Rumor - The Unified Mechanic - Skills, Weapon Skills / proficiencies and how they are working


Prerelease Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

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I like the unified feel of this, but I dislike the massive gap that will appear at high level, which is one of the big reasons I stopped GMing OG Pathfinder in the first place.

IF these values are correct (which they very well may not be - we'll see), it's fine at low level, but at high level starts to fall apart. A character (maybe a bard?) at 20th level with an 8 Wisdom who is untrained in Perception would have a -2. An Expert in Stealth (rogue) with 20 Dex would have a +26. This means the bard has a d20-2 to hit a DC 36 to spot the rogue, while the rogue is rolling d20+26 vs. DC 8 to be sneaky. The rogue could take actions totalling a -20 penalty and still only fail on a 1.

This is an extreme case for sure, but the disparity in values leads to dice being meaningless and flat bonuses being the whole game, which I very much disliked about OG Pathfinder.

Who knows, maybe this system works entirely differently from my understanding, and it's still just a playtest, so things may definitely change, but I'm skeptical for now.


I'm frankly surprised that no one has yet likened this to Castles and Crusades' SIEGE Engine mechanic (which 5e "borrowed" quite a bit from). Almost everything except attack rolls are d20 +stat mod, +level if it's a "class ability". You can try nearly anything and they recommend letting you add level to nearly any check unless it intrudes upon what another class is specifically designed to do (anyone can Move Silently, only Thieves can add their level). C&C mixes it up by having 2 (3 if you are human) of your 6 base ability scores be designated as "Prime" ability scores, which drops your target DC by 6 (effectively, +6 to your d20 roll). These are also used for saving throws, so if you are making a check based on a Prime, you get d20 +level +ability mod +6. If your check is against a non-prime stat, it's d20 +level +mod, and if it's something niche protected, you just get d20 +ability mod (still with +6 if it's against a Prime stat).

Obviously they aren't lifting this wholesale, but if they substitute a flat +/- some number instead of using a prime attribute, well that's still pretty similar.


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I agree with Zonto.
While 1-to-6 bounded accuracy might be too much, the huuuuge difference in skills (specially) at high levels make many characters feel useless. Specialist characers might be cracking DC 50 skill checks at higher level, while a mildly developed character has zero hope to make those, even if he spent points there.
For example 20 ranks with no class skill and ability +0 (say, a fighter with 1 rank per level in perception), it's +20. 20 ranks, skill focus, class skill, +8 from ability, and +5 magic item, it's +42. The first character can't even succeed with a 20 things the other character autosucceed with a 2, even if he poured TWENTY RANKS in the skill.
It's obvious that the specialist should be better at it. But the guy who sank TWENTY RANKS on the skill should have at the very least a puncher's chance to success.


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Who exactly is throwing DC 50 skill checks at anyone if they want the party to be able to succeed at the check without a specialist? Actually, who is throwing DC 50 skill checks at all? And who is making these characters with a +42 in a skill?


That ^^

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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Mark Seifter wrote:
The math we chose makes it much easier to tell stories where the PCs are oversized heroes critting left and right against weaker opponents or underdogs struggling against disaster against a powerful foe that requires serious teamwork to scratch, but the flatter proficiency from 5e would allow multiple weaker opponents to remain relevant threats for many more levels or greater foes to be defeated quite a few levels sooner by sufficiently tactical characters outnumbering them.

I like to hear this. Right now I kind of see D&D as the system where even a master swordsman would be foolish to charge against an army, whereas Pathfinder is the system where you can simulate the ridiculous battle feats seen in the Lord of the Rings movies. I'd hate to see the two systems come together in this regard, because it's nice to have the ability to pick between them based on the type of game you're running.


Zonto wrote:

A character (maybe a bard?) at 20th level with an 8 Wisdom who is untrained in Perception would have a -2. An Expert in Stealth (rogue) with 20 Dex would have a +26. This means the bard has a d20-2 to hit a DC 36 to spot the rogue, while the rogue is rolling d20+26 vs. DC 8 to be sneaky. The rogue could take actions totalling a -20 penalty and still only fail on a 1.

This is an extreme case for sure, but the disparity in values leads to dice being meaningless and flat bonuses being the whole game, which I very much disliked about OG Pathfinder.

Your case is so extreme I think it undermines your point. If in this new system someone has low Wisdom and hasn't bothered to get any training in Perception (at level 20?), then they should get smoked by the Rogue. Regardless of level, you're pitting one character's weakness (untrained skill, low relevant ability score) against another's strength (expert skill, high ability score) -- that should be an easy victory on the part of the Rogue.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

From the podcast:

Untrained: level-1 + Ability mod
Trained: level + Ability mod
Expert: level+1 + Ability mod
Master: level+2 + Ability mod
Legend: level+3 + Ability mod

These were mentioned as applying to both weapon qualities and to skill bonuses

Also, I absolutely love it!

And all of Mark's great posts. You really are a cool guy, Mark.


