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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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 their short or long lives. Even if your character can handle 75 of what those monsters have been focusing on, then the 25% of the time you face off against a monster that targets your Will save, or makes it where you have to beat a DC15 athletics check or die, is going to be too much for you. Far too many of monsters are going to be killing murder machines for PCs who imagine themselves having any kind of colorful character focus outside of fighting, to be able to keep up.

To be clear, Power gaming is still not my favorite way to play, but PF2 is built around a power gaming engine. It is the game where your characters adventure with the intention of eventually becoming gods or killing them. Your characters will never get there if you have to keep maxing out your primary combat mechanic, but somehow balancing your few spare leveling resources around keeping all your other defenses high enough to have a chance of surviving a focused attack by a high level creature trained in targeting them.

Or you are stopping at a much lower level of play, in which case concerns about the difference between legendary proficiency and master proficiency are not relevant to your build because you'll never get there anyway.

For PF2 to get rid of +level to proficiency, Your characters are going to need a whole lot more proficiency increases, and many, many more ranks for those proficiencies to increase than just the UTEML scale. That game could exist, and be fun, but your idea of what that looked like was probably PF1. Which was a fine game, that had certain issues that were growing increasingly problematic as different character specializations exposed and exploited them.

If that is the system that you love, then you are probably better off going back through it and figuring out what parts of it to take out to meet your needs than fighting for more content to further obliterate high level play. I would not be surprised to see a new and more focused cult of E6 gaming to grow out of PF1s roots, but for games that push into the realm of legendary adventures, I think PF2 has a much better grasp on the limits and potentials of its math engine than PF1 did and will be able to tighten that dial down with further play testing.


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Not at all, everything stays the same, just the numbers are smaller: +7 vs. AC 15 or +27 vs. AC 35.

Just a treadmill.


Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not at all, everything stays the same, just the numbers are smaller: +7 vs. AC 15 or +27 vs. AC 35.

Just a treadmill.

But isn't your system:

Quote:

A simple variant should take care of that, such as (and how a pit fiend shakes out, I made a few formatting changes):

+Level is omitted.

Weapon Proficiency (Weapon Quality/magic Item bonus omitted):

Expert +2 to hit/2 x Weapon Damage Dice.
Master +5 to hit/4 x Weapon Damage.
Legendary +8 to hit/6 x Weapon Damage Dice.

Armour Proficiency (potency runes omitted):

Expert +2
Master +5
Legendary +8

These are very different numbers. Especially for the character unfortunate enough to be walking around trained in their Armor, or one saving throw, when they run into a monster with legendary training in an attack which targets it. a +8 difference is nearly a guaranteed critical hit, with no mitigating factor from level.

PF2s system doesn't give higher level characters very many proficiencies that they are boosting to legendary.

Wizards are probably going to be dead at level 15+ every time they have to make a death save. Barbarians will pretty much never die, but they are toast from every caster that targets will save. High level characters will either need ways to get every proficiency to at least master, which currently most classes are not getting more than 3 or 4 proficiencies above expert. The rogue can get more skills, but not the stuff that will keep them alive.

The proficiency system is a lot more complicated than it seems because it is not just numbers, but the difference between numbers remains a big deal wether you are level 1 or 20.

If you get rid of the +level to proficiency, the very least you have to do is keep the differences between proficiencies scaled all the way back to -2/0/1/2/3.


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Aesthetically I very much like that experienced characters will breeze through challenges which they might have struggled with earlier in their career. Since the DC to climb a specific object doesn't change unless it or its circumstances change, a character who failed to climb over the castle wall at level 2 might be able to do it easily at level 10. Antagonists who were frightening to 4th level characters pose little threat to 14th level characters.

Only sense in which it's a treadmill is if the party only ever encounters level appropriate challenges, which might happen when you're on rails, but this does let the GM set up scenarios where experienced PCs get to feel awesome, which I like.


Unicore wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not at all, everything stays the same, just the numbers are smaller: +7 vs. AC 15 or +27 vs. AC 35.

Just a treadmill.

