A unicorn's perspective on the +1 to everything, or I think I am starting to get it.


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Scarab Sages

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This is an analogy, of someone defending the +1 to EVERYTHING per level mechanic.

"That building shouldn't changed because it perfectly fits that foundation it's built on."

Most of the people who have opposed the +1 to EVERYTHING per level, understand this. We are saying to change the foundation and the building both.

Most or your arguments in this post are a non sequitur.

They are just comparing two different degrees of a scale. PF2 is one scale, D&D 5ed would be an example of a different scale.

So everything you say is meaningless TBH.

"I want the party be able to obliterate low level creatures."
You can do it in both systems. Now reverse that. you are also saying
"I want the party to be obliterated by high level creatures."

"A hired NPC is useful for a longer time"
You forgot to mention.
"A higher level henchman is going to make your party look pitiful, because that NPC will have +1/ level to every skill."

I could go on and on. My main point being, that both systems are valid, in one of them you get to roll x and add x to it targeting a DC 43. In the other you roll a x and add x vs a 23. The question becomes which system has a more elegant mechanic one where you add double digits a lot, or one where you add double digits much less. Which system makes you go change a ton of numbers on your character sheet every time you level? We all agree, that new capability, feats, spells, and occasionally numeric benefits, are good for leveling.

The best advantage that I have found for +1 to EVERYTHING per level, I discovered by re-visiting D&D 4ed design(although it was +1/2 levels and went to max Char lvl 30). Here is what I discovered, they were able to publish way more monsters, because they could take one monster and make several different levels of them. Compare that to D&D 5e where you only really need a few monster books. So, it comes down to economics, and selling more page count. Those of you who support the current system have been duped, your character may appear to be gods to you, but D&D 5ed has godlike characters too.


You know.
Part of me wonders what would have happened if my players had decided to fight the carefully regimented army of approx 3000 instead of just fighting their leader in single combat.


Vic Ferrari wrote:


No edition of D&D supports a party of 3-7 holding off thousands or orcs, thank god.

Pathfinder 1 can.

Orc Troop monster type maybe with a few templates added.
throw 4 or 5 of those at your party and it's PCs vs. an Army of Orcs.


Luceon wrote:

This is an analogy, of someone defending the +1 to EVERYTHING per level mechanic.

"That building shouldn't changed because it perfectly fits that foundation it's built on."

Most of the people who have opposed the +1 to EVERYTHING per level, understand this. We are saying to change the foundation and the building both.

Most or your arguments in this post are a non sequitur.

They are just comparing two different degrees of a scale. PF2 is one scale, D&D 5ed would be an example of a different scale.

So everything you say is meaningless TBH.

"I want the party be able to obliterate low level creatures."
You can do it in both systems. Now reverse that. you are also saying
"I want the party to be obliterated by high level creatures."

"A hired NPC is useful for a longer time"
You forgot to mention.
"A higher level henchman is going to make your party look pitiful, because that NPC will have +1/ level to every skill."

I could go on and on. My main point being, that both systems are valid, in one of them you get to roll x and add x to it targeting a DC 43. In the other you roll a x and add x vs a 23. The question becomes which system has a more elegant mechanic one where you add double digits a lot, or one where you add double digits much less. Which system makes you go change a ton of numbers on your character sheet every time you level? We all agree, that new capability, feats, spells, and occasionally numeric benefits, are good for leveling.

The best advantage that I have found for +1 to EVERYTHING per level, I discovered by re-visiting D&D 4ed design(although it was +1/2 levels and went to max Char lvl 30). Here is what I discovered, they were able to publish way more monsters, because they could take one monster and make several different levels of them. Compare that to D&D 5e where you only really need a few monster books. So, it comes down to economics, and selling more page count. Those of you who support the current system have been duped, your character may appear to be gods to...

I appreciate you engaging my thread. I also want you to know that I never said that a different system couldn't work. I was saying that +level to proficiency is baked into the foundation of this system and a lot of the people calling for it to be removed, and for the difference between proficiencies to be stretched further, are asking for a different foundation to the game, not a simple little tag on.

I have repeatedly stated that power gaming massive numbers is not my favorite kind of RPG system and that I like lower tier grittier games, but the developers have chosen a path very different from that and it has a lot more moving pieces than just a +1 per level to everything. Unfortunately for people that want to take it out, I think that there are more things tied to that mechanic than will first meet the eye.
A whole lot of static DC modifiers are going to have to be scaled down and that is going to result in a lot higher level challenges not looking so heroic.

as just one more example: jumping 3 ft vertical is an action any character can take. Jumping 5 ft vertical is a DC 30 check that no one will be able to make without it.

Telling me that most of the people arguing against a +level to proficiency understand this and are calling for a complete redesign of the system from the ground up is countered by peoples arguments within this very thread and is prevalent across the board.

It is perfectly ok not to like this system and want to play something else. I am sticking around for the play test for sure because I want to really learn the system developed before I decide that its not for me based off of assumptions based off of initial reactions (Of which many of mine were frustration and skepticism).

But as far as this system goes, and not a hypothetical other system, trying to remove +level to proficiency is asking the developers to go back to square one and develop a game where training matters more and experience matters less, which is the opposite of their stated design goal.

Pathfinder's 1st edition was a game of adding X to X vs DC 23 for 5 to 8 levels tops. It was laughing in the face of DCs in the 35-40 range by level 15 and if you ever played mythic it was DC100? hah!

A lot of hardcore Pathfinder fans never played games past level 12. I get how this new system feels jarring compared to a 12 level game. You get many less options in 12 levels, while getting vastly more powerful in a directly comparative sense.

PF2 is about taking heroic folk of common origins and watching them become the stuff of canonical legends. They are the ones that are have closed the worldwound, led revolutions and killed monsters that believed themselves to be gods.

I am not off base or missing the point by admitting that they have put a lot more years of thought to this than someone reading a single blog post or glancing over one classes progression chart and thinking that it would be easy to just cut all that + level stuff out, or make proficiencies stretch an 8 to 15 to 20 point scale (as some proposals have).


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I think a good way of summarizing "+level to everything" is that it effectively makes level the most important stat. If you can make peace with that, then the rest of 2E really falls into place. On the other hand, if you can't, then you are probably deeply unhappy with 2E.

I think it is key to keeping everyone on a (mostly-level) playing field, so Joe McCasual isn't completely useless next to Hugh G. Optimizer. But it is relatively narrativist -- or game-ist, if you prefer -- and that just rubs some people the wrong way.


Unicore wrote:
...

What things are tied to the +level mechanic that need to be considered? If you would pop on over to my original thread and list every single one you can think of it would be greatly appreciated.

Yes, a lot of DCs would need to be recalculated, but most of the time they are very simple to alter. For most skills we have the DC 5/10/15/20/25/30 table I've suggested. Most places where a DC is required are "DM sets the DC." We can use the static DC suggestion for most or even all of those if we need to.

Good catch on the High Jump, I didn't realize it had an arbitrary DC30. Under Bound P2 that would be an "Impossible" task. Changing it to 5x the number of feat making it similar to the Longjump would work. So it'd be DC20 for 4' and DC25 for 5'.

For other checks with questionable DC we can figure out what they need to be ie Crafting. So, we're told its usually a hard check for the level of the item. That makes it as easy as subtracting the level from the suggested DC on table 10-2. So, making a Bound table for crafting DCs would be very easy, its literally taking the existing table and subtracting the level. DCs for Monster identification can use the modified 10-2 table, or could be devised another way as needed.

There are other places where modifiers are listed ie in certain spells especially with battle forms. To get that, subtract double the spell level from the set modifier or DC and whalla. The math stays the same as designed.

