Stop the 1 Level Class Dip


Prerelease Discussion

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graystone wrote:
Out of game maybe an hour but every session is an hour in game? Honestly curious as PFS never worked for me though the few PFS online games I looked at didn't seem to work like that.

Just to be clear, PFS scenarios are theoretically designed for 4-hour slots (I think), but ususally scheduled for 5 or 6 hours, which seems to work better. The amount of in game time can be anywhere from close-to-real-time to several weeks. However, in the majority of cases you characters are going to need to be active for more than 20 minutes on any day where they are active at all (ie, days that are not fast forwarded journeying).

_
glass.


Frosty Ace wrote:
Seriously, how many Paladins took one level in Oracle?

None of mine, so far.

But it sounds like in interesting a flavourful idea, and you seem to be implying it works well mechanically, so I might give it a go...

_
glass.


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N N 959 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


And GMs who can't stand the idea of characters in their world falling behind their peers just because they don't fall into the pretty little boxes of published classes.
That already happens in this system. It's one of the inherent problems with multi-classing in a system where the classes were designed to go from 1-20. Another inherent problem is the breaks that the video talks about. Paizo needs to try and fix both, and based on the blog, it's pretty clear where they think the problem lies with the former.

In their presentation, they talk about recognizing that there are some classes people just don't take past level 2.

You listen to that, and think that they've identified the problem as multiclassing.

The rest of us listen to that, and realize that they've actually identified the problem as a mix of front-loaded classes and some classes just being so uninspiring that they are not worth pursuing past level 2.

The ultimate solution lies in balancing out both the power curve and the "interestingness" curve across all classes to the extent they can manage.


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Hmm my players only hit level 2 in a month of play(Once a week, 4-5 hours). But a good part of that is RP l, heck we wasted a whole session that way.

Which, let me turn my attention back to N N, is another killer. One rules can't help with. My own numbers are very low ball as there not a lot of PFS in my area but including myself, I've see 4 people walk away from 3 different PFS games/GMs. Because of how the game was run(Either due to PFS pacing/rules or the GMs own way of doing things) none of us felt like characters, we felt like whatever number adventurer the system coughed up. All those games seemed to be about was just being numbers and getting numbers to spend on numbers to make your own numbers more numbery.

And this was without the number crunch of Multiclassing.


N N 959 wrote:
And just so you can't twist my words, I actually like the non-linear power spikes in the game.

I never intended to twist your words. When you explicitly addressed 'posters who keep advocating that the power curve has to keep rising as you level up' it certainly seemed that you had issues with the power scaling.

As to 1-20 campaigns? Why bother? That takes so much time to go from level 1-20. Typically I place my games in one, two or three of the five 'tiers of play' I've recognized in the game. It's a bit more coherent and less extreme of a 'grubs to gods' story [which is certainly fun, but not everyone is mentally prepared to see their characters evolve that much, and not every game will last that long.]

PFS itself is a three tier game, running from levels 1 through 12.

Kyrt's Tiers of Play for Reference wrote:


Levels 1-4: Gritty
Levels 5-8: Heroic
Levels 9-12: Wuxia/Lower level superheroics [Spiderman or so]
Levels 13-16: Demigods
Levels 17-20: Gods


Vidmaster7 wrote:
The games I attempted to run to 20 went to 20. When I want to run a short game I run a shorter game...

I was wondering how many off the total campaigns you've run, went to 20.

6-8 hours a week for 9 months is a tremendous amount of time, for me. Around 288 hours. And that's probably not including time you spent between sessions working on the game. PFS levels are about 15 hours each or 3 weeks a level if you play once a week. If PFS let you get to level 20 as part of the standard campaign, it would be about 300 hours or 5 years if you played once a week.

Quote:
I will say I had stopped using experience by that point and did free form leveling that just went with my story.

Yeah, I can see how that would make leveling a lot less tedious and more convenient for the GM.


MerlinCross wrote:

Hmm my players only hit level 2 in a month of play(Once a week, 4-5 hours). But a good part of that is RP l, heck we wasted a whole session that way.

Which, let me turn my attention back to N N, is another killer. One rules can't help with. My own numbers are very low ball as there not a lot of PFS in my area but including myself, I've see 4 people walk away from 3 different PFS games/GMs. Because of how the game was run(Either due to PFS pacing/rules or the GMs own way of doing things) none of us felt like characters, we felt like whatever number adventurer the system coughed up. All those games seemed to be about was just being numbers and getting numbers to spend on numbers to make your own numbers more numbery.

And this was without the number crunch of Multiclassing.

You don't give expereince for roleplay? Man No wonder you refer to it as a waste. I totally give role play experience.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Hmm my players only hit level 2 in a month of play(Once a week, 4-5 hours). But a good part of that is RP l, heck we wasted a whole session that way.