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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

From the podcast:

Untrained: level-1 + Ability mod
Trained: level + Ability mod
Expert: level+1 + Ability mod
Master: level+2 + Ability mod
Legend: level+3 + Ability mod

These were mentioned as applying to both weapon qualities and to skill bonuses

Also, I absolutely love it!

And all of Mark's great posts. You really are a cool guy, Mark.

Man, the skill unlocks had better be absolutely spectacular, otherwise those levels are terrible.


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Bloodrealm wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

From the podcast:

Untrained: level-1 + Ability mod
Trained: level + Ability mod
Expert: level+1 + Ability mod
Master: level+2 + Ability mod
Legend: level+3 + Ability mod

These were mentioned as applying to both weapon qualities and to skill bonuses

Also, I absolutely love it!

And all of Mark's great posts. You really are a cool guy, Mark.

Man, the skill unlocks had better be absolutely spectacular, otherwise those levels are terrible.

Yeah, those increments between proficiency levels are pretty underwhelming on paper.


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Kain Gallant wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

From the podcast:

Untrained: level-1 + Ability mod
Trained: level + Ability mod
Expert: level+1 + Ability mod
Master: level+2 + Ability mod
Legend: level+3 + Ability mod

These were mentioned as applying to both weapon qualities and to skill bonuses

Also, I absolutely love it!

And all of Mark's great posts. You really are a cool guy, Mark.

Man, the skill unlocks had better be absolutely spectacular, otherwise those levels are terrible.
Yeah, those increments between proficiency levels are pretty underwhelming on paper.

They'd fit right in with 5e though (well the +1-+3 bonuses).

They ARE less spectacular than I had hoped (or even posited), by quite a fair bit.

There is the playtest in a few months though, so we have a few months to stew on it and then to try it out in action and see how much we actually like or dislike it.


Zonto wrote:

I like the unified feel of this, but I dislike the massive gap that will appear at high level, which is one of the big reasons I stopped GMing OG Pathfinder in the first place.

IF these values are correct (which they very well may not be - we'll see), it's fine at low level, but at high level starts to fall apart. A character (maybe a bard?) at 20th level with an 8 Wisdom who is untrained in Perception would have a -2. An Expert in Stealth (rogue) with 20 Dex would have a +26. This means the bard has a d20-2 to hit a DC 36 to spot the rogue, while the rogue is rolling d20+26 vs. DC 8 to be sneaky. The rogue could take actions totalling a -20 penalty and still only fail on a 1.

This is an extreme case for sure, but the disparity in values leads to dice being meaningless and flat bonuses being the whole game, which I very much disliked about OG Pathfinder.

Who knows, maybe this system works entirely differently from my understanding, and it's still just a playtest, so things may definitely change, but I'm skeptical for now.

Zonto it seems you misunderstand:

A Bard at 20th level with an 8 Wisdom who is Untrained in Perception would have: Level -2 +Wisdom (-1 assuming)

So they would have a +17

An Expert in Stealth with a 20 dex would have a +26


Bloodrealm wrote:
Who exactly is throwing DC 50 skill checks at anyone if they want the party to be able to succeed at the check without a specialist? Actually, who is throwing DC 50 skill checks at all? And who is making these characters with a +42 in a skill?

I just finished wrapping up RotRL a year ago, in which one guy played a half-elf druid. 18 ranks in Perception, +2 racial bonus, racial bonus skill focus feat went into perception, druid has perception as a class skill, and he pretty much maxed wisdom.

18 ranks, +3 class skill, +6 feat, +2 racial, +9 (I think) Wisdom modifier = +38. Pre-buffs. Buffed for big fights I believe he was at +42, in fact.

The bonus Invisibility gives you to Stealth is only +20, +40 if you don't move. He could detect invisible opponents without a spell. We called him Spider-Man (as in, "you rolled a what for your Perception check? Ok, your Spidey-Sense is tingling...")


Bloodrealm wrote:
Who exactly is throwing DC 50 skill checks at anyone if they want the party to be able to succeed at the check without a specialist? Actually, who is throwing DC 50 skill checks at all? And who is making these characters with a +42 in a skill?

Escape Artist to get yourself free from a Pitfiend for example is DC 53.

I remember GMing Way of the Wicked. The Summoner in our group rolled 50+ diplomacy and bluff by the end of the campaign (it's lvl 1 to 20) by taking 10. He had both Skill Focus and one of the +2/+2 feats on it, plus big Charisma, and at least a +3 magic item, maybe more (it was a few years ago). He was literally lying to Angels, bluffing the Devil, and convincing the equivalent of The Pope to give up the nation to Asmodeus. (It was pretty cool, to be honest. I'm not against PC being awesome. But it made everyone totally useless in things related to diplomacy, because he literally could beat anyone even rolling 1)

Shadow Lodge

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Bloodrealm wrote:
Who exactly is throwing DC 50 skill checks at anyone if they want the party to be able to succeed at the check without a specialist? Actually, who is throwing DC 50 skill checks at all? And who is making these characters with a +42 in a skill?

