Power Level for PFS


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5/5

Benchmarks:
Level 1
Attack Bonus +4
Average Attack Damage 8
AC 17
hp 12
Saving Throw Bonuses +3
Offensive Ability DC 17
High Skills +7

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Level 3
Attack Bonus +7
Average Attack Damage 14
AC 21
hp 27
Saving Throw Bonuses +4
Offensive Ability DC 19
High Skills +10

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Level 5
Attack Bonus +9
Average Attack Damage 21
AC 24
hp 42
Saving Throw Bonuses +6
Offensive Ability DC 21
High Skills +13

=======================================

Level 7
Attack Bonus +12
Average Attack Damage 28
AC 28
hp 57
Saving Throw Bonuses +7
Offensive Ability DC 23
High Skills +15

=======================================

Level 9
Attack Bonus +14
Average Attack Damage 33
AC 30
hp 72
Saving Throw Bonuses +8
Offensive Ability DC 24
High Skills +17

=======================================

Level 11
Attack Bonus +17
Average Attack Damage 45
AC 33
hp 87
Saving Throw Bonuses +10
Offensive Ability DC 27
High Skills +19

Hmmm, all those benchmarks seem really easy to hit except offensive ability DC one. My wizard 10 barely squeaks by with the level 9 DC of 24, even counting a special boon that raises her Int (to be fair she didn't dump hard and start with a 20). That isn't to say I don't have any PCs who reach or surpass it, but the one I'm thinking of (level I think 7 with Offensive Ability DC ~26) is ridiculously dangerous, far too strong in my opinion to be only a few points above the benchmark expected value.

I think in general my PCs tend to be better than these benchmarks in their area of expertise and then around or slightly below in other areas.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

The Beard wrote:
I will say that the cleric pregen is a terrible benchmark for clerics. Not only is it poorly built, it actually prepares cure spells as opposed to taking full advantage of its conversion class feature.

As I recall, the prepared spells in question come from her Domain slot, which cannot be spontaneously replaced with a cure spell. It must be used to cast a domain spell.

5/5

The Masked Ferret wrote:
The Beard wrote:
I will say that the cleric pregen is a terrible benchmark for clerics. Not only is it poorly built, it actually prepares cure spells as opposed to taking full advantage of its conversion class feature.
As I recall, the prepared spells in question come from her Domain slot, which cannot be spontaneously replaced with a cure spell. It must be used to cast a domain spell.

No, she has some cures prepared in non-domain slots. I believe I heard the design rationale was to make sure new players didn't run themselves dry of other stuff and forget about that ability (you know the type, I guess, who shoot off their maximum spell at the mere mention of "Roll initiative", even if the fight is obviously easy enough for the martials to stomp without spell support).

The Exchange 5/5

The 1st level Kyra has A Domain spell of CLW that is true, the the 7th level has the following domain spells prepped...
4th— fire shield
3rd— searing light
2nd— heat metal ,
1st— endure elements

so... just food for thought...

opp! ninja'd!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
andreww wrote:
I am not really seeing how that is true. A group of 4 or 6 pregens is going to be crushed in many scenarios, especially 5-9 or 7-11's.

If that is actually the case, then it is a problem of the campaign not adhering to the expectations it has set for itself. The standards are still in place.

-Matt

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

In that case, the campaign isn't allowed to grow or evolve without publishing new pregens, which requires extra time/resources.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Or the pregens don't meet the actual standard.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Or that. :)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Or the pregens don't meet the actual standard.

This could also be the case, if pregens truly do have trouble. If that's true, then we really don't know what the actual standard is, because the pregens are the only thing the campaign has as points of comparison.

Either way, what's important is that if a player finds that his character is zooming ahead of the pregens in terms of ability, it's probably a good idea for him to slow down and not continue to push his character to ever-greater numbers, for the sake of his tables' experience.

Or, when you're able to one-round the King of the Storval Stairs, and you can deal more damage than a party of Level 12 iconics (see below), you've gone way too far.

It's worth noting that the NPC Codex has some nice Level 12 versions of the iconic characters, for when characters get to around 9th level or so and the 7th-level pregens are too far behind to serve as a worthy baseline.

