Stop the 1 Level Class Dip


Prerelease Discussion

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Chess Pwn wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
In case any of the designers are actually reading this, I wanted to expand on something I believe is very critical in RPGs: purpose.
Part of the issue with this idea is it can very easily "force" people to play roles they don't want to. Like if rogue class is required in a party then SOMEONE has to play it to succeed, so better be quick on claiming your class if you don't want to be the rogue.

First off, no one has to play the Thief in AD&D, so your argument is specious. AD&D allowed party NPCs which were allowed to fill the roles that PC's didn't.

Second, your argument is only half true if the GM puts the scenario on rails and only provides one means of solving every situation. A good author/developer doesn't create an obstacle with only one path. More to the point, if you don't have a rogue, then your party better come up with some creative ideas on how to unlock the door.

Third, every game RPG or otherwise has some level of restriction/requirement. If you don't want to buy property, then you can't play Monopoly. It's a fact that this game needs healing. The parties have to have some way of healing, so PFS solved this by allowing the purchase of healing wands for Prestige after the 1st scenario. Scenarios also have a fair amount of in-scenario healing options, not to mention many classes can use the ubiquitous CLWs wands. But thats the game.

Quote:
Like this could for a cleric, a rogue, a wizard/sorcerer and only the melee beatstick gets a choice of their character because these classes "purposes" are required and only found in that class.

Multi-classing didn't solve that. It simply forced scenario writers to lower the bar to such a degree, decent teams had to play-up to get a challenge in PFS. The game was designed, was loved, and succeeded on shoulders of those four classes. Losing sight of that is to the detriment of the game, not to its betterment, imo.

It is precisely because my skills are needed that I have purpose. If one never has to lift a sword, then a fighter has no purpose. If one never has to case a spell, then caster has no purpose. If a scenario author can't count on any of these roles being present, the game is the worse for it.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
N N 959 wrote:


If everyone can compete, regardless of choice, then choice has no meaning.

If everyone can compete, regardless of choice, then choice loses its game meaning in favor of story meaning.

Now whether you consider that a bug or a feature is a personal thing.

For me it's very much a feature.

If I want a story, I'll read a book. RPG's are about decision making, the players, not the GMs. The PCs are the story. The PCs actions create the story. If my choices don't affect the story, then what's the point? If my character is simply along for the ride, then I have no purpose, I serve no purpose other than a prop for the GM. Yes, I come across GMs who seem to have that attitude to PCs.


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N N 959 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
N N 959 wrote:


If everyone can compete, regardless of choice, then choice has no meaning.

If everyone can compete, regardless of choice, then choice loses its game meaning in favor of story meaning.

Now whether you consider that a bug or a feature is a personal thing.

For me it's very much a feature.

If I want a story, I'll read a book. RPG's are about decision making, the players, not the GMs. The PCs are the story. The PCs actions create the story. If my choices don't affect the story, then what's the point?

If the biggest choice you can make that affects the story is whether to be a Fighter or a Magic User, that sounds like a pretty dull story to me.

To me RPGs are about the player creating a character- an independent individual fictional Person with their own goals, life, dreams and origins. Each character is their own Person and finds their way through the world one day at a time, cultivating their own abilities in pursuit of their goals.

Character = Class has always damaged that narrative in my personal experience.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
N N 959 wrote:


If everyone can compete, regardless of choice, then choice has no meaning.

If everyone can compete, regardless of choice, then choice loses its game meaning in favor of story meaning.

Now whether you consider that a bug or a feature is a personal thing.

For me it's very much a feature.

If I want a story, I'll read a book. RPG's are about decision making, the players, not the GMs. The PCs are the story. The PCs actions create the story. If my choices don't affect the story, then what's the point?
If the biggest choice you can make that affects the story is whether to be a Fighter or a Magic User, that sounds like a pretty dull story to me.

The choice of whether to be a fighter or magic user is the biggest choice a player makes. That is the nature of the game. A game which has existed since D&D Basic. It forms the framework from within which you define yourself. That choice is what allows the GM to give your character purpose. The vast majority of RPGs use a class concept. The same is true for MMORPGs. That's what the game is.

Quote:
To me RPGs are about the player creating a character- an independent individual fictional Person with their own goals, life, dreams and origins. Each character is their own Person and finds their way through the world one day at a time, cultivating their own abilities in pursuit of their goals.