But isn't your system:

Quote:

A simple variant should take care of that, such as (and how a pit fiend shakes out, I made a few formatting changes):

+Level is omitted.

Weapon Proficiency (Weapon Quality/magic Item bonus omitted):

Expert +2 to hit/2 x Weapon Damage Dice.
Master +5 to hit/4 x Weapon Damage.
Legendary +8 to hit/6 x Weapon Damage Dice.

Armour Proficiency (potency runes omitted):

Expert +2
Master +5
Legendary +8

These are very different numbers.

That was just an option for campaigns that omit item/magic weapon bonus (and damage dice) and potency runes, so instead of Legendary Proficiency +3 and a +5 weapon for +8 to hit, you merely have +8 to hit with any weapon with which you have Legendary proficiency.

You can just keep everything as it is, but simply adjust +level to whatever you like: +none, +1/4, +1/2, +full.


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I don't believe you understand how the +level to profieincy affects the game.

The monsters receive the same bonus. If you remove the bonus, monsters of the same level are exactly the same challenge. The only thing that is different if you remove the +level is that monsters a couple levels lower than you are somewhat stronger than they were before, monsters of equal level are exactly as strong as they were before, and monsters of a higher level are somewhat weaker than they were.


Zman0 wrote:

I don't believe you understand how the +level to profieincy affects the game.

The monsters receive the same bonus. If you remove the bonus, monsters of the same level are exactly the same challenge. The only thing that is different if you remove the +level is that monsters a couple levels lower than you are somewhat stronger than they were before, monsters of equal level are exactly as strong as they were before, and monsters of a higher level are somewhat weaker than they were.

Yep, you still need to roll the same number on the d20 to hit and what-have-you.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
...

I have no desire to come across confrontational. I am sure you will play test it this way, and more power to you. It will probably be a very different game.

But even just reducing level bonuses is going to start having big impacts. Items are going to become a much bigger deal, low level summoning spells will become much better, Hirelings will be much more valuable (especially because a 3rd level hireling expert in a skill you are untrained in will stay valuable to you the entire game.

I hope you do test this out in play and show us what happens when PCs run into encounters +/- 5 levels. You will probably have to completely reconstruct encounter balance because 4 monsters at character level -4 are going to be a lot more dangerous in your system. I predict a lot more TPKs from any situation where the PCs are outnumbered more than 2 to 1, especially since those monsters have an increasing chance of going first without the party having any reliable way of boosting their initiative bonuses more than 1 or 2, and flanking is a bigger deal when a +/- 2 is close to making the difference between a 9+ to hit and boosting the times that the part gets hit critically by an exponential factor.

But the biggest thing that removing +level to proficiency does, is make characters feel more similar and less like their characters are getting better at anything. Finding magical equipment is going to be a much bigger deal to the party than gaining a level.

If you look at the character advancement chart, many levels will see the character increasing 1 proficiency and getting 1 feat. that means over 20 levels you will get about a total of +20 increases instead of + 400+ increases. How noticeable are those differences? It is probably a matter of speculation and GM fiat due to the frequency of level scaling difficulties, but I am pretty sure that it will be noticeable in published adventures.


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


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Zman0 wrote:

I don't believe you understand how the +level to profieincy affects the game.

The monsters receive the same bonus. If you remove the bonus, monsters of the same level are exactly the same challenge. The only thing that is different if you remove the +level is that monsters a couple levels lower than you are somewhat stronger than they were before, monsters of equal level are exactly as strong as they were before, and monsters of a higher level are somewhat weaker than they were.

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. People like it when leveling up feels meaningful.

Additionally, Very few calls for removing the +level from proficiency coincide with leaving the proficiency numbers the same.

Even when they do, the issue is stretched at higher levels because most players and monsters are only getting a couple of master and legendary proficiency bonuses, so they are really going to shine. Allow those monsters to have any kind of low level minions and they are getting exponentially more dangerous for high level characters than they are with the +level bonus.

It changes the fundamental dynamics of the world, and Golarion is being built around the idea that high powered creatures can stand up to armies.

Again, I am sure you all will play test it this way, but I predict that piazo made adventures and APs will be distinctly less fun played this way because they are being built for Legendary characters to be legendary.