The Bestiary is easy to change, just subtract level from the relevant statistics and write a new encounter table. I've already been working on the encounter table, it is looking like just doubling the range of the existing one does the job just fine. Its looking like lvl -8, lvl -6-7, lvl -4-5, lvl -2-3, lvl +/-1 etc. Hazards get the same -lvl treatment.

These are things I've put a ton of thought into already, and I can assure you, this isn't making the devs go back to square one. The +lvl is not part of the core of the system, it is very much a modular addition. They developed a very good bound system and tacked +lvl level scaling onto it to achieve that high fantasy feel you're talking about. It is a damn shame to waste that framework. A couple of sidebars and they could officially support to very different play styles and do it better than P1 or 5e could. This isn't going back to square one, its removing the modular portion and cleaning up the rough edges left behind which essentially are DC recommendations, a static DC table, and fixing the specific listed modifiers.


bugleyman wrote:

I think a good way of summarizing "+level to everything" is that it effectively makes level the most important stat. If you can make peace with that, then the rest of 2E really falls into place. On the other hand, if you can't, then you are probably deeply unhappy with 2E.

I think it is key to keeping everyone on a (mostly-level) playing field, so Joe McCasual isn't completely useless next to Hugh G. Optimizer. But it is relatively narrativist -- or game-ist, if you prefer -- and that just rubs some people the wrong way.

That is a very good way of putting it.


Zman0 wrote:
Unicore wrote:
...

What things are tied to the +level mechanic that need to be considered? If you would pop on over to my original thread and list every single one you can think of it would be greatly appreciated.

Yes, a lot of DCs would need to be recalculated, but most of the time they are very simple to alter. For most skills we have the DC 5/10/15/20/25/30 table I've suggested. Most places where a DC is required are "DM sets the DC." We can use the static DC suggestion for most or even all of those if we need to.

Good catch on the High Jump, I didn't realize it had an arbitrary DC30. Under Bound P2 that would be an "Impossible" task. Changing it to 5x the number of feat making it similar to the Longjump would work. So it'd be DC20 for 4' and DC25 for 5'.

For other checks with questionable DC we can figure out what they need to be ie Crafting. So, we're told its usually a hard check for the level of the item. That makes it as easy as subtracting the level from the suggested DC on table 10-2. So, making a Bound table for crafting DCs would be very easy, its literally taking the existing table and subtracting the level. DCs for Monster identification can use the modified 10-2 table, or could be devised another way as needed.

There are other places where modifiers are listed ie in certain spells especially with battle forms. To get that, subtract double the spell level from the set modifier or DC and whalla. The math stays the same as designed.

The Bestiary is easy to change, just subtract level from the relevant statistics and write a new encounter table. I've already been working on the encounter table, it is looking like just doubling the range of the existing one does the job just fine. Its looking like lvl -8, lvl -6-7, lvl -4-5, lvl -2-3, lvl +/-1 etc. Hazards get the same -lvl treatment.

These are things I've put a ton of thought into already, and I can assure you, this isn't making the devs go back to square one. The +lvl is not part of the core of the system, it is...

I really appreciate your dedication to your own project and your willingness to engage others in thoughtful conversation about it. Since it is not my primary object to change PF2 into a lower tier game, I probably am not interested in trying to find all the ways it could be, but I acknowledge that it is a worthy 3rd party or fan-based project.

I also want the developers focused on getting the system that uses the +level to proficiency system right, so I'd rather they focus on balancing all of that then getting sidetracked making a game that is not the one they originally set out to make.

No hard feelings, good luck! I made this post primarily for folks who need help understanding why the +level system is there and how deeply I think it is tied to the world building and game design that the developers are setting out to make.


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bugleyman wrote:

I think a good way of summarizing "+level to everything" is that it effectively makes level the most important stat. If you can make peace with that, then the rest of 2E really falls into place. On the other hand, if you can't, then you are probably deeply unhappy with 2E.

I think it is key to keeping everyone on a (mostly-level) playing field, so Joe McCasual isn't completely useless next to Hugh G. Optimizer. But it is relatively narrativist -- or game-ist, if you prefer -- and that just rubs some people the wrong way.

Yes, this is a good way of putting it.

It rubs me the wrong way because I enjoy playing games where "what is your character?" is the most important thing, not "what level?"

Are you a great climber? Yes, I'm 8th level.
Are you great at single combat in the absence of magic? Yes, I'm 8th level.


Zman0 wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel that there are two things worth noting-

- Pathfinder is a game usually played with between 3 and 7 player characters.
- Pathfinder is a heroic fantasy game in which our heroes will eventually be up to the task of accomplishing basically any heroic task one can come up with.

So that being said, Pathfinder really needs to be a game in which 3-7 player characters can manage whatever the GM throws at them, provided it is level appropriate. So things like "our plucky adventurers hold off 20,000 roaring orcs long enough for the ritual to be completed" are right in the wheelhouse of this game. For this to be possible, a level 1 orc fighter simply cannot pose a whole lot of threat to a 20th level party.

No edition of D&D supports a party of 3-7 holding off thousands or orcs, thank god.

I did that in AD&D.

I did that in AD&D 2e.

I did that in BECMI D&D.

I did that in 3e.

I have no idea where you get that assumption...though you are right for ONE edition of D&D.

D&D 5e does not support a party of 3-7 holding off thousands of orcs...that party would be slaughtered.

Heck, it doesn't even need thousands...even a hundred could probably kill them right off.

(edit PS: did you know there was actually an AD&D module where a general encounter could have you face off with 10,000 enemies!?

Of course, the level for the module was 18-100).

No, no you didn't. You want us to believe that your DM ran thousands of enemies against your characters? That doesn't pass the smell test.

I'm betting they didn't, what the DM narrated was thousands of enemies being fought and defeated by your character ie they just hand waved it away.

The only real way a situation like that could happen is when the PC becomes immune to non magical damage etc and defacto becomes immortal for that threat and the DM doesn't want to deal with it. The rules don't support playing that scenario out, it is just...

I think you are trying to say I'm a liar.

I am not lying...and yes, we did...and yes the rules support that.

Just because you don't understand how one can do this or how this can occur does not invalidate that I and many others have done this (and in fact was accepted that 18th+ level characters had encounters WRITTEN in official modules where 10,000 enemy hosts were considered the challenge for the party).

Not only did I do it once, I did it several times.

For spellcasters, it actually is incredibly EASY to do this...

And for warriors...with some tactics and time...it actually is really easy as well against low level creatures like Orcs or Zombies.

In fact, if you could NOT do this given time and planning, I'd question how you ever got to high level to begin with.

In 5e, yes, it's impossible...but with other editions, most who have had experience in them with a high level party would say...1000 1 HD enemies is actually pretty easy to beat, especially if you have spellcasters in that mix.


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CyberMephit wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
No edition of D&D supports a party of 3-7 holding off thousands or orcs, thank god.
Isn't there a Drizzt book called 'A thousand orcs' about him single-handedly slaughtering said thousand?

I have played characters that could of done it but it would of taken to long to roll it out. about 200 ish in on battle was max and it took way to long.


That is true. IT DID take a LOT of time to roll out those battles in many instances.

Exceptions for rolling existed (for example, a lot of missile fire occurred in them, but with the low levels normally no magical weapons, so protection from normal missiles blocking them meant no need to resolve those types of rolls...etc...etc.)...but generally, yes...a LOT of dice chucking and yes...a LOT of time was needed to resolve them.

Fun times though. Long time ago. WE took on Orcus...though most of the party died eventually on that final quest.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

That is true. IT DID take a LOT of time to roll out those battles in many instances.

