I can't believe I'm saying this, but I want a new edition...


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I, for one, am digging the new Wound Thresholds option a whole bunch. ^_^

Liberty's Edge

@NathanielLove: Which version of Star Wars d20? I'm only familiar with Saga Edition and a bit less familiar with Revised Core Rulebook.


I don't know why we're talking about whether or not HP is 'meat points'. Although flavor text is inconsistent on this it is an abstraction. Heck we can confirm that by having an entire alternate rule system in Ultimate Combat that divides 'meat' and vitality that talks about how abstract HP is in it's introduction.

On the subject of bounded accuracy. Its not a bad design but how it works out in 5th edition is not how I'd want things to work out in Pathfinder. I like 5th edition and all but its one of the reasons that I keep Pathfinder around. I'm also all for stealing things from other games when it's appropriate but I'm not into that particular aspect.


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I like combining Would Thresholds and Wounds and Vigor so it's very clear when you're actually getting stabbed. Another person on the boards gave me the idea, though. Don't remember who.

Basically, you have Health as normal (hd+con), but you also have wounds equal to twice your con (as the W&V rules state and they function as such). Only wounds gained factor into wound thresholds.

I feel like this keeps it fairly simple while untangling some of the abstraction that makes things confusing.


Snorb wrote:
@NathanielLove: Which version of Star Wars d20? I'm only familiar with Saga Edition and a bit less familiar with Revised Core Rulebook.

Saga is the version with the base defense written in.


rainzax wrote:
ryric wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:

I had no problem abstracting minions.

It's like James Bond ducking behind cover and taking each goon out with a single shot, but still needing to respect that they could very well shoot him back and it would hurt (unlike say, the damage a lvl 1 archer would do to a level 10 archer).

You've got the guys the heroes can stab through the heart or behead in one hit without it feeling like beating up harmless kittens.

The damage had no roll because it presumably there were a bunch of minions to roll for. I think you could easily fix it, ie if the minion hits with a longsword for 11 damage, that's essentially 1d8+7.

But if James Bond threw a grenade into the middle of a group of 4e minions, some would be dead while others would be perfectly unscathed. Or, if the GM was like mine, James would make one attack roll and apply it to all the minions so the entire group would be perfectly unscathed or dead. Also all the minions made one attack roll for the whole group so six minions either hit James six times or not at all. I've said before that I had 4e GMs that really emphasized the "gaminess."

Really the immunity to all "half damage" things bugs me a lot. It creates a guy that can potentially walk unscathed through a warzone with explosions everywhere and cascading lava and fire, where repeated instances of half damage would eventually wear down the actual "tough" monster but the minion is just fine because reasons.

Heck, it would solve a lot of problems for me if you just gave minions 2 hp. Making a Reflex save or the like would do 1 hp damage, so you can guarantee taking out the group with 2 AoE attacks. 2hp is still low enough that they die in one actual hit as well.

Edit: Also there was the exploit of find a level 27 minion, use an effect that did 1 point of guaranteed damage, and catapult from 1st to 9th level from the xp. Silly but it illustrates a problem with the minion system.

You could give minions 1 HP per level and rule that...

speaking of minions, I have scoured the site for a 3pp book I remember that had a threshold mechanic for minions... anybody know the math or have the book and can confirm they like it? (Something like HP = X, so Y wounds, and 2Y or Z fells)...


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Tacticslion wrote:

"The mighty orc's great blade swings and crits! Oof! It deals *rolls 4d6, adds double STR* 30 damage!"

"Holy carp! That's enough to snap my tower shield into two pieces! I'm down to 12 hp! ... wait, what happens?"

"Uh, well, you see, it narrowly misses!"

"But, hold on... isn't that what my AC is for?"

"Well, maybe it just grazes a bit?"

"It just 'grazes a bit' equals snapping my tower shield in half?"

"... yes, for purposes of this conversation."

Obviously by that point the character is tougher than a steel tower shield.

Those 30 points of damage on a 45 max HP character? Maybe the Greatsword bit into his shoulder, or his side or his leg, leaving a nasty gash with blood gushing out [see, this is where I hate the 'bleed' mechanic, because it implies normal wounds don't bleed] and exposing muscle or bone or maybe even guts. But he's such a badass that he keeps fighting unaffected unless/until his HP drops to zero.

I'm describing it this badly because of how large a portion of the character's HP was taken out by that swing, very much not nickle-and-dime damage.

To quote Baron Godfrey of Ibelin from Kingdom of Heaven [who would likely have only been a level 2-4 Fighter]

Baron Godfrey wrote:
I once fought for three days with an arrow through my testicle.


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Tacticslion wrote:

"The mighty orc's great blade swings and crits! Oof! It deals *rolls 4d6, adds double STR* 30 damage!"

"Holy carp! That's enough to snap my tower shield into two pieces! I'm down to 12 hp! ... wait, what happens?"

"Uh, well, you see, it narrowly misses!"

"But, hold on... isn't that what my AC is for?"

"Well, maybe it just grazes a bit?"

"It just 'grazes a bit' equals snapping my tower shield in half?"

"... yes, for purposes of this conversation."

kyrt-ryder wrote:

Obviously by that point the character is tougher than a steel tower shield.

Those 30 points of damage on a 45 max HP character? Maybe the Greatsword bit into his shoulder, or his side or his leg, leaving a nasty gash with blood gushing out [see, this is where I hate the 'bleed' mechanic, because it implies normal wounds don't bleed] and exposing muscle or bone or maybe even guts. But he's such a badass that he keeps fighting unaffected unless/until his HP drops to zero.

I'm describing it this badly because of how large a portion of the character's HP was taken out by that swing, very much not nickle-and-dime damage.

