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The trickiest part for GMing with PCs that are in to trying to be melee skirmishers is that the nature of dungeons and battlefield set up can be extremely limiting for characters wanting to invest resources in being fast enough to hit and run from combat. How much resources are the party putting into getting the upperhand/choosing where the fight takes place?

The average party tends to walk into rooms and then react to what they see there. Skirmishing is nearly impossible in this scenario, or quickly turns into the rogue going first, moving in too far to get off an early sneak attack and then getting overwhelmed. But if they don't move in first, then the enemy clogs the choke point before the fighter can move the front line into a more advantageous position and the skirmisher is trapped in the back line feeling useless, especially if they don't have the feat support to make ranged attacks past allies feasible. Mobility in PF is far more than your movement speed, especially in a crowded dungeon.

Casting becomes the easiest way to accomplish this, especially beyond 4th level, even if it is not one character doing both the casting and the skirmishing. Use Magic Device can function as a work around, but it burns through character resources, which can be fine, but might frustrate the rest of the party if they were built around wanting to save every coin to improve their big six items as fast as possible.

Basically, skirmishing pretty much requires cooperation of party members and is a great way to get a group working together and feeling like a team when a plan works out and everyone plays their part, but will quickly start to have characters drop when they don't include recon and emergency withdrawl factored in to their general combat strategies.

I also strongly agree with and echo many posters above that point out that the real tactics of combat skirmishing are problematic when trying to apply directly to a fantasy setting where injuries can be healed almost instantly and resources recovered much more quickly than in real life. Magic changes both the goal of skirmishing and the way it is countered.

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One of the design decisions that many folks find frustrating is that, by and large, proficiency advancement, especially higher than trained, is something that is supposed to be controlled more by class and level in PF2 than by feat or character design focus. It is one of the biggest scales of customization removed between PF1 and 2. The multi-class rules are deliberately restrictive about this because the system is designed around level and class increasing power, while feats are for flexibility and adding new things, rather than more powerful things, to characters.

Compared to PF1, this is a big change that will always feel restrictive to some people that enjoyed playing the game of finding the fastest path to the most powerful character. But it should work well enough for enabling concepts.

Proficiency with a weapon in PF1 was only really significant for character concept for a short period of time as far as level went. A pure rogue in PF1 essentially ends up with something far less than PF2's expert proficiency in their weapons by level 20, while a level 20 wizard is barely less likely to be hitting with a weapon they are proficient with than one they are not. The magical power of the weapon is probably more significant than the proficiency by that level.

Armor was a horse of a different color because the penalties were so massive for everyone untrained, and Arcane spell failure made proficiency alone not that appealing to many multi-class builds.

The idea that any character should have a path to legendary or even master proficiency in something is just not a part of PF2. For some people that is balance and for some that seems incredibly frustrating.

ErichAD wrote:
NielsenE wrote:

I would love these. I bought the crazy Beadle & Grimms Platinum edition for one of the 5e adventures and the only bonus thing/prop/ etc that I thought was amazing was the complete set of monster & npc reference cards. Each was about a 6" by 8" card, nice artwork on one side, and full stats on the back.

The fact that 2e monsters are simpler, makes this even more viable/possible IMO. There would be enough space, generally, to print the full monster stats and abilities, compared to full feats.

A monster manual that looked more like a card collector binder would be sort of cool. It would be an upgrade over the AD&D monster manual binder. They may as well get as much value out of the more concise monster stats as they possibly can.

You'd have to be careful about stepping on proprietary toes, and if Paizo themselves did it, it would be awesome, but a product of plasticized cards with a picture of the monster on one side and stats that could be written on with a dry erase marker on the other would certainly be something that a lot of folks that are not playing with online resources would love.

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graystone wrote:

And my original point still stands: I HAVE to have a bad time before I know there's any issues with how a DM handles the animal companion. Either that or have a philosophical debate on what 'defend yourself' means in a wide variety of situations every time I want to use anything with the minion feature... IMO, the easier, safer and saner route is to just never take those features.

One time, this is true, before you realize that an element of the rules requires a lot of collaboration between the GM and the player to make sure that it is fun for everyone, but once you do know that, you either avoid that element going into a new game with a new GM, or you bring it up when you are talking to them about joining their game and what character you are thinking of making.

For example, I absolutely love illusionist characters in PF1. But the system for determining how illusion spells work, collectively and for many individually is an absolute nightmare of subjective GM calls, because most of it is happening inside of character's heads. Even though it is one of my favorite characters to play, I don't play it when we have someone new to the GM chair, and when playing with a more experienced GM, it is still necessary to talk through things like the spell Haunted Mist and how they want to define "interact with" as a concept.

Learning this can be very frustrating, but if you find yourself often having to make new characters for games with new GMs (maybe in play-by-post situations or conventions), it pretty much becomes essential to finding good groups to work with and learning how to communicate about those elements of the game collectively helps everyone at the table/Virtual table.

For games with new groups that promise to be long running campaigns where you might invest 100+ hours playing and years of thinking about character development, then putting in the effort at the beginning is even more important, and having a list of "subjective" game elements that need to be discussed preemptively is a part of learning how to be a good team player.

I am sure it will not be long, before it will be possible for monsters with class levels to be a thing and the cross book indexing to be a bane in pen and paper DMing. Even though it will likely come in the form of having monster ancestries, I am curious how that will work for creatures like actual dragons and demons. Now I am sure it will probably only be one or two monsters/NPCs per book that get abilities that involve a lot of cross referencing, but even once their is more than one Bestiary, there will fights where you might need two or three books to keep up.

I realize some folks will make these reference cards on their own, but if I had that kind of time, I'd probably be homing brewing more anyway.

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I wonder what class other than barbarian will have more than 10+level HP, to necessitate that distinction in Barbarian Resiliency. I am guessing it is just future proofing but, I am still curious, without prestige classes, what class could go above 10.

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This idea spawned from a concern I had about the long term growth of the product line in managing monsters in APs that utilize feats, spells, and abilities from multiple resources, but understanding why it is a problem to have to list every monster ability in APs that are cramped for space. It would be really cool for Future PF2 APs to have a supplemental condensed reference card or short booklet that was just a collection of the monsters in each chapter of the AP, that included the listings for the feats and spells those monsters (especially boss monsters) use, for folks playing on a table top without access to digital resource managers like hero-lab.

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I really hope that PF2 decides to keep its organizational structure and system design focused around print media and book format. I mean, I'd also love an RPG designed and built around a digital database framework, but I dislike how much PF1 was dependent upon digital resources, to manage play (such as having to cross reference monsters in APs that had class levels and spells from 3 or 4 different resources), without the company taking a digital first mentality to the design of its products. Complicated mixes of archetype dedications, class feats and spells have the potential to go this same direction, but it is my hope that the new PF2 stat blocking for these things will allow for less space needed in APs to list abilities related to the monsters used.