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

I also like that, but I wouldn't play pathfinder 2 for it because characters don't have much going for them from level to level if you take away their +1 proficiency bonus.


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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.


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.

Yep, beat me to it.


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Unicore wrote:
(original post)

I kind of agree with you. At its core, it makes sense and it keeps you stronger than all the weak stuff, and weaker than all the strong stuff. I think my biggest gripe is that there's little difference between the most and least trained individuals in the system.

I think if the proficiencies just scaled differently it would work. Not a fan of +1 on everything, but I wouldn't mind it with a shift in the numeric value of proficiencies. At the very least make the untrained penalty more severe (perhaps +1/2 level instead of +level). My personal proposition would be to double the numeric values: -4, +0, +2, +4, +6. This would make the skill gap meaningful and maintain the current setup, and it would make untrained characters actually feel the pain from their lack of training.


Items are not a part of leveling up, they are a part of adventuring and finding stuff. Theory crafted characters get wealth by level. Characters in play only get the wealth they find/steal/loot. In play, gaining items doesn't feel like it is connected to level. IN PF 2 players get approximately 1 proficiency increase a level and 1 new feat or feature. It is something, but it is not +20 total bonuses to proficiencies. The big differences are level 5,10,15,20, which will essentially become the only levels where your character really feels like they level up. Unless you are a caster, in which case all of your spells have gotten a lot more powerful as well because boosting any character or hireling or summoned monster by +1 to attack is a lot more powerful when the numbers are closer. In fact each +1 spell bonus now acts like 3-5 player levels instead of just 1.

Again, I think you 're game may work out for you, but it will probably involve a lot more GM oversight then just playing the same adventures -level progression.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not at all, everything stays the same, just the numbers are smaller: +7 vs. AC 15 or +27 vs. AC 35.

Just a treadmill.

That's not true, outside of your own level. +7 vs AC 17 and +27 VS AC 35 is the same, but +5 vs AC 15 and +5 VS AC 35 is not.


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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.

The deva have explicitly stated that their design goal is the opposite of this. They don't want a group of 20 guards to be a threat for a high level fighter, or dragon. They want the dragon to be a threat for the high level fighter, and the other way around.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not at all, everything stays the same, just the numbers are smaller: +7 vs. AC 15 or +27 vs. AC 35.

Just a treadmill.

That's not true, outside of your own level. +7 vs AC 17 and +27 VS AC 35 is the same, but +5 vs AC 15 and +5 VS AC 35 is not.

+5 vs. AC 35 would never come about, the Pit Fiend would have an AC of 24, and a 1st-level fighter with expert proficiency, and an 18 Str would have +5 to hit, so could hit the Pit Fiend on a 19.

That's how it works.


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Indeed "400 villagers with greatclubs and crossbows can take down an ancient red dragon solely through tenacity and math" is the precise sort of situation I want to avoid with the rules. After all, the reason the villagers want the heroes to fight the dragon is not "well, we'd take a lot of casualties in the process" but because they actually would not stand a plausible chance of success.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Indeed "400 villagers with greatclubs and crossbows can take down an ancient red dragon solely through tenacity and math" is the precise sort of situation I want to avoid with the rules. After all, the reason the villagers want the heroes to fight the dragon is not "well, we'd take a lot of casualties in the process" but because they actually would not stand a plausible chance of success.

I can understand that, but it also explains why dragons have not taken over the planet, I also happen to think Ancient Dragons should have resistance to weapon damage.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not at all, everything stays the same, just the numbers are smaller: +7 vs. AC 15 or +27 vs. AC 35.

Just a treadmill.

That's not true, outside of your own level. +7 vs AC 17 and +27 VS AC 35 is the same, but +5 vs AC 15 and +5 VS AC 35 is not.

+5 vs. AC 35 would never come about, the Pit Fiend would have an AC of 24, and a 1st-level fighter with expert proficiency, and an 18 Str would have +5 to hit, so could hit the Pit Fiend on a 19.

That's how it works.