Which, let me turn my attention back to N N, is another killer. One rules can't help with. My own numbers are very low ball as there not a lot of PFS in my area but including myself, I've see 4 people walk away from 3 different PFS games/GMs. Because of how the game was run(Either due to PFS pacing/rules or the GMs own way of doing things) none of us felt like characters, we felt like whatever number adventurer the system coughed up. All those games seemed to be about was just being numbers and getting numbers to spend on numbers to make your own numbers more numbery.

And this was without the number crunch of Multiclassing.

You don't give expereince for roleplay? Man No wonder you refer to it as a waste. I totally give role play experience.

One of the reasons why I give experience at the end of sessions, instead of per-encounter, is that it makes it easier to hand out role play experience and to reward sessions that advance plot and character development with minimal combat. In the past when I handed out XP incidentally I would have people bend over backwards into contorted feats of "role playing" trying to get that role playing XP. Now it just happens much more naturally.


N N 959 wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
The games I attempted to run to 20 went to 20. When I want to run a short game I run a shorter game...

I was wondering how many off the total campaigns you've run, went to 20.

6-8 hours a week for 9 months is a tremendous amount of time, for me. Around 288 hours. And that's probably not including time you spent between sessions working on the game. PFS levels are about 15 hours each or 3 weeks a level if you play once a week. If PFS let you get to level 20 as part of the standard campaign, it would be about 300 hours or 5 years if you played once a week.

Quote:
I will say I had stopped using experience by that point and did free form leveling that just went with my story.
Yeah, I can see how that would make leveling a lot less tedious and more convenient for the GM.

Yeah PFS is still kind of a foreign idea to me. I've always played with close friends.

Total campaigns I've ran that went to 20. hmm thats a hard one I've been running d20 games for like 17 years. Can I just count pathfinder campaigns? Their will be breaks in between for one or two shots of other systems and games to break up the monotony(originally types monopoly heh.). As well as other people running. Me personally I would say its about 50/50 I will plan out the big campaign and take it the long road and occasionally run short games for when I have new people around or just to break things up. When I run pathfinder I run it with the intent to go for the long game. I run games I would want to play in and I like to see my character finished.

I do one other weird thing at least people tell me its weird its how my first DM did things. Very little prep time and I improvise a lot of what happens around my players actions combined with the world I have in mind and the antagonists actions. I like to think of the world as continuing on no matter what the PC's do but the PC's can still alter events naturally. Like hey if the PC's spent 30 games drinking in the tavern don't be surprised if the antagonist has conquered the world in that time.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
You listen to that, and think that they've identified the problem as multiclassing.

No, they identified the problem as part of multi-classing when someone specifically asked them to talk about multi-classing. I believe the word Jason use was "exploit." And he went on to emphasis the fact that some people take 2 levels in a class and that was it, never touching that class again. Based on his tone and the context, one likely interpretation is that 2 levels in a class is not what he considers to be in the spirit of multi-classing.

Quote:
The rest of us listen to that, and realize that they've actually identified the problem as a mix of front-loaded classes and some classes just being so uninspiring that they are not worth pursuing past level 2.

And that's the rub isn't it? It has nothing to do with you want this class to be part of your backstory, but you want this set of mechanics and there are no more mechanics that are interesting to you. You may not realize this, but that comes off decidedly power-gamish.

I've never multi-classed a character. I play the class, because that's what I want to play. That fact that I may not get something useful for 1 or 2 levels is irrelevant. I'm walking the path of that class.

Quote:
The ultimate solution lies in balancing out both the power curve and the "interestingness" curve across all classes to the extent they can manage.

As I just posted above, you're going to have a hard time with that if you want spikes. I like spikes. I like getting to X level and feeling the class really blossom. I'm skeptical a linear/smooth power curve is the answer.


N N 959 wrote:
Playing PFS for the last couple of years as a GM and player, it's has become apparent that past level 5 or so, the games starts to become unwieldy for the average player. A lot of PFS players, especially those born after AD&D was a thing, start to lose interest in characters by about level 5.

That has not been my experience of PFS at all - I have played with people of all ages up to L9 (my highest character), and never seen complaints that the system is unwieldy. This may be a local PFS culture thing of course - the UK seems a bit more laid back about rules minutiae than the US based on what I've seen on these boards, so there's less focus on optimal builds.

N N 959 wrote:

I've been a player in around five or six APs. None of them got past level 1. But then I'm only playing those in PbP games. EDIT: Wait, maybe I did get to level 2 in a couple of them.

lol...well, I was trying to be conservative, but yeah, the attrition at level 3 is ridiculous. When I've asked players about this, they say that the game either is too hard or they just aren't sure what to do with their character i.e. don't know what class to take and what feats to choose.

I'm firmly of the belief that emphasis on builds, has undermined the propensity of players learning how to actually play the game. People seemingly jump at the chance to play Tier 1-2 game so they can try this new build they were thinking of. But they can't stick with them past level 3. I'll add to this, the fact that new players have no concept of building a character along the the functional roles. Jason Bulhman talks about this in his blog and I've experienced it first hand in PFS.

