+3 rolling higher than 1d20+15 (7%, as you had calculated).

Wulfhelm II. wrote:
[...]is in fact frequently described as clumsy or awkward. Isn't that boring? Shouldn't someone who can throw around buildings be able to write world-class articles that would awe his editor-chief?

I would guess that's a function of his high-level disguise skill, not his lack of body control or charm. There is something superhuman about having his face on the cover of magazines yet being able to disguise it by just a pair of glasses.


Wulfhelm II. wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
But it's not 10%, that 20th-level character
Yeah, okay, now we're talking about extremely high level characters, which is an entirely different thing and for which I already conceded that they veered outside of the realm of the heroic fantasy genre. Not really seeing the point in shifting goalposts here.

I was under the impression your problem was exactly with very high level characters, seeing as in the playtest as it currently stands untrained characters are worse off than untrained characters in PF1e until they're level 5.

Wulfhelm II. wrote:
Quote:
I'm pretty sure it is by design. Can't be completely sure since I'm not friends with any of the 3rd edition designers, but this analysis is a pretty good indication that 5th level is supposed to be the peak human value.
That is a blog post, and not one which supports your point particularly well. Its whole argument completely falls apart when you take into account that "taking 10" is an option, not an obligation. So when he makes the argument that Einstein* was only a 5th level physicist so he can answer DC25 physics questions by taking 10, one should recall that this amazing feat can also be performed by just about any moderately intelligent person with a few ranks in "physics" if they roll high enough. The randomness of the D20 simply precludes the kind of skill differences that, in the real world, would make a task easy for a physics genius and impossible for a physics amateur. All the other examples similarly fall apart when you take into account the randomness of the dice.

So what would be the Int for a moderately intelligent person? Remembering also that by 3.Xe standards, humans don't have an ability bonus. Int 15? That would still need three ranks in the appropriate Knowledge to even have a chance of answering a DC 25 question, and most people probably don't have a 15 in any ability score.

Einstein can answer each and every DC 25 question thanks to take 10. DC 25 is something that needs both natural talent and training to be able to succeed at all.

The short blurb in the rules on knowledge skills gives DC 30 for the most difficult questions, which Einstein knows 3 out of 4 times without having to consult any sort of reference.

Wulfhelm II. wrote:

That said, regarding physical capabilties: In some areas PF moderately overestimates actual human capabilities (regardless of level), such as jumping. In some areas it drastically overestimates them (such as carrying capacity).

In some areas (swim speed) it moderately underestimates human capabilities and in yet others, it drastically underestimates them (such as holding your breath, which actual real life record holders can do for ~200 combat rounds.)
That does not speak for the designers having a consistent 'superhuman' design philosophy. It does speak for them just...

I will agree with you on the numbers being rough, especially in the case of holding your breath. But I hold that peak human achievement is aimed at around level 5.

Leveling up to 6 makes you superheroic, but not necessarily Superman. To me, level 10 characters are defined by what they can accomplish, not be what they have not trained in. A level 20 character can single-handedly kill adult dragons, he should have no trouble crossing a river.

I guess my maint point is that if a system has levels, those levels should mean something, and the meaning should be uniform across the system.

In 3.X and PF1e, level is a measure of absolute power in some parts of the system (combat, gaining experience) but in others it is a cap on your power instead (skills).

The playtest system instead makes level the floor for your capabilities, with your class and skill choices telling how your character exceeds that floor.


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Wulfhelm II. wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
That sounds pretty superheroic to me.
Not to me. Exceeding current records in the field of physical activity by 10-20% is not really what I'd call a superheroic feat.

But it's not 10%, that 20th-level character is breaking the world record by more than 50% every time he or she jumps unless someone is trying to kill him or her. And still beats it by more than 30% when someone does go for the kill.

Wulfhelm II. wrote:
All the more because it is quite obvious to me that this was not, in fact, by design, but simply because many of the rules were simply eyeballed and don't serve all that well as a simulation of reality. I mean, even a starting character can beat the world record if he tries a few times because of how swingy d20 rolls are.

