Attack rolls seem to close together


Classes


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With everyone getting their level to attack rolls trained vs legendary is only a five point difference. This means an untrained wizard can attack almost as well as a trained fighter, especially at higher levels.
After playing a few encounters this makes me think that martial characters either need more bonuses or the level attack/bonus to ac should be half the level not the full level.


that's the whole premise of bounded accuracy.

someone can flip your argument around and say to you that a fighter is as knowledgable as a wizard because a simply trained fighter has only -3 (stats aside, since you also disregarded them from your maths) on his lore check vs a legendary occult knowledge wizard


Every +1 to hit also adds a +5% to their crit rate. So each step of difference has more overall power than it did before.

edit: Also, those +5% are a big deal while crit rates are low. If a wizard needs a 20 to crit, then a fighter with +3 over the wizard crits on a 17-20 or 4x as often as the wizard.


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N-Sphere wrote:

Every +1 to hit also adds a +5% to their crit rate. So each step of difference has more overall power than it did before.

edit: Also, those +5% are a big deal while crit rates are low. If a wizard needs a 20 to crit, then a fighter with +3 over the wizard crits on a 17-20 or 4x as often as the wizard.

A 10th level wizard using a mace gets +10 to hit, plus str + wpn magic etc.

A 10th level fighter gets a +2 bonus due to mastery, otherwise the same.
It seems far too close to me.
A fighter should have a considerably better to hit than an equivalent wizard.
Same thing with knowledge skills. How can someone trained in them have such a small advantage, especially at higher levels? A 15th level wizard trained in arcana has a +15 proficiency + master so +17 + int
An untrained fighter would be 4 behind? Why would the fighter have any clue about arcana??????


Kodyboy wrote:


A 10th level wizard using a mace gets +10 to hit, plus str + wpn magic etc.
A 10th level fighter gets a +2 bonus due to mastery, otherwise the same.
It seems far too close to me.
A fighter should have a considerably better to hit than an equivalent wizard.
Same thing with knowledge skills. How can someone trained in them have such a small advantage, especially at higher levels? A 15th level wizard trained in arcana has a +15 proficiency + master so +17 + int
An untrained fighter would be 4 behind? Why would the fighter have any clue about arcana??????

I think you're greatly discounting the difference from ability score bonuses. Wizards are very unlikely to increase strength and aren't generally going to have the proficiency bonus in weapons that a fighter does, by default, and in fact are untrained in maces anyway.

Using a +1 magic mace:
Wizard (untrained, 10 str): 10 -2 + 0 + 1 = 9 to-hit
Fighter (Club mastery, 20 str): 10 + 2 + 5 + 1 = 18 to-hit

Now, for Arcana, while the fighter may be allowed to make an Arcana check untrained, he can only Recall Knowledge. Even then, it's going to be pretty modest knowledge picked up from adventuring, recalled from overhearing someone mention something in passing, etc. It's up to the DM to determine what their check reveals, and whether the DC might be higher for the fighter than for the wizard. So, untrained, the fighter has +8 to their roll. Not nothing, but not close to the trained Wizard with Arcana as a signature, master skill proficiency and 20 Int, gaining at least +17 to their arcana roll, and they gain advanced uses of the skill. That's a pretty distinct advantage in my book.


vangrue wrote:
Kodyboy wrote:


A 10th level wizard using a mace gets +10 to hit, plus str + wpn magic etc.
A 10th level fighter gets a +2 bonus due to mastery, otherwise the same.
It seems far too close to me.
A fighter should have a considerably better to hit than an equivalent wizard.
Same thing with knowledge skills. How can someone trained in them have such a small advantage, especially at higher levels? A 15th level wizard trained in arcana has a +15 proficiency + master so +17 + int
An untrained fighter would be 4 behind? Why would the fighter have any clue about arcana??????

I think you're greatly discounting the difference from ability score bonuses. Wizards are very unlikely to increase strength and aren't generally going to have the proficiency bonus in weapons that a fighter does, by default, and in fact are untrained in maces anyway.