Rise of the Runelords has insane Knowledge(History) DCs in the first book. You know, the rank most players never seem to put even one rank? I think they were around 30-35 DC checks.

For level 1-3 characters.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:
Who exactly is throwing DC 50 skill checks at anyone if they want the party to be able to succeed at the check without a specialist? Actually, who is throwing DC 50 skill checks at all? And who is making these characters with a +42 in a skill?

Rise of the Runelords has insane Knowledge(History) DCs in the first book. You know, the rank most players never seem to put even one rank? I think they were around 30-35 DC checks.

For level 1-3 characters.

I believe you missed where I said "if they want the party to be able to succeed at the check".


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I'll be honest in that I kind of like the idea of "the basic level for skills is choose what things your character is good at". Like if I have a character who is a sailor or a mountain climber, that person is going to be good at swimming or climbing because those are important skills for what they do. But in Pathfinder 1.0 Climb and Swim were notoriously terrible skills to invest more than one point into. At higher levels the sorts of swim checks that one can handle with 1 point in a class skill are basically never even asked for, and you wouldn't pass the hard ones without further investment (or likely magic).

But for PF2 I can, apparently just decide "My character is a good swimmer, because he has spent time as a sailor" and not have to worry about continually putting skill ranks into "Swim" or instead justifying how he got out of practice. If I want to RP as fantasy Michael Phelps, though, I can still further invest in the skill.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:
Who exactly is throwing DC 50 skill checks at anyone if they want the party to be able to succeed at the check without a specialist? Actually, who is throwing DC 50 skill checks at all? And who is making these characters with a +42 in a skill?

Rise of the Runelords has insane Knowledge(History) DCs in the first book. You know, the rank most players never seem to put even one rank? I think they were around 30-35 DC checks.

For level 1-3 characters.

Dead Suns in Starfinder have a few DC 30 Culture checks too. At lvl 1-2


Bloodrealm wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:
Who exactly is throwing DC 50 skill checks at anyone if they want the party to be able to succeed at the check without a specialist? Actually, who is throwing DC 50 skill checks at all? And who is making these characters with a +42 in a skill?

Rise of the Runelords has insane Knowledge(History) DCs in the first book. You know, the rank most players never seem to put even one rank? I think they were around 30-35 DC checks.

For level 1-3 characters.

I believe you missed where I said "if they want the party to be able to succeed at the check".

Opposed rolls is where this high lvl DCs come more often. If you are trying to bluff a high level creature, such as a high end demon, you need to roll at least 40 to 45. Same goes with stealth vs perception (or perception vs stealth), and some others. A Red Wyrm has +35 to Perception and Sense Motive. Imagine how much stealth and Bluff you need to give to your Character if you want to be Bilbo.

Liberty's Edge

HWalsh wrote:
Zonto wrote:

I like the unified feel of this, but I dislike the massive gap that will appear at high level, which is one of the big reasons I stopped GMing OG Pathfinder in the first place.

IF these values are correct (which they very well may not be - we'll see), it's fine at low level, but at high level starts to fall apart. A character (maybe a bard?) at 20th level with an 8 Wisdom who is untrained in Perception would have a -2. An Expert in Stealth (rogue) with 20 Dex would have a +26. This means the bard has a d20-2 to hit a DC 36 to spot the rogue, while the rogue is rolling d20+26 vs. DC 8 to be sneaky. The rogue could take actions totalling a -20 penalty and still only fail on a 1.

This is an extreme case for sure, but the disparity in values leads to dice being meaningless and flat bonuses being the whole game, which I very much disliked about OG Pathfinder.

Who knows, maybe this system works entirely differently from my understanding, and it's still just a playtest, so things may definitely change, but I'm skeptical for now.

Zonto it seems you misunderstand:

A Bard at 20th level with an 8 Wisdom who is Untrained in Perception would have: Level -2 +Wisdom (-1 assuming)

So they would have a +17

An Expert in Stealth with a 20 dex would have a +26

Ok - it's possible I did misunderstand, but based on the Glass Cannon podcast it didn't seem like they were adding class level to untrained skill checks. I maybe misheard, and that would be just fine. If everyone adds their class skills and mods and it's a -1 to +3 swing, that's more reasonable. Maybe too far in the other direction, but I'd have to see it in action to form a useful opinion.


In my mind skill proficiencies would work like selecting a progression along the lines of weak, medium or strong bab depending on untrained/trained/expert with the possibility to upgrading some skill every few levels. So you still get half your level or something as a bonus on perception even if you're untrained.


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a 4 point swing? this is what I'm afraid of, when the difference between don't care and super invested is like 10 points it really makes you question why you cared to invest much or at all.


I didn't want to be specific about numbers' really. All I'm saying is, static 0 for untrained skills might be too weak. Three(?) types of progression and maybe a static bonus at level 1 depending on the level of proficiency might be better, if balanced nicely.


