Quality of life improvements


Prerelease Discussion

Silver Crusade

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Having seen a few retools of game mechanics at my non-TTRPG employer I’ve pulled a few design philosophy ideas that are probably something already being looked at, because they’re kinda obvious, but I’m posting my 2 cents anyway.

Gradual improvements to raw numbers are nice, sure, but they’re not something to get excited about. Something PF 1.0 did that was wonderful was try to set it up so at each level there was either a class feature or a talent choice. Not always of course, but a lack of dead levels with no cool new toys as a general rule is a really good thing.

Feat taxes are something that are famously unpopular too, because people consider them distasteful minor improvements that people only take to access cooler options.

Without wanting to make the MMO comparison because of how D&D 4e turned out, World of Warcraft had much the same problem in its first iteration with talent tree options like Improved Hit for 1%. +1% to hit isn’t cool, it doesn’t give you fun new options, but it was absolutely essential for you to take to generate threat/do damage, so everyone took it.

Eventually the Blizzard design team took the step of just baking it directly into class design. If something is so essential that it’s a choice EVERYONE trying to fulfill a role takes, it’s not really a choice.

So I’m absolutely on board with either removing very commonly taken options like Combat Expertise or with very boring options like Lightning Reflexes/Iron Will or, preferably, sexing them up a bit so they’re cool enough that you want to take them on their own.

A really great example of that’d be Dirty Fighting, the 1e feat from Dirty Tactics Toolbox. While it had a narrower set of feats it unlocked, it unlocked some, and it made them better, it bypassed some usual restrictions, it made the following feats a little better and it had functionality on its own. Great feat.


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Consolidating bits of the feat trees into fewer amounts of feats that either contain more bonuses, or scale with level would be good.

Example: Toughness in Starfinder combines Endurance and the Toughness feats known in PF1. Weapon Focus in Starfinder also scales based on whether or not you have full BAB progression.

Silver Crusade

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A class that benefitted enormously from baking-in quality of life improvements of this type was the Unchained Rogue; dex to hit and limited dex to damage were good QOL improvements because Weapon Finesse was practically a non-choice for a huge number of builds. The addition of party-benefit debuffs like AC reduction (which still favoured the rogue themselves more) and skill unlocks were fantastic. However, restricting the already substandard Ki Pool talent in order to deny access to Ki powers, while understandable in order to protect the Ninja’s niche, always rankled me a little. With the opportunity to start over however it means there’s no reason to restrict the class-concept from being able to make meaningful choices from the entire toolkit.

Silver Crusade

Skill-based feats like skill focus are nice bumps to skill levels but they’re still kinda boring, I’d prefer to see them replaced or supplemented by skill unlocks from Unchained.

I kinda like a lot from Unchained. :)

Paizo Employee Designer

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Dean HS Jones wrote:

Skill-based feats like skill focus are nice bumps to skill levels but they’re still kinda boring, I’d prefer to see them replaced or supplemented by skill unlocks from Unchained.

I kinda like a lot from Unchained. :)

You're in luck!


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I definitely want to see "speed bump" feats, excessive feat chains, and feats that are just strict numerical bonuses die in a fire. Every feat should be meaningful, and every feat should do something other than just raising character numbers.

For example: Iron Will et all. These are much more useful and interesting if instead of just raising the associated save / defense, this is where the "Evasion" type abilities live. Or alternately (or as an earlier stage of the feat, before you get to "Evasion" tier in a subsequent feat) they prevent "critical hits" against that save and allow you to reroll the save.

Silver Crusade

Logan Bonner wrote:
Dean HS Jones wrote:

Skill-based feats like skill focus are nice bumps to skill levels but they’re still kinda boring, I’d prefer to see them replaced or supplemented by skill unlocks from Unchained.

I kinda like a lot from Unchained. :)

You're in luck!

I prefer to think of it as being on roughly the same page! :D


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Subparhiggins wrote:
Example: Toughness in Starfinder combines Endurance and the Toughness feats known in PF1. Weapon Focus in Starfinder also scales based on whether or not you have full BAB progression.

Yes, that was a nice change.

Pathfinder badly needs this, especially if Traits are going to continue in PF2. A trait is supposed to be half of a feat, but it's often more like.. 3/4 or more of one of the um... less good feats.

I'd rather have Birthmark AND Focused Mind rather than Endurance OR Combat Casting. Endurance on it's own is just kinda meh and Focused Mind is a flat +2 concentration bonus vs. Combat Casting's only-sometimes +4 bonus.

Another example is the skill-type traits; since they often make a skill a class skill, it's effectively +4 for "half a feat" for classes without the skill, when the skill focus feat itself is +3/+6 and costs a pile of skill ranks too.

Fuzzypaws wrote:
For example: Iron Will et all. These are much more useful and interesting if instead of just raising the associated save / defense, this is where the "Evasion" type abilities live. Or alternately (or as an earlier stage of the feat, before you get to "Evasion" tier in a subsequent feat) they prevent "critical hits" against that save and allow you to reroll the save.

Evasion is kinda OP~ The critical hit idea sounds good though.

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