Casters and Alchemists do take longer to create in PF2, especially if you are trying to build a character concept from scratch instead of just plugging in a recommended spell list. But that will be something that can be improved by having more item kits, and good spell lists for a couple of different types of builds. There also isn't a bunch of character building guides for the PF2 classes out there, so the time reading through general feats available to a starting character is not being factored in to building a PF1 character so a lot of power gamers are underestimating how much time it would take to walk in to PF1 and try to make a hyper optimized character.
This seems like a separate issue from secret checks. Would you be fine with secret checks if skill DC checks were lowered?
I abandoned 4e because Pathfinder existed and had APs which blew the competition out of the water. If the stories are there and they stay good, they will keep my business.
Pathfinder 1 has started to lose by business recently because their mechanics actively get in the way of high level storytelling. The adventures that they write cannot keep up with what players can do and require so much GM fiat that books 4-6 become free form/GM writing their own adventure to keep up with what the players can do.
PF2 had issues with expectations being directed one direction on game play and then not living up to those expectations, but as long as the system works to tell the stories, it will keep me interested even if I would have designed the game differently (especially if my issues can easily be house ruled.)
The biggest issue around secret checks is that players hate when they feel like something is being taken away from them. Letting players make checks visibly for the first 5 levels of a game and then changing to secret rolls without consulting all the players is going to feel very punishing.
What a lot of this seems to boil down to is: Is PF2 a new game? or a continuation of PF1?
If it is looked at as a brand new game, and the developers are wanting to introduce secret checks more into the core fabric of the game, then they need to make sure that mechanic is fully supported by the system. That means that they need to provide GMs with more guidance on offering DCs for checks and for how to provide false information so as to not feel like they are just punishing their players. Knowledge checks need more guidance than they have for setting DCs and for making clear what information can be learned from them or else table to table experience is going to vary so widely that the game is going to feel radically different.
If one GM sets high DCs for knowledge checks, and then gives lots of information to players that pass it, they are also increasing the odds their players critically fail their checks and then get lots of false information that might lead them astray.
If another GM sets lower DCs and gives out one or two little bits of info per check, the player is more likely to get one or two little bits of false info, and 95% more correct info. Which is objectively better? It is hard to say, but going back and forth is going to create confusion and frustration for players because they are not getting consistent results from their skills and that will make them feel like investing in those skills is a waste of time.
My personal suggestion would be fore the developers to encourage more smaller checks for knowledge skills for players so they can be relatively certain that some of the information is true and then piecing together what is true or not can be more of a puzzle for the players (as in logic can solve it) rather than a crap shoot of what information to trust.
But "capable" of separating player knowledge from character knowledge doesn't mean that the game is better for forcing players to do so.
People on these boards cry foul about spoilers all the time because they don't want to know what is coming next.
We can just reveal the full map all the time, along with markers of where all the secret doors are and traps because responsible players will make sure their characters still search every room for traps and secret doors, because that is what their characters would do.
And we might as well have players roll all the dice for monster attacks against their characters as well so they get to roll the dice more and then the players can do all that math for the GM as well. We probably need to make sure every PC carries a copy of the bestiary to every gaming session so they can just directly look up all monster stats themselves instead of relying of GM to track that information.
Many good players metagame because they really can't help it. Attacking a red dragon with fire, or a skeleton with piercing weapons, when you know that is ineffective is boring (regardless of whether your character knows that), and it is placing your allies in danger if you take an action you know to be bad because you are not sure if your character would do that or not. But not attacking a red dragon because it is red and that is the color of fire, and you have seen evidence of its fire breath is fun and makes sense for many characters, and if the player doesn't know if it is true or not, because they have never played fantasy RPGs before, or it is a red aberration that they have never heard of instead of a dragon, they are having more fun problem solving than saying, "well, I rolled a one on my knowledge check so I better act as foolishly as possible because I need to be true to the dice and not the story I am a part of creating with my friends."
How do people verify information when they are not certain it is true or not? Is it game shattering that my character may have to see how her information jives with other characters' information?
Now I think that there will eventually need to be a skills splatbook that really helps GMs understand what information can be learned with different proficiencies in knowledge and help generating what false knowledge will look like, and until that comes out, many GMs might be better off not having secret checks for everything called out as secret checks if they are not ready to handle those arbitrations that could really upset PCs when they have been misled, but that doesn't mean the game will be better for writing the secret checks out of the game from the beginning and making it more difficult to write them back in when they have more of the information ready. And if it does feel like their is not enough support for secret checks in the book as written, that seems like a really great feedback point that the developers have time to respond to before the official product release.