Using a +1 magic mace:
Wizard (untrained, 10 str): 10 -2 + 0 + 1 = 9 to-hit
Fighter (Club mastery, 20 str): 10 + 2 + 5 + 1 = 18 to-hit

Now, for Arcana, while the fighter may be allowed to make an Arcana check untrained, he can only Recall Knowledge. Even then, it's going to be pretty modest knowledge picked up from adventuring, recalled from overhearing someone mention something in passing, etc. It's up to the DM to determine what their check reveals, and whether the DC might be higher for the fighter than for the wizard. So, untrained, the fighter has +8 to their roll. Not nothing, but not close to the trained Wizard with Arcana as a signature, master skill proficiency and 20 Int, gaining at least +17 to their arcana roll, and they gain advanced uses of the skill. That's a pretty distinct advantage in my book.

Maybe you are right. I didn't think about the recall knowledge only limitation.


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Kodyboy wrote:

With everyone getting their level to attack rolls trained vs legendary is only a five point difference. This means an untrained wizard can attack almost as well as a trained fighter, especially at higher levels.

After playing a few encounters this makes me think that martial characters either need more bonuses or the level attack/bonus to ac should be half the level not the full level.

The math you're concerned about is ultimately fine. A fighter is much better than a wizard wielding that same mace, plus the fighter may have an ability that tacks on a rider. The wizard has no such option.

The closeness in numbers means that an optimized character is only slightly better than an unoptimized character. So even if you make a dwarven bard, or a gnome barbarian, you're only going to be 1 point behind the dwarven barbarian, or gnomish bard respectively.

As an optimizer, I dislike this. I don't hate it, and I'll probably learn to live with it, but today I'm scowling.


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The issue is more along the lines of the facts that anyone planning to use a weapon is probably going to use one they're at least trained in, meaning at most a legendary character (so level 15) is only going to have a 15% better hit rate, and enemy AC doesn't scale to make this work.

The whole point of this was for martial characters to crit all the time where non martial characters don't, but in execution that doesn't seem to be working out.

If we used d10s instead this would matter more, but the distribution spread isn't wide enough to actually show that variety.

This gets especially worse when one considers how easy it is to improve your weapon proficiency with a feat or two that martial characters have no purpose. Mathematically speaking. Maybe they serve the role of soaking up damage by being on the front lines more (seems likely) but damage and combat options are really weak.


master_marshmallow wrote:

The issue is more along the lines of the facts that anyone planning to use a weapon is probably going to use one they're at least trained in, meaning at most a legendary character (so level 15) is only going to have a 15% better hit rate, and enemy AC doesn't scale to make this work.

The whole point of this was for martial characters to crit all the time where non martial characters don't, but in execution that doesn't seem to be working out.

If we used d10s instead this would matter more, but the distribution spread isn't wide enough to actually show that variety.

This gets especially worse when one considers how easy it is to improve your weapon proficiency with a feat or two that martial characters have no purpose. Mathematically speaking. Maybe they serve the role of soaking up damage by being on the front lines more (seems likely) but damage and combat options are really weak.

what are you talking about?

a)AC seems to scale even higher than attack bonuses
b)it's extremely difficult to increase martial proficiency (in fact i think only by multiclassing fighter you can do so)

plus, riders and such.

yes "everyone planning to use a weapon" SHOULD be able to do so reliably, since those people are the martial clerics, martial bards, rogues, etc

i doubt that a caster will have enough WBL to get +5 potency/+3 property weapons that the martial focused characters will push for. ANd most of your damage comes from there either way.


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shroudb wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

The issue is more along the lines of the facts that anyone planning to use a weapon is probably going to use one they're at least trained in, meaning at most a legendary character (so level 15) is only going to have a 15% better hit rate, and enemy AC doesn't scale to make this work.

The whole point of this was for martial characters to crit all the time where non martial characters don't, but in execution that doesn't seem to be working out.

If we used d10s instead this would matter more, but the distribution spread isn't wide enough to actually show that variety.