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We can laugh about it in a world where magic as a weapon of mass destruction isn't real, but why wouldn't people in Golarion treat people picking up a music instrument or making incomprehensible sounds on a similar level to someone drawing a gun? The assumption that spell casting creates a visible magical aura actually goes a long way to making it safe for folks that are just playing musical instruments not to be burned at the stake or thrown in the river when something bad happens during their song.

Edit: I mean every first level bard is capable of casting charm person. Why on earth would you let traveling minstrels put on any kind of show, unless disguising magic was a difficult thing to do that required expert training?

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Shisumo wrote:
Rogue class feat: Twin Feint, two-attack activity (two actions) that treats the target as flat-footed against the second attack.

This is a much better solution to the problem of the two weapon rogue than giving them access to one of the feats from the fighter or ranger class list. It is a way to get flatfooted without any other characters involvement, but it is a secondary attack, so it is best done with a weapon with as little MAP as possible.

Very well done design team!

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Grapple targets Fortitude saves.

It does seem like society play is going to have to have the window of character level limited so that the party can only vary by one or two levels, or it is going to become very lethal to those players too far behind. Probably it would be easiest to recommend players show up with more than one character and for there to be rules for helping characters level up on the fly due to off screen adventures to keep things more equal. Maybe society play is not the best place for the games traditional xp system and they will come up with something else specifically for it.

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I think whatever physics allow dragons to fly would probably allow for strength to be tied to any number of internal or external sources and not have only one specific look justify it. As far as I am concerned this is a good thing.

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Garydee wrote:
More grittiness. I want a group of orcs to be a challenge for a higher level group.

This is such an interesting refrain on these boards, that is really confounding to me.

Is the idea of more different kinds of orcs, through something like templates, (similar to orcs having class levels, but perhaps easier to design on the fly for GMs), not a much better solution for this? Does a level 1-20 AP where the exact same villains are thrown at the PCs for 3 or 4 books out of 6 really sound like the most fun adventure to play through.

"Oh look, more orcs! Lets use the exact same tactics we used the last 20 battles again, because we know their stats, good and bad saves, and everything else that they might possibly try to do."

I feel like this desire "high level characters should be killable by low-level characters" is much more about creating story arcs that only really work in fiction. In RPGs those scenes almost always have to happen with some kind of heavy handed plot armor to force the intended result as far as the Queen living or being assassinated in front of the PCs without the PCs getting murdered. I love gritty gaming too, but it is only really fun in a system where characters can be built very quickly without too much emotional attachment so that when they die every 5th or 6th encounter, it is not a massive production or emotional drain.

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I foresee a future of Golarion where most wizards wear heavy armor, at least for lower levels.

Casters are now incredibly SAD.
There is no arcane spell failure.
boosting wisdom (with the added benefit of having a monster will save) or charisma (for more flexibility in additional spell lists) to 16 now opens up multi-classing feats that significantly increase spells per day (especially with the general decrease in spells per day).

kaisc006 wrote:

Everything in the world should be legendary possible and everyone should have some way to become legendary on what they want regardless of class (some should of course have a much easier time than others, abilities can still be locked such as spell casting in armor and what not)

This is one simplified theoretical approach that could have been taken, but it was not, especially for armor. Probably, the idea that ACs between heavy and light armor could vary dramatically had to go out the window with the +/-10 critical system and there really isn't room for legendary light armor proficiency with the additional spread of proficiencies from +1 to +2. It doubled down on that problem.

The only way a legendary light armor proficiency could make sense mathematically and not destroy game balance, (but not make any sense conceptually or by lore) would be to give it to a character that could not afford an 18 Dex to start, nor to boost it at every opportunity, but with 4 stat boosts every five levels, that really isn't possible.

To bring this back to balancing the difficulties, Armor, attacks and Saves just cannot fall outside of a +/-4 really (as far as just from proficiency, not from any other bonus) at equal levels or critical results start happening so often that the game returns to PF1s hyper focus on the specialized character dominating the game and encounters in published adventures end up impossible to write that feel balanced for both experienced players and new players.

Adventure modules and Paths are the thing that makes pathfinder special. It is pretty important that the new rule set prioritize the simplification of adventure writing, not player expectation for design elegance, for the success of the game. Which is difficult for me personally, because I like getting nerdy on the game design side, but that is why I agree with Mark, and would probably run untrained -4 house rule or the no +level to any proficiency for any future pathfinder game I run.

It will be interesting to see how specifically targeted to the campaign they are, or if the toolbox serves somewhat as a testing grounds for abilities that might eventually reappear as an uncommon or common option for classes down the road. Especially with Archetypes being mentioned as a thing that might appear here.

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SO, after watching Pathfinder friday, it sounds like each AP book is going to include an "adventure toolbox" that includes the bestiary/magic items stuff we are familiar with in APs, but they are also going to include new player options that are adventure path specific. I have always loved adventures that allow for thematic story driven rewards that are more than equipment, but it raises a lot of questions about how specific these new feats, spells, powers, etc are going to be revealed to players and whether these things will be opened to general play, or if they will be rare/unique options that are really only supposed to exist within the specific adventure path.

I guess it is my hope that they are incredibly restricted because I worry about new stuff being released every month that ends up becoming confusing with inconsistent rules (haunting mists for example). In theory, I am thinking that is what the whole rarity system is for, but I am curious about whether these adventurer tools will be useful to players that will not know what is coming, especially if there are new ones in every book.

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Also, as far as advancing monsters from low level bases. I am pretty sure we are going to get a lot more interesting templates than just "advanced" for making skeleton like monsters that feel justifiably higher level, with abilities that are more interesting than bigger numbers. Maybe not in the first bestiary, but probably very shortly in the book that helps DMs make monsters from scratch.

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Mathmuse wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I agree that getting rid of Fractional growth allows the differences between chars to remain consistent throughout the game and at a manageable level. Well, the last part would be true in PF1... But I have a feeling that these differences are going to be more dramatic this game. The new crit system makes every point of difference matter a lot more than before.

That is correct. In PF1 if a character hits on a roll of 8 or higher, then a +1 to hit changes a 13/20 chance to hit to a 14/20 chance to hit, a 7.7% improvement. In contrast, in PF2 if a character hits on a roll of 8 or higher, then a +1 to hit changes a 10/20 chance at a hit and a 3/20 chance at a critical hit into a 10/20 chance at a hit and a 4/20 chance at a critical hit. Since critical hits deal double damage, they are twice as valuable as regular hits, so that is a 12.5% improvement.

A +1 in PF2 has 50% more effect than a +1 in PF2.

