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


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Wanted to point out bits of Dissociated Mechanics that show up here and there in the playtest.. The Planar Survival feat is the worst offender I've seen. But there a few others as well.

There's been a lot of talk about whether 2E is/isn't like 4E D&D. Whether or not you think that's a good thing, with class powers and such, I'd argue that the main thing that made 4E unpalatable to a lot of people was it's fetishization of balance and reliance on Dissociated Mechanics. Meaning, mechanical game effects that had no grounding whatsoever in the fiction of the world.

Balance and options are all good. But a lot of 4E mechanics were simply bits of math that got applied to the world, without ever explaining HOW or WHAT was going on. It was just a catalog of powers that applied math to a situation.. Which made it feel very video-gamey because it lacked any explanation or way to mitigate the effects. (But what kind of damage is it? How did I take it? What if I was protected situationally? Doesn't matter. Math is math. World be damned. Mark it on your sheet.)

For the most part, it seems that Pathfinder has taken pains to avoid doing that. (eg. A DC10 tree is a DC10 tree. It doesn't get harder to climb as the PC's gain levels. Making the tree adjust it's DC for the climber feels video-gamey because there's no in-world explanation for why it should change.)

But then we get to things like Planar Survival... Where "you can forage for food [on another plane of existence] EVEN IF THE PLANE LACKS FOOD THAT COULD NORMALLY SUSTAIN YOU."

I can't think of a worse example of Dissociated Mechanics.. And it's exactly the DC10 tree issue. The plane DOESN'T EVEN HAVE FOOD. But you can forage for it anyway. The plane suddenly has food BECAUSE THE PLAYER LOOKED FOR IT. "Elemental plane of fire? No problem. I have Planar Survival! Let me scrounge up some berries. Negative Energy void? Pfff. There's small game around here somewhere."

Combat Medic is another. I can literally wipe away severe sword wounds in two seconds flat with a bit of gauze! How? Who knows? The math said I can do it.

Legendary skill feats are basically ALL dissociated. But they're also intended to be a little silly. And at least they're well-grouped and easy to disallow.

Really, it's all stuff that can be houseruled away. (Which I will.) But I wanted to call it out as a problematic design philosophy. It appears so infrequently that it can still be resolved.

So can we please reconsider? And limit Dissociated Mechanics to the gonzo legendary feats? Let the DC10 tree be a DC10 tree always. In every incarnation.

Magic is magic. But it PALES beside the power of dissociated math blocks. And I can't think of a quicker way to ruin the spirit of an otherwise excellent rpg.


Sorry, it's BATTLE Medic. Not Combat Medic... And apparently you don't even need the gauze or any tools at all. You just math away wounds.

Screw the clerics. Any first level schmuck who's trained in medicine can heal an average of 180 HP per minute with no limit. That's 86,400 HP per 8 hour day of work on the field. Though I suppose they won't make ALL their roles... Let's round it down to 40,000.

(I'm imagining teams of medics running around a battlefield, tapping soldiers on the heads, three a round, a-la duck duck goose. And poofing away sword wounds with the power of math.)

Grand Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber
Lucid Blue wrote:

Sorry, it's BATTLE Medic. Not Combat Medic... And apparently you don't even need the gauze or any tools at all. You just math away wounds.

Screw the clerics. Any first level schmuck who's trained in medicine can heal an average of 180 HP per minute with no limit. That's 86,400 HP per 8 hour day of work on the field. Though I suppose they won't make ALL their roles... Let's round it down to 40,000.

(I'm imagining teams of medics running around a battlefield, tapping soldiers on the heads, three a round, a-la duck duck goose. And poofing away sword wounds with the power of math.)

Except that Battle Medic bolsters the target against doing it again (ie, you can only do this for someone once a day).


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Hence the battlefield scenario. One tap per soldier. But 10,000 soldiers get 10,000 taps.

And they're only bolstered against YOUR taps. Your Battle Medic buddies can still tap in turn. 10 medics, 10 taps, times 10,000 soldiers.


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the DC for the battle medic feat is 20, isn't it? that's not exactly super consistent healing for most characters at earlier levels, and at later levels I'm not sure how good it'll be.


Lucid Blue wrote:

Sorry, it's BATTLE Medic. Not Combat Medic... And apparently you don't even need the gauze or any tools at all. You just math away wounds.