To quote Baron Godfrey of Ibelin from Kingdom of Heaven [who would likely have only been a level 2-4 Fighter]

Baron Godfrey wrote:
I once fought for three days with an arrow through my testicle.

Sure. (Probably a 9th level character, by the way, so already super-human... but possibly 4th.)

That's kind of why I posted that (also look at the examples I gave below of how, in media, that sort of idea susses itself out). The thing with hp is that it's hard for people to grasp and hard to explain in mundane ways.

It gets to a point with hit points that most people give up and go, "Welp, there goes ALL the blood. You've still got a lot left, though, so maybe we can paint the room a bit more." just because of how everything is (understandably) couched in terms of "damage" and "healing".

I don't really know how to fix it, but I can recognize a potential problem - it's rare enough in my own games, but others complain consistently, and I can see how it arises.

Malwing wrote:

I don't know why we're talking about whether or not HP is 'meat points'. Although flavor text is inconsistent on this it is an abstraction. Heck we can confirm that by having an entire alternate rule system in Ultimate Combat that divides 'meat' and vitality that talks about how abstract HP is in it's introduction.

On the subject of bounded accuracy. Its not a bad design but how it works out in 5th edition is not how I'd want things to work out in Pathfinder. I like 5th edition and all but its one of the reasons that I keep Pathfinder around. I'm also all for stealing things from other games when it's appropriate but I'm not into that particular aspect.

Eh, rules text, which I linked in my post above indicated that, while it's an abstraction, it's an abstraction that focuses on physical "okayness".

Here, I'll link it again, and quote it:

Quote:

Hit Points (hp)

Hit points are an abstraction signifying how robust and healthy a creature is at the current moment. To determine a creature's hit points, roll the dice indicated by its Hit Dice. A creature gains maximum hit points if its first Hit Die roll is for a character class level. Creatures whose first Hit Die comes from an NPC class or from his race roll their first Hit Die normally. Wounds subtract hit points, while healing (both natural and magical) restores hit points. Some abilities and spells grant temporary hit points that disappear after a specific duration. When a creature's hit points drop below 0, it becomes unconscious. When a creature's hit points reach a negative total equal to its Constitution score, it dies.

This is pretty solidly "hey, you are wounded, and thus lose hit points, you are healed, and thus regain them" kind of language.

The wounds and vitality system actually uses older language to change the way that hit points are described, but it is definitely in contravention to the weight of the game.

One of the interesting things is that this has been a "thing" since the earliest editions to the point where there are stories of folk stabbing themselves in the face for fun or intimidation or whatever; the (very unsatisfying) response has always been "well, it's not really wounds, and they die" which seems exceptionally weird now, and always has.

That's where hit points cause problems: when there is a difference between the player's perception of how the game works (which most all of the text affirms) and how they're "supposed" to work (which is clarified in only a few optional and comparatively unknown places).

Let me be clear: hit points are great. I've not yet played a system that works more easily or 'cleanly' than hit points. But it has its issues, and has from the earliest days of the game.


Not sure why I should really even bother posting anymore. Jester David has done a fine job of articulating my viewpoints far more effectively than I ever could.

I do think, however, that a lot of people are assuming far too much about what Bounded Accuracy is and isn't and what it could or couldn't be in Pathfinder.

As Jester David pointed out in a very early post in this thread, the number progression of BAB/AC/To Hit numbers is not much more than number porn. The ONLY thing it accomplishes is locking you in with a limited number of monsters you can fight because their numbers are close enough to yours.

With bounded accuracy, a +1 to hit actually means a 5% better chance to hit.

That's not even really the purpose of my posting though... love or hate bounded accuracy, at least understand what it represents.

All it means is that certain numerical parameters are set and the game is kept within them.

**** It doesn't mean PF2E has to copy 5Es BAB progressions.****

It means PF comes up with a range that works in PF, and adjusts around that. Fighters might still end up with faster BAB progression than other classes, unlike 5e. But when BAB and AC just keep going up-up-up, it becomes diluted to the point that the die roll is borderline meaningless at some point.

As for the argument I keep seeing, "Well, if you want to play 5E, play 5E," clearly I want to play PF, but I found a mechanic in 5E I believe would benefit PF. I believe that Wizards found an elegant solution to a problem that has plagued D&D since OD&D, and that solution would be just as elegant in PF without sacrificing PFs depth and customization.

Yes, I'm going to admit it... I'm a Role Playing over Roll Playing purist, but I prefer PFs crunchiness. There, I said it, sue me.

But that doesn't mean 5E didn't come up with some good ideas, and one of them in particular is something they should have done in 3.0, instead of slavishly sticking to the number porn.

One more quick thing of note... I've noticed quite a few people in this thread say they (as one poster put it) "ran screaming from the playtest when I saw Bounded Accuracy."

So did I. I hated the playtest. I ran a campaign, adjusting to the playtest as it went, and I couldn't stand it. The game they tested and the game they released are not the same. I highly recommend you give it another shot.


"Robust and healthy" doesn't necessarily mean how much your body is properly functioning. To me, that can also imply stamina and vigor. Especially considering how many blows are traded at higher levels, does anyone actually like the idea of hit points as meat points?


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The way have always explained HP's to new folks is its an abstraction about avoiding taken a deadly blow. A "hit" is not being stabbed or really being sliced into every time. Its "almost" or maybe a glancing blow or a graze, but nothing like being sliced with a sword or stabbed. When you take 1d8+4 from an Orc, you are not slicing that orc, you are wearing him down and when you get to (0) he has made a mistake, you you slipped though his defenses or whatever and nailed him.