I've played... let me see:

Rise of the Runelords to the end - L17
Crimson Throne to the end - L16 (I think)
Giantslayer - ongoing, currently L9
Strange Aeons - ongoing - currently L11
Jade Regent - ongoing - currently L3
Most recent 3.5 campaigns - one ended a L15, one sort of ongoing at L10 (but averaging one session a year)

also reffed Skull & Shackles to the end at L14.

That's with 17 different players across various groups, about half of them not PFS players.

It might just be that the average players round here are more maths and game system savvy than where you are, but none of the players in any of those games has given up because the game is too hard - and one of the players in S&S was a near-beginner who hadn't picked up dice in 20 years (then we introduced him to the empowered spell metamagic feat, and he never looked back).

What I suppose I am trying to say is that you seem to have developed a view that the game is 'broken' because it's too complex based on personal experience, but equally I can turn round and say based on my personal experience it's the exact opposite, and players love the complexity and chance to customise characters to fit their vision.

Finally a small anecdote. Of the eight characters in our Giantslayer party, six are pure single classed, one might have taken a 1-level dip, and there one multi-classed character - played by the only person at the table who *isn't* a PFS player/ref/Venture-critter of some variety.


Vidmaster7 wrote:


Yeah PFS is still kind of a foreign idea to me. I've always played with close friends.

Total campaigns I've ran that went to 20. hmm thats a hard one I've been running d20 games for like 17 years. Can I just count pathfinder campaigns? Their will be breaks in between for one or two shots of other systems and games to break up the monotony(originally types monopoly heh.). As well as other people running. Me personally I would say its about 50/50 I will plan out the big campaign and take it the long road and occasionally run short games for when I have new people around or just to break things up. When I run pathfinder I run it with the intent to go for the long game. I run games I would want to play in and I like to see my character finished.

I do one other weird thing at least people tell me its weird its how my first DM did things. Very little prep time and I improvise a lot of what happens around my players actions combined with the world I have in mind and the antagonists actions. I like to think of the world as continuing on no matter what the PC's do but the PC's can still alter events naturally. Like hey if the PC's spent 30 games drinking in the...

Vid, very interesting to hear your experiences playing Pathfinder. Your situation is probably one many of us envision when we started playing. RL doesn't allow me that type of commitment and I don't think I would enjoy that much Pathfinder, lol.

Curious about your take on multi-classing and Paizo's attention on it?


I Personally have level dipped. barbarian and then fighter I wanted the movement speed and of course rage now that was 3.5 I can't think of a character in pathfinder that I have played that I dipped. I like the ideal of getting the cap stone I suppose more so then actually using it. Plus Even multi-classing martial I feel like you still delay other nifty things by going for level dips. I would probably never multi-class a caster cause Id rather have the next level of spells then X. I do feel like the barbarian is probably a bit to Dippable. he practically begs for it. (maybe reduce 1st level rage to get +2 str +2 con or something.) Now I had a backstory for why he did it but I probably did it for the bonuses. (it was awhile ago)

Do I think the overall design should reward that kind of thing? eh probably not. What I mean is I shouldn't be more powerful because I multi-classed or level dipped I should just be about as powerful. if its a weird dip like say wizard/rogue/fighter (og elf multi) Then I would expect to have to do a lot of extra work to make it all work. like I spent a round to buff myself with a spell then a round getting into position to SA then take advantage of all the things. Like it makes sense that if you are multi-classing to make your character more complex you would have to use more complex tactics.

...Sorry if that seemed to ramble.


And yes I would also get burnt out at times especially If I was running. Which is why we took breaks and tried other games from time to time.


Neriathale wrote:
That has not been my experience of PFS at all - I have played with people of all ages up to L9 (my highest character), and never seen complaints that the system is unwieldy. This may be a local PFS culture thing of course - the UK seems a bit more laid back about rules minutiae than the US based on what I've seen on these boards, so there's less focus on optimal builds.

The vast majority of my PFS play has been PbP. I did a LGS circuit for a short bit and have been to on PaizoCon. I did a couple of VTT games, and GM'd one.

On forums games, where you have players from all over the world (but primarily English speakers), I see the demand for lower tier games is highest. As far as the game being too hard, I got that from many PFS forum threads on the subject and people posting/complaining that PFS wasn't fun for them past Tier 3-4.

Quote:
What I suppose I am trying to say is that you seem to have developed a view that the game is 'broken' because it's too complex based on personal experience, but equally I can turn round and say based on my personal experience it's the exact opposite, and players love the complexity and chance to customise characters to fit their vision.

That's not quite accurate. The game is "broken" on a whole lot of fronts, multi-classing is hardly at the top of the list of things to fix.

While I personally like tactical complexity, I believe the build/feat complexity is problematic for the reason I've identified: it contributes to trivializing the game while simultaneously facilitating builds that can't function properly in the context of a system like PFS.

On its own, complexity is a barrier to entry, it typically means system mastery pays higher dividends and creates a gap between the knows and the know-nots. Yes, all of this can be mitigated, but not easily and not reliably.

