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


Playing the Game

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Zman0 wrote:
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.

Nu uh your a straw man!

No its an exaggeration. If it makes you feel better change the number to level 2 and level 10.

Liberty's Edge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
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.

That's a good point, actually. HP does not technically need to scale either, since in the current system, HP and damage per round both scale up (otherwise combat would take forever).

If you ignore the math for a moment, you will find the ONLY important numbers are what is my % chance to succeed at an attack or spell, and how many hits does it take to kill something? You can write a variety of systems where the answer to these questions is the same, but the actual numbers or systems are different.

You could write a system where do you do NOT add +1/level to everything and you have only a static 100 HP, and damage for a given weapon or spell is relatively static and does not scale much, and you could get the same %chance to succeed and number of hits per kill as Pathfinder 1/2 or 5E. This would actually be better in many ways. Since most of the numbers are static, EVERY bonus you get to attack or damage feels meaningful. Power progression could come from new or advanced abilities and not simple +1 (which are actually +0 bonuses most of the time) bonuses.

Liberty's Edge

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Unicore wrote:

It doesn't work for me, and as someone who actually prefers grittier games (which low-level PF1 did well)...

...+level to proficiency is not an illusion...

What makes a game gritty? Dangerous monsters that can kill you in fewer hits? You can have that in a system that adds +1/level or not, the math is exactly the same.

+1/level IS an illusion of power. Think about it from an overall game design stand point. The game is designed so that parties of level X can face challenges of level X +/- Y. We are not designing a system where level 20 characters frequently face level 1 monsters. This is not interesting or good game play. The only thing that matters is facing interesting challenges. What you guys are really saying is, "I want to be able to face a horde of weaker minions" OR "fight tough boss battles". You can do both of those in either system and make the gameplay interesting. Adding +1/level just bloats the math with no real benefit. Every time you level up and get that +1, the monsters you most often face will ALSO get that +1. Which means it is actually a bonus of 0.

What would be more interesting, getting +1/0 bonuses every level, or focusing on AWESOME powerful feats at every level?


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Archimedes Mavranos wrote:


What makes a game gritty? Dangerous monsters that can kill you in fewer hits? You can have that in a system that adds +1/level or not, the math is exactly the same.

+1/level IS an illusion of power. Think about it from an overall game design stand point. The game is designed so that parties of level X can face challenges of level X +/- Y. We are not designing a system where level 20 characters frequently face level 1 monsters. This is not interesting or good game play. The only thing that matters is facing interesting challenges. What you guys are really saying is, "I want to be able to face a horde of weaker minions" OR "fight tough boss battles". You can do both of those in either system and make the gameplay interesting. Adding +1/level just bloats the math with no real benefit. Every time you level up and get that +1, the monsters you most often face will ALSO get that +1. Which means it is actually a bonus of 0.

What would be more interesting, getting +1/0 bonuses every level, or focusing on AWESOME powerful feats at every level?

If this were a video game, or you are playing with a GM that picks monsters out of the bestiary solely based upon party level, getting better with level would be insignificant. If the orcs in the next room gain a level because the party gained a level, that would make getting better with level an illusion. But monsters don't get more powerful just because the party leveled up. The party is just more ready to face new more challenging monsters. Against challenges that are the same level as the party, the overall challenge rating should be about the same as it was at every other level. This has always been theoretically true, and the purpose of balanced design, it is just that 3.x was not a very balanced game, especially not at higher levels.

There were lots of mechanics that added +1 per level to your power level in PF1. They were just not applied equally and they led to some very janky things at higher level.

You call it numbers bloat, but I am not really sure what that means in the context where the numbers do actually matter. They don't matter as much on exactly the same level, but they do matter quickly between levels. Keeping the range of fun encounters within a smaller range was a deliberate choice in PF2 for game balance and encounter design, for the purpose of telling specific stories the developers want to tell.

Playing without +level to proficiency may be fine as a house rule. To be supported by the rules, they would probably need to have two listings for everything in the bestiary which would take up too much space in print. Maybe it can be the new E6 and there can be online support for folks who want to play that way.


Definitely not being sarcastic wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
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.

Nu uh your a straw man!

No its an exaggeration. If it makes you feel better change the number to level 2 and level 10.

Ok, lets.

We'll use the same lvl 0 archer with a shortbow

Lvl 2 Unbound Fighter AC19 = 3.45 Damage per turn or 9.6% HP
Lvl 2 Bound Fighter AC17 = 4.15 Damage per turn or 11.5% HP

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.

Well, that pretty much speaks for itself.

Care to revise your exaggeration lower?


Zman0 wrote:


Ok, lets.

We'll use the same lvl 0 archer with a shortbow

Lvl 2 Unbound Fighter AC19 = 3.45 Damage per turn or 9.6% HP
Lvl 2 Bound Fighter AC17 = 4.15 Damage per turn or 11.5% HP

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.

Well, that pretty much speaks for itself.

Care to revise your exaggeration lower?

3.45 is actually pretty high DPR for a 0th level archer vs a 10th level fighter (unbound). Given decent positioning, 10 0th archers do look like they could create problems for a single level 10 character.

Also the crit on a regular short bow is 2d6+1d10, so it is not likely that the damage is going to come in regular increments. It is more likely that the fighter will think she is fine, and then get hit by a lucky crit or two or three and suddenly drop 20 to 30 hp. At level 10, that is not a critical percentage of hit points, but it can make for dangerous situations if you throw 5 level 0 archers in with some higher level challenges.

A more accurate representation would be to say that a (bound) level 2 fighter might drop with 2 or 3 critical hits from level 0 characters with a shortbow. Pretty dangerous.

A level 10 (bound) fighter might drop from 10 or 11 critical hits (which will be most of the hits they face from the first, and possibly still the second attack). Probably not that dangerous, but enough to be a threat and probably drain some significant healing resources when faced in numbers.

Unbound, the level 10 fighter can't be hit critically. Natural 20s will just be regular hits for d6 damage. Even facing the possibility of gettin hit with 20s 10 or 11 times is not going to pose any threat to the character.

For you this is clearly a problem. In a gritty game, it would be a problem for me as well.

But for epic fantasy where the high level heroes stand up to armies and face down gods, it doesn't really work for a level 0 archer to have a 5% chance of hitting a level 10 character for around 10% of their HP.

If I were trying to house rule out the +level bonus to proficiency, I would probably want to take a close look at weapon properties and other effects that kick in on critical hits and make sure that I am not giving lower level enemies in numbers an advantage that can easily result in a TPK if a couple of them get lucky.

I am aware of how this is already a problem in PF2 with the 3 action action economy. Multiple lower level (but close) monsters are already a bigger threat in PF2 than they were in PF1. (exemplified and exacerbated by weapons like the short bow, which can be shot 3 times without moving by well positioned monsters), but extending the range to which lower level monsters might still be a threat is something you want to keep an eye on for your house rule.


