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Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 323 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 1 alias.


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When you place an ally to explore and it applies its bonus to your check (e.g. combat check). Does this count as having played an ally on that check?

Does it add its traits to that check?


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Flatter amount of HP with slower scaling could help solve that problem. Frankly scaling HP introduces a ton of problems, in general.

How many problems go away when you don't have to scale up HP and, therefore, damage with level.

It's probably a non-starter because people absolutely have to have their big numbers, but there are a lot of systems that don't have scaling HP and they avoid a whole host of issues as a result.


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The issue for me is limited in scope. Having to spend an hour identifying the 100th potion of healing is both immersion breaking and boring. Very common items shouldn't take as long as uncommon and rare items.

How many variations are there on healing potions? At some point you're going to just kind of know what one looks like even in a world without mass production.

The other idea is that you should just auto-identify things that you know how to craft.

I do like the mystery of a potion when the answer is going to be something uncommon, but healing potions are like daily rations. They're just there to be consumed and tracked.


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If lack of Resonance points at low levels wasn't so deadly, I think it would be fine. I do admit that for my level 4 monk, choosing between 12 WIS and 12 CHA, I went with 12 CHA specifically because of Resonance. But that's the kind of light-pressure that's really nice.

So if Resonance gains were front loaded so that a Dwarven Fighter with 8 CHA had at least 3 Resonance points at level 1, I think things would work. It's probably also a good idea if level 20 characters didn't have upwards of 26 Resonance points. Mostly this feels like a basic math issue.

Combined with healing potions doing a small amount of healing on a Resonance roll failure, I think the system as a whole starts to make a lot of sense.

In terms of crafting, it's absolutely a thing in some campaigns. I remember one campaign when it was common and others were it was occasional, but still character-defining.


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My point was that just because something was not a meaningful choice for some doesn't mean it isn't a meaningful choice for anyone.

In the Bard's case deciding between the Staff and the Weapon or Armor is important. Even choosing between the Weapon or Armor first is meaningful and sometimes prioritization is where the choice is.

If I'm a Paladin, I'm probably going to prioritize the +1 armor over the +1 weapon and vice versa for the Fighter.

I'll get them both eventually, but leaning into my strengths is a strategy as-is leaning into my weaknesses.

I'm not saying that it couldn't be better, but there is a choice there, it's just when instead of if.


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I'm not sure its a problem for all 1st level items. It's only really a problem with additive effects (i.e. effects that aren't affected by time or number of castings).

A 1st level wand of Charm isn't as useful as a 4th level wand unless you happen to be Charming a lot of low-level people all in a row, at which point they might notice.

Anything that involves action economy isn't additive either so really this is something specific to a few items and maybe that limited scope can have a limited solution applied to it.


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The issue with auto-scaling is that its a huge boon for hybrid classes. Now my Bard doesn't have to pick between a Staff of Enchantment and a +X weapon. Or at least the choice is easier now.

Pure martial and pure caster classes tend to be front-loaded. I've noticed that a lot of the design space for splat books is finding different ways to mix martial and caster classes, which would care very much about things being auto-scaling.


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I find that re-rolling and multi-rolling adds time when people forget they got the opportunity. They roll once, they fail. The GM starts to tell them what happened. Another player pipes up, "don't you get to roll twice?" The player quickly stops the GM and rolls another die.

I find the same thing happens with too many buffs that players forget about.

It's not a huge amount of time, but I'd say more than 2-5 minutes and it can kill the flow of story telling. I'm not saying that it's a universal thing, but it would definitely slow things down at my table.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:
... snip ...
In general, I've had a lot of issues figuring out the appropriate skills to identify various items and the DCs to do so, which is frustrating. But feels rather separate from the in game time spent. I assume that you just tell the players what skill they should roll. I don't think recall the identification process goes "Oh, here I will spend an hour using occult tools. Oh, that didn't work, so I will spend an hour using arcane tools." It is "Here is an item, I spend an hour trying everything I can think of to identify it." I guess that COULD run into issues if you don't have all the skills represented, but I kind of think if you aren't trained you probably know something is beyond you at a glance too.

That wasn't how our group played it. So we had each player with exactly one applicable skill. Bard with Occult, Sorcerer with Primal, etc.

So I would take an item and try to identify it taking an hour. The GM would ask what skills I had and I replied and would then inform me that I didn't have the right skill and so I would pass it on to the next person.

We could have played it where you know at a glance that it's not your thing, but that's definitely not RAW (maybe it is RAI).

So identifying 4 things happened to take 4 hours. If we had distributed it better initially it might have only taken 1 or 2. As I said, it's something that could be cleaned up.


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In terms of mechanics, there is a limit and that limit means that at some point power X looks a lot like power Y because there's only so much design space.

I played a lot of MTG and you got to see the same kind of thing there as well. Most deck builders have similar issues.

d20 only introduced a certain number of core mechanics and abilities are really just a way of playing around with those core mechanics. At some point the only way to increase your design space is to introduce more and that can push complexity past a breaking point.

So if you look at your 15 different fireballs (or spells in general) it's just going to be a mix and match of various mechanics until you have something that's balanced against other things of the same level. In this case:

# of Actions, Size and Shape, Damage (amount and type), Save Type, Setting or Clearing Conditions

Most spells in D&D basically define things in terms of those limited set of mechanics, but it's a very large number of combinations. So what is fundamentally different between a Fireball and a Cone of Cold except tweaking one or more property of the above? Do we consider Fireball and Cone of Cold variants of each other because they only tweak a couple of things?

