4E, Dissociated Mechanics, and a Please Reconsider...


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Lucid Blue wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Your example doesn't work because in the "floating in the energy void" case the character wouldn't be allowed the check to look for food, since he's floating in the void.
Yes it does. That's exactly what it does. I can search for food in any plane of existence. Even planes that don't contain food.

You still need to be able to perform the action of looking for food, which floating in the void precludes.

It's like wanting to hold a sword without having hands. The rules never exclude the use of common sense.

And I would agree with you. Except that's not what's in the book. The book is explicit. A master level Nature skill with Planar Survival "can forage for food even if the plane lacks food that could normally sustain you."

Bolder for emphasis.

Lucid Blue wrote:
The food isn't there. By fiat. But I can MAKE it be there, simply by searching.

Food that coins normally sustain you isn’t there. That doesn’t mean food isn’t there. The point of the Feat isn’t finding food where none exists, it’s derriving sustainence from sources you would not otherwise be able to.

If you go looking for ways to “dissociate” the mechanics from the narrative, you’ll find them. All RPG mechanics are necessarily abstract to a certain degree, so they will never hold up if you look at them too closely. However, if you pay attention to what the rules actually say instead of actively looking for the most absurd interpretation you can think of, you’ll find that most mechanics are indeed rooted in the narrative.


Lucid Blue wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
The food isn't there. By fiat. But I can MAKE it be there, simply by searching.

Well yes. But that's a different thing than your example.

The problem with your example isn't that there's no food, it's that it's impossible to look for food (so the check doesn't happen and the ability can't trigger).

In a less doctored situation you have plenty of solutions. The guy knows how to track shadow giants and steal some of their captured creatures to use as food. On Carceri, they know where to look for shallow prisons that may contain edible creatures.
On the elemental plane of Fire, they spot a trade route to the City of Brass and trade with Djinn for food or steal from their secret caches.

It's exactly my example. The feat doesn't say "I can spot settlements and steal their food." It doesn't say "I know how to find local prisons that contain edible foods."

It says I can FORAGE. Not steal. Not barter. Not buy.

I can FORAGE for food, EVEN IN PLACES THAT HAVE NO FOOD.

It doesn't say "even in places that have no food." It reads, and I quote, "You can attempt to Survive in the Wild on different planes, even those without the resources or natural phenomena you normally need. For instance, you can forage for food even if the plane lacks food that could normally sustain you, ..." (emphasis mine).

Basically, you manage to figure out some way of sustaining yourself when you would normally be unable to, through clever tricks you've picked up with your experience. I think of it as akin to surviving in a desert.

I know someone else pointed that out to you in an earlier response.


Fabius Maximus wrote:


(Also, the fighter would be at negative hit points and close to death in your second example. I would imagine him bleeding out on the ground.)

Instead he's standing with 23 hp and full combat capabilities, so the question still is: did that 1500 lb sword hit or not?


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Visanideth wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So perhaps there is food to be found in Xal Karanith or something.

How can your players possibly enjoy the travel to Xal Karanith and the encounters they'll have within when the thought that the Ranger being able to forage food for them there is so dissociated from the fiction?

How are they supposed to be entertained by the tale of how he managed to boil and cook some disgusting, poisonous moss he took from the walls into something edible, when they know that fiction was born out of an impure, dissociated mechanic?

Necessities of plot compress space and time. Sure the NEP is huge and mostly empty, but however the PCs got there I will say dumped them not far from a point of interest, since the alternative is not as interesting.

I mean, have you ever had PCs die because they ran out of food or water when crossing the desert or the arctic? IRL these are incredibly likely scenarios but because the logic in storytelling games is primarily narrative logic, the PCs are always going to come across something of interest before they expire from hunger or thirst. It's just how these things work.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

So here's an example of how I could, as a player, justify foraging on the negative energy plane with planar survival.

So the negative energy plane gradually dissolves everything in it, but there are still structures and places to stand, right? Also, undead happen when the positive energy that animates a living thing is replaced by negative energy, and normally undead are not very delicious since they are often made of decaying people. But you know what else takes to rot and decay like nothing else? Mushrooms. So, friends, we're on the lookout for undead mushrooms, possibly lichens, or slime molds- these are not delicious, but they won't make you sick because, frankly a mushroom doesn't have much opportunity to go bad, but don't pick the red ones

I must say, I rather like this example.


Rameth wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Your example doesn't work because in the "floating in the energy void" case the character wouldn't be allowed the check to look for food, since he's floating in the void.
Yes it does. That's exactly what it does. I can search for food in any plane of existence. Even planes that don't contain food.

You still need to be able to perform the action of looking for food, which floating in the void precludes.

It's like wanting to hold a sword without having hands. The rules never exclude the use of common sense.

And I would agree with you. Except that's not what's in the book. The book is explicit. A master level Nature skill with Planar Survival "can forage for food even if the plane lacks food that could normally sustain you."

The food isn't there. By fiat. But I can MAKE it be there, simply by searching.

I stated this earlier and apparently it was skimmed over. The line "plane lacks food that could NORMALLY sustain YOU" is very important. It's is NOT saying that if the plane lacks food you just find some but just that it normally lacks food that could sustain you in it's current form. Like something that would be poisonous or inedible because of it's consistency you can find a way to make it edible to you. Nowhere do I read "I can find food that isn't there"

Being entirely fair, there is often actually nothing in places like the Paraelemental Plane of Vacuum or the Negative and Positive Energy Planes. Though on that note, the big problem is getting anywhere, since there's no real guideposts in a vast sea of...well there's nothing there.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Except that Dorothy has never made a sword in her life. Dorothy has only ever made baskets. Hattori has made swords for 30 years. Doesn't matter. Dorothy can make the master level katana. First time out. Hattori can't even try.