P178 is the the general rule.

The specific rule for the specific situation of rolling a 20 when that wouldn't normally succeed takes precedence:

Quote:
If your enemy is far more powerful than you or a task beyond your abilities, you might roll a natural 20 and still get a result lower than the DC. In this case, you succeed instead of critically succeed or fail.


Zman0, I am happy to keep discussing this with you, but you have to dial back the tone of your posts. No one is shouting here or challenging more than ideas about the game.

At the very best, it looks like the rules for critical success are confusing and not clear. But the developers have made their intention clear.

here:
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2vb92?Conflicting-Rules-About-Natural-20s#4

One of the developers specifically calls out that attacks don't hit critically on a 20 if they won't otherwise hit.

The rule is confusing being listed as it is on page 178. I am not saying your interpretation of specific over general is not a valid one, given only the rulebook to consult, and you probably are not the only one playing it that way, but it absolutely not the rules as intended. And page 178 is probably in need of an Errata update.

Given that that is the intent of the rules, I think my points stand.


Incorrect. Pg 292 is the general rule, it is the overview section on checks. It discusses critical successes and mentions that critical successes on attack roles are also known as critical hits. Pg 178 is specific to weapons, specific to attack rolls, and specific to critical hits, and tells us without any wiggle room that rolling a 20 on an attack roll, or beat the AC by 10, it is a critical success(also known as a critical hit).

Unless there is an errata that changes that language, that interpretation is the correct one. There is no ambiguity here. Pg 178 is the specific rule. Pg 292 generally refers to checks, pg 178 leaves no ambiguity, rolling a natural 20 on the attack roll is called a critical success, also known as a critical hit.

We have general rules that apply to all checks which deals with critical success on pg 292. Pg 178 specifically tells us how we treat this situation in regards to attack rolls. That specific rule overrules the general rules located on pg 292.

Well, as I'm writing this, I see a dev did chime in in that one thread. That is a shame, because until they errata it that dev ruling may be their intent, but their rules as written are clear and we have a situation where a dev ruling is in disagreement with their written rules.

I'm still leery about how this plays out, we have other contradictory dev rulings in the playtest so far. And until they errata it the way the rules are written makes it a critical hit.

Now, using that knowledge I'll need to go and redo a good chunk of the math I did for comparison.

You could have been kind enough to instead of have declared something as fact, when it is in contradiction to the rules as written, pointed out the dev feedback on that issue.


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Zman0 wrote:


Well, as I'm writing this, I see a dev did chime in in that one thread. That is a shame, because until they errata it that dev ruling may be their intent, but their rules as written are clear and we have a situation where a dev ruling is in disagreement with their written rules.

I'm still leery about how this plays out, we have other contradictory dev rulings in the playtest so far. And until they errata it the way the rules are written makes it a critical hit.

Now, using that knowledge I'll need to go and redo a good chunk of the math I did for comparison.

You could have been kind enough to instead of have declared something as fact, when it is in contradiction to the rules as written, pointed out the dev feedback on that issue.

I didn't look closely at your math until this last post, which is when I realized where our discrepancy was. I was not trying to be rude. I read a lot of threads and this one often gets a lot of posts in a row, and I don't often get a chance to respond when I first read something. I started this thread because I too was opposed to +level to proficiency, in combination with how tight the math was generally, until I started listening to a lot of developer interviews and seeing the whole book together, and realized that a lot of assumptions I had about the system were incorrect as far as what the game was being designed to accomplish.

The game is a playtest with a lot of different writers having their work mashed together quickly and in progress. Mistakes and confusion are going to happen. I also hope this is something that they resolve in the next update.

I look forward to seeing how much the math changes. I think it is really awesome of you to do that work to test your ideas about how an alternative version of the game could work.


20s always Crit(RAW):

Lvl 2 Unbound Fighter AC19 = 3.45 Damage per turn or 9.6% HP
Lvl 2 Bound Fighter AC17 = 4.15 Damage per turn or 11.5% HP

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.

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.

Here is the updated math based on the dev ruling that a 20 that does not crit due to being unable to reach the target AC.

Lvl 2 Unbound Fighter AC19 = 3.00 Damage per turn or 8.3% HP
Lvl 2 Bound Fighter AC17 = 3.525 Damage per turn or 9.8% HP

Lvl 10 Unbound Fighter AC29 = 0.525 Damage per turn or 0.4% HP
Lvl 10 Bound Fighter AC19 = 3.00 Damage per turn or 2.0% HP.

Lvl 11 Unbound Fighter AC32 = 0.525 Damage per Turn or 0.3% HP.
Lvl 11 Bound Fighter AC21 = 2.300 Damage per Turn or 1.4% HP.

How about level 15?
Lvl 15 Unbound Fighter AC36 = 0.525 Damage per Turn or 0.2% HP.
Lvl 15 Bound Fighter AC22 = 1.675 Damage per Turn or 0.7% HP.

Or level 17?
Lvl 17 Unbound Fighter AC40 = 0.525 Damage per Turn or 0.2% HP.
Lvl 17 Bound Fighter AC23 = 1.500 Damage per Turn or 0.5% HP.

Or level 19?
Lvl 19 Unbound Fighter AC43 = 0.525 Damage per Turn or 0.2% HP.
Lvl 19 Bound Fighter AC24 = 1.325 Damage per Turn or 0.4% HP.

Ok, so there are the updated numbers. It definitely changes the relationship somewhat. At level 2 there is a very small difference compared to level 0 enemies with shortbows. By level 10 there has opened up a gulf, the Unbound character can survive ~200 rounds of fire from shortbows, while the Bound character can only survive ~50 rounds of fire.

Once you reach into the higher levels there is effectively no difference between a Bound and Unbound character facing off against those pesky level 0s.

Can we at least dispense with the lvl20 analogies we've been hearing. If someone wants to argue that hit at four times the insignificant damage Bound vs Unbound, that is a fair critique. But, I'll argue it still doesn't stand to reason that we'll be seeing on the table top a mass ov lvl 0 archers being ran to take down the level 10 or level 15 characters. Not to mention, that there is a greater significance in cover etch for the mid level character against the insignificant threats, by getting a +2 circ bonus to cover from a shield or terrain, or other creatures you're often cutting the amount of damage you take in half and nearing the Unbound character's survivability.


Side question about people wanting to throw their high level characters(usually Martials) into battle against dozens to hundreds to maybe thousands of mooks.

Um okay?

Even removing the arguments about how hard or easy it should or should not be; how bloody long will it take to actually go through an encounter?


MaxAstro wrote:


This has mostly been a good thread that I have been following with interest, and hearing both sides has been very enlightening.

Thank you. I have tried my best to keep the tone reflective and considerate and agree that there has been a lot of thoughtful debate.

