Bounded Accuracy Isn't Bad


Prerelease Discussion

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Ian Bell wrote:
Why is this acceptable in combat, but unacceptable with skill checks?

Combat challenge hinges on a larger number of die rolls, causing the results to average out over time. A single skill check, or 3-5 rolls for a skill challenge, results in an upset too frequently for believability.


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There is a reason I use 2d10 rather than the swingy polyhedron of disappointment.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed some posts. Please refrain from making personal attacks on other posters.


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Just came across this from a web search to see if bounded accuracy would be in PF 2E.

MR. H wrote:


I don't like it when I can fail a stealth check behind a stone wall in total darkness because I rolled low.

Wouldn't one not roll in that scenario, surely you'd only roll when there is genuine doubt, i.e. the DM cannot fairly adjudicate whether it would happen.


You could still make noise.


I'm a fan of the concept of bounded numbers, myself, though one doesn't have to go as far as 5E does in order to get use from the concept. As long as the limit doesn't go so far as to have one character with a +10 in something and his ally has a +45, I'm fine with a large variance, say in the +15 or +17 range like Mark Seifter was alluding to on the difference between a non-proficient character and one who had spent a lot of resources on optimizing. When I have no chance to accomplish something because it's a challenge for the maximum optimized ally, it's a sign that the number spread is just too wide and begins to hamper fun for the group.


Arssanguinus wrote:
You could still make noise.

Yes literally from all we are given of that case, though my point was more when there is no real doubt you wouldn't roll. If you might make noise then you would. If making noise is what may get you noticed, darkness etc (ie sight based hindrances) doesn't really matter.

Basically I don't see a real difference between bounded and unbounded accuracy in such cases. The point of the original example seems to be a case where you'd "have to" succeed and essentially I think in both systems you'd just not roll. Rather than rolling, but be guaranteed success from modifiers.

EDIT: Had to rephrase the above to convey the point better.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

For my limited look at this new system, I really don't think PF 2.0 has the Bonded Accuracy as it is represented in the Brand's offering. Really, even the difference between having a +1 per level or +6 at 20th level is likely going to have additional quantifiers such as Ranks in Skills and such in PF2.

I do not believe that Paizo would make the massive mistake of using only the level dependent scaling for such things, having some way to customize the character and use situations for more than a +1 advantage.

Shadow Lodge

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Everything I've read suggests PF2e will deliver Level-Adjusted Bounded Accuracy.

If your level 10 characters are fighting level 10 monsters on average (say 8-12) then both the characters and their adversaries will have +10 to everything (skills, saves, attacks) so it effectively shifts the protagonist and antagonist 10 ticks on the dice. Your non-level based bonuses then operate in a range that "fits" in an appropriate probability range on a d20 so that relative performance feels right.

One of the benefits derived from bounded accuracy was a 5e GM could take a bunch of orc warriors and toss them at a level 10 party and have it still work as a challenge. With PF2e's bounded accuracy a GM can quickly turn those same printed orc warriors into a 10th level challenge by applying a flat +9 across the board (to make the 1st level adversaries 10th level adversaries). PF2e achieves the same benefit with just a little basic math.

This is the way all MMOs have been going for the past few years.. when your character fights a boar in Westfall at 10th level, it's a 10th level boar, and when they fight that boar at 50th level, it's a 50th level boar. Now you've essentially got more content available at a particular level than ever before. Doing the magic "+1 per HD to everything" allows a TTRPG to accomplish basically the same level-adjusted bounded accuracy.

Plus it has the upside for players who would object to a game system if they looked at their sheet and saw their cleric only had like "+5 Medicine" at 15th level. Now they get to feel better that it's "+20 Medicine".


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wakedown wrote:


One of the benefits derived from bounded accuracy was a 5e GM could take a bunch of orc warriors and toss them at a level 10 party and have it still work as a challenge. With PF2e's bounded accuracy a GM can quickly turn those same printed orc warriors into a 10th level challenge by applying a flat +9 across the board (to make the 1st level adversaries 10th level adversaries).