Now, combat styles could be grouped into sets like spells are. So like you have Arcane, Divine, Occult, and Primal spells you could have Sword and Board, TWF, Archery, and Great Weapon. Is that better? Each martial class could be a combination of some minor feats (like casters) and access to one or more weapon styles. I'm not sure its better, but its definitely a possibility.

I believe the adage applies here (paraphrasing): "it's not the number of options, but the illusion of them that matters". One of D&D 4e's major failures was being perceived as having fewer options.


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Resonance at `3 + CHA + Level / 2` feels right, and reminds me of many of the 1e uses per day equation.

The designers have already gone into why linear cost is problem for items and if you have exponential pricing for linear gain, you need to address what happens when you sell your Wand of CCW for lots of Wands of CLW and dramatically increase your overall healing.

Healing is the primary problem since its

a) an out-of-combat activity
b) scales linearly
c) has additive effects

which means lots of small heals equals a few large heals.

One solution is the FFSW approach where healing consumables do less healing with each usage. If your Wand of CLW used on the same person each day did 1d8 then 1d8-1, 1d8-2, etc. healing would quickly diminish and higher level healing again has value. But that requires additional adjustment for those in between levels. I don't think it's inherently a better solution than resonance, but does demonstrate that there are other potential solutions.

Ultimately this is a problem I feel that needs to be solved. And I know there are a lot of other people who want to make sure that wand spam stays in 1e.


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Zman0 wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:

The issue is that you don't have to be of a particular race to grab gab an exotic race-limited weapon. A Figher or another player can take weapon proficiency for that particular exotic weapon. At that point they only need to find the weapon either by trading it with another player or asking the GM nicely if you Human Barbarian can have an Orc weapon.

It's cumbersome, but the two separate systems do serve a different purpose. And, we only have 4 exotics for now. That doesn't mean we won't have a ton more down the line. I seem to recall that 1e had a ton. I even took one for my Cleric.

How is your example of taking weapon training to be trained in a single exotic weapon feat then nicely asking your DM or to let you trade someone for it different than the default for Uncommon of nicely asking your DM or to let you trade someone for it?

So, it takes a General Feat. Well, we can already do it for a General Feat Adopted Ancestry and an Ancestry Feat Weapon Familiarity. And ironically, this is exactly what you'd have to do to guarantee yourself access to the weapon anyway. Though, it would be particularly harsh for a DM not to give you access to weapons in an exotic proficiency you selected.

Why should it be "easier" to gain access to an uncommon exotic racial weapon than an uncommon martial racial weapon?

It is cumbersome. Sure, we'll get more, but I'm asking is it really worth it? The weapons so far have not been worth the exotic title, either as racial or non racial weapons.

It is easier (or at least equally easy) to gain racial weapon familiarity compared to other exotic weapons and you make a fair point. What it does do is make it so that a player can't just take Exotic Weapon proficiency and gain access to non-racial exotic weapons, which I imagine we'll see more of in the future.

And Adopted Ancestry is a bit strange, but it requires a second feat to actually gain the actual weapon familiarity feat. So its still slightly harder to do than a single exotic weapon.


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Admittedly this is a distinctly D&D and fantasy problem. In modern day settings, you would never try and model different regional guns differently. You would go with pistol, heavy pistol, shotgun, rifle, sniper, etc. Which leads credence to the idea that a short sword from a different region is a short sword with a different name and there really shouldn't be any mechanical difference even if there is some small difference in real-life usage.

I do agree that the commonality system has issues around purchasability. I had the same problem with the monk weapons. I'm a monk in a two-monk party, one of us has access and the other doesn't. It seems strange to me that I can't just ask my fellow monk person to buy me some shuriken while he's getting some for himself.

Additionally the weapon non-proficiency penalty doesn't really seem all that severe initially. Not having a ranged weapon at all seems worse than having one, but being stuck at -2. And for monk's specifically you can take a feat for all simple weapons or take a feat for all monk weapons. Since you're much more likely to find neat simple weapons than monk weapons it feels like a toss-up mechanically and a pity in terms of story.

While I feel like there's a need for the rarity system, it feels unrefined and frustrating that the moment in how it's implemented.


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Weapons do not require investment to get their potency (or passive bonuses). Only certain weapon rune effects require resonance expenditures and those are explicitly stated.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Question: When did high-level characters ever get worse at anything in PF1?

Worse relative to the challenge level, not worse on an absolute scale.


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Potency is also more of an issue for Martial classes. My wizard didn't pick up a +1 weapon and instead opted for a staff of fire.

One issue with potency becoming automatic is that it breaks the economy between martial and caster classes. It's not insurmountable, but it would be a lot of additional balancing work.


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Zman0 wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:
While I think having two different gating mechanisms is cumbersome, I recognize that making something exotic is basically forcing a feat tax to gain its additional effects. It's an effective way to increase the mechanical cost of superior weapons.

Currently we have 4 exotic weapons. Three of them are race gated. To gain access to them you need the ancestry feat, which makes them martial for you.

The net result is that you need the racial feat and martial weapon proficiency to get the exotic weapon. IMO, any character that wants to use a melee weapon is probably going to have martial proficiency already. I see no problem just moving the racial exotics to uncommon martial weapons. Simple, streamlined.