MerlinCross wrote:


Side question about people wanting to throw their high level characters(usually Martials) into battle against dozens to hundreds to maybe thousands of mooks.

Um okay?

Even removing the arguments about how hard or easy it should or should not be; how bloody long will it take to actually go through an encounter?

The issue for me isn't the impact it would have on players, but the impact that it has when a 50 level 0 archers have a decent chance of dropping a level 10 -12 dragon. It vastly reduces need for larger than life heroes and tells a different story. Those lower powered stories can be fine, but the developers have made it clear that PF2 is being designed to tell the kind of stories where it really is likely that "the heroes are the only ones who can save us!"


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MerlinCross wrote:

Side question about people wanting to throw their high level characters(usually Martials) into battle against dozens to hundreds to maybe thousands of mooks.

Um okay?

Even removing the arguments about how hard or easy it should or should not be; how bloody long will it take to actually go through an encounter?

Depends on how you run it. Troop rules are awesome for that, and my Hell's Rebels players have carved through dozens of foes at a go.

Way of the Wicked twice had my PCs fighting armies, but both times were mostly abstracted...

Largest encounter of single creature I've run was maybe 30-40 creatures? All weak enough that the PCs mostly one-shot them while carving their way towards the boss.


ZMan0 - in your AC assumptions for the Bound system all the scaling comes from the defensive gear. What if the Bound Archers target a Bound Raging Barbarian or another low-AC character? Also what if it's suddenly not archers but a Bound Gelatinous Cube?

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
Archimedes Mavranos wrote:


What makes a game gritty? Dangerous monsters that can kill you in fewer hits? You can have that in a system that adds +1/level or not, the math is exactly the same.

+1/level IS an illusion of power. Think about it from an overall game design stand point. The game is designed so that parties of level X can face challenges of level X +/- Y. We are not designing a system where level 20 characters frequently face level 1 monsters. This is not interesting or good game play. The only thing that matters is facing interesting challenges. What you guys are really saying is, "I want to be able to face a horde of weaker minions" OR "fight tough boss battles". You can do both of those in either system and make the gameplay interesting. Adding +1/level just bloats the math with no real benefit. Every time you level up and get that +1, the monsters you most often face will ALSO get that +1. Which means it is actually a bonus of 0.

What would be more interesting, getting +1/0 bonuses every level, or focusing on AWESOME powerful feats at every level?

If this were a video game, or you are playing with a GM that picks monsters out of the bestiary solely based upon party level, getting better with level would be insignificant. If the orcs in the next room gain a level because the party gained a level, that would make getting better with level an illusion. But monsters don't get more powerful just because the party leveled up. The party is just more ready to face new more challenging monsters. Against challenges that are the same level as the party, the overall challenge rating should be about the same as it was at every other level. This has always been theoretically true, and the purpose of balanced design, it is just that 3.x was not a very balanced game, especially not at higher levels.

There were lots of mechanics that added +1 per level to your power level in PF1. They were just not applied equally and they led to some very janky things at higher level.

You call it...

What is the goal of this game? To simulate exactly a world where heroes grow more powerful and battles against low or high level monsters are trivial? Or, is the goal to make a system that provides reasonable challenges at various levels of PC power?

Look at the Adventure Paths Paizo publishes. Do you ever see adventures where level 10 characters face level 1 Orcs? No, because that is not good gameplay. It's not an interesting encounter. It might mathematically make more sense in a +1/level system, but that should not be our goal.

Level 10 players won't face level 1 Orcs. They will face a large band of Orcs with some class levels or a small band of Orcs with class levels similar to the PCs. This is the way the game is run and the system should be tailored to this.

The Adventure Paths always provide reasonable challenges. A battle with a horde of PC level - 3 monsters is an interesting style encounter. So it a battle against a single PC level + 3 monster. These are different styles of encounters, and you can do them just as easily in both systems, but removing the +1 / level makes the system simpler, but just as powerful.

Design the game for the way it is meant to be played (party faces reasonable challenges) rather than how it is not played (party overpowers trivial monsters).

Ignore the specific numbers. As Zman0 is trying to point out, you still have power growth in a bound system (no +1/level), it's just a more gradual slope. Don't let the specific numbers distract you. Sure a level 1 Orc in a bound system might be a mathematical threat over a larger range of player levels, but that is actually a GOOD thing because it makes life easier on the DM (monsters are more re-usable). Just because monsters in an unbound (+1/level) system are only valid in a range of level +/- 3 or so, and monsters in a bound system are valid in a range of level +/- 6. It just means Paizo can redefine what monsters exist at what level, and it's not hard to scale monsters weaker/stronger (see Elite and Weak Adjustments in the Bestiary).


CyberMephit wrote:
ZMan0 - in your AC assumptions for the Bound system all the scaling comes from the defensive gear. What if the Bound Archers target a Bound Raging Barbarian or another low-AC character? Also what if it's suddenly not archers but a Bound Gelatinous Cube?

Yep, most of the AC bonuses outside of adding +lvl to everything come from potency bonuses or proficiency increases. In Bound, that is very apparenty, but the scaling +1 per 4 levels is already there. Other characters have additional scaling with Dex instead of proficiency increases.

If those bound archers are targeting a raging barbarian, well if that barbarian is Animal, Dragon, or Fury they are pretty much immune to the piercing, so laugh? If they are Giant, Spirit, or Superstition, I'd recommend not raging.

Bound Gelatinous cubes, well at lvl 3 they are identical as Unbound. At higher levels they are tougher than Unbound, not becoming quickly trivial, but the PC will have higher abilitys, plenty of HP, etc, and will take out the Gelatinous cubes easier than they would have at earlier levels. They are effectively relevant for 6-8 levels instead of 3-4 levels.


Well I'm trying to see why you guys think its better but For a few of the arguments I've seen.

One point I've seen is its easier to add up but I don't have any issues doing the basic math needed to do so. so that is a non issue to me.

I don't see what you mean about the illusion of power igther. If I fight a 1st level creature at level 20 with that +20 bonus that is not an illusion of power to the 1st level creature their is a Exponential difference between me and that 1st level creature to the point where he could even grab his whole village and it not make a difference. It only doesn't matter on creature at my level if their higher level or lower level then I will notice a difference. That is not an illusion.

Also on yoru first poing your argument that bound or unbound is superior without specifics why is irrelevant. you may feel one is superior but that doesn't give evidence.

Lastly I've been playing pathfinder 1 as my game of choice for awhile. so I'm going to say that is my style of choice. PF1 give the +1 per level to things except its not as neat in all circumstance PF2 is the same thing but cleaned up a lot better. so Its the same across the board. PF1 however still had the same idea that as I level my power increases such as to hit and saves. 3rd edition D&D was the same way. 2nd edition had THACO but the concept is the same as you go up in level certain AC's are easier to hit because of your character levels + other stuff. In first edition it was a chart but your chances of hitting higher AC's went up with level once again. Its all still the same concept as those charts. Its just easier to figure out now and you don't have to consult your DMG to see the chart.


