+1 / level and PF2

Playing the Game

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

First, let me preface this by saying that I am a big fan of the majority of PF2, and in particular of the tighter math therein.
However, as I read through the CRB, I realize more and more that there's a huge design flaw in that tighter math, which is that virtually everything has been reduced to a +1 or 2, (which, again, I like), EXCEPT for the fact that your level is added to pretty much every roll you make.
This means that your level is orders of magnitude more important to your rolls than your actual character decisions-- a 20th level fighter with 8 intelligence who is untrained in Arcana is three times as good at arcana than a 3rd level wizard with 18 intelligence who is an expert in it.
In my opinion, and I will likely be enacting this as a houserule and adjusting DC's accordingly, this rule should just be removed entirely, and the proficiency bonus should instead be a simple -2/0/+1/+2/+3.

I have a related issue with the proficiency rules as well. RAW, there is very little difference between someone who is untrained at something and someone who is legendary at it. Let me give an example.

Two characters both have the same Dexterity score. Character 1 hasn't spent so much as spent a single hour into training themselves how to tumble and use agility to move around their environment and any dangers there-in, leaving them untrained in Acrobatics. Character 2 has spent considerable time and effort to training themselves how to move with grace and agility to navigate the dangers of any given environment to become one of the best in the world making them legendary at Acrobatics. With only a range of 5 between them, the d20 completely trivializes the difference between them. It makes the roll of the dice (and as the TC pointed out the character's level) drastically more important than the character's investment in the skill. So much so there's practically no point whatsoever in investing in any skill beyond trained. Why invest further in one skill/ability to increase it's odds by 5% when you can invest in a different one to increase it's odds by 10%?

A separate issue with the new proficiency system is that from level 1 it scales AC more than it does attack. With AC you add the armor value, your proficiency, your Dex modifier, plus a potential item bonus from magic items. For attack you just add your relevant ability modifier, proficiency bonus, plus a potential item bonus from magic items. It's possible the Dex cap combined with the number of available boosts addresses my concern. I haven't done the math. On the surface though, it looks like AC will always be ahead of attack which gives advantage consistently to the defending opponent.

Scarab Sages

This is the core problem. This is light years, more important than what most people are whining about. I feel that the system could be so much better with bounded accuracy. The guy in paizo who came up with -2,+0,+1,+2,+3, is a genius. It’s actually whay better than what DND 5E did. We need a way to destroy this +1 TO EVERYTHING per level. If you guys get a chance listen to the GEN CON Q&A. They get asked about the +1 per level mechanic, to be honest all their answers were actually a non sequiter. I can’t help but think there’s some underlying reason they clung to it.

I believe the point of the system is what you can do based on what your training level is instead of what your raw numbers are.

Untrained severely limits what results you can obtain, regardless of your bonus numbers, compared to being an expert, not to mention the various skill feats that are available only if your training is at a certain level.

Adding level to everything is simple as to why they have it. It helps mask that we are actually using bounded accuracy because we see a number going up and it makes it so that being twice the level as someone means you're twice at good at everything so 1 lv10 can take on 100s of lv1s because he's just so awesome.

Someone proposed something like this. I liked it:

untrained -2 forever
trained +1/3 levels (+0, +0, +1, +1, +1, +2, +2, ...)
expert +1/2 levels +1 (+1, +2, +2, +3, +3, +4, +4, ...)
master +2/3 levels +2 (+2, +3, +4, +4, +5, +6, +6, ...)
legendary +1/1 levels +3 (+4, +5, +6, +7, +8, +9, ...)

It appears to me that the point of adding the +1 to a skill instead of gaining proficiency to a new skill, which yes numerically is better, is that with a higher level of training you have option of better feats. this provides you with more diversity like Bleys Feuerteufel mentioned above.

I do think that the spread is a little small not sure if widening the margin ever so slightly would help (-4 or-3, 0, +2, +4, +6 or 7). As I have not run things to see how the new system truly feels yet but my initial impression is the same. that "opps the new guy is better at climbing than me despite not knowing any of these techniques that I have spent most of my time studying climbing."

I understand that this is inherent in any system that relies on a random variable (dice) but it seems much more prevalent here with only a gap of 5 possible.

Advantages to this is that anyone should be able to obtain any DC which prevents the characters from having to split the party due to an obstacle that only some people can traverse and due to the new Crit system having a smaller spread means there is less crits/crit fails all the time. So again I think this is something that would be helpful to see in action. Hence the point of this play test.

Scarab Sages

What if, I replace +1 TO EVERYTHING (this includes all the monsters you face, BTW, so it’s an illusion of improvement).

With this

Keep everything as is but instead of level bonus use:
Level. Bonus
1-3. ...... +0
4-7...... +1
8-11. ...... +2
16+........ +4

I know this looks very similar to DND 5E proficiencies, but in their testing of modern d20 systems they found bounded accuracy to be very useful. Listing the advantages to bounded accuracy is beyond the scope of this post.

Another note did anyone else notice that about 80% of the monsters have a TAC that is -2 from their AC. I mean it’s like they are tryin to evolve FF and TAC in to just -2 across the board. I’m not a fan of the new TAC changes. Now your armor has TAC bonus and the enhancement bonus of magic armor is also added, they could have just came out and said hey everyone just make your TAC 2 lower than your AC. This is getting as convoluted as dnd 4th ed.

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