Exceptions for rolling existed (for example, a lot of missile fire occurred in them, but with the low levels normally no magical weapons, so protection from normal missiles blocking them meant no need to resolve those types of rolls...etc...etc.)...but generally, yes...a LOT of dice chucking and yes...a LOT of time was needed to resolve them.

Fun times though. Long time ago. WE took on Orcus...though most of the party died eventually on that final quest.

Ours was an evil witch that took over our king and threw his army at us. (now that I think about it maybe we shouldn't of killed so many of his men since we did later restore him...) 5 person party 200 a piece pretty much. Some of us fared better then others turned out defense wound up being more important then offense in that fight. My toon had a cloak of displacement and the highest ac so I did a lot better off then others except the wizard who walled themselves off and then nuked areas of soldiers.


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I threw about 150 or so orcs at my party recently. I included it as what I thought would be an incidental quick encounter. All the orcs were dead after 4 rounds. Only a couple of them even made it to within melee range of the PCs. It was a good rehearsal for the 500 or so demons i intend to drop on them shortly.

On the flip side: the Troop template was one of my favourite additions to PF1. It's good, thought still a bit flawed. I'm keen to see how Troops can be done in PF2.


Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)

Or maybe you just didn't know that people like Mordekainen, Bigby or Otiluke ever existed as real characters and done FAR more than anything actually even described in this thread.

If you played AD&D 1e, then you should KNOW about these things already...which makes a lot of your false accusations even worse. If you knew AD&D 1e, then why in the world are you expressing such ignorance. It's not like these things were hidden under a bush, in fact, with the big characters listed above from Gary's group, the impact they had on the game and it's legacy is so massive that you even have spells that remind us of them to this day in editions of D&D.

Yes...the Circle of 8 literally took out armies on their own, at times, single handedly. And FAR greater deeds than that in RPG sessions.

What I've stated my characters doing is actually not that impressive compared to what they did (and many other stories that were common place with AD&D).

Instead it seems that you are trying to push the illusion that 5e is what D&D was always like...and thus your push for 5e mechanics in Pathfinder.

All you have been doing is trying to make PF2e into another 5e with many of your statements.

I don't have a problem with you expressing your thoughts and opinions on that, and they may have some merit...

But when you start slandering other editions and stating things that simply are not true about them...especially when I personally have seen different...

That doesn't help your case and it has taken this thread far off topic from the playtest.


GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)

I can imagine and have DMed/played high level AD&D, 3rd Ed, and 4th Ed characters, and they normally do not work this way, unless you are using something like the Epic Level Handbook or something.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)
I can imagine and have DMed/played high level AD&D, 3rd Ed, and 4th Ed characters, and they normally do not work this way, unless you are using something like the Epic Level Handbook or something.

1st edition AD&D 12th level Paladin 200 soldiers.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

That is true. IT DID take a LOT of time to roll out those battles in many instances.

Exceptions for rolling existed (for example, a lot of missile fire occurred in them, but with the low levels normally no magical weapons, so protection from normal missiles blocking them meant no need to resolve those types of rolls...etc...etc.)...but generally, yes...a LOT of dice chucking and yes...a LOT of time was needed to resolve them.

Fun times though. Long time ago. WE took on Orcus...though most of the party died eventually on that final quest.

Ours was an evil witch that took over our king and threw his army at us. (now that I think about it maybe we shouldn't of killed so many of his men since we did later restore him...) 5 person party 200 a piece pretty much. Some of us fared better then others turned out defense wound up being more important then offense in that fight. My toon had a cloak of displacement and the highest ac so I did a lot better off then others except the wizard who walled themselves off and then nuked areas of soldiers.

In 1e and 2e there is the Bloodstone series which culminates in you trying to take out Orcus.

Typically when you flub up you end up facing endless waves of enemies. It was a crazy adventure series.

The Throne of Bloodstone is the last one...tried it with both a 1e and 2e party. Both times ended in failure.

It's made to grind up high level parties and spit them out again.

Random encounters could bring up a Demon Lord for you to fight (such as Pazuzu or Lolth).

If you encounter Yeenoghu you encounter literally an infinite number of Type IV Demons (so not just 10K, but infinite).

10,000 Zombies and such actually are quite easy compared to something like encounters of 100 Demons at a time.

100 Demons (of various types, like Type III or Type IV ect) were common encounters that you would battle.

People don't realize how easy 1 or 2 HD monsters with no magic items are until they go into modules like that...

Even in Against the Giants...low level battles against a lot of 1 HD monsters may take a while but are far easier than just the first section where you have the Great Hall (38 monsters, 22 who are hill giants and 3 that are cloud giants).

If you make it through the entire module it is very possible that you will have slain not just 1000 low level monsters, but close to 1000 Giants and other more powerful creatures.

AD&D modules were grinders back when.


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Yeah In 1st If you were a high enough level wizard numbers stopped really mattering it was more enemy power. I could get in the middle of an army radiate heat and kill everything in range.

At least in 3.5 it wasn't quite THAT bad.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)
I can imagine and have DMed/played high level AD&D, 3rd Ed, and 4th Ed characters, and they normally do not work this way, unless you are using something like the Epic Level Handbook or something.

There was no epic level handbook for AD&D. There was the High Level Campaigns for 2e, and also the Forgotten Realms hardback for 2e (along with Priests and Avatars and I think it was called Faith and Pantheons which gave rules for up to 40th level for 2e).

BECMI went up to 36th level for BECM, and after that you became in immortal (thus the I) controlling the world and the forces therein.

In AD&D, technically there was no limit, though after level 29 you'd have to extrapolate the spells or stick with 29th level as the maximum spells you could cast.

"Epic" is a 3e term and also carried forward into 4e. 3e had the Epic Level Handbook, but 3.5 included abbreviated rules of it in the corebooks themselves and had no specific defined Epic level handbook. (PS-Edit: Though, the answer is YES, I DID use the Epic Level Handbook in 3e).

4e included Epic level rules on it's own, but I never had any adventures that battle 100s, much less 1000s of enemies in it. Thus, I cannot actually say 4e supported this idea, because I don't know. I never tried it in 4e.

I fail to see how this helps to promote your thoughts for the PF2e playtest and your ideas where you do away with the +1/lvl on skills and instead either have it flat or implement smaller bonuses or other ideas (yes, I have read your posts on these, and don't see how this discussion actually helps you promote your point on these...at all...to be honest. I see it sidetracking you instead).


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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)
I can imagine and have DMed/played high level AD&D, 3rd Ed, and 4th Ed characters, and they normally do not work this way, unless you are using something like the Epic Level Handbook or something.

There was no epic level handbook for AD&D. There was the High Level Campaigns for 2e, and also the Forgotten Realms hardback for 2e (along with Priests and Avatars and I think it was called Faith and Pantheons which gave rules for up to 40th level for 2e).

BECMI went up to 36th level for BECM, and after that you became in immortal (thus the I) controlling the world and the forces therein.

In AD&D, technically there was no limit, though after level 29 you'd have to extrapolate the spells or stick with 29th level as the maximum spells you could cast.

"Epic" is a 3e term and also carried forward into 4e. 3e had the Epic Level Handbook, but 3.5 included abbreviated rules of it in the corebooks themselves and had no specific defined Epic level handbook.

4e included Epic level rules on it's own, but I never had any adventures that battle 100s, much less 1000s of enemies in it.

I fail to see how this helps to promote your thoughts for the PF2e playtest and your ideas where you do away with the +1/lvl on skills and instead either have it flat or implement smaller bonuses or other ideas (yes, I have read your posts on these, and don't see how this discussion actually helps you promote your point on these...at all...to be honest. I see it sidetracking you instead).