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Doing a small glance at the Bestiary one can see that the +1/level is important for the game and how it balances. But before we get to the math I believe that the +1/level fixes a lot of old problems from the old edition.

1. Clear strength progression
In the old edition there were many classes, especially in 3.x, where you got nothing or next to nothing despite leveling up. There were dead levels, which P1E tried its damndest to get rid of but it still happened. Now it P2E you will always see an advancement of your character, every level, even if it's that small +1. Your character gets better more noticeably than before.

2. Clear Monster vs Party strength comparison
In the old edition solo Monsters, or even 2 Monsters of the parties level, were a joke to play against. A lvl 10 character could very easily kill a lvl 10, 11 or even 12 Monster. Would it be tough? Sure. But that Monster was "supposed" to be a challenge for your party. Put 4 players against 1 CR 10 monster and they would rip it apart in 1 round. Now you put a CR 10 monster against a lvl 10 party and it's actually a small challenge. This is a vast improvement over the old edition where the solo bad guy had to be 2 or 3 levels higher than the party to even pose a threat. Now a +2 monster is a real threat to your party, and that's a good thing.

3. Easy monster/NPC creation on the fly
Not that creating monsters or NPCs up on the fly was to difficult before now it's very easy once you know the formula used in P2E. First add level plus 4. At lvls 3, 7, 11, 15, 19 add +1 AC and at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 add +1 to hit. It also seems that you add a +2 to increase what you want it to be good at up to lvl 7 and a +2 again at lvl 13 I believe. For skills use base lvl for bad skills and the rest as needed for one's they're good at. So you need a quick and dirty CL 4 Guard? His AC is 19, hit bonus is +11, his skills are +4 and the ones he's good at are +9 or +11. A quick and dirty lvl 14 crime lord? His AC is 34, his hit is +25, and his skills are +14 and his good skills are +25 or +27. To me this seems like a much more streamlined process. And since Monsters/NPCs no longer have to abide by PC rules you can technically give them whatever special abilities you want, as long as you aren't a jerk about it.

Now I'm not saying this stuff couldn't be done without +1/level but to me it certainly seems to help having an easy base line to go from. There are a few more things but those are the main three that I thought adding +1/level helped with tremendously.

Level 3 monster and characters:

Grizzly Bear lvl 3
AC 17 (14) (15)
Atk +8 (+5) (+6)

Rust Monster lvl 3
AC 18 (15) (16)
Atk +8 (+5) (+6)

Fighter lvl 3
AC 20 (17) (18)
Atk +10 (+7) (+8)

Rogue lvl 3
AC 19 (16) (17)
Atk +8 (+5) (+6)

So those numbers there are the numbers of an average character and the base stats of the monsters. In first parenthesis are the stats with no level. The second are the stats with +1/2 level. It is as you say, no change essentially. The Fighter hits on a roll of 7 against the Grizzly Bear in all instances and hits the Rust Monster on a 8. The Rogue hits on a 9 and 10 respectively. The monsters also scale basically the same. But what happens when we add in some higher level monsters?

Level 6 & 7 Creatures and lvl 3 characters:

Cave Bear lvl 6
AC 20 (14) (17)
Atk +15 (+9) (+12)

Blood Demon lvl 7
AC 23 (16) (19)
Atk +17 (+10) (+13)

Fighter lvl 3
AC 20 (17) (18)
Atk +10 (+7) (+8)

Rogue lvl 3
AC 19 (16) (17)
Atk +8 (+5) (+6)

Now let's look. The Fighter hits the Cave Bear on a 10, 7, and 9 and hits the Blood Demon on a 13, 9 and 11. The Fighter also crits on 20, 17+,and 19+ against the Cave Bear and can only crit the Blood Demon on the no level and half level statistics. The Rogue hits the Cave Bear on a 12, 9 and 11 and it hits the Blood Demon on a 15, 11, and 13. He can only Crit the Cave Bear on the no level statistic. He also cannot Crit the Blood Demon at all. This assuming no Flanking Bonus or party buffs.

All in all it's not a huge difference. BUT how do the Monsters fair up against the players?

The Cave Bear hits the Fighter on a 5, 8, and 6 and the Rogue on a 4, 7,and 5. The Blood Demon hits the Fighter on a 3, 7, and 5 and hits the Rogue on a 2, 6, and 4.

So one can obviously see that taking away the level bonus starts to sway things in the realm of the player. It makes it harder for the Monsters to hit and easier for the Players to hit. Let's add one some even higher challenges to see how they fair.

Level 10 Creatures:

Young Red Dragon lvl 10
AC 27 (17) (22)
Atk +20 (+10) (+15)

T-Rex lvl 10
AC 25 (15) (20)
Atk +20 (+10) (+15)

Fighter lvl 3
AC 20 (17) (18)
Atk +10 (+7) (+8)

Rogue lvl 3
AC 19 (16) (17)
Atk +8 (+5) (+6)

This is where you see the level bonus become more noticeable. Our Fighter can hit the Dragon on a 17, 10, and 14. Our Rogue can hit on a 19, 12, and 16. The T-Rex is even easier to hit but it seems to have a fairly low AC for a lvl 10 Creature.

The Dragon would only miss on a 1 but now suddenly he has to roll a 6 or 7 for no level or a 3 or 2 for half level. So while the half level is more similar its still not the same and the no level bonus becomes almost laughable.

So how would higher characters fair against these creatures?

Level 10 Fighter & Rogue plus Creatures:

Grizzly Bear lvl 3
AC 17 (14) (15)
Atk +8 (+5) (+6)

Cave Bear lvl 6
AC 20 (14) (17)
Atk +15 (+9) (+12)

Blood Demon lvl 7
AC 23 (16) (19)
Atk +17 (+10) (+13)

Young Red Dragon lvl 10
AC 27 (17) (22)
Atk +20 (+10) (+15)

T-Rex lvl 10
AC 25 (15) (20)
Atk +20 (+10) (+15)

Fighter lvl 10
AC 29 (19) (24)
Atk +19 (+9) (+14)

Rogue lvl 10
AC 29 (19) (24)
Atk +17 (+7) (+12)

Now this is assuming the characters have +2 armor, +2 weapons, and +5 stat. The first noticeable thing is that the no level versions have barely changed in 7 levels. Their AC has gone up by 2 or 3 and their attacks have only gone up by 2. Comparing them to their lvl 10 counterparts nets similar changes but how do they hold up against that lvl 3 Grizzly Bear? The Fighter now hits the Grizzly Bear on a 5 instead of only missing on a 1 and the Rogue is the same, hitting on a 7 instead of only missing on a 1. The Grizzly Bear can also hit on a 14+ instead of only on a 20. That's a very noticeable change.