That leaves one exotic weapon, and it really isn't that good. Just move it to the uncommon list making it DM gated. You've got the sawtooth sabre. It is a d6 slashing agile finesse weapon with the twin quality. Compared to a shortsword you have the twin quality compared to versatile P. Twin is just a restricted forceful quality. It requires two two weapons to function. So, its an inferior single weapon to the shortsword. Used for two weapon fighting, it is only on par with Rapier Shortsword. There is absolutely no reason for sawtooth sabers to be exotic, when they are not mechanically superior. Now, there is reason to make them uncommon and gate them that way. But, there really is in no way enough mechanic reason to make them cost a feat, and cost them +1 to hit for Fighters.

Unless, they start coming out with significantly stronger weapons. exotics just aren't worth it and are mostly race gated anyway. Just make them uncommon martial weapons and be done with it.

The issue is that you don't have to be of a particular race to grab an exotic, race-limited weapon. A Fighter or another player can take weapon proficiency for that particular exotic weapon. At that point they only need to find the weapon either by trading it with another player or asking the GM nicely if you Human Barbarian can have an Orc weapon.

It's cumbersome, but the two separate systems do serve a different purpose. And, we only have 4 exotics for now. That doesn't mean we won't have a ton more down the line. I seem to recall that 1e had a ton. I even took one for my Cleric.


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Given that we have crafting formulas now, it seems like characters should be able to identify items that they have the formula for. That would add a benefit to having a large formula library especially after you've graduated past certain items.

Also certain base properties like potency runes could just be known. So that +1 expert longsword is known because +1 expert longswords are common enough and you know what a +1 rune looks like.

This would alleviate a lot of the item identification issues, as you're much more likely to know how to craft the really common items.

And, despite the fact that we don't have nearly enough skill feats, Quick Identification should probably just be rolled into the various spell skills with 1 hr. being base at trained.

One thing I would add though is that we wasted a ton of time trying to identify things we didn't have the skill for. Between all the people in the party we had all the relevant skills, but everyone had to attempt to identify every item. So if we knew the branch of magic (e.g. primal), we could have done all the identification in 2 hours, instead it took about 8 since our characters would spend an hour identifying something only to be told that we didn't have the right skill. That's definitely something that could be cleaned up.


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While I think having two different gating mechanisms is cumbersome, I recognize that making something exotic is basically forcing a feat tax to gain its additional effects. It's an effective way to increase the mechanical cost of superior weapons.


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If they are, Potions for their enhanced price could give a bonus to resonance rolls in terms of either roll twice, take better; or a flat bonus to the Resonance failure check.

This would allow for potions to have a bit more reach without breaking the system entirely exchanging CLW wand spam for Bag of Holding with CLW potion spam.


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N N 959 wrote:
Snickersnax wrote:
I feel like having expert/master/legendary be different for skills than it is for combat is not particularly elegant.

Despite having already made the same suggestion the OP has made, rolling multiple dice is not an "elegant" solution. But it is a solution that allows a greater range of skills to succeed at a task while allowing someone who has higher skill to actually feel as if they have more skill

What is "elegant" about the solution is that it allows a person to roll more dice as a reward. Don't over look that on a psychological level.

The downside is that it slows down high-level play which is already slow.


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Basic, standard (or their equivalent like common) do not evoke any particular meaning. Just because something is the most common type of save, doesn't mean it should be labeled with basic or standard. What happens when a different mechanic starts to become popular. What happens when you want to add concepts for other common types of saves.

When refactoring, specific is better than generic. As a software developer, I see this kind of thing all the time. Rather than come up with a proper name, something gets the name: Base, Simple, Common, etc. It always ends up biting people in the end. Please use an actual word that describes the thing in question.

Personally, I vastly prefer traits, but if you need something else, make it specific, like: "Make an Evasion Reflex save" or "Avoidance Fort Save".

Please, something specific or we're going to be reminding people of what Basic means for years to come.


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I guess my question is, if humans have all these wonderful sub-cultures, where are the other races sub-cultures? You have Varisians and Tians and so forth, but you don't really list those distinction for non-Human races and that feels lackluster. I would really like to see some cultural diversity among non-Human races so that Dwarves from this part of the world have a different culture and maybe even language than Dwarves from this part of the world. Perhaps these Halflings over here don't speak Halfling as their mother tongue, but speak Varisian instead.


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Well we already have some weapon traits granting enhancements to actions (e.g. trip). This could be extended to agile, finesse and so on along with the creation of other traits.

Lowering accuracy for damage or lowering damage for accuracy could be made into universal rules. There's options there, but at what point do you stop? I like the idea of some things being inherent, but I wouldn't want to see too many things converted over to universal rules.


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I like the idea of classes enhancing core concepts rather than having them specific to them. In this case, the Cleric might start with the ritual already known and get a bonus to it.

Perhaps the cleric could double the healing from the ritual, or it could roll twice on its roll.

I don't want to see healers as a required role, and I don't want to see healers reduced to meaningless.

Saying that the cleric is the king or queen of healing rituals kind of allows for having a niche without making them required. If the cleric truly out-heals all other healers, then that becomes the baseline for setting difficulty and becomes a de facto requirement.


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You could use the same system for combat styles that the archetype and dedication system uses.

There are definitely ways to expand options that are available to everyone, but it's a matter of how much each class should get their own special things. If Fighter is just a collection of feats, it's kind of a weird one-off and it doesn't have a particular identity, and admittedly Fighter doesn't really invoke any kind of specific imagery for me so it was appropriate before.

The fundamental issue of Fighter and combat feats for me is that there could never be a deep enough feat tree that would allow Fighter to have something that no one else could reach.

If you had a combat feat tree that required more than 8-10 feats, then you would be locking non-Fighters out of it completely, but then Fighters would have something special. If you did this a bunch of times, people would complain about not being able to actually get full effect.