I recently started playing with an older group in a Rise of the Runelords AP. Three are newbs and two have gaming experience. There's no way we could throw straight-up Pathfinder at the newbs. It's just too much for non-gamers. It's not the complexity of the game, it's the fact that the 3.x system shifted a lot of the burden of system mastery from the GM to the player. But that is an aside.

What you may be misreading is my rant on the build system and proliferation of options. I've never liked how feats worked. Too many choices and the feats often feel like you're getting gipped. But that is also an aside and something I just threw out there, not really a function of multi-classing.


N N 959 wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:


959 wants to “fix” a few rogue levels of a few interesting combinations by taking a hacksaw to the thing that 9/10 pathfinder players say is the thing they like best about the system; customizability.

No. That's wholly inaccurate. I've repeatedly talked about problems on both sides of the power curve and power gaming is only one part of a multi-facted problem. But don't let the truth interfere with your narrative.

The only people who are threatened by fixes to the multi-class system are min/maxers who can't stand the idea of coming in second at anything.

I GM, exclusively. Which one of us is pushing a narrative again?

Liberty's Edge

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I'm really not sure why people are continuing to argue. NN 959 isn't gonna change his mind so arguing with him seems pretty futile and that's almost the whole thread at this point.

I mean, for the record, I strongly disagree with NN 959's design aesthetic and priorities and think the people at Paizo do as well (at least in the sense of them not wanting multiclassing to be worse mechanically...that's not something I think they want at all)...but what good is arguing doing at this point?

Personally, like I said, I suspect that they're gonna handle multiclassing very differently in this edition, in such a way as to discourage (or flatly prohibit) dipping, but by no means discourage multiclassing. Maybe I'm wrong, but if I'm right, everyone on both sides of this debate might easily be satisfied, y'know?

I still say something conceptually similar to Variant Multiclassing (ie: give up resources, like Feats, for abilities from a second Class) but much more comprehensive and better balanced is probably what's gonna happen. That would likely mean no more than two classes per character, but that plus Archetypes (some of which are gonna be Class-neutral) should allow just about any concept I can think of, while still being fairly mechanically coherent rather than the confusion small dips in lots of classes can cause.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
I do one other weird thing at least people tell me its weird its how my first DM did things. Very little prep time and I improvise a lot of what happens around my players actions combined with the world I have in mind and the antagonists actions. I like to think of the world as continuing on no matter what the PC's do but the PC's can still alter events naturally. Like hey if the PC's spent 30 games drinking in the tavern don't be surprised if the antagonist has conquered the world in that time.

This is my approach as well. A living world that rolls on its own course if the PCs don't intervene, powered by inprov.

Typically I do less than half an hour of prep 'work' per session, though I will confess pondering the campaign off and on during 'dead time' (such as standing in a checkout line for example.)


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I don't think 959's opinion on the state of the game is that much different from the people arguing with them. Read his posts not as an enemy.

On what paizo said about level dips: they said the problem is that they're viewed as exploits. Not that then being exploits is the problem itself necessarily, but the perception of them is the problem.

Personally level by level multi classing is a terrible system that doesn't work well. It especially doesn't work for multi classing casters. Hopefully they'll be doing something using feats for other class features, along with a system to combine class features of multiple classes at reduced power level like ad&d multi class, 4e hybrids, or pillars of eternity 2 multi classing.


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N N 959 wrote:

And that's the rub isn't it? It has nothing to do with you want this class to be part of your backstory, but you want this set of mechanics and there are no more mechanics that are interesting to you. You may not realize this, but that comes off decidedly power-gamish.

I've never multi-classed a character. I play the class, because that's what I want to play. That fact that I may not get something useful for 1 or 2 levels is irrelevant. I'm walking the path of that class.

Just asking for clarification: it seems like you see three ways to role-play in a tabletop.
  • 1: pick a bunch of mechanics and then figure out a character story that fits them
  • 2: make a character concept and then pick the mechanics that fit it
  • 3: pick a character concept and then pick the single class that fits it (or pick two classes with equal levels in them and be worse at the concept than a single classed character)

Am I understanding that right? If I am, it feels very much like you are saying 1 & 2 are badwrongfun for game design, and only #3 should be a part of good game design. I'll agree that 1 is certainly less immersive than the others - though I still enjoy picking a qualitative target like highest damage or fastest speed and figuring out the mechanical "best", but 2 is my personal method of character generation. Unless I am trying to play a character from a book, like Artemis Entreri = Unchained Rogue, or Cadderly = Cleric, #3 just doesn't work for me.

I don't play in your group and you don't play in mine, so this all curiosity and wanting to understand how you see it. No aggression intended.


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I honesty GREATLY prefer level by level multiclassing over PF1's variant multiclassing.

Half of the feat substitutions were absolutely terrible.

PrCs like Arcane Trickster, Mystic Theurge, and Eldritch Knight help certain multiclassing characters "catch up" after having to split their focus, but it sucks having to play a gimped character for 6 levels while you try to get your prerequisites met.