The half level bonus is again more similar to the base system but still with some changes. The Fighter only misses on a 1 but the Rogue needs to get a 3+ to hit. The Cave Bear can also hit on a 18+ instead of only hitting on a 20.

Now you can argue that the differences are so minimal that they don't matter but to me it's obvious that some sort of +/level system is needed and even changing the +1/level to something else changes the way the game was meant to be run. It might not be bad or unplayable but it still changes it.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
One point I've seen is its easier to add up but I don't have any issues doing the basic math needed to do so. so that is a non issue to me.

Making the math clean helps many (but not all) players and DMs. The experienced players may not need it, but it would be very helpful for newer players and DMs.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I don't see what you mean about the illusion of power igther. If I fight a 1st level creature at level 20 with that +20 bonus that is not an illusion of power to the 1st level creature their is a Exponential difference between me and that 1st level creature to the point where he could even grab his whole village and it not make a difference. It only doesn't matter on creature at my level if their higher level or lower level then I will notice a difference. That is not an illusion.

Please see some of my other posts. The problem is that you are looking at it from a different angle. Try looking at it like this: The game is meant to be played as challenges against creatures that are similar in level to the party. All the published adventures are like this. The ONLY thing that matters in that case is the relative numbers that separate the players from the monsters. So yes, adding +1/ level does make you absolutely better than low level monsters, but that is not an important design consideration. The more important point is that the monsters that are within a couple levels of the players are balanced against them to make for an interesting challenge.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Also on yoru first poing your argument that bound or unbound is superior without specifics why is irrelevant. you may feel one is superior but that doesn't give evidence.

That post was to sum things up and frame the discussion. I have been providing heaps of organized evidence, please see my other posts.

You are right that other game systems are all different, and Pathfinder 2E is an improvement over 1E. We are just arguing that it could be EVEN better if they remove the +1 / level bonus to make the math easier to understand and play with.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Rameth wrote:
Doing a small glance at the Bestiary one can see that the +1/level is important for the game and how it balances. But before we get to the math I believe that the +1/level fixes a lot of old problems from the old edition.

You can balance the game similarly without +1/level, the difference between levels is just smaller.

Rameth wrote:

1. Clear strength progression

... Now it P2E you will always see an advancement of your character, every level, even if it's that small +1. Your character gets better more noticeably than before.

Have you read my other posts? That +1 is an illusion because the average monsters that are within +/- 3 levels of you ALSO get a +1 bonus. The game is balanced around facing those monsters that are close to your level. The only important bonuses are increases in proficiency rank (trained -> expert, etc) and item bonuses.

So yes, when you level from 3 to 4 you are TECHNICALLY more powerful than level 1 monsters, but you are rarely going to fight them anymore because now instead of fighting level 1-5 monsters you are always fighting level 2-6 monsters.

Rameth wrote:

2. Clear Monster vs Party strength comparison

This can be done identically with no +1/level bonus. If you subtract level from all the PCs and all the monsters, challenges that are at your level have the same chances of success. Again, challenges are your level are what you typically face and what the game should be designed to handle.

Rameth wrote:

3. Easy monster/NPC creation on the fly

Not that creating monsters or NPCs up on the fly was to difficult before now it's very easy once you know the formula used in P2E. First add level plus 4. At lvls 3, 7, 11, 15, 19 add +1 AC and at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 add +1 to hit. It also seems that you add a +2 to increase what you want it to be good at up to lvl 7 and a +2 again at lvl 13 I believe. For skills use base lvl for bad skills and the rest as needed for one's they're good at. So you need a quick and dirty CL 4 Guard? His AC is 19, hit bonus is +11, his skills are +4 and the ones he's good at are +9 or +11. A quick and dirty lvl 14 crime lord? His AC is 34, his hit is +25, and his...

Again, you can do this without adding level. Just subtract the level from everything you said and you create monsters that are an identical challenge relative to players in both systems.

Because the game is played against challenges that are similar in level to the party, and should be designed as such, the ONLY thing that matters are the relative numbers that make the % chance of success interesting.


I really don't see that adding a value between 1 and 20 is going to be that hard even for new players,

Yes a fair amount of challenges are going to be the same level as the party but I've still had a fair amount of ones with monsters at differing levels. higher for super hard fights and lower when I want to use large numbers or just want to have the characters have an easy pwnage fight. (Its good for their morale.)

I don't think pathfinder needs to just always keep copying D&D so they shouldn't just go ahead and do the bound thing like them.


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I finally understand why the argument that "+level to Proficiency is an illusion" is so appealing and resonates with some players, even though I still believe it is the wrong word.

If you look at the entirety of game design from the perspective of a Player, and not a GM, and you look at it as a Player who gets a birds eye full view of the entire game, then the mechanic can appear to be an illusion because the narrative becomes transparent and predictable.

But in game, your character doesn't know the level of every thing you face and some enemies you fought before could have leveled up in unexpected ways.

From the perspective of a GM or story writer, +level to proficiency is not an illusion. A really good illustration of where "+level to everything" creates an illusion is the video game Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. In that game, leveling up became something for players to avoid because as soon as you did, everything else in the universe gained a level as well, and even worse, you could still advance all of your proficiencies in that game without leveling up, so it was much more effective to get better by not leveling up and just maxing out proficiencies.

Video games pull moves like that all the time, and maybe some GMs design that way too (trying to adjust encounters on the fly as the party levels up), But that is not how the published adventures operate and I would recommend not doing it as a GM either.
Sure the monsters in an AP might be tougher towards the end than towards the beginning, but they don't become so as the party advances. In game, as long as the GM is not determining every challenge as soon as the PCs open the door to the next room, this means that there will be lots of times in adventures where that +1 from leveling up is going to feel significant when it happens, especially as the party develops tactics around being able to do things that they couldn't do before, and then it is going to normalize again for a while before gaining the next level, which will feel again like a significant improvement.

The game doesn't have to be a sandbox for there to be some times where the party will decide to take a tougher course of action than walking through each room of the dungeon before facing the boss. Good adventures designed to span a couple levels will have opportunities built into them for some encounters to be more or less challenging based upon when you face them.

These things may stay true, to a much lesser degree without the +level to proficiency, but for the most part, the difference between parties and monsters of 1 level is almost negligible without it.

Also, from a purely adventure writing perspective, the game changes a lot when you remove the +level bonus from proficiency. The concept of balancing encounters has to change because the value of lower level monsters increases the more effective they are. the 3 action economy is already drawing some of this into question as far as just moving PF1 encounters over to PF2, but generally speaking, tighter math means the side that can make more rolls has an improved chance of winning.


Zman0 wrote:
[...]

