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Goblin Squad Member. ***** Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast 409 posts (417 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 42 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.

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Ssalarn wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
This attitude is exactly why I firmly believe +lvl to untrained should stay removed. Making a DC18 or whatever check to climb a brick wall is objectively an impressive feat. I can't do it in real life. With +lvl failing to climb that wall is a joke to the rest of the party at higher levels. Don't you see how this cuts the tethers to reality, and makes the super high DC stuff seem normal rather than actually hyper impressive?

Personally I think this way of thinking is actively harmful to the game and horrifically immersion-breaking. Climbing a brick wall is impressive for you or me; it shouldn't be an impressive feat for a 7th level character.

Here we have it folks. For many people out there this is makes self evident sense. For others like myself it is complete and utter nonsense.

If you are a 7th level character in traditional D&D you don’t get free mastery of parkour just by getting better at your profession. If you want that you use limited resources and thus don’t get better at something else.

7th level is a term used exclusively out of character and is a player side game term.

The desire that the 90% of Golarions population without any class levels should point at the PCs and reflect if only I had become a paladin for a few months I would be soo much better at camel herding than my 20 years of herding camels has allowed me to be. That and I could tightrope walk real good too, better than my twin, Barbara the street acrobat....

There are loads more problems & on these Fira we’ve all been around and around this.

I used the term pulp superhero with it’s echos of Doc Savage or old school Batman who just happened to be experts in everything. That is a perfectly good idea for a particular sub type of RPG. Not sure it is going to pass muster as the latest and greatest iteration of the worlds oldest one though.

So if I can accept you get your bell rung by being able to say to the GM, my Ezren style wizzie runs the army training course in a fraction of the time the trainees can, because I am 7th level. Can you accept that is when Hooke’s law kicks in regards of the suspension of disbelief for myself and others?


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I think people are taking issue with the fact that, apparently, Wizards can't be good at avoiding attacks. Why does a Wizard have to be bad at avoiding axes or fireballs to the face? Because he's a Wizard? It's just silly

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

It would appear that the collective wisdom of the enthusiasts on these fora knows no fear! The way forward for PF is apparently to create a PF2 that is a radical departure from what went before, refusing to be hidebound by 40 odd years of precedent and the devil take the hindmost. It is a high risk strategy for reasons that have been endless debated. As I expect to be running quite a lot PF2 as part of Pathfinder Society come August I look forward to seeing what is in store.


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Tridus wrote:
heretic wrote:

Look folks.

You are missing the point.

You can have different flavours of pulp adventures, you can have different flavours of super hero adventures.

When you do pulp superhero stories ala old school superman/batman and the afore mentioned Doc Savage you are dealing with something outwith traditional heroic fantasy even relatively high fantasy.

High jinks and craziness are all par for the course. Being homo superior by level 1 or 6 or 20 isn't.

Anyway as I keep saying we'll see what the final product is like but the fundamental break with tradition that the +1 per level to every thing for every member of the adventurer super species with addition of the UTMEL to differentiate between the supers who have left base humanity so far behind is noticeable and deeply felt.

No, we get the point. We disagree with it. Those are not the same thing.

Right now I'm playing a Cleric who can literally walk on air, conjure enough food for 324 people a day with only a single level's spell slots, banish relatively strong demons to their own plane by uttering a few magic words, imprison a champion of a big bad wielding an artifact sword into my scimitar (true story, was great), bring the dead back to life, and call down literal Miracles. I can do all those things at more or less the same time in one day, and still have enough power left over to wield fire and lightning, heal impossibly grievous injuries, cure nearly any disease, engage in diplomacy with nearly anyone successfully, sing a pretty great aria...

I mean, this isn't an exhaustive list. This is stuff on my spell list from two game sessions ago and a couple of skills that are jacked right up (although I haven't had to feed an entire town lately). And that's not even a particularly powerful character, I built a healer because they're fun. :)

So I mean, if you're trying to say that +1 somehow breaks tradition because PCs aren't world altering forces at high level... my not so optimized Cleric wants...

My feeling that people are missing my point is rather backed up by the sheer number of words you have used without actually addressing it!

You are admirably addressing someone else’s assertion that PCs are not world altering forces at high level. That is not my assertion.

So thanks for sharing some of the heroic high fantasy adventures you’ve had and taking time to tell me what a cleric can do in game currently.

I knew this by the way. High level characters are very powerful though currently and traditionally have some significant flaws too. Reaching the 40th anniversary of my first game this year in fact. So not my first rodeo.

Wanting mechanics for an adventure where things can play out in a fashion according to heroic high fantasy standards does not require that every PC is a magically enhanced pulp superhero akin to Doc Savage.

+1/lvl is a significant power up for PCs compared almost all of the rest the world in which they live in.

Allowing for a narrative where there is magic is no reason for a narrative based on magical thinking.


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Reading the various threads populated by most of the same people I am increasingly dismayed; we are certainly not forming a consensus which is fine but nor are we showing respect for our differences, which isn't

If Paizo want to produce a Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG I have faith that they will make a very good one.

If they want to make a successor to Pathfinder which has the DNA of the world's oldest RPG running through it then I am sure they can do that too.

Reading these threads has only strengthened my original thought: It will be next to impossible to do both in the same game.

I await as ever with baited breath for August to see what is in store.


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Ediwir wrote:

I'm sorry, why is this whole "desert fighters shouldn't know how to swim" still a thing?