This does not strike me as a benefit, because it breaks the plausibility of the world for me. Pathfinder is built around the assumption that higher level characters and entities are rare (and if you make them less so, the lack of consequences to the world of having lots of high-level magic around becomes really kind of egregious). Fighting the same things at level 1 and level 10 with only a slight adjustment to the maths may be less work for a GM, but it feels like an awfully unimaginative campaign world, and one lacking in any meaningful sense of growing power beyond the raw numbers, compared to fighting orcs and boars at level 1 and storm giants and tyrannosaurs at level 10 (and titans and behemoths at level 20).

Quote:


Plus it has the upside for players who would object to a game system if they looked at their sheet and saw their cleric only had like "+5 Medicine" at 15th level. Now they get to feel better that it's "+20 Medicine".

I'd object to that, all right, but mostly on granularity grounds. If I only had +5 medicine at 15th level, that is going up an average of one every three levels, and that would mean no difference in effectiveness at anything that bonus affects two out of three times you level up.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If a GM just takes a lvl 1 enemy and slaps on a +9 to make a level 10 enemy yeah that is a problem and can break the feel of the game.

It is still however useful to have that as an easy baseline. Big monster book comes out and it doesn't have anything close to representing the ascended ape men I want my party to go up against. Thats not a problem, I can find something lower level that fits that type of enemy (say an Orc) and I can quickly add the +12 to bring its baseline up to what I want out of these CR 13 Ape Men, then all I need to do is maybe improve their Athletics proficiency up to Master, give them a climbing based feat and maybe a grappling based feat, up their health and I'm good to go.

Grand Lodge

I would love to see a place between 5e speed and ease and PF's customization and variety.

I'm pretty sure there's a system between those two things just waiting to be born.


bookrat wrote:
That would be true if everything was the same. But everything isn't the same. Only the numbers are.

Not even that, only some of the numbers are. A 20th level Fighter and a 20th level Wizard might both have +10 bonus to hit with a dagger (if the Wizard has an unusually high Strength or Dex score), but the Fighter has four attacks per round and the Wizard has one, so the Fighter has a much higher chance of scoring a hit (and an infinitely higher chance of scoring two or more hits in the same round).

And of course the Fighter could switch to a greatsword and increase the damage without tanking that attack bonus - if both classes were using greatswords rather than daggers the chances of hitting would be even more different.

On the general topic of the thread, how fast various bonuses scale is a continuum not a binary state, and a system can have different scaling for different things (as 5e in fact does - things you are not focussed on scale up basically not at all, things that you are actually scale up quite fast - albeit slower than most editions of D&D). All in all, bounded accuracy (especially as implemented in 5e) is pretty much a meaningless buzzword.

Fast and slow scaling both have their pros and cons. My personal preference would be a little slower than PF or 4e, a little faster than 5e, but on balance I am fine with the PF2 proficiency bonuses as presented.

_
glass.


wakedown wrote:
One of the benefits derived from bounded accuracy was a 5e GM could take a bunch of orc warriors and toss them at a level 10 party and have it still work as a challenge.

Well, the word "toss" there matters. What's cool about bounded accuracy is that you can prep a large region and then PCs can interact meaningfully with everything there, in any order, even as they evel up. A townfull of villagers can be a real threat if they grab their pitchforks and are many enough. Or, challenges that were hard early on can be come doable later once you've got more attacks and more HP.

wakedown wrote:
With PF2e's bounded accuracy a GM can quickly turn those same printed orc warriors into a 10th level challenge by applying a flat +9 across the board (to make the 1st level adversaries 10th level adversaries). PF2e achieves the same benefit with just a little basic math.

That works in the paradigm of "DM designing encounters for the players" but lately we've been playing a lot of games where there's just a big old hex map and random tables and bunch of dungeons. And ofc the deeper underground you go, the harder it is, but, it's not the PCs being served up encounters, it's the PCs interacting with the world. 3d6 wolves rolled on a forest encounter table can be 3 wolves that they can take at low levels, or 18 wolves that they need to run from, but at higher levels they can win vs them.

