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


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There is a rumor on how PF2e is currently looking at doing combat and skills. It is a UNIFIED mechanic.

This mechanic is that your level+Stat = ability.

How it works...

If you have the skill of Stealth, and Stealth is a Dex based skill...

You have a 16 DEX. You are trained in the skill of DEX. You are level 5.

You therefore have a +8 in the Stealth skill.

If the DC is 15...

You roll your Stealth check (so let's say you roll a 10. 10+8=18. Thus you pass the check) using this bonus.

If you are untrained, you do not get to add your level to it. Thus for the same check, you would have a +3 in your check (so in the above example you would roll a +3 and get 13 and fail the DC 15 check).

This also applies to combat. If you are using a weapon you are trained in you get a level+attribute (normally either STR or DEX).

Thus if you had a sword which you were proficient in, you would add your STR.

If you were level 5, and had a 16 STR you would get a +8 to hit.

If someone had an AC of 23 and you were trying to hit them and you rolled a 16...you would hit (16+8 = 23 and 24 > 22).

If you were not proficient in the weapon you would only have your +3 so against an AC of 22 it would be almost impossible to hit (unless you roll a natural 20).

This applies to all classes, wizards, fighters, rogues...etc.

I HOPE this is just a rumor and is NOT how they are actually doing it, but some are saying this is how this is going to work?

Pros: Well, it seems like they won't have a low bounded accuracy. In fact it appears that it is not kept low or within a specific number. That's good.

Cons: This is still almost a direct mechanic taken from 5e. There are MANY who dislike this from 5e. It makes it so that there is very little difference in why one is a Fighter as opposed to a Wizard. It makes things more bland. It increases the martial/caster disparity.

A common complaint in PF is that while a fighter just gets more way to hit people...a wizard can fly, cast fireballs, teleport...etc.

Now, you are telling me wizards can learn to hit just as well as fighters...and at the same time get fly, cast fireballs, teleport?

Counter: There are different things that characters can do to change this. For example, thieves may be able to select three skills where they can double their skill proficiency (thus it would be either DEXx2 or Level x2 added to the proficiency) either through an ability or a feat. (this is STILL something drawn directly from 5e).

Fighters and others have similar options via feats where they may be able to add a +1 or +2 via a feat to damage or to hit. (also...similar to 5e).

Counter-Counter It was stated that Paizo would not be trying to compete with 5e on their same turf, but if this mechanic is how it works you are directly trying to go against 5e, but you are doing it on their terms and their turf. You'll still get good sales on the intial rulebooks I believe, but this is going to cause problems in the long term I think.

My thoughts...

You will lose all those who stuck with PF because they dislike 5e. You will briefly gain those who play 5e and then lose them because...they already have this in 5e. Finally, when faced with the same mechanic (even if the numbers are higher in PF), new players are going to go with the one that is already more popular typically.

I may be singular in this. If this mechanic is correct...who out there thinks this is a good idea?

Who out there thinks this could be a VERY Bad idea?

Who thinks this is neither good or bad?


We wont really know until next Friday's blog on proficiency or maybe tomorrows blog on skills but I don't think it will be so binary. Check out this link:

http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkl9&page=11?First-Look-at-the -Pathfinder-Playtest#503


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The rumors I've been hearing have been pointing this is the direction.

Thus when they say it is less complex, more straightforward, and a more unified mechanic, this is the mechanic they've been talking about.

If this is so, the EARLIER people chime in on this, the better chance to either see if people like this, OR change it (there is a playtest at GAMA which is not that long away...if people WANT this changed, then the best time is before the final product goes to proof which may be as early as March 20th (or as late as May, depending on when the difference is between proof and print).

I've heard multiple references to this system now with PF2e in regards to skills and combat and how it is to work.

I'd love it if they keep the BAB type system they already have.

I don't think that the unified mechanic as described above (or the partial mechanic in combat, which probably would have it that simple weapons may add 1/2 level, and martial weapons add full level or something similar to that) is the way to go.


This is a great idea. It keeps attacks, skills, and saving throws (plus other things, I guess) in the same ballpark. So it's easy to have things like skill substituting saves, or attacks, and so on. "Roll reflex save, or acrobatics if you have X feat" Same goes with confronted skills. "roll perception vs illusion caster level" for example.

If this rumor is true, I like it.


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I hope not - it sounds bland. I don't want things in the same ballpark. I want specialisation to mean something, and if you don't devote resources to another thing you should be bad at it.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Where are you hearing these rumors?


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The unified proficiency bonus of 5E is ultimately what kept our group from adopting it.

Personally, I loved it and loved the 5E engine, however my players didn't.

I am hoping that there will be some way to differentiate skill between characters. In my opinion, not every rogue should be equally as good as any other rogue of the same level in all things that they are proficient in. And, there should be a way for fighter X to be different from fighter y.