Because Dorothy knows how to make that sword. Hattori does not. She's just that good.

If, as Renchard points out, you'd prefer craft be a bit more specific in how you apply your bonus (i.e., the speciality crafting feat was built into the skill, rather than on top of it), fine. But in PF2, the craft skill doesn't work like that, and you are getting mad at a cat because it isn't a dog.

Isn't that the entire point of a playtest? To say "hey you made this a cat, and I think it should be a dog?"

Why should Lore be partitioned out then? Let's just let one skill give us access to the knowledge of everything? One point, and we're essentially omniscient? Why should that be a problem?

If I can go buy the plans for anything... A master level katana, the golden gate bridge, maybe a cathedral, the Mona Lisa, hell pretty much everything. And I don't need to find a master painter. Or an architect. Or a mason. Or an engineer. Or a weaponsmith. I don't need any of them.

I've got a pile of plans. And I've got Dorothy the master basketweaver, who's never done anything but make baskets her entire life. But she can build all of it.

If that situation is palatable and believable to you, then more power to you. But you should be just as on board with a single master Lore skill. That gives you access to every bit of knowledge in the universe. Because it's exactly the same thing.


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Charlaquin wrote:


Food that coins normally sustain you isn’t there. That doesn’t mean food isn’t there. The point of the Feat isn’t finding food where none exists, it’s derriving sustainence from sources you would not otherwise be able to.

If you go looking for ways to “dissociate” the mechanics from the narrative, you’ll find them. All RPG mechanics are necessarily abstract to a certain degree, so they will never hold up if you look at them too closely. However, if you pay attention to what the rules actually say instead of actively looking for the most absurd interpretation you can think of, you’ll find that most mechanics are indeed rooted in the narrative.

I read the feat and I imagine the Genasi bard smiling at the party while they're standing in an air pocket on the demiplane of ashes and she's siphoning fire out of some magma, adding a misterious fluid to the rock as it cools down, and say "swallow this, it will sustain you for a few days. Don't ask me how it works. Remember not to evacuate until we're out of here".

If you read that feat and all you can imagine is a guy doing jazz hands and food magically popping out I feel sorry for you.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So perhaps there is food to be found in Xal Karanith or something.

How can your players possibly enjoy the travel to Xal Karanith and the encounters they'll have within when the thought that the Ranger being able to forage food for them there is so dissociated from the fiction?

How are they supposed to be entertained by the tale of how he managed to boil and cook some disgusting, poisonous moss he took from the walls into something edible, when they know that fiction was born out of an impure, dissociated mechanic?

Necessities of plot compress space and time. Sure the NEP is huge and mostly empty, but however the PCs got there I will say dumped them not far from a point of interest, since the alternative is not as interesting.

I mean, have you ever had PCs die because they ran out of food or water when crossing the desert or the arctic? IRL these are incredibly likely scenarios but because the logic in storytelling games is primarily narrative logic, the PCs are always going to come across something of interest before they expire from hunger or thirst. It's just how these things work.

I was being sarcastic btw. I know tone is lost on the Internet. I agree on the point anyways.

Scarab Sages

The Rot Grub wrote:
I need to look into the Rulebook further to have an overall opinion, but my first reaction to the OP is that I'm willing to allow for some "disassociation" when legendary skills are involved. I think by "legendary" the developers are aiming at classic hero tales level of suspension of disbelief, from a time when folks who heard such tall tales did not have modern scientific thought getting in the way.

Historical heroes had legendary qualities:

Gilgamesh and Samson had legendary strength and I believe Gilgamesh was known to be immortal or invulnerable, I forget which.

Beowulf rips the arm off Grendel and slays a dragon 50 years later (so in his 70's or 80's he kills a dragon).

Many of the knights in Arthurian Legend perform some pretty awesome legendary feats.

I could go on.

The answer is, "Because they are Legendary."


Visanideth wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So perhaps there is food to be found in Xal Karanith or something.

How can your players possibly enjoy the travel to Xal Karanith and the encounters they'll have within when the thought that the Ranger being able to forage food for them there is so dissociated from the fiction?

How are they supposed to be entertained by the tale of how he managed to boil and cook some disgusting, poisonous moss he took from the walls into something edible, when they know that fiction was born out of an impure, dissociated mechanic?

How will the players ever have fun by dealing creatively with a problem? When a single die roll can solve everything.

Let's use your example: We're on the plane of fire. And I know where there's a prison with food stores. Ok great.

But let's not bother sneaking in. Or playing any of that out. Let's not make an adventure out of it.

We're starving. There's a prison. The prison has food.

I make a forage check.

Ok done. You got into the prison and got the food. You aren't hungry anymore.

Was that fun?


Lucid Blue wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Except that Dorothy has never made a sword in her life. Dorothy has only ever made baskets. Hattori has made swords for 30 years. Doesn't matter. Dorothy can make the master level katana. First time out. Hattori can't even try.

Because Dorothy knows how to make that sword. Hattori does not. She's just that good.