Screw the clerics. Any first level schmuck who's trained in medicine can heal an average of 180 HP per minute with no limit. That's 86,400 HP per 8 hour day of work on the field. Though I suppose they won't make ALL their roles... Let's round it down to 40,000.

(I'm imagining teams of medics running around a battlefield, tapping soldiers on the heads, three a round, a-la duck duck goose. And poofing away sword wounds with the power of math.)

Ha, I'm picturing Ralph, from the Simpsons, running in a circle: "Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck...duck, duck, duck..."


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Personally, I love what you call "dissociated mechanics" since I always ask players to "tell a story about how they did that" when something is suggested as possible by the mechanics without any clear idea how it works, and I get some of the best improv moments from this.


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Hit points are not a direct measure of wounds.
They haven't been since D&D first edition.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Personally, I love what you call "dissociated mechanics" since I always ask players to "tell a story about how they did that" when something is suggested as possible by the mechanics without any clear idea how it works, and I get some of the best improv moments from this.

Huh. Different philosophies I guess. So would you be opposed to just letting players erase any damage after each combat? Or assuming that they always have enough food and water, even in locales that don't have food and water?

If not, is the objection purely math/balance related rather than in-world-fiction related?

Maybe I'm the odd duck here...


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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:

Hit points are not a direct measure of wounds.

They haven't been since D&D first edition.

Then why not give clerics unlimited healing? If a first level medic can heal 40,000 HP per day on the battlefield, with no magic and no equipment. Shouldn't clerics, who are magical healers, be able to do at least that much?

The Exchange

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I don't really see a problem with battle medic because you don't have to worry about the logical extreme, just how it's used in your group. One person decided to spend their options on medicine? Each of the other three party members can get patched up just a little bit more that day. If they come to the DM and say "I want to heal this army" you tell them that it'll be considered a fatiguing downtime activity, and that he's limited to a certain amount of work before he's mentally and physically exhausted


Because spellcasters have, by design, abilities that are MORE POWERFUL but limited in DAILY USES.

This has been the case since first edition as well. And I mean D&D first edition. In the seventies. How come you didn't notice?


Lucid Blue wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Personally, I love what you call "dissociated mechanics" since I always ask players to "tell a story about how they did that" when something is suggested as possible by the mechanics without any clear idea how it works, and I get some of the best improv moments from this.

Huh. Different philosophies I guess. So would you be opposed to just letting players erase any damage after each combat? Or assuming that they always have enough food and water, even in locales that don't have food and water?

If not, is the objection purely math/balance related rather than in-world-fiction related?

Maybe I'm the odd duck here...

Are there mechanics for allowing me to just erase damage? Do they have a skill that or feat that allows for finding such food?

Just because a world doesn't have at food I can just forage and eat doesn't mean my character can't take the things they can find and make them edible.....should it require a second check? Maybe, your call but the feat in this form at least tells you they can do it. Adding a 'way' to do it just means that some GMs will look for ways to take that way out of the picture.


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Lucid Blue wrote:

Hence the battlefield scenario. One tap per soldier. But 10,000 soldiers get 10,000 taps.

And they're only bolstered against YOUR taps. Your Battle Medic buddies can still tap in turn. 10 medics, 10 taps, times 10,000 soldiers.

This is the same issue that resonance exposes. Logically, adventuring parties should consist of a whole train of hirelings to handle healing. This was a possible solution in PF1 as well, but it was not economical (it was not cheaper than a healing wand). In PF2 it looks like it might be.

I don't mind it too much, because there is a certain sensibility to it and archeologist do usually employ teams of people locally to make and set up camps, which is something missing from a lot of fantasy adventuring.

I would much rather have seen legendary survival be about conditioning your body not to need food, but I guess the issue there is that skills are so rare, no party is going to want to double up on one, much less have the whole party ranking the same proficiency up to legendary.


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I guess I'm genuinely baffled that so many people support the Dissociated Mechanics.

So are you all also in favor of Planar Survival feat allowing people to forage for food on planes of existence that don't have food? Where the act of searching poofs the food into existence?

And if so, are you against letting the DC10 tree be DC10 for everyone? And believe the same tree should have higher DC for higher level characters?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lucid Blue wrote:

I guess I'm genuinely baffled that so many people support the Dissociated Mechanics.