The PCs making enemies with an entire village or trying to negotiate with an Orc Queen, it's all... the "encounters" become their choice, it's a pull model instead of a push model, and all questions of balance becomes so much easier because the players share the burden of what happens, who they pick fights with, which regions they go to etc. (As a side benefit, this style of play makes it much less tempting to fudge — instead of presenting encounters for the PCs, the DM presents a world that the PCs then set the pace with how they engage for it. A witch with Slumber hex making short work of a sequence of solos? That's fine. Sooner or later they're gonna run into a group of weenies and it's gonna be someone else's time to shine — no fudging, HP-pumping, reinforcements, feat-adjusting etc etc needed. Easy victories just are part of the sandbox just as harder-fought battles are.

If a certain campaign used some rule that that bonus was automatically and always added, like all orc warriors always have +leveldiff (+9 in the case of level 10 PCs), then sure. But that would also feel kinda... disconnected? Like "oh the innkeep has been lifting weights while you leveled to level 17, since they're now +16 to everything". And unnecessary? Like "why are we adding all of this again?"

wakedown wrote:
This is the way all MMOs have been going for the past few years.. when your character fights a boar in Westfall at 10th level, it's a 10th level boar, and when they fight that boar at 50th level, it's a 50th level boar.

But that's not necessarily good design, right? A lot of people complain about that because it makes it feel like your choices about where to go become meaningless. In an older RPG game like Dragon Warrior / Dragon Quest, there's a "push your luck" feel. You stay in safe places, you grind slow, you go to danger places, you might die. Finding that razor wire is part of the fun of the game.

And like, what is a 50th level boar doing in the forest?

wakedown wrote:
Now you've essentially got more content available at a particular level than ever before.

That's definitely good. I do want all regions to still be meaningful. Dragon Quest breaks down there, you have to do something like Earthbound that just skips pointless fights. That's why bounded accuracy was so good. The monsters in the "easy places" can gang up and be threats to any group.

wakedown wrote:
Plus it has the upside for players who would object to a game system if they looked at their sheet and saw their cleric only had like "+5 Medicine" at 15th level. Now they get to feel better that it's "+20 Medicine".

Is this a common sentiment? Having bounded accuracy makes stats easier to evaluate. Like healing someone is always DC 10, opening a lock tends to be DC 15 etc.


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Malk_Content wrote:
the ascended ape men I want my party to go up against.

See, this is the sort of sentiment I mean, "want to go up against". This little "just bump up the numbers" thing works when you design & curate encounters like that.

But in bounded accuracy land, you could just take the CR 1 stats straight up and just add a bigger tribe.


Frozen Mustelid wrote:

Your main thing you specialize in the whole game is rendered worthless through will of the dice. Consider this scenario between a level 8 rogue with +3 Int and Dex and expertise in Search and Thief Tools and a level 8 barbarian with -2 to both Int and Dex and no proficiency in either skill.

Rogue: I search the chest for traps. (rolls nat 6) 15!
DM: You don't find any traps.
Barbarian: I want to try! (rolls nat 18) 16!
DM: The lid is sitting on a pressure plate. It will be difficult to remove the trap without setting it off.
Rogue: I try to disarm the trap. My Dexterity(Thief tools) check is 17 (nat 8).
DM: You're trying to jam the plate closed, but it doesn't want to stay.
Barbarian: Let me try that.
Rogue: Sure.
Barbarian: WOO! Nat 20! That's an 18.
DM: You manage to jam the plate. The chest is now safe to open.

This is not a hypothetical scenario, this happens ALL THE TIME in 5e.

It happens sometimes.

Chance of +9 rogue missing the DC 16 trap:
30%

Chance of -2 barbarian finding the DC 16 trap:
35%

Chance of both happening:
10.5%

Chance of +9 rogue missing the DC 18 disarm:
40%

Chance of -2 barbarian succeeding on the DC 18 disarm:
5%

Chance of both happening:
2%

Chance of all four of these things happening:
0.21%

Around once every five hundred times.

If something can happen once every five hundred times, that still makes it meaningfull to roll for but happens rarely enough that the person who invested in the expertise gets to shine more often. I like it.

If this particular duo would meet twenty such traps, the chance of it happening at least once is around 4%. Which I think is fine.