If, as Renchard points out, you'd prefer craft be a bit more specific in how you apply your bonus (i.e., the speciality crafting feat was built into the skill, rather than on top of it), fine. But in PF2, the craft skill doesn't work like that, and you are getting mad at a cat because it isn't a dog.

Isn't that the entire point of a playtest? To say "hey you made this a cat, and I think it should be a dog?"

Why should Lore be partitioned out then? Let's just let one skill give us access to the knowledge of everything? One point, and we're essentially omniscient? Why should that be a problem?

If I can go buy the plans for anything... A master level katana, the golden gate bridge, maybe a cathedral, the Mona Lisa, hell pretty much everything. And I don't need to find a master painter. Or an architect. Or a mason. Or an engineer. Or a weaponsmith. I don't need any of them.

I've got a pile of plans. And I've got Dorothy the master basketweaver, who's never done anything but make baskets her entire life. But she can build all of it.

If that situation is palatable and believable to you, then more power to you. But you should be just as on board with a single master Lore skill. That gives you access to every bit of knowledge in the universe. Because it's exactly the same thing.

Did they change how Craft worked in 2e? The book was a slog to read through and I might've missed some stuff.

Technically Craft had subtypes in 1e and 3.5, a lot of people just ignored them because it was a pain to spend ranks in Craft (Weaponsmith) or Craft (Baskets) or Craft (Cooking) unless your backstory specifically included them (and you were a Wizard or Rogue or something with skills to spare).


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lucid Blue wrote:
If that situation is palatable and believable to you, then more power to you. But you should be just as on board with a single master Lore skill. That gives you access to every bit of knowledge in the universe. Because it's exactly the same thing.

I mean, sure. That's why my first character is a bard, who gets exactly such a lore skill, though she can't raise it past expert.

I don't know about believable though. No TTRPG skill system I've encountered has been believable. It's a game, why would I expect that? I just accept the rules work that way, and move on.


Visanideth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:


(Also, the fighter would be at negative hit points and close to death in your second example. I would imagine him bleeding out on the ground.)
Instead he's standing with 23 hp and full combat capabilities, so the question still is: did that 1500 lb sword hit or not?

He's lying on the ground bleeding. 23-31 equals -8, does it not?


Tallow wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
I need to look into the Rulebook further to have an overall opinion, but my first reaction to the OP is that I'm willing to allow for some "disassociation" when legendary skills are involved. I think by "legendary" the developers are aiming at classic hero tales level of suspension of disbelief, from a time when folks who heard such tall tales did not have modern scientific thought getting in the way.

Historical heroes had legendary qualities:

Gilgamesh and Samson had legendary strength and I believe Gilgamesh was known to be immortal or invulnerable, I forget which.

Beowulf rips the arm off Grendel and slays a dragon 50 years later (so in his 70's or 80's he kills a dragon).

Many of the knights in Arthurian Legend perform some pretty awesome legendary feats.

I could go on.

The answer is, "Because they are Legendary."

Gilgamesh was neither, he goes on a quest for immortality is all. His big thing was killing a couple of divine entities.

The fun thing is the ones you mentioned are actually tame. Fionn was straight up omniscient, Son Goku physically jumped out of the prime material and to the gates of the far realm after beating up everyone in the outer planes combined (and getting shut in the sun for a bit, which gave him laser vision), Karna shoots a chariot weighing as much as the rest of the universe combined and knocks it back six feet, etc.


Grapes of Being Tired wrote:

Did they change how Craft worked in 2e? The book was a slog to read through and I might've missed some stuff.

Technically Craft had subtypes in 1e and 3.5, a lot of people just ignored them because it was a pain to spend ranks in Craft (Weaponsmith) or Craft (Baskets) or Craft (Cooking) unless your backstory...

Yes, that's part of what I'm complaining about in this thread. Now it's just "Craft(everything)". And a master level basketweaver can make the master level katana that the expert swordsmith can't do.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Grapes of Being Tired wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Except that Dorothy has never made a sword in her life. Dorothy has only ever made baskets. Hattori has made swords for 30 years. Doesn't matter. Dorothy can make the master level katana. First time out. Hattori can't even try.

Because Dorothy knows how to make that sword. Hattori does not. She's just that good.

If, as Renchard points out, you'd prefer craft be a bit more specific in how you apply your bonus (i.e., the speciality crafting feat was built into the skill, rather than on top of it), fine. But in PF2, the craft skill doesn't work like that, and you are getting mad at a cat because it isn't a dog.

Isn't that the entire point of a playtest? To say "hey you made this a cat, and I think it should be a dog?"

Why should Lore be partitioned out then? Let's just let one skill give us access to the knowledge of everything? One point, and we're essentially omniscient? Why should that be a problem?

If I can go buy the plans for anything... A master level katana, the golden gate bridge, maybe a cathedral, the Mona Lisa, hell pretty much everything. And I don't need to find a master painter. Or an architect. Or a mason. Or an engineer. Or a weaponsmith. I don't need any of them.

I've got a pile of plans. And I've got Dorothy the master basketweaver, who's never done anything but make baskets her entire life. But she can build all of it.

If that situation is palatable and believable to you, then more power to you. But you should be just as on board with a single master Lore skill. That gives you access to every bit of knowledge in the universe. Because it's exactly the same thing.

Did they change how Craft worked in 2e? The book was a slog to read through and I might've missed some stuff.