-Matt

5/5 5/55/55/5

Aim well above the pre gens. They don't need to play in 10-11.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mattastrophic wrote:
Either way, what's important is that if a player finds that his character is zooming ahead of the pregens in terms of ability, it's probably a good idea for him to slow down and not continue to push his character to ever-greater numbers, for the sake of his tables' experience.

Or he needs to continue to build as he has been while toning down his actual performance so everyone else has a good time. This leaves him able to turn it to eleven when encountering a scenario further above the power curve than the rest of the party can handle. You can't do that if you disable your dial in character advancement.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Or he needs to continue to build as he has been while toning down his actual performance so everyone else has a good time. This leaves him able to turn it to eleven when encountering a scenario further above the power curve than the rest of the party can handle. You can't do that if you disable your dial in character advancement.

I've heard that argument for many years, most often from people who are, in practice, unable to distinguish between a true crisis and standard fare. At the first sign of trouble, they'll unleash hellfire when they didn't really have to.

A player who is truly able to restrain himself is very rare, so it is not something I would like to promote. There's also the problem of the player being patronizing, as it becomes obvious that whenever the going gets tough, the super-PC will just solve everything.

-Matt

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Mattastrophic wrote:

A player who is truly able to restrain himself is very rare.

-Matt

Indeed, where was your restraint on my poor demons? :)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Indeed, where was your restraint on my poor demons? :)

Hehehe... Did I even get a chance to full-attack? All I remember doing was providing Inspire Courage and making a few Countersong rolls.

Plus, that was a 12-13 Special with the word "Siege" in the title. That, in theory, is the definition of a challenge for the players to unleash hell on. If players are annihilating that... there's a problem there.

-Matt

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Mattastrophic wrote:
If that's true, then we really don't know what the actual standard is, because the pregens are the only thing the campaign has as points of comparison.

Wouldn't the "actual standard" be the CR system? I mean, the CR system intends that for a 4-man party of level X (or a 6-man party of level X–1), an encounter of CR X will be a certain level of challenge/resource expenditure, X+1 will be a different amount, etc.

So then wouldn't the baseline be whether or not the CR system holds true with your PC?


Jiggy wrote:
So then wouldn't the baseline be whether or not the CR system holds true with your PC?

That depends on how much faith you put in the CR system. PFS characters and the campaign's content don't really mesh up well with the assumptions made by the CR system, things like 15 point-buy, many encounters in a day, a four-man party, Core-only material, unoptimized wealth, no free cure wands, etc.

If the CR system is rejected due to the assumptions not applying to PFS, what we have left are the standards upon which PFS's content is built. Standards which are either unknown, specific to individual authors, known only to the campaign staff, or in the statistics of the pregens.

Also, if the CR system was that simple and that applicable as a baseline, I would assume that the rules options developed by Paizo would be more adhering to the baseline, and there would not be the vast variation of power levels of the player options which have actually been published.

-Matt

Silver Crusade

Mark Seifter wrote:
Hmmm, all those benchmarks seem really easy to hit except offensive ability DC one.

Yeah, like I said, I set those based on the goal of a 50% success rate. In retrospect, that is much too high. The benchmark probably should be around 16 + 1/2 character level.

Mark Seifter wrote:
I think in general my PCs tend to be better than these benchmarks in their area of expertise and then around or slightly below in other areas.

That is about where my characters are at. Based on the others who have posted their characters in this thread, it seems to be fairly common to all of us. And most of us also seem to have one powerhouse PC who breaks these standards.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Mattastrophic wrote:
Plus, that was a 12-13 Special with the word "Siege" in the title. That, in theory, is the definition of a challenge for the players to unleash hell on. If players are annihilating that... there's a problem there.

Actually it sounds like a scenario where players need to conserve resources to last through it all. If the players aren't and are obliterating everything, that's to be expected. If they don't run out of resources, that might be an issue with the scenario.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Jiggy wrote:


So then wouldn't the baseline be whether or not the CR system holds true with your PC?

