Currently using a similar system in the mechanics I'm attempting to create.
Personally, I don't see how it would mess the game up if the DCs were simply set by average difficulty level, such as was done with PF1.
In other words, 10 is simple, 15 is not-as-simple, 20 is a moderate challenge, etc. etc. etc.
Since everyone is leveling up their bonuses per-level and getting a few little ups here and there, the trivial tasks would sort themselves out by becoming trivial by the numbers. Labels such as "simple" or "hard' become relative to the power of the player.
As players level up and get to the point of having +10 or +20, the GM doesn't need to roll for lesser "challenges" and, since they are heroes and should be facing tougher stuff as they move through their career, the larger DCs start to become the norm.
This would make it a lot easier for GMs to know what baselines they need to use at each level, since they would be able to look at any group of #level players and know what their bonuses will look like (since everyone has about the same bonuses these days). Don't want players to succeed easily? Use the higher number.
This would also allow for set DCs within skills. A player wants to know something about a particular critter at level 1? His limited experience would hamper that. Is he level 12 now? Well, he's probably heard about that critter by now and so the roll is almost unnecessary.
Maybe I'm not seeing some sort of deeper math here, but the 50/50 rule for setting DCs feels it's punishing the players. And, by way of the annoying table, punishing GMs as well.
I like the way they did it with the Pass Without Trace spell. You get yourself at first, but then eventually you can heighten it to a radius effect. It wouldn't work for all spells, but for utility spells it should definitely be an option to get everyone into the spell as opposed to everyone but poor Bob who has to sit it out.
As an addition, it would be nice to have more spells that scale in power to recreate the "Mass" spells of PF1. Like Fly, for instance. Eventually, the entire party might want to take to the air, but that means 5+ castings by the poor, overtaxed Wizard. Instead of, perhaps, casting it at a higher level.
With a spell like Haste, it tops out at 5 again. What's more, it goes directly from 1 target to 5 targets. A simple heightening rule could make that scale cleanly, without compromising the integrity of the spell's power. As for now, it's simply a 7th level heightening and the number is arbitrary.
It's a definite must-have on the GM screen, for sure. Though generally, I prefer to have my screen loaded up with stuff I know I'll need to look up because, no matter how much I use said information, I'll usually need to reference it to make sure I'm doing it right (conditions, cover, concealment, average hardness/hps, terrain modifiers perhaps...).
As far as scaling DCs for skill use, it seems burdensome.
"I want to seduce the barmaid so she gives me free beer."
"Ok... lesse... That would be a... challenging? task. And you're level 2, so lemme look across this chart here..."
The PF1 system was much cleaner (albeit balanced with the math from PF1). I could just say "15" or "20" and then decide that the barmaid hated adventurers (+4 to the DC) or that perhaps she had just broken up with her b/f and was on the rebound (-4 to the DC) and then the number was made. Throughout every level and every random-ass encounter that the PCs demanded to make a roll on.
Considering the sheer level of nonsense rolls that PCs like to make, having to reference a chart every time is going to produce low-level migraines.
I realize this is the Playtest, and that the organization of the book is not complete, but here are a few things that I, as a GM, would greatly appreciate in the finished product:
1) Spell lists should have the school of magic present. Nothing worse than trying to build a Necromancer baddie and having to sort through nearly every spell to figure out which ones are actually necromancy.
2) Magic Item lists should be broken down into more precise categories. If I decide that I want to give my players a special shield, for example, I don't want to have to figure out where all the shields are in the list. Shield of (something) or is it The (something) Shield.
Both of the above request are things which D&D 5E did which drove me to the edge of my sanity when trying to access information. Not to mention forcing me to spend an extra 30 minutes or more developing game each week.
3) Please seperate Spells and Powers into seperate sections.
4) List of Conditions in the BACK of the book, as reference material. They are too frequently used to have to flip through the book to get to them each time. Particularly if there are other things you need to flip through the book to access during the course of the game.
Anyway, my two cents!
As a long-time GM, I'd just like to say that the arbitrarily growing DC numbers and, as a result, the need for a chart like Table 10-2 is a nightmare for running the game smoothly.
It seems to be that you're setting the difficulty of a task twice, for one. Also, since the chart does not grow in a linear fashion (sometimes +1 between levels and sometimes +2 or +3), there is a need to have your book open to page 337 the entire game.
To me, it would almosts be easier to just ask each player what their total bonus to a skill is and then set the number on-the-fly according to how much chance of succeeding you feel they'd have. NOT a good solution by any means, but still quicker and (potentially) more reliable than the current chart.
Is there any way to fix this so that DCs are set and the "level" and "difficulty" simply exist as modifiers? That way we could actually memorize the DC scaling and then control it from there.
There are quite a few spells which have a target which includes either "You and up to 5 creatures" or jut "Up to 5 creatures" (in the area of effect, touched, etc.).
While this pans out nicely for your typical party, if I, as a GM, end up running a group of 6 or 7 players, then the spells become annoying, requiring 2 castings to get the effect for the party simply because there are more people at the table.
Please, Paizo, add at least a Heightening option to include more people in the casting. Or a Feat or something.
Unless there already is one and I missed it?
A very innovative way to approach it. Personally, I was thinking of something a little smaller, just for the convenience of having to learn all the other new rules.
My own idea for house ruling consisted of:
1) Adding +1 bonus to the Fort save for every 10% of your hit points you have.
Feels like that gives enough options that any party compliment has at least 2 different ways to deal with the situation that don't involve leaving their buddy to "sleep it off".
So, I was wondering if anyone came across anything other than the straight Fort save that allowed a character to remove the unconcious condition?
So far, I see no spells, feats or rules regarding that. Even if an unconcious character is healed to full, they still sit there like a log waiting for the dice to determine what happens. Which all but removes the power of other party members to help their fallen comerade.
On another, related, note, there is this in the description of the Medicine Skill:
"Administer First Aid...
It states "at 0 Hit Points" which would suggest it only moves the target from being at 0 to not being at 0. However, what does Revive mean? Is that a means of bringing someone out of the Unconcious condition? If so, there's no other mention of "revive" anywhere that I can find.
So far, it's looks like I'll be house-ruling it, as having a player out of the fight completely, regardless of how much their party members help them, simply because of some bad dice rolls seems a bit extreme and frustrating for the player.