Absolutely none of that is prevented by choosing a class. But life is not a do-what-ever-you-want-regardless experience, and I certainly don't see Pathfinder benefited by this approach. The whole point is that you make choices that affect your life experiences. You seemingly want to remove any consequence to making choices.

Quote:
Character = Class has always damaged that narrative in my personal experience.

Then you shouldn't be playing RPGs. I find that it's the crappiest GMs that complain about the rules as constraints. What makes a GM great is being able to tell their story within the rules.


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I don't tell stories. I roleplay the world.

Stories evolve out of my players playing their characters and interacting with the world. They do it with the freedom to take their characters in whatever direction is appropriate for that individual character.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Character = Class has always damaged that narrative in my personal experience.

It is precisely because I choose a class that I begin to wrestle with the idea of what kind of fighter I am, what do I believe in, how do I succeed? It is the very constraints on my mechanics that compel me to work with others and appreciate their mechanical contribution.

When you have four people who can all do the same thing it tends to undermines the need for camaraderie and teammwork. Having to rely on a Rogue because I can't disarm traps is part and parcel to what the game is.


kyrt-ryder wrote:


Stories evolve out of my players playing their characters and interacting with the world. They do it with the freedom to take their characters in whatever direction is appropriate for that individual character.

You might try a game where the players only get Fighter, Wizard, Rogue Cleric, and see how much more enjoyable it is and you might be surprised by how it plays out. They may gripe and moan at first, but task them with being creative.


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I feel like part of our disconnect is you're focusing on the Game and I'm focusing on the Roleplay.

To me a roleplaying game is a conflict resolution system to facilitate a roleplaying environment.

It's not about mechanical contribution or having cogs fit into the squad.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

I feel like part of our disconnect is you're focusing on the Game and I'm focusing on the Roleplay.

To me a roleplaying game is a conflict resolution system to facilitate a roleplaying environment.

It's not about mechanical contribution or having cogs fit into the squad.

The Roleplay is a function of the games mechanics. It is precisely because my Fighter has low charisma that I realize I'll let the Rogue due the talking. It is precisely because my fighter is not good at talking that I'm quick to come to blows. The Rogue knows this and has to be quick of mind and action to keep things from getting violent.

Or maybe I'm a fighter who fancies himself as a diplomat and put his skills there. I'm not so good at sneaking over the wall or past the guard, so I try and talk my way through the front door.

It is the circumstance which compels the roleplaying choices. It is the restrictions on who I am and what I can do that affects my choices.

Consider, the more the players feel that their class choice affects their experiences, the more likely players are going to enjoy trying a different class. If my class choice has no impact on how the world reacts to me, then what is the point of trying another class?


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The point of trying another class is granting different capabilities to the new character you create.

My games are very character-centric, and I make a very active effort to help my players create characters that they find compelling and give them motivation to explore the world and strive to achieve their goals.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
The point of trying another class is granting different capabilities to the new character you create.

But it sounds like they aren't playing "classes" they are chasing mechanics. Because that's what class dipping is.

Quote:
My games are very character-centric, and I make a very active effort to help my players create characters that they find compelling and give them motivation to explore the world and strive to achieve their goals.

I recommend the you ask them to explore what it means to be a class and play that class alone. They might find the restriction on choice for more liberating than either of you realize.


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Let me put this another way.

Classes are under the hood in my games.

Each character is an individual without regard for class because in the story they do not exist.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Let me put this another way.

Classes are under the hood in my games.

Each character is an individual without regard for class because in the story they do not exist.

Yes, I got that from your first response to me and I've encountered this before in 3.5. Thank god PFS doesn't work that way.


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Thank god I don't play PFS. It's way too much 'game' for my tastes.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Matt2VK wrote:

This here is mostly for non-spell casting classes.

I'm getting a bit tired of seeing a bunch of min/max characters that pick up just a single level or two of multiple classes. A lot of classes seem to front load their class features in their beginning levels. Multi-classing and cherry picking these classes usually can end up making a stronger and more flexible character. The problem is, there's usually no real reason to stay as a 'pure' non-caster class as those 'pure' classes don't really reward you with anything till the very high levels, which most games do not see.