If they didn't, then Fighter would just really be, "pick 2 or more feat trees", which isn't really all that special. And is exactly what most Fighters ended up doing.

Long-term I'm quite happy with the idea that the Fighter class is special with mostly unique choices to them, just like most other martial classes. That said, I would've liked to have seen some of the swashbuckler stuff actually moved into a dedicated swashbuckler class. But, in theory, you could take Fighter and dedicate towards Rogue (or vice versa) to get most of the effect. I just miss the dedicated swashbuckler class.


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My core problem with how things were balanced in 3e/PF 1e is that you could effectively multi-class into fighter without multi-classing into fighter. Fighters were primarily defined by their proficiency and extra feats. If your class or race already gave you access to what you wanted, then Fighter gave you very little.

Combat styles via feats puts martial classes immediately at a disadvantage from a balancing perspective. If you can take Combat feats a-la-cart, but not spells then it's not balanced.

That said, if you wanted to take combat feats and group them into fighting styles that are only available to martial classes that could work. It just makes distinguishing between martial classes about which combat styles are available, plus a smattering of smaller class features (similar to how casters tend to be pretty lean in terms of class features outside of their spells).

Though I imagine if you took combat feats and put them into fighting styles so that Power Attack was in one or two, but not all, then someone would complain about it.

As soon as combat feats enter into the general pool available to all classes, we're going to have balancing concerns again and it will limit the viable design space for classes. They've already done a pretty good job of separating out different effects so that you're not getting stacking effects from Whirlwind, Power Attack, Cleave, etc.


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The more I think about this, the less the Standard or Basic adjective works in my head.

For one, there haven't been any modifiers introduced anywhere else, with the exception of Ranged vs. Melee and those could be addressed as well.

Really all other modifiers are traits. It would be nice if rather than have a mixed trait/adjective system, you stuck to one or the other, with my preference being Traits.

Traits have this nice bit of also being explicit about what it interacts with. If Evadable (or some other name) was a trait, Evasion would be very explicit. You wouldn't need the clunky, "if you could save for half, you take no damage."

Fire trait could read, "you can choose to set things on fire. Unattended objects make a something Save to avoid having the Fire continuous effect applied to it."

There are other traits that could have these basic rules applied to it. Sonic damage might do no or half damage to deaf creatures, for example.


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d20 isn't a simulationist system and wanting it to be just ends poorly. There are plenty of better system that handle skill diversity better. E.g. GURPS has vastly more granular skills and so your Running skill doesn't interact with your Climbing skill doesn't interact with your Swimming skill does interact with your SCUBA skill.

One thing that it also introduces is familiarity penalties. That's something that would allow your +20 Athletics, desert-dwelling fighter to still not be able to swim without going back to granular skills.

There seems to be a disconnect between your skill proficiency, which is your potential, and your skill training, which is your expertise.

Untrained skills let you do things that you would have had a reasonable chance to succeed at just existing in the world. There are exceptions like the famous Swimming desert dweller (though tearing down the system because of edge cases isn't smart game design).

Stealing and hiding objects from others is something that children learn from a young age. I have no formal training in thieving, but if I tried I could probably pocket an unattended object even with other people in the room.

d20 has a lot of inelegant systems. Dexterity, strength, will, and intelligence are all components of success at feats of skill and strength. Wisdom and intelligence aren't really separate concepts in real life. Knowing things can't really be separated out into "book" knowledge vs. "common" knowledge regardless of our love of all things folksy. Athleticism in one arena doesn't prepare you for another. Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Karen Chen could not compete in each other's competitions.

Pathfinder can go one of two ways. It can go a GURPS route where everything is based on a huge number of skills where being good in one thing doesn't really help you that much in another. Or it can try and create a simplified experience with lots of interesting powers with the understanding that sometimes a combined skill will mean you can do something that doesn't make sense. Given Pathfinder's legacy, the latter seems preferable.


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graystone wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:
And all of this is really only a problem for the rogue until level 10 where the combination of Assurance and their sneak feat makes them virtually undetectable.
So they just have to survive that long with a mostly useless feat for it to pay off...

Not useless. It has problems, but it's not useless. And at level ten rogues become undetectable, which in some ways is kind of broken.


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The level four adventure is kind of messed up right now because it's all animals and dog men and things like that that have high perception. It should not serve as a baseline argument for perception versus stealth. To note the level 7 adventure has perception scores only one or two higher despite being three more levels and crossing the master threshold.

it's also a factor that in all of these scenarios were sneaking around in broad daylight. There's no bonus for lighting or distractions or anything else that could be a factor in trying to make you or four consecutive stealth checks.

If you can get a 100% success rate using no consumables, daily resources or prior planning then when is there ever going to be a real need to use them?

And all of this is really only a problem for the rogue until level 10 where the combination of Assurance and their sneak feat makes them virtually undetectable.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:
Personally I don't have a problem with feats being grouped the way they are now, but then I don't feel I need to take a max level feat just because its available. As a Bard you can start multiple paths by taking multiple level 1 feats. It's a little tight on the feats, but totally doable. Same for Druid or Monk.
That is all well and good for builds that don't need a constant stream of feats to make certain playstyles remain relevant. Animal companions and bomb alchemists both have a lot of their feats spoken for right out of the gate. Arguably, bomb alchemists have ALL their feats spoken for.

That's an individual problem rather than the issue being categorical. They could increase some baseline numbers or group some feats together to keep things relevant, but originally it was a desire to see feats grouped together more like Starfinder. Which is fine, I guess. But that's one solution to the problem, but it's not a solution to the problem you suggested which is that you don't really have options because you have to take an entire line just to stay relevant. How they're grouped won't affect that, only how many you get.