I'm pretty sure it is by design. Can't be completely sure since I'm not friends with any of the 3rd edition designers, but this analysis is a pretty good indication that 5th level is supposed to be the peak human value.


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Wulfhelm II. wrote:
Levelling was ridiculous enough as it was and did indeed veer outside of the heroic fantasy genre at higher levels in earlier editions. But to say that basically every level 5+ character is a superhuman is such a more drastic blow to any pretense of simulating a high fantasy world that I do not see how the game's stated goal of being able to tell the same stories as before can be achieved.

In PF1e, a character of 5th level that has focused on jumping (Dex 18, max ranks, class skill, Skill Focus, Acrobatic, Run) has a +21, routinely beating the world record for long jump (Mike Powell 8.95 m (29 ft 4​1⁄4 in), 1991) without any magic.

At 10th level, the same character has a +31 bonus, still without magic. His or her every jump beats the world record, without fail and with a wide margin.

At 20th level, the bonus has increased to +41 if the character never raised their Dexterity. The character has no trouble clearing a semi-trailer's length. The character can also jump more than 10ft straight up from.

That sounds pretty superheroic to me.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
You don't gain levels for nothing. The character has done something to gain that level. Given the default assumptions of the system, the character has actually done something heroic. Not just once, but several times per level. By level 5, when your gruff druid has managed to overcome the penalties with his level and able to make a request of basic commoners 50% of the time, he is likely to be able to defeat an ogre in single combat.
Who's to say? What have they done, some will only accept what is established in play, or though background. Maybe your wizard has not bothered, or really dealt with climbing or what have you; that's it.

Maybe not. But he is heroic. He is able to, on his own and with ease, defeat enemies that he would have needed a party to defeat at 1st level.

A 10th level archer in both PF1e and the playtest is able to single-handed defeat a young dragon or a band of giants. Why would it make sense for him or her to be even able to not know anything about binding wounds, climbing or or surviving in the wild?

A 20th level party is able to challenge Asmodeus in combat... and it's possible they will all drown when they try to cross a river.


Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
If the DC doesn't change, you aren't making something easier for the characters. The characters did something to become more powerful, more skilled, or more well-known themselves.
No, that's the entire core of the problem. +1/level means you didn't do something to become more skilled. It just happened. That's my problem with this system. Eventually, even the Charisma 8 Dwarf Druid who's never been in a settlement of more than 20 people will be able to Diplomacise the information out of someone, given enough levels.

You don't gain levels for nothing. The character has done something to gain that level. Given the default assumptions of the system, the character has actually done something heroic. Not just once, but several times per level. By level 5, when your gruff druid has managed to overcome the penalties with his level and able to make a request of basic commoners 50% of the time, he is likely to be able to defeat an ogre in single combat.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
I don't quite understand the point you're making. In PF1e the 1st level thieves' den has CR1/4 to CR2 traps and the giant lair has CR8 to CR 12 traps, in the playtest the thieves' den has level 0 to level 2 traps, and the giant lair has level 8 to level 12 traps.
Upon rereading, I admit I kinda got lost in the argument. My point here was that I hate 10-2 for offering exact numbers based on level. "If you're level 4, X should be the target number. If you're level 10, Y should be the target number." To be honest, I'm not sure if a similar table exists in PF1, but I just hate such rigidity. That's all I wanted to say.

But like I said earlier, the table explicitly is not "crossreference your level with the difficulty of the task", it is "crossreference the level of the task with its difficulty."

Swimming in a stormy ocean is always a level 5 task, though it might vary from an easy to ultimate difficulty depending on other factors like having a float or the storm being an extra bad storm. You would probably have to cast a spell of some sort to increase the level higher.

To my knowledge, PF1e does not have a table of appropriate DCs per level. Of course, it also has huge variance in skills, at 1st level going from -11 Acrobatics (dwarf with Dex 8 wearing scalemail with a heavy shield) to +21 Acrobatics (Dex 16 barbarian with a skill rank in Acrobatics that had Jump cast on them), and only growing from there in utterly unpredictable leaps and bounds (pun intended).