That is the point, they don't want that. They don't want the level 1 pc being able to hit the pit fiend on 19+, they want the lvl 1 PC to be able to barely scratch a bearded devil on 19+.

You want to make the levels at who h a monster is a threat more spread. The devs don't. There is nothing wrong with either approach, it is just that the devs have chosen the second one. They literally said that much, and used a paragraph from a novel, where a high level fighter was a scared by 5 guards, as an example of this. They want their high level fighters to wipe the flood with low level guards and not even break a sweet.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not at all, everything stays the same, just the numbers are smaller: +7 vs. AC 15 or +27 vs. AC 35.

Just a treadmill.

That's not true, outside of your own level. +7 vs AC 17 and +27 VS AC 35 is the same, but +5 vs AC 15 and +5 VS AC 35 is not.

+5 vs. AC 35 would never come about, the Pit Fiend would have an AC of 24, and a 1st-level fighter with expert proficiency, and an 18 Str would have +5 to hit, so could hit the Pit Fiend on a 19.

That's how it works.

That is the point, they don't want that. They don't want the level 1 pc being able to hit the pit fiend on 19+, they want the lvl 1 PC to be able to barely scratch a bearded devil on 19+.

You want to make the levels at who h a monster is a threat more spread. The devs don't. There is nothing wrong with either approach, it is just that the devs have chosen the second one. They literally said that much, and used a paragraph from a novel, where a high level fighter was a scared by 5 guards, as an example of this. They want their high level fighters to wipe the flood with low level guards and not even break a sweet.

Exactly, I want taking on 20 guards, solo, to always be a problem, matches the fantasy fiction I am familiar with; it's simply a variant you can implement for a certain feel.

I am not implementing this for the playtest, of course, but for my home games, definitely.


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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.


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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.


Vic Ferrari wrote:


I am not implementing this for the playtest, of course, but for my home games, definitely.

I will wait and see what the adventures themselves look like, since APs are my favorite part of the entire Paizo franchise, but I am very likely to play with a lot of different house rules myself after the playtest is over. My entire thread here is about how actually playing the game and digging into to what characters play like has been surprisingly different than I expected it to be, and that is only after actually making characters and looking at what they will be like leveled up to 10.

People calling for massive changes to the base system without playing it are probably missing some subtle but important balancing issues. Playing it as is for the playtest will probably help us figure out how our house rules can be implemented later.


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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.


Unicore wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:


I am not implementing this for the playtest, of course, but for my home games, definitely.

I will wait and see what the adventures themselves look like, since APs are my favorite part of the entire Paizo franchise, but I am very likely to play with a lot of different house rules myself after the playtest is over. My entire thread here is about how actually playing the game and digging into to what characters play like has been surprisingly different than I expected it to be, and that is only after actually making characters and looking at what they will be like leveled up to 10.

People calling for massive changes to the base system without playing it are probably missing some subtle but important balancing issues. Playing it as is for the playtest will probably help us figure out how our house rules can be implemented later.

I totally agree.


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.


Unicore wrote:
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.

Wow, that's a great way to put it.

That makes perfect sense from a narrative point-of-view, but is probably going to be anathema to simulationists.


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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.

Except the rules seek to cover more than just one genre. Perhaps the genre you have in mind is best represented by levels 1-8 (for example)?

I certainly think including "mythic" power levels in the core rules is a reasonable goal for a new edition (and better than the alternative: bolting them on later, which frankly never works well).


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bugleyman wrote:
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.

Except the rules seek to cover more than just one genre. Perhaps the genre you have in mind is best represented by levels 1-8 (for example)?

I certainly think including "mythic" power levels in the core rules is a reasonable goal for a new edition (and better than the alternative: bolting them on later, which frankly never works well).

I can dig making Legendary truly epic/mythic in play, something they haver never included in core, if so, I want to see fighters being able to rip demon heads off, swim for weeks, eat lightning and crap thunder!


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
I can dig making Legendary truly epic/mythic in play, something they haver never included in core, if so, I want to see fighters being able to rip demon heads off, swim for weeks, eat lightning and crap thunder!

I support this initiative.