HP's are a simple system but fail pretty hard when you try to make each hit mean its a stab or a slice that cuts into you.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
rainzax wrote:
rainzax wrote:
ryric wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:

I had no problem abstracting minions.

It's like James Bond ducking behind cover and taking each goon out with a single shot, but still needing to respect that they could very well shoot him back and it would hurt (unlike say, the damage a lvl 1 archer would do to a level 10 archer).

You've got the guys the heroes can stab through the heart or behead in one hit without it feeling like beating up harmless kittens.

The damage had no roll because it presumably there were a bunch of minions to roll for. I think you could easily fix it, ie if the minion hits with a longsword for 11 damage, that's essentially 1d8+7.

But if James Bond threw a grenade into the middle of a group of 4e minions, some would be dead while others would be perfectly unscathed. Or, if the GM was like mine, James would make one attack roll and apply it to all the minions so the entire group would be perfectly unscathed or dead. Also all the minions made one attack roll for the whole group so six minions either hit James six times or not at all. I've said before that I had 4e GMs that really emphasized the "gaminess."

Really the immunity to all "half damage" things bugs me a lot. It creates a guy that can potentially walk unscathed through a warzone with explosions everywhere and cascading lava and fire, where repeated instances of half damage would eventually wear down the actual "tough" monster but the minion is just fine because reasons.

Heck, it would solve a lot of problems for me if you just gave minions 2 hp. Making a Reflex save or the like would do 1 hp damage, so you can guarantee taking out the group with 2 AoE attacks. 2hp is still low enough that they die in one actual hit as well.

Edit: Also there was the exploit of find a level 27 minion, use an effect that did 1 point of guaranteed damage, and catapult from 1st to 9th level from the xp. Silly but it illustrates a problem with the minion system.

You could give minions 1 HP...
speaking of minions, I have scoured the site for a 3pp book I remember that had a threshold mechanic for minions... anybody know the math or have the book and can confirm they like it? (Something like HP = X, so Y wounds, and 2Y or Z fells)...

I want to say... this one? By Bulmahn himself, even. ^_^


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To illustrate the difference between the kind of dodge that wears you out (HP damage) and the dodge that doesn't affect you (under your AC), I'd like to point to the Ali vs. Foreman fight. For most of the fight, Ali effortlessly dodge Foreman's punches. Slight dodges where he'd barely move, but never got hit. This doesn't expel a lot of energy at all. When you take HP damage, you are not effortless. You are being worn down trying to defend or block.


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Nathanael Love wrote:

Star Wars D20 had base defense. It wasn't an good there and wouldn't be any good in PF.

If defense goes up with level the same as offense it all just cancels out and we might as well not have any bonuses at all.

Lets make the entire game roll 15 or better to hit and 14 or less is always a miss why don't we? Then we can do away with all these books and character sheets. . .

"Making the entire game roll X or better to hit" is kind of how every game is designed to work these days. As your character gets better they are still often hitting on a number from 8 to 12, but they're fighting tougher and more interesting monsters. The mooks of today are the antagonists of yesterday.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
does anyone actually like the idea of hit points as meat points?
I do!
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
HP's are a simple system but fail pretty hard when you try to make each hit mean its a stab or a slice that cuts into you.

Environmental Damage [Falling, Lava etc etc] says hi.


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As a side note; Did anyone watch The Hobbit: War of the Five Armies and kind of did a double take when one dwarf just went off to fight 100 goblins offscreen like it was no big deal? I immediately thought of Pathfinder. I was like "100? What did you level up twelve times since the last movie or did the dragon horde have a bunch of magic items? Well I know you guys aren't Playing 5th edition or you wouldn't be so cavalier about this."

[EDIT] I was incorrect. It was TWO dwarves that went off to fight 100 goblins, but the statement still stands.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
Snorb wrote:
@NathanielLove: Which version of Star Wars d20? I'm only familiar with Saga Edition and a bit less familiar with Revised Core Rulebook.
Saga is the version with the base defense written in.

I'm pretty sure this was in every version of the game-- it advanced on the character class chart. But its been a long time, and I never owned the books myself so maybe I'm wrong.

Squirrel_Dude wrote:
"Making the entire game roll X or better to hit" is kind of how every game is designed to work these days. As your character gets better they are still often hitting on a number from 8 to 12, but they're fighting tougher and more interesting monsters. The mooks of today are the antagonists of yesterday.

I think my point was with bounded accuracy and a base defense adjustment it becomes the SAME number to hit basically everything all the way through and you lose any feeling of improved power.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
does anyone actually like the idea of hit points as meat points?
I do!
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
HP's are a simple system but fail pretty hard when you try to make each hit mean its a stab or a slice that cuts into you.
Environmental Damage [Falling, Lava etc etc] says hi.

That kinda proves my point. If you fall into lava, its not gonna be take xd6, is damn..roll a new char. HP's are not damage, they are an abstraction to see how long your pc can keep going.

If you guys want a hit/damage/wound/ meat point system. HP is not and will never be that system.


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seekerofshadowlight wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
does anyone actually like the idea of hit points as meat points?
I do!
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
HP's are a simple system but fail pretty hard when you try to make each hit mean its a stab or a slice that cuts into you.
Environmental Damage [Falling, Lava etc etc] says hi.

That kinda proves my point. If you fall into lava, its not gonna be take xd6, is damn..roll a new char. HP's are not damage, they are an abstraction to see how long your pc can keep going.

If you guys want a hit/damage/wound/ meat point system. HP is not and will never be that system.

Except as written it IS that system, as proven by the environmental damage rules.

You fall into lava you take xd6 damage per round. You only roll up a new character if you fail to get out before you run out of HP.

