Level bonus, explain why we need it


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
heretic wrote:


An adventuring career of blasting things from behind the paladin and spending downtime in the library or fest hall does not really explain the relentless advance to super Olympian athletics or being really good at standing toe to toe with heavily armed and armoured folk while sky clad
.
Don't get me started on the sudden realisation you have always been a virtuoso bag pipe player but only found out on seeing your first set. :-)

This is a false presentation of what + level to proficiency represents.

For perform, an untrained character shouldn't be allowed to play any musical instrument, especially not a complex one that requires years of training to make music and not noise (like the bagpipes/ as opposed to drumming a very simple beat because you understand the concept of rhythm from years of forced marches). The PF2 system attempts to teach the GM that to tell her player that tries that they might have heard some melody once on one of their adventures and have it stuck in their head. They might be able to hum it or sing it pretty well, well enough for it to be recognizable to a listener, but they can't compose a full composition from it or play some instrument they don't know how to play.

The idea that lived experience in combat helps you learn how to keep your head down and avoid danger is a far more natural assumption than believing that only putting on armor increases your defense. AC is a very confusing abstraction to cast over "real" combat scenarios, but it coming only from equipment was a terrible mistake of early systems.

Adventuring is physically strenuous. Most of that physicality is incredibly boring to represent in play beyond a quick sentence of exposition blowing past it all, but those hours spent hiking through mountains and swamps and dungeons would add up very quickly. So much so that any physical attribute bellow 12 becomes pretty unbelievable, and unless you mandate that characters spend skill points of things their characters do on a daily basis, you end up with a lot of strange scenarios where characters that spend months in the woods never pick up any nature or survival skills because their was a ranger in the party who did it better so why would my wizard every put skill points there?

The idea that verisimilitude is on the side of characters leveling up and choosing what skills and abilities they develop based upon what they would like to do instead of what they have actually been doing makes less sense to me than loosely representing all of that with a +level to proficiency bonus. Letting characters choose what they specialize in is a lot more fun then forcing it on them, but PF2 does have systems in place for letting players choosing to improve. If being able to choose not to improve is a big deal for your character, I think you can just let your GM know that you are not going to be adding your level to some skill checks that make that feel unbelievable for you and then let you play your character as you need without completely rewriting the game.

I think the biggest detriment to the +level to proficiency system is that a lot of people are not actually reading the full rules of it or try to understand what it is supposed to be doing, and deciding that proficiency gating works someway it is imagined in their head without actually thinking it out and having faith in a GM to arbitrate what can and cannot be done with skill checks...which is what has always been required unless you design skill challenges like some kind of numbers mini-game that has no room for creative problem solving.

The Exchange

thejeff wrote:

) But the same wizard back in PF1e would still be getting better at hitting things in melee combat (BAB every other level) and getting physically tougher (hp).

As Tarik said: twice the hp and better BAB, all from trying to stay in...

Leaving aside the *relatively worse rate of wizards BAB, getting slowly better at hitting stuff and surviving multiple battles when you are delivering rays, the occasional touch spell or desperate back against the wall staff bash etc is an acceptable explanation and as you say the rules are abstract. Again a rogue may be a trap smith but he will be a trap smith who is trained to sneak attack and avoid fireballs. Again rules are as you say abstract.

Surely that does not mean that suspension of disbelief can be demanded for every fictional conceit with a straight face?

*edited to replace "rather" with "relatively" in line one.

The Exchange

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Unicore.

The perform skill has play a musical instrument in the same list of things with a perform trait as singing, dancing or comedy. All above the section of the skill requiring training. Now I would hope that a GM would house rule a training gate for a musical performance on an instrument. Same for being able to out perform a dancer or opera singer.

I hear what you are saying about lived experience in combat making you better at avoiding injury. Hence the increase in saving throw bonus. I still reckon the soldier in body armour will fare better in a ruck than the one in dress uniform and proper kit and specific experience in hand to hand will better prepare you to deflect or side step the killing blow than a career focused on bomb disposal. Though both require neves of steel and bravery.

i have read with interest elsewhere that the life of an adventurer should mean that effectively you should be treated as having a minimum 12 in physical stats. If that is the case then we have physical stats to alter to reflect this much less abstractly than increasing all skills dependent on every stat by 1 per level.

Also regarding picking up the survival skills by ozmosis despite the ranger doing all the work is like the myth that if you live in a non English speaking country you will become fluent even if you never try and only communicate with anglophones.

I don't buy the idea the game design to ask players not to make use of legal options to allow versilimitude rather than bake it in is the way to go.

As to your last point you are of course entitled to your view.