I think Bounded Path 2 works better if 20 isn't an auto-crit (it's an auto-hit, but not a crit). Crits are only if the roll is AC +10, they deal 2*damages (or "2 success" somehow for skills - eg a crit success on Stealth could allow a full-speed move); AC +20 is 3*damages (or "3 success"), and I don't think it's possible to hit AC+30 in Bounded Path 2.

That way, a large number of orcs can deal some attrition damages (and a fighter can't fight a whole army), but their damages aren't high against a high AC.

Spoiler:
Or you could ask for a confirmation roll on a nat. 20 that doesn't beat AC +10.

I don't think I like bounded Path 2, in the other hand I think it gives a better "illusion of power". If orcs can deal some attrition damages against level 10 characters, the DM may protect his BBEG behind 100 orcs - and the PCs feel awesome defeating 100 orcs. In Path 2, the fact a level 10 character is awesome against an orc is a non-parameter, since you don't fight orcs at level 10 - they are too inconsequential.


Archimedes Mavranos wrote:
That +1 is an illusion because the average monsters that are within +/- 3 levels of you ALSO get a +1 bonus. The game is balanced around facing those monsters that are close to your level.

It's a valuable illusion; it has been since D&D was invented, when you got the illusion of progress from gaining hit points while the typical enemies you fought gained hit points at a similar rate.

"Hey, remember all that trouble we had fighting a single ogre not so long ago? Now we just beat five ogres and a hill giant and they barely slowed us down!"

It feels empowering, as long as you don't think, "That was only five ogres and a hill giant because of the level we were at. If we were lower level, they'd have been five orcs and an ogre. This is a treadmill!"

A more convincing argument than, "This is just an illusion!" might be: "Gaining most of your power increase from +1 to everything is boring. Why can't we have more cool powers?"


Gaterie wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
[...]

I think Bounded Path 2 works better if 20 isn't an auto-crit (it's an auto-hit, but not a crit). Crits are only if the roll is AC +10, they deal 2*damages (or "2 success" somehow for skills - eg a crit success on Stealth could allow a full-speed move); AC +20 is 3*damages (or "3 success"), and I don't think it's possible to hit AC+30 in Bounded Path 2.

That way, a large number of orcs can deal some attrition damages (and a fighter can't fight a whole army), but their damages aren't high against a high AC.

** spoiler omitted **

I don't think I like bounded Path 2, in the other hand I think it gives a better "illusion of power". If orcs can deal some attrition damages against level 10 characters, the DM may protect his BBEG behind 100 orcs - and the PCs feel awesome defeating 100 orcs. In Path 2, the fact a level 10 character is awesome against an orc is a non-parameter, since you don't fight orcs at level 10 - they are too inconsequential.

The game as a whole works better if 20 isn't an auto crit if you can't hit normally. I was just upset that the pretty clear RAW specific trumping general writing of the rules said one thing and people were arguing the opposite for way too long without pointing out a dev clarified it.

Yeah, having lower level enemies still deal some kind of attrition grounds the game, it grounds our perceptions. For example, in 5e, when you push past level 5, you can still have low level orcs thrown at you. They can still hit and hurt you, but you can shop them down and "feel" the increase from early levels. With +lvl, it becomes almost inconsequential, and that doesn't "feel" right to me when it happens so quickly. Plus I find the very narrow range of viable enemies limiting. I also find it more difficult to rationalize a world with that degree of numerical increase.

"If orcs can deal some attrition damages against level 10 characters, the DM may protect his BBEG behind 100 orcs - and the PCs feel awesome defeating 100 orcs. In Path 2, the fact a level 10 character is awesome against an orc is a non-parameter, since you don't fight orcs at level 10 - they are too inconsequential. "

That right there. That is exactly why I prefer Bound. World building, narration, etc are all easier and "make sense" and give me the right "feel" to the world and game. That i really what it boils down to. Monsters being relevant longer, even if the risk the pose is still very low, it isn't insignificant. The opposite is true, more powerful enemies might pose a dire risk, but are not insurmountable if they are six levels higher.

And I also like numbers that mean something in an absolute sense. Is AC 20 good? In stock, or Unbound P2 with level scaling the answer is "I don't know." Because if you are level 2, AC 20 is great, if you are level 5, AC 20 is bad, if you're level 10 its abyssmal and you're naked with a 10 dex. In Bound, the answer is that its great to good for most of the game and only after level 15 does it lose its shine.

I like numbers that mean something, that have some substance to them and aren't ephemeral.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ultimately I think it comes down to, the devs have said that they want to build a game where level is a major factor in power and where a level 10 PC can defeat an almost arbitrary number of level 1 foes.

A bound system is not that system.

I'm not saying that a bound system is a bad system; there are systems like that that I love. But it's not the system the devs want to make, and the people who want that system do not seem to be the people the devs are making 2e for.

And I think the unbound system IS more for me, at least when it comes to Pathfinder. PF1e was an unbound system, after all, and that sense of progression - that feeling of being able to slaughter creatures that gave you trouble a few levels ago - is something I enjoy about the system.

I would love to play an alternate version of Pathfinder that is bound - I think it sounds very fun. But I don't think it should be the core Pathfinder experience, especially since it's not the system the devs want to make - and ultimately Pathfinder is their child.


Zman0 wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
[...]

I think Bounded Path 2 works better if 20 isn't an auto-crit (it's an auto-hit, but not a crit). Crits are only if the roll is AC +10, they deal 2*damages (or "2 success" somehow for skills - eg a crit success on Stealth could allow a full-speed move); AC +20 is 3*damages (or "3 success"), and I don't think it's possible to hit AC+30 in Bounded Path 2.

That way, a large number of orcs can deal some attrition damages (and a fighter can't fight a whole army), but their damages aren't high against a high AC.

** spoiler omitted **

I don't think I like bounded Path 2, in the other hand I think it gives a better "illusion of power". If orcs can deal some attrition damages against level 10 characters, the DM may protect his BBEG behind 100 orcs - and the PCs feel awesome defeating 100 orcs. In Path 2, the fact a level 10 character is awesome against an orc is a non-parameter, since you don't fight orcs at level 10 - they are too inconsequential.

The game as a whole works better if 20 isn't an auto crit if you can't hit normally.

No, you don't understand: I said Bounded Path 2 work better if the only the only way to crit is to hit AC+10. If an orc needs a 13 to hit, and he rolls a nat. 20, it's not a crit because he doesn't hit AC+10. The orc will deal some damages because your AC is in the range he can hit, a large number of then can be a threat, but the orc will never deal many damages if you're too strong for him.


Gaterie wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
[...]

I think Bounded Path 2 works better if 20 isn't an auto-crit (it's an auto-hit, but not a crit). Crits are only if the roll is AC +10, they deal 2*damages (or "2 success" somehow for skills - eg a crit success on Stealth could allow a full-speed move); AC +20 is 3*damages (or "3 success"), and I don't think it's possible to hit AC+30 in Bounded Path 2.