As an aside, HP have worked GREAT for Meat Points in my games for as long as I've been running them [something like 6 years now.]

EDIT: it all boils down to tone. If you don't like HP as Meat Points don't use them that way, and don't use the Environmental Damage rules as written.

If you like that sort of thing, the rules support it just fine and I am very grateful that they do.


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Hit Points are basically a life meter just like it is in video games.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Except as written it IS that system, as proven by the environmental damage rules.

You fall into lava you take xd6 damage per round. You only roll up a new character if you fail to get out before you run out of HP.

As an aside, HP have worked GREAT for Meat Points in my games for as long as I've been running them [something like 6 years now.]

EDIT: it all boils down to tone. If you don't like HP as Meat Points don't use them that way, and don't use the Environmental Damage rules as written.

If you like that sort of thing, the rules support it just fine and I am very grateful that they do.

what it does is show the rules are windy inconsistent. It tires to both be meat points and not meat points. And n what version of the game you came in. I honestly never read the PF HP section, even though to me it makes it clear its not pure meat points.

I know 2e it was not pure meat, 3e it was not pure meat. I think we need to admit HP's are what they are, a highly and wacky way to take if your PC is still alive. Nothing more.

If someone takes 704 arrows to his head and is still walking, you have passed the whole concept of meat points and death.


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wraithstrike wrote:
Hit Points are basically a life meter just like it is in video games.

Indeed, and just as realistic.


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seekerofshadowlight wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Except as written it IS that system, as proven by the environmental damage rules.

You fall into lava you take xd6 damage per round. You only roll up a new character if you fail to get out before you run out of HP.

As an aside, HP have worked GREAT for Meat Points in my games for as long as I've been running them [something like 6 years now.]

EDIT: it all boils down to tone. If you don't like HP as Meat Points don't use them that way, and don't use the Environmental Damage rules as written.

If you like that sort of thing, the rules support it just fine and I am very grateful that they do.

what it does is show the rules are windy inconsistent. It tires to both be meat points and not meat points. And n what version of the game you came in. I honestly never read the PF HP section, even though to me it makes it clear its not pure meat points.

I know 2e it was not pure meat, 3e it was not pure meat. I think we need to admit HP's are what they are, a highly and wacky way to take if your PC is still alive. Nothing more.

If someone takes 104 arrows to his head and is still walking, you have passed the whole concept of meat points and death.

Heh, I've had Barbarian characters in campaigns I run take dozens and dozens of arrows in the chest, and one through the throat and one through the groin [crits] and keep right on going.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
does anyone actually like the idea of hit points as meat points?
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I do!

As do I!

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
HP's are a simple system but fail pretty hard when you try to make each hit mean its a stab or a slice that cuts into you.
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Environmental Damage [Falling, Lava etc etc] says hi.

And the hit points of objects, and the fact that a great sword does more damage than a dagger (that's just weird if you're talking "luck"), etc.

seekerofshadowlight wrote:

That kinda proves my point. If you fall into lava, its not gonna be take xd6, is damn..roll a new char. HP's are not damage, they are an abstraction to see how long your pc can keep going.

If you guys want a hit/damage/wound/ meat point system. HP is not and will never be that system.

And yet, it is.

Heal wounds. (Cure spells, Heal spells, fast healing, regeneration, etc.)

Quote:
an injury to living tissue caused by a cut, blow, or other impact, typically one in which the skin is cut or broken.

Deal damage. (Inflict or harm spells, weapon damage, falling damage, etc.)

Quote:
physical harm caused to something in such a way as to impair its value, usefulness, or normal function.

Google wounds

Google damage

This is really straightforward. Either they're just using a really, really incorrect wrong lexicon altogether, or the system functions on damage/healing like it says.

Again: this (mis)understanding (which is not what many of the early creators intended) goes all the way back to the beginning - even when it was part of the rules, exceptionally few people play it that way. Either 3rd or PF (I don't recall which) did away with the "it is about luck, as much as actual damage" part of the definition for simplicity and consistency.

Beyond that, there is nothing really that makes sense in the idea of hit points not being physical punishment in environmental rules or others.

Here's a trick and an explanation why hit points are used the way they are (whether or not you agree with it).

Look at two systems.

System A: as you grow in power, your innate skill at avoiding things gets better. You just are better, over-all, at making things not touch you by evasion. Your ability to evade another's blade is legendary. Just don't get caught sleeping.

System B: as you grow in power, things that would have once killed you no longer phase you. You are simply tougher. What was once deadly becomes no longer so, and your durability is legendary.

"System B" is how most people run hit points, because it makes more sense with the nomenclature used for everything in the game, and it has the side effect of making you feel more powerful.

Superman is shown as being super-powerful because bullets don't hurt him. He's awesome not because he can avoid stuff (he can), but because he doesn't have to.

The Flash, despite canonically being shown faster than Supes a few different times, is generally not thought of as "more powerful"... because getting out the way of things that hurt you, while awesome, isn't "powerful" it's "normal, just more of it". (This is also the track that is taken with d20 Modern and Star Wars with their defense bonuses.)

What hit points was originally trying to be, however, is "System C" a weird combination of the above with luck and circumstance.

The problem with it being "System C" is that nothing else in the game supports this. Nothing. Descriptions are consistently of damage, wounds, healing, and so on. These describe visual punishment and hard hits. AC is about the avoidance, and DR is about the negation of the hit. Saves are a moderately successful combination of the two.

The problem is the nomenclature. The game simply doesn't show hit points as being anything other than brutal physical damage. Are they an abstraction? As stated multiple times, yes. But even the Called Shots system doesn't indicate that they're anything other than physical hardiness - the abstraction there is compared to where the hits land and deal damage, not if.