If they meet 100 such traps, the chances of it happening at least once is 18%. Like... a 72% of it happening zero times over a hundred traps? I'm ok with that.

(That said, I've removed the search skill ("Investigation") in my house rules. Instead I have the players say where they look, how they open the chests etc. "I try carefully to shove the closed chest one foot away from me with my 10' pole" etc. A la the intro sequence to B4 The Lost City. Not saying everyone needs to do this, it's just what I prefer as someone who grew up with adventure games like Zork and Monkey Island.)


2097 wrote:
Frozen Mustelid wrote:

Your main thing you specialize in the whole game is rendered worthless through will of the dice. Consider this scenario between a level 8 rogue with +3 Int and Dex and expertise in Search and Thief Tools and a level 8 barbarian with -2 to both Int and Dex and no proficiency in either skill.

Rogue: I search the chest for traps. (rolls nat 6) 15!
DM: You don't find any traps.
Barbarian: I want to try! (rolls nat 18) 16!
DM: The lid is sitting on a pressure plate. It will be difficult to remove the trap without setting it off.
Rogue: I try to disarm the trap. My Dexterity(Thief tools) check is 17 (nat 8).
DM: You're trying to jam the plate closed, but it doesn't want to stay.
Barbarian: Let me try that.
Rogue: Sure.
Barbarian: WOO! Nat 20! That's an 18.
DM: You manage to jam the plate. The chest is now safe to open.

This is not a hypothetical scenario, this happens ALL THE TIME in 5e.

It happens sometimes.

Chance of +9 rogue missing the DC 16 trap:
30%

Chance of -2 barbarian finding the DC 16 trap:
35%

Chance of both happening:
10.5%

Chance of +9 rogue missing the DC 18 disarm:
40%

Chance of -2 barbarian succeeding on the DC 18 disarm:
5%

Chance of both happening:
2%

Chance of all four of these things happening:
0.21%

Around once every five hundred times.

If something can happen once every five hundred times, that still makes it meaningfull to roll for but happens rarely enough that the person who invested in the expertise gets to shine more often. I like it.

If this particular duo would meet twenty such traps, the chance of it happening at least once is around 4%. Which I think is fine.

If they meet 100 such traps, the chances of it happening at least once is 18%. Like... a 72% of it happening zero times over a hundred traps? I'm ok with that.

There is also a rule in 5th Ed to help with this, a character auto-succeeds on an ability check vs. a DC that is equal to his ability score -5; you can also set ability score minimum requirements for certain tasks (minimum STR 13 to attempt to smash this wall down, etc).

Liberty's Edge

We know there's a Skill Feat (purchasable for each skill indvidually) for auto-succeeding at low enough DC Skill Checks in PF2.

Apparently, uniquely enough, what DC it lets you auto-succeed versus is based on your level of Proficiency, not your bonus (it's been implied that at Legendary you can manage this vs. a DC of 30 or more).


Deadmanwalking wrote:
We know there's a Skill Feat (purchasable for each skill indvidually) for auto-succeeding at low enough DC Skill Checks in PF2.

At PaizoCon I got to try both Valeros and Kyra, and both of them had, via their background, Assured Skill (Athletics). This allows them to get a result of 10 (not plus modifiers, a flat result) on any Athletics check, which is awesome for avoiding check penalties from armor. This helped significantly when I was playing Valeros, while Ezren took about 11 damage from falling. At first I thought it wouldn't be terribly useful, but I was wrong on that.

Liberty's Edge

Benjamin Medrano wrote:
At PaizoCon I got to try both Valeros and Kyra, and both of them had, via their background, Assured Skill (Athletics). This allows them to get a result of 10 (not plus modifiers, a flat result) on any Athletics check, which is awesome for avoiding check penalties from armor. This helped significantly when I was playing Valeros, while Ezren took about 11 damage from falling. At first I thought it wouldn't be terribly useful, but I was wrong on that.

Nice! Yeah, that seems a solid confirmation of how that works. The number you can auto-get is presumably something like 10 for Trained, 15 for Expert, 20-25 for Master, and 30-35 for Legendary.

That's a solid progression and does some neat stuff if you invest in it.