This gets especially worse when one considers how easy it is to improve your weapon proficiency with a feat or two that martial characters have no purpose. Mathematically speaking. Maybe they serve the role of soaking up damage by being on the front lines more (seems likely) but damage and combat options are really weak.

what are you talking about?

a)AC seems to scale even higher than attack bonuses
b)it's extremely difficult to increase martial proficiency (in fact i think only by multiclassing fighter you can do so)

plus, riders and such.

yes "everyone planning to use a weapon" SHOULD be able to do so reliably, since those people are the martial clerics, martial bards, rogues, etc

i doubt that a caster will have enough WBL to get +5 potency/+3 property weapons that the martial focused characters will push for. ANd most of your damage comes from there either way.

AC scaling bigger than attack bonuses is bad when the game promotes me being able to beat their AC by 10 more often on martial builds.

The difference in proficiency is not noticeable because everyone is at least trained with some weapons.

If most of the damage numbers come from magic items anyway, why bother having martial characters at all?


Shane LeRose wrote:
Kodyboy wrote:

With everyone getting their level to attack rolls trained vs legendary is only a five point difference. This means an untrained wizard can attack almost as well as a trained fighter, especially at higher levels.

After playing a few encounters this makes me think that martial characters either need more bonuses or the level attack/bonus to ac should be half the level not the full level.

The math you're concerned about is ultimately fine. A fighter is much better than a wizard wielding that same mace, plus the fighter may have an ability that tacks on a rider. The wizard has no such option.

The closeness in numbers means that an optimized character is only slightly better than an unoptimized character. So even if you make a dwarven bard, or a gnome barbarian, you're only going to be 1 point behind the dwarven barbarian, or gnomish bard respectively.

As an optimizer, I dislike this. I don't hate it, and I'll probably learn to live with it, but today I'm scowling.

Yeah, I'm not thrilled with how the big systems are moving away from optimization and system mastery. If you want to make a good character, learn the game. It only takes a few hours to read the book.


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Shane LeRose wrote:
... plus the fighter may have an ability that tacks on a rider. The wizard has no such option.

This. My initial read through of the rules suggests that the big payoff for martial classes will be these rider effects.

1) Martial weapons have more lethal options as traits. There are no Simple weapons with the Deadly or Disarm trait. Only one has the trip, one has Shove. What's more, Simple weapons generally do less damage (crossbow being the exception).

2) Critical Specialization. This appears to be the big payoff by Paizo to solidify the martials as best in combat. Weapon Mastery opens this up for Fighter and Ranger and level 3, and Barbarian get this ability when raging with any weapon.

When you add Critical Specialization along with weapon traits and a higher crit rate, it should still represent an advantage over the Cleric or Bard. Now, how long with that last when Paizo inevitably starts creating splat books, is anyones guess.


sherlock1701 wrote:
Shane LeRose wrote:
Kodyboy wrote:

With everyone getting their level to attack rolls trained vs legendary is only a five point difference. This means an untrained wizard can attack almost as well as a trained fighter, especially at higher levels.

After playing a few encounters this makes me think that martial characters either need more bonuses or the level attack/bonus to ac should be half the level not the full level.

The math you're concerned about is ultimately fine. A fighter is much better than a wizard wielding that same mace, plus the fighter may have an ability that tacks on a rider. The wizard has no such option.

The closeness in numbers means that an optimized character is only slightly better than an unoptimized character. So even if you make a dwarven bard, or a gnome barbarian, you're only going to be 1 point behind the dwarven barbarian, or gnomish bard respectively.

As an optimizer, I dislike this. I don't hate it, and I'll probably learn to live with it, but today I'm scowling.

Yeah, I'm not thrilled with how the big systems are moving away from optimization and system mastery. If you want to make a good character, learn the game. It only takes a few hours to read the book.

i actually i'm totally in favor of this change.

it allows players to make characters they like without having to dip into 3 different stuff just to be optimal, plus it eliminates some of the ridiculous backstories i have heard just to justify said dips.


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Very much in favor of minimizing the role of system mastery. I wan't new players to actually have fun without needing to read multiple books first to make a new character.