Pure classes should give a -
Minor class ability @ 5th level
Good Class ability @ 10th
Very Good Class ability @ 15 (This is usually the cap stone of most games that I see played and should be something players should try to get)
Class Defining Ability @ level 20 (most games will never see this)

The level 20 cap stone ability which was giving out in PF1e, while it looked nice and sounded 'cool', never really got used. So why shoot for a ability you'll never see as by the time you get it, you'll have one big scene and then you're character is retired.

why does it bother you if someone multiclasses?


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N N 959 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Thank god I don't play PFS. It's way too much 'game' for my tastes.
Agreed, we're both glad you don't GM PFS games.

I could never endure PFS. Neither as a player nor as a GM.

It's way too rigid an environment for both sides of the table.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:

Multiclassin we have is fine and easy to understand. There's only some very specific cases of abusing this feature in 1e and I think they can be balanced with more level-scaling on the stuff. Sometimes even 1 level can really hurt your "main" class! There's a lot of factors in play here.

I do hate it in Starfinder, though. The balance in that game is kind of a joke. Soldier is pretty much the only class that gets to have fun at level 1 since it gets SO much more than anyone else early. So please don't make all classes suck and not have cool abilities 1 (specially not if you let 1 slide). Just the weapon and armor proficiencies alone without Blitz made the dip worth! Almost every class only got trash weapons and all the fun ones were locked behind this class.

a soldier dip can be nice though makes you waste a feat or 2

but really all of my players have been enjoying the varies starfinder classes.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FaerieGodfather wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Or we can stop assuming class=character and see classes for the sacks of mechanics with optional flavor that they are and encourage players to create the character that inspires them.

That would be nice, if not for the fact that the "sacks of mechanics" only deliver them in a predefined order, and assumes almost always contrafactually that the first few levels of any class are worth nearly as much as the last few levels in any class.

You people keep defending this atrocity on the grounds of being able to "make any character you want", but the system does not allow you to do that at all and I honestly don't understand where you're getting that notion. You're only capable of meaningful customization at high level, building characters out of low-level pieces, with the majority of archetypes that don't line up neatly with an intentionally supported archetype completely ineffective.

The 3.PF class system, with multiclassing and Prestige Classes, is more flexible than Core AD&D's-- I will grant you-- but it doesn't hold a candle to Kits and Player's Option. Or the Rolemaster, which it so poorly imitates, which uses its class system to structure the kind of point-buy system people keep pretending 3.PF is.

BretI wrote:
Rollmaster is also a class based system.

Rolemaster is class-based, and multiclassing wasn't really a thing at all, but it was also a point-buy system that allowed you to buy almost everything Pathfinder calls class features-- with the "classes" only setting the price and speed at which you could purchase them.

BretI wrote:
As for class system, not all of us like it. I absolutely hated AD&D 1st edition because there was almost no customization. The second edition only looked better if you didn't look at competing products.

If you included supplements-- even just the PHBR series-- it was hands-down better than what you are currently defending.

BretI wrote:
When your
...

atrocity ......really?

as for the system not allowing you to do tha at all , well thats highly debatable and greatly depends on that the dip is supposed to represent,
if my wizard a young noble whose father expected him to be a soldier or a knight and he later rebelled and studied the arcane , it works fine.
i can think of numerous ways for multiclassing to better describe my class, maybe that monk oracle is not a monk or an oracle but is instead a disciple of boot to the head, etc


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Just leaving this here


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Just leaving this here

I always viewed that as OOTS mocking the "there is no class" mindset. Remember, Miko falls from grace and is totally misguided. One thing I've loved about OOTS is the author's willingness eschew concepts of OOC: It's a game, it's not reality. There's nothing wrong with characters knowing their class or their level. Belkar's panels where he levels up and decides to multi-class are pretty funny.


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Heh, once again our individual prejudice paint our perspectives.

I view that as a mockery of associating Class to Character. She's a Samurai not because of a class [she has no 'samurai levels'], but because that is her identity as a character


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N N 959 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Let me put this another way.

Classes are under the hood in my games.

Each character is an individual without regard for class because in the story they do not exist.

Yes, I got that from your first response to me and I've encountered this before in 3.5. Thank god PFS doesn't work that way.

Wait, what?!

uh! I hate to break this to you, but PFS plays like any other RPG, that is to say it really depends on your local group. Where I play PFS your class is, as Kyrt-ryder says, "under the hood". You play your character not your class (or, as is often the case, classes).