Technically Craft had subtypes in 1e and 3.5, a lot of people just ignored them because it was a pain to spend ranks in Craft (Weaponsmith) or Craft (Baskets) or Craft (Cooking) unless your backstory...

Yes. In order to craft a thing, you need: a formula, to be of the appropriate rank, to have the appropriate tools, to be of the same level as the item or higher, and have the raw materials. You don't need to be specifically trained in a subcategory, although you can take a speciality crafting feat to be better at crafting a subcategory of items if you choose.

In the example Lucid and I are batting about, Dorothy is a Master Crafter with the speciality crafting feat (weaving). Hattori is an expert crafter with the same feat for smithing. Assuming they are of the same level, give Hattori an expert level sword to make, and he's the better crafter. But if you need a master sword, Dorothy is the only one who can even try, even though she only knows the theory and has no swordmaking practice.

Edit: Now, due to the way Lore works, Dorothy has a shot at making a living as a sword crafter, but she'd do better to simply stick to basket weaving and let Hattori make the swords. Both of them earn more sticking to their specialities in that respect.


Fabius Maximus wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:


(Also, the fighter would be at negative hit points and close to death in your second example. I would imagine him bleeding out on the ground.)
Instead he's standing with 23 hp and full combat capabilities, so the question still is: did that 1500 lb sword hit or not?
He's lying on the ground bleeding. 23-31 equals -8, does it not?

Forget hit points if the "abstraction" causes so many problems. Let's use "unconscious and dying." There's no more abstraction. There's no more figurative anything. The state is what it is. It doesn't matter how you got there. It doesn't matter if you have "literal sword wounds." Or if you fell from a great height and broke bones, or just "suffered the abstract consequences of a great fall."

You are "unconscious and dying." It is what it is.

And the soup line of naked medics can still fix you up better than the cleric wielding healing magic.

Or at least, they can do more in volume. The clerics run out of spells. The soup line can fix a constant stream of "unconscious and dying" patients. Right back to full health. Thousands of "unconscious and dying" patients a day. With no resources. And no limit. Other than they can only see each patient once.


Fabius Maximus wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:


(Also, the fighter would be at negative hit points and close to death in your second example. I would imagine him bleeding out on the ground.)
Instead he's standing with 23 hp and full combat capabilities, so the question still is: did that 1500 lb sword hit or not?
He's lying on the ground bleeding. 23-31 equals -8, does it not?

No, he's at 23 AFTER he got hit for 31.

Or not hit, considering the 1500 lb sword would definitely kill him if it actually had hit.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Edit: Now, due to the way Lore works, Dorothy has a shot at making a living as a sword crafter, but she'd do better to simply stick to basket weaving and let Hattori make the swords. Both of them earn more sticking to their specialities in that respect.

Are they? The prices are way higher for master level items. That may be enough to tip things where Dorothy is better off snatching the high level plans and putting Hattori out of business as a weaponsmith.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, because while she could make a master level sword, her bonus at making master level baskets (and what a weird picture that conjures) is still higher than for blacksmithing. She probably knows how to make more items too.


Visanideth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:


(Also, the fighter would be at negative hit points and close to death in your second example. I would imagine him bleeding out on the ground.)
Instead he's standing with 23 hp and full combat capabilities, so the question still is: did that 1500 lb sword hit or not?
He's lying on the ground bleeding. 23-31 equals -8, does it not?

No, he's at 23 AFTER he got hit for 31.

Or not hit, considering the 1500 lb sword would definitely kill him if it actually had hit.

I see. You meant to write 'has' instead of 'had'.

In that case, the fighter gets hit, but could twist his body in a way that lessened the blow so that he didn't take the full brunt of it.


Lucid Blue wrote:


How will the players ever have fun by dealing creatively with a problem? When a single die roll can solve everything.

Let's use your example: We're on the plane of fire. And I know where there's a prison with food stores. Ok great.

But let's not bother sneaking in. Or playing any of that out. Let's not make an adventure out of it.

We're starving. There's a prison. The prison has food.

I make a forage check.

Ok done. You got into the prison and got the food. You aren't hungry anymore.

Was that fun?

I think we have different interpretations of what a foraging check does.

If my players are in town, and the Ranger doesn't want to pay for food and chooses to make a Foraging check to get some game in the woods, the assumption is that he goes to the woods to do so.
The food doesn't magically get to him.

You generally don't need to play out those situations, but we had a character kidnapped during a foraging check once as we were being hunted by agents of the local church, for example.

So in the extreme planar situation you will still get an adventure out of how you'll get the Planar Survivor guy in the vicinity of the area where he can procure the food.

Or maybe you won't and you'll make out some cool story on how he knows how to purify undead moss and make it edible or create rocks that can sustain you by mixing cold lava and troll blood, and you'll proceed doing more fun things. Again, your task as the DM isn't being a calculator that simulates the environment or a lawyer applying every comma of every rule. You're there to provide fun.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Yes, because while she could make a master level sword, her bonus at making master level baskets (and what a weird picture that conjures) is still higher than for blacksmithing. She probably knows how to make more items too.

Hmm. In that case, I guess it comes down to supply and demand.

If you just need a bunch of middling level katanas, you go talk to Hattori Hanzo the expert smith.

But if you need a TRULY master crafted blade. Go see Dorothy the basketweaver.


I didn't see it mentioned anywhere... but um... has anyone seen The Martian with Matt Damon. Cause the moon doesn't NORMALLY (just like the word normally in Planar Survival) have food.