I do trust that Paizo already has something in mind that will fulfill what I'me looking for in this regard. And, I'm looking forward to seeing how they address it.


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dragonhunterq wrote:
I hope not - it sounds bland. I don't want things in the same ballpark. I want specialisation to mean something, and if you don't devote resources to another thing you should be bad at it.

Thigns in the same ballpark, and specialization, aren't mutually exclusive.

For example you could have points to spend in skill ranks, just like in PF1. But getting rid of the +3 from class (or, alternatively, giving +3 from class to saves and attacks too), and you could have the equivalent of Skill Focus for saves and attacks or whatever. But having it in the same ballpark allows the game to interact between different parts of it. Currently your reflex save is much lower than, say, your acrobatic skill, so the DCs appropiated for a REF save are not appropiated for an acrobatic roll.

I'm not particularly fond of an automatic progression. But I like that all the parts of the game are measured in the same kind of ranks


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dragonhunterq wrote:
I hope not - it sounds bland. I don't want things in the same ballpark. I want specialisation to mean something, and if you don't devote resources to another thing you should be bad at it.

I don't like it, but the thoughts are that you can still specialize. For example, for a Rogue, they choose two or three talents. These talents exemplify the abilities to do certain Rogue actions. For example, They may choose to get a Lockpicker feat or talent. This either doubles their Open Locks, or doubles their DEX modifier to it.

Other talents or abilities at various levels can make it so that they can be even more specialized in skills.

They than can get a double specialization in Lock picker, which then enables them to utilize this not just on locks, but to reconfigure the locks into their own configurations...etc.

A fighter gets weapon focus, but then can add on greater weapon focus. The first adds a +1 to hit, but the next doubles the BAB/level bonus when using that particular weapon.

They could also get a martial weapon focus, which doubles their STR bonus or DEX bonus when using that particular weapon.

Another could be whipslash (made up name) where the fighter can add one additional attack each round when he makes his first attack, but only takes up one action (out of the three allotted) at a -15 to hit with a particular weapon.

I don't know if they went this route...nothing says how they will specialize or not. If they choose this route, you may have specialization that gets far more into extremely specialized groupings.

Zaister wrote:
Where are you hearing these rumors?

There are at least two threads that have mentioned this in this forum alone.

If you branch out onto Reddit and other forums, various other threads and things that say the same thing are out there and people are mentioning it.

I do not know where they are getting their information, but they seem pretty confident of this stuff.

I have made mention on a few of those my thoughts on this already in a few of those threads (I'm not in favor of it currently), but I thought that if this is actually a thing, it should have it's own independent thread. This way, those making the game can say it's definitely NOT happening this way, that it is partially true, or that this is actually a thing (this would be ideal if they would extrapolate on these).

The only thing they've mentioned repeatedly overall is in regards to combat (BAB = Level+ Stat) and possibly skills (Level + Stat) but don't go into any further detail that I've seen.

Ideas in this thread I've postulated on how they could get expertise or specialize or other avenues are more my own extrapolations based on what I've read out there, but nothing specifically said in most threads. These are me trying to justify them going that route (if they've gone that route) in my own mind...or trying to find ways that it won't be so bad (even if it sounds like it may be bad to some).


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If this is what they do, I will not have anything to do with the new edition.


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The proficiencies in 5e are my single least favorite part. While what they have said so far sounds somewhat familiar, I don't expect paizo to go that route. I'll wait and see what they have in store.


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Considering how much of Starfinder is just lifted from 5E (and with its own original "innovations" being godawful like the health mechanics), I can definitely see PF2 being a trainwreck trying to ape a more popular but objectively worse game (D&D 5E).

Scarab Sages

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GreyWolfLord wrote:

How it works...

If you have the skill of Stealth, and Stealth is a Dex based skill...

You have a 16 DEX. You are trained in the skill of DEX. You are level 5.

You therefore have a +8 in the Stealth skill.

If this is how it works, then I'd be really disappointed. I don't mind simplification in principal. As someone said above, acrobatics and a reflex save could be defined so they target similar DCs.

But this summary is one of the reasons I don't play 5E. Here's my experience. I played a 5E cleric from 1st to 8th levels. I chose my skill proficiencies at 1st level. One of those skills was Heal. I determined rather quickly that it was (a) not as useful given my spells and (b) mechanically useless. By 8th level I still had never actually rolled a skill check. But everytime my skills went up, so did Heal. I like that in PF 1E, I can select new skills each level to invest in. So I can become diverse - cross training into new skills, or specialized in some skills.

I want choices as a player. I want to be able to have my character adapt and grow. Skill proficiency in 5E didn't do it for me.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'll hold judgement until there's verification from a reliable source, like a Paizo blog post or designer commentary. I'm not putting any stock into rumors because there is so little realminformation and people are emotional, neither of which make for rational thought.