Also, Assured Skill (Athletics) makes perfect sense for the Farmhand background, which we know both Valeros and Kyra have, so that's cool.


I must confess I find the term "bounded accuracy" odd, since accuracy has always been bounded- there's no version of this game where you could get +1,000,000 to hit.

Paizo Employee Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I must confess I find the term "bounded accuracy" odd, since accuracy has always been bounded- there's no version of this game where you could get +1,000,000 to hit.

I think it makes sense as 5e uses it, to indicate that even very high level characters don't have too much higher a bonus than low level ones, but I agree that it's odd to apply it here, where save DCs and save bonuses, for instance, are likely to increase more over level than even in PF1, so in the sense that 5e uses it, PF2 is further away from bounded accuracy.


Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I must confess I find the term "bounded accuracy" odd, since accuracy has always been bounded- there's no version of this game where you could get +1,000,000 to hit.
I think it makes sense as 5e uses it, to indicate that even very high level characters don't have too much higher a bonus than low level ones, but I agree that it's odd to apply it here, where save DCs and save bonuses, for instance, are likely to increase more over level than even in PF1, so in the sense that 5e uses it, PF2 is further away from bounded accuracy.

Remember, this thread was made early on before much was known about PF2. People believed that +5 was really all you could get. Even when +Level was revealed, people still think +25 isn't much.

Your own math in other threads helps the understanding a lot, but not everyone has read it. (I liked to it previously in this thread).

Also, this thread is now a bit of a necro. No posts for over two months and then it's revived.


Mark Seifter wrote:
I think it makes sense as 5e uses it, to indicate that even very high level characters don't have too much higher a bonus than low level ones, but I agree that it's odd to apply it here, where save DCs and save bonuses, for instance, are likely to increase more over level than even in PF1, so in the sense that 5e uses it, PF2 is further away from bounded accuracy.

Smart way to go (opposite), embrace the large numbers.


Yeah, sorry for the necro. I usually do like to revisit old topics if there is missing info or similar, but in this case PF2 is still an "on-going news story" that some of the speculative threads, like this, perhaps is best left obsolete. Also I later noticed that the one I responded to also said that 1/400 chances happen every few sessions in their group so perhaps I was taken in by someone who was just kidding. I can be a bit literal sometimes.♥

Weather Report wrote:
There is also a rule in 5th Ed to help with this, a character auto-succeeds on an ability check vs. a DC that is equal to his ability score -5; you...

That's a variant rule and not the default. It's not a rule I use in our group, In this case the rogue wouldn't have qualified, though, right? With the DCs being 16 and 18.


Blinded accuracy is really bad in my opinion. I like what PF2 is doing so every player can contribute something. In 5e however, you can get two 2nd level PCs to beat a Solar Angel. Both Rogue 1/Barb 1 +8 or +9 athletics, rage for advantage (or flank if you say it doesn't count). If we win initiative we can lock the Solar down by one pushing it to the floor and the other grappling in round one. Then we just wail on it as it can't do anything about it. That's how broken 5e is. That's how broken bounded accuracy.

This is really a hyperbole but you get the point.


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Not gonna lie that sounds super cool♥

First she needs to get close enough to you instead of just flying and spamming her Save or Die arrows.

Then if you do manage to get her grappled & prone she can still use her normal greatsword multiattacks if she doesn't mind disadvantage. Yeu can still fight with those conditions. If she does mind that, then she can let go of it to control it telepathically, or burn you with searing burst, or even just teleport up to 120 feet away.

She's in no hurry since she has resistance vs your damage.

If you do manage to defeat her, you really deserve those 33000 xp. The fact that you can even meaningfully interact with these beings while at level 2 is awesome♥

You were super lucky to survive those arrows, that sword, those searing bursts and to re-capture her as she teleported away. But if there were enough of you… ♥

In bounded accuracy: HP, damage, and action econ determine fights. But you can still hit. You can wrestle an angel, they only have +6 and you have +7.

(+3 +2 +2 = +7 right?)

"When he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me."

So awesome♥


I just kind of wish they'd meet in the middle. Maybe instead of level+stuff it was 1/2 level+stuff. Keeps enemies as a reasonable threat for longer, but where things outside the bounds of that range are still noticeably outside that range.


Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I must confess I find the term "bounded accuracy" odd, since accuracy has always been bounded- there's no version of this game where you could get +1,000,000 to hit.
I think it makes sense as 5e uses it, to indicate that even very high level characters don't have too much higher a bonus than low level ones, but I agree that it's odd to apply it here, where save DCs and save bonuses, for instance, are likely to increase more over level than even in PF1, so in the sense that 5e uses it, PF2 is further away from bounded accuracy.

I prefer the phrase “more tightly-controlled accuracy”, because although there is plenty of room for deviation, it does seem that you designers are trying to restrict those “+6 vs. +35” type of deviations between two characters of equal level that we often get in PF1, which is a Good Thing. I once played a character in a high-level Hell’s Rebels game who had a +15 to perception, versus a guy who was same level with a +41 to perception due to an obscene amount of stacking of various magic items, feats, and special abilities. I literally stopped rolling perception checks in every situation because there was no point - we made Daredevil jokes constantly.


CactusUnicorn wrote:
Blinded accuracy is really bad in my opinion. I like what PF2 is doing so every player can contribute something. In 5e however, you can get two 2nd level PCs to beat a Solar Angel. Both Rogue 1/Barb 1 +8 or +9 athletics, rage for advantage (or flank if you say it doesn't count).

Tying grappling/shoving to Athletics is one of the most egregious design mistakes of 5th Ed, compounded by Expertise, by 9th level, Bards and Rogues can go around pinning Pit Fiends with impunity, yep, the best wrestlers in the 5th Ed multiverse are bards and rogues, it's absurd.


CactusUnicorn wrote:

Blinded accuracy is really bad in my opinion. I like what PF2 is doing so every player can contribute something. In 5e however, you can get two 2nd level PCs to beat a Solar Angel. Both Rogue 1/Barb 1 +8 or +9 athletics, rage for advantage (or flank if you say it doesn't count). If we win initiative we can lock the Solar down by one pushing it to the floor and the other grappling in round one. Then we just wail on it as it can't do anything about it. That's how broken 5e is. That's how broken bounded accuracy.

This is really a hyperbole but you get the point.

First guy goes, shoves/grapples the Solar. Solar uses Legendary Action, teleports 120 feet into the air, starts killing your two guys with arrows.

The only way your example works is if whoever is running the Solar has no idea of what it can actually do. Your party has no chance to beat it otherwise, they just get slaughtered.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CactusUnicorn wrote:
Blinded accuracy is really bad in my opinion.

Of course accuracy is going to be bad when you're blinded!


Mechalibur wrote:
CactusUnicorn wrote:
Blinded accuracy is really bad in my opinion.
Of course accuracy is going to be bad when you're blinded!

I still need to find a game to play that "blind swordsman" build in, which would require figuring out what to do after the 2 level stop in Unarmed Fighter in order to get all the blind-fight feats and entire blinded blade style by level 3. So I can test this empirically.


Bards & rogues are awesome ♥♥♥
They can grapple better than the hold monster spell (which bards also get because bards are awesome)
But the hold monster spell imposes paralyzed condition so the monster can't fight. Unlike grappled, where the monster still can fight. So the spell is still better than grappling

And in case of pitfiends they can fireball at will or do a quadruple attack or use their own hold monster or summon a bunch of devils to help them♥

Also their fear aura make them hard to grapple

Bards and rogues still great though♥ I'm happy the tiers got so shaken up
Strength rogue ftw♥


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But isn't it a little unfair to in the one breath be sad about the low bonuses, and in the next be sad about the high bonuses? If you want to use expertise, use expertise. That's why it's there


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
2097 wrote:
But isn't it a little unfair to in the one breath be sad about the low bonuses, and in the next be sad about the high bonuses? If you want to use expertise, use expertise. That's why it's there

I think because when you envision "worlds best wrestler" as a character concept, bard is not many peoples go to class.