ChibiNyan wrote:

Lv1 Valeros has a +9 to hit, lv1 Ezren with 12 Str (above average) has +4. It's not that far-off the gap in PF1, but in this system it means a lot more and it's still gonna grow even wider as they level up (Mostly from magic weapons and improved proficiency) and enemies are gonna grow according to the Fighter numbers. The same can be said for saves (Which I assume you get +level even when untrained). Right off the bat we're playing with some gaps that will never be closed, have a huge impact and make the weaker character say "why bother?".

So I wonder, in practical terms, if this is really allowing these characters to "keep up" or "prevent the gap from growing" as levels go up. In PF1 the differences get very ridiculous if someone invests, but it does take until mid/high levels before it gets silly. Does the new system alleviate this enough to counteract the +10/-10 system?

I don't see how ChibiNyan got such large bonuses for 1st-level characters, but I can make some comparisons of my own. A wizard's chance to hit in melee seldom matters for games,...

Mathmuse, thanks for always being willing to really look closely at the numbers. Your contributions here are always so thoughtful and thought provoking.

Also, PF2 proficiencies are going to look different than the playtest because of the boost. We already know wizards get bumped to expert in their trained first level weapons at some point. I can't imagine that the druid is not going to get at least the same treatment, with the potential for more boosts if fighting with natural weapons is the characters primary focus. We don't want to jump the gun yet with some of the higher level extrapolations of numbers because it is very likely that the floor for high level characters, for necessary but not primary proficiencies will be expert and not trained.

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Captain Morgan wrote:

In my experience, a well run dragon tends to dictate the terms of engagement. They are smart enough to have strategies of their own, are deadly at both range and melee, are highly resistant to magic, and have a 200 foot fly speed. And that's before you touch possible spells....

Planning against all that is rather difficult. It is still worth coming up with a plan, but there are few silver bullets for dragons.

That is what has me excited for a dragon themed AP.

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I am glad that Pathfinder 2E is able to build on a world that is developed enough that they no longer have to avoid a "dragon" campaign out of fear that it steps on the toes of D&D. I really hope the dragon fighting in this campaign involves Reign of fire level antics for having to research and develop plans for bringing down the most powerful of dragons, rather than just having dragon slaying XYZ items that reduce fighting dragons into numbers games of better bonuses for using the same old strategies used for fighting everything.

I don't know the dragons name, but isn't this adventure path essentially going to be about fighting the dragon that has been on the front cover of both core rule books?

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I hope rituals have their own chapter and are not just a small subsection of spells, including more of them but also more ideas for how they can be used by players and GMs.

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Character concept is a very nebulous idea that hasn't traditionally had one set of rules for what defines it. For some folks it is much more narrative and for others it is mechanical. PF2 looks like it is trying bridge its narrative and mechanical elements of character concept much more rigidly then PF1 did (hence the much stronger class gates and pushing things like combat styles into classes).

In PF1 class identity was a gambit of character defining to nearly meaningless. Fighter and rogue really didn't mean much as a character identity without a very strong and specific archetype, for example. While some classes, like Paladin, Sorcerer, and Oracle had very intense narrative elements tied to them, even if a lot of players ignored those narrative elements for the sake of having specific mechanical builds.

PF2 really wants all classes to have narrative identity, and if best at [xyz] is a part of that, then class feats really can't be an open grab bag of general feats, because class feats are supposed to tie in more deeply to character identity. If you want a ranger who is really focused on being the best archer in the world, then that character probably does need to multi-class into fighter because fighter feats should be generally stronger combat feats, while ranger feats related to archery should probably tie more into narrative ranger elements (I probably shouldn't have picked the ranger for this because I think the ranger is lacking in quality narrative and mechanical design spaces, and should probably be an archetype instead of core class, but that is a digression that will probably get more of a response than the rest of this post).

Personally I have issues across the board with the specifics of how PF2 is chasing class-based character definition, but I do appreciate that they have decided that they are a class based game and that means that classes should be meaningful to the game in narratively explainable contexts. In my ideal world, that would have meant scaling the number of classes back to probably 6 and turning many classes into archetypes that can be assembled with archetype feats, but in a lot of ways, PF2 is being limited by the same kind of attitudes that limited pathfinder when it first broke off from 3rd edition.

Come on Y'all, Dan is doing everything he can to get people excited about watching paizo's twitch stream, that is like his deal. It is not surprising that Dan's big announcement is related to the twitch stream. I really enjoyed watching the developers run the playtest, and I bet the people they have playing are going to be a lot of fun.

Armor as DR might happen as an optional unchained type rule, but it seems pretty obvious to me that the developers do not want that to be the default mechanic of the game, and thus, I don't think trying to balance armor selection around DR will be suitable as a system-wide fix.

The primary reason why the developers have avoided it is because it adds an extra step to every combat round (roll to hit, roll for damage, now subtract DR), that will be present in every combat. Players should eventually learn it and track it constantly, but if armor does more than just give AC, then every NPC and Monster is going to have to have something similar to compensate and that sounds like a nightmare to GM around. Resistances and weaknesses already slow fights down enough, imagine them factoring into 50% more stat blocks and having arbitrary values between 1 and 10 instead of a flat 5 0r 10? It is not the simple solution, and the more it interacts with proficiency, the more awkward it will be to apply it to creatures.

I actually wonder if the AC numbers on all Armor are not getting adjusted with the new stretched proficiency scale and likely lowering of magical item bonus. If Heavy armors gain an extra +4 to AC, then there will be room for more classes to get higher light armor proficiency.

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The DM of wrote:

Why is this class-locked? And why aren't there options to improve proficiency by choice?

Because 2nd Edition is trying to make class choice significant throughout a character's entire adventuring career and chose proficiencies, class features and class feats as the three elements that are most restricted by class. I especially have a problem with champions being the only characters that advance to legendary in heavy armor, but I understand why it was done. Class Identity is defined by proficiency.

That said, stretching out the difference between proficiencies is going to mean that the floor for all classes is going to be getting raised to expert at higher levels, so barbarians, and rangers, and probably rogues all will get master proficiency with weapons and I am betting we will see a lot more expert armor proficiencies as well.

The final game will probably have feats for granting expert proficiencies now, in addition to trained, but will probably reserve master and legendary for specific classes or atleast specific archetype trees.

So depending upon how you look at it, either the final game is going to give you the flexibility you are looking for, or the floor being raised is going to mean that there really is no where further up for proficiencies to go and it is the same problem, but with the appearance of more options.

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My issue with looking to some version of integrating druid multi-classing into the ranger class design is that it sets a terrible precedent of having whole classes who's schtick is that they have one or more feats without paying for them.