No, but many levels you gain one feat or skill increase, and x hp. That is not very much leveling. Especially when you don't gain a class feat. The system doesn't give you enough to make those levels very significant.
But knowledge isn't a highly technical field with easily testable hypothesis that are either true or false. A lot of the base knowledge in pathfinder is hearsay and suspect. This is still true in many fields and why we have so much concern about "fake news."
The false information aspect of the knowledge skills is something I love, especailly because players tend to make their own knowledge checks on monsters in their head when they hear the description of the creature and then hope their characters make their own rolls in ways that teach them (the players) something new about the monster.
Dialing in the DCs of challenges is pretty easy stuff to do and will be done through playtesting. I think that the bonuses for items should be scaled way back to +1 or +2 and then all DCs should assume no item bonus. The only place this gets tricky is with weapons and armor because of the long tradition of +5 being the high end of combat accessories and PF2 is pretty militant about trying to keep things like bonus numbers unified across combat and non-combat mechanics. But there is no skill that gets used as often as a weapon or armor so expected item bonuses really get messy, when every character will have the bonus to saves, AC and attack, but having the right skill item becomes a roulette wheel, especially with resonance limiting what your characters want to bring into the dungeon in the first place.
Personally I would much rather get rid of the +x item bonus across the board because I find it forcing characters down a road of equipment specialization that tends to punish creativity with equipment. But that is getting a little off topic.
PCs are not fighting Level equivalent enemies most of the time in PF2, so they get to look pretty awesome more than 50% of the time. There are some wonky edge cases that still need to be dialed in on a more major level than just adjusting DCs (treat wounds), but a lot of the skill stuff is going to work much better than PF1 once the numbers get settled.
To the OP, every narrative game is a treadmill that spins around the protagonists. It is why these games are so much fun. Your characters are the center of the universe. Sometimes the seams show, and the best way to fix them is to point it out quietly to the developers and then keep playing until it happens again. What is happening on the boards is people are exaggerating the seams as much as possible or getting caught up in the reality that the seams show a lot heavier in a play test, often by design. They don't mean that the whole house is crashing.
Jason S wrote:
This is not really true, by design, and it is a good thing. PCs are characters run by one player. It is ok for one player to have a number of options open to them that NPCs should not have, because NPCs, especially ones entering combat with PCs, rarely live long enough to need 12 different spells to cast or 6 skill feats to exploit. Generally this is one of the things I like best about monster design in PF2.
But monsters built to be easy to run are just going to want to attack as much as possible, especially when their bonuses are shifted towards being good at combat. It will obvious vary significantly by table, but I am willing to bet that there are a lot of tables that will see that monsters are making attack rolls at a 3 to 2 ratio to PCs, and at least 66% of those attacks are occurring with the possibility of critical failure sitting at 10% or higher.
That is a lot of wasted opportunity for a well designed critical failure system to benefit PCs and do interesting things to the tactical situation of the battlefield.
It is absolutely vital that critical failures are not old random tables that can result in mutilating injuries or other long term effects, because monsters don't live long enough for long term effects to be meaningful.
But something like, Critical Failure on a strike results in leaving yourself flat-footed to the enemy you attacked, would be something that players would quickly grow to love.
Two weapon fighters and archers might leave themselves exposed more often than tanky sword and board fighters that are spending an action to raise a shield, but the archers will probably be some what protected by their distance from the enemy and even the two weapon fighter is only leaving themselves exposed to the target of their own attack.
I do understand why the history of critical fumbles leaves a bad taste in many players mouths, but designing an entire system around the idea of 4 degrees of failure and then not testing the waters of utilizing that system as broadly as possible, during a play test, seems like a mistake to me.
I feel like Edd (or the archer specifically) is pretty much the highest end of single target damage dealing in PF2 because of the likelihood that he will be shooting three or more arrows a turn. Right now, it is probably impossible not to class Edd out as either a fighter or a Ranger because there are just too many feats that matter on combat style.
Casters in PF2 look much more to me like "controllers" from 4e than single target blasters. They are at their best mopping up many lower level, but potentially dangerous threats (like well positioned enemy archers), and controlling the battlefield with lasting effects.
Cantrips are, in many ways a bit of trap at two actions a casting as far as damage goes. With how things scale at higher levels, a ranged combat weapon that is kept within 2 or 3 levels of the character is probably going to be a better option if you can grab a shortbow through an ancestry or archetype feat.
The system seems pretty intentionally designed for characters not to use lower level spells in lower level slots for damage dealing, especially not single target high damage dealing. I get why a lot of floks feel like this nerfs the blaster, but it is much better for the game that spells universally do not scale with level. True strike is the much better 1st level spell for the blaster caster than a damage dealing spell.