This is the difficulty with people accepting any other interpretation. Nothing really supports it in-game.

EDIT: Man, I am so ninja'd. Ah, well. Leavin' it. :D


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adembroski wrote:
But that doesn't mean 5E didn't come up with some good ideas, and one of them in particular is something they should have done in 3.0, instead of slavishly sticking to the number porn.

You see "number porn" in pathfinder while I see oversimplification and the sacrifice of the feeling of advancement in 5e. So I'll "slavishly" stick with my "porn" as doing otherwise removes what I like about pathfinder.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Why do people default to real life to explain s%@% like hit points, movies and television! that's where you look, have you seen the s*#* people live thru in those mediums!

Using real life examples for a fantasy games mechanics is disingenuous at best :-)


Okay, to me, there is nothing wrong with liking hp. I just want a little more. As someone that already uses a house rule/optional system, I won't say much more on it. Glad you guys like the HP system.


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I don't quite understand it, hit points don't describe fluff, but I simply cannot imagine characters take more and more physical punishment. But instead I envision it as an abstract for physical wounds and stamina. There are game aspect of PF I try to avoid explaining narrative; they just are as they are. However this is not something that needs to be fixed because HPs can mean whatever you want in your game. This is certainly not a compelling reason for a new edition. For instance, getting rid of feat trees would be a great idea and a much better reason for a new edition; but we dont need one. Just some clarification.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
To illustrate the difference between the kind of dodge that wears you out (HP damage) and the dodge that doesn't affect you (under your AC), I'd like to point to the Ali vs. Foreman fight. For most of the fight, Ali effortlessly dodge Foreman's punches. Slight dodges where he'd barely move, but never got hit. This doesn't expel a lot of energy at all. When you take HP damage, you are not effortless. You are being worn down trying to defend or block.

Just going to throw this out, but in addition to things like environmental effects, falling, lava dipping, rock-crushing, and so forth, dragons can actually snatch you up, pinning you in your mouth, and you explicitly get no reflex save against their breath weapon as they hold you PINNED inside their mouths and proceed to spew molten star-surface breath all over you.

I showed a while back that the average damage from an ancient red dragon's breath weapon (not even a great wyrms, so it gets hotter) is hot enough to slag an entire suite of full plate in 3 seconds. We're not talking about broken, we're talking about the steel itself that it is made of being utterly destroyed by the heat, in 3 seconds.

D&D heroes get pinned in this monster's jaws and bathed in this hellfire and they then they hack its face with their axe until the dragon decides the warrior is too angry and spits him out because the warrior is actively making scrimshaw art with the interior of the dragon's mouth using his axe and rage as his implements of artistry.

Yes, high level heroes and monsters in D&D are durable. They are not surviving because they are spiderman. The great wyrm dragon is not surviving because it's actually insanely great at dodging and frankly neither is your party's barbarian.

We have mechanics for dodging. You have a Touch AC and flat-footed AC. If it's a "glancing blow" it hit you but didn't deal damage (because it failed to pierce your AC). If it doesn't meet your Touch AC you dodged it entirely. However, when it connects, it's real and honest damage. It's not Ali wearing out. If it was, you'd just sit and take a breather and in a minute or so you'd be ready to go again. Nonlethal damage is closer to the sort of damage that you're describing. It's wearing you out and it's actually painful but you're going to be fine after a bit (and it heals hourly instead of daily).

Most of the time you HIT the dragon. They are usually glancing blows because the dragon's AC is high enough that it never penetrates to deal real damage. But when the dragon takes damage, it's taking real damage. You are carving into its body. It's not deftly dodging at the last moment, it's bleeding. It's making saves against the injury-poison on your blade that's now trying to infect it's bloodstream. It's roaring and smashing you with its tail and throwing you around the room into the pools of molten glass and rock that it created with its breath weapon.

Foolish mortals. Only mortals would be so reckless as to stand against gods. Only heroes would be so insane as to win.


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
I don't quite understand it, hit points don't describe fluff, but I simply cannot imagine characters take more and more physical punishment. But instead I envision it as an abstract for physical wounds and stamina. There are game aspect of PF I try to avoid explaining narrative; they just are as they are. However this is not something that needs to be fixed because HPs can mean whatever you want in your game. This is certainly not a compelling reason for a new edition. For instance, getting rid of feat trees would be a great idea and a much better reason for a new edition; but we dont need one. Just some clarification.

I agree, kind of (see below)

The OP that led to the discussion of hit points was that Second Wind (Fighter 5e) was claimed not to be a disassociated mechanic as it doesn't heal hit points (meat points), it is a luck surge or a fighter-can-keep-fighting surge.

Feat trees are a good idea, it allows combat feats to scale with level (to some degree), there was less feat trees in D&D 3.5 (PHB II introduced extended feat trees into the game) and martial characters suffered for it.

The problem is the 'feat tax' of feat trees, or the cost if you like, is severely inflated.


Huh, that's interesting. Hm, okay, so I concede that even my house ruling doesn't adequately unabstract it. I'm not sure it can be adequately unabstracted and still be fair. Maybe I'll think of something.


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captain yesterday wrote:

Why do people default to real life to explain s~*~ like hit points, movies and television! that's where you look, have you seen the s$&# people live thru in those mediums!

Using real life examples for a fantasy games mechanics is disingenuous at best :-)

Indeed. Hit points are your action hero ability to shrug off getting stabbed/shot/whatever with a manly grunt and get back in the fight.


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Morzadian wrote:

Your earlier comment you mentioned the Red Hand of Doom.

The Red Hand of Doom pushed the envelope when it came to CR and was more diverse in how it created its encounters.