No, because the CR system assumes a well balanced breakfast of a party and PFS is more like mixed nuts.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

The save DCs the Fox listed were based off of the monster's good saves, which I think is a false benchmark. If you're throwing a spell against the opponent's good save, you should have a less than 50% success chance, against their bad save, you should have a better than 50%.

The CR system tells us the baseline for monster ability, but because of the customizable nature of the game, calling a 3rd level fighter cr doesn't really mean squat. Its too easy to build 2 fighters with the same point buy and money and yet vastly different performance.

I've never had issue playing a scenario with pregens. I think the only reason a high level table of pregens is likely to fail is that, if they are playing pregens, it also probably means they are inexperienced.


I dunno. I played Kortos Envoy in a group of six. The only people who had characters die were the pregen ninja player and myself (playing Seoni). Everyone else brought regular characters and lived.

5/5

gnoams wrote:

The save DCs the Fox listed were based off of the monster's good saves, which I think is a false benchmark. If you're throwing a spell against the opponent's good save, you should have a less than 50% success chance, against their bad save, you should have a better than 50%.

The CR system tells us the baseline for monster ability, but because of the customizable nature of the game, calling a 3rd level fighter cr doesn't really mean squat. Its too easy to build 2 fighters with the same point buy and money and yet vastly different performance.

I've never had issue playing a scenario with pregens. I think the only reason a high level table of pregens is likely to fail is that, if they are playing pregens, it also probably means they are inexperienced.

Aha, yes, that explains it then--if you have a 50% chance of defeating a CR + 2 boss opponent in one go despite targeting their strongest save, you are probably well above the baseline.

Silver Crusade

gnoams wrote:
The save DCs the Fox listed were based off of the monster's good saves, which I think is a false benchmark. If you're throwing a spell against the opponent's good save, you should have a less than 50% success chance, against their bad save, you should have a better than 50%.

Ah. This is a very good point. If we use the average of Good Saves and Poor Saves from the monster chart, then the benchmark becomes DC 14 + character level, which looks a lot more reasonable. (Too bad I can't edit those earlier posts).

Scarab Sages

The Beard wrote:
I will say that the cleric pregen is a terrible benchmark for clerics. Not only is it poorly built, it actually prepares cure spells as opposed to taking full advantage of its conversion class feature.

Some people like to move and cast - rather than move and 5 foot step (which for many GMs a cleric spontaneously casting a cure is limited to doing) - so for that reason memorizing the cures is not a bad tactical decision.

5/5

Dhjika wrote:
The Beard wrote:
I will say that the cleric pregen is a terrible benchmark for clerics. Not only is it poorly built, it actually prepares cure spells as opposed to taking full advantage of its conversion class feature.

Some people like to move and cast - rather than move and 5 foot step (which for many GMs a cleric spontaneously casting a cure is limited to doing) - so for that reason memorizing the cures is not a bad tactical decision.

Sponting only takes a full round action if you do it with metamagic. There's no room for debate on the matter in PFS.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Dhjika wrote:
The Beard wrote:
I will say that the cleric pregen is a terrible benchmark for clerics. Not only is it poorly built, it actually prepares cure spells as opposed to taking full advantage of its conversion class feature.

Some people like to move and cast - rather than move and 5 foot step (which for many GMs a cleric spontaneously casting a cure is limited to doing) - so for that reason memorizing the cures is not a bad tactical decision.

Sponting only takes a full round action if you do it with metamagic. There's no room for debate on the matter in PFS.

This is an uncommon rule. I am arcane bloodline but I announce why i can MM and move that it is a unique ability and most DMs give the look that they never knew that.

5/5

Finlanderboy wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Dhjika wrote:
The Beard wrote:
I will say that the cleric pregen is a terrible benchmark for clerics. Not only is it poorly built, it actually prepares cure spells as opposed to taking full advantage of its conversion class feature.

Some people like to move and cast - rather than move and 5 foot step (which for many GMs a cleric spontaneously casting a cure is limited to doing) - so for that reason memorizing the cures is not a bad tactical decision.

Sponting only takes a full round action if you do it with metamagic. There's no room for debate on the matter in PFS.
This is an uncommon rule. I am arcane bloodline but I announce why i can MM and move that it is a unique ability and most DMs give the look that they never knew that.