Regardless of what the Untrained modifier is, your Fighter will be able to swim because he can climb rocks. Athletics isn't a split skill, and you get it automatically. And if not, you'll get it anyways to trip/disarm/grapple.
What you want is a more fragmented skill system, where you can forego ranks in Starting Campfires to gain ranks in Ways To Kill An Opponent With Your Thumb while still retaining the ability to Track Bandits.
...OR INSTEAD, you might want to roleplay the fact that your character, despite having +26 in Athletics, has a paralyzing fear of water. Which you can do without entirely decoupling the skill system from the combat system, willingly gimping yourself for no benefit whether Untrained has level or not.

Only one of those two examples creates a fun moment at the table. I'll let you figure out which one.

A number of interesting points.

Surely though saying that the mechanics for all things athletic should apply to .... all things athletic.... because it currently applies to ... all things athletic i.e. It is not a split skill is rather a circular argument??

Wanting choices to count and mean that if you want to learn to swim/ speak Kellish/ play the drums etc. you cannot do so without making time to do that as opposed to something else.... is not a revolutionary idea!

Plus a system that says you are free to produce flawed characters (even ones like poor old Ambrose) but by default you are practically flawless seems rather off at least to me.

There is a clear lack of consensus as to just how inherently universally superior Pathfinder PCs should be to normal mortals. I have faith the developers will produce a brilliant reveal that won't break too many hearts but it was never gong to be easy.


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Come on folks! This has been hashed around many times!

The reason for this change must be connected to playtest feedback. I am guessing that many others expressed alarm at the paradigm of a PC being just plain amazing at everything because ‘level’.

As much as there are ppl who want PCs who are kind of supermen/women who by osmosis are better than a doctor at surgery, a footballer at football and the flute than a master flautist etc. There are others who feel that is not wanted or needed.

The fact is that electing to become trained means you swiftly became one of worlds greatest exponents of a skill - and there are plenty of opportunities to do this is - is still rather too much in the wrong direction for me. I do applaud the idea that at least some choices must be made and a balance struck.


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Tridus wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
The above comments may or may not be accurate, but I don't think they take away from my original point. There is nothing that has prevented or does currently prevent Paizo from doing a more evolutionary PF1.5e as "Build from the Ground Up" project. PF1e's "juryrigged" state is a result of choices by Paizo, choices that I generally disagree with.

I don't think it's been said that Paizo is prevented from rehashing PF1 into PF1.5. They are more than welcome to do so if they so choose.

All I've said is that I believe it's not a very good idea, or a good and productive way to spend Paizo's employee time and money. And based on the decisions they've made so far, they're in agreement on that conclusion.

Agreed. They certainly could go off and make PF 1.5, or 3.875 if you're following all the way back to the direct ancestors. But if they're going to do that and be married to backwards compatibility, there is a lot of stuff that is immediately off the table. But fundamentally if you don't have that, I don't think you have "PF 1.5".

At this point, it's pretty limited on the design side to be based on a 20 year old system when the competition has moved on from those restrictions. That's really it. If the goal is to make a better system than 5e, it's pretty hard to do that when you can't change the fundamentals due to needing to work with PF1.

The thing is I imagine that to most of us still playing Pathfinder they already have a better system than 5e. What they don’t have are better sales. I am very dubious that anything Paizo does will mean they can eclipse 5e the way they did 4e. I am hoping they can though make a system that improves their sales and brings most of us who prefer PF along for the ride!

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Gorbacz wrote:
heretic wrote:
The challenge to Jason et al is to make a new RPG that existing players will love more than the one we have now (the answer to which we will find out) and do a better job of creating it than they might have done with a reworking (which can only be speculation!)

The only challenge Jason et al have is to make a new RPG that will reverse the trend of playerbase (and sales) dwindling away. If you have X existing players left and that's not a number that rocks your boat financially, getting them to love your game more than they do now won't change squat. You need to expand.

That is not really the point though.

While in theory there is a scenario that a new RPG appears from Paizo that alienates everyone but the play-test’s most energetic fans on these forums but so entrances new customers that they have improved their player numbers and sales. I am comfortable that is an extreme possibility.

The reality of the situation is that a game called something like Pathfinder 2 will need to bring over much of Pathfinder’s existing player base.


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Gorbacz wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
The above comments may or may not be accurate, but I don't think they take away from my original point. There is nothing that has prevented or does currently prevent Paizo from doing a more evolutionary PF1.5e as "Build from the Ground Up" project. PF1e's "juryrigged" state is a result of choices by Paizo, choices that I generally disagree with.

The moment your biggest problems with PF1e are poor interactions between dim light and low light vision or unclear rules for mounted combat while somebody else's biggest problems with PF1 are caster/martial disparity or the rocket tag nature of combat, there's simply no "tweaked PF1" that will make everybody appy. If it was to tweak only thing you think that are wonky, it will leave the other deeply unsatisfied, but if it does something fundamental (like altering the action economy or the way monsters work), you'll likely say it's no longer "tweaked PF1" but a new game you didn't ask for.

It's pretty much the same reason why WotC didn't "tweak AD&D 2ed a bit" but instead went with a new ruleset with a mostly different design paradigm, power level and focus when making D&D 3.0. It's also the reason why not everybody moved to 3.0+ and some keep playing the older versions.

No matter how devoted one might be to the changes in the playtest vs PF1 the suggestion that there is no milage in a PF1.5 is surely a bridge too far?

From Paizo’s point of view I totally get that a new system offers a much freer hand and going down that route makes sense.

Moderated by the caveat that they cannot not afford a PF2 that has become so different that brand loyalty turns to disaffection and an unsupportable number of existing players seeking a supported system look past Paizo entirely.

So there won’t be a PF 1.5 but there could have been and everything else being equal I reckon it would have been very cool!

Simply put integrating the spirit of Unchained particularly a ‘from the ground up’ implementation of the new action economy & making a CRB that is designed to be the basis for a mechanically superior implementation of the best bits of the hard and soft covers would almost certainly have left us better off than just continuing with PF1. I do remember that converting content from most different D&D versions was pretty easy (often just done on the fly) up until 3.0.