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So far i don't like what I'm seeing I still need to see it first hand in play to make a judgement. The podcast that people mentioned won't load for me. I'm likely in a minority, but i like spending points, like in 3.5 and pathfinder 1e.


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I like spending points too. I'd like that the total number of points (or bonuses) you can spend is not that high. 40 points swing from good to bad at higher levels is too much for a game which rolls 1d20.


Another possibilty for the meaning of proficiency would be that it is used to determine how often (skill) feats are earned. Maybe skill rank distribution stays relatively unchanged, then.

I'd like more skill ranks per level for everyone, though. I almost never play classes with 2 ranks/level because I like skills too much.


Chess Pwn wrote:
a 4 point swing? this is what I'm afraid of, when the difference between don't care and super invested is like 10 points it really makes you question why you cared to invest much or at all.

So that you succeed nearly all the time (because of supposed failure on a 1) while they succeed only half the time?

Or so that you succeed half the time and they can't ever succeed (or only succeed on a nat 20? not sure about that one for PF2)?

Which case depends on the skill DC.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
basic brigands..

This is going to be my new go to insult.


Mark Seifter wrote:
The math we chose makes it much easier to tell stories where the PCs are oversized heroes critting left and right against weaker opponents or underdogs struggling against disaster against a powerful foe that requires serious teamwork to scratch, but the flatter proficiency from 5e would allow multiple weaker opponents to remain relevant threats for many more levels or greater foes to be defeated quite a few levels sooner by sufficiently tactical characters outnumbering them. Both can be awesome depending on which kind of story to tell! For instance, I remember when I was reading some fantasy novel where a ridiculous swordmaster was accosted by 8 brigands with swords all at once, and he thought to himself that no matter how good he was, the sheer numbers would make him likely to die here. That's honestly more realistic. But most of the books, TV shows, and movies I had seen before reading that book taught me that the high level swordmaster would annihilate eight basic brigands. This latter truth is very much the reality in the new game.

That’s awesome to hear!

Comparisons to 5e D&D aside, and without getting into specifics, how much work do you think it would be to change this baseline with house rules? Like, hypothetically, I someone really likes Pathfinder’s crunchy, option-rich style, but wants to tell the kind of story where eight basic brigands will probably still kill the highly skilled swordmaster, maybe for a really gritty campaign, could they do so in Pathfinder Second Edition? Would it be a relatively simple matter of flattening some level-based scaling on both the PC and monster sides, or is the power disparity between high level characters and low level monsters baked into the rules so much that you’d be better off using a different system to tell that kind of story?


Charlaquin wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
The math we chose makes it much easier to tell stories where the PCs are oversized heroes critting left and right against weaker opponents or underdogs struggling against disaster against a powerful foe that requires serious teamwork to scratch, but the flatter proficiency from 5e would allow multiple weaker opponents to remain relevant threats for many more levels or greater foes to be defeated quite a few levels sooner by sufficiently tactical characters outnumbering them. Both can be awesome depending on which kind of story to tell! For instance, I remember when I was reading some fantasy novel where a ridiculous swordmaster was accosted by 8 brigands with swords all at once, and he thought to himself that no matter how good he was, the sheer numbers would make him likely to die here. That's honestly more realistic. But most of the books, TV shows, and movies I had seen before reading that book taught me that the high level swordmaster would annihilate eight basic brigands. This latter truth is very much the reality in the new game.

That’s awesome to hear!

Comparisons to 5e D&D aside, and without getting into specifics, how much work do you think it would be to change this baseline with house rules? Like, hypothetically, I someone really likes Pathfinder’s crunchy, option-rich style, but wants to tell the kind of story where eight basic brigands will probably still kill the highly skilled swordmaster, maybe for a really gritty campaign, could they do so in Pathfinder Second Edition? Would it be a relatively simple matter of flattening some level-based scaling on both the PC and monster sides, or is the power disparity between high level characters and low level monsters baked into the rules so much that you’d be better off using a different system to tell that kind of story?

Maybe you can re-invent E6 or something.


This issue with this rumor is that the numbers artificially inflate due to level. If lesser to no proficiency are fractions of your Level, then it also artificially makes higher level task very difficulty for less trained characters.

This is why Bounded Accuracy was so important to 5E. It removed that artificial scaling. and kept it between a 10% to 30% (60% for Expertise) difference.

4E didn't get the math right and that killed it.

Pathfinder 2 has to walk a balance between fans of DnD3.5/Pathfinder 1 AND look at what other designers have done to the d20 system. It's foolish NOT to look at 4E, 5E, FantasyCraft, etc. for the good and the bad.


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Bounded Accuracy in 5E means all characters are pretty close to the same as each other in skills, and ALL characters are bad at skills.


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CrossPlanes wrote:

This issue with this rumor is that the numbers artificially inflate due to level. If lesser to no proficiency are fractions of your Level, then it also artificially makes higher level task very difficulty for less trained characters.