We had a I guess you would call it "3rd party" book that had spells up to 15th level (one example of said 15th level spell was "control DM" It had horrible downsides however in addition to what the dm would do to you for using it.) We never really that far into them since it would of taken a 20th level wizard with over a extremely high int to be able to cast a 10th or above. As far as thing like fireball however its pretty easy to just go ok add another d6.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)
I can imagine and have DMed/played high level AD&D, 3rd Ed, and 4th Ed characters, and they normally do not work this way, unless you are using something like the Epic Level Handbook or something.

There was no epic level handbook for AD&D. There was the High Level Campaigns for 2e, and also the Forgotten Realms hardback for 2e (along with Priests and Avatars and I think it was called Faith and Pantheons which gave rules for up to 40th level for 2e).

BECMI went up to 36th level for BECM, and after that you became in immortal (thus the I) controlling the world and the forces therein.

In AD&D, technically there was no limit, though after level 29 you'd have to extrapolate the spells or stick with 29th level as the maximum spells you could cast.

"Epic" is a 3e term and also carried forward into 4e. 3e had the Epic Level Handbook, but 3.5 included abbreviated rules of it in the corebooks themselves and had no specific defined Epic level handbook.

4e included Epic level rules on it's own, but I never had any adventures that battle 100s, much less 1000s of enemies in it.

I fail to see how this helps to promote your thoughts for the PF2e playtest and your ideas where you do away with the +1/lvl on skills and instead either have it flat or implement smaller bonuses or other ideas (yes, I have read your posts on these, and don't see how this discussion actually helps you promote your point on these...at all...to be honest. I see it sidetracking you instead).

We had a I guess you would call it "3rd party" book that had spells up to 15th level (one example of said 15th level spell was "control DM" It had horrible downsides however in addition to what the dm would do to you for using it.) We never really that far into them since it would of taken a 20th level...

Hmmm...that sounds like an interesting book. Most of the 3rd party stuff if we incorporated it (normally didn't, but if we took an interest we might) was related to Rolemaster stuff (original introduction to Rolemaster was via Merps, and us being the munchkin powergamers that schoolkids are, wanted more power which led us to - Rolemaster - and all the ways it could be incorporated into AD&D)

Sounds like an interesting book.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)
I can imagine and have DMed/played high level AD&D, 3rd Ed, and 4th Ed characters, and they normally do not work this way, unless you are using something like the Epic Level Handbook or something.

There was no epic level handbook for AD&D. There was the High Level Campaigns for 2e, and also the Forgotten Realms hardback for 2e (along with Priests and Avatars and I think it was called Faith and Pantheons which gave rules for up to 40th level for 2e).

BECMI went up to 36th level for BECM, and after that you became in immortal (thus the I) controlling the world and the forces therein.

In AD&D, technically there was no limit, though after level 29 you'd have to extrapolate the spells or stick with 29th level as the maximum spells you could cast.

"Epic" is a 3e term and also carried forward into 4e. 3e had the Epic Level Handbook, but 3.5 included abbreviated rules of it in the corebooks themselves and had no specific defined Epic level handbook.

4e included Epic level rules on it's own, but I never had any adventures that battle 100s, much less 1000s of enemies in it.

I fail to see how this helps to promote your thoughts for the PF2e playtest and your ideas where you do away with the +1/lvl on skills and instead either have it flat or implement smaller bonuses or other ideas (yes, I have read your posts on these, and don't see how this discussion actually helps you promote your point on these...at all...to be honest. I see it sidetracking you instead).

We had a I guess you would call it "3rd party" book that had spells up to 15th level (one example of said 15th level spell was "control DM" It had horrible downsides however in addition to what the dm would do to you for using it.) We never really that far into them since it
...

It was a small paper back I wish I could remember the name of it. If I'm ever around My old first ed DM again I'll take a look.


GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)
I can imagine and have DMed/played high level AD&D, 3rd Ed, and 4th Ed characters, and they normally do not work this way, unless you are using something like the Epic Level Handbook or something.

There was no epic level handbook for AD&D. There was the High Level Campaigns for 2e, and also the Forgotten Realms hardback for 2e (along with Priests and Avatars and I think it was called Faith and Pantheons which gave rules for up to 40th level for 2e).

BECMI went up to 36th level for BECM, and after that you became in immortal (thus the I) controlling the world and the forces therein.

In AD&D, technically there was no limit, though after level 29 you'd have to extrapolate the spells or stick with 29th level as the maximum spells you could cast.

"Epic" is a 3e term and also carried forward into 4e. 3e had the Epic Level Handbook, but 3.5 included abbreviated rules of it in the corebooks themselves and had no specific defined Epic level handbook. (PS-Edit: Though, the answer is YES, I DID use the Epic Level Handbook in 3e).

4e included Epic level rules on it's own, but I never had any adventures that battle 100s, much less 1000s of enemies in it. Thus, I cannot actually say 4e supported this idea, because I don't know. I never tried it in 4e.

Yeah, I own all of the products mentioned, what does it have to do with the price of eggs?


Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)
I can imagine and have DMed/played high level AD&D, 3rd Ed, and 4th Ed characters, and they normally do not work this way, unless you are using something like the Epic Level Handbook or something.

There was no epic level handbook for AD&D. There was the High Level Campaigns for 2e, and also the Forgotten Realms hardback for 2e (along with Priests and Avatars and I think it was called Faith and Pantheons which gave rules for up to 40th level for 2e).

BECMI went up to 36th level for BECM, and after that you became in immortal (thus the I) controlling the world and the forces therein.

In AD&D, technically there was no limit, though after level 29 you'd have to extrapolate the spells or stick with 29th level as the maximum spells you could cast.

"Epic" is a 3e term and also carried forward into 4e. 3e had the Epic Level Handbook, but 3.5 included abbreviated rules of it in the corebooks themselves and had no specific defined Epic level handbook. (PS-Edit: Though, the answer is YES, I DID use the Epic Level Handbook in 3e).

4e included Epic level rules on it's own, but I never had any adventures that battle 100s, much less 1000s of enemies in it. Thus, I cannot actually say 4e supported this idea, because I don't know. I never tried it in 4e.

Yeah, I own all of the products mentioned, what does it have to do with the price of eggs?

If you somehow have the one I was talking about would you mind giving me the name of it.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)
I can imagine and have DMed/played high level AD&D, 3rd Ed, and 4th Ed characters, and they normally do not work this way, unless you are using something like the Epic Level Handbook or something.

There was no epic level handbook for AD&D. There was the High Level Campaigns for 2e, and also the Forgotten Realms hardback for 2e (along with Priests and Avatars and I think it was called Faith and Pantheons which gave rules for up to 40th level for 2e).

BECMI went up to 36th level for BECM, and after that you became in immortal (thus the I) controlling the world and the forces therein.

In AD&D, technically there was no limit, though after level 29 you'd have to extrapolate the spells or stick with 29th level as the maximum spells you could cast.

"Epic" is a 3e term and also carried forward into 4e. 3e had the Epic Level Handbook, but 3.5 included abbreviated rules of it in the corebooks themselves and had no specific defined Epic level handbook. (PS-Edit: Though, the answer is YES, I DID use the Epic Level Handbook in 3e).

4e included Epic level rules on it's own, but I never had any adventures that battle 100s, much less 1000s of enemies in it. Thus, I cannot actually say 4e supported this idea, because I don't know. I never tried it in 4e.

Yeah, I own all of the products mentioned, what does it have to do with the price of eggs?

Eggzactly.

Your focus has been to do away with the +1/level bonuses and either have a flat redo or a lower scale increase.

Bringing in discussions of older editions of D&D into this currently really has no bearing that I can see and your discussion of them really hasn't helped push forward your opinions at all from what I see.