W

Scarab Sages

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I don't like the +level system. A 1st level rogue should be better at picking pockets than 10th level fighter, cleric, or sorceror. A wizard, even high level, should not be able to go into melee combat with the town guards and expect good things to happen.


Questor X wrote:
I don't like the +level system. A 1st level rogue should be better at picking pockets than 10th level fighter, cleric, or sorceror. A wizard, even high level, should not be able to go into melee combat with the town guards and expect good things to happen.

Though of course back in PF1 (or earlier D&D versions) a high enough level wizard could just go into melee with the town guards - even without buffs up.

The Exchange

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thejeff wrote:
Questor X wrote:
I don't like the +level system. A 1st level rogue should be better at picking pockets than 10th level fighter, cleric, or sorceror. A wizard, even high level, should not be able to go into melee combat with the town guards and expect good things to happen.
Though of course back in PF1 (or earlier D&D versions) a high enough level wizard could just go into melee with the town guards - even without buffs up.

Hmm.

pre 3.x. A lvl 10 wizard would struggle to hit the guards enough with his dagger or staff before they did the 10 to 60 points of damage required.
In PF a lvl 10 wizard would certainly be able to stand up to a few disorganised lvl 1 warriors in a fight but with lousy AC and low DPR the opposition would not have to be stellar to embarrass the mage.

As I have mentioned before any adventurer eventually getting half decent in a fight even if they only rarely get up close and personal is perfectly OK and explicable. I am much less sure about how good, how fast and the change in how AC is treated.


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Unicore wrote:
I think the biggest detriment to the +level to proficiency system is that a lot of people are not actually reading the full rules of it or try to understand what it is supposed to be doing, and deciding that proficiency gating works someway it is imagined in their head without actually thinking it out and having faith in a GM to arbitrate what can and cannot be done with skill checks...which is what has always been required unless you design skill challenges like some kind of numbers mini-game that has no room for creative problem solving.

I think that the biggest detriment to the +level system is that the rules never clearly state any of what you have said here. Aside from saying that the GM is the boss... which is not a feature of this system. That is just tabletop roleplaying.

You can perform(action) untrained with those bagpipes. Its pretty clear in the book. You need to be trained to 'stage a performance' (i.e. put on a musical).

More to the point, why have the +level at all if proficiency is what is important? Why give the barbarian +15 to perform checks and then tell them they can't use it? Most of these dice rolls ARE just a numbers mini-game, so why not cut out the middle man?

Want to pick an expert lock? Have expert or higher proficiency in Thievery.

Want to climb? Untrained you can climb with a rope or up a steep hill, trained you can climb a sheer surface with many sufficient handholds. Legendary you can climb a smooth wall one-handed at normal speed.

And on and on...sounds neat.

But that is not the system in the book unless you do all the work to arbitrate everything yourself, in which case its as good as not having a system at all.

"The system is nonsense, but the GM can fix it" is not a great sales pitch.


Drakhan Valane wrote:
That is a system I have zero interest in playing. Unlike the PF2 playtest which I find extremely exciting.

Math works out the same (at = level), it's the same system, except for extending the threat range of monsters, just like removing the treadmill from 4th Ed, works out just fine.


Vic Ferrari wrote:

Bounded Accuracy (it seems to scare, many), chief...there is more to levelling than BAB, if the limit of your enjoyment of levelling is your character adding +1 to everything, neat.

These Houserules make PF2's current levelling system less blah, generic and convenient, for me, and the math checks out:

+Level is omitted.

Touch Armour Class is omitted.

Spell Attacks are made with your spellcasting ability score (Int for Wizard, etc).

Item (magic) bonus for weapons and extra damage dice is omitted.

Potency Runes are omitted.

Trained Armour, Weapon, and Spell Attack Proficiency Bonus/Extra Weapon Damage Dice by Level.

Level:
2-4: +1/2 x weapon damage dice
5-8: +2/3 x weapon damage dice
9-12: +3/4 x weapon damage dice...

By this point, you are 75% of the way towards D&D5, however, and we already have that. After pondering it a pretty long time, and playing several sessions of PF playtest, I decided I’m kind of happy they are going in the direction that they are, because I’m playing 5e now with another group, and if PF2 looked like this, I’d likely not play it, because it would be *too* similar to D&D5; i’d likely find another game with a little more level-based granularity (just not to the level of PF1).


Not many have proposed much better to be honest than the PF2e +1/level.

MOST who are against this are merely those shading in 5e ideas and are 5e fans.

Unfortunately, 5e has the EXACT same problem to a degree (even if the bounded accuracy is lower, it still IS THE EXACT same thing)...WITH the exception that you really never actually get good. You are always either just normal, or slightly above normal. Thus even your world's greatest swordsman can be brought down by 4 or 5 others.