This is why Bounded Accuracy was so important to 5E. It removed that artificial scaling. and kept it between a 10% to 30% (60% for Expertise) difference.

4E didn't get the math right and that killed it.

Pathfinder 2 has to walk a balance between fans of DnD3.5/Pathfinder 1 AND look at what other designers have done to the d20 system. It's foolish NOT to look at 4E, 5E, FantasyCraft, etc. for the good and the bad.

I think that this is not precisely accurate.

4e did not fail because of math, and in some views it was highly successful. It went off the market because it did not make 50 million dollars every year which was the Hasbro mark for WotC to make it a pillar brand.

The reason it did not make that much was first, the RPG market is not that big.

It also had decreasing money over time. I say this was directly due to atrocious PR. They utilized an ad campaign that tore themselves down by saying they were poor designers (when you say your former product stinks, that basically does not give anyone confidence that your new product will not stink).

In addition, by tearing down their product, they upset a TON of their former customers, who then, even if they tried 4e, went in with an opinion that would lead them to negative conclusions anyways.

The final problem with 4e was that, though it had a VERY simple core, even simpler than 5e, it was too complex. By that I mean, the core was simple, but each class built on it with so many powers and abilities that by the time one was 5th level it was a LOT more complex than just about any other RPG out there.

This complexity is what really killed it.

If you want to get new players into the fold you need something very easy for them to understand and simple to get to the table.

Pathfinder had a great intro to get new players to the table when they came out with the Beginner Box. It explained how to play the game in a very easy and simple manner. This enabled many to start their journey into pathfinder by keeping it simple and easy to understand.

WotC learned from their mistakes. With 5e, instead of trying to ostracize anyone, they welcomed EVERYONE from every edition.

It is the PR that made them start off on a GOOD foot.

Next, they kept 5e simple. 5e is a VERY easy system to learn and has many classes that are just as simple for a new player to experience the game with.

Simple makes it quick and easy to learn, yet enough to elaborate the game with. I'd say 5e succeeds DESPITE having bounded accuracy due to good PR and an simple and easy game system to learn.

The easier it is for the customer to learn, the more customers are going to be easily engaged.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:
I'd say 5e succeeds DESPITE having bounded accuracy due to good PR and an simple and easy game system to learn.

Exactly. WotC learned from their marketing mistakes and managed to make huge amounts of money despite 5E being an inferior game. They drummed up loads of attention, got tabletop gaming entertainment companies like Geek & Sundry to push it HARD (Critical Role, one of the most popular tabletop streams out there? Yeah, that campaign was running Pathfinder before G&S funded their streaming of it), and made the system so simple that you just throw a die to feel important and the GM sorts it out so that even small children would need brain damage to not be able to play. They also publish very little content and a very slow rate, but the hype gives them huge profits whenever it does come out. It also helps that they have good quality miniatures and maps with the brand on it (even I'm guilty of buying some of those).


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

From the podcast:

Untrained: level-1 + Ability mod
Trained: level + Ability mod
Expert: level+1 + Ability mod
Master: level+2 + Ability mod
Legend: level+3 + Ability mod

These were mentioned as applying to both weapon qualities and to skill bonuses

Also, I absolutely love it!

And all of Mark's great posts. You really are a cool guy, Mark.

While I don't want to see the bonuses so flat between tiers, this is EXACTLY the sort of thing where players feedback can be useful. We can just be constructive about it.

For example. I totally grok why they would want to condense proficiency into like 5ish tiers. It's still way more granular than 5E, and as someone pointed out, there's only a few meaningful tiers in PF1e anyway: either untrained, taking just 1 rank so you get your +3 class bonus and ability modifier, taking a few ranks to hit DC 20 regularly, full ranks, and full ranks plus feat investment for an Uber specialist.

I don't think the system proposed above is exactly the answer though. It's too flat between a "Legend" and someone who is merely trained. Might I counterpropose an alternative spread?

* Untrained: Ability Mod
* Trained: 0.5x Level + Ability Mod + 1
* Adept: 1x Level + Ability Mod + 2, skill unlock
* Expert: 1.5x Level + Ability Mod + 3, another skill unlock
* Master: 2x Level + Ability Mod + 4, another skill unlock
* Legend: 2x Level + Ability Mod + 5, two more skill unlocks, can always take 10 and can retroactively take 10 if roll is less than 10

I could swallow that better than only a 3 point spread between levels of training.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

From the podcast:

Untrained: level-1 + Ability mod
Trained: level + Ability mod
Expert: level+1 + Ability mod
Master: level+2 + Ability mod
Legend: level+3 + Ability mod

These were mentioned as applying to both weapon qualities and to skill bonuses

Also, I absolutely love it!

And all of Mark's great posts. You really are a cool guy, Mark.

While I don't want to see the bonuses so flat between tiers, this is EXACTLY the sort of thing where players feedback can be useful. We can just be constructive about it.