Hybrid Classes are a huge improvement over both, but if your particular flavor of Hybrid Class didn't exist, you were SOL.

The only REAL solutions are for Paizo to make an exhaustive list of balanced base classes that cover every type of character someone wants to play (which isn't feasible) or abandon a class based system and let characters "purchase" the abilities they want (which isn't going to happen).


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N N 959 wrote:
The vast majority of my PFS play has been PbP.

I think that might be skewing your perception a bit. I've played online with PbP for years now and more often than not games break up early because of life: college starts back up, new job, personality conflicts, ect. I can't recall ANY breaking up over 'it's too tough to figure out a character advancement' in over 5 years.

From my personal online gaming experience, games naturally seem to die out around 8-12 with a good group. Not so good groups die out earlier. In most cases it was the DM calling it quits and not the players.

Liberty's Edge

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thflame wrote:

I honesty GREATLY prefer level by level multiclassing over PF1's variant multiclassing.

Half of the feat substitutions were absolutely terrible.

This is like saying 'I hate all PF1 classes with high skill points because the Rogue is terrible.' I mean, the second part is true, but the first doesn't actually follow logically from it. It's saying 'One example of this idea has been done badly, therefore good implementations are impossible.' Which, again, just doesn't follow.

Nothing about the structure or idea of Variant Multiclassing necessitates having such sub-par options, nor would I expect such to be a part of any such system that actually made it into PF2.

Using VMC-type options as a sort of 'build your own Hybrid Class' seems like it might be the direction things are heading, and could work pretty well as long as they've balanced the math properly.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I'm really not sure why people are continuing to argue. NN 959 isn't gonna change his mind so arguing with him seems pretty futile and that's almost the whole thread at this point.

I failed my will save.


River of Sticks wrote:
  • 1: pick a bunch of mechanics and then figure out a character story that fits them
  • 2: make a character concept and then pick the mechanics that fit it
  • 3: pick a character concept and then pick the single class that fits it (or pick two classes with equal levels in them and be worse at the concept than a single classed character)

For myself, I normally go 2. There ARE times when a shiny new mechanic comes out and I want to give it a spin and I use 1 for that mechanic.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:

I honesty GREATLY prefer level by level multiclassing over PF1's variant multiclassing.

Half of the feat substitutions were absolutely terrible.

This is like saying 'I hate all PF1 classes with high skill points because the Rogue is terrible.'

I know IMO that most of the variant multiclassing seemed bad so it wasn't a case of 'the rogue is bad' but the 'rogue, investigator and bard are bad but the inquisitor is ok'. The substitutions mostly where either just plain bad, underpowered for the level you got them or simple feats you could have taken long ago. The few 'gems' that worked well seemed to be the exception.

Of course, who knows what version 2 will do: it might actually to it right this time. I have to agree thflame though that I MUCH prefer version 1's normal multiclassing to its variant.


glass wrote:
graystone wrote:
Out of game maybe an hour but every session is an hour in game? Honestly curious as PFS never worked for me though the few PFS online games I looked at didn't seem to work like that.

Just to be clear, PFS scenarios are theoretically designed for 4-hour slots (I think), but ususally scheduled for 5 or 6 hours, which seems to work better. The amount of in game time can be anywhere from close-to-real-time to several weeks. However, in the majority of cases you characters are going to need to be active for more than 20 minutes on any day where they are active at all (ie, days that are not fast forwarded journeying).

_
glass.

Ah, ok. That's what I thought. So at most, that build can tear through a low level encounter not a game. Thanks for the info. ;)


graystone wrote:
Ah, ok. That's what I thought. So at most, that build can tear through a low level encounter not a game. Thanks for the info. ;)

Combats in PFS are considered ancient if they last 5 rounds. A typical scenario has about 3-4 combat encounters. My Barbarian has never used all his rage in a single scenario through six levels, and I don't have extra rage.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Ah, ok. That's what I thought. So at most, that build can tear through a low level encounter not a game. Thanks for the info. ;)
Combats in PFS are considered ancient if they last 5 rounds. A typical scenario has about 3-4 combat encounters. My Barbarian has never used all his rage in a single scenario through six levels, and I don't have extra rage.

Sure...but generally there's more than 5 minutes between encounters. 20 minutes in 1-minute increments is plenty for all your fights at any level in any Pathfinder game.

20 minutes in a single block? Might get you through two encounters.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Hmm my players only hit level 2 in a month of play(Once a week, 4-5 hours). But a good part of that is RP l, heck we wasted a whole session that way.

Which, let me turn my attention back to N N, is another killer. One rules can't help with. My own numbers are very low ball as there not a lot of PFS in my area but including myself, I've see 4 people walk away from 3 different PFS games/GMs. Because of how the game was run(Either due to PFS pacing/rules or the GMs own way of doing things) none of us felt like characters, we felt like whatever number adventurer the system coughed up. All those games seemed to be about was just being numbers and getting numbers to spend on numbers to make your own numbers more numbery.

And this was without the number crunch of Multiclassing.