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Requielle wrote:
Well, that spoilered data would be swell, if this part of the adventure was aimed at fighters *at all*. This section of the playtest is specifically for healers - 2 clerics with the ability to channel energy, and all remaining party members with healing abilities (bards, druids, alchemists, paladins). Folks certainly may be running this with fighters, but that's not what was suggested.

So we're looking at 1-3 less for the healers? And just because they're testing healers, doesn't mean the encounters would change. They can be taking a normal scenario and testing an extreme case. But even in the later cases we're looking at level-5 and up where the math is mostly going to hold.

But what's your argument, that everyone should hit 90% of the time? Or even 80%? If that's the case where is there room above for the true specialists?

A High difficulty encounter is two enemies of party level. Most fights we've seen up to this point are more enemies than that and designed to be easier than High.

Six monsters at Level - 4 which feels like a common fight is a Low encounter. Eight at Level - 4 or four at Level - 2 would be a High encounter, which is a normal fight. Most encounters are with at least 4 enemies which means you're typically dealing with at most enemies of your level - 2.

4+ at level monsters is considered an Extreme encounter and that's the one time you would be trading blow for blow. And even then it's not a coin flip for the specialist as they've got a better than 50% chance.

If you have a GM regularly throwing 4-6 at-level enemies, good luck, because they're well outside where they should be for encounter design and you should be expected to blow a decent amount of gold on consumables as well as a large percentage of your daily resources.


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Personally I don't have a problem with feats being grouped the way they are now, but then I don't feel I need to take a max level feat just because its available. As a Bard you can start multiple paths by taking multiple level 1 feats. It's a little tight on the feats, but totally doable. Same for Druid or Monk.


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vestris wrote:

A human rogue lvl 2, 1 Skill feat: Assurance (Stealth), Expert in Stealth, automatically makes a DC of 15.

A human fighter level 2, wisdom 12, expert in perception, bonus +4, has a DC 14 in passive perception.

If the rogue has the necessary surroundings to sneak and the guards are not actively searching. 0% chance to fail.

He can even sneak around a guard dog. Any goblin, ogre or orc except for the warchief.

My one complaint about Assurance is that is has gaps. I wish it was a smoother progression than it is.


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Dasrak wrote:

So with all that stealth investment, your rogue goes out to scout out enemy patrol groups. He passes by four separate patrol groups. Four separate checks, 15% chance to fail each, and... for an overall 48% chance to fail. We're right back to coin flipping territory. So long as stealth checks require you to keep rolling, it doesn't matter how high your stealth bonus or how low the stealth DC's are, your chances of being caught will become unacceptably high after only a handful of checks.

This worked in PF1 because, with careful planning, you could avoid having a chance to fail in most circumstances (exactly how much you can get away with depended on your level of investment) and thus only needed to actually roll when you were up against foes with very keen perception or you were taking a risky approach. In PF2 this is not the case, and until that's dealt with stealth is completely unusable in the vast majority of situations.

Except in this case they would be in encounter mode and would only be making one check probably. Or perhaps if they're going to be out awhile, go ahead and expend some expendables and drop it down to failing on a 1.

Or they could take Assurance in Stealth and succeed against all of checks DC 20 or less, because as long as you fail on a 1, you're still going to have a 20% chance to fail at least one of 4 checks. Four checks in a row also seems pretty extreme, but perhaps succeeding 4 times in a row should be that difficult.


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The problem is that for the most part, optimized characters are succeeding on a 3+ against the challenges they're facing.

The issue is that at very low levels you haven't really invested that much in a given direction because you haven't been given the opportunity.

Your level 1 Rogue has how many Stealth-related feats? If your low-level character is already succeeding 90% of the time with little investment, by the time they're heavily invested they can't fail a reasonable challenge ever.

Looking at the playtest for level 7, a Stealth-oriented Rogue is going to have a +15 to Stealth against DCs in the 8-12 range heavily weighted towards the 8. Where is the problem? You already have an 85% chance of success.

At level 10, that same Rogue can take a feat so that, realistically, they only fail on a 1. Again, where is the problem?

At level 7 that fighter is going to be an Expert with at least a +1 weapon, if not a +1 master weapon. Assuming 18 STR, that's going to give them +13-14 against ACs in the 18-22 range, weighted towards the 18. Here you're hitting on 5s most of the time. Where is the problem?

Don't like MAP, use one of the fighter's many double action attacks.

I'm not trying to be dismissive, but it seems like so many of these arguments haven't actually looked at these things in depth. It feels like someone said coin-flip or 50/50 and presumed that's what the actual content was going to be like. And some of it might be, but it's not universally like that. Most fights I've done in the playtest have been fairly easy -- and yes, I'm aware of the TPKs.


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Rameth stated it well. You're not expected to fight monsters of equal level most of the time. You're expected to fight between -4 and +2 (for bosses). With a heavy weighting towards the -4 side.

Also if you're investing in Stealth, I expect you to have a least one type of Terrain Stalker feats to avoid the roll entirely.

And Quiet Allies to reduce the ACP of your friends.

On top of that you're likely heavily invested in DEX with little or no ACP. But let's say that you don't have any applicable feats.

At level 7 (+7), you're likely 18+ DEX (+4), master Stealth (+2), and have Shadow armor (+2). So you're already at +15 against the first several group of enemies against a Perception DC of 18/19. You fail on a 3 or less -- hardly catastrophe. And for the hardest non-boss encounter, you're looking for a DC 22 (with a +15). So you fail on a 6 or less.