For example. I totally grok why they would want to condense proficiency into like 5ish tiers. It's still way more granular than 5E, and as someone pointed out, there's only a few meaningful tiers in PF1e anyway: either untrained, taking just 1 rank so you get your +3 class bonus and ability modifier, taking a few ranks to hit DC 20 regularly, full ranks, and full ranks plus feat investment for an Uber specialist.

I don't think the system proposed above is exactly the answer though. It's too flat between a "Legend" and someone who is merely trained. Might I counterpropose an alternative spread?

* Untrained: Ability Mod
* Trained: 0.5x Level + Ability Mod + 1
* Adept: 1x Level + Ability Mod + 2, skill unlock
* Expert: 1.5x Level + Ability Mod + 3, another skill unlock
* Master: 2x Level + Ability Mod + 4, another skill unlock
* Legend: 2x Level + Ability Mod + 5, two more skill unlocks, can always take 10 and can retroactively take 10 if roll is less than 10

I could swallow that better than only a 3 point spread between levels of training.

A 45 point difference between legend and untrained at level 20 is useless, since it’s more than twice the dice result spread. PF 1 only has at most a 23 point difference between untrained and trained.

Overall, I agree with the ideas that “adventurers should get more competent at basic things” and “skills you can’t afford to invest in shouldn’t automatically be worthless”. This is especially true since skills now get used for combat maneuvers.

With that +4 difference, a level 20 Rogue will hopelessly outclass almost anybody they meet effortlessly in stealth, but other level twenty characters have a hope if they’re equally dexterous. That’s assuming the Rogue doesn’t bother putting any feats into it, and is happy just having full ranks.


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+20% success chance isn't "hopelessly outclassed". A d20 can easily propel the Untrained character into showing up the Legend character. In spite of what I said earlier in this thread, this has me a little worried. Among characters of equal level this is about as flat as 5e's Proficiency Bonus.


Maybe if they doubled the flat bonus? Also remember class skills have to get in there somewhere. I think a 10-12 difference betwen and a pro and someone with basic training of a skill is reasonably. Remember the point is to get rid of huge gaps of 30+ betwen players.


ChibiNyan wrote:
Maybe if they doubled the flat bonus? Also remember class skills have to get in there somewhere. I think a 10-12 difference betwen and a pro and someone with basic training of a skill is reasonably. Remember the point is to get rid of huge gaps of 30+ betwen players.

I think there's a sweet spot between "max it out or don't bother" like many skills currently have, and "luck often beats skill" like 5e and other systems have.


Athaleon wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Maybe if they doubled the flat bonus? Also remember class skills have to get in there somewhere. I think a 10-12 difference betwen and a pro and someone with basic training of a skill is reasonably. Remember the point is to get rid of huge gaps of 30+ betwen players.
I think there's a sweet spot between "max it out or don't bother" like many skills currently have, and "luck often beats skill" like 5e and other systems have.

Yeah, higher than in 5e for sure, but probably dont need to triple it. It's like +11 at max level in 5e? But more realistically +6 assuming maxed stats (Not even that hard). Expertise makes it +12 and that that point that's a very solid number and significant gap compared to the guy without investment.

The + char level that everyone gets would make that 12 become +32 at hypotetical max level, so it's already getting extremely silly by just doubling the proficiency.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Untrained only being level -1 is actually more of a concern for me. Sometimes I like characters being utterly inept at a skill. "everybody gets better at all skills when they level" is a 4e-ism I was glad to not have in Pathfinder.


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TwoWolves wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:
Who exactly is throwing DC 50 skill checks at anyone if they want the party to be able to succeed at the check without a specialist? Actually, who is throwing DC 50 skill checks at all? And who is making these characters with a +42 in a skill?

I just finished wrapping up RotRL a year ago, in which one guy played a half-elf druid. 18 ranks in Perception, +2 racial bonus, racial bonus skill focus feat went into perception, druid has perception as a class skill, and he pretty much maxed wisdom.

18 ranks, +3 class skill, +6 feat, +2 racial, +9 (I think) Wisdom modifier = +38. Pre-buffs. Buffed for big fights I believe he was at +42, in fact.

The bonus Invisibility gives you to Stealth is only +20, +40 if you don't move. He could detect invisible opponents without a spell. We called him Spider-Man (as in, "you rolled a what for your Perception check? Ok, your Spidey-Sense is tingling...")

One player in our PF group builds characters like that (Inquisitors are his favorite for this.) We don't use Spider-man, we use Daredevil for reference. :)

as in:

"Bob, with the 57 your character just rolled, you can detect the invisible assassin, as well as the crying baby three blocks away, the man writing a letter on vellum in the building next door, and the couple having sex in the next town..."

We joke it's why his character drinks so much, to dull his senses to livable levels...