You don't give expereince for roleplay? Man No wonder you refer to it as a waste. I totally give role play experience.

I actually do give experience for role play or at the the very least I try to give a reward somewhere as I use mile stones. If I gave EXP for role play they'd probably be at or near level 4, which is around the level the AP ends book 1. Level/EXP management for APs is probably a good question to ask but given we are so off topic I'm going to make a topic about it elsewhere.

As for "a waste"of a session, well I loved seeing characters bounce off each other. But on the other hand, I did want to move them to the next location and we were down a player out of 4 so 2 characters just kinda kept talking. No plot was expanded on, they only meet with a side NPC. At the same time I thought it'd be rude to interrupt the team bonding that was happening. Players said they had a good time but there's always a level of doubt in the back of my head.

So a "waste" might be over reaching but I'm unsure how to "grade" that session when talking about it to other GMs.

Neriathale wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

I'm really not sure why people are continuing to argue. NN 959 isn't gonna change his mind so arguing with him seems pretty futile and that's almost the whole thread at this point.

I failed my will save.

Eh some of the shared info about PFS is at least interesting to see


MerlinCross wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Hmm my players only hit level 2 in a month of play(Once a week, 4-5 hours). But a good part of that is RP l, heck we wasted a whole session that way.

Which, let me turn my attention back to N N, is another killer. One rules can't help with. My own numbers are very low ball as there not a lot of PFS in my area but including myself, I've see 4 people walk away from 3 different PFS games/GMs. Because of how the game was run(Either due to PFS pacing/rules or the GMs own way of doing things) none of us felt like characters, we felt like whatever number adventurer the system coughed up. All those games seemed to be about was just being numbers and getting numbers to spend on numbers to make your own numbers more numbery.

And this was without the number crunch of Multiclassing.

You don't give expereince for roleplay? Man No wonder you refer to it as a waste. I totally give role play experience.

I actually do give experience for role play or at the the very least I try to give a reward somewhere as I use mile stones. If I gave EXP for role play they'd probably be at or near level 4, which is around the level the AP ends book 1. Level/EXP management for APs is probably a good question to ask but given we are so off topic I'm going to make a topic about it elsewhere.

As for "a waste"of a session, well I loved seeing characters bounce off each other. But on the other hand, I did want to move them to the next location and we were down a player out of 4 so 2 characters just kinda kept talking. No plot was expanded on, they only meet with a side NPC. At the same time I thought it'd be rude to interrupt the team bonding that was happening. Players said they had a good time but there's always a level of doubt in the back of my head.

So a "waste" might be over reaching but I'm unsure how to "grade" that session when talking about it to other GMs

My general rule: if not much happens in a session, not a lot of character or plot development, I'll still at least give XP for an encounter of the party's CR or CR+1. In a session where there's little or no combat but a lot more is happening on the character development and plot fronts, I'll give XP for multiple such encounters.


River of Sticks wrote:
it seems like you see three ways to role-play in a tabletop.

In short, how one chooses to "roleplay" or play Pathfinder is largely irrelevant. I stated much earlier that there is no "wrong" way to play any game if everyone enjoys. However, there are modes of play that will shorten the lifespan of a game for the player and that means a lot less money for a company like Paizo. A perfect example of this is God-Mode in a console game. There's a reason why combat games don't give us a God-Mode option at the start, even when its single player and we've already spent the money upfront.

A game designer has to have a concept for a game, a vision for how that game will work and be played. It's not enough to come up with something that's fun, you have to set the game up so that nominal game play results in the players experiencing the specific things you want them to. The more options and freedom you give players, the more likely players miss out on what the design intends the experience to be like and that means the resources put into a game e.g. levels 10-20, are wasted effort. So Paizo has to write the game so that it works. From the beginning. Not for the just the veterans of RPGs, but also for the uninitiated. That's no easy task.

All of the versions of D&D and now Pathfinder, are built off the promise of AD&D. Was AD&D perfect? Hardly, but clearly to Paizo, there was something at the heart of what made AD&D great that they wanted to recapture and preserve when they took on 3.5. The fact that there are now a generation of Pathfinder players who've never even played AD&D is a testament to how compelling AD&D was. What was it about AD&D? What is it that truly makes us want to play these D&D legacy games? I don't think it's multi-classing. That isn't to say multi-classing hasn't improved the game for many or can't be an improvement at a general level, but the heart of the game isn't builds or the build process, imo, as much as these forums might make you think otherwise.

I've read FaerieDragon's post and I think he shares some insight in that that TSR and certainly WotC may have tried to update the game by adding elements they enjoyed in other games e.g. Rolemaster, but it is an open-ended question as to whether the implementation led to more systemic problems. Only to be exacerbated by WotC's need to produce more splatbooks filled with improvements that made people want to buy them.

Paizo has a lot more experience with these elements today than they did way back at the start of Pathfinder. Let's see if they can do a better job of keeping the best elements of the old and the new and recognizing that they aren't going to make everyone happy, and more importantly, being able to accept that and not constantly chip away at the game.