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Plugging in 9d12 into anydice.com, it seems you have less than 1% chance to get a total lower than 35.
You have less than 0,5% chance to get a total less than 26.

You are more likely to roll a natural 20 than you are to get a result less than 41. You are more likely to get a total of at least 86 than you are to roll two natural 20s in a row.

I wouldn't worry about having a full night of underwhelming rolls. One underwhelming roll maybe, but if you get a full night of crap for damage on a 9d12, you might want to check your dice.


Quentin Coldwater wrote:
So, indeed, you're right, it's not always a static DC. But how do you determine a baseline? I have no frame of reference what a regular skill DC is supposed to be like. A regular guard might be a level 1 challenge, with maybe High difficulty. But if you put a specific thing on guard, such as the Fire Giants, how do you do that? Look at CR and circumstances? Fire Giant is CR 10, and then at least High difficulty. But what if you have an abstract number (not directly related to CR) you want to set as a DC (such as recalling or gathering information)? A DC that doesn't change over time? If it's a check they didn't make the first go at it, why make it easier for them without them doing anything about it?

Most anything you do against a specific creature would be opposed by that creature, would it not? So if you are sneaking past a guard, you do not look at table 10-2 at all, the DC is equal to 10 + the Perception bonus of the monster. If you're bluffing, the same thing.

Recalling and gathering information says to use the notoriety of the target (p. 337, 338) to determine the level, and depth of information to set difficulty. Table 10-5 (p. 338) says that identifying a monarch is a level 0 challenge, while identifying a minor noble is level 2. The example for Gathering Information (p. 337) places finding the name of a caravan leader as level 1 Medium-difficulty.

If the DC doesn't change, you aren't making something easier for the characters. The characters did something to become more powerful, more skilled, or more well-known themselves.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
The idea that you set a challenge based on realism is nice and all, but it's simply not practical. Most of the time, you want a level-appropriate challenge. If the Paladin in heavy armour rolls a 3 and still manages to make the check because the DC is ridiculously low, he feels cheated. You softballed him. And while it makes sense that climbing a wall doesn't become harder when you level up, it also shouldn't automatically become easier. If there's a set DC for everything, people will know that it'll be more likely to make it if they come back in three levels. You want level-appropriate challenges to keep players on their toes.

Yes. Exactly like characters fighting goblins at level 1, ogres at level 4, and giants at level 10. In three levels, the same opponent is no longer a threat. When your character is able to kill young dragons on his own, I can't see him drowning in a still lake or failing to free climb a rope. That, or character level doesn't actually mean anything.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
For example, in this system, at level 1 players enter a regular thieves' den, riddled with traps. They're pretty good with traps, so their DC is 14. Now, the same party is level 10 and in a Fire Giant lair, also filled with traps. Fire Giants are CR-appropriate and they should be there according to your story. You planned they'd go here at roughly this level. Their traps should therefore be at level 10, and at the same difficulty level as the thieves' den, so High. That's 27. The system you're describing only works if either players are punching above or under their weight, or want very standardised challenges. Neither works.

I don't quite understand the point you're making. In PF1e the 1st level thieves' den has CR1/4 to CR2 traps and the giant lair has CR8 to CR 12 traps, in the playtest the thieves' den has level 0 to level 2 traps, and the giant lair has level 8 to level 12 traps.


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Quentin Coldwater wrote:

Which brings me exactly to my point. I don't like this system because it's artificial number inflation: the game. AC automatically goes up, but so does to-hit. Skill automatically go up, but there's literally a chart with linear DCs per level. Your +1 per level doesn't mean anything when the DC goes up by 1 as well.

DCs per level of the challenge. The text next to the DCs specifically calls out not just scaling check difficulty because the PCs gained a level, and if you decided that something was a given level, it stays that level unless something happens.


Ediwir wrote:

-Barbarians treat their proficiency as 2 points higher for the purpose of determining damage during a rage.