N N 959 wrote:
Shane LeRose wrote:
... plus the fighter may have an ability that tacks on a rider. The wizard has no such option.

This. My initial read through of the rules suggests that the big payoff for martial classes will be these rider effects.

1) Martial weapons have more lethal options as traits. There are no Simple weapons with the Deadly or Disarm trait. Only one has the trip, one has Shove. What's more, Simple weapons generally do less damage (crossbow being the exception).

2) Critical Specialization. This appears to be the big payoff by Paizo to solidify the martials as best in combat. Weapon Mastery opens this up for Fighter and Ranger and level 3, and Barbarian get this ability when raging with any weapon.

When you add Critical Specialization along with weapon traits and a higher crit rate, it should still represent an advantage over the Cleric or Bard. Now, how long with that last when Paizo inevitably starts creating splat books, is anyones guess.

My issue is that the devs are trying to sell us on critical hits being more common on martial builds, but in reality most of the games their big fat bonus over non martial characters is 5-10% until you get to level 15 when you're only 15% better at crits, assuming the non martial build invested nothing into attacking.

I do not like critical specialization being gated behind feats for all but 3 classes.

Especially when I'm comparing options and understand that crits really aren't reliable and affect my build choices minimally in execution. I had a session zero yesterday to make characters with my players and kept running into dead ends where feats were wasted ink.

We need better crit ranges on martial characters if it genuinely is supposed to be the defining difference between the classes, otherwise all they really did is decide by class which weapons will get used, but everyone will essentially perform the same.


master_marshmallow wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Shane LeRose wrote:
... plus the fighter may have an ability that tacks on a rider. The wizard has no such option.

This. My initial read through of the rules suggests that the big payoff for martial classes will be these rider effects.

1) Martial weapons have more lethal options as traits. There are no Simple weapons with the Deadly or Disarm trait. Only one has the trip, one has Shove. What's more, Simple weapons generally do less damage (crossbow being the exception).

2) Critical Specialization. This appears to be the big payoff by Paizo to solidify the martials as best in combat. Weapon Mastery opens this up for Fighter and Ranger and level 3, and Barbarian get this ability when raging with any weapon.

When you add Critical Specialization along with weapon traits and a higher crit rate, it should still represent an advantage over the Cleric or Bard. Now, how long with that last when Paizo inevitably starts creating splat books, is anyones guess.

My issue is that the devs are trying to sell us on critical hits being more common on martial builds, but in reality most of the games their big fat bonus over non martial characters is 5-10% until you get to level 15 when you're only 15% better at crits, assuming the non martial build invested nothing into attacking.

I do not like critical specialization being gated behind feats for all but 3 classes.

Especially when I'm comparing options and understand that crits really aren't reliable and affect my build choices minimally in execution. I had a session zero yesterday to make characters with my players and kept running into dead ends where feats were wasted ink.

We need better crit ranges on martial characters if it genuinely is supposed to be the defining difference between the classes, otherwise all they really did is decide by class which weapons will get used, but everyone will essentially perform the same.

due to the additive nature of bounded accuracy, that 15% (which is +15%) matters quite a bit.

as an example, if a bard crits on a 19-20, and a fighter crits on a 16-20, that's 150% more critical chance. One crits every 10 strikes, the other every 4


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Bardarok wrote:
Very much in favor of minimizing the role of system mastery. I wan't new players to actually have fun without needing to read multiple books first to make a new character.

But that is something I've always enjoyed in a lot of games - I feel like the people who put in the time ought to be rewarded. If putting a lot of time into the system doesn't really reward me, I find it really frustrating, since I'll spend hours and hours circling builds trying to come up with something decent and ultimately failing.

It irks me when someone who slaps together a character in an hour will have something as good as I can make with six or eight hours of effort.


shroudb wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Shane LeRose wrote:
... plus the fighter may have an ability that tacks on a rider. The wizard has no such option.

This. My initial read through of the rules suggests that the big payoff for martial classes will be these rider effects.