-Skeld


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My $0.02:

3.P has issues with skills. Keeping track of how many skill points you are supposed to have can be daunting.

There is also the issue that 9/10 times, skills in 3.P have only 4 proficiency levels:

1) Untrained. Put zero skill points in this skill because either you don't care or you don't get enough points to make it worth it.
2) Novice: Put 1 rank in the skill to be able to roll it or get that free +3 (usually for Knowledge Skills).
3) Advanced: I put exactly enough skill points in it to make that common DC on a 2 or better. (Concentration in 3.5)
4) Expert: Max it out. (Stealth, Perception, etc.)

So obviously, the skill system of 3.P is more complex than it needs to be.

However, the 5e version is WAY too simple. You either are proficient or you aren't (and I think Rogues and Bards get double Prof on some stuff). This means your character that wants to be the best smith in the world has the exact same bonus as the character who just so happened to have the smithing skill on his list.

I have been working on a homebrew game for a while, and I think I will share what I did to "fix" this problem.

You have 5 Skill Proficiency levels that determine your base skill modifier:

1) Not Proficient: +0
2) Basic Proficiency: 1/4 level, round down, +1
3) Adept Proficiency: 1/2 level, round down, +2
4) Advanced Proficiency: 3/4 level, round down, +3
5) Expert Proficiency: Level + 3

You roll a d20, add your Proficiency Bonus, then your relevant Attribute Modifier.


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Hrothgar Rannúlfr wrote:

The unified proficiency bonus of 5E is ultimately what kept our group from adopting it.

Personally, I loved it and loved the 5E engine, however my players didn't.

It's ONE of the many things that I hate and loathe about 5e. If it's adopted, it'll make it VERY easy to determine if I'll play the new edition.


I would withhold judgement on any specific mechanics—let alone rumored ones—until we have the whole 'package'.

Shadow Lodge

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If they just said "No, it's nothing like 5E's proficiency" things would be great. However... they aren't. They are saying things like "don't think that" or "why do you think that?" and not much else.

If that's changed I'd be impressed.


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Athaleon wrote:
until we have the whole 'package'.

Not for me. If the relatively close to 5E's proficiency system, then for me there really isn't much use in seeing the rest of the package: I'll already know I'm not going to enjoy the game.

Now if you mean 'don't freak out before we see the mechanic', that's valid but the 'vibe' I'm getting makes me VERY uneasy about it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"Why do you think that?" is an inherently ambiguous question in terms of what the questioner is giving away. He could be implying "We certainly didn't mean to give you that impression. What did we say that led you to that incorrect conclusion?" Alternatively, he could be implying "We meant to hold that tidbit back for a while longer. How did you figure it out?"

Shadow Lodge

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When people explain why though there is no response after. I noticed this for a question that started off when someone said they were worried about certain feat chains being closed off because picking a background opened some up.


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I was under the impression that skills were going to work something like like: there are five levels, untrained, trained, expert, master, legend.

If you are "trained" it is the equivalent of putting max ranks into something (which most people do with most of their skill points anyway in my experience). All of the higher levels add static bonuses, like you would get if you took skill focus in that skill.

I fail to see what the issue with this is.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I was under the impression that skills were going to work something like like: there are five levels, untrained, trained, expert, master, legend.

If you are "trained" it is the equivalent of putting max ranks into something (which most people do with most of their skill points anyway in my experience). All of the higher levels add static bonuses, like you would get if you took skill focus in that skill.

I fail to see what the issue with this is.

From what I have heard, there are only 3 proficiency levels: Untrained, Trained, and Expert.

One of these levels is d20 + Level + Mod.


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Skeld wrote:

I'll hold judgement until there's verification from a reliable source, like a Paizo blog post or designer commentary. I'm not putting any stock into rumors because there is so little realminformation and people are emotional, neither of which make for rational thought.

-Skeld

A paranoid slaad would think that floating rumors might be a way 1) to provoke a response from a Paizo designer ahead of scheduled release time/embargo, and/or b) to provoke responses from already anxious Pathfinder customers.


According to the Glass Cannon podcast, skill proficiencies are intrinsically tied to crafted items. The GM uses a master weapon as an example, if you have "master" in a craft skill you can create "master" quality items.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'm assuming that other modifiers still exist?

Like Diplomacy isn't always straight Lvl+Cha?

You could have +3 from Skill Focus, +1 from a Trait, +2 from Race, +lvl/2 from class and so on, right?

Or does 5e kill all those?


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Samy wrote:

I'm assuming that other modifiers still exist?

Like Diplomacy isn't always straight Lvl+Cha?

You could have +3 from Skill Focus, +1 from a Trait, +2 from Race, +lvl/2 from class and so on, right?