Secondly, just like The Martian, this is make believe. The Martian was supposed to be somewhat believable. Pathfinder fully accepts that you can do supernatural things in game.

I'm not too bothered by this.

Battle Medic is so-so. 1st level I think it's supposed to make up for lack of other healing options. Have you played with it at later levels? 4d10+6 once per day when everyone has easily over 200 hp doesn't seem like a problem to me. Especially when fighters start increasing their proficiency with weapons, effectively also increasing their crit range. But thank heaven I don't have to slap each member of my party 48 times with a Cure light wand anymore. Spending 3 gold per hp.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lucid Blue wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Yes, because while she could make a master level sword, her bonus at making master level baskets (and what a weird picture that conjures) is still higher than for blacksmithing. She probably knows how to make more items too.

Hmm. In that case, I guess it comes down to supply and demand.

If you just need a bunch of middling level katanas, you go talk to Hattori Hanzo the expert smith.

But if you need a TRULY master crafted blade. Go see Dorothy the basketweaver.

Exactly! Especially since she learned it specifically to spite him (bad divorce, she got the dog, he got the forge, but forgot to specify that she leave the master level plans in the forge).


Fabius Maximus wrote:


In that case, the fighter gets hit, but could twist his body in a way that lessened the blow so that he didn't take the full brunt of it.

Again, since we're talking about a 20 ft tall giant wielding a 1500lb sword, it took a LOT of brunt out of the attack. Turning that into a scratch factually means being practically missed.

And we go back to the issue with hit point. The 9 dmg spear stab from the goblin and the 31 dmg sword strike from the giant were both "but a scratch", so while the mechanical implications of those attack strongly differ, the in-fiction effects are nearly identical.

Which pretty much mean you're not getting hit. Also considering how a stab from a paper cutter can leave you crippled in real life, any pretense that your character is routinely getting wounded dozens of times each day with no lasting consequences is much more dissociated than just assuming you're not actually getting hit until you're dropped under 0 hp.


I'm just not sure that "the gm being able to explain away all the inconsistencies" is a useful substitute for "making a game with less inconsistencies."


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Lucid Blue wrote:
I'm just not sure that "the gm being should be able to explain away all the inconsistencies" is a useful substitute for "making a game with less inconsistencies."

It is because of three reasons:

1. creating a game with no inconsistencies that is also playable is factually impossible.

2. reducing inconsistencies as a design goal is severely limiting when designing a fantasy game, unless you can expect your audience to have completely arbitrary preferences that perfectly align with your approach ("I think Fighters should be designed as 100% realistic human being out of an historical movie, but I'm also fine with monsters not obeying the same laws of physics because reasons" ie "inconsistencies only matter when I say so").

3. (this is a very personal opinion) a roleplaying system should provide the most solid, functional and balanced mechanics possible as its main goal, and leave narrative consistency to the DM if conflict arises, because it's much easier (and fun) to fix narrative inconsistencies than fixing lacking mechanics. It's better to have solid, interesting mechanics that may need some imagination from the DM to rationalize if they become an issue for him or his group, than having lacking, non functional or uninteresting rules for the sake of consistency.


Visanideth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:


In that case, the fighter gets hit, but could twist his body in a way that lessened the blow so that he didn't take the full brunt of it.

Again, since we're talking about a 20 ft tall giant wielding a 1500lb sword, it took a LOT of brunt out of the attack. Turning that into a scratch factually means being practically missed.

And we go back to the issue with hit point. The 9 dmg spear stab from the goblin and the 31 dmg sword strike from the giant were both "but a scratch", so while the mechanical implications of those attack strongly differ, the in-fiction effects are nearly identical.

If you say so. I find it funny that you're the one having problems coming up with a narrative to fit the rules here.

For example: the more damage you take, the more trouble you have lessening further damage, until you eventually die.

Quote:


Which pretty much mean you're not getting hit. Also considering how a stab from a paper cutter can leave you crippled in real life, any pretense that your character is routinely getting wounded dozens of times each day with no lasting consequences is much more dissociated than just assuming you're not actually getting hit until you're dropped under 0 hp.

I take it you know how soldier in "the olden times" looked after they had survived a few battles. They were full of scars from superficial wounds. There are a few instances that suggest that people kept fighting after they had suffered severe head trauma.

Also, that's where magical healing comes in. And not some weird rules element that doesn't explain why it heals damage.


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Visanideth wrote:
1. creating a game with no inconsistencies that is also playable is factually impossible.

I'm not advocating the creation of a game with no inconsistencies.

I'm saying "don't print math blocks without an in-fiction explanation."

The explanation doesn't need to be perfect and corner-case free. But it should provide some context to how something works in-fiction. And in so doing, provide some realistic expectation of what circumstances might countermand that action.

If all it says is "spend one action and your target regains 2d8 hit points," there's no grounding in the world at all. It's just a video game function call. Subtract one action - add extra hit points.

It's not impossible to add explanations to the game. They already did it with 99% of the book! Is it really that unreasonable, that in part of the process of getting feedback, to make changes to the game, that they might make THAT change? And add the missing 1%?


Aren't most uses of skills something that we can't explain before they are attempted, so you can't help but provide mechanics before context?

Like take any example where a party wants to be diplomatic to convince someone to do something for them. It is always going to depend on what the party wants, who they are talking to, what that person wants, and what general approach does the party take. Never could you just say "I roll diplomacy to get what I want."