Malk_Content wrote:
2097 wrote:
But isn't it a little unfair to in the one breath be sad about the low bonuses, and in the next be sad about the high bonuses? If you want to use expertise, use expertise. That's why it's there
I think because when you envision "worlds best wrestler" as a character concept, bard is not many peoples go to class.

True, but at what opportunity cost? One chance per round, lower stats in other areas (bards generally aren't strength builds, so they have to compensate). Where as a Barb or fighter can get multiple chances per round.

At level 5, the bard has a +9 (if he has a 16 stregth). A fighter or bard may only have a +6, but they get two attempts per round. If the target value is 15 (I know that's not how it works, but it's just an example), then the bard has a 70% chance whereas the fighter has an 84% chance to succeed (or a 60% chance to succeed and perform an attack).

Just having expertise isn't everything.

Shadow Lodge

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I'm a little late to the party here but I thought I'd offer an opinion that I like bounded accuracy in concert with using proficiency as a gateway to better abilities/feats. Essentially, the modifier numbers are important but they're not the be all and end all. Now, the level of proficiency (from untrained to legendary) has a bigger impact on play, stopping modifiers from ruling every character creation decision. Coming up with a couple of examples might be best to explain my thinking.

Combat with a Longsword:
• Low Level Proficient Fighter (who is super strong) has a to hit modifier of +11.
• High Level Mastery Fighter (who only has above average strength) has a to hit modifier of +13.
• The proficient low level fighter hits but only does "good" damage with their successful hit.
• The mastery high level fighter also hits but does "excellent" damage, nullifies the target from using reactions until their next turn, while also forcing the target to offer opportunity to all adjacent foes.

By using proficiency as a gateway to special abilities, the shift focuses from having the best modifier or AC to the abilities that go with higher levels of proficiency.

Perception check leading to Combat
• Low Level Proficient Combatant makes their perception check so is not surprised and has a very good initiative score.
• High Level Mastery Combatant makes their "mastery" perception check, is not surprised, also has a very good initiative score, and further allows all allies within 30' to share that perception check, as well as giving them a second reaction "action" for the first round of combat.

Again, while the modifier is important in determining, success or failure, it is what the Master can do with that success or failure that has the bigger effect on the final outcome. Bang for buck is going to characters/monsters with higher proficiency.

However, it looks like with the critical success/failure mechanics in PF2, they are still relying on the modifiers doing most of the heavy lifting rather than sharing that lifting around. I'm looking forward to seeing what mechanics if any they will use to soften this. Jason spoke of proficiency as a gateway and to my mind, this is the best way forward. Looking forward to seeing the full PF2 rules.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
So I can test this empirically.

Empirically most certainly not.


Malk_Content wrote:
I think because when you envision "worlds best wrestler" as a character concept, bard is not many peoples go to class.

The kayfabe performance masters are kinda like bards♥

Valor bard gets two attacks. Bards are supposed to be good at fighting (depending on what college they have).

I kinda see Link from zelda games as a bard. Some ocarina magic, some archery, some sword fighting, some wrestling


2097 wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I think because when you envision "worlds best wrestler" as a character concept, bard is not many peoples go to class.

The kayfabe performance masters are kinda like bards♥

Valor bard gets two attacks. Bards are supposed to be good at fighting (depending on what college they have).

I kinda see Link from zelda games as a bard. Some ocarina magic, some archery, some sword fighting, some wrestling

Ha, yes, in 5th Ed they certainly are the best wrestlers (and rogues...stand aside, ogres and pit fiends, these guys will pin your ass, right quick!).


As noted upthread they can't really wrestle pit fiends because the pit fiends have so many abilites that either work against keeping them wrestled (fear aura) or are available w/o penalty even when they are wrestled. And even ogres... the ogre can still fight against them, only with disadvantage.


2097 wrote:
As noted upthread they can't really wrestle pit fiends because the pit fiends have so many abilites that either work against keeping them wrestled (fear aura) or are available w/o penalty even when they are wrestled. And even ogres... the ogre can still fight against them, only with disadvantage.

Not the point; going around with a +13 Str (Athletics) check at 9th-level is silly, compared to the monsters. Also, characters that can barely lift an emery board, yet can stab a T-Rex's head off.