The idea that the ranger's unique design space is tracking is interesting, but that largely seems like what was attempted with hunt target, as far as the 1.6 rule set. Having the focus be so exclusively on one target is not a massive issue for me, although I agree that it thematically looks silly when the ranger finds the tracks of a group of people, but they have to hyper focus on just one. I also think it would be cool for the tracking stuff to have more mystical applications, and that that could be a fairly unique space, although, a lot of that stuff just feels like hyped up survival and nature skill feats.

Right now I still think you end up with a better PF1 ranger by multi-classing fighter and druid together, although I have never been a super big fan of animal companions, so I personally don't care that the multi-class druid essentially has to choose between a companion or casting (if they want to be decent at either). Being really good with a bow and having druid spells feels more rangery to me than having a companion and the hunt target ability. Luckily, I can build that character in the playtest, so I am pretty certain I will be able to do so in PF2 as well, so I guess I agree that it would probably be better not to have the ranger class than to force it to exist for legacy sake, but have a multi-class character that doesn't even pick the base class feel more like it.

N N 959: Knowing that half caster classes are out of PF2, What would you hope can be done with powers to give rangers the feel of having the versatility of the PF1 spell casting?

I just don't see the design space for what you are asking for. The only exception would potentially be rituals, but it seems very unlikely that rituals are going to allow to be game changing enough to match anything like rangers spread of 1st and second level spells. I just don't see them releasing rituals that can be cast in 10 minutes or less.

Personally, I don't really understand why there are spells with casting times of 10 minutes that were not made in to rituals, but that is a separate point. I am skeptical that rituals will fulfill more of a role in PF2 than they did in D&D 4e, so it seems unlikely that rangers will be busting out rituals to do the glide/speak with animals kind of stuff.

I know that you feel like the classes need to stand alone without options, but if the exact mechanic you are talking about, ranger getting minimal uses a pretty wide open spell list, but not all the way to the top level of spells, it really seems like you are just asking for the class to be rebuilt from the ground up with multi-call druid built into the class so that someone who wants something else, would have to choose otherwise. Multi-class Druid, slowed down to only get a couple levels of spells, really isn't going to stop you from having a strong animal companion or decent access to one of the ranger's combat styles.

The fundamental problem with the ranger in PF2 is that there is no clear, unique design space left for it to fill. Partial spell casting may feel like a solution to you, but with multiclassing, that already exists. That is why I recommended that you tried building it that way just to see what the character felt like, and what it was missing, instead of just making arguments related to design philosophy that are way too late to change at a fundamental level. But clearly, you still want to focus on that stuff even though that philosophy is not going to change, so instead of directing the request at you, I open it up to anyone:

Someone post a level 4, level 10 and level 15 ranger multiclassed in druid with a focus on having versatile access to the lower level of the druid spell casting list, but keeping the character focused on being as strong a combat character as other rangers.

N N 959, I also feel like the ranger needs a fair amount of work to be playable, right now, but I feel like if your primary complaints are that there are not enough good ranger feats, and you wish they had more access to druid spells, you should probably at least try building and playing a Ranger multi-classed into Druid and see if it feels "nerfed" from what you want out of the ranger. Maybe you still feel like it is not enough, but you might have most specific feed back and ideas for what the class needs to be more than that combination.

NOTE: I do understand that the hunt target feature is still going to be a non-starter class feature for you, so fixing that is still something that feels necessary, but I am curious about the balance of power that having access to a pretty good chunk of Druid spells in exchange for a couple of class feats looks in play to you.

Gratz wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Like the fighter is the best at weapons, the monk is the best at mobility and action economy, the rogue is the best at skills, the barbarian is the best at raw power, the Paladin is the best at defense... what should the ranger do best? What does the ranger even do?

I think the answer for the Playtest is/was: Multiple attacks, at least initially. I don't think that's enough as a concept for a class or satisfying as a design. The ranger lacks indeed a solid identity in the playtest in my mind, but I also think that going back to "nature stuff" as a default isn't the solution. Too often the ranger felt like a weird choice for adventures, as the ranger's flavor is at odds with the narrative, which is especially clear during urban campaigns. And while the same is true for the druid, I found it at least easier to incorporate that conflict of interest into campaigns, as druids are more idialistic about nature and nature is more integrated into their design.

This leaves the question what other specialties should the ranger have beside multi-attacking effectively and I would like to see them pushed into the direction of a scout of some sorts. Give the ranger more skills and abilities to gather information about the environment and their target, to set up ambushes and traps, which also would require making traps more interesting and effective. So a more militaristic and tactical, but less opportunistic rogue of sorts would be fine for me.

Rangers as the absolute best at perception is interesting, but it is a narrow line to walk with the rogue being the iconic master of traps. That is part of why the snares/traps ranger felt like a bad direction for the ranger to jump into for the playtest, because it was pushing it much closer to something that "feels" like it is the rogue's domain. Someone much earlier in the thread pointed out that maybe the "Leadership" role could be a unique ranger niche, with a focus on improving the rest of the party's ability to accomplish tasks, which could be one interesting direction to go and it would play well with a ranger either going the animal companion route, or focusing on the team as its tactical leader.

My issue with the ranger's combat ability focusing on making lots of attacks is mostly a point of execution-the crossbow was the wrong ranged weapon to focus on and they need many more mobility+attack feats.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

But at the same time, the Skills situation is a bit binary at the moment, with everyone except Rogue getting a set number and Rogue double that. Having Classes somewhere in between those two numbers isn't trying to be a Fighter/Rogue any more than having a Master level Proficiency in weapons is (since Rogues have Expert and Fighters Legendary, Master is right in the middle).

I think the end proficiencies are getting heavily reworked in PF2 from the playtest. Jason said the wizard would end up with expert proficiency in the weapons they started with as trained. I would be pretty shocked if the rogue is not getting master in at least one or two groups of weapons, or else they are basically going to be sitting on the floor of weapon proficiencies.

And if multi-classing into rogue gives a character a path towards more skill proficiencies and skill feats (which it was headed towards in the play test, and probably will happen more completely with expansion material), then clearly characters could trade combat potential for more skills and skill feats.

But one of the complaints that people seem to have about rangers right now is that many of their class feats just feel like things that should be skill feats already.

The rouge has unique design space still because it has two un replaceable class abilities: sneak attack and dex to damage, both of which have run into some issues, but they do give rogues a default combat style that no other class can touch. The ranger does not have a monopoly on either archery or two-weapon fighting. Maybe they are the current master of the crossbow, but that never seemed like the combat style that ranger fans were begging for supremacy.