However, an optimised party could walk through Red Hand of Doom, no troubles. This is well documented in the GITP forums.

Definitely. Though I'd love a link to the GitP thread involved, since I know that there's a big difference between "Optimized" in Pathfinder and what is often called "Optimized" in 3.5 (where things like Craft Contingent Spell and Nightsticks are a thing :P).

But I wouldn't doubt it, even with a core-only party. Merely that the encounters that were in that book tended to be far more interesting and solid than most adventures I've seen. Very frequently you're dealing with tons of lower-tier enemies that work together, fascinating environments (such as a battle on a bridge involving a dragon on the wing plus archers), and enemies that have methods of attacking PCs in different ways (even late in the game, our druid got a sudden scare from a bunch of 3rd level hobgoblin clerics when he was dogpiled by them all holding the charge for inflict moderate wounds spells, where out of nowhere these mooks jump on him and start shelling out 6d8+9 points of negative energy damage (save halves :P).

Quote:

I GMed RHOD, and it was the catalyst that pushed our gaming group to make the move to Pathfinder. I created a 24,000 word document of customised encounters (for RHOD). Fantastic adventure but too much work.

I agree with you and Wraithstrike, harder encounters and more synergy is needed.

I'm disappointed in APs when the encounters feel dumbed down, poorly thought out, don't work mechanically, or are just nonsensical. Some APs are worse than others for these things. Some APs are better. In some cases, it seems to vary from book to book (we mostly enjoyed the first book of Reign of Winter but it became steadily more and more disappointing from Book II onwards, mostly in terms of story and motivation to keep playing it).

In most cases, if the NPCs would just actually have and use the gear that the game says they're supposed to have, and/or work together like they had a pair of braincells, the encounters will often be better. Unfortunately, a terrible number of encounters are basically "fights to the death" and no attempt to really develop anything from them.


Ashiel wrote:
Morzadian wrote:

Your earlier comment you mentioned the Red Hand of Doom.

The Red Hand of Doom pushed the envelope when it came to CR and was more diverse in how it created its encounters.

However, an optimised party could walk through Red Hand of Doom, no troubles. This is well documented in the GITP forums.

Definitely. Though I'd love a link to the GitP thread involved, since I know that there's a big difference between "Optimized" in Pathfinder and what is often called "Optimized" in 3.5 (where things like Craft Contingent Spell and Nightsticks are a thing :P).

But I wouldn't doubt it, even with a core-only party. Merely that the encounters that were in that book tended to be far more interesting and solid than most adventures I've seen. Very frequently you're dealing with tons of lower-tier enemies that work together, fascinating environments (such as a battle on a bridge involving a dragon on the wing plus archers), and enemies that have methods of attacking PCs in different ways (even late in the game, our druid got a sudden scare from a bunch of 3rd level hobgoblin clerics when he was dogpiled by them all holding the charge for inflict moderate wounds spells, where out of nowhere these mooks jump on him and start shelling out 6d8+9 points of negative energy damage (save halves :P).

Quote:

I GMed RHOD, and it was the catalyst that pushed our gaming group to make the move to Pathfinder. I created a 24,000 word document of customised encounters (for RHOD). Fantastic adventure but too much work.

I agree with you and Wraithstrike, harder encounters and more synergy is needed.

I'm disappointed in APs when the encounters feel dumbed down, poorly thought out, don't work mechanically, or are just nonsensical. Some APs are worse than others for these things. Some APs are better. In some cases, it seems to vary from book to book (we mostly enjoyed the first book of Reign of Winter but it became steadily more and more disappointing from Book II onwards, mostly in terms of...

Yes the environments were fantastic and well designed. It didn't have a million doors in every dungeon, Paizo designers take note.

I recently had a conversation with James Jacobs about the Ghostlord...such a well developed villain. Hopefully this style of adventure will be seen again in Pathfinder.

The 3.5 Red Hand of Doom Handbook for Dms.

Edit: Your idea about using mooks is a valid one, until I ran this adventure my players never fought battles with 20+ enemies (I enlarged an already high opponent encounter). It also closes the caster and martial divide as casters use up more spells, and no, casters can't just sit there and let the martial characters do a mop up. As mooks with support can be deadly (acknowledged in your previous post).


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Morzadian wrote:
Feat trees are a good idea, it allows combat feats to scale with level (to some degree), there was less feat trees in D&D 3.5 (PHB II introduced extended feat trees into the game) and martial characters suffered for it.

Feat trees are never a good idea.

They might be slightly better than not being able to advance the feat tree from the crappy first feat, but it's all crap.

What we need are scaling feats, Combat feats [and Skill Feats] that become better and provide level appropriate results at all levels.

If Rage Talents were equal to feats [they're not, the good ones are much better] and if Rogue Talents were equal to feats [they're not, most are worse and a few are roughly equal-ish] then the three main 'mundane' classes of Barbarian, Fighter and Rogue would get in the neighborhood of 20 feats throughout their career.

Sorcerers get over 40 spells and Wizards are even worse. Not to mention many of the feats spellcasters take [Metamagic, Item Creation and others] scale perfectly well as-is.


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I don't have a problem with feat trees as long as each feat is worth taking. What I do have a problem with are tax feats that are normally not good enough to stand on their own.


Morzadian wrote:

Feat trees are a good idea, it allows combat feats to scale with level (to some degree), there was less feat trees in D&D 3.5 (PHB II introduced extended feat trees into the game) and martial characters suffered for it.

The problem is the 'feat tax' of feat trees, or the cost if you like, is severely inflated.

I think feats should scale automatically rather than requiring trees to make them scale.