I think the idea of Escalating DCs on skills is not a good idea to be tossing out there. We saw it in 4e and how it was interpreted and done in actual play (as opposed to what the designers said they wanted it to represent) was not what I would have thought optimal. They either need a better explanation (which is perfectly viable IF they can pull it off, at least to me), or to change it completely to something else.

I'd rather have something that did NOT have escalating DCs with skills, and though we may disagree on the solution, we both probably could agree that presenting this idea (from 4e) again in PF2e may not be the best idea.

I think focusing more on things we all see and agree upon will have a far better chance at having the designers decide to change it than arguing about what did or did not happen in older editions which currently have no bearing on the design choices (at least as far as I can see) of PF2e.

And, of course, as with most things, there will be people that agree, disagree, or have some sort of middle ground of opinion on it as well and that's perfectly fine. However, if a majority see something that they don't like the designers will more likely see this and make a change then if they see us discussing something else that has no bearing to the game they are designing currently.


GreyWolfLord wrote:

Eggzactly.

Your focus has been to do away with the +1/level bonuses and either have a flat redo or a lower scale increase.

Ha, nice.

Hey, I am not demanding it be done away with, I am just talking about my home-game (and not the playtest, of course, I would not use any house-rules, whatsoever), and as some others also don't dig the +Level treadmill, I am just offering my advice/opinion/recommendation for a certain feel by dialling the +Level deal (monster threat range, etc).

I aslo removed the +!/2 level treadmill from 4th Ed, to great success for the campaign.
So, once again, I was not saying the game should be this or that way, or my preferences are better, it is simply a play-style/aesthetic choice I have made for my PF2 adventures/campaigns, nothing more.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Vic, if you can imagine, than why can't you imagine high level characters from older editions of D&D (Whether it was from OD&D, AD&D, 2e, or 3e)
I can imagine and have DMed/played high level AD&D, 3rd Ed, and 4th Ed characters, and they normally do not work this way, unless you are using something like the Epic Level Handbook or something.

There was no epic level handbook for AD&D. There was the High Level Campaigns for 2e, and also the Forgotten Realms hardback for 2e (along with Priests and Avatars and I think it was called Faith and Pantheons which gave rules for up to 40th level for 2e).

BECMI went up to 36th level for BECM, and after that you became in immortal (thus the I) controlling the world and the forces therein.

In AD&D, technically there was no limit, though after level 29 you'd have to extrapolate the spells or stick with 29th level as the maximum spells you could cast.

"Epic" is a 3e term and also carried forward into 4e. 3e had the Epic Level Handbook, but 3.5 included abbreviated rules of it in the corebooks themselves and had no specific defined Epic level handbook. (PS-Edit: Though, the answer is YES, I DID use the Epic Level Handbook in 3e).

4e included Epic level rules on it's own, but I never had any adventures that battle 100s, much less 1000s of enemies in it. Thus, I cannot actually say 4e supported this idea, because I don't know. I never tried it in 4e.

Yeah, I own all of the products mentioned, what does it have to do with the price of eggs?

Eggzactly.

Your focus has been to do away with the +1/level bonuses and either have a flat redo or a lower scale increase.

Ha, nice.

Hey, I am not demanding it be done away with, I am just talking about my home-game (and not the playtest, of course, I would not use any house-rules, whatsoever), and as some others also don't dig the +Level treadmill, I am just offering my advice/opinion/recommendation for a certain feel by dialling the +Level deal (monster threat range, etc).

I aslo removed the +!/2 level treadmill from 4th Ed, to great success for the campaign.
So, once again, I was not saying the game should be this or that way, or my preferences are better, it is simply a play-style/aesthetic choice I have made for my PF2 adventures/campaigns, nothing more.

Well, seeing how Escalating DCs worked for skills in 4e (and interestingly enough, they also had a 5 point divide...though it was 0 to +5 rather than -2 to +3), I can't say I'm actually a fan of the idea.

I like how anyone can select their skills now, I even like the way combat works to a degree, but I really don't like how they've presented the escalating skills arena.

I would favor something, even removal of the treadmill to get rid of the escalating DCs (or have them more defined, such as this is a "1st level Severe Challenge" written out as such instead of just severe or High or thigns like that) for skills. I saw it turn out really badly in 4e, and I the way they are going about it with PF2e, I don't think it's going to turn out much better unless something changes about it with either the presentation or how skills work.

I brought this up pretty early on, but it does not seem that a ton of people are discussing it. Most seem more focused on other things such as weapons, combat, and magic/spells, at least on these boards from what I've seen.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vic Ferrari wrote:

can imagine plenty; I started with 1st AD&D, back in the day, and have played every edition, since, in depth, and no, it is not very easy to have encounters where you slay thousands of low-level enemies, maybe you are not understanding these games you have been trying to play all these years, or something.

Long time GM here with extensive experience since 1e and I’m more in Vic Ferrari’s camp on this topic. If your PCs were holding off armies of thousands of orcs in 1e, the DM wasn’t using all the tools at his disposal. There may have been circumstances that favored wiping out some mass encounters - the tight confines of a dungeon come to mind - but those were highly conditional. Other conditions wouldn’t have been so kind.

Ultimately, if the devs want level to matter that much, there becomes no point to actually playing out those disparate encounters - there’s no question of the outcome. But how does this affect the APs, how does it affect the logic of the setting? Can levies of commoners actually keep significant monsters in check? Does everything have to escalate to keep powerful PCs/NPCs in check? Does every NPC in a powerful political position also need to be a high-level character to keep their defenses high enough to not be charmed or even sweet-talked by every manipulative PC traipsing through the kingdom? What does the level-up math distort compared to what it supports?


Unicore wrote:
In play, it looks like equal level monsters are actually going to be better than your PCs at everything that your PCs are not absolutely maxing out.

This is actually a problem not a feature. Literally every monster has a Perception score equal to or better than the max-level Stealth possible meaning that the halfling rogue dressed in black in a dark room has a 50% chance of being spotted (or better).

This is insane.

Step back for a minute and find me one scenario where the PCs don't have a 45-55% chance of success against something of equal level (that said PC is supposedly "competent" at). 50% success rates are incredibly low in the Fun department. No one likes missing their attacks, having spells get resisted (which in some cases leads to a debuff on the PC! (no really, go look at ECHOING NIGHTMARE)), or failing a skill check.

It feels like we're a bunch of drunk, half blind idiots with pool noodles on an ice rink and leveling up doesn't fix that.


Luceon wrote:


They are just comparing two different degrees of a scale. PF2 is one scale, D&D 5ed would be an example of a different scale.

IF we already have 5e at one point on the scale, why would you want PF2 to be anywhere close to that same scale? Why not just play 5e? It is already well established and has brand recognition - PF2 cannot compete with that unless it operates at a different scale with a different feel.

Also - don't appreciate intimations that supporting the current system means we aren't paying attention to the point we are being duped. And are they really duping anyone when they put all of their monsters online?


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Phntm888 wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
CyberMephit wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
No edition of D&D supports a party of 3-7 holding off thousands or orcs, thank god.
Isn't there a Drizzt book called 'A thousand orcs' about him single-handedly slaughtering said thousand?
In a doorway, at the end of a 5-foot wide hallway?

The cover art is him standing in an open field with Orcs surrounding him. If that's an accurate description of the scene, I'd say no.

This is, however, Drizzt Do'Urden, who's basically the martial version of Elminster, so some over-the-top scenes are expected.

Wow, if he was actually surrounded by a thousand orcs and won (did not die very quickly), I would say a certain character has jumped a megalodon.

I bet Drizzt didn't even use the jawbone of a donkey. Noob.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
dragonhunterq wrote:
Luceon wrote:


They are just comparing two different degrees of a scale. PF2 is one scale, D&D 5ed would be an example of a different scale.