Mechanics=/=character


Without multiclassing, I would not like playing Pathfinder. I like multiclassing in Pathfinder because it allows me to play a character I enjoy playing.

On the other hand, I am from he AD&D era, and I like the AD&D feel better than Pathfinder.

If these two statements appear contradictory, they are not. The Pathfinder and AD&D systems evoke different atmosphere. AD&D for me is more rooted in the atmosphere of the fantasy literature of the day, whereas Pathfinder is more permissive of building exactly the fantasy character I enjoyed reading about but fails to evoke to the atmosphere of the fantasy literature I enjoyed reading.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Heh, once again our individual prejudice paint our perspectives.

No, it has nothing to do with my individual prejudice. It has everything to do with how the author treats Miko and what she represents. MIko is one of the most contemptible characters in OOTS. Not only is she misguided throughout her story arc, but she is intransigent. Even after she falls from grace and someone tries to explain her errors to her, she still doesn't get it.

The author's treatment of Miko suggests that anything he espouses through her, is probably something he, himself, finds contemptible. Miko is never redeemed. So its illogical for Rich Burlew to use her character as a vehicle for espousing things he agrees with.

Quote:
I view that as a mockery of associating Class to Character. She's a Samurai not because of a class [she has no 'samurai levels'], but because that is her identity as a character

But she isn't a samurai, she's a paladin. That's the joke. All her functions are the same as all the other paladins in her order, it doesn't matter what she calls herself. The fact that she ignores this is part and parcel to what makes her character contemptible. She never gets it. Not even in death.

I've played a game with a GM who tried to push his "there is no class" concept on to the game. It constitutes a lie within the game. The problem with lies is that you need more lies to support the initial lies. The game is based on classes. The game structure and mechanics and IC world order are based on classes. So it the game started to become silly when we couldn't talk about classes.

Humans, in RL, naturally organize themselves into categorically similar groups. Every class, profession, calling, and hobbyist labels itself and self-identifies. Everyone who can cast Magic Missile is going to do the same. Druids have their own language, how in the world would they not self identify? The idea that the world is filled with all these people who can cast the exact same spells would have no concept of themselves as a group is nonsensical. Fighter's guilds, thieve's guilds, academies of wizards, are natural consequences of how the game works mechanically.

I'm happy for you that you can mold Pathfinder/3.5 to fit your concept of what is fun to play. That's the great thing about these games, there are no rules. But there is no rule that you have to swim downstream either, most people just realize that it's a lot easier.


dragonhunterq wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Let me put this another way.

Classes are under the hood in my games.

Each character is an individual without regard for class because in the story they do not exist.

Yes, I got that from your first response to me and I've encountered this before in 3.5. Thank god PFS doesn't work that way.

Wait, what?!

uh! I hate to break this to you, but PFS plays like any other RPG, that is to say it really depends on your local group. Where I play PFS your class is, as Kyrt-ryder says, "under the hood". You play your character not your class (or, as is often the case, classes).

Mechanics=/=character

The PFS rules do not put classes "under the hood." More the point, doing so has no functional effect on PFS, so it really doesn't matter what your local group does. By rule, you can't deny operability to someone whose character acknowledges classes.


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Ewww, Fighters guilds and Thieves guilds and Wizard guilds (except in settings where The One True Wizardry is Spellbook Studies and other brands of arcane magic are oppressed) disgusts me.

What even IS a fighter? Which martially oriented class (even semis like magi, bard, Warpriest or Inquisitor) would not make sense in a guild for people who fight?

I can name close to a dozen classes that make excellent thieves, including wizards. Heck wasn't the 2E Illusionist basically a wizard thief?

Now, an Armsman guild for those who bear arms without magic might make sense.

A thieves guild would happily welcome thieves of all skillsets and a Mages Guild might have some competition/conflict between schools of thought, but why in the world wouldn't witches and sorcerers and magi and summoners and bards be able to get in on that?


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I haven't even started on reflavoring. How about my Magical Chef (under the Wizard class) or my druid (under the bard class) or my Samurai (under Fighter/cleric/Gladiator/Soulknife)


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Ewww, Fighters guilds and Thieves guilds and Wizard guilds (except in settings where The One True Wizardry is Spellbook Studies and other brands of arcane magic are oppressed) disgusts me.