At level 10, as a rogue you can even make it so no longer fail Stealth checks, which means you only fail via Critical Failure on a 1 most of the time.

So this idea that it's a coin flip even for those heavily invested in a skill just doesn't hold true with the actual content presented. At the very worst you're looking at 30% chance to fail against the hardest non-boss enemies with zero consumable expenditures. Frankly, that seems fine.


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Martials should be weak like small children. They should beg their Wizard overlords for gruel everyday and be grateful that the Wizard doesn't just smite them down, but then realize that they're not worth the spell slot. Martials should be grateful that their measly hit points can be used to soak damage intended for their betters.

They should be limited to small, rusty broken weapons and realize that they aren't worthy to be in the same room with a magic weapon much less look at one.

Martials should be thankful that they have the strength to climb stairs, not walls. They should recognize what little strength they have is to be a human pack-mule for the Wizard's many spell books.

Martials should remember than when a Wizard needs to sit, their place is as a human chair as to not let the Wizard's robe get soiled.

To be clear, the Martial's place is under the Wizard's foot.

-- A reasonable Wizard's position.

(The above is designed to be read as satire. If you do not recognize this as satire, my condolences that you've had to deal with so many jerk players OR if you're one of our "special" wizard community... something, something, something)


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Why are you assuming that someone taking a feat must be at the minimum level for that feat? Someone could decide late in their career that they want to multiclass. The first rogue feat they get should still be a beginner's feat.

I knew I was missing something. Thank you.


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Tridus wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Whenever someone's justifications for their opinions on game mechanics is that some players "tend" to roll higher or lower I just roll my eyes. Give them new dice or something. Rolling isn't some skill that people can be good or bad at. If you're "good" at rolling that means you're literally cheating and rolling it in a way to get high numbers or your dice is unbalanced. Same goes for people who are "bad" at rolling.

Our you're the statistical outlier.

I had one of those nights. I started keeping track because it was so absurd. On 11 d20 rolls, I rolled seven nat 1s. In a world of auto fail, that sucks. In a world of auto crit fail, I'm literally better off not showing up for that session.

Eventually the numbers even out, but in a given period of time, with how many players there are, someone will be the outlier on either end of the spectrum. Although I do tend to agree that a lot of the time these perceptions aren't really accurate.

While that's statistically possible, I would check your dice for weighting due to manufacturer defect. This is especially common in opaque dice as their opaqueness conceals internal defects.

There's a salt-water trick you can use (or really anything that's more dense than the die) to test to see if your dice are weighted. Most dice have at least some minor bias, but some can be really bad.

That said, balancing a system for people with crap dice or crap luck isn't a good starting point.


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graystone wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:
And any multi-classing in 1e means that your capstone abilities are just gone.

I think for a lot of us, this has never been a real issue. I can say that in all my years of playing pathfinder, I don't ever recall getting a character high enough to care about a capstone. And even if you do, you are at the end of most content made for the game and have nowhere else to go and USE the capstone. So for me, losing a capstone is less of a problem than a random grammatical error as an issue to be fixed.

SuperSheep wrote:
Silo-ing combat feats into classes means that problem is largely avoided.
For me, it was never a problem. If anything, it was an issue with feats being LESS powerful/useful than existing one and not any issue with new powerful combo's. And that is one of the issues with PE2: small numbers of silo'd feats isn't better when you can only find 1 or 2 that you have any interest in or they only one you like is in a different silo. I silo is bad enough when it's filled with all good options but when it isn't, it's even less fun.

I think that's:

a) a problem with individual feats; and
b) a natural thing that something that appeals to you may not appeal to someone else and vice versa.

Admittedly I don't play 5 different Paladins or 3 different Wizards. If I play multiple characters they tend to be in different classes (or different systems) and so it's not a problem for me.

So if there's only one feat I really like at a given level, that's fine because I'm probably not going to play another "whatever" before I play all the other classes that are available.

Now I come from GURPS originally rather than D&D, so the idea that everything is universally and generically available is baseline for me. But that's never what D&D has been. And making something that was really just a series of small template (i.e. everything is an archetype) has some merit, but also feels so alien to what D&D/PF is that its probably a non-starter. That said, GURPS wasn't balanced at all and it didn't even really try. It only ever supported low-fantasy.

So siloing isn't my favored starting point, but I recognized that a class-based system is going to start there, by definition. It's just a matter of what systems are siloed and which ones aren't, with the understanding that most of the systems are going to be at least partially siloed.

If there was no heritage to restrain Pathfinder, they could move to a class-less system where everything was part of a feat-tree with level- and feat-based prerequisites. But that's not what we have, nor is it an option that they've indicated they would entertain.

And while I understand that your issue hasn't been feat interaction, it has been an issue with d20. And it's one of the reason that new feats tend to be more lackluster -- there's a fear of unbalanced interaction which creates a downward pressure on power levels.

So as long as I can pick up a class feat that I want with Dedications, I'm probably good. There's literally very little not available to us anymore, except if what we really want is a combination of 4 or more classes, at which point you've just hit the biggest problem with class-based systems which isn't going away anytime soon.


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Anguish wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:
To those people who want to hit 90% of the time on their optimized rolls... "Why?"

Because the game is/can-be about things you can do.

If I build a character who is highly optimized to reliably succeed on say... Climb checks, that adds to the list of things the party can do. When faced with physical challenges, I can offer solutions. "Klarpreet can climb up that 200 ft statue, and scout things from there." "Klarpreet can climb up the mast of the ship, hide and wait for the dragon to swoop down onto the deck then try to drop a net on it from above." "Klarpreet can free-climb down that pit and bring a potion to save the princess."