Or does 5e kill all those?

D&D 5E skills are always "Proficiency Bonus + Ability Score Modifier". So everyone sucks at skills, and everyone is barely any different in the amount of suck they are at them.

I assume PF2 will have something similar, given the design team's recent infatuation with copying 5E because it's currently more popular than PF for some bizarre reason.

Paizo Employee Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I was under the impression that skills were going to work something like like: there are five levels, untrained, trained, expert, master, legend.

If you are "trained" it is the equivalent of putting max ranks into something (which most people do with most of their skill points anyway in my experience). All of the higher levels add static bonuses, like you would get if you took skill focus in that skill.

I fail to see what the issue with this is.

Samy wrote:

I'm assuming that other modifiers still exist?

Like Diplomacy isn't always straight Lvl+Cha?

Both correct! PossibleCabbage is right, via the podcast, that there are quite a few ranks of proficiency you can gain in a skill. And Samy is right that your proficiency modifier and ability modifier are not the only bonuses you can ever add to your skill. Is just proficiency+ability modifier with no other additions possible what 5e does? I actually don't know 5e solidly enough to be certain (I likely should learn 5e better, but with PF1, Starfinder, and PF2 rattling in my head, there's just too many games in there right now), but I'm going to trust Bloodrealm on that. In that case, no, that's not what we're doing at all.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So, it looks like these "rumors" are simply people jumping to conclusions because Paizo is using a term that has meaning in another game.


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5e has basically three levels of proficiency in a skill:

- Not proficient (ability modifier only)
- Proficient (ability + proficiency)
- Expertise (ability + 2*proficiency)

Only Bards and Rogues have access to Expertise IIRC, and only for certain skills/tools, not for attack rolls or saving throws (which also use the proficiency system).

Static bonuses are rare. Bonuses usually come as adding an additional die (from some spells or Bardic Inspiration) or by granting Advantage (roll 2d20 and pick the highest).

What Bloodrealm is referring to is the fact that 5e's Proficiency Bonus starts out at a mere +2 and scales up to +6: at 17th level. The highly "swingy" nature of a d20 plus a small number means characters (too) often botch up the things they're supposed to be good at, and luck their way through things they're supposed to be bad at.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Zaister wrote:
So, it looks like these "rumors" are simply people jumping to conclusions because Paizo is using a term that has meaning in another game.

I mean to be fair, proficiency is also a concept from Pathfinder, older editions of D&D, and a lot of other RPGs. I think people are reaching this connection because 5e is popular right now (and, from what I've seen of it so far, a cool and fascinating system designed by some really talented designers), and so it's in the zeitgeist. But that's not really what Pathfinder is, so we don't really have any interest in replicating that. 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.


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This last post essentially confirmed that bounded accuracy will not be a thing in P2E and I'm very happy to hear that. I have no hate towards it, but I honestly just want my world where the high level swordmaster can annihilate the brigands with ease.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

What is bounded accuracy?


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Its one of the guiding principles of 5e that if they keep all the number progressions apart from hit points low, low cr monsters are still good opponents for high level pcs if theyre in greater numbers. It makes adventuring with mixed level parties a lot easier to balance and makes the game more dice based then build based. The downside is that it makes for a relatively...homogenous game where at any given level pc classes have pretty much identical to hit rolls. I made a full party of Adventures in Middle Earth characters and by the second one I could instantly predict the end result pretty much perfectly


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Zaister wrote:
What is bounded accuracy?

Basically, attack rolls and AC don't scale that high. A man in full plate with a shield has 20 AC. Pit Fiends have 19 AC (and a ton more HP).

If you want to run a game in which orc warriors are always a threat to the PCs, it's great. It also has the side effect of making minion-spam (summoning, necromancy, animating many small objects) way too powerful.

One of the best descriptions of 5e I've heard is that they took the first 6 levels and stretched them to cover 20 levels. It's true in many ways, except of course for spells.

Shadow Lodge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Actual helpful post(s).

Have I told you you're my favorite Paizo employee yet?


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The thing isn't about limited bounded accuracy though. It's about the unified mechanic which people are discussing. There is no need for this mechanic to be flat. It's only flatter in 5e BECAUSE of bounded accuracy...but it's still something that can be used without Bounded accuracy even in the system. It can be pretty far ranging and different. It's even referred to directly in the current FAQ as

Quote:
All of the varied systems and formulas for determining your character's bonuses and statistics, like saving throws, attack bonuses, and skills, have been unified in a single, easy-to-use proficiency system based on your choices and your character's level.

Also supposed to be similar to what is being used in Star Finder (I haven't played it, so don't know what exactly they are referring to).

Bounded accuracy is limiting bonuses...the idea presented isn't limited or limiting, but is unified in regards to it being based upon level and stat.

Hence...the levels...