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?


bugleyman wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I can dig making Legendary truly epic/mythic in play, something they haver never included in core, if so, I want to see fighters being able to rip demon heads off, swim for weeks, eat lightning and crap thunder!
I support this initiative.

Right on, and it could really differentiate it from 5th Ed, offer something that game doesn't. I sometimes feel they are going so out of their way as to not appear like 5th Ed, that they are stumbling a bit.


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?


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.


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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.


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I am more concerned about how Wulfgar the barbarian survived going NUDE and barehanded underwater in a frozen lake and punched to death a white dragon.

Then again, novels and game rules never combined very well.

Elminster the Mary Sue ended up fist fighting against a GOD because both ran out of spells.


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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.

There are other game systems that support that style, there aren't that many that give you the same epic feel as 3.5/PF and I want PF2 to match that feel. Don't take that away from this game. I want my levels to mean something. I want to breeze through 20 guards that are significantly lower level than I am.


William Werminster wrote:
I am more concerned about how Wulfgar the barbarian survived going NUDE and barehanded underwater in a frozen lake and punched to death a white dragon.

Ha, when did that happen?


Vic Ferrari wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not at all, everything stays the same, just the numbers are smaller: +7 vs. AC 15 or +27 vs. AC 35.

Just a treadmill.

That's not true, outside of your own level. +7 vs AC 17 and +27 VS AC 35 is the same, but +5 vs AC 15 and +5 VS AC 35 is not.

+5 vs. AC 35 would never come about, the Pit Fiend would have an AC of 24, and a 1st-level fighter with expert proficiency, and an 18 Str would have +5 to hit, so could hit the Pit Fiend on a 19.

That's how it works.

That is the point, they don't want that. They don't want the level 1 pc being able to hit the pit fiend on 19+, they want the lvl 1 PC to be able to barely scratch a bearded devil on 19+.

You want to make the levels at who h a monster is a threat more spread. The devs don't. There is nothing wrong with either approach, it is just that the devs have chosen the second one. They literally said that much, and used a paragraph from a novel, where a high level fighter was a scared by 5 guards, as an example of this. They want their high level fighters to wipe the flood with low level guards and not even break a sweet.

Exactly, I want taking on 20 guards, solo, to always be a problem, matches the fantasy fiction I am familiar with; it's simply a variant you can implement for a certain feel.

I am not implementing this for the playtest, of course, but for my home games, definitely.

To be honest, that's the first home rule I'm going to test once the final product is out there. I agree with you this is just a matter of tastes. And actually, as I like to play different styles from time to time, I think having a "plug in, plug out" home rule like this one (which is pretty simple implement I think, as the math itself does not vary) might work well for different playstyles within the same system. You could "fine tune" the system for a grittier style, or a more epic one, playing with this dial.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

Well, actually, yes, they do.

Just with magic. I'm pretty sure 7 casters using Simulacrum can build an army of Tarrasques and lay waste on those orcs.
Or 7 Gates, and summon 7 Solars. Or 21, using 3 spells each. Etc.

Now, for martial characters, it would be harder, yes.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not at all, everything stays the same, just the numbers are smaller: +7 vs. AC 15 or +27 vs. AC 35.

Just a treadmill.

That's not true, outside of your own level. +7 vs AC 17 and +27 VS AC 35 is the same, but +5 vs AC 15 and +5 VS AC 35 is not.

+5 vs. AC 35 would never come about, the Pit Fiend would have an AC of 24, and a 1st-level fighter with expert proficiency, and an 18 Str would have +5 to hit, so could hit the Pit Fiend on a 19.

That's how it works.

That is the point, they don't want that. They don't want the level 1 pc being able to hit the pit fiend on 19+, they want the lvl 1 PC to be able to barely scratch a bearded devil on 19+.

You want to make the levels at who h a monster is a threat more spread. The devs don't. There is nothing wrong with either approach, it is just that the devs have chosen the second one. They literally said that much, and used a paragraph from a novel, where a high level fighter was a scared by 5 guards, as an example of this. They want their high level fighters to wipe the flood with low level guards and not even break a sweet.

Exactly, I want taking on 20 guards, solo, to always be a problem, matches the fantasy fiction I am familiar with; it's simply a variant you can implement for a certain feel.