The challenge to Jason et al is to make a new RPG that existing players will love more than the one we have now (the answer to which we will find out) and do a better job of creating it than they might have done with a reworking (which can only be speculation!)


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Though I have severe misgivings from multiple angles about the playtest solution I don’t pretend there is a not a debate to be had about skills.

There is an inherent problem that every character class is designed to be able to make a reasonably satisfying contribution to combat but if the encounter is based on skills there are times a PC is so much baggage.

Yes: in a ruck the less skilled fighter is generally more effective than a skill monkey but both get to do stuff.

Of course there are fights where a certain class ends up making a minimal contribution (bards/enchanters vs undead or constructs) but rarely to the extent that a character with only physical based skills feels surplus to requirements in a social encounter or a ‘face’ character feels when presented with a rope climbing race.

Add in the possibility of crit failures it all gets rather fraught.


Not getting to make a personal impact in every single encounter is not a problem that warrants making the challenges of the non adventuring world laughable to PCs with a few lvls under their belts.

I hope the finished product can square the circle and do so better than the other options out there particularly compared to PF1.

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WatersLethe wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Right now, I anticipate it being as PF1 in "oh, no one went completely out of their bailiwick to learn Nature? Okay, we have no idea about anything that's going on, so let's go back to plan A: break down the front door".

Your opinion is perfectly valid, but I want to stress that this exact scenario is not only acceptable to me, but is *crucial*.

I strongly believe groups with different compositions and skillsets should solve problems differently. It is antithetical to my enjoyment of the game if every group is assumed to, for example, be adept in wilderness lore and every scenario assumes not only that competence but success at the relevent roll.

I would be in the same school of thought.

I really hope we don’t end up so that being an adventurer means never having to say Sorry.....

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These things are all relative I guess. Simulation in a world like our own one but with magic vs a world governed by magical thinking.

How do we keep it exciting while keeping it real?

Do we view our playing experience as sub optimal (with apologies to Sir Terry) if the million to one shot does not happen 9 times out of 10. Or 8 or 7 etc. Or 1 time in 20?

The PCs are at the end of the day adventurers so need certain competencies but do we really say that if you want to try something there is a decent chance you can succeed regardless of context? Or do we accept that like character death sometimes failure is an unavoidable consequence of choices?

For me a lvl 20 barbarian cannot fly by flapping their arms even if that spoils the otherwise brilliant infil plan! Rules that permit this kind of thing are not to my taste at all!

On a less extreme note: If you never bother to lean how to swim then starting to learn mid ocean is too late.

From personal experience I know just how damnably close I was to not be able to help an increasingly distressed swimmer get to safety despite knowing how to swim. I was very glad my parents made sure I knew how but definitely wished that day I had spent much more time keeping in practice. Thank God I was not wearing chainmail.

I hope that getting the balance right is something we will be congratulating the developers on in August.

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Folks I don't think it is contentious to remind ourselves that there is a genuinely held philosophical divide here!

PCs in an old school Batman mold. By default at least competent at every task they face, brilliant at many and as they progress become brilliant at everything they haven't become super human at.

So in the *normal* course of events there is no task that the PCs cannot individually manage, no failing that handicaps the rest of the party.


What I would call the traditional D&D paradigm of PCs who are very good at some things and lousy at others.

Where players had to choose where to focus and there was never enough resource to excel at everything.

The playtest was very much the former.

The changes make a modest step towards the latter.

Even now using one skill choice on getting trained means after a few levels the Ezren style wizard has become a formidable athlete or acrobat when compared anyone who isn't an adventurer.

IMHO In the case of ppl who made a foreseeable degree of inquiry about the playtest they were taking part in Paizo was clear the design choice was to test the most extreme versions of ideas. Which kept me sane playing a wizard where everything seemed to have save bonuses higher than my DC for instance :-)

I am still very much hoping that next years rather scary looking foreign exchange prospects still permit me to make the trip across the pond to welcome in the new edition, warts & all, in person!

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Only got to listen to part of the Twitch feed but the 5 things were welcome.

As I have said on these hallowed fora before: I cannot warm to the philosophy that characters swiftly become like 1970's action heroes who just happened to be exceptionally good at everything except perhaps those things they are even better than merely exceptional at!

So I like that if you have never trained at it you are likely to be "amateur hour". I like that the so called "dabblers" i.e. trained jacks of all trades adventurers while "journeyman" levels of good don't swiftly overshadow focused master craftsmen, professionals, academics etc.
I support allowing the experts, masters and especially legends to really show their superiority over all the above mentioned.

I do feel that the trained "dabblers" still get comparatively good at skills that they have less obvious narrative connection to and would have liked something that slowed or even bettter capped the level bonus to respect that boot camp and on the job experience is great in most challenges but it is not going to cut it against a dedicated specialist in their field.

Still much happier today than yesterday about skills and proficiencies!

Glad to see resonance go. I just hope that whatever replaces it - in as much as it was the playtest replacement for item slots - is not just better than resonance but better than the slot system.

Did not like assurance from the day I read about it and the more I compared it to the take 10 mechanic it replaced the less it seemed like a improvement! I pray the new thing works with my philosophy that rules should be easily explicable to a new player both in terms of how it works and why.

E.g. For item slots & take ten you pretty much cover it if you say to the new player:

What: You can only wear one magic item on the same part of your body, one ring on each hand and here's a list of which parts of your body is a slot you can use.

Why: It makes sense you can't wear two pairs of shoes or spectacles and multiple necklaces or bracelets cause magical interference with each other. Anyway the rules need a way to manage just how much magical bling you can wear at one time.


