That's exactly my point. I look at the current rules and the lack of being able to increase skills more than at most +5 better (by 17th level) than anyone else in my party makes me feel like we are all from the same cardboard cut-out, with a just little bit of coloring in to distinguish us from each other.
In PF2 all high level characters are experts at everything just because of level, and with the almost complete removal of skill points as you level there is little to distinguish one's skills from another. This is not the game I have enjoyed playing for 20 years (3.0, 3.5, Pathfinder 1E, Starfinder) and not the game I want to play.
I’m currently trying to create a 7th level Bard that I want to have high Bluff (now called Deception) and Sense Motive (now Perception). Deception is a signature skill for Bards - great. Perception is no longer a skill and is defined by Class (Expert for Bard at first level).
As I level I want my character to be better in their skills compared to their untutored companions and I just can’t.
Rogues, Rangers and Fighters become Masters in Perception at 7th as a class ability, but this is not open to other classes. I could take the Alertness feat but that does not increase my Perception level - it only sets it to Expert. I could raise my Wisdom at 5th level but so would most PCs with 4 boosts across 6 stats, and if I started at 18 that brings it to 19 for no mechanical difference to anything.
I can raise by Deception from Trained to Expert to Master, but as I only get 3 skill points to allocate in total over 7 levels (after my initial allocation of Trained skills) this would be most of my available skill increases.
So compared to my companions my Deception improves by maybe +2 and my Perception will actually get worse if they are Fighter, Ranger or Rogue.
I’d suggest the following changes:
2. Remove the +1 to everything at every level. This doesn’t allow people to tailor their characters in any way and forces them to be better at things they would never do. (“I would never tell a lie. You can trust me…” says the 10th level Paladin with +14 on Deception purely from level + charisma.) I like the idea of getting some auto-improvement but this could be reflected by +1 per 4 or 5 levels.
3. Allow a stat bump above 18 by spending 2 of the 4 ability points allocated at levels 5, 10, 15 and 20; The bump to odd numbers above 18 means no mechanical change from stats for 10 levels.
4. Change Alertness to give you a +2 to Perception, not set the level to Expert.
5. Remove the auto-allocation of Master and Legendary level Perception to Fighter, Ranger and Rogue. Let players decide if they want to spend a Feat on improving Perception or not; alternatively, give All classes a Perception proficiency bump at 7th and 15th levels.
The way classes are currently built and advanced makes me feel like they all come from the same cardboard cutout. They would all have basically the same underlying stats, with only minor variations allocated by the players that are overwhelmed by the giant D20 roll. This is against the design of Pathfinder 1E and leaves me feeling disenfranchised.
Lee Wells wrote:
Not quite correct, but almost. The Harmonize power is a Free verbal action (the diamond symbol is not filled in at all). So you can use a Composition, Harmonize, use a second Composition, and still have an action over to move or attack.
I can't find any rule equivalent to the old 'you can Take Ten' (i.e. assume the PC rolls a 10 on the D20) or 'you can take Twenty' (i.e. assume the PC rolls a 20 on the D20) on certain things, like gathering information of diplomacy etc. Is this still allowed at all under the new rule set? If so, in what circumstances?
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
I agree - I don't understand Exploration Mode. I have now run Rose Street Revenge and played the first part of Doomsday Dawn. In neither did Exploration mode make any sense to myself or the other players. The whole party proceeded through the dungeon parts cautiously so moving at half speed. So why couldn't all the PCs be both Defending (i.e. have their weapons out and expect to be attacked), and Searching (looking for hidden doors) and Investigating (thinking about the environment) and Sneaking (trying to be silent) all at the same time? When Sneaking I would expect people to be thinking of the environment and looking out for obstacles that might trip them up; When Searching I would be doing the same; and when Investigating I would be doing the same. I can see a difference between Covering Tracks and Detecting Magic, but I can't Detect Magic and Investigate at the same time and still look out for hazards???
From the Rulebook page 227: Goblin Pox
Your touch afflicts the target with goblin pox. The effect is based on the result of the target’s Fortitude save.
So what's the difference between a success and a fail on the saving throw? If the PC saves they get the Sick 1 condition; if the PC fails they get the Sick 1 condition for 1 round.
Some traps list a Stealth DC in their stat block and some list Stealth DC (Trained). What's the difference? Seems to be the 'Trained' is where the trap would list the level of training in Perception to spot the trap. All character classes are currently either Trained or Expert in Perception so there is no effective difference between a 'Trained' trap and one without a 'Trained' tag. So is the 'Trained' there in case classes (or companions) are introduced that are not Trained in Perception? Or perhaps some traps need 'Expert' in Perception to spot, rather than just 'Trained'?
In theory, if a lock is supposed to be difficult for a 10th level character to pick, it would be nigh impossible for a 3rd level character to pick. A merchant wanting to keep people from looting their warehouse might select security measures based on "who is actually likely to rob this place" (i.e. "what is the maximum level of anybody in the local thieves guild, excepting the PCs.)
Who is going to be constructing these locks that are a challenge for a level 10 character to pick? Certainly not your person who has spent their entire life becoming a level 5 expert locksmith because they don't have the 'levels' to create an appropriate challenge. Means we are going to have to populate the world with level 10 experts to create anything of worth that can't be outdone by level 10 characters who have spent their life smashing things to pieces. Bleh!
Please please please remove this 'higher level beats everything' rubbish!
The Narration wrote:
That's why an 8th level character has a ton more hit points, better armor, better spells, etc. Adding +1 per level to AC is double dipping.
This sounds like a great idea to me. Have a starting number of 8 in all stats for Gritty fantasy; a starting number in all stats of 10 for Heroic fantasy; and a starting number in all stats of 12 for Legendary Fantasy. When creating NPCs you could use the tier 1 down from that used for PCs. Then you add the ancestry/background/class adjustments to the base array.