1) Martial weapons have more lethal options as traits. There are no Simple weapons with the Deadly or Disarm trait. Only one has the trip, one has Shove. What's more, Simple weapons generally do less damage (crossbow being the exception).

2) Critical Specialization. This appears to be the big payoff by Paizo to solidify the martials as best in combat. Weapon Mastery opens this up for Fighter and Ranger and level 3, and Barbarian get this ability when raging with any weapon.

When you add Critical Specialization along with weapon traits and a higher crit rate, it should still represent an advantage over the Cleric or Bard. Now, how long with that last when Paizo inevitably starts creating splat books, is anyones guess.

My issue is that the devs are trying to sell us on critical hits being more common on martial builds, but in reality most of the games their big fat bonus over non martial characters is 5-10% until you get to level 15 when you're only 15% better at crits, assuming the non martial build invested nothing into attacking.

I do not like critical specialization being gated behind feats for all but 3 classes.

Especially when I'm comparing options and understand that crits really aren't reliable and affect my build choices minimally in execution. I had a session zero yesterday to make characters with my players and kept running into dead ends where feats were wasted ink.

We need better crit ranges on martial characters if it genuinely is supposed to be the defining difference between the classes, otherwise all they really did is decide by class which weapons will get used, but everyone will essentially perform the same.

9

due to the additive nature of bounded...

Bards are not the best example to use because they get Inspire Heroics (making them just as good if not better than martial characters) but I understand your general idea.

The problem comes from feats not helping you in combat.


sherlock1701 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Very much in favor of minimizing the role of system mastery. I wan't new players to actually have fun without needing to read multiple books first to make a new character.

But that is something I've always enjoyed in a lot of games - I feel like the people who put in the time ought to be rewarded. If putting a lot of time into the system doesn't really reward me, I find it really frustrating, since I'll spend hours and hours circling builds trying to come up with something decent and ultimately failing.

It irks me when someone who slaps together a character in an hour will have something as good as I can make with six or eight hours of effort.

Yup I can see wanting that. I personally don't have enough friends who actually enjoy spending hours on character creation to form a party though in fact I think I am the only person I know IRL who would actually enjoy spending more than an hour building a lvl one character.


sherlock1701 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Very much in favor of minimizing the role of system mastery. I wan't new players to actually have fun without needing to read multiple books first to make a new character.

But that is something I've always enjoyed in a lot of games - I feel like the people who put in the time ought to be rewarded. If putting a lot of time into the system doesn't really reward me, I find it really frustrating, since I'll spend hours and hours circling builds trying to come up with something decent and ultimately failing.

It irks me when someone who slaps together a character in an hour will have something as good as I can make with six or eight hours of effort.

As someone who does the same thing as you, I am not mad by that option.

Making a character for 6-8 hrs if a game in it self. And it is self rewarding.
IF someone wants to make character in 15 mins, let him.
I don't mind that they will be on the same power level.

he/she is missing on the building mini game.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Something to also remember regarding the proficiency mechanic - it is not just about the modifier, but it also plays into the feat prerequisites. A Legendary swordsman can hit a target a bit more often than an Expert swordsman, but that Legendary swordsman can potentially do quite a bit MORE with that hit.

Example: Brutal Finish


CraziFuzzy wrote:

Something to also remember regarding the proficiency mechanic - it is not just about the modifier, but it also plays into the feat prerequisites. A Legendary swordsman can hit a target a bit more often than an Expert swordsman, but that Legendary swordsman can potentially do quite a bit MORE with that hit.

Example: Brutal Finish

Is that quite a bit more? Yeah, it's an extra thing that requires master or better, but it's an extra die of damage on one attack in a round if you want to attack as your last action. That doesn't exactly seem like a huge damage increase. And it's essentially competing with all the other level 12 or lower class feats. A two hander fighter could take Reeling Blow instead, and also get something that seems pretty useful, for instance, and that has no higher level proficiency requirement.