The only somewhat thematic thing a ranger can do that a fighter/rogue cannot is have a fairly powerful animal companion. The more I think about it, the more it seems like martial with an animal companion, right now, is the only "kind of" unique space that the ranger occupies. Especially because snares and traps are so resource intensive a direction to go in, underpowered, and not hard to see as something that would easily fit within the wheelhouse of rogues or alchemists.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I actually do think that 'better in combat than the Rogue, better at Skills than the Fighter' is a legitimate area of design space. It's a slightly tricky one, since Rogues are no slouches in a fight, but it's doable, and thematically on-point for the Ranger.

And Barbarians have their own upsides that Fighter can't readily duplicate via Rage (which makes their damage higher than Fighters even if their to-hit is lower) and Totems, and are generally significantly more durable (in every way but AC), so I think Barbarian is actually doing quite a good job of making its niche work. Now Ranger just needs something similar.

But if Rogue is master of skills, and Fighter is master of combat, wouldn't the argument that hybrid classes are no longer necessary apply equally to the ranger?

This sort of circles around to the issue of whether it is enough for classes to just have their own interesting and unique lore or else classes need to be defined clearly by occupying a mechanically unique niche.

Right now the PF2 ranger does not have a unique necessary mechanical niche and that is why it looks so lack luster. Character concepts that float between two extreme mechanical niches are probably better covered by archetypes and multi-classing than creating new classes which stretch the game towards redundant bloat. If the game doesn't need half caster/half combat classes, then it is hard to justify half skill/half combat classes too. The PF2 ranger does not have a unique and necessary space that is not being filled by another class better.

Which is rough, because the class is iconic as Iconic can be, and not including it probably feels like a disservice to the genre, but it really feels like the PF2 ranger is the PF1 core rogue waiting to happen all over again.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Like the fighter is the best at weapons, the monk is the best at mobility and action economy, the rogue is the best at skills, the barbarian is the best at raw power, the Paladin is the best at defense... what should the ranger do best? What does the ranger even do?

What does the ranger even do is a great question. Thematically, when people say nature stuff (hunting, tracking, etc) they are basically just saying "skills stuff" mechanically. "Kill a specific target" is possibly the point of hunt target, but it really only helps one or two kind of builds and unless it gets opened up to where it can be declared before combat, is going to make it not that useful because enemies in PF1, and what I saw in the playtest just didn't last long enough to make "hunting them down" something that a character could focus on. Maybe that could be fixed by letting the ranger get the ability to asign hunt target from seeing its tracks or learning of its existance, and then the nature focus stuff could start to come into play, but again that is pretty situational.

There is a real lack of design space between best at combat and competent at combat, from level 1 to 20 in PF2, for something like next best combatant after fighter to exist. Personally I like the choice of making sure the fighter stands out as the best at combat, but it puts both the barbarian and the ranger into an awkward space because they are specifically not full BAB classes when put up next to the Fighter. Does the game really need a space between rogue (as skill master) and fighter (as combat master) that is half way between them, when that space is pretty narrow in PF2?

I love the ranger. I want the ranger to exist as a cool and interesting class, but hunt target is not going to get it there. It needs a lot more access to skill proficiencies and skill feats for that to be a real focus, but is it going to end up being different enough from the rogue not to just be always less than both the rogue and the fighter because it can’t be either? Animal companion seems like the only current viable answer right now and personally, that is not nearly enough for me personally.

The kind of magic that NN is asking for really doesn’t exist in PF2. Powers are just not as versatile as spells and spells only come in all the way, none, or through multi classing. Maybe the ranger could be a casting class built around its own class feats that grant access to primal spells like an archetype, but why bother if that is already possible with multi-class druid.

The one area I see possible still is the incorporation of rituals into a basic path the ranger can go that would really cover the flexibility and utility that NN is asking for, but we really haven’t seen rituals yet that could do the kinds of things like ant haul and long strider type of limited buffing.

I enjoy secret roles and many new strange and unusual monsters as a player, because I have a lot more fun with puzzles and problem solving when faced with things that I, as the player, don't actually know or know what to expect from them. I am not a fan of the idea that general basic monster weaknesses shouldn't be common knowledge in a world where not knowing how to fight them is death. One of the things I really like about PF2 is the rarity system, although I think it needs a way to include whether monsters themselves are rare and unknown, or rare, but the stuff of legends that everyone talks about and tells stories to their children about. For example, I feel like a character would really have to be living under a rock not to know that the red dragons generally breathe fire. But now my party sees a giant red sleeping lizard, that looks kind of dragon-like, but has no wings. Do we try casting resist fire on ourselves before going into the cave or not? Is a much more fun debate when we don't know for sure what the creature is.

As far as secret rolls and character specific knowledge, I feel like it is pretty unreasonable as a GM to include things like puzzles into a dungeon if they are not actually puzzles intended for the players to think through rather than the characters. If you are wanting to play it that way, you might as just ass well say, there is a strange puzzle in this room, your character can make an intelligence check to see if they figure it out or not.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

3 things I didn't care about for the PF1 ranger:

- Spells: you don't get any until 4th level and you're still somehow a prepared caster for some reason?

- Favored Enemy: Asks player to predict what they're going to fight most and potentially forces a player to mutate their backstory in order to justify it.

- Favored terrain: As above.

As long as those things are gone and what we end up with is pretty good, I'm happy. If anything the Ranger should be the person who knows about Abberations, Animals, Constructs, Dragons, Fey, Humanoids, Magical Beasts, Oozes, Outsiders, Plants, and Vermin... not just a subset of them.

I agree largely with these points, but the ability of Rangers to utilize a vast array of magic items, really went a long way in defining the class for me. I agree that rituals could be the magic fix the ranger needs, but the way rituals were presented in the playtest were wildly underwhelming and focused on an occultism/cult group casting that really moves in the wrong direction for me personally. If they fix that, and make the ranger the martial character that is the best non-caster ritualist, that might create enough of a unique identity to make them interesting. It would make a lot more sense to me for that to be one of the three directions a ranger could focus class abilities and feats into.

But the game needs to decide what role animal companions are going to play overall and whether that fits more into a general feat thing, or if it is going to be core enough to character identity to occupy a class focus and then pick one class to be the master of that. If that is the ranger, then I guess I am probably done playing rangers, but then the ranger should stop pretending like there are other decent builds for it, because the classes combat styles are just, by necessity, always going to be worse than the fighter and hunt target is just not worthy of being a class defining ability when it is so situational and seems to deliberately not supportive of using a bow. I understand that the reason for that is because the bow was already so boosted by the play test that it would get overpowered (too close to what the archer fighter is supposed to be) to give the ranger feats that focused exclusively on rate of fire and damage with the bow, but there need to be more ranger feats that are at least usable by a character that is mostly going to be standing still and shooting arrows from a bow, possibly related to defense, taking cover, etc. Otherwise you end up feeling like there are a lot of dead levels for a pretty iconic ranger archetype.