-Clerics and Paladins treat their proficiency as 1 higher for the purpose of determining damage when wielding their deity’s favoured weapon. Weapons inscribed with Emblazon Symbol or aligned with Aligned Armament are considered to be their deity’s favoured weapon for the purpose of weapon damage and the Warrior Priest feat.
-Rogues treat their proficiency as 1 higher for the purpose of determining damage when striking a target subject to afflictions or negative conditions (such as, for example, fatigued or poisoned, but not friendly or quick).

I like most of what you've set down, but I don't see the point of this part. It only has an effect on specific levels, making it very fiddly. Especially for the rogue and barbarian who need to keep track of it under specific conditions in addition to needing to remember if it does anything this level or not.


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Souphin wrote:

Is this a typo

** spoiler omitted **
Because the penalty is already there for a 2nd attack and it gets worse for not being an agile weapon.
Worst case is
1st Action +X,-7
2nd Action -12,-19
3rd Action -24,-31

That's not how either of those penalties work. There is no indication that the -2 sticks around, and the multiple attack penalty does not increase past your third attack. So the actual modifiers would be

1st Action +X, -7
2nd Action-10, -12
3rd Action -10, -12


I'd interested in seeing the following stats, not sure how easy they are to automate from the data you already have:
* Average for the highest save a creature has at a given level
* Average for the lowest save a creature has at a given level

Basically, looking to see what is the average advantage of being able to target different saves and choosing the right one.


james014Aura wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
james014Aura wrote:

I very nearly swore off Starfinder (and did swear off hosting it for my group) JUST over that system's bestiary cheating up each and every monster, because I refuse to cheat at all (for deliberate deviations from the rules as given to players undermines the social contract and the trust players put in their GM).

How is that cheating? You state upfront that monsters/opponents don't follow the same rules as players, just it is in board games or video games. Or better still, you don't even bring the subject up unless somebody goes out of their way to notice that the Drow Ranger they are fighting doesn't follow exactly the same rules as the Elf Ranger they have in the party.
They're not even the same build SYSTEM. IF they were the same system, but NPCs or monsters get different progression because they're totally different creatures, that's one thing. It's no different from choosing Elf vs Dwarf or Ranger vs Wizard. I expect the GM to have more of the total options to choose, while players are limited for inter-party balance and not causing conflict (and narrative reasons). What's cheating about it is that they're not even on the same build system as players.

But using the same system is really just an illusion.

Yes, you can say that you calculated a monster's attack bonus from these values on its statblock. But all those values are completely arbitrary. There is no rule that says how many HD a given creature must have, nor what their attack stat can be. They can have spellcasting on top of having more and better HD than a fighter.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
In PF2, I couldn't even say for sure whether these are intended or not simply because it requires a design philosophy that I'm not familiar with, or even understand.

It seems to me that this is the crux of your issue, not that the monsters don't follow PC-like rules. That you don't know the rules the monsters are built by.

We know there are specific guidelines for building monsters, we just haven't been given them. So when we do get them (presumably with the full rules release, at the latest), you actually will be able to see that if a monster has a +50 attack bonus, that attack bonus is wrong. Or if a low-level monster deals 11d6 damage, that that's probably wrong.


My current thinking is that the DC should probably be a High DC of the target's level, or the level of the highest-level opponent it has been fighting if you really want to get complicated.

After each attempt, increase the DC one step. If the DC is already Extreme, the target becomes bolstered.

Normally takes 10 minutes, Battle Medic reduces to 1 minute, but you can't repeat on the same target before the 10 minutes are up.

Healing is 1d8 + Wis mod at Trained, increases by one die for each proficiency level above.


Ghilteras wrote:
It was not like this in previous editions where the AC did not scale.

in 3.5e and PF1e, AC did not rise by level. Instead, it rose by magic armor (+5), natural armor (+5), ring of protection (+5), and probably a couple of other sources of +5 that I'm forgetting.


John Lynch 106 wrote:

I've busted down a few doors in my time. Flimsy locks are definitely easier to break open then deadbolts. Whether it should have THAT much of a difference I don't know. But it should factor in it. Perhaps set the level of the lock+1 level for flimsy wood, +2 level for sturdy wood, +10 level for adamantine?