So are you all also in favor of Planar Survival feat allowing people to forage for food on planes of existence that don't have food? Where the act of searching poofs the food into existence?

And if so, are you against letting the DC10 tree be DC10 for everyone? And believe the same tree should have higher DC for higher level characters?

Yes.


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Lucid Blue wrote:
So are you all also in favor of Planar Survival feat allowing people to forage for food on planes of existence that don't have food? Where the act of searching poofs the food into existence?

Yes.

Quote:
And if so, are you against letting the DC10 tree be DC10 for everyone? And believe the same tree should have higher DC for higher level characters?

No.

The Exchange

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Lucid Blue wrote:

I guess I'm genuinely baffled that so many people support the Dissociated Mechanics.

So are you all also in favor of Planar Survival feat allowing people to forage for food on planes of existence that don't have food? Where the act of searching poofs the food into existence?

And if so, are you against letting the DC10 tree be DC10 for everyone? And believe the same tree should have higher DC for higher level characters?

So, the issues you raise feel like corner cases to me, so I don't really care, to be honest. Most planes, including the planes of earth, fire, and whatnot all have creatures on them, and you could hunt them for food. The issues with battlefield medic I've already addressed, and that's really more of a GM dealing with an unreasonable player


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Certain things I have no problem with handwaving. A legendary survivalist is beyond normal world rules. It isn't important to me that the ability spells out how they manage to survive in a vacuum.

Other things do bother me, things like 4e abilities that were "You attack and another player gets +1 and an enemy gets -1" some of those had the flimsiest flavor text, and it felt very unsatisfying.

I guess I'm okay with rules that let characters do something even if it doesn't make sense, but I'm not okay with rules that apply numerical bonuses just because there's an empty slot that needs to be filled with something.


D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Quote:
And if so, are you against letting the DC10 tree be DC10 for everyone? And believe the same tree should have higher DC for higher level characters?
No.

Why not? If the objection isn't rooted in in-fiction realism. Why does it matter if the tree has variable difficulty?

Is it purely a math/balance thing?


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Lucid Blue wrote:
So are you all also in favor of Planar Survival feat allowing people to forage for food on planes of existence that don't have food? Where the act of searching poofs the food into existence?

So here's my understanding of how Planar Survival works. A character whose knowledge of the survival is legendary may know where food is available on a plane that everybody else thought there was no food whatsoever- that's what makes them legendary.

I don't think there's any need to declare "there's absolutely nothing to eat in the negative energy plane" in an decision from on high- I would rather a player tell me what actually is edible on the NEP.


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Lucid Blue wrote:


Why not? If the objection isn't rooted in in-fiction realism.

The objection is rooted in in-fiction realism.

The tree changing DC breaks it.

Planar Survival doesn't.
Abstract hit points don't either.


Hunterofthedusk wrote:
So, the issues you raise feel like corner cases to me

That's actually why I bring them up. They're corner cases that could easily be fixed from a design philosophy stance. Either ground them in fiction, remove them, or bump them up to gonzo/legendary.

But it appears I may be of a different mindset/generation here. I've always valued in-fiction realism over pure mathematical balance. In my experience, it forces players to be creative in their problem solving. Since they can't fix every situation with a hand wave and a math block.

But if math/balance is top billing. Then there's no reason to sacrifice that math for the sake of in-fiction realism.

The Exchange

I'm not certain that it would be worth the extra text in the book to add a bunch of other restrictions, when you can just let the GM limit players when they're being unreasonable


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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


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My go-to legendary survival justification is going to be "I siphon midichlorians out of the space around me like krill"


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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:


Why not? If the objection isn't rooted in in-fiction realism.

The objection is rooted in in-fiction realism.

The tree changing DC breaks it.

Planar Survival doesn't.
Abstract hit points don't either.

So if I have a gaping swordwound. Nearly enough to drop me dead. And a naked first level medic spends two seconds attending to me. With no gear, tools, magic or equipment. And suddenly the gaping swordwound is gone and I'm in perfect health. What would be the in-fiction explanation for how that happened?

And what would the explanation be for why THAT medic can't heal my next sword wound until the following day? But his buddy could do it now?