IF we already have 5e at one point on the scale, why would you want PF2 to be anywhere close to that same scale? Why not just play 5e? It is already well established and has brand recognition - PF2 cannot compete with that unless it operates at a different scale with a different feel.

Also - don't appreciate intimations that supporting the current system means we aren't paying attention to the point we are being duped. And are they really duping anyone when they put all of their monsters online?

The 5E scale is arguably better for a number of game design reasons (less math, easier to understand numbers, greater re-use of monsters). There is a good reason 5E removed the +level bonus, it's because it is unnecessary and detrimental to the game. Pathfinder 2E should adopt it because it is better.

BUT, Pathfinder 2E can surpass 5E! The concept of varied levels of proficiency (untrained/trained/expert/master/legendary) provide an upgrade over the 5E proficiency system that can make Pathfinder 2E better and provide more game design space.

So Pathfinder should take the advances of 5E and build on them. The whole point as the developers have said is to sacrifice things from D&D 3.X that are no longer necessary, and 5E has shown that +level is one of them.


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Yeah no I don't want a game where the same orc is still a challenge for me at level 1 and level 20.

Liberty's Edge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Unicore wrote:

I see post after post asking to get rid of adding level to proficiency, or trying to stretch proficiency numerically, so that characters with higher proficiencies can feel different from each other, and for a while I shared many of those concerns at first, because power gaming has never been my RPG ideal, I have read enough of the play test book to realize that it doesn't matter if I think it is generally not a good system idea, it is the best system idea for the rest of this game design.

Removing the level bonus to proficiency would pretty much tank the entire leveling up engine.

So many people were concerned about this leading to a treadmill, but miraculously, the developers have designed this system carefully enough that it is only the other PCs that are going to be on the same treadmill as you in actual play. This makes theory crafting around it an exercise in fear mongering futility, because theory builds are usually facing off against theory constructs which have been artificially placed on the treadmill with you.

In play, it looks like equal level monsters are actually going to be better than your PCs at everything that your PCs are not absolutely maxing out. Equal level fights are going to be brutally difficult and you will remember beating those monsters. But then your characters are going to level up, and then level up again and again, and then you are going to face those same monsters and they are not going to be so tough, but that new monster that was controlling them all along is going to be the next heavy challenger.

If your characters didn't get a +1 to every skill, attack and save in this new system when you leveled up, they would not be able to keep up with the threats of their enemies. The threats posed by these monsters would grow at an exponential level, because unlike your player character, most monsters are only going to be focusing on making themselves better at killing and fighting in their one specific area of specialization, because that is what they do with most of...

Your assumption that the players need +1/level to compete with monsters is fundamentally flawed. The system is designed as it is so that monsters of level X are a reasonable threat to players of level X given their level, gear, stats, and abilities.

Adding +1/level to attacks and AC means that encounters against monsters of your level are effectively numerically always the same.

The PCs and monsters can be designed such that higher level characters are more powerful than lower level, without adding +1/level to everything.

For example:
A.) A level 2 Wizard is more powerful than a level 1 Wizard because he has +1 attack and +1 save DCs.

versus

B.) A level 2 Wizard is more powerful than a level 1 Wizard because he has a new feat that makes the first spell he casts each turn copy itself and hit another target.

Ignoring the specific balance issues of my example, which system sounds more fun? A system that gives you +1 bonuses to make you more powerful, or a system that gives you cool abilities (like crapping lightning) to make you more powerful?

Pathfinder 2E can remove the +1/level and still make higher level characters more powerful than lower levels, which retaining a feeling of advancement (cool abilities at each level).

+1/level has no game design benefits and simply makes the overall math harder.

And if you want to take on hordes of low level monsters, you still don't need +1/level. A 10th level wizard against hundreds of orcs will just fireball them all to death. There are more ways to be powerful than by adding +1/level.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Yeah no I don't want a game where the same orc is still a challenge for me at level 1 and level 20.

But they're not. A level 20 PC might have only a small numerical bonus to attack and AC, but a HUGE advantage on HP and abilities. Why is that a bad thing?


Because I can't fight 200 orcs with a small numerical bonus.


Because I don't want to be fighting the same orcs from level 1 to level 20, I want some sense of progression in my campaign.

If I have a high-scaling system like PF and I want to keep fighting orcs at level 20, I can always slap levels and templates on them. There are also templates to weaken enemies if someone wants to fight dragons at level 1. (Well not in PF2 yet but you can fight a young white dragon at level 3).

If I have a low-scaling system like 5e and I want to hand-wave an orc bandit attack while my level 20 party is camping in the woods... The rules don't let me do that. If I want to describe how Sandpoint is doomed when a CR14 dragon attacks it without PC help, the rules won't support the narrative.

And I think it's actually pretty cool that people who want the treadmill to go can fairly easily remove it from the game - it shows that the system is well designed to adapt to houserules. But I don't want that to be in Core.

That said, I would want to see it scaled down to maybe level/2 and a greater weight placed on abilities and proficiencies. But not taken out completely.


Proficiency equals 1/2 level would be good I think. It should open up sandbox play a bit and keep enemies of a level higher/lower relevant.

They would need to rework that bestiary though.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Yeah no I don't want a game where the same orc is still a challenge for me at level 1 and level 20.

That’s a straw man. Even in Bound P2, that orc that was a challenge at level 1 is not a challenge at level 20, not even at level 10. So much cakes, ie damage, abilities, HP, feats, etc, that render the single Orc trivial. But in bound it’s bumbers still mean something, maybe it can land a hit on something other than a 29, maybe the Oc needs higher than a 2 to hit. There still exists a massive gulf between low and high level monster in Bound P2, it’s just the difference doesnt need to be artificially inflated. And ironically, when comparing Bound to Unbound lvl 1 vs 20, the. Math is about the same. The Goblin archer is still critting on 20s.

In summary, that orc that challenged you at level one still is I co sequential at level 20, it was just relevant for another level or two, maybe three, before it was obsolete completely.


But why does increasing HP every level make sense and not AC, or attacking ability, or general ability to solve problems (like skills)? People in real life don't get anything like hit points. They are the ultimate gamist mechanic that people have just gotten comfortable with, but why is balancing the idea of character advancement around something as boring and confusingly abstract as hit points "feel" ok, but balancing other aspects of character advancement around the idea that gaining a level means your character has improved in every significant thing they do "feel" wrong?

There are a lot of moving pieces with PF2. I am glad that so many people seem confident in their ability to house rule the feel of the game to their play group and play style. But for me, if James Jacobs, and the rest of the adventure path writers are excited about writing adventures that progress at a rate where the players grow by +1 across the board when they level up, then I want the core game system to be built to support that play style.


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Unicore wrote:
But why does increasing HP every level make sense and not AC, or attacking ability, or general ability to solve problems (like skills)? People in real life don't get anything like hit points. They are the ultimate gamist mechanic that people have just gotten comfortable with

You know...

If we remove advancing HP and removing the increasing number of dice of damage from both spells and weapons...

Things might actually work.


Unicore wrote:

But why does increasing HP every level make sense and not AC, or attacking ability, or general ability to solve problems (like skills)? People in real life don't get anything like hit points. They are the ultimate gamist mechanic that people have just gotten comfortable with, but why is balancing the idea of character advancement around something as boring and confusingly abstract as hit points "feel" ok, but balancing other aspects of character advancement around the idea that gaining a level means your character has improved in every significant thing they do "feel" wrong?

There are a lot of moving pieces with PF2. I am glad that so many people seem confident in their ability to house rule the feel of the game to their play group and play style. But for me, if James Jacobs, and the rest of the adventure path writers are excited about writing adventures that progress at a rate where the players grow by +1 across the board when they level up, then I want the core game system to be built to support that play style.