What caster's need is help finding spells that work well against boss monsters that are a level or two higher than the party (probably in the form of a guide) and probably a few more spells that fit that bill. At low levels it is Magic Missile, but I am not sure what they are at higher levels.
Fair enough, but this seems like one of those issues where it probably just comes down to a matter of opinion and only one side is going to get their preferred system built into the game by default. When I GM, even when asking for secret checks, I do usually announce if someone has rolled a natural 20 (as a means of making it an extra-special method of critical success), unless it is specifically a check where multiple people roll and part of the fun is letting them decide who has the right information.
And dice towers do exist to let players roll their own dice and still have checks be secret, but you are correct that some of the excitement and dread of natural 1s and 20s is lost when skill checks are kept secret. Again, this seems like something that might be good for the developers to point out clearly in the book when talking about making the decision to use secret checks or not and pointing out that it is something that should be made clear before a session begins, especially at something like a convention.
Why is it harmful to the game for Secret rolls to be presented as both the default option, and optional, for tables that don't want to use them?
From interviews with Jason and other developers, it is pretty clear that they would prefer people to use secret rolls unless the specific table is strongly opposed to them.
Everyone should be able to play they way they want to at their own tables, but I appreciate the developers taking the time to spell out how to best utilize secret rolls in the rule book, according to their vision for how that should work, because that makes it much easier for new GMs to learn how to arbitrate them.
So your argument is actually that Metagaming is the fun of roleplaying. For folks that feel that way, secret rolls are obviously a counter to fun. FOr me the fun of roleplaying is collective problem solving and team building. Metagaming ruins the fun of that by taking away doubt and presenting obvious points of action that are illogical not to act upon.
"To your eyes, the dragon appears red, but Freya thinks that the creature is glamored," is a more fun situation for me than "your character thinks the dragon is a red dragon, but this other character rolled a 19 on her perception check and is telling you that it is actually a blue dragon hidden by an illusion spell," or "You are pretty sure it is a red dragon, but this other character rolled a 1 on a perception check and thinks the dragon is under an illusion effect."
I suppose this is probably the kind of conversation that people should have in session zero, because I much more enjoy the process of having a party make decisions together and responding to the unknown, and when a player makes a decision based on the fact they rolled a 3, rather than because they have a bad feeling about this decision, it makes the game much less fun.
Jason S wrote:
It is fine to have opinions on the idea of critical failure, but you seem to be consistently ignoring arguments for incredibly scaled back versions of critical failure for attacks that have a targeted effect that might actually impact monsters more than PCs.
Masda_gib has a good point about some martial class feats having abilities with interesting riders on failure that make the 4 tiers of success more interesting, but I haven't seen anyone use those feats that often, and the big issue for me with the new 3 action economy is that there is no reason for a monster with a shortbow not to stand still and take 3 shots around. Tactically, this makes the game less interesting and more deadly for PCs because critical hits with ranged weapons like bows are pretty devastating and monsters have no reason not to attack 3 times.
I don't want to derail this thread by getting off topic, but I think that this general argument does not do a good job of defending the need to make all roles public. It is easier and more fun to get into character when you get to make decisions for that character based off of the knowledge that they actually have about a situation rather than having to metagame around what you know as a player. Just listen to live streams of games and it becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly that a very large number of players cannot help but make metagaming decisions as soon as they learn what an enemy is, or talk about whether they trust an NPC or not based off of the number showing on the die roll, rather than their own understanding of the situation and what the GM has told them.
This issue issue can be resolved while still allowing GMs to request secret checks with a dice tower. The players can roll their own favorite or lucky dice and not know what the result is.
Obviously, I am most happy with the idea that each table is allowed to decide for themselves whether secret checks are worth the experience or not.
For example, almost everything about what you describe in that scenario of running in to try to hug hippos is the opposite of a "good time," for me as a player. I will not try to break down why except to say that if one player makes a character that must be played in a way that means making destructively terrible choices, that is not a good character for most long term RPGs (as in, the players expect their characters generally to live, to risk their own lives for each other, and to solve problems together over the course of more than a one off adventure).
If the player doesn't see the result (because they rolled the dice in a dice tower, for example), then the GM doesn't have to worry about creating artificial boundaries on what the character does with the best knowledge they have available to them.
Checking things more than once is a logical thing to do, and characters should be capable of being logical and knowing that they are capable of making mistakes without always being forced into knowing whether the mistake was made before acting on that mistake. Having no secret rolls takes that away from players.