As for the initial post, it doesn't worry me too much, because it's how 95% of PF characters are specced, anyway - Level + Ability + other mods. The only difference is you won't be able to place a "+1" in twenty different skills if you want, which doesn't bug me. What DOES bug me is the 5th edition high barrier to entry for gaining new skills after 1st level. You have to take a FEAT to gain new skills (and you only get four or five feats!) or to spend 200 in-game hours to gain a "tool proficiency" (such as proficiency with a healing kit, forging kit, etc.)

I don't mind so much the trained/untrained status, and the discrete levels of training, but hopefully it won't be very difficult to train in new skills during your level progressions (maybe it takes a general feat to get new skill training? Every other level wouldn't be bad.)

The more I listen, the more I'm beginning to believe the untrained(-2)/Trained(0)/Expert(+1)/ etc. that I'm seeing. I like it the more I bounce it around in my head.


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Athaleon wrote:
+20% success chance isn't "hopelessly outclassed". A d20 can easily propel the Untrained character into showing up the Legend character. In spite of what I said earlier in this thread, this has me a little worried. Among characters of equal level this is about as flat as 5e's Proficiency Bonus.

Two things.

One, I’m looking at the result number rather than success chance. (So opposes rolls.) That +4 is a 66% chance to do better than an equally dexterous, equal leveled person, and a 70% chance of doing at least as well.
Two, very few people the level 20 Rogue meets will be level 20. Most will be much lower level, and that’s who the Rogue hopelessly outclasses: most of the people in the world. I’m saying I’m fine with other level 20 extremely dexterous characters being okay at stealth in comparison to a full-rank Rogue with no stealth feats. I’m cool if, once in a blue moon, the Fighter has heard of something the Wizard hasn’t.


GreyWolfLord wrote:

Next, they kept 5e simple. 5e is a VERY easy system to learn and has many classes that are just as simple for a new player to experience the game with.

Simple makes it quick and easy to learn, yet enough to elaborate the game with. I'd say 5e succeeds DESPITE having bounded accuracy due to good PR and an simple and easy game system to learn.

If PF2 dumbs down the rules, they will be alienating the market segment that followed PF1 from 3.5 because 4E dumbed down the rules.

I cannot being to count the number of times I've watched a company drive off their loyal customer base in an attempt to target a newer/younger demographic only to wind up with neither.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Let's not forget you'll probably need to be master or legendary to take certain skill feats.


In Pathfinder, by level 2, an Investigator will have a broader knowledge of monsters than a level 20 Fighter who has been fighting them their whole life. I’m good with characters advancing their skills to be increasingly generally competent as they gain experience.

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Charlaquin wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
The math we chose makes it much easier to tell stories where the PCs are oversized heroes critting left and right against weaker opponents or underdogs struggling against disaster against a powerful foe that requires serious teamwork to scratch, but the flatter proficiency from 5e would allow multiple weaker opponents to remain relevant threats for many more levels or greater foes to be defeated quite a few levels sooner by sufficiently tactical characters outnumbering them. Both can be awesome depending on which kind of story to tell! For instance, I remember when I was reading some fantasy novel where a ridiculous swordmaster was accosted by 8 brigands with swords all at once, and he thought to himself that no matter how good he was, the sheer numbers would make him likely to die here. That's honestly more realistic. But most of the books, TV shows, and movies I had seen before reading that book taught me that the high level swordmaster would annihilate eight basic brigands. This latter truth is very much the reality in the new game.

That’s awesome to hear!

Comparisons to 5e D&D aside, and without getting into specifics, how much work do you think it would be to change this baseline with house rules? Like, hypothetically, I someone really likes Pathfinder’s crunchy, option-rich style, but wants to tell the kind of story where eight basic brigands will probably still kill the highly skilled swordmaster, maybe for a really gritty campaign, could they do so in Pathfinder Second Edition? Would it be a relatively simple matter of flattening some level-based scaling on both the PC and monster sides, or is the power disparity between high level characters and low level monsters baked into the rules so much that you’d be better off using a different system to tell that kind of story?

I imagine that there would be a small series of mathematical steps that you could perform that wouldn't require any particularly challenging math-fu to get closer to that goal if you want to tell that story. The math juke could have some side effects, but I think it would work for what you want (depending on the level of the basic brigands and the swordmaster in the example).


QuidEst wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

From the podcast:

Untrained: level-1 + Ability mod
Trained: level + Ability mod
Expert: level+1 + Ability mod
Master: level+2 + Ability mod
Legend: level+3 + Ability mod

These were mentioned as applying to both weapon qualities and to skill bonuses

Also, I absolutely love it!

And all of Mark's great posts. You really are a cool guy, Mark.

While I don't want to see the bonuses so flat between tiers, this is EXACTLY the sort of thing where players feedback can be useful. We can just be constructive about it.

For example. I totally grok why they would want to condense proficiency into like 5ish tiers. It's still way more granular than 5E, and as someone pointed out, there's only a few meaningful tiers in PF1e anyway: either untrained, taking just 1 rank so you get your +3 class bonus and ability modifier, taking a few ranks to hit DC 20 regularly, full ranks, and full ranks plus feat investment for an Uber specialist.