What: You normally roll a D20 and add your skill bonus to see how well you did. If nobody is messing with you, you can choose to add ten to your skill rather than roll.

Why: This is because if you are doing a simple task relating to something at which you are really good, then you won't screw up 25% of the time. The way a shoemaker making simple shoes won't be going to home each evening having failed to make every 4th shoe or a surgeon doesn't kill every 4th patient whose appendix she is removing.

(Cue reminiscence of Runequest where 30% of ppl in the average village lacked a shared language with the other 70% and how games design has moved on...)

Explaining Resonance & Assurance was much less simple and fun!

On reflection Assurance never got used once by my wizard in the playtest.

As ever I await August's magnum opus with baited breath!

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It is interesting that a desire to have characters swashbuckling with relative ease through an adventuring life leads to a belief that is far more heroic to try something you are good at (thus not putting yourself in jeopardy) than taking a tremendous risk by trying to something you are not good at.

I mean I do get it: people want characters whose default setting means they are smarter (& stronger & faster & charming etc.) than the average bear. What makes the rogue different to the wizard is that the wizard can only juggle 3 clubs while traversing the tight rope but the rogue can do 4 and his clubs are lit on fire!

Also like to say that voluntarily taking flaws is not fun in the same way as designing a character whose dedication in the training ground means she ignored her studies or who spent his days playing cards in the tavern rather than working on his core. You want characters to be built equally but not homogenously.

I await the release of the final magnus opus next summer with baited breath.

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Wulfhelm II. wrote:
heretic wrote:
In the absence of any proof I kind of like the last option (which is what my history teacher taught us).
Which source did he refer to? I don't know any that claimed Barbarossa voluntarily jumped into the river without knowing how to swim.

Though I appreciate this could be seen a sort of derailing, the teacher in question back in the mid 1980’s did not feel the need to provide spotty teenagers with authorities:-).

The moral of the story was that he could have enjoyed the cool waters safely but refusing to take off his armour found himself in a fatal position. Who can tell what really happened?

Additional thoughts.... mariners in the age of sail I have read did not learn to swim. These were people surrounded by the opportunity to learn and certainly had the physical capacity. Apparently they often didn’t though because if the ship went down at sea being able to swim meant a slow death rather than a quick one. You have to choose to expend effort to learn a skill.

So to mix metaphors like mad.....On reflection it seems that PF2 sees skill choices as means to distinguish you from other ‘supers’ not for you to risk being outshone by mere muggles. I miss the idea of being able to customise the character warts and all.


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In an earlier post I likened the skill system and the plus 1 per level to how Batman was presented in years gone by. That making characters be like Bruce Wayne with magic is a bad idea. In the context of the rest of the post I thought the analogy was clear. Apparently not.....

In old Batman stories the hero was a genius academic, martial artist supreme and an actor of the highest calibre and these were just a few tips of an iceberg of awesomeness where the audience lived out vicarious power fantasies through a character who was just brilliant at everything.

How was this possible? Well because well he was Batman and Batman had done all the things that you’d ever need to do to be brilliant at everything while becoming Batman and he keeps current and learns new skills at the same brilliant level in the down times between adventures. Thus no matter what fate or the Joker threw at him he was always prepared and never left his fans feeling irrelevant by proxy.

In PF2 you can add in magic to further empower good ol’ Bat’s awesomeness.

For me PF characters are ordinary people who share our human flaws and foibles who become extraordinary because they become diplomats or warriors, wizards or burglars of the highest calibre. They have to work at it just like we all do: there are no free lunches.

Hope that clarifies.

Thinking on it.....

Barbarossa was a renowned king & warrior from history who showed that with great power comes the responsibility to learn how to swim when you jump in a river just as it comes to people who have little or no power.

My father, God rest him, was recognised as being one of the most promising in his profession as a young man. As my mum would relate he was not at all good at dancing. 20 years on at the top of his profession he still could not dance to save his life.

I forget her name but a celebrated writer who had lived in Moscow was speaking on radio in the U.K. saying that she shared the commonly held idea that if you just lived in a foreign city for a few years you gained the language by osmosis. Turns out this is of course nonsense. You have to make the effort to learn Russian: a flat by the Moscow river and an entirely anglophone circle of friends and associates won’t cut it!


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
heretic wrote:
I much prefer a choice: The strong, brave but rather dim and academically limited warrior, the highly educated but athletically useless cleric or the wizard who can move mountains but would quiver when faced with asking a girl he fancies to dance (for instance because he has always chosen learning arcane mystery instead of dancing or social interaction).

The thing is that this system doesn't take that choice away. It makes it more of a player-dependent choice than a mechanics-dependent one, that much is true, but it's not like you can't not be worse at what you want to be worse at. The only big differences are that A. Players make that choice, not the mechanics (or GM, usually), and B. Players don't get any sort of compensation for choosing to be worse. That's it.

If the complaint people have towards this is A., then I'm not really seeing why having a mechanical reinforcement would be of any help other than to sate one's ego of "people have flaws', especially when not every player wants to play a character with glaring flaws, like having a 7 Intelligence score as a Fighter. Playing a tactical master who is skilled with a sword is just as valid (and interesting) a character.

If the complaint is B., then people just need to understand that PF2 wants to cut down on minmaxing shenanigans, and this is a deliberate design choice in that direction; if they don't like it, they can say something about it, but if the developers don't want to do anything about it (or don't think anything needs to be done), then there's the door, and don't let it hit you on the way out. Chances are, PF2 won't be for you, and I wish you the best of luck in finding the system that better suits your needs.

In all candour I find it almost impossible to be receptive to anyone who includes a “ if you don’t like this then this game isn’t for you etc.” I will try not to let the door hit me on the way out.