You get three skill points to invest in. It can be weapons, or skills lets say.

If you are untrained, when you roll to get over a DC it is only +stat or in the above example...+Dex

If you are trained it could be your level+Dex modifier (or maybe this is the 1/2 level+modifier).

If you invest anther skill point it could be level+Dex or maybe Level+DEXx2.

Finally, at the highest level you get some special ability with it.

So, basically, one can theoretically say that it allows for one to invest in skills but it is stll the unified system. I only know people have been talking about it...so if it isn't this...that's good.

If it WERE this, it's a direct rip from 5e from what I can see. Even if you are investing additional points, it's basically a very similar system.

If it is automatic (for example, a fighter is proficient in all martial weapons...so gets a 1/2 level+STR to hit in melee...puts point into a weapon gets level+STR in melee...and another gets level+STRx2 in melee.

A Wizard is proficient in simple weapons so gets a 1/2 level+STR in melee...puts a point to improve and gets level+STR in melee...and so forth.

More in a direct response below on how this is applied...


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Mark Seifter wrote:
I actually don't know 5e solidly enough to be certain (I likely should learn 5e better, but with PF1, Starfinder, and PF2 rattling in my head, there's just too many games in there right now), but I'm going to trust Bloodrealm on that. In that case, no, that's not what we're doing at all.

5e works with bounded accuracy. Bounded accuracy limits the amount of the bonuses you can receive. It is more of an idea and concept utilized in the practice of 5e.

Bounded accuracy is DIFFERENT than the unified mechanic in 5e, and though they are utilized together, they are very different vehicles.

Without Bounded accuracy to modify the unified mechanic, it could work that the bonus you get is your level+your ability modifier. So for a stealth check, if you were trained in a skill it would be lvl+DEX.

This can be modified by other additions. Perhaps you got a feat that lets you add a +2 to this modifier...

Then it would be lvl+DEX+modifier(+2).

Perhaps then you also got a magic item that gives you a +1 to Stealth...then it would be

lvl+DEX+modifier(+2)+ item(+1).

Finally suppose you got a spell to help out that added a +1d4 or on average +2. It would then be

lvl+DEX+modifier (+2)+ item(+1)+ spell (+2).

Your DEX without Bounded accuracy could be anything from 3 to 100+

It is this unified mechanic on which 5e utilizes it's skills and combat.

HOWEVER...Bounded accuracy is utilized to curb the numbers.

Instead of lvl = bonus they have certain numbers that you get depending on your level.

So at level 1 you get a +2 bonus. At level 20 you get a +6 bonus. In between, depending on your level, you get slowly growing amounts. It is based on your level, but not equal to your level due to the concept of bounded accuracy and keeping the numbers low.

This is because they curb the numbers so that you only get small numbers. Bounded accuracy is different than the unified mechanic of 5e.

They also use bounded accuracy to keep your ability scores artificially low. You cannot get any score above 20. This is their way of keeping bonuses low.

Hopefully that explains the difference between the unified mechanic of 5e and the bounded accuracy 5e uses to keep the bonuses utilized to smaller numbers. Also, hopefully it explains somewhat how 5e works (it really is a clean, simple system...that I don't like, but bounded accuracy makes it 10X worse). 5e has a lot more things tossed in that can make it more complex, but that's it at the very core of it.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:

This is a great idea. It keeps attacks, skills, and saving throws (plus other things, I guess) in the same ballpark. So it's easy to have things like skill substituting saves, or attacks, and so on. "Roll reflex save, or acrobatics if you have X feat" Same goes with confronted skills. "roll perception vs illusion caster level" for example.

If this rumor is true, I like it.

Soory, I had to chortle. I made basically the same post about the previews we were getting for 4E, everything unified so DM could call for whatever vs whatever they liked for any situation. Didn't work out that way in game sadly!

Paizo Employee Designer

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GreyWolfLord wrote:

This is very similar to the 5e mechanic utilized.

I would guess that weapon focus and other such feats can increase it or that there are ways that they can invest more points into this combat proficiency...both wizard and fighter equally?

If max level = level, hence level 1 = 1 and level 20 = 20, it sounds like that is what they were probably talking about when they stated...

level+ability modifier = bonus/BAB.

Even if it is granted the +3...it's basically the same idea.

From the description of your post and what you verified, it does not sound like there's a lot of difference from what I've been hearing and what it sounds like people said.

ah...well...hopefully a blog post comes soon that shows exactly how the core mechanic (unified mechanic) works.

OK, I think I see where you're drawing the parallels here, but I feel like by that metric, you could also claim that D&D 3.0/3.5, PF1, and D&D 4e are in the same boat, even D&D 2e and earlier to an extent even though some of the THAC0 math is backwards. Ultimately, many game systems with ability scores and levels have some sort of scaled level-based component and some ability-score based component as parts of their math. The question is, how do those apply and scale, and how do other components factor in. And in those regards, all the systems mentioned differ from each other.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

This is very similar to the 5e mechanic utilized.