That way, a large number of orcs can deal some attrition damages (and a fighter can't fight a whole army), but their damages aren't high against a high AC.

** spoiler omitted **

I don't think I like bounded Path 2, in the other hand I think it gives a better "illusion of power". If orcs can deal some attrition damages against level 10 characters, the DM may protect his BBEG behind 100 orcs - and the PCs feel awesome defeating 100 orcs. In Path 2, the fact a level 10 character is awesome against an orc is a non-parameter, since you don't fight orcs at level 10 - they are too inconsequential.

The game as a whole works better if 20 isn't an auto crit if you can't hit normally.

No, you don't understand: I said Bounded Path 2 work better if the only the only way to crit is to hit AC+10. If an orc needs a 13 to hit, and he rolls a nat. 20, it's not a crit because he doesn't hit AC+10. The orc will deal some damages because your AC is in the range he can hit, a large number of then can be a threat, but the orc will never deal many damages if you're too strong for him.

Ohh, I'm sorry I misunderstood what you said. I'd need to check out the math but usually that wouldn't have much of an impact on first attacks. It would pretty much eliminate the ability to crit on iterative attacks.

I would need to dig into the math a bit more, but I do see a couple of potential problems. Essentially anybody that does not have optimized attack which included the max weapon potency and getting to a minimum Master and likely Legendary in their weapon would lose the ability to be able to crit against level appropriate enemies by late levels and especially by levels 15+. So, no Rogue Crits unless against a flatfooted enemy etc. Conversely Monsters would almost always be able to crit on their first attacks. Shields become significantly better, that +2 Circ bonus is often enough to make an equalish level enemy unable to Crit you.

As tight as the math is in P2, it should be ok, but I see some "fun" problem considerations. It would reduce some swinginess, but I'm not sure it is overall for the better.

Though, you are absolutely right, it would make very low level enemies really struggle to hit higher level ones and would make a big difference for weapons like shortbows. Though, I'm not convinced their is a problem as crits are written(and dev clarified).


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:


Lastly I've been playing pathfinder 1 as my game of choice for awhile. so I'm going to say that is my style of choice. PF1 give the +1 per level to things except its not as neat in all circumstance PF2 is the same thing but cleaned up a lot better. so Its the same across the board. PF1 however still had the same idea that as I level my power increases such as to hit and saves. 3rd edition D&D was the same way. 2nd edition had THACO but the concept is the same as you go up in level certain AC's are easier to hit because of your character levels + other stuff. In first edition it was a chart but your chances of hitting higher AC's went up with level once again. Its all still the same concept as those charts. Its just easier to figure out now and you don't have to consult your DMG to see the chart.

If you're going to bring in comparisons with AD&D, you do need to recognize that the offense may have gone up with level (every level with fighters - harkening to that +1) but AC did not regularly do so and was, in fact, bound. That was a major departure for the 3e family where the nebulous, fudge-factory natural armor bonus was developed and used to raise ACs of some opponents to "level appropriate" territory. And thus the first real treadmill was born.

3e and PF have obviously been successful, but they never did build the treadmill in as strongly as 4e did - and 4e turned out to be the unsuccessful one as it tried to preserve the "sweet spot" across all levels. Maybe that should be a warning to Paizo?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:

I really don't see that adding a value between 1 and 20 is going to be that hard even for new players.

You might want to prepare to be surprised. My big hope is that with PF2, people will need to do it a lot less often than in PF1 because at least they'll have fewer iterative attacks to add up.

From a usability perspective, designers need to recognize that certain kinds of math is harder than others. Old THAC0 holdouts used to swear up and down it was as easy as using 3e's increasing AC, but it's not - not for most people. Similarly, adding larger numbers is generally harder than adding smaller ones. Just because you don't see it doesn't make it so for other players or GMs.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:

Ultimately I think it comes down to, the devs have said that they want to build a game where level is a major factor in power and where a level 10 PC can defeat an almost arbitrary number of level 1 foes.

A bound system is not that system.

I'm not saying that a bound system is a bad system; there are systems like that that I love. But it's not the system the devs want to make, and the people who want that system do not seem to be the people the devs are making 2e for.

And I think the unbound system IS more for me, at least when it comes to Pathfinder. PF1e was an unbound system, after all, and that sense of progression - that feeling of being able to slaughter creatures that gave you trouble a few levels ago - is something I enjoy about the system.

I would love to play an alternate version of Pathfinder that is bound - I think it sounds very fun. But I don't think it should be the core Pathfinder experience, especially since it's not the system the devs want to make - and ultimately Pathfinder is their child.

Indeed a bound system doesn't seem to be what the developers want here and that may mean that PF2 is not the system I want. But while PF1 may also have been at least somewhat unbound, PF2 does seem to be pushing that unboundness to more of an extreme. And I feel that should be recognized.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

I really don't see that adding a value between 1 and 20 is going to be that hard even for new players.

You might want to prepare to be surprised. My big hope is that with PF2, people will need to do it a lot less often than in PF1 because at least they'll have fewer iterative attacks to add up.

From a usability perspective, designers need to recognize that certain kinds of math is harder than others. Old THAC0 holdouts used to swear up and down it was as easy as using 3e's increasing AC, but it's not - not for most people. Similarly, adding larger numbers is generally harder than adding smaller ones. Just because you don't see it doesn't make it so for other players or GMs.

The key to making math simple is less about what the specific bonus is on the dice and much more about how often that number changes. With the iterative attacks, PF2 can make you calculate that 3 times a round which is probably just as much trouble when it dips into negative numbers as having the whole thing stretch higher positively.


Zman0 wrote:

Ohh, I'm sorry I misunderstood what you said. I'd need to check out the math but usually that wouldn't have much of an impact on first attacks. It would pretty much eliminate the ability to crit on iterative attacks.

[...]

As I said, you can re-introduce the confirmation roll for nat. 20 that doesn't reach AC+10. Ie: if the creature hits on a 10+, a nat. 20 is always a crit (it hits AC+10); if the creature hits on a 11+ and roll a nat. 20, he has to roll a confirmation roll (and it's a crit if he rolls 11+ on the confirmation; it's a normal hit otherwise). If you find this too steep (going from 1/20 crit to 1/40 because the AC is 1 point higher), you can give a bonus on the confirmation roll (+5 should be enough I think).

Spoiler:
More complexity!

If you want to increase the efficiency of heavy armors, you can tie the bonus on the confirmation roll to the type of armor of the defender: +10 if the defender wears a light armor, +5 if he wears a medium armor, +0 if he wears an heavy armor. That way, maybe the level 10 Bounded Fighter wants an heavy armor when he fight a horde of orcs.

Anyway, I don't think such a rule is needed in Unbounded; a creature shouldn't need a 15+ to hit on his first strike (since his level is close to the level of the PCs), there's no need to add a complex rule for such a cornercase.