HP represents heroism, its their plot armor. That axe swing that would have fell a man of equal skill narrowly misses the hero, or the wound doesn't incapacitate our hero etc. How many movies and books have the more skilled teacher get felled by an enemy, but our under-trained hero escapes. Narrowly survives a wound, or strike, etc. Why, they aren't more "skilled" than their teacher was, that was already established. What they have is plot armor, that plot armor can be represented by HP, it is not covered by getting +1s to AC, ToHit, and Skills at every level.

As soon as you start adding level to everything, you create an artificial kind of inflation that escalates everything and really thrashes vermisilitude. If you've done any kind of playtesting or analysis, you'll find there is plenty of power scaling without adding your level to everything.


Zman0 wrote:


HP represents heroism, its their plot armor. That axe swing that would have fell a man of equal skill narrowly misses the hero, or the wound doesn't incapacitate our hero etc. How many movies and books have the more skilled teacher get felled by an enemy, but our under-trained hero escapes. Narrowly survives a wound, or strike, etc. Why, they aren't more "skilled" than their teacher was, that was already established. What they have is plot armor, that plot armor can be represented by HP, it is not covered by getting +1s to AC, ToHit, and Skills at every level.

As soon as you start adding level to everything, you create an artificial kind of inflation that escalates everything and really thrashes vermisilitude. If you've done any kind of playtesting or analysis, you'll find there is plenty of power scaling without adding your level to everything.

If HP represented "plot armor" then the higher level trainer would have had even more of it. PCs are not the only ones who get HP per level. I agree that it is an abstract mechanic to help players feel like their characters can face more dangerous enemies without dying instantly, but that doesn't make it a better representation of "plot armor" than any other advancement of character by level.

There is some power scaling in PF2 that is not dependent upon the +level to proficiency, but it is not that much. For martial characters it is often 1 skill increase or class feat. Over the course of the whole game 20 levels, your bonus to attack is going to go up between 2 and 3 times for proficiency, and probably 2 times from attributes. That means your magic weapon is going to account for 50% of the total advancement in attack bonus your character gets. These numbers are incredibly underwhelming, and there are much better systems for representing gritty play where low-level enemies stay dangerous over the course of an adventurer's lifetime.

I know a lot of people think that the +level bonus is irrelevant against equal level opponents and somehow that means that the characters have not advanced at all, but that is an incorrect assumption that misrepresents the system. The monsters have changed too. They have more interesting and diverse powers too as you level up. Powers that can destroy whole villages and pose even greater threats to the world around the PCs, BECAUSE they represent a higher challenge level. And, thus far, from what I have seen of the adventures written for PF2, Most PCs are not just going to be facing equal level encounters their entire career. There are going to be times where you really feel how much more powerful you are because you leveled up.

Like I said, I am happy you feel like PF2 can accommodate your play style by removing the +level bonus to proficiency. Personally, I think there are better systems out their for it. But I (used to) play pathfinder games for the wonderful storytelling of the modules and adventure paths. Unfortunately, the PF1 Adventure paths have started to feel like a waste of time for me and my play group because the high level play falls apart for us, usually in the 3rd or 4th book. PF2 looks like it is going to make it a lot easier for adventure writers to write great high level epic play that will be balanced enough for a wide range of play groups without forcing the GM to basically rewrite most of the encounters and dungeons to challenge players that have been playing together for years and have strong tactics and character building strategies.

I am actually pretty bummed that the two remaining APs for PF1 are so epically focused because I feel like the stories in them are clearly being written towards the kind of adventure that PF2 is going to be able to tell better.


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Unicore wrote:
Zman0 wrote:


HP represents heroism, its their plot armor. That axe swing that would have fell a man of equal skill narrowly misses the hero, or the wound doesn't incapacitate our hero etc. How many movies and books have the more skilled teacher get felled by an enemy, but our under-trained hero escapes. Narrowly survives a wound, or strike, etc. Why, they aren't more "skilled" than their teacher was, that was already established. What they have is plot armor, that plot armor can be represented by HP, it is not covered by getting +1s to AC, ToHit, and Skills at every level.

As soon as you start adding level to everything, you create an artificial kind of inflation that escalates everything and really thrashes vermisilitude. If you've done any kind of playtesting or analysis, you'll find there is plenty of power scaling without adding your level to everything.

If HP represented "plot armor" then the higher level trainer would have had even more of it. PCs are not the only ones who get HP per level. I agree that it is an abstract mechanic to help players feel like their characters can face more dangerous enemies without dying instantly, but that doesn't make it a better representation of "plot armor" than any other advancement of character by level.

There is some power scaling in PF2 that is not dependent upon the +level to proficiency, but it is not that much. For martial characters it is often 1 skill increase or class feat. Over the course of the whole game 20 levels, your bonus to attack is going to go up between 2 and 3 times for proficiency, and probably 2 times from attributes. That means your magic weapon is going to account for 50% of the total advancement in attack bonus your character gets. These numbers are incredibly underwhelming, and there are much better systems for representing gritty play where low-level enemies stay dangerous over the course of an adventurer's lifetime.

I know a lot of people think that the +level bonus is irrelevant against equal level opponents and...

Note, I said more skill trainer, and not "higher level". I was talking about how plot armor can protect a character against something that is "better" than them at things, except, because they are heroes and have that plot armor, they can weather it and survive. If you think of everything in the world as having levels, then there will be problems. Does the "Legendary" blacksmith need to be over 13th level. If he was built as a PC, yes, if he is built as an NPC, then no. Does an elite guard trained as a master swordsman have to be 7th level or higher, no, he could be fourth level, or third, bu the PC, who is less skilled with a sword can muscle through the fight and win. Why? Because he had more HP, he had more plot armor to weather his lack of skill and come out the other side.

See, now you're telling me what would suite my preferences and playstyle better. Yet, when you speak, you consistently demonstrate a lack of understanding to what would suit my playstyle. I am telling you, P2 without the level scaling is the best I have encountered for what I want. Care to keep telling me I"m wrong and to go and play something else to stop bothering you...

+level is an illusion against equal level enemies. It simply doesn't matter. It does matter against lower and higher level enemies, and it serves one purpose outside of "bigger numbers" and that is to artificially inflate the power difference between threats and pcs of certain levels faster than it does otherwise with the default ability/damage/hp/proficiency/magic scaling that already exists. It it another compound factor resulting in exponentially faster power growth.

Why do you keep implying that +lvl type power scaling is required to represnet high fantasy. A level 20 Bound and Unbound Fighter are going to walk through lvl 0 Orcs in exactly the same way essentially requiring 20s to be hit. Does a Bound lvl 20 character feel less epic than an Unbound lvl 20 character walking through those lvl 0 orcs in essentially exactly the same way?


Zman0 wrote:


Note, I said more skill trainer, and not "higher level". I was talking about how plot armor can protect a character against something that is "better" than them at things, except, because they are heroes and have that plot armor, they can weather it and survive. If you think of everything in the world as having levels, then there will be problems. Does the "Legendary" blacksmith need to be over 13th level. If he was built as a PC, yes, if he is built as an NPC, then no. Does an elite guard trained as a master swordsman have to be 7th level or higher, no, he could be fourth level, or third, bu the PC, who is less skilled with a sword can muscle through the fight and win. Why? Because he had more HP, he had more plot armor to weather his lack of skill and come out the other side.

See, now you're telling me what would suite my preferences and playstyle better. Yet, when you speak, you consistently demonstrate a lack of understanding to what would suit my playstyle. I am telling you, P2 without the level scaling is the best I have encountered for what I want. Care to keep telling me I"m wrong and to go and play something else to stop bothering you...