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I guess I feel like it is hard to understand why the rogue and the ranger (as presented in the play test) need to be 2 separate classes in PF2. It feels like the crux of both classes is that they have larger access to skills than a pure fighter as a martial, but each also needed a unique combat style or else they started to feel boring. The problem for the ranger is that the efforts to make them have a unique combat style are just severely underwhelming in comparison to the fighter. I understand that the lore around rogues and rangers is very different, but mechanically, in PF2, without magic, they both really should just be the skill focused martial, with access to more skill feats than other classes. The classic ranger variant might take more skill feats related to nature, animal husbandry, tracking and survival, while the classic rogue takes ones related to stealing things, but most of the unique things about both classes feel far more like skill feats than class feats.

Perhaps a mystic ranger archetype would have allow this class to have access to the more magical powers, but even at the what special ability does each class need to excel in, it seems like both probably could go to legendary on reflex saves, perception and be at master for fortitude and Will saves and people would be comfortable with that.

The ranger is really hurting from the lack of skill feats for being a skilled martial, a problem that will grow exponentially more apparent as new skill feats come out that become character defining.

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There really was no way that the ranger was going to transition to PF2 as a full casting class, with the simplification of spell casters into full caster, i.e gets spells, or mystically imbued, i.e gets powers.

I agree that it is too bad that we didn't get a chance to see what the ranger with powers would look like in the playtest, but my guess is that there were no basic ideas that felt complete enough at the time to playtest and the inclusion of the ranger in the core rulebook was too important to leave out, if they felt like they had the mechanics down for a ranger without powers.

Personally, the Playtest ranger was wildly uninspiring and I can't imagine why I would want to play one over a fighter. Having a pet would have been much better left entirely to general feats.

I too want to see what the ranger with powers looks like, and would rather have seen the ranger left out of the core rulebook until it felt like a more thematic class than pushed in as character that feels awfully similar to the PF1 rogue.

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BryonD wrote:
Gloom wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
This is such a nonstarter it baffles me that people keep repeating it. If ignoring the rules works for your table, that's great. It doesn't work at many other tables though.

If it's such a non-starter for you to forego rolls and it has strong narrative importance that your character is "bad" at certain things, you can always choose another option.

Talk to your DM. Let them know that you want to play a character that can't swim, is frail and can't climb or jump well, or can't read. Ask them if you can give yourself a penalty to some sort of roll that represents your character's disadvantages.

That way you can attempt it all you want and almost never succeed.

Just don't expect the DM to give you anything for it.

That is all fair. But tell me this. Why isn't "So play another game that works better" a superior choice to the options you have given here?

If you strongly dislike a world where character level represents an objective power level of the character than choosing another game probably does make sense, because that was clearly one of the primary design goals of PF2.

For me, the reason this is a fundamentally important issue to game design is the role it plays in defining what is an appropriate challenge to throw at a party. Level has always been the primary way that GMs were supposed to determine what to challenge their party with, but especially in 3.x and PF, the ability to gage challenge rating by level started falling apart badly. There were a lot of tricks introduced to try to help GMs rebalance it based upon their Players desire and competence for meeting challenges as mechanically adept as possible, or narratively adept as possible, but all of them placed extra work on GMs.

Having the unity of the proficiency system fall apart contributes to this problem, and the ways I see the developers making sure that is not the case involve actually narrowing the range of character proficiencies in play at any given level, and taking a heavier hand with guiding characters towards expected power levels.

WatersLethe wrote:

My level 20 wizard who is untrained in athletics looks at a climb DC 15 wall that he wants to get to the top of.

With +lvl to untrained, what in-game incentive does he have to use magic to do so? He cannot possibly fail the climb check, so instead of asking for help from his team or wasting money or arcane power on a climb spell or teleport or equipment or potions, he just straight up climbs the wall, no roll even necessary.

For some of us, the abstraction of level can mean that essentially that this wizard is using magic to climb the wall, but is doing so with magics that have no more cost to him than the energy a level 15 fighter would spend to climb it.

It really does boil down to character concept.

My question for you Waters Lethe, is how does adding level to proficiency help contextualize characters for you that might be 20th level and come across a regular wall that would present difficulty to climb after fighting off an elder dragon?

It feels like having your wizard get a +8 from spell casting proficiency, +5 or 6 from attribute, and +3 to 5 from item would accomplish everything that trying to shift 20 points of bonus to level would accomplish, and let your character have more clearly defined strengths and weaknesses that are comparable to objective human experiences.

I am not trying to tell you how you should feel about the system. I just am having a hard time seeing why your arguments don't generally favor removing level from proficiency, and instead giving level significance through the additional proficiencies and feats that your character gains?

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Emn1ty wrote:
Unicore wrote:

"Average Joe" is not a mechanically constructed character in PF2. By that, I mean there would be no PC with master proficiency in a skill at level 1, not even expert. As a GM, if you need an NPC for just one skill, you determine how good the NPC should be at that skill and you set the level according to what makes sense for the campaign and the setting. This is confusing and not popular with a lot of theory crafters because it shows the game world as an artificial construct built around the heroes.

But it does mean that a lot of these attempts to construct logical explanations for what power level means objective to the world setting is problematic, because the game itself lacks that objective position for what it means for a random character to be competent at something vs amazing at it, except the imagination of the GM, and some lose guidelines.

Edit: By PC rules, Master proficiency is gated to 7th level for skills. Unless high level commoners are common thing in PF2, Proficiency IS level + a small numerical bonus.

True, average joe isn't a mechanically constructed character. But even then, PC's start off as average joe with only a difference of +1. Even with Master being gated at 7th level, should an Expert Climber be worse at climbing than trained, fourth level character?

And now we're back to the crux of the issue that I really think there's no clear answer. People who say "yes" are likely people who don't mind the inconsistency (honestly it's not all that important or even relevant in the grand scheme of things). Those who say "no" are those who read "proficiency" ratings as they imply.

Untrained < Trained < Expert < Master < Legendary.

The current system introduces an "except... when you're higher level". Which, at least in my mind, breaks the intuitiveness of the proficiency system (and why I prefer no level bonus at all).

Going back though to your example of Master being gated behind a level 7 prereq. To me that just makes it sound that there are no master...

In this regard, I think the named proficiency tiers are creating a disconnect for people because saying X character is a master artisan has context for our imaginations that is hard to reconcile with a system where master is a level of proficiency gated by level, meaning that low level characters are never master artisans. Meaning that characters can get the experience to become master tier artisans without risking the adventurer's life, or all good crafts people are adventurers. Neither one of those works very well for a role playing game where characters are encouraged to take risks and not sit at the forge all day.