That said, I think when it comes to feat trees we need something more like how some of the better style feats work, where each feat in the tree gives you something really valuable and interesting. Too many of Paizo's feat trees wind up being "Pay an extra feat for another +1 to a previous feat."


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I love that HP is "meat points", means you can actually do mythic/anime style battles.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Morzadian wrote:

Feat trees are a good idea, it allows combat feats to scale with level (to some degree), there was less feat trees in D&D 3.5 (PHB II introduced extended feat trees into the game) and martial characters suffered for it.

The problem is the 'feat tax' of feat trees, or the cost if you like, is severely inflated.

I think feats should scale automatically rather than requiring trees to make them scale.

I think both really. I think feats should become more intricate with feat trees and scale on their own probably avoiding number bumping altogether. Or at least have each one be drastically more interesting. I love feats and feat trees I just hate that a lot of them suck.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Morzadian wrote:

Feat trees are a good idea, it allows combat feats to scale with level (to some degree), there was less feat trees in D&D 3.5 (PHB II introduced extended feat trees into the game) and martial characters suffered for it.

The problem is the 'feat tax' of feat trees, or the cost if you like, is severely inflated.

I think feats should scale automatically rather than requiring trees to make them scale.

That said, I think when it comes to feat trees we need something more like how some of the better style feats work, where each feat in the tree gives you something really valuable and interesting. Too many of Paizo's feat trees wind up being "Pay an extra feat for another +1 to a previous feat."

You could have both feat trees and feats that scale.

Feat trees provide thematic characteristics to martial characters and generally place feats in some kind of logical order. And you mentioned Style feats, and they are a great example of how feats can scale more appropriately in power.


Nathanael Love wrote:
I think my point was with bounded accuracy and a base defense adjustment it becomes the SAME number to hit basically everything all the way through and you lose any feeling of improved power.

If the game is designed remarkably poorly, certainly. Bound accuracy doesn't have to mean that you hit every monster on the exact same roll. That would imply that at worst every monster you ever face is going to have the exact same AC, or at least every monster at the same CR is going to have the exact same AC. No game I have ever seen has been designed like that.

Hell, even if that were the case, you would still have some sense of accomplishment and character growth because you would be fighting more and more powerful enemies. Instead of fighting an Orc, you're fighting a wraith, and then a lich, and then some demons.


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Bounded Accuracy is a Lie
The thing is, bounded accuracy is pointless. It doesn't actually change the chances of anything happening unless buffs and armor become less relevant.

As is, every +1 to hit or +1 to AC is +5% to your odds of the respective statistic succeeding, and when it comes to attacks, saves, and skills, there is a 5% cap in both directions. You can only ever achieve 95%-evade or 95%-hit.

For example, +20 to-hit is essentially +100% chance to hit. Thus against an AC of 10 (+0% evade), you have 155% chance to hit, but it's capped at 95%. So your excess accuracy is useless vs lower level and/or armored foes. However, against AC 30 (+100% evade), you have a 55% chance to hit. An enemy swinging at you with a +0 vs your 30 AC means you have a 145% chance to evade, but it's capped at 95%.

Character Choices
Currently, players have to make choices on how much they value certain statistics. For example, do you want a holy sword that adds an extra +2d6 (7 average) damage vs most enemies and the game and penetrates a number of DRs and regenerations, or do you want an additional +10% to hit and a smaller damage boost vs everything?

Do you have enough +hit% that you can sacrifice more for Power Attack or similar features, or do you focus more on getting +hit% bonuses and let your class features and additional hits landing bring the damage?

For example, a bard lacks the raw +hit% that a Ranger does, being -25% hit behind a Ranger at 20th level. The Ranger has the ability to pop +50% hit with Instant enemy and another +20% hit with Quarry when the chips are down, or he can start pushing additional accuracy into more damage via Power Attack.

The bard, in a losing race with the Ranger in terms of accuracy may realize that to keep up he needs to emphasize to-hit in his build more. He prioritizes enhancement bonus on his weapon over special abilities, relies on Inspire Courage to close the gap, gets a Courageous weapon and casts spells on himself like greater heroism and good hope. He doesn't bother with Power Attack because while the Ranger has the extra accuracy to spare, the Bard opts to use his spells instead (inspire courage + good hope w/ courageous = +9 damage).

Bounded accuracy removes this choice, because like in 5E, you'd basically have to gut all the stuff that lets you choose between more accuracy or avoidance, because including them would be too great an advantage.

So What's Bounded?
Well one of two things, if not both, have to happen. Either A) your class levels and progression mean a lot less, or B) your buffs do. The thing is, if your class progression gets squished, buffs suddenly become way more of a thing than they were before, since a simple +2 to hit (say from heroism) is suddenly a much larger % of your overall power than it was before.

For example, if you only get +5 to hit from your class over 20 levels, heroism is equivalent to +8 character levels. Now tons of buffs either need to vanish or get nerfed really hard, since even the staple buffs would be pushing the limits really fast even if they were only +1s. For example, a +1 ring of protection, +1 amulet of natural armor, +1 shield, and +1 armor would have just accounted four 4/5ths your character's entire level advancement.

So something has to go, or else it very quickly comes down to who has the best gear and buffs and little else. So the only option? Remove the gear and buffs, or make them extremely redundant ("Oh well, there's like twelve common buffs and not a damn one stacks"). That's something I definitely don't want because it means less toys to play with and less choices.

Bounded Accuracy Destroys Scale and Progression
As bounded accuracy hews statistics, so too does it cut the soul. Or in this case, it cuts down on the scale of things. See, in d20, we can literally see a growth and progression that's a really big deal. Characters do not only grow stronger hit terms of hit points but their base statistics account for more and more and more. Similar to an evolutionary chart, you can easily look back at where you've been and where you stand now.