+level is an illusion against equal level enemies. It simply doesn't matter. It does matter against lower and higher level enemies, and it serves one purpose outside of "bigger numbers" and that is to artificially inflate the power difference between threats and pcs of certain levels faster than it does otherwise with the default ability/damage/hp/proficiency/magic scaling that already exists. It it another compound factor resulting in exponentially faster power growth.

Why do you keep implying that +lvl type power scaling is required to represnet high fantasy. A level 20 Bound and Unbound Fighter are going to walk through lvl 0 Orcs in exactly the same way essentially requiring 20s to be hit. Does a Bound lvl 20 character feel less epic than an Unbound lvl 20 character walking through those lvl 0 orcs in essentially exactly the same way?

If PF2 with out the +level to proficiency works for you, I am happy for you. No sarcasm, that is wonderful. You have an easy to use house rule that makes the system as written work for you (or since it is a playtest, it obviously has issues for everyone, but it is mostly there for you).

It doesn't work for me, and as someone who actually prefers grittier games (which low-level PF1 did well), I would not come back to PF2 if it got rid of +level bonus to proficiency without radically changing many other aspects of the game to bring the whole system down out of the gonzo/high-fantasy realm.

The D20 has a wide swing, and that is why PF1 handed out bonuses like candy. The issue wasn't the level the number got to with bonuses, the issue was that the level could swing by so much that many concepts never worked. I think we are on the same page as far as that goes because I have never seen you make arguments about trying to stretch the proficiency numbers.

But without level bonuses, 0th level npcs/monsters with short bows are going to be able to get critical hits (roll a 20 and still be able to hit their opposition) on a lot of higher level creatures. Maybe not level 20, maybe not level 10, I don't know because I have not been playing without the +level proficiency bonus. As long as that remains true, those level 0 monsters remain a serious threat to those creatures they can hit in large numbers. It also means that they can "accidentally" pose a pretty serious threat to PCs as well in much lower numbers when they roll well. Jason made it pretty clear that it was a design goal of the game for PCs to noticeably outgrow threats that use to be challenging, relatively quickly, so that new threats could be introduced and the party can feel like it is advancing in power. I believe that if everyone at Piazo is on board with that as a goal (which they should be because it is pretty obviously the intention), then the world and adventures they want to build probably necessitate greater separation between their tiers or play.

I don't think it makes sense to try to call increased HP, "Plot Armor." Especially if increasing the actual AC with level doesn't qualify for some reason. Plot armor is for a story where the end results are created by the writer or writers and the things that happen in the story can get very dangerous and close, because nothing in the story is actually determined by the skill of the characters or random luck.

If I am a designer, writing an Adventure that requires a legendary blacksmith, and I get to make up the story, I am much better served making up a story that has that Blacksmith be awesome for reasons connected to my world bigger than "I want the party to have this legendary sword." If you take the time to think of a blacksmith who legitimately experienced the kind of world shaking events that would be necessary to get high enough level to forge a legendary sword, you are going to have a much better story than if you just made the regular old human blacksmith from the town the party started in, who has never worked with magical and exotic materials. Or if you want that blacksmith to come back latter in the adventure, give them 10 levels of reasons why they are more prepared now to do the task (although I have no problem with NPCs having arbitrary skill values generally, I do thing that your adventures will improve if you avoid having too many NPCs who have wild levels of power and wealth without earning it (or struggling to keep it) in some fashion.

+level to proficiency is not an illusion. It does not have a trickery or deception tag. It is not a school of magic or a parlor trick. It is a simple mechanic that makes it really easy to make a game where level is meaningful. The numbers get large, but they do not get complicated. In most class-based roleplaying games, every player knows the level of their character off of the top of their head. It doesn't require a chart or a table or a different table for each defense and attack and skill to keep track of, but you reliably have a strong sense of a character or monster's power when you know their level, and what kind of opposition is challenging for them.

PF2 is still having some issues getting that right with the +level bonus. The 3 action economy actually favors characters and monsters who don't have too many ways to distract themselves from attacking as much as possible in search of critical hits. I am actually pretty skeptical that the reliably viable threat range for parties actually stretches that much without the +level proficiency bonus in a measurable fashion. I think it is more probable that you are just creating more fringe opportunities for lower -level opponents to possibly kill a higher level opponent, while making it more difficult for the GM to have a sense of whether their character will have a good probability of surviving the encounter.


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Everything I am lobbying for is for "Bound" to be an official variant rule. Now, I will adamantly argue it superior to the level scaling system to prefer, but I am not arguing that Piazo completely change +lvl. I argue that they include a variant rule sidebar giving people like me official recognition.

Ok, lets get one thing straight. Those level 0 monsters with shortbows are criting ANY character on a 20. That 20 does not also need to be a hit. You are using the general rules on pg 292 and ignoring the specific critical hit rules on pg 178.

That radically alters the assertions you make. Sure, a lvl 10 Unbound Fighter is only hit by that lvl0 Archer on a 19/20+/20+, and every 20 is a critical. That Bound lvl 10 fighter is hit on a 13/18/20+. Yep, that level 0(artificially high to hit for relevancy) hits that level 10 fighter more often. But, how much more damage is done?

Lvl 10 Unbound Fighter AC29 = 1.875 Damage per turn or 1.3% HP
Lvl 10 Bound Fighter AC19 = 3.45 Damage per turn or 2.3% HP.

That, right there, is what you are saying will "remain a serious threat to those creatures they can hit in large numbers". And level 10 is actually a nice cherry picked level to compare ironically. Lets look at level 11 to see how much more epically powerful the Bound character is against lvl0 archers compared to the severely handicapped Bound character.

Lvl 11 Unbound Fighter AC32 = 1.875 Damage per Turn or 1.1% HP.
Lvl 11 Bound Fighter AC21 = 2.75 Damage per Turn or 1.7% HP.

How about level 15?
Lvl 15 Unbound Fighter AC36 = 1.875 Damage per Turn or 0.8% HP.
Lvl 15 Bound Fighter AC22 = 2.58 Damage per Turn or 1.1% HP.

Or level 17?
Lvl 17 Unbound Fighter AC40 = 1.875 Damage per Turn or 0.7% HP.
Lvl 17 Bound Fighter AC23 = 2.4 Damage per Turn or 0.9% HP.

Or level 19?
Lvl 19 Unbound Fighter AC43 = 1.875 Damage per Turn or 0.6% HP.
Lvl 19 Bound Fighter AC24 = 2.23 Damage per Turn or 0.7% HP.

Wow, man, that Bound lvl 19 Dwarven Fighter in +5 Full Plate really needs to watch out, that .7% HP per turn from the lvl 0 skeleton en mass is really going to drop him like paper from the monstrous .6% per turn the Unbound fighter takes. Whew, I can see why the Bound fighters need to fear the lvl0s with shortbows and the Unbound fighters do not... That is 143 Archer turns vs 167. That 17% extra survivability the Unbound character has over the Bound character feels SUPER EPIC! I'm sorry, "gonzo/high-fantasy".

Glad we cleared that up, those Bound characters just don't get very powerful compared to those lowly lvl0s at all. I mean, they hardly get stronger at all without adding their level to everything. How could a 20th level character ever wade through dozens of lowly archers or orcs without their +lvl bonus. That extra 17% effective HP at lvl 20 makes all the difference. /Sarcasm

In all seriousness, by the time we cross the level 10 threshold it doesn't matter, Bound vs Unbound, the lowly lvl 0s are not a threat, and really no one is rolling any dice pitting level 10 characters against lvl0s. Why, because its a steamroll, one that just won't be worth anyone's time.

Now, will you please light that strawman argument about lvl0s en mass taking down anything level 20 with ease on fire? Then can we bury the ashes never to be resurrected again? Please? It keeps cropping up all over the place and it really has no merit.

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