The question that you seem to be arguing around, and has many other folks confused as well is "what role does level play in the Untrained < Trained < Expert < Master < Legendary hierarchy?"

Because the two are fundamentally linked, it is a very different question if we change the equation to try to understand the relationship to compare:

Untrained level 15 to Trained level 2 to Expert level 6 to Master level 20 to legendary level 18, and whether those differences can be summarized without taking into account what level means as far as defining character identity.

Emn1ty wrote:
Meraki wrote:
It's the disconnect between these two viewpoints that I think leads to people talking past each other a bit.

You've touched on something I think is very relevant here. The context of the average joe vs a PC. And the best way to describe "average joe" is a character with nothing but raw ability scores in certain skills + proficiency bonus. No level at all. The average joe can spend time getting to Master if they so choose in something, giving them a +6 bonus. But average joe typically doesn't have "levels" in anything.

So why can't a 20th level Wizard be equivalent to the average joe in something? I think it would make perfect sense that my Wizard who has never had a reason to climb up anything but a ladder outside of casting a spell should be about as good at doing it as anyone else you might find on the street. No level bonus or anything.

But this also illustrates why I think the +level bonus mechanic breaks down. With the existing system the moment a PC becomes trained their (say at level 10), their bonus doesn't merely go up a bit, it jumps by 10. There's just no reasonable way to explain such a situation, how someone can become so much better at something so quickly, but additional training nets diminishing returns at this point.

That only matters if you care about it "making sense", and like all systems abstractions tend to break down eventually. But the base-line of "average joe" should always apply. Just because you don't get +level to something doesn't mean you're inherently bad at something, it really means you're average.

Maybe this means we need to decouple Proficiency and +Level from each other. Considering we already do that with quality vs proficiency vs magic on items I don't see that as much of an issue. But I think such a system might result in too drastic a change for PF2 as a whole.

"Average Joe" is not a mechanically constructed character in PF2. By that, I mean there would be no PC with master proficiency in a skill at level 1, not even expert. As a GM, if you need an NPC for just one skill, you determine how good the NPC should be at that skill and you set the level according to what makes sense for the campaign and the setting. This is confusing and not popular with a lot of theory crafters because it shows the game world as an artificial construct built around the heroes.

But it does mean that a lot of these attempts to construct logical explanations for what power level means objective to the world setting is problematic, because the game itself lacks that objective position for what it means for a random character to be competent at something vs amazing at it, except the imagination of the GM, and some lose guidelines.

Edit: By PC rules, Master proficiency is gated to 7th level for skills. Unless high level commoners are common thing in PF2, Proficiency IS level + a small numerical bonus.

I know I bowed out, but this issue still has me thinking.

One aspect of the issue is that I feel like the things thrown into the "skill pool" don't all necessarily belong there or together.

Yes it is possible to learn techniques and formulas that can help you engage in diplomacy and improve your athletic ability or fighting prowess, but most of these things are aspects of a character that rely so heavily on natural ability that it is really hard to see characters having a +0 bonus to them at level 20, if they are getting a +20 to trained abilities.

Maybe there should be a subset of skills that truly do get no bonus from level without training because they represent specialized skill sets that people don't do every day as a part of living an adventurers life. Lores, knowledges (although knowledge of monsters fought needs to be more clearly addressed in the rules then), perform, etc. Personally I feel like those are pretty clearly skills that just can't be used untrained, and then there is no reason to have them written on your character sheet until you get training in them, but it is not a deal breaker to me to see them sitting there unused.

I understand people wanting to throw swimming and climbing in that category, but to do so probably means to break athletics down from one skill because the overall use of physical strength to walk long distances, lift things, and live the incredibly active lifestyle of an adventurer means that the part that plays into wrestling and endurance activities needs +level to it as well.

Also, it really looks like a mistake to make weapons and armors proficiencies in the same way as skills and saves, if the root of proficiency can vary by up to 20 points based upon trained or not. I am a big fan of getting rid of BAB, but it is better than trying to understand why an attack or defense bonus can drop off so radically if you are forced into wearing armor or using a weapon you are not familiar with. Wouldn't the exact same situation apply to the use of any skill with an improvised tool, or while wearing encumbering clothing?

Overall, I still feel like the proficiency system (by itself) is a good system if it works entirely with or without the +level bonus, but with having that extra caveat of untrained not getting it and everything else getting it, much more attention needs to go into explaining what a proficiency is and why it works the way it does, then it got in the playtest.

I am still curious what the final product looks like, and see a lot of potential in most of the systems PF2 is trying to adopt, but some of them are still not playing together nicely and I don't think we as playtesters have been shown how they could play together nicely from the game we have played.

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I know people feel like many of these threads lead in circular arguments that go nowhere, but I have to say that the debate in this thread, although sometimes sidetracked, has been both civil and thoughtful and has definitely deepened my thinking on this issue, even if I still feel fairly muddled about about the outcome.

Overall, I think I found the initial declaration from Jason both disappointing and alarming, because I was just starting to understand what kind of game was being built, and even though it made some choices I wasn't excited about, it felt like it was coming together as a unified system with some interesting growth potential.

Over and over again, people asked for a clear cut explanation for the +level to proficiency bonus system and the developers pretty much stayed out of any justification debate, except to say that they wanted to make sure that a high level hero, set upon by low level thugs in an ambush, could expect to easily wipe the floor with 6 to 8 of them, that PF2 was going to be a fast scaling system that meant leaving behind the old (equipment, enemies, spells) or at least having it so that the things that were good or challenging at low levels occupied a very different roll at higher levels.

I.E: Ogres going from boss monsters to minions.

Spell slots rotating through from damage to control and buff as you gained higher levels of spells.

Runes getting moved to new weapons and old weapons shifting from primary weapon to secondary weapon.

Love it or hate it, it is a self-contained system with a clear goal and playable logic.

Maybe this decision to throw untrained proficiencies (and eventually even trained proficiencies) on the trash heap as you level up will keep things tight and narrowly focused, so that the 90% of the game in play stays challenging but feels different as you play and progress through 20 levels. We will find out if this is true when the books start coming out and the adventure paths drop, and we learn what DCs are like and what the expectations are for competency and character growth are. But having a central pillar of the system unity unplugged in a twitch interview without much explanation for how that was all going to come together was a little alarming for me.

It made me feel like the developers lacked confidence in the ability for +level to proficiency, and having 5 tiers of proficiency to establish difference between characters, which isn't a great thing to be conveying at this point in the process. It is a change that means that the whole proficiency system we saw in the playtest is shifting much more significantly than just reducing DCs by 2 across the board and adding more feats and clearer explanations for the rules. Maybe that new system will be great, but we won't get to see it until print at this point.