The playtest core rules also have conradictory DCs in them. Climbing a tree is a level 0 trivial task (DC 5), and yet the DC by level chart gives us DC 9 for a trivial level 0 task.

The table is just really confusing and not explained well.

The level column gives you the level that you use the high DC for that task.
Next are factors that make the difficulty move left or right on the same row.
The Trivial column tells you at what level the activity is trivial, and you can usually skip rolling if not in a life-or-death situation.

Really, they shouldn't have used trivial here, since it is also the name of a difficulty.


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ShadeRaven wrote:

For me, I'd almost like to see training go from -2/+1 per step thereafter to something like -2/+1/+3/+5/+10 and reduce the level system to +1 per 2 levels, rounding up.

The problem with that, though, is it requires math and knowing the progression and I am sure the flat +1/level and +1 per training point was done so to make the system easily played. Granted, I don't see a real problem with that small level of math involved (dividing and rounding up) or remembering Master is +5 instead of +3, but I am sure there are arguements against any integration of divisors or non-linear progression.

The biggest problem with this comes when you're against someone more than one proficiency level above you.

A fighter is only trained in Will saves. So with this scheme, at 20th level he could expect to have a Will save of around +20 (10 level, 1 proficiency, 4 for Wisdom 18, +5 item from armor). His Fortitude save fares better at either +23 (expert, Con 20) or +25 (also chose Unyielding Fortitude, p. 94).

A legendary intimidator is going to have around +32 (10 level, 10 proficiency, 7 for Charisma 24, +5 item).

The intimidator uses Scare to Death (p. 171) on the fighter, rolling against a Will DC of 30. The intimidator cannot critically fail this check, and only fails on a 1. He critically succeeds on an 8, forcing the Fighter to succeed in a Fortitude save DC 42 or die. The fighter that has spent a class feat on improving Fortitude succeeds on a 17, giving not-so-great odds at 20%. So the intimidator has a 52% chance to just kill the fighter in a single action. Thank god you become bolstered against Scare to Death after an attemp, or the fighter would most assuredly be dead in a round after three attempts.

If the intimidator had Assurance (automatic result of 30 at Legendary proficiency), he could alternatively use that to automatically Demoralize the fighter twice to give them -2 to saves, and then Scare them to Death for even better odds.


ZanThrax wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that they want to have universal progression,
That sounds like they're breaking the skill system because of a design goal that isn't necessary. Why do skills, attacks, Saves, and AC all have to advance at the same rate? Hell, why does AC have to auto-advance at all?

When all of them advance using the same rules, they can be cross-used. So we can now have Initimidate opposed by Will, instead of having a separate rule to calculate a character's Intimidate resistance. We can use Athletics to grapple, and we don't need a completely new defense for the combat maneuvers regardless of what is used to roll them. We can use skills for Initiative, or we could even have an attack roll for one. We could technically try to save against a spell with a skill, though the closest we have is Countersong from the bard.


ZanThrax wrote:

If we absolutely have to have to abandon skill points in favour of levelling all skills, could we at least look at connecting the training tiers to the amount of automatic increase from levels? So that for most characters the increase would be similar to BAB or save progressions from 1E?

So instead of a flat modifier between -2 and +3, the training level just changes how much your skill increases per level.

Untrained = 0 level progression.
Trained = +1/3 level progression. (same as a weak save)
Expert = +2/3 level progression. (similar to a good save)
Master = +level progression.
Legendary = +3/2 level progression.

(Those could be 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 1/1 if the first set of numbers are too high)

Now ability scores are the most important aspect of what you're good at low levels, and which skills you've chosen to train up are the most important aspect at high levels - meaning that the choices you've made in advancing your character make a big difference in what they're good at instead of just having a 5 point swing between untrained and "legendary" which is massively overshadowed by the level bonus.

This doesn't really work. The problem is that they want to have universal progression, so now you've doomed wizards to be almost automatically critically hit by attacks (difference between trained AC and master attack at 20th level is 14 or 10 before stats, depending which progression) and critically failing their Fort saves (same). Fighters will once again be cowards against masters, much less legends, though at least they are very likely to crit everybody but paladins.

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