I have had a lot more fun recently with a GM that has each player make their own secret sense motive check for sense motive checks, and then tells us who believes the NPC and who doesn't, and then leaves it to us to role play that social encounter out and decide if our characters announce their trust or not or try to communicate it secretly. It makes it much more fun than knowing X rolled a 18 + 2 while I rolled a 1 with a +13 and thus, even though my character usually has a better sense of these things, he is wrong about this person.
In addition to Darksol's point It is also metagaming because the character may decide to check the door again if they see that they roll a one, while they would have no reason to if they roll a 20. You are taking away the opportunity for the players to decide whether to be careful or not if they see all of their rolls, because the GM shouldn't allow the player who rolled a 1 and saw it to check again. Forcing players to act on false knowledge reduces fun. Allowing players to make decisions based upon what they know about the situation is far more exciting and enjoyable.
I like that the DC scales with the the amount of HP you can heal, but agree that a medicinal healer shouldn't have to try to heal the maximum amount each time. Perhaps the level x con mod needs to change so that there are significant benchmarks that can be targeted, because I do think it will be pretty obvious to choose a DC 3 or 4 lower and only lose 3 or 4 HP for most characters, but if a good balance could be achieved, it would could result in interesting choices. Maybe the ability to pick lower DCs for less healing should be a product of proficeincy, so it is something that only expert + medicine characters can do, meaning that less trained characters remain a danger as they level up with their healing as the kinds of injuries they are trying to patch up are more dangerous. Meanwhile, the master or legendary medic can divide the healing up into smaller blocks with an easier DC for a lesser chance of failure.
Maybe the first bench mark would be reducing the DC by 5 for half as much healing (or 1/2 your level x patients con),
I don't think that is the best solution but something towards that could make the proficiency of the healer more relevant for providing quicker and more reliable long term care, while still giving the focused character the better chance of success.
Yes their are mistakes in the book which look completely accidental. But by your own account, the decision to not give away master proficiency in armor was a deliberate decision. It was probably something considered at one time and then changed when it became clear it went against their design principle for armor.
And only clumsy armors take away your dex bonus. I specifically mentioned "lighter" heavy armors.
Bob, I don't know if you saw it or not, but I responded to your earlier thread here.
I appreciate your desire for monster types to have a longer shelf life, but you are free to design an entire 20 level AP around orcs if you want, you just need to start giving them reasons to be more powerful instead of making the PCs fight the same enemy stat blocks for 10+ levels.
I promise you the developers have considered not adding level to proficiency. They are probably still considering it, but they want a game where level is a very significant part of what makes your character powerful. They have talked about wanting high level game play to feel completely different than low level. That includes facing different monsters.
If the idea of having the dice taken out of your hand issue to you personally, why wouldn't you consider buying your own dice tower if your PFS group doesn't have one, and rolling your own dice in the tower and then stating their bonus out loud?
the only really messy issue they need to resolve with secret rolls is how to handle rerolls and abilities that boost rolls after the roll but before the results are mentioned.
I am sorry if I took a condescending tone with my last post, but I think it is pretty harsh to think that the developers have spent two years developing a system as carefully balanced as this (perhaps even overly balanced), having carefully avoided doing exactly what you fear with the ranger, even though that would have made a lot of sense and given the ranger an even more unique niche to fill, and not be aware of this issue. What class would they build to have master or high proficiency in light armor without having given that as an option to rangers, barbarians or rogues?Monster attack values may be off, as a result of using the wrong charts when calibrating all the numbers, but I am pretty confident that the design of advanced armor proficiency existing only for heavier armors is very clearly a well thought out plan.
A ranged fighter or paladin with a very high Dex may choose a "lighter" heavy armor at high level even though it wouldn't stack with their Dex bonus to AC, because their AC would still be higher than their AC in light armor. They still get the Dex bonus to Reflex saves, attacks and skills after all. Melee martials may as well, but movement is being incredibly undervalued on these message boards so I am doubtful the pay off would be worth the loss. Combat style is probably the larger determinant of Armor worn, which just so happens to often coincide with attributes, since most characters are looking to max their primary attack attribute.
Dire Ursus wrote:
But the Paladin proficiency is the obvious better path to heavy armor proficiency because it can be done with less feat investment. I have heard developers state clearly that they do not want mechanical advantages to be tied to narrative restrictions on characters, but making the most narratively restricted character have a huge mechanical advantage for Multi-classing is failing to meet this objective.
Fighter proficiency should be focused more on weapons than armor, since that is the idea behind the class. The issue is tying defense, and Armor specifically to the most narratively restrictive class, the paladin.
If the Monk MC boosts unarmored proficiency, this would be a better way to get higher defense casters that would have a reason to find ways to utilize mage armor.