I would guess that weapon focus and other such feats can increase it or that there are ways that they can invest more points into this combat proficiency...both wizard and fighter equally?

If max level = level, hence level 1 = 1 and level 20 = 20, it sounds like that is what they were probably talking about when they stated...

level+ability modifier = bonus/BAB.

Even if it is granted the +3...it's basically the same idea.

From the description of your post and what you verified, it does not sound like there's a lot of difference from what I've been hearing and what it sounds like people said.

ah...well...hopefully a blog post comes soon that shows exactly how the core mechanic (unified mechanic) works.

OK, I think I see where you're drawing the parallels here, but I feel like by that metric, you could also claim that D&D 3.0/3.5, PF1, and D&D 4e are in the same boat, even D&D 2e and earlier to an extent even though some of the THAC0 math is backwards. Ultimately, many game systems with ability scores and levels have some sort of scaled level-based component and some ability-score based component as parts of their math. The question is, how do those apply and scale, and how do other components factor in. And in those regards, all the systems mentioned differ from each other.

The difference between 3e and 3.5 is that they had the key thing people bring up about Pathfinder and 5e differences. You get skill points and your bonus is based upon the skill points you put in, not your levels.

4e on the otherhand...there are many 5e players that do not want to acknowledge this, but this idea probably got it's birth in 4e. Combat also was similar but the bounded accuracy wasn't as severe (so you could get up to +15 at max level instead of +6).

The other difference, and as I said, we haven't seen it so only you would know at this point (though I hope they have one on it soon) is that currently in 2e, 3.x, and PF characters combat BAB increases at different rates. Thus a Wizard has a 1/2 BAB rate compared to the Fighters Full BAB rate, whereas in PF2e it sounds like this is different and more akin to being based around a standard bonus based on level (Each class at the same rate).

In a level based system...as shown above, which was in 4e to a limited degree, and more fully implemented in 5e, the fighter and the Wizard gain bonuses to hit based on level at the same rate. Sure, the Fighter can have other bonuses added on, but the default rate each class will normally have is exactly the same.

Thus in 5e, both Fighter and Wizard when using a weapon they are proficient in have a +2 to hit at 1st level, a +3 to hit at 5th, +4 at 9th, +5 at 13th, and a +6 at 17th (and thus +6 at 20th).

It is basically an additional +1 every 4 levels due to bounded accuracy (it was a +1 every 2 levels in 4e...without this idea of bounded accuracy it could be +1 every level).

I don't really like the idea of a wizard and fighter advancing the same degree in their to hit advancements. It breaks me out of the idea of suspending reality...BUT...

I hate bounded accuracy FAR MORE. This idea is NOT so bad the higher you allow the numbers to go (and so without bounded accuracy, where you can get numbers theoretically infinitely high...though that may in reality be an impossibility in the system) as it reduces the impact.

The problem in 5e is they kept it so LOW (+6...really guys?) that it was a HUGE turn off.

I still don't like the way it works (but again, we've only seen it really applied in other systems thus far), but that doesn't not mean I'm going to not try PF2e or the playtest because of it.

I still intend on buying the hardcopies of the material for the playtest to begin with. I might see the general idea, but seeing the general idea is FAR different then seeing how it plays out in the game.

I think I'm not alone in disliking this type of mechanic, and I think it would be really good to get people's feedback very quickly and very soon to guage just how popular or unpopular this idea may be among future PF2e players. I think it would be especially important if it is a key/core element of the game.

Just my thoughts on it though.

Paizo Employee Designer

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

This is very similar to the 5e mechanic utilized.

I would guess that weapon focus and other such feats can increase it or that there are ways that they can invest more points into this combat proficiency...both wizard and fighter equally?

If max level = level, hence level 1 = 1 and level 20 = 20, it sounds like that is what they were probably talking about when they stated...

level+ability modifier = bonus/BAB.

Even if it is granted the +3...it's basically the same idea.

From the description of your post and what you verified, it does not sound like there's a lot of difference from what I've been hearing and what it sounds like people said.

ah...well...hopefully a blog post comes soon that shows exactly how the core mechanic (unified mechanic) works.

OK, I think I see where you're drawing the parallels here, but I feel like by that metric, you could also claim that D&D 3.0/3.5, PF1, and D&D 4e are in the same boat, even D&D 2e and earlier to an extent even though some of the THAC0 math is backwards. Ultimately, many game systems with ability scores and levels have some sort of scaled level-based component and some ability-score based component as parts of their math. The question is, how do those apply and scale, and how do other components factor in. And in those regards, all the systems mentioned differ from each other.