But in Bounded, it should be far more common that a creature needs a 15+ to hit on his first strike. Such a creature has a very low chance to hit, and yet it has the same 1/20 chance as anyone to crit on his first and his second strike (and every hit from his second strike is a crit), it feels wrong to me. Hence a limitation of crit or a confirmation roll to limit the number of crits from low-level monsters.

That's what I feel, I may be plain wrong.

BTW, such a rule shouldn't change that much the damage output against a single level+2 boss (who doesn't get a free +2 AC because he's Level+2 in Bounded), nor against a few Level-2 monsters. It change drastically the damage output of a horde of low-level monsters, and that's what I feel is needed in Bounded.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Monsters only receive the same bonus as the PCs at the same level. Remove that, and you are essentially removing the concept of level = character power, which is a very beloved concept of the game.

Not really, they still gain hit points, proficiency bonuses, new features, feats, ability score increases, high quality/magic items, high level spells, etc, etc.

It simply widens the threat range of monsters.

Why should they? why should PCs ever gain anything, if that's gonna make things easier for them? don't give them +lvl to proficiency, don't give them feats, don't give them magic items, don't give them level ups. In fact, don't give them anything.

Sounds certainly fantastical

[/sarcasm]


No matter what the truth is its not going to change the others mind.

Grand Lodge

The argument here will never end regardless of how you argue it. Its personal preference and as has been mentioned, many house rules and "alternative" mass combat rules have been considered in the past.

The question really here is, should this be a part of the core of PF2?

For me the answer is No. Almost* (see below)

Since 3.x the level system of OGL games has been less about stature and more about story telling. If you want 10,000 archers to down that ancient red dragon then tell it like you want. You dont have to sit there rolling hundreds of dice!

If you want to wage war on the battlefield and track mass combat, go and play a mass combat game like warhammer. It doesnt belong around the kitchen table of most OGL gaming groups.

If you need numbers to challenge your players your doing something wrong, or your just too lazy to apply levels to the guards to make them a challenge. Let go of the idea that all guards have to be 1st level warriors, that died with 2nd Edition.

* (now one thing about combat in the OGL is the limit on creature count. the moment you have more than double the number of creatures to the PCs things start to become difficult to judge when balancing an encounter. This is why I have been using my own minion house rules for my games to turn level appropriate mobs into 4 balanced combatants that provide a challenge but lack the risk presented by non-minion creatures. An unexpected critical hit or critical failure agaisnt the party can result in a TPK if you have too many threats for the party to cope with.
My minion rules remove those risks in favor of more controlled damage and threat. This lets you turn a group of 4 orcs and its ogre chief into a squad of 16 orc minions and an Ogre Leader The orcs cant crit and have reduced damage but they are still equal level to the party and cannot simply be ignored due to rediculous numbers needed to hit the PCs if they where all level 0.)
I'm sharing my minion house rules so if your interested just PM me with your email and I'll send them to you.


Bill Dunn wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
AC was anot actually BOUND in 2e. That is a lie that MANY defenders of 5e try to spread around, but 2e wasn't bound by any means. Sometimes they try to quote AC -10 as the max, but even the very monster's they try to quote as break that with a creature that has a -12 AC (and there were others that had AC better).

A lie, huh? That's pretty funny considering both the Players Handbook and the Dungeon Masters Guide flat out say that Armor Class ranges from 10 (the worst) to -10 (the best). Clearly, the intent was to have the AC bound to that 20 point range. The fact that there were very few exceptions (mostly very powerful dragons) doesn't really change the fact that the majority of monsters were designed with those 10 to -10 limits in place - even challenges designed for high level parties.

GreyWolfLord wrote:


Bounded Accuracy started in 4e as a way to deal with the Gonzo nature...

Now, see, there's the bogus claim. 4e fans often claim that the bounded accuracy came from 4e, but it really doesn't. 4e did pretty much what PF2 is doing - advancing level-appropriate encounters at the same general rate as the PCs and putting PCs on the same modifier. That's not bounded accuracy as 5e presents it and has almost nothing to do with it. Bounded accuracy is a reaction against the 4e, and now PF2, treadmill because it limits the level-based bonus relative to the start.

The AC was NEVER kept to that though. IN fact, AD&D 2e material has stuff released almost immediately after which has AC FAR below AC -10.

It was similar to saying that the attributes go from 3-18. OBVIOUSLY, to ANYONE WHO ACTUALLY PLAYED knows that this is specific to a certain arena of the rules. There were many ways to exceed that 3-18 and was done in play regularly. To try to claim stats were "bounded" is an inerrancy at best made out of ignorance, a flat out lie by those who know.

The same applies to AC, THACO, and most of the other things people try to claim were "bounded." Bounded accuracy did NOT exist in 2e.

On the otherhand, in 4e, levels 1-20 WERE bounded to +10 in the same way that the proficiency bonus in 5e is bound to +6. That's a mere +4 difference.

In the same way, 5e tries to keep creatures within that +6 accuracy range with creatures AC and to hit creeping up just as slowly...same as it did with 4e.

4e was where this originally came up with the idea (and there's a LOT of 4e in 5e, it is just presented differently), 5e just took the idea to the extremes and ran with it.

In both versions there are many ways to bypass the "bounded" accuracy as it is...but the concept started in 4e, and was DEFINED and became an actual thing in RPG game design with 5e.


Quijenoth wrote:

The argument here will never end regardless of how you argue it. Its personal preference and as has been mentioned, many house rules and "alternative" mass combat rules have been considered in the past.

From all the discussions about this, I think I agree with this statement.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Yes, I want taking on 20 guards, solo, to always be a problem, matches the fantasy fiction I am familiar with.

Have you played Pathfinder before? Do you think 20 guards vs a level 20 fighter was a problem in 1e?


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
No edition of D&D supports a party of 3-7 holding off thousands or orcs, thank god.
It is my sincere hope that this one finally does. Plus this was pretty much possible in PF1 with mythic, my WotR character parried 10,000 arrows in a single round with "Cut from the air" and Mythic Combat Reflexes (so I could make as many AoOs as I could trigger, which was a lot in this case) because my attack bonus (buffed) was so high and I had the mythic path power that made natural 1s not autofail. It was like the Caligraphy scene in "Hero", and it was glorious.
For a mythological game sure, but 5 people fighting 10,000 people and winning is something you want in D&D? Does not support the genre.

But, it does. "The genre" isn't as limited as you want it to be.


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Gritty fantasy in 3.5 and Pathfinder is achieved through the Epic 6 alternative ruleset.

It's always become a superhero game at mid to higher levels otherwise.

And I enjoy it. I like having minions that used to be the big bads and being able to blow through them to get to the final real Big Bad who is an appropriate level challenge.

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