For gish characters really wanting to focus on being half martial half caster, it is probably ok for heavy armor to cost 2 feats instead of one, but it will be a problem if Paladin MC exists as a way to get it in one, but only if you are lawful good and sworn to a deity. But since the Paladin's unique schtick has been declared Armor, it doesn't make sense for Paladin MC to give anything else.
Frozen Yakman wrote:
What does a good rogue do in PF1? Having a 3.4 BAB and no spell progression made them a laughing stock of a character that was vastly surpassed by the printing of the ACG. The concept of the dibilitating strikes were interesting, but 4 levels were the most anyone was ever going to put into rogue as a MC character. There is something wrong with a Multi-class system in rogue 5/fighter5 is a much worse character than a level 10 fighter, and still a considerably worse character than a level 6 fighter/4 rogue. PF1 multi-classing worked (or didn't work) because martial characters (with the exception of the rogue) were mostly just one big class with a lot of different tag on options (which became even more flexible with archetypes). In many ways, PF1 martial characters were fairly un-classed, with most distinction coming from hand-picking archetypes and feats. But try to add any spell casting element in there and you were either trying to grab one first level buff or utility spell that was better than anything you could do with skills, qualify for an amazing Prestige class, or else you were majorly hurting your character by losing points of BAB that reduced your number of attacks and your ability to hit with them.
It is almost like they realized this and that is why neither the rogue nor the ranger got higher light armor profiencies, and even the paladin, the best armor character in the game, caps out light armor prof at master.
If any abilities come along that even grant master light armor prof, they are going to be multi-class/archetype feats that will require building feats similar to the greymaiden. It is going to be very costly and this balance issue is one the developers are very aware of.
SO I just saw the twitch stream, and one thing really popped out and made me nervous.
We are getting the 12 archetypes today, we all knew that, but Jason also said that the fighter Multi-class will no longer give heavy armor proficiency, meaning that any character that wants to focus on armor instead of weapons, is better served taking the Paladin MC instead of the Fighter.
This is a problem for me, and has been one of my biggest concerns about PF2 since we first learned about the Paladin class, because Characters should not be MCing into Paladin to gain Armor proficiencies.
Personally, I think the problem is that best Armor proficiency is tied to a narratively designed class, and would much rather see a mechanical base class with an awesome Archetype that goes the LG paladin route, but it doesn't look like that is in the works.
I am excited to see the update today, I am just concerned that we are going to see once again that tying Armor to alignment and anathema on a mechanical level is a huge mistake, that is getting further and further baked into the game.
Even if the alignment restriction is relaxed on the Paladin, I just don't see why a wizard that wants to get heavy armor should be able to do it with one feat if they want to take all the oaths of a paladin, instead of a more basic knight or champion class that would focus them on Armor without adding narrative baggage that doesn't make sense.
Which still wouldn't be a problem if enemies didn't have 3 attacks around. Combining massive crits with 3 attacks and a massive penalty, it is just too lethal.
At low levels, Light Armor does not give a +7 bonus. It is not until level 10 that Light Armor is as good at AC as medium armor, and by that point the paladin is already pulling ahead with heavy armor. The "parity" of AC by Armor is not as uniform by level as it looks from a perspective outside of actually building characters.
I do think this is creating a problem for the play of PF2, but it is one of perception and people's expectations more so than how it actual works in play.
The issue is more a party of three fighting the same solo monster as a party of four. In PF1 solo monsters only had a chance against a party if the monster had mobility that allowed it to vastly undercut the party's action economy advantage.
In PF2 higher level monsters are just more powerful. May the GM should have scaled the level of monster back for your party of 3 by a level or 2. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be fairly easy as a GM to give a monster a -1 or -2 penalty to everything to adjust on the fly to make the battle a little more even.
Also, getting a -4 to -7 to AC for getting Paralyzed, on top of losing an Dex bonus and becoming flat-footed is asking for getting hit critically 2 or 3 times a turn, by every enemy that attacks you. At the very least it would make any monsters that have those kinds of abilities Party killers.
Logically, maybe proficiency is more about taking care of your armor and putting it on right in the first place?
People seem pretty fired up here but I think all of us need to step back and calm down.
One point that I see with a lot of people arguing against adding the level bonus to proficiency is a desire for a wider range of monsters that a GM can effectively use against their PCs. I am sympathetic to this justification, but from a developer perspective, its importance is probably feeling over blown for the following reasons:
1. The developers are most concerned with the encounters that other developers will be designing in APs. APs generally progress in such a way that you are not fighting the same kind of monsters for many levels of play and they are happy to come up with reasons to add new or different templates to monsters rather than have them be the same creatures you fought 6 levels ago. (Writing this one out, it actually reminds me that this is probably a good idea even for homebrewers because fighting the same orcs for 10 levels of play Doesn't really make sense. If they keep losing with the troops they have, why are they not trying to make deals with more powerful creatures or at least training to become more threatening to their enemies?)