I am not implementing this for the playtest, of course, but for my home games, definitely.

To be honest, that's the first home rule I'm going to test once the final product is out there. I agree with you this is just a matter of tastes. And actually, as I like to play different styles from time to time, I think having a "plug in, plug out" home rule like this one (which is pretty simple implement I think, as the math itself does not vary) might work well for different playstyles within the same system. You could "fine tune" the system for a grittier style, or a more epic one, playing with...

Bingo.

Dark Archive

Pretty sure a Level 20 Wizard in PF1 could handle an army alone. Fickle Winds + Fly handles the archers and soldiers, and no low-level caster could handle the high CL check to dispel or manage to bypass low-level defenses like Shield and Resist Energy. With these basic defenses the majority of low-level enemies are unable to do anything to harm the Wizard, who can then blast/suggest/summon with impunity. They'd be in more danger of running out of spell slots than dying.


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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.

I've played God of War. I've watched The Matrix. At a certain point, I'm okay with mooks being mooks who exist only to be hewed through with impressive visual effects.

The only real qualms I have with the current leveling system is:

1. It's harder to hit a paralyzed high-level person than a paralyzed low-level person.

2. It's weird that the Fort save to avoid dying changes based on the level of the person who attacked you, rather than being somehow related to how much damage you took.

3. It's amusing that since playing an instrument isn't a trained-only task, every high level party can be a traveling band.

4. You don't add damage to level, which would be a simpler balance than having +5 weapons add 5 dice. (I'd much prefer to just add your level to weapon damage, and have magic weapons add one extra die total, regardless of how 'plussy' they are.)


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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).


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
William Werminster wrote:
I am more concerned about how Wulfgar the barbarian survived going NUDE and barehanded underwater in a frozen lake and punched to death a white dragon.
Ha, when did that happen?

That was literally the first book.

He actually trekked across the tundra for a day, killed a reindeer, rendered its fat, stripped naked, slathered himself with the fat as insulation, put his armor back on, dove into a near-freezing river, rode it into an ice cave, and climbed out of a near-freezing waterfall to challenge the dragon.

The two boasted back and forth for a couple minutes.

Drizzt was following him an hour or so behind, caught up while Wulfgar was rendering the fat, and popped in to provide backup, which provoked a fight. After some dodging and slicing was inconclusive, Drizzt used drow darkness on an arrow and pegged the dragon in the face to blind it, and Wulfgar lured the dragon under a big ice stalactite, then hurled his magic hammer to shatter it and impale the dragon's neck. Then while it tried to pull the ice shard out, Wulfgar walked over and crushed its skull.

...

As for The Thousand Orcs, it's actually book one in a trilogy about an ongoing effort by several orc and frost giant tribes to take control of a whole region of human and dwarf towns. I didn't finish the whole series, because there wasn't much left in the way of character arcs, but as for the plot, eh, it was a war.

At the end of book 1 Drizzt thinks he sees his friends killed, so he withdraws into the wilderness and goes a little kill happy. In book 2 he uses guerilla tactics for a few weeks and links up with some other survivors, and in book 3 he eventually reunites with his friends and forces the orc leader to declare a truce.

I do not think he literally kills one thousand orcs.


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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 hand-waved away. Without some gimmick to completely negate damage, those 10,000 soldiers would just fire bows, auto hit with all the 20s, and the hero suffers the same pincushin fate so often brought up about bounded often on the same exact die rolls.


I swear to god, in 10th grade I did literally run a game one bored morning where my friend's high-level fighter killed the entire Packers stadium while they slowly tried to whittle down his hit points. We were waiting for driver's ed to start on the weekend and had a few hours to kill rolling dice while chatting about other stuff.


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...

in 3.5 it's very feasible to reach the point where the orcs simply cannot hurt you. and you can outrun them to chase them down and slaughter them at will. All they can do is run away and scatter so you can't kill all of them. Or try to do some damage to something else before you kill them.

it's not a handwave to narrate away the situation if it's not possible for the enemies to hurt you regardless of the rolls.

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