I wonder though if I am really in a demographic that Paizo would so blithely dismiss as surplus to requirements.

Your point A leaves me rather nonplussed. In any system including PF a player can decide to role play in specific character flaws to make them bad a stuff for story reasons. It is not really great in a rules heavy system.

Point B. Heck yes solving the problems by making the standard characters who are now akin to old school Batman clones seem even more inexplicably cool by comparison is not imho a good idea. It effectively removes choice remembering that the adventures a PC is expected to deal with are set to challenge a standard build. Like ppl turning up to PFS sessions with builds incapable of fufilling their role because of a cool backstory.

Referencing min maxing as something that justifies this doesn’t convince. A desire that you don’t have to so skew your resources so that you are only good at one thing to be mechanically relevant is understandable. Wanting to be relevant at a tactical level in any and all circumstances ... not so much & insisting all PCs are Bruce Wayne with magic is not the best solution!


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Thinking on this it struck has just me that next year will be the 40th anniversary of my first game of D&D.

In all those years I can’t think of a time I would have thought of introducing a rule that high level characters were a sort of homo superior who were soooo cool they got good at everything by osmosis like a parody of a 1970’s secret agent. The suggested solution that if do you feel that this is silly is to hamstring your PC thus making the standard PC by comparison all the cooler yet is not helpful at all.

I much prefer a choice: The strong, brave but rather dim and academically limited warrior, the highly educated but athletically useless cleric or the wizard who can move mountains but would quiver when faced with asking a girl he fancies to dance (for instance because he has always chosen learning arcane mystery instead of dancing or social interaction).

The point at which 4e finally lost me was when in response to a question about playing a musical instrument for which there was no mechanic was that if you wanted to be a virtuoso (on the bagpipes iirc) you just declared you were and so it was. We were invited to feel liberated by this and if we really had to associate it with a skill then use diplomacy. Seemed wrong . Surely there should be a quid pro quo mechanically.

PF2 is of course not 4e though I feel in many cases both sets of developers indentified the same philosophical problems and solutions with the 3.x they were moving on from and made their own stabs at fixing them within some inevitable similarities.

I hope our developers can square the circle . So inter alia we don’t end up with every wall in Absolom that needs to thwart level 7 PCs consequentially being an insoluble problem for a level 1.


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thejeff wrote:
Questor X wrote:
I don't like the +level system. A 1st level rogue should be better at picking pockets than 10th level fighter, cleric, or sorceror. A wizard, even high level, should not be able to go into melee combat with the town guards and expect good things to happen.
Though of course back in PF1 (or earlier D&D versions) a high enough level wizard could just go into melee with the town guards - even without buffs up.


pre 3.x. A lvl 10 wizard would struggle to hit the guards enough with his dagger or staff before they did the 10 to 60 points of damage required.
In PF a lvl 10 wizard would certainly be able to stand up to a few disorganised lvl 1 warriors in a fight but with lousy AC and low DPR the opposition would not have to be stellar to embarrass the mage.

As I have mentioned before any adventurer eventually getting half decent in a fight even if they only rarely get up close and personal is perfectly OK and explicable. I am much less sure about how good, how fast and the change in how AC is treated.

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The perform skill has play a musical instrument in the same list of things with a perform trait as singing, dancing or comedy. All above the section of the skill requiring training. Now I would hope that a GM would house rule a training gate for a musical performance on an instrument. Same for being able to out perform a dancer or opera singer.

I hear what you are saying about lived experience in combat making you better at avoiding injury. Hence the increase in saving throw bonus. I still reckon the soldier in body armour will fare better in a ruck than the one in dress uniform and proper kit and specific experience in hand to hand will better prepare you to deflect or side step the killing blow than a career focused on bomb disposal. Though both require neves of steel and bravery.

i have read with interest elsewhere that the life of an adventurer should mean that effectively you should be treated as having a minimum 12 in physical stats. If that is the case then we have physical stats to alter to reflect this much less abstractly than increasing all skills dependent on every stat by 1 per level.

Also regarding picking up the survival skills by ozmosis despite the ranger doing all the work is like the myth that if you live in a non English speaking country you will become fluent even if you never try and only communicate with anglophones.

I don't buy the idea the game design to ask players not to make use of legal options to allow versilimitude rather than bake it in is the way to go.

As to your last point you are of course entitled to your view.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
heretic wrote:

Also uncomfortable but introducing the idea that you get harder to hit in your pyjamas than a knightly squire in plate armour because of years spent in the library between avoiding combat at cost during dungeon crawls.

So do we absolutely need to hurl the narrative baby out with the mechanical bath water here?

This logic always confuses me. If you stick around studying books for years and avoid danger and aren't going to be high level making the whole point moot. And even if you go through the logic of "well I need a Legendary sage for plot dumping" it's the same problem in PF1 where that same sage who sat around studying tomes has more than twice the hp of the local squire and probably a better BAB too.

I will try to explain. I think you have missed my point, my apolgies if my poor choice of words or typing confused things.

Avoiding melee combat so you can effectively use your arcane ability is not avoiding danger or adventure. It is the means that caster have operated and likely will still do so as it remains the most action efficient way to operate.

The question of needing mechanics to allow non adventuring types to exist as useful characters is not unimportant but not really linked to the +1 per level AC or skill bonus.