N N 959 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Ah, ok. That's what I thought. So at most, that build can tear through a low level encounter not a game. Thanks for the info. ;)
Combats in PFS are considered ancient if they last 5 rounds. A typical scenario has about 3-4 combat encounters. My Barbarian has never used all his rage in a single scenario through six levels, and I don't have extra rage.

Deadmanwalking got what I was saying: It's NOT the rage rounds but the Mutagen duration, as that can't be broken up. So you can be super dude once normally or maybe twice if you literally RUN to the next encounter... So which encounter do you 'hulk' out on? Do you do it for a 'normal' encounter and risk not having it for the boss? Seriously, I stand by my 'if 20 continuous min/day wrecks your game/adventure, it's the games/adventures fault and not the ability'.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
20 minutes in a single block? Might get you through two encounters.

Anyone who plays one level of PFS and pays attention knows that normally there is only one BBEG encounter per scenario. The rest are the encounters are there to burn off your resources so you don't get to hit the BBEG at full strength, and not truly meant to be life threatening. The are notable exceptions e.g. an encounter with two high level harpies mezzing the entire party. And certainly if you're doing a 4 person scenario, the dice gods can always ruin your day.


graystone wrote:
Seriously, I stand by my 'if 20 continuous min/day wrecks your game/adventure, it's the games/adventures fault and not the ability'.

Then you're telling Paizo that they need to revamp all of PFS instead of fixing a couple of problem builds.

GMs shouldn't need a warning label on how to keep builds/classes from ruining a game. As a GM, I don't want to have to design a scenario specifically because people can readily make builds that trash my game. That's stupid. Totally stupid.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
20 minutes in a single block? Might get you through two encounters.
Anyone who plays one level of PFS and pays attention knows that normally there is only one BBEG encounter per scenario. The rest are the encounters are there to burn off your resources so you don't get to hit the BBEG at full strength, and not truly meant to be life threatening. The are notable exceptions e.g. an encounter with two high level harpies mezzing the entire party. And certainly if you're doing a 4 person scenario, the dice gods can always ruin your day.

If we're talking nova-ing your way through a single encounter, a single-classed Magus is generally better than pretty much any multi-class character.


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As has been pointed out repeatedly, most multiclass builds are only viable for about 1-3 levels and are suboptimal both before and after that. Someone who spikes for only a level or two isn't going to "trash your game."

They don't need to gimp multiclassing as a whole. On the contrary, they need to buff multiclassing overall so a multiclass character can be as viable 1-20 as a single class character. They just need to do it in such a way that they don't outshine the single class character, who should in general be just as good 1-20 as the combo platter build.

It's a difficult balance. Hopefully the playtest lets us help them achieve that balance. But there is nothing inherently wrong with multiclassing, and people who need to multiclass to achieve a character concept not covered by a single class shouldn't be punished for it.


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N N 959 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Seriously, I stand by my 'if 20 continuous min/day wrecks your game/adventure, it's the games/adventures fault and not the ability'.

Then you're telling Paizo that they need to revamp all of PFS instead of fixing a couple of problem builds.

GMs shouldn't need a warning label on how to keep builds/classes from ruining a game. As a GM, I don't want to have to design a scenario specifically because people can readily make builds that trash my game. That's stupid. Totally stupid.

Just going to be honest here- with a note that the impression I'm expressing here is derived from limited interactions- but you sound obsessed with controlling the game. With having your PC's challenged just right, with having parties that perfectly fit the boxes of roles you expect the game to require, etc.

Have you tried a more laid back approach to GMing?


graystone wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
The vast majority of my PFS play has been PbP.
I think that might be skewing your perception a bit. I've played online with PbP for years now and more often than not games break up early because of life: college starts back up, new job, personality conflicts, ect. I can't recall ANY breaking up over 'it's too tough to figure out a character advancement' in over 5 years.

PFS scenarios almost never end early in PbP. That is one of the great things about PFS. In five or so years of playing PFS via PbP, I've had like three games fail to finish. Now, a game can take as longs as three months to finish, but it will eventually finish.

Non-PFS games? I've actually never had one of those finish via PbP. I probably mustered for 30+games in a two year period and never had one get past one or two levels. I can probably count on one hand the number of games that got past the first level. I know it happens, but as you say, RL has a really high kill rate for campaigns via PbP.


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N N 959 wrote:
graystone wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
The vast majority of my PFS play has been PbP.
I think that might be skewing your perception a bit. I've played online with PbP for years now and more often than not games break up early because of life: college starts back up, new job, personality conflicts, ect. I can't recall ANY breaking up over 'it's too tough to figure out a character advancement' in over 5 years.

PFS scenarios almost never end early in PbP. That is one of the great things about PFS. In five or so years of playing PFS via PbP, I've had like three games fail to finish. Now, a game can take as longs as three months to finish, but it will eventually finish.