2. This design creates its own need for more monsters of all levels, meaning that the need for new bestiaries will be more pronounced as random encounter tables will have a more narrow range of levels that will be challenging. This sounds like a marketing issue, but really, I think that from a fun prospective, there are only so many orc adventures (or Kobold or goblin) adventures you can write before you are at least looking for ways to play with creatures who have been corrupted by abyssal energies or pushing that design so that the party is facing creatures that don't quite work the way they expect them to.
3. The developers have a better sense of what "power level" is in the Golarion than we do. It is probably most important that they develop the system that lets them tell the stories of Golarion in the best manner to fit what their idea of what a level 18 Dragon is than to have to re write everything, because I personally want to homebrew a world where my party fights the same monster for the entire campaign. As Vic has successfully argued for months now, the overall structure of this game is easy to play with, and if you need to change something to fit your own homebrew needs, it seems flexible enough to do so.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
This seemed like its clear direction from the beginning, and probably why I was never interested in it. I am still on the fence about some aspects of PF2, but I am not worried it will be over-simplified.
How is it artificial that some characters get higher skill proficiencies in some armors than others, but not artificial that some classes get higher weapon proficiencies than others? Or that Rogues get so many more skill proficiencies than other classes?
It really seems like the complaint here is that people do not like that the only thing armor proficiency does is increase the AC, It doesn't enable you to unlock any special armor abilities. Even Fighters and Paladins who get special abilities with armor only do so as a class ability, not a proficiency ability.
People like the idea of proficiency in something being significant, but, especially with level factoring into your AC now, a +1 for proficiency doesn't really seem to justify a proficiency system for armor. At this point, it would be just as easy to limit all characters to trained or untrained with armor and then give fighters and paladins access to a feat that increased AC when wearing heavy armor (a feat factored into dedications like Grey Warden) and then no one would feel like their character was being treated unfairly because those feats didn't exist for light armor, and Light armor characters could have access to mobility feats that only work in light armor. This would accomplish the same thing as proficiency without feeling so jarring.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Everything you are listing is a final product. The PF2 handbook is going to look a lot different and have a much higher budget of full color art and a more rigorous editing process.
"wow" factor is a very difficult metric to judge on an active playtest where the game rules themselves are going to be messy moving parts, making organizing them for visual effect rather difficult.
PF2 playtest is messy and has more rules included than will make the PF2 final product, as well as entire areas of the game that are not getting play tested as rigorously and thus are not in the playtest rules, whether or not that gets sorted the way I want it to, it will get sorted and the mess and the "empty" feel of the rulebook will be addressed. Writing great flavor for things that might not make the final product is not a great use of developer's resources so it makes sense that the interface is not as lively as it will be when the decisions are made and the content of the product is more secured. I am guessing that the dryness and the complexity are both things that will be greatly reduced in the actual product release.
1/2 level is going to be the most work to implement because it means having to completely reconsider the leveling charts for PCs to avoid the feel of dead levels, and the CRs of even or odd monsters is going to be weighted a lot differently. I think it is not a very likely option.
Personally I think +level is very likely to stay as is, but if people really hate it and raise hell about it, I could see them working a slight (like +1 difference per tier) additional bonus into proficiencies and otherwise having no level bonus.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
This is a clear example of why I'm expecting Paizo isn't going to change things. They keep saying "we'll add more stuff" when those on the forums complain about class feats and such. They've already said they're revamping resonance dramatically. They've removed signature skills. But they've said nothing on changing +level to everything or significantly reworking class feats. Instead we're getting "we'll add more content" which means that the feedback Paizo has received thus far tells them they don't need to excise these elements from the game and completely rework them.
As far as the +level bonus to proficiency, I have seen the question come up on the deconstructing DD twitch stream on more than one occasion, even brought up by subscribers, and it never got asked on air. It looks like a subject that they are deliberately avoiding talking about for now. My amateur guess is that they want to wait to get survey data from higher level play before commenting on something specifically implemented to simplify high-level play (but keep it to heroic levels of high fantasy). That does mean that if they are going to try changing it, it will be late in the play test, but my guess at this point is it is either all (+level) or nothing (No bonus for level). I don't see any 1/2 level or 1/4 level measures without having to massively rebalance the leveling up charts.
This is where I think Paizo might have over-reached with its publicizing. Playtesting is work. Especially in a Table top RPG where there is no computer that will be handling all of the rules and rule-changes. I think a lot of people were expecting to be playing a more finalized and put together product and are getting frustrated that the reality of a playtest is not matching their expectations for what PF2 will eventually become.