An adventuring career of blasting things from behind the paladin and spending downtime in the library or fest hall does not really explain the relentless advance to super Olympian athletics or being really good at standing toe to toe with heavily armed and armoured folk while sky clad
Don't get me started on the sudden realisation you have always been a virtuoso bag pipe player but only found out on seeing your first set. :-)

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Shinigami02 wrote:
heretic wrote:
I would entreat those who think that moving towards this is paradigm is great not to dismiss the concerns of others. Also not to interpret the adoption of this kind of system and the alienation of many in the current player base as some kind of victory. To my mind anyone in this discussion who chooses to comment along the lines of "well, if you don't like this then PF2 isn't the game for you" is substantively detracting from their own position and the debate in general.
The counterpoint is though... there are plenty of systems out there that support that lower power, same-threats-are-always-relevant style, while there is very little for those that do want the kind of high-power feel that the current system gives. So why shouldn't those of us who want that feel see it as a win that our preferred style is being supported? Neither side should dismiss the concerns or preferences of the other out of hand, but no one system is going to please everyone and one side really does have more options than the other.

A change in the paradigm that splits the current PF family along the same fault lines as 3.x and 4e is not a victory or is at best a phyrrhic one.

In all honesty I don't see how the PF2 system can be said to offer more options than PF1. Different certainly and some of those differences are at the heart of these discussions.

Wanting your characters to be just so darn cool at everything normal folks can do before even considering their natural apitudes (i.e. abilities) or the benefits of their chosen class might be how some people want to see PF change. I need convincing.

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Interesting seeing the opinions and attitudes being expressed here.

I was listening to the always entertaining The Adventuring Party podcast. They were discussing the play test and one of their number (who has exceptional PF1 system mastery) was explaining the playtest basics to the others. When it came to Skills the thing that grabbed the attention of one non pathfinder playing 'caster was how the level bonus would allow PCs to just get very good at everything.
Another noted how the system was very reminiscent of 4e though others didn't see it.

I am excited about the future of PF and want to play my own small part in it. There is a lot about the playtest I like but somethings leave me with the feeling it needs work.

If PF is going to be a game where PCs are superior beings who start of as being objectively good at most things and brilliant at others - compared to the rest of population and over time this disparity in all things gets bigger, then there is an issue. Similarily making e.g. a wizard so good in terms of attack and AC compared to lower level martials is a paradigm shift. A shift in paradigm that deserves respectful examination.

So I am keen on learning more as to what the benefit is to this cost and if there is a way to
square the circle.

I would entreat those who think that moving towards this is paradigm is great not to dismiss the concerns of others. Also not to interpret the adoption of this kind of system and the alienation of many in the current player base as some kind of victory. To my mind anyone in this discussion who chooses to comment along the lines of "well, if you don't like this then PF2 isn't the game for you" is substantively detracting from their own position and the debate in general.

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As the song goes: The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.

Surely even in a fantasy RPG we should try to shy away from mechanics that normalise outcomes that we could not expect to replicate in the real world unless there is a narratively sound reason for that outcome e.g. magic

I get that the playtest is tackling many of the balance issues inherent to PF. So many 3.x (and earlier) D&D scared cows have been banished. I recognise that the +1 per lvl bonus to so many things is part of an interconnected mechanic and that this appeals to a lot of players. I also see how parallels are being drawn with how 4e tried to do the same thing starting from a very similar place.

Of course fantastic stuff should not only happen magically. Magical & mundane characters need to shine in their own ways. I can see that the life of an adventurer might make one a little better at turning their hand to something new compared to the average Jo.

I also see I am not the only one uncomfortable that not only do adventurers get better at what they do as they level they also get better at what everyone else does. Better despite no narrative reason, natural predisposition nor mechanical expense. All player characters at everything....

So I would like help in getting my head around the cost benefit equation here.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
GwynHawk wrote:
Liegence wrote:
#3 is a deal breaker, honestly. This skill system makes zero sense. Stats being equal, why again would a 7th level sorcerer who may have never touched a flute in his life be statistically superior when using it to a level 1 Bard who has trained with it his pre-adventuring life? I don’t know how the devs got comfortable with “just add level to every skill”, but it greatly sacrifices realism for system and for what? It isn’t even really that much simpler than what we already have...

It's easy to see why this change was made. At low levels of PF1 the maximum range of Skill bonuses between characters is pretty low. As you get to higher levels, characters get more and more specialized, or rather, they simply STOP being able to even attempt skill checks that are challenging for their character level. By effectively capping Skill ranks at +5, PF2 ensures that higher level characters can still try to participate in roleplaying and exploration challenges, even if they're not highly trained or don't have a high attribute modifier.

As, for the system itself, let me quote a passage from page 142:

"Anyone can use a skill’s untrained uses unless some circumstance, condition, or effect bars them from doing so. You can use trained uses only if you’re at least trained in that skill and no circumstance, condition, or effect bars you from that use. Sometimes using a skill in a specific situation might require you to have a higher proficiency rank than what is listed on the table. For instance, even though a high-level barbarian untrained in Arcana could reliably use Arcana to Recall Knowledge regarding the breath weapons of the various colors of dragons, the GM might decide that Recalling Knowledge about the deeper theories behind magical energy of a dragon’s breath weapon might be something beyond the scope of the barbarian’s largely utilitarian and anecdotal knowledge about how to fight dragons. The GM decides whether a task requires a particular proficiency


In a bit of a hurry but I wanted to respond to this before other things put it out of mind.

I appreciate what you are saying, I do not agree but I get it. Thing is the skills are divided between subsets that require (at least) training to succeed at and those that require none.

The problems run much deeper than the perform skill but let's stay looking at it.

The Perform skill is fairly clear that you don't need training to perform a short piece. It lists common examples

Act or perform comedy
Play an instrument
Orate or sing

In fact all PCs can sing, dance do stand up, really well either from the start or after a while without ever spending resources. The same goes for all non gated skill subsets, for no narrative reason and with zero resource spent you get good at things you have never tried let alone studied or practiced.