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Planar Survival doesn't work the way you suggest. It says if the plane lacks food that can NORMALLY sustain you. Which means that the it still has to have SOMETHING that is edible in some way and you're so bad a** you figure out how to make it work for you.

As for Battle Medic it says that you make a Medicine check and while although I agree it doesn't SAY you need a Healer's Kit for the feat in all of the trained uses of Medicine it says you need a Healer's Kit in order to do it. So yes I would argue you do need tools.

Also it makes sense that someone can heal damage again if it's from someone else because Hit points are arbitrary. The hit point system falls apart from close scrutiny all the time.

Also because the character is bolstered from your Battle Medic feat for 24 HOURS then the entire party would have to have Battle Medic and would only be able to heal a possible 1d10+wis 4 to 5 times in a day, if they all use it on each other, until level 7 when it can go to master. While granted that is not bad it requires a lot of the parties resources to even be a slight alternative to healing spells or items. Which I say makes sense if you're trying to play a low magic world or give players other options for healing.


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Lucid Blue wrote:
So if I have a gaping swordwound. Nearly enough to drop me dead. And a naked first level medic spends two seconds attending to me. With no gear, tools, magic or equipment. And suddenly the gaping swordwound is gone and I'm in perfect health. What would be the in-fiction explanation for how that happened?

The wound either never existed - OR, the wound is still there but your newfound courage allows you to carry on.

Hit Points are abstract. ABSTRACT


Lucid Blue wrote:

Wanted to point out bits of Dissociated Mechanics that show up here and there in the playtest.. The Planar Survival feat is the worst offender I've seen. But there a few others as well.

There's been a lot of talk about whether 2E is/isn't like 4E D&D. Whether or not you think that's a good thing, with class powers and such, I'd argue that the main thing that made 4E unpalatable to a lot of people was it's fetishization of balance and reliance on Dissociated Mechanics. Meaning, mechanical game effects that had no grounding whatsoever in the fiction of the world.

Balance and options are all good. But a lot of 4E mechanics were simply bits of math that got applied to the world, without ever explaining HOW or WHAT was going on. It was just a catalog of powers that applied math to a situation.. Which made it feel very video-gamey because it lacked any explanation or way to mitigate the effects. (But what kind of damage is it? How did I take it? What if I was protected situationally? Doesn't matter. Math is math. World be damned. Mark it on your sheet.)

For the most part, it seems that Pathfinder has taken pains to avoid doing that. (eg. A DC10 tree is a DC10 tree. It doesn't get harder to climb as the PC's gain levels. Making the tree adjust it's DC for the climber feels video-gamey because there's no in-world explanation for why it should change.)

But then we get to things like Planar Survival... Where "you can forage for food [on another plane of existence] EVEN IF THE PLANE LACKS FOOD THAT COULD NORMALLY SUSTAIN YOU."

I can't think of a worse example of Dissociated Mechanics.. And it's exactly the DC10 tree issue. The plane DOESN'T EVEN HAVE FOOD. But you can forage for it anyway. The plane suddenly has food BECAUSE THE PLAYER LOOKED FOR IT. "Elemental plane of fire? No problem. I have Planar Survival! Let me scrounge up some berries. Negative Energy void? Pfff. There's small game around here somewhere."

Combat Medic is another. I can literally wipe away severe sword wounds in two seconds...

Thank you for this!


WatersLethe wrote:
My go-to legendary survival justification is going to be "I siphon midichlorians out of the space around me like krill"

Hahaha. And I can actually get on board with that! I guess my point is that all of that ungrounded math stuff should be limited to Legendary.

(Planar Survival is NOT a legendary feat.)

Like the Legendary medicine one... It's legendary that someone could cure blindness or disease or whatever. I think that's great. But how is it less legendary that a single naked first level medic could heal tens of thousands of hit points per day?

I mean really... Why would anyone field an army without a team of a couple dozen first level medics who could all but make their army immortal?


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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.

The Exchange

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Lucid Blue wrote:
I mean really... Why would anyone field an army without a team of a couple dozen first level medics who could all but make their army immortal?

Because they would only have, what, +5 or +6 and need to hit a DC 20? So most of them would fail and then not be able to try again on that person? And feeding that many useless morons would be prohibitive? And it while 5 medics swarmed around a wounded soldier and mostly failed their rolls, the enemy could just attack a couple more times and now that soldier is dead?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lucid Blue wrote:

(Planar Survival is NOT a legendary feat.)