Rules Artificer wrote:
Which is a different result than just a regular success. Most spells have 4 degrees of success. That is a different mechanic than attacking, so I am failing to see this point as parity.
I think Fuzzypaws suggestion that the flatfooted only applies to the target missed would make the critical failure significant without it being penalizing in a way that reduces fun (like taking away actions or adding a large penalty to future attacks). Also martials should have access to feats that treats critical misses on melee or ranged attacks as just misses, (which would also make them resistant to the handful of monsters who have reactions that trigger on critical misses).
But fumbles do exist, intentionally in PF2, with special rules for making them more likely, and then they have a minimized impact on the game outside of skills and saving throws.
I understand and am sympathetic to these reasons by any rules involving them could be harshest on PCs, but this is less true in PF2 than it has been in other games of the past. The main reason being that PCs usually have more different actions to take, and thus when confronted with the choice between taking a low accuracy attack and doing something else, there is always something else worth doing, that is just not seen as valuable as attacking for a second or third time. Monsters on the other hand, rarely have anything else to do and attacking for a third time is proving to be a tactically superior option generally, compounded by the number of combatants.
Now, I agree that it is important that the fumble not be anything too severe. Personally, I think inflicting damage on yourself is too severe, but something like leaving yourself flat-footed is just enough to make characters think about when the third attack is worth taking and when it is not. Tank Characters for example, would have a much better reason to raise a shield with a third action if they are out in front and facing multiple attackers next round, but an archer in good cover is probably just going to keep shooting.
And Casters are far more dependent on attack rolls in PF2 than they were in PF1. They probably won't be making three of them, but I would hardly say that this rule is unnecessarily punishing to Martials. If anything, it increases the likelihood that at least one monster is going to be standing close by and flat-footed next turn, presenting an easy target.
And the important reason for it not to be a stacking penalty is that the book keeping on it needs to be minimized. The GM already has to keep track of enemies that might be flat-footed, which can easily be represented by turning a mini sideways.
Charon Onozuka wrote:
Normally I wouldn't be one for any type of critical fumble rules, but considering that it'd actually apply more of a risk for a third attack in a round (and help incentivize doing something else), I kinda wish there was at least some minor penalty associated with critically failing an attack. Right now it is just a miss like a normal failure.
I strongly agree. I think critical failure has gotten a bad rap from having it result in things like hurting yourself or throwing your weapon across the room, but with the three action economy, I feel like the game is missing something by not having characters particularly care if they critically fail attack rolls or not. The extra weight of bonuses don't really matter when the attack roll requires an 11 or more to hit, but it would matter a lot more if critical failure mattered at all.
Right now, I would lean towards a critical failure on an attack roll leaving you flat-footed, with some classes having feats to mitigate it, especially for folks like monks, fighters and rangers with abilities leaning towards multiple attacks.
It would also go farther in making hunt target worth-while, but I don't think it would solve the lack-lusterness of that ability overall.
We have rules for making NPCs. If it is a character exists to interact with the PCs one time in a specific context, they need exactly that many skills and abilities. Instead of rolling that character up, you can just decide an appropriate DC for that ability based upon what you feel like the general level of the character is and how good they are at it +/- and specific circumstantial bonuses that feel appropriate to the situation.
If the players start interacting with them more, and they start to become a more permanent part of the party, then they should fully obey PC rules and be built as PCs.
If they are +/- 5 levels than the party, the story is going to radically suffer as the NPC becomes a major liability to keep alive, or overwhelm the party with effectiveness, unless the GM creates a very specific set of circumstances that balance that character for the duration of their interactions with the PCs. Usually, that is not worth doing on the fly, and it is better reserved for when you, the GM, are creating your story in the first place and come up with the characters that will most likely be important to it.
Mathmuse has pointed out to us that the example given, Lady Lightleaf, is not one that he would try to build a campaign around. Why? Because the situation of her introduction is not a good long term story to build around. Nobody makes it to level 16, much less level 20 as a commoner. Probably no one makes it past level 3-4 as a commoner. There may not a pure "diplomat" class in PF1, but by the time she becomes a diplomat, Lady Lightleaf is probably advancing as an aristocrat (if she is still in the NPC classes) and could probably easily given levels in investigator or rogue or bard or cavalier.
Which is what you would do if you were building her character to be someone that is going to be a major part of the on going story and be someone who expects regularly to be attacked by assassins. The developers of Adventure paths always give central NPCs class levels for this reason.
The 20th level NPC class was a mistake in 3.x, it should probably have stopped at 10 at the highest, possibly level 5.