So a GM could decide to gate a skill that the rules don't but it in the case of perform it would seem odd to move it from the non trained to trained.

An example of a what I don't like might be: You can play that Orcish nose flute you had never heard off and despite never having played a note of music in your life, you play better than the low level orc who has studied it all her life, well enough in fact to appease the Orc leader and avoid a more costly resolution (but not well enough to make money!)

Even if you swap nose flute for a something like Irish Sean-nos singing, it is still a nonsense - even in a world with dragons and elves!!!

All this to ensure that a character with no narrative reason to be good at something can always be able to contribute.

It is also not just being better than trained professionals/athletes etc. despite never having tried. (cf the early rounds of TV shows like American Idol)

It also has the impact that while the DC for e.g. climbing a specific wall remains static there is a need for escalating DCs so that walls designed to keep even mid level parties out will need to be much more intimidating. Given that walls share the same world as characters of all levels this makes designing a consistent world hard.

Also has knock on effects. For instance it means that to allow jumping to work the leap action guarantees any PC to be able to perform broad jumps at close or in some cases better than the world record.

Something that recognises the resource spent at getting good at something hard rather than just giving all the children winners medals regardless is certainly on my wish list.

If you fail to prepare and all that....

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When I first saw it I wondered what Bolstered meant, reading on it became clear that it meant something along the lines of what it says in the actual definition. It works and much as I love a little pedantry there are lots of other rough edges to file down.

I rather prefer inured, as bolstered has a generally positive connotation and being bolstered against something good seems a bit odd. Like describing something as an unmitigated success .

Bolster works though, it’s not that I am insusceptible or even habituated or desensitised to imaginative use of English to describe no longer being able to be affected by something from a particular source.

Since I began reading about resonance I was wondering if a simpler solution to the problem of over reliance on e.g. CLW wands would be to use a bolster like effect on spells cast from wands after a small number of uses.

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I reckon that something that addresses dealing a coup de grace (in the generic sense) to an asleep/unconscious/paralysed/otherwise helpless character should be added.

I am left with an image of the guillotine crews of Galt having to pull madame’s blade back up a few times to execute that pesky barbarian!

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I have been giving the skills system a lot of thought. The +1 per level bonus combined with a -2 penalty for not being skilled means that for characters with the same ability score two levels of experience means the trained professional is no better than someone who has never encountered the matter in hand before. Yes this is qualified: there are skills with gated subsets. There are also skill feats that require higher proficiency pips.

DCs are static but if you want a wall to act as a barrier that needs to be overcome you will need to make the one that the high level guys encounter very different to the ones the lower level folk do.

So given that characters of all level live in the same world there are some narrative problems that I worry about. Either a wall of the type we tend to imagine in a FRPG will provide very limited functionality in keeping any mid level adventurer out regardless of his experience or fitness level or it will have to be designed to keep high level PCs out and be next to impossible for low level ones.

Traditionally the solution was that the average adventurer would have real difficulties breaching e.g. a prison wall but that a skilled rogue might and then the rogue lets down a rope.

And it is not just walls of course.

So there is a degree of forcing going on if you prioritise narrative consistency.

I also get that people hate the way that in certain circumstance a PC is just useless in an encounter because the encounter needs certain skills which they don’t have. Not sure this even fixes this or if it does, does so at too great a cost.

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It is a balancing act: you don't want new players to lose PCs and sour their first experience. That said Wonky floors, crit'ing halfling barbarians & poor choices with regards to bullheaded challenges have all led to deaths in adventures for low level PCs. Was the GM influenced by the fact that though the encounter became deadly because of new players making poor decisions, it was one of our best & brightest GMs (Brendan) who was feeling the pain? Then having set the precedent felt stuck with carrying on?

I would echo Tonya's suggested creative solutions but a less experienced GM might not be so quick to think of them.


The Exchange 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast

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Nefreet wrote:
The item will always have been used, though, so none of what you propose would be relevant.

Sorry? I think we're at cross purposes here. The problem with reimbursement is that a simple 'players may either individually or as a group reimburse another player for a consumable used during the scenario by replacing it like for like' has been on the table for years but always been rejected. With some limits I'd be happy to see something like that but the closest we have got is the new pooling rules.

What the new guide is saying that we may now pool money to purchase a limited if not 100% defined type of consumable to be used in the the scenario..being the sticking point as it is not clear on what happens if it is not used in the scenario.

In your example it is the BoL scroll bought for the cleric at the end that is not used in the scenario. The question surely rests on how we deal with items bought from pooled funds that are not used?

My idea is that replacement on a like for like basis of an expended item previously bought using normal purchase rules counts as used in the scenario & thus a legal fate for an item bought from pooled funds.

I reckon it makes things simpler if we reflect this by just not marking the normally bought scroll expended rather than adding a fresh one at irregular cost.

To keep items bought for odd amounts of money fouling up ITS's &/or chronicle sheets & to stop ppl abusing the system by overstocking on such items in expectation of 100% resale if the item is unused and not replacing one bought normally it should be sold at the usual 50% loss.


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There are number of concerns expressed. From the feedback I have had I think there are two matters causing more debate than others - on this issue anyway!

1. If the conditions on the chronicle awarded for the pregen have to be resolved when it is assigned: are any of the resources on that sheet available to cover the cost that the persistent character must bear or must all of it come from the resources of the persistent character's already applied chronicles?

2. If resources from the already applied chronicles are the source from which the condition removal must be born does that mean the chron stack of the persistent character must be there before a player may use a pregen this way?

As I have mentioned before I have no inside track on how this will be resolved but I am confident that these and other queries from the new guide will be cleared up in the near future. I think we should allow campaign leadership a chance to catch their breath as they return to the backlog of work built up over Gencon while still recovering from the weekend itself!