What gets seen from scouting position has chance of failure. If the net catches the dragon has chance of failure. Rescuing the princess has chance of failure.

But the climbing? If it's reliable, or mostly reliable, knowing its in the tool-kit opens up possible solutions that have their own chances of failure.

If climbing has a 50/50 chance, Klarpreet's not volunteering to fall off the statue, fall off the mast, or enter the deep pit. Because it's a bad gamble. Find another way. Get a familiar to deliver the potion, drill a hole in the wall by the statue, or dive off the ship so the dragon's flyby attacks don't work.

Point is, if you know you can succeed at Use Magic Device, you can start safely incorporating scrolls or wands into your tactics. If you know you'll probably succeed at Bluff, you can include elaborate, sustained, clever lies into your roleplay. If you know your armor class is abnormally high (at the cost of say... saving throws), you can incorporate otherwise risky positioning when you don't think you're up against spells or poison.

Being able to mostly-reliably do X lets you use X to try A, B, and C. If your ability to do X is unreliable, including A, B, and C in your planning is dumb, because you stand a good chance of having screwed things up before you get to enact...

And, yet, Assurance, as a feat, has been met with a lot of disgust from the player-base. Perhaps if it was about 5 higher. But it's a good way to guarantee your climb checks as long as they aren't insane.

I'm reminded of the most recent Mission Impossible trailer where Tom Cruise was climbing a rope while on a helicopter. In the trailer he falls, but survives because he catches himself. If I were creating a similar situation, I wouldn't set the DC so low that the climbing check didn't have a reasonable chance of failure. My point about power fantasies isn't that they're inherently bad, but that if they're the baseline all sorts of stories become difficult to tell.

After Tom Cruise managed to do his climbing check, he still had to incapacitate the crew of the helicopter. In your case this would be like setting up the net.

I get that players get attached to characters. I do myself, but there's also a fear of failure in adventuring tasks. That if there's a reasonable chance to fail you don't try. That's one way to play, but it's kind of near an extreme. And I've seen that plenty in my multiple decades of play. One player I've gamed with a lot gets frustrated if the chance to fail exceeds 1%. They think that 90% success is a baseline. And it's kind of frustrating to watch when the rest of the players have a 60-70%. We fail, we try again. I can tell you that when players have a 90% chance of hitting, the tension is gone (at least for everyone I've ever talked to). It's just not the baseline assumption I want 2e to make.


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perception check wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:

To those people who want to hit 90% of the time on their optimized rolls... "Why?"

It sounds like what you want is a complete power fantasy. Do you also like your having your critical hits described by the GM as eviscerating your enemies with their bowels spilling out or their heads being flung across the field after being decapitated?

If you want that, your GM can run you through really easy encounters. They can give you a chance to dominate. But if you can only feel really good about yourself if everyone else in the party can only fail challenges in your area of expertise, that's not a good experience for the table.

Your post eviscerates the straw man, spilling its bowels in a room-temperature pile at your feet and flinging its head twenty feet in a random direction! Roll a d8.

This isn't about feeling good about oneself; nor is it about domination fantasies. The ideal is that a character build to perform a certain activity really well should be able to succeed at that activity more often than not.

The target percentage is up for debate, but I personally think a 70% to 80% success rate for an optimized character is superb.

Fair enough. 80% seems too high to me personally. I guess 65% (or a 8 or higher) for the optimized character is good, which is where the 2e fights have been that we've done. Taking a look at the current playtest where you're level 7:

Spoiler:

You fight some Ghasts wit their 18 AC.

At this point the fighter is likely to have at least an 18 STR, level 7 with expert proficiency and a +1 weapon (master which would be available, gives an additional +1).

So you're looking at a +13 to hit an 18 AC. Meaning you need a 5 to hit (75% success), and crit on a 15+.

Or we could look at Vampire Spawn Rogues with their 19 AC. Where you would need a 6 to hit (70%) and a 16+ to crit.

Or the Poltergeist with its 19 AC.

The only two things in the entire piece that are any kind of challenge are the Greater Shadows with their 22 AC (55%) and the boss with a 25 AC (40%).

And that's before buffs.

So in more than half of the fights, the fighter is, in fact, hitting about two thirds of the time without any buffs.

I think the problem is that people are comparing their to-hit not against what they will actually be fighting, but against equal level opponents which you will rarely encounter in your typical adventure. For the most part the adventures seem to be building out more fights with more lower-level enemies.


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To those people who want to hit 90% of the time on their optimized rolls... "Why?"

It sounds like what you want is a complete power fantasy. Do you also like your having your critical hits described by the GM as eviscerating your enemies with their bowels spilling out or their heads being flung across the field after being decapitated?

If you want that, your GM can run you through really easy encounters. They can give you a chance to dominate. But if you can only feel really good about yourself if everyone else in the party can only fail challenges in your area of expertise, that's not a good experience for the table.

There also seems to be a presumption that equal-level challenge means equal level enemy, but as others have done the research on it, we see that the enemies are often lower level than the players.

The difference at high-level between no investment and full investment isn't 7, its more like 17. Moderate vs. full investment puts it closer to 10. That's still significant. Even the 5 range between Untrained and Legendary is significant in relative terms.


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Roll twice is fine, roll thrice is kind of "wrong", and unnecessary especially since you're already really good at the rolls.