What even IS a fighter? Which martially oriented class (even semis like magi, bard, Warpriest or Inquisitor) would not make sense in a guild for people who fight?

I can name close to a dozen classes that make excellent thieves, including wizards. Heck wasn't the 2E Illusionist basically a wizard thief?

Now, an Armsman guild for those who bear arms without magic might make sense.

A thieves guild would happily welcome thieves of all skillsets and a Mages Guild might have some competition/conflict between schools of thought, but why in the world wouldn't witches and sorcerers and magi and summoners and bards be able to get in on that?

I will point out that, since the world runs on them, that it it entirely possibly for the game mechanics to be empirically determined in-universe.

I have actually made theives' guilds based around shared mechanics for all members, though in this case I used Skill Unlocks. In other words, you has 5 levels of Urogue or you had a specific feat.


The Sideromancer wrote:
I will point out that, since the world runs on them, that it it entirely possibly for the game mechanics to be empirically determined in-universe.

This is exactly the point I made to the GM. It's unavoidable consequence of human existence. People identify, self-identify, categorize, and seek out others with shared interests/similar skills.

This really came up when the GM tried to tell me that spell names were all OOC and insist that nobody knows what any spell is called, they just cast magic. As if eons of magic users would never codify every aspect of magic and name it.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
What even IS a fighter?

With the proliferation of feats, the definitions become broader. But it's pretty easy to recognize that a Fighter and any other class would be determined by basic competencies. Can you cast 2nd level spells from this list? Can you speak Druidic? Can you cast CLWs?

In the 3.5 model, multi-classing wouldn't exclude you from a guild, you'd only get as high as your competency in that class, so a 2 Fighter/7 Wizard is going to achieve better assignments in the wizard's guild.


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And if the fighter is straight swashbuckler or monk or brawler or barbarian or alchemist she's not welcome despite what she has to offer?

This is why class as character bothers me so much.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

And if the fighter is straight swashbuckler or monk or brawler or barbarian or alchemist she's not welcome despite what she has to offer?

This is why class as character bothers me so much.

lol. I don't know anyone that used guilds as the barrier to adventuring. The only reason I bring up guilds is to disprove the notion that characters identifying/recognizing their membership or abilities in a class is OOC and wouldn't be a natural thing.

Look, I've run across a small army of players/GMs with your mindset and varying degrees of it.. Honestly, I view it as people who don't really want to play D&D, but can't find a better system. I'm sure Paizo loves the fact that you're able to make the PF rules work for you.

My point in this thread is that the concept of functional roles was a strength of AD&D. There was something compelling for me to play a Fighter and to be a Fighter. I didn't need to customize my build. In fact, the lack of customization in the mechanics, was a feature, imo.

PFS obviously needs more customization, and I have no problem with archetypes. The more archetypes the better. But I'd love to see the class dipping curtailed, it's little more than feat chasing. No one needs a dip to roleplay their character properly, they do it because it offers mechanics. If mechanics=/=character, then why are people level dipping?


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Because the mechanics restrict what the character is capable of. They're that engine under the hood.

If it's in your budget of course you're going to want better performance (whether you define better by acceleration, fuel economy, handling or something else.)

Changes to the engine tend not to impact the paint job.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Because the mechanics restrict what the character is capable of.

They restrict what you're good at mechanically. So class dipping isn't about "role" playing, its about "roll" playing. Which is fine, but let's just be upfront and honest about it.


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I don't know about you but when I roleplay, I'm crafting a character according to my vision. If the mechanics don't support that vision (if the character can't do what I envision them doing) then I can't play that character.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
I don't know about you but when I roleplay, I'm crafting a character according to my vision. If the mechanics don't support that vision (if the character can't do what I envision them doing) then I can't play that character.

Which is saying your roleplaying is limited by your rollplaying.


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Yes, I can't role-play a character unsupported by the system.

If my vision is that my character does X, but the closest I can get is W or Y then that character can't be played under those rules. A similar character maybe, but not 'that character'


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Yes, I can't role-play a character unsupported by the system.

If my vision is that my character does X, but the closest I can get is W or Y then that character can't be played under those rules. A similar character maybe, but not 'that character'

Interesting.