What PF2 does with monster is so much better than trying to build everyone up with class levels because it was never important that such and such (diliberate hypothetical) guards were level 12 warriors for the sake of the role they played in the world. They were made level 12 because that was the right level for them to be in terms of the story that the writer was trying to create and the rest was retrofitted into place to make those 12 levels sensible.
There should not legendary smiths who have done nothing but forge swords in the castle their entire life. Expert maybe, but A legendary smith earns the title by surviving through legendary circumstances.
A diplomat doesn't need to be level 20 to be the best diplomat in the kingdom. If they are level 20, with a legendary rank in diplomacy it is because they have survived many difficult, nearly impossible situations and learned how to negotiate from them. If that character is able to pick up a sword tossed to the ground and defend themselves long enough for the PCs to save the day, it does not shatter the plausibility of the story.
I think one of the biggest pushes to get away from having every NPC have a definable class to build a full stat block around is the absurdity of the level 20 commoner. Leveling up commoners really makes no sense as they cease to be common at the point they get even a couple of levels.
As much as I had with 3.x systems use of NPC classes, they kind of made a mess of things. by trying to make table top RPGs work too much like a sandboxy videogame RPG where there is a program running the thousands of characters behind the scenes. It is a detriment to narrative story telling to force the GM to consider the Matrix of rules that might define every living thing in the world they are creating rather than giving them one or two easy charts for pulling numbers out of a hat when the story goes off script.
So to this example, it is a bad story for the hero to walk in the room and have the diplomat fighting off the assassin beat the assassin readily. Why does the diplomat need to be 20th level? Is she a character that is going to be in the story until the hero is 20th level? Can't she grow as a character as the story goes a long and start much lower?
As easy as it is to make up examples of things that make the math seem ridiculous in PF2, it seems like the vast majority of the examples (Barbarian Professors and singers as another example), are taken care of rather easily by intelligent narrative design, without which every RPG falls apart right away because without good story telling, good rules are pointless.
I have no issue with the idea that recall knowledge might be a way around having to magically identify the properties of an item who's story might be known, but I think the new system still leaves plenty of opportunity for having the dragon slaying sword located in the dungeon with the dragon.
I think it could be rather fun to have a treasure item that is a sword with clear indicators that it could be a dragon slaying sword, either from visual clues on the weapon itself or hints in the room the treasure is found in. This gives the players the excitement of having a clue what the weapon does without certainty and makes it more fun and rewarding to try it out and learn in combat how effective it is. If all identification defaulted to 1 round, then this kind of "what is it?" uncertainty would pretty much be removed from the game. Also as a GM, just deciding to make identifying items automatic and take no time is one of the easiest rules to add and as long as the things that make it quicker stay skill feats and not class features, then you have no classes where that house rule is stepping harshly on any characters toes.
Deadly is a quality that scales and is an awesome trait for bows. If the long bow loses it and the short bow keeps it, the short bow is a much better weapon, even as it levels up. Having bows be devastatingly effective when really hitting (critical hit) and not so powerful on regular hits really does a good job of making Archery fun and feel like it looks in fantasy action movies (regular hits glance off arms or armor, while critical hits are the ones that really stick in vital areas.
It does have a problem currently though, and it is not that ranged combat does too little damage.
An issue that the new action economy hides well, but has not addressed is that standing still and attacking as much as possible is the best way to defeat enemies. ranged weapons with no reload time are pretty much the kings of action economy right now and giving them any full attribute bonus to damage is going to make them the much better option than using finesse weapons, especially if you make longbows usable at all ranges. Without AoOs, the Archer doesn't have to move if someone advances to melee on them. You just keep standing still and firing three times.
As long as critical misses have no failures when attacking (especially when attacking with a ranged weapon), any weapon that reliably lets you get 3 attacks and not waste time moving is worth a lot more in damage calculations than it is getting in your analysis.
As much as I dislike dex to damage generally, I can see how it is a passible solution as implemented for the rogue, which includes limiting away from ranged weapons. Fighters and rangers get feats for making finesse melee weapons work better and for other classes, the point of a finesse weapons is that you can keep up a decent attack and defense bonus with only one stat. That is good enough for classes like Bards and Clerics that are otherwise MAD. They don't need it to contribute to damage as well because attack bonus is the most important attribute for reliably doing damage in PF2.
If flat die to damage wasn't threatening at any level of play then fireball would never have become one of the most popular spells of all time over every edition of the game.
Data Lore wrote:
I think it might be a good idea for all variable effects of magical items to operate as if they rolled a 1 without resonance. A lot of the miscellaneous / wonderous items / skill bonus items are going to have to be reconsidered because static bonus stuff will have to be scaled back immensely as well, and that will probably be harder.