Perhaps, but surely few GMs require all spontaneous casting to be a full round, as Dhjika suggested (I hope!).

The Exchange 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Kentucky—Lexington

andreww wrote:
Mattastrophic wrote:
I then realized that the "quality" of the choices made by the pregens doesn't actually matter. What matters is that those choices are the baseline expectation used by the campaign.
I am not really seeing how that is true. A group of 4 or 6 pregens is going to be crushed in many scenarios, especially 5-9 or 7-11's.

I've been in a 5-9 where the hardest combat had every PC unconscious except a Val Fighter pregen and no one died. Is it something that can be repeated? Probably not. But I don't think the pregens are bad in any combat way. I think where they are bad is in the casters not having Spellcraft or Knowledge skills that make sense.

Dark Archive

If those pregens are actually regarded as the "baseline expectation" then my barbarian should be earning divine ranks and mythic tiers just by existing.

5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Beard wrote:
If those pregens are actually regarded as the "baseline expectation" then my barbarian should be earning divine ranks and mythic tiers just by existing.

Pretty much this. I keep looking at Erzen and wondering how a character with Int as a primary stat spends a large chunk of his available cash on a +1 stick.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

It's his Arcane Bond. He didn't spend that much.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

2000 gold to enchant it as a weapon. Unless there is a discount I'm not seeing.

5/5 5/55/55/5

andreww wrote:
The Beard wrote:
If those pregens are actually regarded as the "baseline expectation" then my barbarian should be earning divine ranks and mythic tiers just by existing.
Pretty much this. I keep looking at Erzen and wondering how a character with Int as a primary stat spends a large chunk of his available cash on a +1 stick.

Dumped wisdom?


In fairness, maybe he wants to add an additional enchantment like Spell Storing later.

Of course, since higher-level builds are available and I'm guessing he didn't do that...

Shadow Lodge 4/5

andreww wrote:
The Beard wrote:
If those pregens are actually regarded as the "baseline expectation" then my barbarian should be earning divine ranks and mythic tiers just by existing.
Pretty much this. I keep looking at Erzen and wondering how a character with Int as a primary stat spends a large chunk of his available cash on a +1 stick.

Its for throwing at people with hand of the apprentice

Scarab Sages

James Risner wrote:
andreww wrote:
Mattastrophic wrote:
I then realized that the "quality" of the choices made by the pregens doesn't actually matter. What matters is that those choices are the baseline expectation used by the campaign.
I am not really seeing how that is true. A group of 4 or 6 pregens is going to be crushed in many scenarios, especially 5-9 or 7-11's.
I've been in a 5-9 where the hardest combat had every PC unconscious except a Val Fighter pregen and no one died. Is it something that can be repeated? Probably not. But I don't think the pregens are bad in any combat way. I think where they are bad is in the casters not having Spellcraft or Knowledge skills that make sense.

I have seen games where (usually in the 7-8 tier) be saved because one or more Selahs are in the party - the 7th level Selah is quite the healer and can stand between squishies and thumpers - yes you have to buy her a light shield so she can use lay on hands.

Grand Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
2000 gold to enchant it as a weapon. Unless there is a discount I'm not seeing.

Wizards can craft for their Arcane Bonded item when they are a high enough level to have obtained the requisite feats without said feats, even in PFS.


Kurthnaga wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
2000 gold to enchant it as a weapon. Unless there is a discount I'm not seeing.
Wizards can craft for their Arcane Bonded item when they are a high enough level to have obtained the requisite feats without said feats, even in PFS.

They still have to pay the crafting cost, which is typically half the market price.

-j

Grand Lodge

Jason Wu wrote:
Kurthnaga wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
2000 gold to enchant it as a weapon. Unless there is a discount I'm not seeing.
Wizards can craft for their Arcane Bonded item when they are a high enough level to have obtained the requisite feats without said feats, even in PFS.

They still have to pay the crafting cost, which is typically half the market price.

-j

I'm aware. 1k is substantially less than 2k early.

By saving that money you could buy a cloak of res+1 or something.

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