Those challenges that you faced way back when? The ogres you struggled to hit? The trolls who effortlessly broke through your armor? Now you hit them with your eyes closed, and the trolls dull their claws upon your enchanted steel carapace.

With bounded mechanics, there is significantly less difference in overall power between things beyond HP and special abilities. In turn, everything feels more the same, just with bigger HP pools. It also means that enemies don't scale out properly. In Pathfinder you can comfortably take on mobs of low level goons when you're significantly higher level because they cannot hurt you very effectively, but when those orcs still have a 35% chance to hit you for 1d12+4 damage, only now there's 12 of them, the fact you've got 70% more HP doesn't really amount to a whole lot. Especially since you can't actually hit them that much more frequently than you could before.

Meanwhile you're supposed to be able to take on the dragon that lords over all the orcs. But we know the dragon only does so because for some reason the orcs tolerate their enslavement, as opposed to just killing the damn lizard themselves and eating dragon bacon for a few weeks.


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Mmmm, Dragon Bacon.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Ashiel's post puts me in mind of something else I always wondered. I haven't really hunkered down and thought it out, so the answers are probably pretty obvious. ^_^

A lot of people seem to want a system where magic items aren't calculated into PC power level. I always wondered, in a system like that, how can you drop fabulous treasures into the game? Wouldn't it make the PCs slightly and/or wildly overpowered?

Thank you in advance. (So sleepy - will follow up tomorrow)


Most of the magic items in pathfinder are complete garbage, really only good for selling


Kalindlara wrote:

Ashiel's post puts me in mind of something else I always wondered. I haven't really hunkered down and thought it out, so the answers are probably pretty obvious. ^_^

A lot of people seem to want a system where magic items aren't calculated into PC power level. I always wondered, in a system like that, how can you drop fabulous treasures into the game? Wouldn't it make the PCs slightly and/or wildly overpowered?

Thank you in advance. (So sleepy - will follow up tomorrow)

As Wheezy says, most magic items aren't all that powerful.

Besides that, there are many magic items that provide useful effects, but don't affect the raw numbers of the game so much.

Liberty's Edge

Ashiel wrote:

Bounded Accuracy is a Lie

The thing is, bounded accuracy is pointless. It doesn't actually change the chances of anything happening unless buffs and armor become less relevant.

As is, every +1 to hit or +1 to AC is +5% to your odds of the respective statistic succeeding, and when it comes to attacks, saves, and skills, there is a 5% cap in both directions. You can only ever achieve 95%-evade or 95%-hit.

For example, +20 to-hit is essentially +100% chance to hit. Thus against an AC of 10 (+0% evade), you have 155% chance to hit, but it's capped at 95%. So your excess accuracy is useless vs lower level and/or armored foes. However, against AC 30 (+100% evade), you have a 55% chance to hit. An enemy swinging at you with a +0 vs your 30 AC means you have a 145% chance to evade, but it's capped at 95%.

Uh...this isn't the claim Bounded Accuracy made, or what it's for at all. Bounded Accuracy is not intended to change the odds vs. similarly leveled opponents much at all. It's intended to make 1st level foes capable of hitting 15th level characters. And, since a 15th level character might have AC 22 at the highest and a 1st level foe might easily have a +5 to hit...it succeeds at that.

Everything you say in this bit is true, but not one word of it is evidence at all for the statement 'Bounded Accuracy Is A Lie'. So...you shouldn't make that statement.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

Ashiel's post puts me in mind of something else I always wondered. I haven't really hunkered down and thought it out, so the answers are probably pretty obvious. ^_^

A lot of people seem to want a system where magic items aren't calculated into PC power level. I always wondered, in a system like that, how can you drop fabulous treasures into the game? Wouldn't it make the PCs slightly and/or wildly overpowered?

Thank you in advance. (So sleepy - will follow up tomorrow)

As Wheezy says, most magic items aren't all that powerful.

Besides that, there are many magic items that provide useful effects, but don't affect the raw numbers of the game so much.

Yeah, given that a lot of the magic item game in Pathfinder is about getting your numbers up to par with the Big Six and all that, bounded accuracy would presumably remove all of that.

Not needing your +s from rings, amulets, cloaks, belts, and all the rest actually opens up more options for your magic items. I can think of so many nice items that I knew I couldn't get because my cloak slot had to go to my cloak of resistance, I needed that belt or headband slot to buff my core stats, etc.


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There are - IMHO - far better ways to accomplish that than with Bounded Accuracy Chengar.

Bounded Accuracy dramatically limits the gap between low level characters and high level ones, whereas a system which eliminates the big six but roughly keeps the present numbers leaves the game relatively unmolested.


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Kalindlara wrote:

Ashiel's post puts me in mind of something else I always wondered. I haven't really hunkered down and thought it out, so the answers are probably pretty obvious. ^_^

A lot of people seem to want a system where magic items aren't calculated into PC power level. I always wondered, in a system like that, how can you drop fabulous treasures into the game? Wouldn't it make the PCs slightly and/or wildly overpowered?

Thank you in advance. (So sleepy - will follow up tomorrow)

Not really. If the power, as in +1's and 2's, are built into the character then it gets rid of the need for the magic items. That way things such as slippers of spider climbing, wind fans, wings of flying, or an instant fortress become items people will actually pay for, or keep if they find them.

Since the items won't be needed you can either reduce WBL by at something like 75% or get rid of it altogether since you won't have to worry about choosing the +5 armor to stop you from getting hit as much. Instead you can keep the +1 flying armor of disguise that is cooler thematically, but it wont help your frontliner live as long.

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