Non-PFS games? I've actually never had one of those finish via PbP. I probably mustered for 30+games in a two year period and never had one get past one or two levels. I can probably count on one hand the number of games that got past the first level. I know it happens, but as you say, RL has a really high kill rate for campaigns via PbP.

Yeah but can you say for sure what killed those games or had a player drop out?

I also question "campaign" for PFS. I guess they exist but the PFS in my area just run one shots. Or run the games in such a way the only feel like one shots.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
If we're talking nova-ing your way through a single encounter, a single-classed Magus is generally better than pretty much any multi-class character.

Someone breaking your windshield doesn't fix your flat tire.


MerlinCross wrote:


Yeah but can you say for sure what killed those games or had a player drop out?

The non-PFS games? Real life. As graystone says, games die because the GM quits. There appear to be an never-ending supply of PbP GMs who spend weeks, maybe months, coming up with their PbP campaign and then abandon it two months in. My favorite is the guy who thinks he's going to run his new game with two tables at once. ROFL.

HINT: if a PbP GM you don't know puts up a muster and says he's running two tables, don't waste your time.

Quote:
I also question "campaign" for PFS. I guess they exist but the PFS in my area just run one shots. Or run the games in such a way the only feel like one shots.

The "campaign" is implemented through what PFS calls "Seasons." About August, PFS starts a new season and changes the theme. They introduce a bunch of scenario that are often thematically related and contribute to a campaign story line. If you aren't heavily invested in experiencing the storyline, the game are essentially one-offs. But there are several scenarios that are part of a series within a season, as well as scenarios that trace their origins back to earlier seasons.


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You can't tell me RL PFS games don't also die for similar reasons.

As for the whole Seasons thing, again, I don't feel like a character in a world, I feel like Fighter 34726 the universe just dropped into existence for the sake of numbers l. Eve with the rules of PFS most GMs I played with really didn't sell the Roleplay/immersion side of it.

How can a player be invested if the GM isn't?


MerlinCross wrote:
You can't tell me RL PFS games don't also die for similar reasons.

The death rate of my PbP games was like 99.9% I quit two game of about 30+ that i mustered for, one of which ended after I quit, the other may still be going.

I've got about six characters PFS from level 3-9. Probably just under 100 scenarios. So that's about 100 completed PFS scenarios out of about 104 attempted.

What's more, the PFS format allows another GM to step in and take over. So even if RL claims a GM, it's not a problem for another GM to take over.

Quote:
How can a player be invested if the GM isn't?

Some GMs are simply going through the motions and were horrible. Most aren't. Based on my own attitudes, I think there are people who actually enjoy GMing. I definitely enjoy it when I have the time. PFS attracts lots of good GMs.

If there is a criticism I have with PFS on GMing is that they don't do a good job of training GMs. Not on mechanics, but on concepts and techniques. The system has relied on people learning by example.


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Honestly PFS should really get 0% consideration when it comes to game design in my opinion. It is a limited form of playing tabletop that comes with a massive amount of baggage. And even as large as PFS is as a group they are still the minority, vast amounts of games at least by my perception. (and others I have talked to) Are traditional games, second are the adventure/module runners and only after that comes the PFS crew.

Taking PFS into consideration results in clusterf@%#s like the crane wing nerf with a orbital strike.

Now I have sympathy that there are issues that people have there, but sadly the concerns are not for the standard way to play the game. The same way a competive videogame should not be designed with professional tournament players in mind at least at the expense of rest of the player base.

As to the more broad subject of the thread. Level dipping in itself is not an issue at all. Classes are a collection of mechanics nothing more nothing less. The difference in power between multiclass and single class character is negligeble compared to the difference within the same class with different levels of optimization.

That being said there is room for improvement. Single class should be just as strong as a whole, but that comes with the caveat that you wanted everything that single class was offering for you. Multiclass would essentially allow you to trade it for something you like, that in a vacuum would be equally valuable. Of coarse that is the ideal, in practice it is impossible. But essentially multiclassing should allow you to combine abilities in an interesting fashion should you not like the package you get from staying single class. And for narrative reasons.(For example someone who used to be X but then turned to a completely different direction.)


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

That being said... why are you looking for cohesion? The least cohesive characters I've ever seen are Character = Class, including Monoclassed characters under that...

There's a reason I said subjective. Haha. What's cohesive is dependent on the person. I guess my point is that I'd rather make/have a concept, then maximize it, instead of vice versa. Example: A tiefling, Fey founded Paladin that happened to be an Oracle for a level. Strong? Oh yeah, but a background at that point, to me, is just justifying the min/max. I'm not saying either is right or wrong, just that I prefer one over the other. That preference being the character class, feats and features coincide with the background, which everyone wants (Usually) I just like to make things work around the background/idea.


Question - what does PbP mean?

Liberty's Edge

Heather 540 wrote:
Question - what does PbP mean?

Play By Post. Playing RPGs online on a forum like this one.


Heather 540 wrote:
Question - what does PbP mean?

Play by Post, like on Myth Weavers.


Ah, ok. I play in Roll20.

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