How weapon and armor is going to fit within the new proficiency system is a big question mark, and I hope there are good answers within the design team, because they are looking questionable from the outside. This includes trying to understand how and when wizards will automatically progress to expert proficiency with weapons as well as what the new ceiling for weapon training is for non-martials, vs non-martial fighters, vs fighters. And the same with issue with Armor and saves for different classes.

Is all of this worth it to keep skills in a unified proficiency system with things that have to progress beyond untrained to be functional at higher levels? Maybe, maybe not. The skill/exploration/non-combat encounter side of things feels less developed and was pretty messy in the playtest, far more so than combat mechanics. I see why there were drastic steps taken to change it. I hope the new system is either spot on and well developed in the CRB, or almost excluded/just hinted at and can be developed more tightly and coherently in future books like "wilderness adventures" and "ultimate intrigue," and those systems get a chance to go through some more revisions.

At this point, I don't really see the value in trying to present my own personal suggestions for work arounds or fixes. Real talk, there are fundamental disconnects for me with things that had to be held on to for legacy reasons and to carry on D&D derivation of fantasy role playing, as well as a desire to see RPGs grow into more flexible systems than the current industry model precipitates. It may be time for me to turn my creative efforts to a different role playing game system, perhaps even collaborate with some folks upon the creation of a new one. I have always loved Paizo adventures and will probably remain a customer of narrative and story developing content, but I don't think I see PF2 solving the issues that have driven me and my gaming group away from PF1 rules.

It has been fun participating in the playtest process and really exploring design decisions and game mechanics at such a fundamental level. I wish Paizo all the success that they can find and really hope they keep finding and fostering the kinds of incredible creative content makers that make Golarion such a wild and fascinating world to explore. I especially want to give shout outs to Crystal Frasier, Amanda Hamon Kunz, Richard Pett, Amber E. Scott, Mark Seifter, Adam Daigle, Jason Bulmahn, and James Jacobs for all of the amazing adventures or creative inspiration.

WatersLethe wrote:
Unicore wrote:

But where does it talk about spending time doing an activity being a requirement of training in that activity in any version of pathfinder? The game has never represented learning in a realistic or time based manner.

Point of order. Training was always carrying the retroactive assumption of having been practicing. This is most evident in wizards learning new spells, the wizard is assumed to have been working on spells during an adventure. Languages were another similar abstraction.

Skill ranks were just a way to put into the hands of the player the ability to say what their character has been training.

The issue with this for the sake of determining whether or not a character would be able to apply their life experiences to a specific task at hand, (ie add +level to something that they might be untrained in), is that it essentially allows the decision to come down to player choice then, as to whether their character is objectively terrible at something, i.e. has never considered doing it, or whether they have been observing well enough to possibly succeed at the check. This supports a system of skill gates for GMs to say no your character can't do that + the ability for players to voluntarily not succeed at those checks. Why would it be ok fro characters to decide this at level markers (by actively deciding their character is going to become trained in at something they have never done before) and not generally in play?

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BryonD wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Devlopmentally speaking. Basically everyone got better at things by simply watching others do so. Almost every child does this naturally.

They only get better at things they practice a lot.

To use the model, all children are experts or better at walking and talking by the age of 4 and they have many many dozens of hours practice.

Children do not remotely become good at everything they see.

There is a persistent fallacy here that because we virtually always require instruction and/or examples to emulate in practice that you can then ignore the practice part. So people are pointing to watching and waving there hands and saying "don't look at that guy spending hundreds of hours practicing behind that curtain". Watching + a ton of practice is not remotely learning by simply watching.

I know of a lot of great guitar players who were never trained. Thus you can claim they learned to play the guitar simply by copying. But you would be ignoring the massive time spent practicing.

Learning the idea by observation is common. Becoming expert at a skill without working at that skill is virtually unheardof, with maybe some really extreme "savant" type stories.

Not a single example provided in this thread has skipped the training portion, save the wild claim of personal mastery of stealth in a minute. And a lot more evidence is needed in that case.

But where does it talk about spending time doing an activity being a requirement of training in that activity in any version of pathfinder? The game has never represented learning in a realistic or time based manner. Should my character hit level 4 overnight and suddenly get to be a wizard? Maybe not, but making rules that say I can’t has never worked out well for D&D like game systems. Level has always represented somewhat arbitrary benchmarks of competency and growth based on what the player wants the character to become, not what they have been. I am not attempting to invalidate your overall sentiment that you don’t enjoy play with automatic and universal progression, but PF1’s system represented an equally unreal system based upon player desire with the equally serious issue that players could easily make right choices and wrong choices for development, based upon the player’s system mastery.

Gloom wrote:

The majority of people were arguing that there wasn't a huge difference between Untrained and Legendary were only looking at the proficiency bonuses and not at the skill feats or the fact that raising the proficiency rank unlocks a LOT more uses of the skill.

I think the focus after that was put more onto people who were untrained being able to attempt fantastical things, while I think the majority of the complaints people had were that people who were trained or better didn't seem like they had that much of a better chance to succeed as opposed to the proficiency ranks below them.

I do definitely agree with the change that they're doing to the numbers. Though I'd suggest the following instead.

Untrained: -2 + Level
Trained: 2 + Level
Expert: 4 + Level
Master: 6 + Level
Legendary: 8 + Level

Doing this puts a 10 point difference, which can turn a 40% chance of success into a 90% chance of success. And it still leaves people who are untrained able to participate in level appropriate basic and trivial challenges.

I agree with your interpretation of the rules, and felt like it worked well to represent the gonzo high fantasy of Golarion.

The issue was that a lot of people couldn't see past the high numbers on every proficiency when looking at the character sheet and feel like it was impossible to get a measure of whether a character was good or bad at a thing objectively, like it was in PF1.

Then there was also the issue of gms (Misreading the rules) and seeing those higher numbers on everything, and arbitrarily using PC levels for determining the numbers on narrative challenges, making it feel like all characters were always on a treadmill because trees were becoming more difficult to climb without narrative explanations for why. The DD adventure itself made this mistake at times, because it was fundamentally a playtest, and about helping players test mechanics instead of narrative construction (something Paizo probably feels they have under control). Thus DCs for some things feel rather arbitrary, because the test was more about whether a DC of x level was a hold up here or not, and sometimes those numbers didn't make sense.

I am not sure if taking away level bonus to untrained proficiency is really going to fix the first problem, and fairly certain it wont fix the second problem.

Overall, I think that this is probably us going back and forth about a solution to fix a symptom of the larger issue of whether or not the proficiency system gives people the breadth of options and the specificity of focus to feel like they can create the characters they want within a fairly simple and mostly unified system. But PF2 is pretty committed to that system now, so it may very well be the case that dialing minor solutions to the symptomatic issues are going to be enough to bring enough people along for the ride of the new edition.

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