Like one can use Diplomacy on a Fruit Vendor, a Queen, a Pit Fiend, and an Otyugh. All of these encounters are going to be very different and depend on a lot of external factors that the players and the GM will need to invent.

Dark Archive

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I tend to lean towards the rules should represent the world as closely as possible so I'm with OP on this one


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Fabius Maximus wrote:


Again, since we're talking about a 20 ft tall giant wielding a 1500lb sword, it took a LOT of brunt out of the attack. Turning that into a scratch factually means being practically missed.

And we go back to the issue with hit point. The 9 dmg spear stab from the goblin and the 31 dmg sword strike from the giant were both "but a scratch", so while the mechanical implications of those attack strongly differ, the in-fiction effects are nearly identical.

If you say so. I find it funny that you're the one having problems coming up with a narrative to fit the rules here.

For example: the more damage you take, the more trouble you have lessening further damage, until you eventually die.

But I have no problem with the fiction, because I use hit points the way they've been written from the get go (ie, a hit is not always a hit) so I can explain everything that happen.

In-fiction problems only start if you take a "every hit actually connects" stance (some cases are particularly amazing, like taking 25 damages from Acid Rays but not actually being scarred or corroded).

Quote:

I take it you know how soldier in "the olden times" looked after they had survived a few battles. They were full of scars from superficial wounds. There are a few instances that suggest that people kept fighting after they had suffered severe head trauma.

Also, that's where magical healing comes in. And not some weird rules element that doesn't explain why it heals damage.

Those soldiers accumulated those wounds over years. A D&D/PF character gets hit dozens of times each day.

Also, this is a good example of what I was saying above: rather than use the common sense explanation that would make this all have sense, we'd rather have a fiction that only works thanks to magic because this allows for more (theorical) purity in the literal interpretation of the rules.


Here's my 2 cents on Planar Survival

First its description and the words i find important in majuscule.

You can ATTEMPT to Survive in the Wild on different planes, even those without the resources or natural phenomena you normally need. For instance, you CAN forage for food even if the plane lacks food that could normally sustain you, and you COULD find your bearings on a plane that doesn’t have stars, a sun, or other normal aids to navigation. A SUCCESS at Surviving in the Wild can reduce the plane’s damage as well, at the GM’s discretion.

There two aspect to take into consideration. The mechanics and the fiction.

For the mechanical aspect, I see it this way. You need a feat. You need a mechanical advantage in addition to being a master in survival to being ALLOWED to search for food in planes that don't have food. Now, you as the DM, it would be wrong for you to say to a player that get this feat that he can't search for food in the plane of fire. However, you are in your right to declare that the roll is of a high difficulty. If your sending your level 8 team for a one week adventure into the fire plane, and you make it clear that one of your player will have to sacrifice himself by taking the Planar Survival because its an extremely alien environment. It becomes your responsability to create skills encounter from low to severe to find food and shelter.

As for the Fiction. Is there potential food on the fire or void plane and similar plane? Yes. The planes are strange and magical places and sometimes small pockets of other planes can appear on other planes. Also, the ecology of planes is highly variable, for exemple:

-on the fire plane, you can encounter a peculiar kind of trees that are ignifuge, seems to grow out of nowhere and even have their roots hanging in the air while their leaves are made of fire. The interesting aspect of those tree is that they produce small berries that are edibles. But good luck finding one those trees. The only way is to find them is by the weird smell they produce, and frankly, no one know what that smell is...

-on the void plane, scholar have for a long time wondered why there are small pockets from the elysium appearing all over the void plane. Those same scholars weirdly seems more interested to argue about the appearance of those pocket planes rather than the actual stuff that you can find on them. If you ask me, a planr adventurer, i don't care why they do appear, but when you spot one, make sure to visit such places as they will proccur you food and shelter for a day or two before they get destroyed by the void.

Did i just come up with those two explanations, YES AND THAT'S THE POINT. The idea is, that the planes are places that exist in a fantasy setting that are even more fantastic. Use your imagination a little. In the old AD&D 2nd edition their are books describing the planes and for the elementals ones they explained that each planes bordered other planes and that would make stuff from one plane appear onto another. INFINITE planes had BORDERS with other INFINITE planes.

If all you can imagine in the fire plane is fire everywhere populated with fire elemetals, you're doing it wrong. The fire planes, and any planes for that matter, should be like our world but with a theme, fire in this case. Imagine this:

-somewhere in the fire plane there is a big patch of dirt that came from the plane of earth. On it there is a forest with trees that have leaves made of fire. A river made of lava flow through the forest. In the middle of that patch of dirt there is a tower made of solidified fire, hot but not dangerous to the touch. And inside of that tower, there is an adventure waiting for a daring group of adventurers.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Aren't most uses of skills something that we can't explain before they are attempted, so you can't help but provide mechanics before context?

Not at all. The diplomacy skill says what it does. You are talking to the person and trying to convince them. Or persuade them to react a particular way. That's why you have to speak the same language. If they can't understand you, you can't persuade them.

It doesn't say, "spend one action and the creature thinks better of you."


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Aren't most uses of skills something that we can't explain before they are attempted, so you can't help but provide mechanics before context?

Like take any example where a party wants to be diplomatic to convince someone to do something for them. It is always going to depend on what the party wants, who they are talking to, what that person wants, and what general approach does the party take. Never could you just say "I roll diplomacy to get what I want."