I must have thought it was from a statement early on about legendary characters being able to survive in a vacuum. I don't even have a fraction of the new stuff memorized yet.


I think part of the issue with planar survival is that in any adventure where our plucky heroes visit and unfriendly and alien plane, you have to play up the dangers they are likely to face there while they are planning and in order to set atmosphere. But when they are actually there, having taken appropriate measures, you don't play up the hostile environment at every opportunity- the point is to make the players feel apprehension, not to parade an endless series of unpleasantness in front of your friends.

So Planar Survival is like that- it doesn't seem like it would work until you're actually there and realize "oh, it's not *that* bad here."

The Exchange

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think part of the issue with planar survival is that in any adventure where our plucky heroes visit and unfriendly and alien plane, you have to play up the dangers they are likely to face there while they are planning and in order to set atmosphere. But when they are actually there, having taken appropriate measures, you don't play up the hostile environment at every opportunity- the point is to make the players feel apprehension, not to parade an endless series of unpleasantness in front of your friends.

So Planar Survival is like that- it doesn't seem like it would work until you're actually there and realize "oh, it's not *that* bad here."

You find yourselves on the plane of earth, with no living things in sight. Your stomach grumbles, angry at you for forgetting to bring food. The Ranger licks a crystal, and discovers that it is crystalized sugar! The party is saved!


Hunterofthedusk wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
I mean really... Why would anyone field an army without a team of a couple dozen first level medics who could all but make their army immortal?
Because they would only have, what, +5 or +6 and need to hit a DC 20? So most of them would fail and then not be able to try again on that person? And feeding that many useless morons would be prohibitive? And it while 5 medics swarmed around a wounded soldier and mostly failed their rolls, the enemy could just attack a couple more times and now that soldier is dead?

How are they useless morons? Fielding 10,000 men is okay. But the 20 who stand in the back and make them all immortal aren't worth the extra food?

Put them in the back. Form a soup line. Each wounded soldier walks down the line. Even with +5 or +6, by the end of the soup line, statistically each soldier is now in perfect health and back to the front. Meanwhile the poor clerics mope around and tell the soldiers "sorry, I'm out of heal spells for the day. Head back to the soup line. They'll fix you up."

It's okay if you are on board with the dissociated math blocks. But the whole point is that they're dissociated. There's no in-fiction explanation for why it would or wouldn't work.


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.

Yeah, I heard with Legendary they wanted to support truly epic, Beowulf type action, swim for days, that sort of thing.


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boy, imagine how long and arduous the core rulebook would be if every single -what if- scenario had to be answered in book, and people didn't just trust their GM's to make sure completely nonsensical things like your examples not happen.


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.


Lucid Blue wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Personally, I love what you call "dissociated mechanics" since I always ask players to "tell a story about how they did that" when something is suggested as possible by the mechanics without any clear idea how it works, and I get some of the best improv moments from this.

Huh. Different philosophies I guess. So would you be opposed to just letting players erase any damage after each combat? Or assuming that they always have enough food and water, even in locales that don't have food and water?

If not, is the objection purely math/balance related rather than in-world-fiction related?

Maybe I'm the odd duck here...

With the intent being a game that people with both of your playstyles will (hopefully) be playing, one possible solution is text somewhere that suggests possibilities while being clear that the text isn't explicitly the one way it functions. The point would be to encourage players to come up with creative answers.

I think this thread is actually a great example of how creative players can be, and the wording/descriptions of these legendary feats should try and encourage this. Enough description to get ideas flowing, but not so spelled out that it would conflict with player's ideas.


exoicho123 wrote:
boy, imagine how long and arduous the core rulebook would be if every single -what if- scenario had to be answered in book, and people didn't just trust their GM's to make sure completely nonsensical things like your examples not happen.

It's not arduous. It's called "associating the mechanics with the in-fiction world." Which 99% of the playtest already does.