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Each character is an individual without regard for class because in the story they do not exist.

And yet, you're telling me that your class determines who you are,

Quote:
If the mechanics don't support that vision (if the character can't do what I envision them doing) then I can't play that character.

You don't recognize it, but you're in contradiction with yourself. On one had, you want to tell me class does not define you, but then on the same page, you tell me you can't be who you are if you don't get to choose the classes you want.

Class does define characters in the sense it provides the foundation/framework. Sometimes it may be interesting to roleplay a rebellion against one's classification, but the game is predicated on players embracing their roles...as defined by their class.

IME, level dipping largely undermines functional roles, which has a cascade detrimental effect on many aspects of the game.. It caters to a short term/instant gratification mindset. Given the short lifespan of most games, I can understand that. As we all agree, Capstone powers are a failed experiment. But there is something to be said for picking a path and sticking with it. I would like to see PF 2e, provide more incentive for players to do that.


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Dems da breaks in a class system.

Liberty's Edge

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NN 959:

I'm in complete agreement with kyrt-ryder. Let me give you a concrete example of the kind of "If the mechanics don't let me, I can't do it." looks like:

So, lets say I want to play a minstrel who inspires his allies in a meaningful fashion and sings as he fights, but has no magical abilities whatsoever. Instead, he's a master swordsman using a rapier and his agility.

If I wanted to play that character in Pathfinder 1E with stuff only in the corebook...I can't. There are absolutely no ways to make a character who mechanically fits the conception I have for that character. None. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nada.

These days, due to several Archetypes that give non-spellcasters Bardic Performance (Exemplar Brawler, most notably) I can probably manage something...but corebook alone? Nope.

I could play the same character with magic...but then it's no longer the same character, is it? Or the same character but the singing is mechanically meaningless...but again, that's not the same character I have in my head.


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N N 959 wrote:
there is something to be said for picking a path and sticking with it

Hey, we DO agree on something.

Just for me that path is the character rather than the class(es) on his sheet.

Quote:


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Each character is an individual without regard for class because in the story they do not exist.
And yet, you're telling me that your class determines who you are

Abilities determine who you are. Classes are one of the packages (feats and skills being the others, magic items as well if your vision extends beyond the character herself) by which abilities are acquired.

Quote:
You don't recognize it, but you're in contradiction with yourself. On one had, you want to tell me class does not define you, but then on the same page, you tell me you can't be who you are if you don't get to choose the classes you want.

Let me frame this according to the games I run.

Players pick Hero (Martial Character, low to no magic, high skills and health and heals faster proportionately to their greater health], Mage (High Magic, Low Siills and Health full caster types) or Dabblers (something in the middle like a bard or alchemist or Warpriest)

Every level my players and I work cooperatively to create the character's next advancement (except in the cases of a character gaining a new spell level, that one is set in stone.)

Quote:
Class does define characters in the sense it provides the foundation/framework. Sometimes it may be interesting to roleplay a rebellion against one's classification, but the game is predicated on players embracing their roles...as defined by their class.

I do agree the foundational framework is valuable, but I see it as training wheels until a player grows beyond it.


jimthegray wrote:
Matt2VK wrote:

This here is mostly for non-spell casting classes.

I'm getting a bit tired of seeing a bunch of min/max characters that pick up just a single level or two of multiple classes. <nip>

why does it bother you if someone multiclasses?

I think what Matt2VK was getting at--and what I agree with--are people who multiclass not because it fits their imagined vision of a character (a Cleric whose love of song comes out in some extra Bard, a rogue who decides to take some illusion spells to beef up their stealth, etc.), but because of mechanical min-maxing. For instance, taking a level of fighter not because you see your character as part bold warrior, but because you want all of the proficiencies and benefits; taking a level of monk just to get the sweet saves and monk abilities, not because being a "monk" really fits the character; and so on.

Multiclassing because it fits the vision of a character is great; toe-dipping just for the frontloaded benefits Matt2VK was referring to, and ending up with a Wizard 17/Monk 2/Paladin 1 (who never actually acts the role of monk or paladin) or something is just gaming mechanics.


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There is a difference between, "there aren't mechanics that support what I want to play" and "the mechanics of X class fit my character, therefore my character presents themselves as X class".