Igor Horvat wrote:
I agree totally with the above. I often play at tables where there can be 4 levels different between the top level PC and bottom. With the +1/level to everything the low level PC is really going to suffer in achieving anything meaningful. The low level wizard is going to be outclassed on knowledge skills by the higher level uneducated barbarian. The low level barbarian is going to be outclassed on physical tests by the high level weakling wizard. This is bad for player satisfaction.
Pathfinder is supposed to be a group game where obstacles are overcome by teamwork. Not everyone needs to be good at everything and character choices should matter. The low strength character gets hauled over obstacles by the strong. The intellectual character solves the research project while the person only trained in fighting stands guard. If you need a diplomat, bring a person trained in diplomacy not just j random person with a higher level.
I would like to see more skill points than 2 per class (as per Edition 1 with many classes) but I believe adding +1 to all skills per level ruins character adaptability and makes a sameness to all PCs. IMO it also removes the need for player cooperation, which should be an integral part of the game, because at higher levels everyone becomes great at everything.
I also think the +1 per level is way too much and offsets any difference that untrained/trained/expert provides. IMO the lvl/2 is plenty sufficient (may be even too generous) and I would also increase the gap in the proficiency tiers as suggested above (-3/0/+1/+3/+5).
I find it totally unbelievable that an Untrained level 4 character (skills at -1+4=3) is better than a Trained level 1 character (skills at +1+1=2). Try equating that to a person trained in a musical instrument - a level 10 PC should not be getting bonuses to Perform without ever investing any effort (i.e. skill training) into it.
The problem is that many scenarios contains words such as "If the PCs don’t search the offices in this area, reduce each PC’s credits earned by the amount listed below". I believe that when the players use intelligent play to bypass an area (including a bunch of skill checks) to get to the main objective, the PCs should not be penalized. Similarly, I believe that stealing everything from people/places that the PCs encounter during the course of play should not be mandated by authors. All too often authors insist on penalizing the PCs for not being murder hobos or kleptomaniacs.
What do other GMs do when they encounter module text like the above that penalizes PCs that manage to overcome the challenge by use of guile/stealth. In the example above there was no reason to even go to the area in question with a little bit of forethought and planning (and passing stealth/engineering/computers skill checks).
Does the Starfinder Guide override specific scenario text?
How much discretion does a GM have to adjust the rewards for scenerios if players don't do as the module expects?
I've played 2 scenarios recently (one Pathfinder and one Starfinder) where the PCs used smart play with diplomacy or sneakiness to avoid combat. At the end of both scenarios the rewards were reduced because the PCs didn't either steal everything that wasn't nailed down in the house of a person being investigated, or used forthought and guile to avoind guards entirely (and thus not having guard rooms to ransack).
I believe that GMs should have the ability to provide full rewards to PCs that 'defeat' an obstacle, no matter if that obstacle was 'defeated' by diplomacy, guile, or hitting it on the head; even if the module specifically says "reduce the rewards if the PCs didn't loot X" (where X is an aside to the main mission objectives).
If you start with an 18 at first level you can only increase that to 19 from the 5th level stat bump, which doesn't give any benefit to the DCs you can hit. I can't see how you are getting anything like +19. Care to explain?
Also there's no tool kit (engineering speciality - hacking) if only because hacking depends of the computer skill.
The book says I can buy a Hacking kit but doesn't indicate what bonus it provides or how much it costs. Does that mean I can't hack unless I have a kit but I spend 25 credits and get the ability to make hacking checks? That makes no sense.
Jhaeman's answer above is logical and similar to Pathfinder rules (-2 with no kit, +0 with a standard kit and +2 with a speciality kit) but the whole section is unclear. As written it seems some kits provide a +4 on some skill checks (e.g. rider's kit) while others have no designated bonus (hacking kit).
The Starfinder Core Rulebook lists the following items:
Under the entry for Tool Kit it says "a set of specialized tools and devices... Engineering checks without one take a –2 penalty".
Under the entry for Tool Kit - engineering speciality - it says "These kits each provide a +2 circumstance bonus to a specific use of the Engineering skill".
So is the entry for Tool kit (that provides "specialized tools") for the 20 c. item or the 445 c. item?
What bonus to Engineering (Computers, hacking) or Engineering (Trapsmith) do I get if I spend 445 c. on a Tool Kit (Engineering Speciality)?
I seems that as written I could buy a Tool kit (hacking) or Toolkit (trapsmith) for 20 c. and get a +4 bonus, or buy a Tool kit (engineering speciality - hacking) or Tool kit (engineering speciality - trapsmith) for 445 c. and get a +2 bonus. This seems back to front.
Pathfinder Society Scenario #7–16—Faithless and Forgotten, Part 2: Lost Colony of Taldor (PFRPG) PDF
Ghost Touch is a +3 armor enhancement. Does it do anything else other than protect against touch attacks from incorporeal creatures? That is great when you run up against ghosts or shadows, but highly situational. I think it is way over priced. For that money I would expect it to protect against all touch attacks (corporeal or incorporeal). Am I better off just getting a straight +3 that will protect against the vast majority of attacks?
My level 4 Gnome witch rides around on her pig familiar. Recently we got attacked by some undead and a zombie tried to eat the witch. I wanted the familiar to bite the zombie and the GM called for a Handle Animal check. Can anyone point me to rules that require familiars to be taught how to attack 'unnatural' creatures (as per the rules for Handle Animal) or that a Witch riding her familiar would need to make Ride checks to control the mount in battle? How would you go about getting a familar 'combat trained'?