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Folks! I have no inside track & sadly the 7,500 mile round trip to Indianapolis means I am far away from Gencon again this year. I can't help but notice that the rules are clearly dealing with the Iconics. (As per pg 8 below)

So I would hang fire on getting too concerned about the pregens used in exclusives. One to watch this space for.


Page 8 wrote:

If you don’t have time to create a new character or simply wish to try out a new character class, you can use a pregenerated character. The Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild offers pregenerated characters based on the Pathfinder RPG’s iconic characters, available at or from your local event coordinator. When using a pregenerated character in this way, the player applies the adventure’s credit (gp, Prestige Points, etc.) to one of her Roleplaying Guild characters. The following rules apply when playing pregenerated characters.
Making Character Choices: Before the game, make the following choices about your character.
• Choose one of the pregenerated characters available in
Community Use Package: Path nder Society Pregenerated
Characters at
• You must choose to which of your characters the credit will be applied at the beginning of the adventure. Credit from a 1st-level pregenerated character can be applied only to a 1st-level character. Credit for playing higher- level pregenerated characters must be applied to a Roleplaying Guild character of a lower level than the
pregenerated character or to a newly created character.

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When I read the scenario I knew that if I approached it the way I normally do it would run well over time even without the optional encounter.

I produced every time saving hand-out, floor plan, pawn etc. that I could to shave off minutes and prepped as fully as possible.

Truth is though, there is heavy RP and the fights are complex. It was a late night session at end of a long day & a number of the players found that though the spirit was willing the flesh was getting a little weak.

In the first part I had to try to keep players focused on the specified tasks at hand with their special mechanics and to use the time we had for role playing with these in mind.

The attempts at communication with the chandelier could & ideally should have lasted a lot longer (brought to an early end with a red alert). I'd have loved more time.

The underground section is another one where I'd have loved another 30 minutes to role play but as long as you have a clear idea of what info/handouts the players can get & the players understand how they get them, it runs pretty smoothly.

The final multi part fight again works smoothly as long as you remember what all the critters, terrain and environment do & how they interact. is your friend.

We still ran long and without the red alert being triggered would have run 20-30 minutes longer I think. With this scenario I think we just to need to embrace the longer run time rather than risk losing it's flavour by concentrating on bare mechanics in an effort to save time.

When I schedule this for our conventions next season I will be basing it on running 5 hours after the players have familiarised themselves and skipping the optional.


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Andrew Christian wrote:

Different people show friendship in different ways. Different people show teamwork in different ways.

I prefer people and friends accept my generosity when I give it, than feel beholden to pay me back. And because that's how I personally operate, I would absolutely hate playing a game with people that would expect me to pay them back.

This isn't a transaction game. This is a social game.

Andrew I hear you and I applaud your generous spirit! I think though that the dynamic between say relatives on one end of the scale and total strangers on the other is different. Some people will feel beholden others taken advantage of.

I don't think a player who has forgotten to replace an expensive consumable and had to rely on one of yours should be forbidden to replace it like for like for fear that is going to open the flood gates to players presenting each other with a bill for consumables used or to refuse to offer them without a promise to replace. I prefer to believe the generosity I see in PFS play would continue.

Allowing a player to for example replace like for like a single consumable of a value of 750gp or greater by marking it as bought/consumed on their ITS and the same item on the donor PC's ITs not being marked as consumed stops penny pinching and allow mitigation of a problem. It might even encourage players with a less altruistic philosophy to pony up the consumable the party needs when they need it :-)

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I don't think that allowing limited like for like replacement of a specific list of consumables introduces a "reimbursement culture". I cannot see anyone wanting to have the situation where money changed hands and it would be anathema to the running of a big OP campaign. If we allowed an exception permitting players to make the gesture of covering the replacement of e.g. a BoL scroll that saved their PC's life & that ends up souring the atmosphere more than the current rules do then it would be easy to return to the status quo.

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Depending on how you enjoy playing, spending a chunk of the resources needed to perfect your character build concept - in order for example to help out a badly prepared stranger - might be of no consequence or a genuine annoyance. There is nothing inherently wrong in trying to balance things and we have a limited number of very effective exceptions to the restrictions we have to place ourselves under if we want to have an OP campaign. I think that exploring some simple mechanical options regarding specific like for like replacements can be done without materially changing what players feel entitled to expect from each other.

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This is really great work! I (much less elegantly) converted the level one APG pregens to 20 point builds a couple of years back but it was just to make them technically legal. This, though is the real deal & it is more in the spirit of the ACG pregens in terms of optimisation than the original CRB mob. Bravo!

The Exchange 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast

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Congrats! Well earned every one! Never thought of it in terms of days before.....

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I find it counter intuitive that we should treat alternate classes and being mechanically equal to a regular archetype.

Thing is that the way the alternate classes were introduced and explained i.e. as a special species of archetype might suggest that ninja could be treated the same as 'normal' archetypes, essentially based on a technicality.

However as it turns out they can't.

Seems that alternate class is not exactly the same as other archetypes which makes sense and feels right.

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Like the oft stated but false belief that a GM can never ever employ a Coup de Grace unless the combat tactics expressly demand it, the idea that the ban on PvP combat means that you can't ever hurt other PCs is widely held but just plain wrong.

There is a clear distinction between PCs combatting each other and combatting a common foe in a manner that might cause collateral damage. We can't kill each other & we can't be jerks. However calling in a "Broken Arrow" request is not Player vs Player combat.

As a rule of thumb in PFS it boils down to consent. Normally asked just before letting loose an AoE. I have even seen tables where the players stipulate that the casters are free to do what they want as long as it is not done with malicious intent!

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