For example, I like playing sorcerous gishes. My only options are the Eldritch Scion, which is terrible, and the Eldritch Knight, which is flavorless. Therefore I have to homebrew a class for my character.

On the other hand, my Swashbuckler elf doesn't call himself a swashbuckler. He calls himself a duelist.

My human Rogue, who refuses to steal and started adventuring to avenge the death of his adoptive father, doesn't call himself a rogue. He calls himself an assassin. (He doesn't even have levels in the Assassin PrC!)

My full orc barbarian doesn't call himself a barbarian. He calls himself "Grymm the Unpleasant!" If you ask what he does, he says, "Grymm hit monster with big sword!"


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thflame wrote:

On the other hand, my Swashbuckler elf doesn't call himself a swashbuckler. He calls himself a duelist.

My human Rogue, who refuses to steal and started adventuring to avenge the death of his adoptive father, doesn't call himself a rogue. He calls himself an assassin. (He doesn't even have levels in the Assassin PrC!)

My full orc barbarian doesn't call himself a barbarian. He calls himself "Grymm the Unpleasant!" If you ask what he does, he says, "Grymm hit monster with big sword!"

This is how I like to have people introduce their characters!

When I GM in PFS, part of my startup is asking each player to introduce themselves, their character, and tell everyone what abilities their character brings to the table. I do not ask that they tell each other their classes.

I usually give some examples, such as “hit things with a big stick, master at tracking, buffing of allies and social skills.” I want everyone at the table to know what other characters are good at, and sometimes saying the class actually works against that because of implicit assumptions.


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N N 959 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Because the mechanics restrict what the character is capable of.
They restrict what you're good at mechanically. So class dipping isn't about "role" playing, its about "roll" playing. Which is fine, but let's just be upfront and honest about it.

I disagree.

Multiclassing can be about trying to find a way to express a concept that isn't quite doable within the published classes, OR it can be about how a character develops as they go through their career.

For instance - I had a witch-type character who spent a lot of time hanging around with some shifty characters, and getting dragged along on covert missions, so it was a logical career progression to multiclassing rogue to represent picking up various undercover skills from her friends. Or the fighter who discovers a gun during an adventure, and takes a level in gunslinger to represent learning to use it. Both are examples of using multiclassing to explain how a character has grown during play.


Granted Gunslinger as a class represents a failure in the firearm rules.

Still a good story though.


Neriathale wrote:
\For instance - I had a witch-type character who spent a lot of time hanging around with some shifty characters, and getting dragged along on covert missions, so it was a logical career progression to multiclassing rogue to represent picking up various undercover skills from her friends. Or the fighter who discovers a gun during an adventure, and takes a level in gunslinger to represent learning to use it. Both are examples of using multiclassing to explain how a character has grown during play.

It's great for Paizo that so many can use the Pathfinder game system to create a game that they enjoy. But yours is not the model that made D&D one of the most iconic games in Western culture. Yours is not the model that has inspired movies and books. People don't go through life being a doctor for two years, then a researcher, then a programmer, then an architect. Sure, it might be fun to do that, but we'd never get past a certain point of development. It takes years of study and dedication for a doctor to saves lives. You don't want some dilettante operating on your brain tumor.

I'm going to repeat my message to Paizo: make pure pathing better mechanically. If people want to dawdle, then it should come at a penalty. I firmly believe that incentivizing players to stick with a class is going to pay dividends in many facets of the game, not the least is the enjoyability of scenarios that are written based on functional roles.

I'm not advocating that level dipping be eliminated, but that it should inherently be mechanically inferior e.g. any class bonuses/durations/daily uses, are divided by the number of classes you have, rounded down.


BretI wrote:


When I GM in PFS, part of my startup is asking each player to introduce themselves, their character, and tell everyone what abilities their character brings to the table. I do not ask that they tell each other their classes.

IC, sure, whatever floats your boat. OOC, your'e hamstringing the player's ability to work together as a team. Knowing who and what you're fellow players are doing and how they do it facilitates teamwork and social bonding outside of the game.

This is especially true of new players who are not going to recognize spells or feats used by others. It's a detractor in PFS when teaming with players who have no concept of cooperation or who constantly get in each other's way because no one looks at the other's characters, or worse doesn't care.

When I GM, I tell the players to review everyone else's character sheet and assume they have working knowledge of everyone else's skills and abilities.

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