Quote:


as an example, if a bard crits on a 19-20, and a fighter crits on a 16-20, that's 150% more critical chance. One crits every 10 strikes, the other every 4

Not strictly true, since penalties change with extra attacks and those essentially cut directly into critical chance. If you crit 16-20 on your primary attack, then the second attack at -5 is only critting on a 20. So it's more like fighter gets .25+.05 (+.05) crits while bard gets .1+.05 (+.05) which is "only" double crits.

And the chance that this critical advantage doesn't matter in a fight due to die rolls is pretty significant.


Has someone mapped when each class gets to what proficiency? I get a feeling a lot of these classes won't be getting very high before level 12ish compared to everyone else.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Warmagon wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:

Something to also remember regarding the proficiency mechanic - it is not just about the modifier, but it also plays into the feat prerequisites. A Legendary swordsman can hit a target a bit more often than an Expert swordsman, but that Legendary swordsman can potentially do quite a bit MORE with that hit.

Example: Brutal Finish

Is that quite a bit more? Yeah, it's an extra thing that requires master or better, but it's an extra die of damage on one attack in a round if you want to attack as your last action. That doesn't exactly seem like a huge damage increase. And it's essentially competing with all the other level 12 or lower class feats. A two hander fighter could take Reeling Blow instead, and also get something that seems pretty useful, for instance, and that has no higher level proficiency requirement.

I was making an example of what proficiency provide in addition to just the modifier difference. It was not supposed to be the end-all-be-all of proficiency based feats, just an example of what the mechanic is capable of.

This was the reasoning given in (I believe) the proficiency blog post, or it's following discussion. That proficiency is as much a gateway mechanic as it is a mathematical one. I think you'll find that at this point, in the playtest document, this method is used to much greater success with skill feats than weapon feats, but the general idea is the same.


What if the Prociency level changed the threshold for critical hits? For example, say Trained allowed +10 to crit, Expert allowed +9, Master +8, and Legendary +7? And if your weapon's quality matched your proficiency it conferred an extra reduction in the crit threshhold?


Long John wrote:
What if the Prociency level changed the threshold for critical hits? For example, say Trained allowed +10 to crit, Expert allowed +9, Master +8, and Legendary +7? And if your weapon's quality matched your proficiency it conferred an extra reduction in the crit threshhold?

Technically it is already doing that. That way it is adding twice. (whether that is good or bad I don't know but some of the percents people are throwing around make one think the little + are already adding in a bigger way then one would think. I'm going to abstain till I get to actually try it out. )


Long John wrote:
What if the Prociency level changed the threshold for critical hits? For example, say Trained allowed +10 to crit, Expert allowed +9, Master +8, and Legendary +7? And if your weapon's quality matched your proficiency it conferred an extra reduction in the crit threshhold?

Too many crits will bring back rocket tag imo.

Maybe legendary prof can get an extra +1,but so far, at levels up to 7 that we had some combats with our group, the numbers worked.

It's just that you stop being a one man army but rely more on team coordination, debuffs, buffs, flank, etc


sherlock1701 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Very much in favor of minimizing the role of system mastery. I wan't new players to actually have fun without needing to read multiple books first to make a new character.

But that is something I've always enjoyed in a lot of games - I feel like the people who put in the time ought to be rewarded. If putting a lot of time into the system doesn't really reward me, I find it really frustrating, since I'll spend hours and hours circling builds trying to come up with something decent and ultimately failing.

It irks me when someone who slaps together a character in an hour will have something as good as I can make with six or eight hours of effort.

This is not good for long term retention of new players. If new players see that spending 6-8 hours up front gives you bonuses for weeks and weeks of later game play, but they know they don't have that time, why would they play? Just to sit at the table and watch your uber-optimized character outshine their character.

System mastery was a bad idea. Veterans calling out noob-ness just means new players feel like they aren't part of the inner circle.


Joe Mucchiello wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Very much in favor of minimizing the role of system mastery. I wan't new players to actually have fun without needing to read multiple books first to make a new character.

But that is something I've always enjoyed in a lot of games - I feel like the people who put in the time ought to be rewarded. If putting a lot of time into the system doesn't really reward me, I find it really frustrating, since I'll spend hours and hours circling builds trying to come up with something decent and ultimately failing.