The difference between 3e and 3.5 is that they had the key thing people bring up about Pathfinder and 5e differences. You get skill points and your bonus is based upon the skill points you put in, not your levels.

4e on the otherhand...there are many 5e players that do not want to acknowledge this, but this idea probably got it's birth in 4e. Combat also was similar but the bounded accuracy wasn't as severe (so you could get up to +15 at max level instead of +6).

The other difference, and as I said, we haven't seen it so only you would know at this point (though I hope they have one on it soon) is...

Each of the different systems works a little bit differently, sure.

But to take your attack bonus examples, looking at the level-based component only.

On one side we have PF1's BAB, where say a cleric goes from +0 to +15 for the level based-component and a fighter goes from +1 to +20.

On the other side, we have 5e, where maybe the cleric stays put at +0 and the fighter goes from +1 to +6.

If the new game comes in with the cleric going from something like +1 to +20 and the fighter going from something like +2 to +23, that seems an awful lot closer to PF1, were we to try to draw parallels. They're all different though!

Dark Archive

Hrothgar Rannúlfr wrote:

The unified proficiency bonus of 5E is ultimately what kept our group from adopting it.

Personally, I loved it and loved the 5E engine, however my players didn't.

I am hoping that there will be some way to differentiate skill between characters. In my opinion, not every rogue should be equally as good as any other rogue of the same level in all things that they are proficient in. And, there should be a way for fighter X to be different from fighter y.

I do trust that Paizo already has something in mind that will fulfill what I'me looking for in this regard. And, I'm looking forward to seeing how they address it.

They claimed that their are different “levels” of proficiency beyond just trained and undermined. Thus, we can infir that you will be able to add more than your level +mod to a skill if you take a higher level of proficiency with it. So while I forget the exact proficiency level names mentioned, I’ll make up my own for the sake of example. Untrained means you just add your ability mod while trained is Level + Ability mod. Above trained we have “expert” which is Level x2 + Ability mod. So using your Rouge example, one rogue wants to be more Stealth and theivery focused, so she becomes an expert in stealth, disable device and sleight of hand while being only trained in skills like acrobatics and diplomacy: another rogue wants to be more of s Con-artist/face, so he becomes an expert in bluff, diplomacy, and sense motive while only being trained in stealth and the like.


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Mark Seifter wrote:

Each of the different systems works a little bit differently, sure.

But to take your attack bonus examples, looking at the level-based component only.

On one side we have PF1's BAB, where say a cleric goes from +0 to +15 for the level based-component and a fighter goes from +1 to +20.

On the other side, we have 5e, where maybe the cleric stays put at +0 and the fighter goes from +1 to +6.

If the new game comes in with the cleric going from something like +1 to +20 and the fighter going from something like +2 to +23, that seems an awful lot closer to PF1, were we to try to draw parallels. They're all different though!

This is true. Though in 5e if the Cleric is proficient in a weapon they also gets that same +2 to +6 a fighter gets. It could be modified slightly so the fighter gets the +2 to +7 depending on feats, and other things but the advancement overall is based on level and is pretty much standard.

The biggest thing that hopefully will help is that one will at least feel like they are advancing. Because 5e kept bounded accuracy with the bonuses so low...many times you advance a level and you really don't feel any real sense of accomplishment. It's a big downer at times for Fighters (whereas those spellcasters at least always get more spell casting ability).

We'll see how it works in gameplay at the table (well the rest of us, you probably already get to see it currently) in a few months in August.

Ironically, as more of an AP/adventure guy, I'm probably MORE interested in the adventure for the playtest then the rules right now.


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Takhisis wrote:
Hrothgar Rannúlfr wrote:

The unified proficiency bonus of 5E is ultimately what kept our group from adopting it.

Personally, I loved it and loved the 5E engine, however my players didn't.

I am hoping that there will be some way to differentiate skill between characters. In my opinion, not every rogue should be equally as good as any other rogue of the same level in all things that they are proficient in. And, there should be a way for fighter X to be different from fighter y.

I do trust that Paizo already has something in mind that will fulfill what I'me looking for in this regard. And, I'm looking forward to seeing how they address it.

They claimed that their are different “levels” of proficiency beyond just trained and undermined. Thus, we can infir that you will be able to add more than your level +mod to a skill if you take a higher level of proficiency with it. So while I forget the exact proficiency level names mentioned, I’ll make up my own for the sake of example. Untrained means you just add your ability mod while trained is Level + Ability mod. Above trained we have “expert” which is Level x2 + Ability mod. So using your Rouge example, one rogue wants to be more Stealth and theivery focused, so she becomes an expert in stealth, disable device and sleight of hand while being only trained in skills like acrobatics and diplomacy: another rogue wants to be more of s Con-artist/face, so he becomes an expert in bluff, diplomacy, and sense motive while only being trained in stealth and the like.

that would be similar to 5e rogues in some ways (for example the rogue skills where they can choose 3 and the others at levels to focus on giving them better training and have a x2 bonus in them).