Like one can use Diplomacy on a Fruit Vendor, a Queen, a Pit Fiend, and an Otyugh. All of these encounters are going to be very different and depend on a lot of external factors that the players and the GM will need to invent.

That's not the same. In your example, using Diplomacy always has to include some method of communication, usually talking. There's your in-game explanation.


Lucid Blue wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Aren't most uses of skills something that we can't explain before they are attempted, so you can't help but provide mechanics before context?

Not at all. The diplomacy skill says what it does. You are talking to the person and trying to convince them. Or persuade them to react a particular way. That's why you have to speak the same language. If they can't understand you, you can't persuade them.

It doesn't say, "spend one action and the creature thinks better of you."

Yeah, but it doesn't state how every single use of Diplomacy is going to go, because the narrative is always shifting.

Same for Planar Survivor.


Visanideth wrote:


1. creating a game with no inconsistencies that is also playable is factually impossible.

2. reducing inconsistencies as a design goal is severely limiting when designing a fantasy game, unless you can expect your audience to have completely arbitrary preferences that perfectly align with your approach ("I think Fighters should be designed as 100% realistic human being out of an historical movie, but I'm also fine with monsters not obeying the same laws of physics because reasons" ie "inconsistencies only matter when I say so").

To the extent that these terms are applied as meant by the proponents, the last several decades of gaming marketplace disprove your claims.

Debates about hit points and the # of chickens one can buy are just goalpost moving into areas that divert away from whether the PF2E ruleset provides better value to the overall marketplace compared to PF1E and other successful games.

Quote:
3. (this is a very personal opinion) a roleplaying system should provide the most solid, functional and balanced mechanics possible as its main goal, and leave narrative consistency to the DM if conflict arises, because it's much easier (and fun) to fix narrative inconsistencies than fixing lacking mechanics. It's better to have solid, interesting mechanics that may need some imagination from the DM to rationalize if they become an issue for him or his group, than having lacking, non functional or uninteresting rules for the sake of consistency.

That sounds wonderful in the abstract. But in the context of this forum it falls apart.

If the rules are such that conflict with reason is routine then the awesome things that happen within the game points of interest become routine.


Lucid Blue wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:


(Also, the fighter would be at negative hit points and close to death in your second example. I would imagine him bleeding out on the ground.)
Instead he's standing with 23 hp and full combat capabilities, so the question still is: did that 1500 lb sword hit or not?
He's lying on the ground bleeding. 23-31 equals -8, does it not?

Forget hit points if the "abstraction" causes so many problems. Let's use "unconscious and dying." There's no more abstraction. There's no more figurative anything. The state is what it is. It doesn't matter how you got there. It doesn't matter if you have "literal sword wounds." Or if you fell from a great height and broke bones, or just "suffered the abstract consequences of a great fall."

You are "unconscious and dying." It is what it is.

And the soup line of naked medics can still fix you up better than the cleric wielding healing magic.

Or at least, they can do more in volume. The clerics run out of spells. The soup line can fix a constant stream of "unconscious and dying" patients. Right back to full health. Thousands of "unconscious and dying" patients a day. With no resources. And no limit. Other than they can only see each patient once.

Yes, and 10,000 peasants can launch a spear at supersonic speed just by passing it from one to the next in the course of a 6-second round, but nobody cares because we understand that this little quirk is an unavoidable result of the fact that the game rules are not designed to account for such situations. But if you use them like a normal human being who isn’t out to prove that they can fabricate a situation where the system’s logic breaks down, then they work just fine.


BryonD wrote:


Debates about hit points and the # of chickens one can buy are just goalpost moving into areas that divert away from whether the PF2E ruleset provides better value to the overall marketplace compared to PF1E and other successful games.

As much as I wish the mainstream market had moved beyond the played out combination of simulationism and actor stance play, I have to agree with you that the market seems to prefer them.

I'm pretty sure that PF2 has already lost the new edition war, and now we'll just be measuring the length of the war and the number of casualties.


BryonD wrote:


Debates about hit points and the # of chickens one can buy are just goalpost moving into areas that divert away from whether the PF2E ruleset provides better value to the overall marketplace compared to PF1E and other successful games.

I think you just erected a completely different goal somewhere on the pitch and now use a spotlight to highlight it.


GameDesignerDM wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Aren't most uses of skills something that we can't explain before they are attempted, so you can't help but provide mechanics before context?

Not at all. The diplomacy skill says what it does. You are talking to the person and trying to convince them. Or persuade them to react a particular way. That's why you have to speak the same language. If they can't understand you, you can't persuade them.

It doesn't say, "spend one action and the creature thinks better of you."

Yeah, but it doesn't state how every single use of Diplomacy is going to go, because the narrative is always shifting.

Same for Planar Survivor.

No, it doesn't explain every possible outcome. But it still gives an explanation. It tells you what diplomacy IS.

Planar Survival gives NO explanation. It says "roll a die and if you succeed, food appears. Even if there's no food." Battle Medic says "spend one action, and the target heals x number of hit points."

Neither one says HOW. Neither one is grounded in the world. They're both just a disembodied math block that gets applied.

The whole thing that makes an RPG what it is, is that there's in-world fiction that contextualizes the activity. And gives the gm and players a way to reason through whether an action is successful or not. Or what factors might get in the way.