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They can lift emery boards no problem. Even a level 0 commoner can do that. You seem to be kidding around a lot with examples that aren't really true. Wrestling pit fiends, too weak to lift emery boards...

Like sure you can have your fun ("oh a level 0 barber can fly and walk through walls and all level 10 wizards are made of wax and santa claus is CR3") if you want to make up jokey pretendy things.

I just wanted to make sure that everyone else knew that that wasn't how the game really worked. You were calling it absurd, well, it becomes absurd when you make up house rules like "you are too weak pick up a nail file" and "you are the best wrestler in the entire multiverse".

Nail files weigh less than a gram. Even a strength 3 character (-4 mod) can carry that unencumbered.

Everyone else, please know that Weather Report and Mustelid are only kidding around. With their 1/400 chances happening all the time and their unliftable emery boards. I'm not gonna be able to correct all of their statements, just take what they say with a grain of salt.


2097 wrote:

They can lift emery boards no problem. Even a level 0 commoner can do that. You seem to be kidding around a lot with examples that aren't really true. Wrestling pit fiends, too weak to lift emery boards...

You seem to be kidding with pedantry, check the rules.


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I have noticed some colorful explanations. I wince a bit but know that it is exaggeration but yeah when you go to absurdity with that it actually works to undermine your point. Just saying from a logical perspective Its not going to help your case like you would hope.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I have noticed some colorful explanations. I wince a bit but know that it is exaggeration but yeah when you go to absurdity with that it actually works to undermine your point. Just saying from a logical perspective Its not going to help your case like you would hope.

No, pathetic attempts to undermine, aside, what I said is true.


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Weather Report wrote:
2097 wrote:

They can lift emery boards no problem. Even a level 0 commoner can do that. You seem to be kidding around a lot with examples that aren't really true. Wrestling pit fiends, too weak to lift emery boards...

You seem to be kidding with pedantry, check the rules.

Ha! That's a classic! Always fun seeing the classic troll tactics used.

Make a vague and unsupported negative claim. Wait for the inevitable counter arguments, than say, "You need to go pour through all these works to prove me wrong." And when they inevitably try, all you have to say is, "nope, that's not the one I was talking about. Try again."

A few simple and short sentences, and you can force them to waste hours pouring through books trying to show you are wrong, and all the while you never even care about the argument.

Ah, the classics.


Game Master Q wrote:
Make a vague and unsupported negative claim.

Ha, what part is unsupported and vague?


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Some context for the risks of jokes like these:

Most posters here can probably tell right away that they are kidding because they know about the solar angel's teleport or they know probability theory.

But this is an open thread and they can end up being archived for a long time.

When I was growing up I had read some RPGs, this was in the 90:s so the Pathfinder split hadn't happened, but I wasn't really satisified with the games I had.

And on the internet, I was only lurking since I didn't have a lot to add, I was just a kid, and they were saying things like "AC, the heavier armor you have the better you are at dodging, that's absurd" or "HP, like are you chopping the other person down slowly like felling a tree? Wound systems are better, HP is absurd" and they were into games like BRP, GURPS, Kult etc games where you can actively parry.

(And I think they attacked the descending armor classes too since this was in the THAC0 era.)

So they successfully managed to scare me away from what is now my favorite game. I had read over a hundred games until I finally discovered this game ["this game" = the broad class of Pathfinder, D&D, Labyrinth Lord etc etc similar games]. I was playing the Castle Ravenloft board game by WotC and was floored by how fast and elegant the AC/HP mechanic actually was. Of course one roll to resolve one hit was cool. Of course HP was a pacing mechanic that sometimes really worked wonders in creating tension. Why had I ever shied away from it? Because of the "it's so absurd" jokes that had taken me in.

(And the things that I loved the most weren't even related to the HP/AC system — I had been struggling with how to prep and run traditional roleplaying games but reading through B4 The Lost City made it start to gel. Like, people had been scoffing at dungeoncrawls but... it was a model that I actually ended up loving. Not only dungeons but wilderness, relationships, politics… prepping an explorable situation without having any outcomes in mind was a missing puzzle piece for me for so many years. All because someone on Usenet though AC was absurd.)

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