The Exchange

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Lucid Blue wrote:
Hunterofthedusk wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
I mean really... Why would anyone field an army without a team of a couple dozen first level medics who could all but make their army immortal?
Because they would only have, what, +5 or +6 and need to hit a DC 20? So most of them would fail and then not be able to try again on that person? And feeding that many useless morons would be prohibitive? And it while 5 medics swarmed around a wounded soldier and mostly failed their rolls, the enemy could just attack a couple more times and now that soldier is dead?

How are they useless morons? Fielding 10,000 men is okay. But the 20 who stand in the back and make them all immortal aren't worth the extra food?

Put them in the back. Form a soup line. Each wounded soldier walks down the line. Even with +5 or +6, by the end of the soup line, statistically each soldier is now in perfect health and back to the front. Meanwhile the poor clerics mope around and tell the soldiers "sorry, I'm out of heal spells for the day. Head back to the soup line. They'll fix you up."

It's okay if you are on board with the dissociated math blocks. But the whole point is that they're dissociated. There's no in-fiction explanation for why it would or wouldn't work.

If you think about any of the generalized and abstracted part of the game you'll come up with a scenario that will make it not make sense. If a person with 10 health gets hit for 9 damage, they are mutilated and barely alive. If a person with 100 health gets hit for 9 damage, they barely notice. Was that not the same attack? None of it stands up to scrutiny, so I ask- why put this much energy into being upset at something that will never come up in the game? No one will try to use battlefield medic to heal a whole army

Dark Archive

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Doesn't making planar survival legendary just nerf non casters more? Assuming 2e still has some variety of create wood and water or other food spells

The Exchange

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Corner case rulings don't need to be in the book, because that would be a ridiculous waste of space. Anything that comes up and doesn't feel right can be adjudicated by the GM, depending on the needs of the game and the group


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Lucid Blue wrote:
D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:


Why not? If the objection isn't rooted in in-fiction realism.

The objection is rooted in in-fiction realism.

The tree changing DC breaks it.

Planar Survival doesn't.
Abstract hit points don't either.

So if I have a gaping swordwound. Nearly enough to drop me dead. And a naked first level medic spends two seconds attending to me. With no gear, tools, magic or equipment. And suddenly the gaping swordwound is gone and I'm in perfect health. What would be the in-fiction explanation for how that happened?

And what would the explanation be for why THAT medic can't heal my next sword wound until the following day? But his buddy could do it now?

Hit points do not equal wounds, not since 1st Edition AD&D. I would not equate losing 90% of my hit points to a "gaping swordwound" necessarily. If that is the case, then pretty much all mundane healing in this game would be ridiculous.


Hunterofthedusk wrote:
If you think about any of the generalized and abstracted part of the game you'll come up with a scenario that will make it not make sense. If a person with 10 health gets hit for 9 damage, they are mutilated and barely alive. If a person with 100 health gets hit for 9 damage, they barely notice. Was that not the same attack?

The problem isn't the relative vaguery. The problem is the absolute difference with the rest of the game world.

A handful of naked first level medics can heal more damage than a cleric with magical healing. Period.

You can hand wave and talk about abstraction all you want. The absolute end result is the same.

The naked medics healed all damage. The magical cleric couldn't.


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When I saw the title of this thread, I thought it would be a more general indictment of PF2's mechanics, something akin to Justin Alexander's excellent breakdown of the phenomenon in D&D 4E. But if legendary skills is what the critique is aimed at then I'm honestly not that concerned about it. Legendary is legendary.

EDIT: The same author was not satisfied with his original article and presented a more balanced critique of dissociated mechanics in a later essay, which he explains are not necessarily "bad" but must be used judiciously and with care in an RPG.


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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.

Yeah, that seems cool, to mimic mythic style play. Some people are really clamouring for that sort of thing in 5th Ed, so this could be a good option to provide.


The Rot Grub wrote:
When I saw the title of this thread, I thought it would be a more general indictment of PF2's mechanics, something akin to Justin Alexander's excellent breakdown of the phenomenon in D&D 4E. But if legendary skills is what the critique is aimed at then I'm honestly not that concerned about it. Legendary is legendary.

Legendary isn't the problem. Dissociate legendary all you want. I'm b+!~$ing about first level and mid-level feats that are just as dissociated.

This is EXACTLY Justin Alexander's indictment of dissociated mechanics. I'm just picking out a couple examples. Because MOST of 2E is not guilty of it. It's only a few needling spots.

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