Mechanical solution to the scaling problem


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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Just make the +level bonus OPTIONAL, in three forms:
-full Level bonus (high fantasy scaling)
-1/2 Level Bonus (Standard)
-NO LEVEL BONUS (Bounded accuracy)

if halved or removed, just lower the DCs accordingly.

FOR EXAMPLE if a CR10 monster's AC is 30 and you're playing with 1/2 level bonus, just lower its AC by 5 points.

In fact, the "full level bonus" is just a treadmill.
If you still haven't realized, PF2 is designed as bounded accuracy + treadmill.

If you do the math you'll notice that nothing really changes except the relationship between high and low level characters.

Make the treadmill optional, and here you have it, simple and working.

Dark Archive

Sure, but it allows the GM to be more flexible in encounter design. Every once in a while it's fun to throw an encounter at the PCs that they are too strong for, just to show off how strong they've become.

Plus, as numbers rise, the fluctuations the d20 can cause go down.


D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:

Just make the +level bonus OPTIONAL, in three forms:

-full Level bonus (high fantasy scaling)
-1/2 Level Bonus (Standard)
-NO LEVEL BONUS (Bounded accuracy)

if halved or removed, just lower the DCs accordingly.

FOR EXAMPLE if a CR10 monster's AC is 30 and you're playing with 1/2 level bonus, just lower its AC by 5 points.

In fact, the "full level bonus" is just a treadmill.
If you still haven't realized, PF2 is designed as bounded accuracy + treadmill.

If you do the math you'll notice that nothing really changes except the relationship between high and low level characters.

Make the treadmill optional, and here you have it, simple and working.

Or just go without any per level bonuses or realy flattened

+1 per 4 or 5 levels


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well it is a treadmill from 1 to 20, with the monsters matching every step, and I may personally eliminate the +level from players and monsters it does have some effect, it's not purely superficial.

It has an effect in 2 areas, each which create a different feel. One, is the difference per level against monsters not of the same level. I don't know about you but I don't exclusively use monsters at CR/Monster level, often monsters +/-3 in correct number or scenarios show up all the time to meaningful encounters, and sadly you find out sometimes those level bonuses are all the separate some creatures (I currently run a DnD 4e game w/o +1/2 level advancement for players (-1/2 level on monsters). Also when you include creatures/enemies that simply should be around (even if just cosmetically or because the PC's specifically sought them out) they have a certain power to them in relation to the world. Mostly the designers have stated they used such a high gap because they intentionally wish to tell stories where 1 powerful (high level) hero can defeat dozens or more of a lower level enemy, and high level threats (dragons/demons) are just so much more unfathomably powerful then townsfolk and animals that they can do nothing to them even in great numbers.

The second effect is mostly for Saving throws and Skill checks, but despite the Level/DC chart they added (I'm not a fan of such things, but at least they were clear the DC = the "level of the challenge" and not the level of the PC, cause those are pure treadmill effect). They still have many static DC's listed for skill checks (such as first aid or jumping distances) and saving throws such as eventually your skilled enough to avoid falling debris (I think i saw some static DC 15 reflex saves).

I do still think ability score (+3 if 18 start), proficiency growth (up to +3), Item quality (+3), and potency value (+5) should be enough room for growth.


Ectar wrote:

Sure, but it allows the GM to be more flexible in encounter design. Every once in a while it's fun to throw an encounter at the PCs that they are too strong for, just to show off how strong they've become.

Plus, as numbers rise, the fluctuations the d20 can cause go down.

No it does not. unless you are bahing at mooks 5 or more levels below you.

with +1 treadmill fighter lvl1 has on average similar chance to hir lvl1 orc as a lvl7 fighter hitting lvl7 orc chieftan.

with the treadmill it only focuses on monsters that are within a level or two of the party.


The point of making it optional is to decide how much of a difference you want between lv 1 and lv 20

You want bounded accuracy? No lv scaling
You want high-heroic scaling? full level scaling
Any in-betweens? 1/4, 1/2 or 3/4 LV scaling

I would make the 1/2 lv the default and let GMs decide wether they want bounded accuracy or not in their worlds


Throw the whole level-scaling out. The PF 1e skill system is much better and much more flexible that this.


Copy-pasta of my post in a similar thread:

My suggestion, keeping with the DCs as set forth by the playtest, is that the proficiency level should give a scaling benefit based on level:
untrained: flat -2; and +1 per 5 levels
trained: flat +0; and +2 per 5 levels
expert: flat +1; and +3 per 5 levels
master: flat +2; and +4 per 5 levels
legend: flat +3; and +5 per 5 levels

All other things being equal (and assuming 0 other bonuses), at level 20 the disparity would be:
untrained: +2
trained: +8
expert: +13
master: +18
legend: +23

Note that this can have big impact on using skills in combat. At level 20 somebody that is merely an "expert" in Athletics is unlikely to be able to Disarm anybody.

Although I specify +X per 5 levels; the actual skill growth would be smooth by level - not a lump-sum every 5 levels. An appropriate table or something would sort that out.


Or another way to make the proficiency level more meaningful is by having:
untrained: cannot have critical success
trained: critical success at DC + 12
expert: critical success at DC + 10
master: critical success at DC + 8
legend: critical success at DC + 6


As an optional rule I think it's great. It gives the GM and players a dial to set the game between 'high fantasy', 'low fantasy' and 'gritty'. I think why I like it is because the underlying system supports that option so elegantly. One button = massive flavour change, at least if you are playing over enough levels (ie not a quick adventure).

I'm probably a +1/2 your level GM, looking at the flavour of the games I like to run. So a bit dialled down from the straight up high fantasy that Pathfinder defaults to. But it's a matter of personal preference.

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