However, from what I gather it's more like the 5e additions where one can use either abilities or feats (or skill training...aka...going up a little more in the skill ability) to add to the skill once you are above the trained level.

This adds bonuses similar to skill focus and other current feats in the Pathfinder system, but under the aspect of adding points to the skill to be better trained.

Not an exact match, but for example in 5e, let's say I'm a level 7 character. I'm trained in the Perception and investigation. Then I take Observant, this gives me an additional +5 to perception and +5 to investigation. It adds to my skills and their bonus, but the initial bonus or trained status is based on the level. Trained is typically the default you will use with weapons you choose to wield, or the skills you are utilizing most often (though you can still use skills but with only your ability modifiers).

From the sounds of it, it seems PF may be using a unified mechanic but evolved from this even further (so it is not just trained, trained is based on level just like other version, but then you add a point and you get a +2 bonus, another point and that changes to +3).

In this it would still be the level based system like 5e, but it also could be seen as adding in a faint level idea found in the Age system (where skills are not level based, but grant a straight up bonus, and later on if you add another point in them...it goes up by a little bit).

Not anywhere close to what you get in your trained bonus, but a little bit if you want to increase that bonus a tiny bit.

So, a Fighter with specialized training may have a +7 or +8 to hit at level 20, compared to the Wizard that has a +6 (but this tiny amount of difference is REALLY tiny). The biggest difference in 5e then is based upon their ability score modifiers (so a fighter with a 16 STR will have +6 +3 = +9 while a wizard with 10 STR will only have a +6 to hit).

PS: Of course, since 5e CAPS ability scores for PCs at 20, if that wizard gets a 20 INT and WANTS to be good at melee, they MAY add to their STR and get that 16 STR or even 20 STR and have the exact same bonus to hit as a Fighter.

The biggest difference than is if PF does NOT have this bounded accuracy idea (and that MAY be A GAME KILLER FOR ME if PF2e does) is that While a Fighter may be using his ability score increases on STR, a wizard will be using theirs on INT with no inclination to spend it on STR. Thus a Fighter may have 16 STR and a +4 to hit at first level while a wizard has a +1. If they get a +1 to their stats every 4 levels (based on nothing, number off the top of my head), that means the fighter might have a +21 STR naturally through the game by level 20 giving him a total of +25 to hit while the wizard only has a +20 to hit (or maybe, if the Wizard had a lower STR, maybe even a +19 to hit).


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Skeld wrote:

I'll hold judgement until there's verification from a reliable source, like a Paizo blog post or designer commentary. I'm not putting any stock into rumors because there is so little realminformation and people are emotional, neither of which make for rational thought.

-Skeld

This was actually stated in the podcast game session they did. The OP is indeed correct. That is how it seems to work in 5e for attacks.

Skills work a little differently:

Skills are either:

Expert - Level +1 +Stat
Trained - Level +Stat
Untrained - Level -2 +Stat


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HWalsh wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I'll hold judgement until there's verification from a reliable source, like a Paizo blog post or designer commentary. I'm not putting any stock into rumors because there is so little realminformation and people are emotional, neither of which make for rational thought.

-Skeld

This was actually stated in the podcast game session they did. The OP is indeed correct. That is how it seems to work in 5e for attacks.

Skills work a little differently:

Skills are either:

Expert - Level +1 +Stat
Trained - Level +Stat
Untrained - Level -2 +Stat

Thanks for the information. That explains where all these people are getting this stuff from. I probably should watch it instead of relying on the summaries people have been posting.


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Let's say basic proficiency gives you +1/2 lvl. Expert gives + 3/4 lvl. And Master gives +lvl. Wizards can only be novice, rogues are expert, fighters are master.

How is that different than BAB?

The thing is: if it is unified, and it works in the same balpark for skills, attacks, saves, you can do things like using skills to save, using saves vs skill dDCs, etc. A DC20 trap might call for a DC20 disable device check, or a DC20 ref save to dodge it. You could attempt a trip with BAB, or Athletics, or maybe Acrobatics in some instances. And you could resist with BAB, or Fortitude save. Currently that's not possible, because DC30 saves are really tough even at high level, while DC30 skill checks are easy and hit AC30 is trivial.

All of that, while Wizards are still much worse than Fighters at fightibg


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A wizard being as accurate as a fighter doesnt bother me as long as the fighter hits harder and more often. The concept of bounded accuracy is rock solid. 5E character development is uninspired, so it makes BA really stand out in a poor way. Character customization is the way PF differentiates its self from D&D at the moment. As long as that is kept im all good with a unifying mechanic.

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