It irks me when someone who slaps together a character in an hour will have something as good as I can make with six or eight hours of effort.

This is not good for long-term retention of new players. If new players see that spending 6-8 hours up front gives you bonuses for weeks and weeks of later gameplay, but they know they don't have that time, why would they play? Just to sit at the table and watch your uber-optimized character outshine their character.

System mastery was a bad idea. Veterans calling out noob-ness just means new players feel like they aren't part of the inner circle.

It boils down to perception. I make effective characters. They are not Gods, rules-breaking or campaign defining, but I just recently got into an argument (over this new edition) with a friend about character creation. He accused me of being an over-optimizer.

I was floored.

We have a friend that I would call an optimizer, but he's only made three "broken" characters in the 12+ years we've been playing. The very notion that I "over-optimize" kind of offends me. I know about broken builds that abuse the game and overshadow everyone else at the table. I've never made one. The friend I argued with makes great characters. He "broke" the magus when it first came out to the point where our DM started randomly giving things immunity to electricity. It was an easy workaround.

Again. Perception. I do not believe making good characters is optimization. In his eyes, I'm not just wrong, but part of a bigger problem.

System Mastery is important to the longevity of a game. So are splatbooks. It should be rewarding for people to spend time learning the game. It should be fun making characters! New players should be encouraged to learn the system.

That being said, the system itself needs to be rewarding to learn.

The biggest problem in P1 was damage. There should've been damage caps (meaning something can only take be dealt damage from a single attack) to prevent much of the lunacy, but also to open up design space.

This edition has a different problem. The content is weak and boring. Hopefully, we can playtest this game into something that's fun to not only play but to learn as well.

Some of us have fun reading pages of fluff, others, pages of crunch. Both playstyles are equally viable.

And if you are playing at my table I will never outshine you, belittle you, or take any action to harm your fun. If you choose to believe that me making a good character hurts you in some way, then try to tell me long before twelve years pass. I promise I'll make adjustments.


Joe Mucchiello wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Very much in favor of minimizing the role of system mastery. I wan't new players to actually have fun without needing to read multiple books first to make a new character.

But that is something I've always enjoyed in a lot of games - I feel like the people who put in the time ought to be rewarded. If putting a lot of time into the system doesn't really reward me, I find it really frustrating, since I'll spend hours and hours circling builds trying to come up with something decent and ultimately failing.

It irks me when someone who slaps together a character in an hour will have something as good as I can make with six or eight hours of effort.

This is not good for long term retention of new players. If new players see that spending 6-8 hours up front gives you bonuses for weeks and weeks of later game play, but they know they don't have that time, why would they play? Just to sit at the table and watch your uber-optimized character outshine their character.

System mastery was a bad idea. Veterans calling out noob-ness just means new players feel like they aren't part of the inner circle.

There is a conflation of two separate concepts in this discussion:

1) System proficiency - this is knowing the rules and being able to play the game as written. The learning curve represents how quickly can a new player learn to play the game.

2) System mastery - this involves not only being profiicient with the system, but understanding the relationships and interactions of those rules and in common parlance, includes the concept of being able to exploit that knowledge to create more effective outcomes i.e. characters. The learning curve represents how much more effective one is over someone who is merely proficient.

How much benefit should one derive from system mastery is more intuition/insight than science. Without some degree of benefit from system mastery, the game will not retain players. A perfect example is chess compared to checkers. Both are fairly easy to learn to play, with chess being slightly harder. But checkers offers virtually no reward from system mastery as compared with chess. Adults quickly abandon checkers, but may play chess throughout their lives.

Paizo probably wants to reduce the learning curve on proficiency. it would also appear that Paizo is trying to reduce the benefits of system mastery, but that is an inexact science and they won't make everyone happy.

Personally, I'm okay with a reduction in effectiveness, but it should not come at the expense of differentiation. If idiot-proofing P2 means we all play the same, then I think its counter productive.

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