For everyone who thinks that none of this is an issue, would you also be in favor of removing the explanations everywhere else from the game? We could greatly cut down the length of the book if it's just a long list of math.

How about this one?

Spend two actions. And everyone in a 30' radius takes 6d6 damage. (old fashioned fireball.)

Or this one?

Spend a standard action, and your target gets 1d8 hit points. You may only make this action once a day. (cure light wounds)

Once you remove the game world, all of the context is gone. What about beings immune to fire? What if your target is undead? Oh, well then that's different. The fire giant didn't care about your 2 action, 6d6 function call. The undead got hurt by your 1/day standard action instead of being healed. Suddenly the details matter.

But if we never know the details, we never have any context. It's just "spend one action and get hit points." Or "spend an action and your target likes you more." (What if it's a golem?)

Everyone is arguing that the 1% isn't a problem, simply because you can imagine ways to fix it. Yes, that's true. You know what else fixes it? Giving an in-fiction explanation of the math block!


Overall, I think that Planar Survivor is not a big problem in this regard. It is quite easy to come up with an explanation and the GM has the last word.

Battle Medic, OTOH, is pretty silly. It's a feat that would not exist in my game as it is now.

Still, it's not as bad than those "Ah clench muh teef reel hard so muh nose stops bleedin'" feats from the Healer's Handbook or the ridiculousness that is Ricochet Toss. (Not to speak of the 4e core mechanics or the Tome of Battle.)

It may be that the flavour descriptions are not finalised yet, though, and the final product will look different in this respect. Maybe you will need to expend some resources to use Battle Medic.


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Lucid Blue wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Yeah, I heard with Legendary they wanted to support truly epic, Beowulf type action, swim for days, that sort of thing.
Hence my pleading in the OP to limit the few Dissociated bits to legendary. It's still there if you want it. You can even make it earlier in the game if you want to go super gonzo. But it's also much easier to take out by simply taking out legendary.

I think you're suffering from a lack of imagination. This is a fantasy setting. Magic pervades reality, to the point that a guy who knows the right words can wiggle his fingers and levitate a rock.

So if you've got Planar Survival, you've learned how to weave the reality of whatever plane you're on into something that will sustain you.

Plane of fire? Yes, it's a bunch of fire elementals and searing rocks, but this isn't the normal reality; things work differently here. Through your travels and study, you've come to understand that the heart produces heat for the body, and while you're on the plane of fire you can *literally* eat fire and it will sustain you. It requires a bit of practice to only grab the fire that is cool enough to swallow without getting burnt, but if you cake your hands with dirt, you can snag a handful of searing gas out of a firespout, and then hold it until it cools a bit, then eat that. It's not tasty, but here on the plane of fire, it works.


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Visanideth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:


(Also, the fighter would be at negative hit points and close to death in your second example. I would imagine him bleeding out on the ground.)
Instead he's standing with 23 hp and full combat capabilities, so the question still is: did that 1500 lb sword hit or not?

Oh yeah, it hit. But it didn't cleave through his flesh and leave him bleeding. It made contact with his armor and sent a hell of a shock through him, but fortunately he spun away so it was a glancing blow. The stakes are really dang high, but he's brave, and he's going to keep fighting, even though if he slips up and doesn't dodge just right, he's toast!


Fabius Maximus wrote:
It may be that the flavour descriptions are not finalised yet, though, and the final product will look different in this respect. Maybe you will need to expend some resources to use Battle Medic.

That's all I'm calling for. A bit of flavor text editing and it's fixed. This isn't some intractable, unsolvable mystery.

Add the fluff HOW to the math's WHAT, and it's done.

"You use a healers kit to staunch the bleeding and bind the wounds, healing x HP of damage."

Perfect. That tells me a lot. (Including, "that can't be done in 2 seconds.") But at least I know what's going on. And it probably won't work on a golem. And I need a healers kit. And the healers kit has a limited number of uses.

And it also tells me how to houserule the ridiculous ones... "Sorry, but Dorothy the basketweaver can't out-katana Hitori Hanzo. You need to take Craft skill for each area of expertise, just like 1E."


Renchard wrote:
BryonD wrote:


Debates about hit points and the # of chickens one can buy are just goalpost moving into areas that divert away from whether the PF2E ruleset provides better value to the overall marketplace compared to PF1E and other successful games.

As much as I wish the mainstream market had moved beyond the played out combination of simulationism and actor stance play, I have to agree with you that the market seems to prefer them.

I'm pretty sure that PF2 has already lost the new edition war, and now we'll just be measuring the length of the war and the number of casualties.

It isn't too late yet. But when the rules create such stark divisions in the fanbase, it is a bad sign.

I recall the fierce debates on Eric Noah's forums before 3E came out. People got mad!!! But the community was aligned in excitement. Yes, there were the old school forever groups. But there was a clear consensus.

The build up to 5E also had a lot of eagerness.

I don't think PF2E looks like 4E (details here and there, sur; overall not at all) But the fanbase split and entrenchments feel very familiar...


Fabius Maximus wrote:
BryonD wrote:


Debates about hit points and the # of chickens one can buy are just goalpost moving into areas that divert away from whether the PF2E ruleset provides better value to the overall marketplace compared to PF1E and other successful games.

I think you just erected a completely different goal somewhere on the pitch and now use a spotlight to highlight it.

Ok

Well, I'm certainly motivated to have the goalpoast be "create a market sustainable 2E". so if I've moved it that way, I'm glad.

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