How about (effects are additive):

Untrained: the usual -2 penalty
Trained: no penalties or advantages
Expert: +1, can now Take 10
Master: +2, can now roll twice at the cost of 1 RP
Legendary: +3, can now Take 10 in threatening situations


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I guess I see the Archetype system as actually more flexible overall, while removing the strangeness of the Fighter just being the king of feats.

In 1e, you had very limited options if you wanted to pick up a class feature from another class. Multi-classing was very mixed in its results and if the class feature you wanted was even mid-level (say 10), you were talking about a huge reduction in capabilities. And any multi-classing in 1e means that your capstone abilities are just gone.

So the only class features effectively available are essentially fighter feats and the shared metamagic feats, given that the fighter is mostly just a collection of combat feats.

Which leads us to the problem of very large pools of options (in this case feats). As 1e added feats to the general pool, the number of optimizations you could make to your class increased. There's this general sense that splat books cause power creep, but that's also a side effect of having more options. Individually a lot of the feats may not be that much better than the core feats, but combined they can make for a much better character mechanically.

Silo-ing combat feats into classes means that problem is largely avoided. 2e is trying to thread the needle where you have access to a large number of features (more so than 1e overall), but while acknowledging that increased options mean increased potential for unbalance. And, personally, I think they've done a decent job of it.


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Looking at e.g. Basic Trickery and Advanced Trickery:

Basic Trickery (Feat 4)
Gain a Level 1 or Level 2 rogue feat.

Advanced Trickery (Feat 6)
Gain one rogue feat. For the purposes of meeting its prerequisites, your rogue level is equal to half your level.
Special You can select this more than once. Yada yada yada.

----

There are no class feats at level 3. So when you first get this, you are still stuck with a level 1 or 2 feat.

Additionally, if you just replaced the text of Basic Trickery with Advanced Trickery, you would have the exact same effect since (Level 4 / 2 = 2).

So you could just have:

Trickery (Feat 4)
Gain one rogue feat. For the purposes of meeting its prerequisites, your rogue level is equal to half your level.
Special You can select this more than once. Yada yada yada.

-----

Now that said, it would be nice if instead it said:

For the purposes of meeting its prerequisites, your rogue level is equal to your level - 4 (minimum 2).

It's kind of annoying that at level 18, you're getting level 8 feats from your dedication. I thought they figured out that "half your level" doesn't work for cross-class or spell-casting in 1e.


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Mathmuse wrote:

My thought is that skill increases can replace class skill bonuses and Skill Focus feats in Pathfinder 2nd Edition. If we give untrained skills +0.33/level minus 1, trained skills +0.4/level, expert skills +0.6/level, master skills +0.8/level, and legendary skills +1/level, then the maximum difference between slopes would be 0.67. At level 20, untrained would give a +5 proficiency and legendary would give +20 proficiency, a difference of only 15.

My friend and I have been discussing this exact approach. We created two different characters no investment (NI) and full investment (FI).

The issue is that between items, feats, ability bonuses you already have up to a +/-10 difference. Adding an additional +15 on top of that breaks the ability to have DC bands.

Looking at table 10-2, they've broken down DCs by difficulty class for each given level, with tasks ranging between Trivial (-2) and Extreme (+2) with High (0) in the middle. The High DC seems to be the baseline for the purposes of most checks (e.g. Lingering Performance, Downtime checks).

So taking into account the various bands, a design goal could be stated that the NI character should have a 50% chance to completely the Trivial task and a 0% chance to complete the Extreme task. Likewise the FI character should have a 100% chance to complete the Trivial task and a 50% chance to complete the Extreme task. The exact percentages can be tweaked, but I'm using them as an example.

If that's the case than we know that the total range of bonuses between two characters cannot exceed 20 (or what is available on the probability die). That's not just proficiency, but all reasonable stackable bonuses.

Now the system could argue that NI isn't a valid strategy and that some investment is required always. In that case you have a Minimum Viable Investment (MVI) which takes the place of NI for calculations. Though if that's the case you limit the viable choices for characters.

Looking at table 10-2, it seems like the approach they've taken is mapping NI/FI. Looking at level 20, the Trivial task is DC 29, while the extreme task is DC 47. The Trivial task maps exactly at 1*L which implies that no investment is presumed. And the level 20 NI character would have about a 50% chance of success, and additionally no chance of making the Extreme DC. In fact, it turns out they would be capped at Low-High.

The FI character on the other hand should have between a +30 (+7 ability, +23 proficiency) and a +37 (+7 ability, +23 proficiency, +7 in various bonuses). That gives them a 50% chance to succeed at an Extreme task and a 0% chance to fail the Trivial-Low tasks.

This gives the GM the ability to set DCs that cover the various storytelling needs and allows them to create challenges that only the FI character can succeed or create challenges that everyone can succeed while giving the FI character a guarantee, allowing the story to move forward smoothly.

Currently the difference between the NI and FI characters caps out at about 17-18, which is what the die can tolerate and still give us a range of options. If the total difference was, say, 27, then the GM would have a lot fewer options as Trivial would be the only task possible for the NI character and FI characters wouldn't even be challenged by a Severe DC.

One possibility is dropping the rate of proficiency increase, though that introduces its own problems. That said, it's a trade-off. Ultimately any adjustment to proficiency bonuses is going to have to take into account that the total distance between the NI character and the FI character cannot exceed the die itself (even if it already does in table 10-2 at high levels).


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It seems like people are upset that monsters level up at the same rate PCs do. Is there a desire that combats just get easier and easier as you gain levels? That at level 20, combats are just a cakewalk? Otherwise I can't understand why its a problem that monsters get better at the same rate.

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