I don't think the system proposed above is exactly the answer though. It's too flat between a "Legend" and someone who is merely trained. Might I counterpropose an alternative spread?

* Untrained: Ability Mod
* Trained: 0.5x Level + Ability Mod + 1
* Adept: 1x Level + Ability Mod + 2, skill unlock
* Expert: 1.5x Level + Ability Mod + 3, another skill unlock
* Master: 2x Level + Ability Mod + 4, another skill unlock
* Legend: 2x Level + Ability Mod + 5, two more skill unlocks, can always take 10 and can retroactively take 10 if roll is less than 10

I could swallow that better than only a 3 point spread between levels of training.

A 45 point difference between legend and untrained at level 20 is useless, since it’s more than twice the dice result spread. PF 1 only has at most a 23 point difference between untrained and trained.

Overall, I agree with the ideas that “adventurers should get more competent at basic things” and “skills you can’t afford to invest in shouldn’t automatically be worthless”. This is especially true since skills now get used for combat maneuvers.

With that +4 difference, a level 20 Rogue will hopelessly outclass almost anybody they meet effortlessly in stealth, but other level twenty characters have a hope if they’re equally dexterous. That’s assuming the Rogue doesn’t bother putting any feats into it, and is happy just having full ranks.

Hm, if skills are being used for combat maneuvers then you're right, it does need to be at least a /little/ flatter. Well, how about this then?

* Untrained: 0.50x level + Ability Mod
* Trained: 1.00x level + Ability Mod + 1
* Adept: 1.25x level + Ability Mod + 2, skill feat/unlock
* Expert: 1.50x level + Ability Mod + 3, skill feat/unlock
* Master: 1.75x level + Ability Mod + 4, skill feat/unlock
* Legend: 2.00x level + Ability Mod + 5, skill feat/unlock, can always take 10

You're still penalized for not having any training in something at all, but you can at least make common DCs. It really shouldn't get any harder to climb a wall or know what the name and chief export of a town is as you get higher in level. Even a wizard with no Athletics training would still get harder for trash goblins and stuff to grapple at higher level... but they really shouldn't be getting in close range of owlbears and otyughs. It's still more granular and more rewarding of investment than this system they've proposed that only sees a difference of 4 or 5 points on a check between an untrained doofus and a legendary paragon.

If they're really wedded to only Trained, Expert, Master, Legend, it could be 1x+1, 1.5x+2, 2x+3, 2x+4 with two skill feats at legend instead of only one.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

From the podcast:

Untrained: level-1 + Ability mod
Trained: level + Ability mod
Expert: level+1 + Ability mod
Master: level+2 + Ability mod
Legend: level+3 + Ability mod

These were mentioned as applying to both weapon qualities and to skill bonuses

Also, I absolutely love it!

And all of Mark's great posts. You really are a cool guy, Mark.

While I don't want to see the bonuses so flat between tiers, this is EXACTLY the sort of thing where players feedback can be useful. We can just be constructive about it.

For example. I totally grok why they would want to condense proficiency into like 5ish tiers. It's still way more granular than 5E, and as someone pointed out, there's only a few meaningful tiers in PF1e anyway: either untrained, taking just 1 rank so you get your +3 class bonus and ability modifier, taking a few ranks to hit DC 20 regularly, full ranks, and full ranks plus feat investment for an Uber specialist.

I don't think the system proposed above is exactly the answer though. It's too flat between a "Legend" and someone who is merely trained. Might I counterpropose an alternative spread?

* Untrained: Ability Mod
* Trained: 0.5x Level + Ability Mod + 1
* Adept: 1x Level + Ability Mod + 2, skill unlock
* Expert: 1.5x Level + Ability Mod + 3, another skill unlock
* Master: 2x Level + Ability Mod + 4, another skill unlock
* Legend: 2x Level + Ability Mod + 5, two more skill unlocks, can always take 10 and can retroactively take 10 if roll is less than 10

I could swallow that better than only a 3 point spread between levels of training.

A 45 point difference between legend and untrained at level 20 is useless, since it’s more than twice the dice result spread. PF 1 only has at most a 23 point difference between untrained and trained.

Overall, I agree with the ideas that “adventurers should get more competent at basic things” and “skills you can’t afford to invest in

...

There's nothing flat about that sytem, it is quadratic. You go from +3 to +50. It's somehow even more lopsided than the current. Flat would be like +1 to +20.


As I understand it, 'flat' simply refers to the magnitude of the increase being small: With a flatter proficiency bonus, there is less of a difference between Untrained/Trained/Expert/Etc. If a single bonus can scale to +20 (assuming the other numbers are similar to what we have now) I wouldn't call that flat.

Linear/Quadratic refers only to whether the rate of growth increases or not. Proficiency advancement could be quadratic but still flat (e.g. +0/+1/+3/+6) or linear but 'not flat' (e.g. +0/+5/+10/+15)

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