Miyamoto NEVER actually survived his multiman fight, being killed in the middle of it...and other fights where it was two or three vs. him all ended up with him being mortally wounded...

At least in most of the alternate ideas tossed around by the 5e fans who hate the idea that some people after training actually get a LOT better (and in fact, in combat at times, nigh untouchable) by those who have not had the experience in doing so.

With that as really the sole differentiation between the proposed 5e ideas and what PF2e is doing, I'd rather go with the thing where some guy who has had 10 years of experience can take down the entire squad of greenie soldiers.

On the otherhand, I am not entirely sold on the way +1 level works with skills. I'd prefer a better way of explanation, or some other options.

In addition, I do prefer how PF1e, 3e, 2e, 1e, and OD&D had it so that those who practice with swords are better at hitting with those swords (or other weapons) than those who merely cast spells all day...and it's NOT like how 5e does it where it's just due to natural ability (ability scores differentiate), but rather due to actual EXPERIENCE and proficiency with those weapons being better (ala...the fighter gets a HIGHER proficiency bonus than the wizard).

However, most of those pushing against the +1/level are JUST as unrealistic, if not moreso about how the world works, thinking a world class neurosurgeon only is 20% better at brain surgery than the guy off the street. Their training has only made them 20% better at it rather than years of experience and training.

So, yes, I'd rather a better explanation of how skills work, more abilities gated behind the master and legendary skill levels, or some other option than what seems to be done in PF2e right now...

But NOT at the expense of ludicrous ideas that a new guy who has barely held a gun is going to take out that sniper a mile way who has 50 kills and 5 years experience under his belt...even if that new guy has 20 of his best friends.

In reality, if the sniper is told to take them out at a mile away...all 20 of those friends are probably dead...with 0% chance of taking out the experience sniper. Perhaps in time WITH experience they might be able to do that...but that's because our world isn't bounded and restricted like some want it to be...and I prefer RPGs that actually allow characters to be FAR more powerful than others than those that say everyone is the same in power from the lowest...to the highest with a mere 20% difference.


heretic wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Questor X wrote:
I don't like the +level system. A 1st level rogue should be better at picking pockets than 10th level fighter, cleric, or sorceror. A wizard, even high level, should not be able to go into melee combat with the town guards and expect good things to happen.
Though of course back in PF1 (or earlier D&D versions) a high enough level wizard could just go into melee with the town guards - even without buffs up.

Hmm.

pre 3.x. A lvl 10 wizard would struggle to hit the guards enough with his dagger or staff before they did the 10 to 60 points of damage required.
In PF a lvl 10 wizard would certainly be able to stand up to a few disorganised lvl 1 warriors in a fight but with lousy AC and low DPR the opposition would not have to be stellar to embarrass the mage.

As I have mentioned before any adventurer eventually getting half decent in a fight even if they only rarely get up close and personal is perfectly OK and explicable. I am much less sure about how good, how fast and the change in how AC is treated.

This is one thing I do prefer in my RPGs...that those people who train in weapons do better at hitting with those weapons than those who sit back and do other things.

In PF2e they DO this...but the difference is really only +5 between them and others.

Is this enough to represent training with a weapon rather than casting spells.

On top of that, the wizard can narrow that gap to a mere +2 with a simple weapon.

I'd prefer the gap to be greater than that myself.

Given the option of a 5e bounded accuracy way of doing it or the PF2e way though...I'll choose the PF2e way any day over the 5e method.

But then, speaking for myself, I really don't understand WHY people are so crazy about Bounded accuracy.

In fact, the biggest complaint I hear about 5e IS normally about the bounded accuracy, but that people put up with it because 5e is easy to learn and easy to run. A great majority that I've seen talk about 5e, it is not about the bounded accuracy, but the ease and free form of it. Typically (and survey's seem to back this up) it seems most do not think 5e is all that great, but it is not terrible either. It is good enough to get the job done for RPGing...and as it is right there in the middle, that's good enough to get the masses to play it.

Ease, not bad even if not great, and simplicity are 5e's bonuses. Rarely do I hear the praise of bounded accuracy some on these boards are pushing very strongly.

Pathfinder 2e doesn't appear to be getting the simplicity of 5e, nor the Ease...so taking the bad of 5e (bounded accuracy) does NOT particularly seem like a wise decision.

And...on top of that, though I WOULD prefer a greater distance between the rate the Fighters and Warriors advance in the ability to hit with weapons above Wizards and Sorcerers and such...if given the choice between what PF2e does and 5e does with bounded accuracy, I'd choose PF2e's method any day of the week.

Though, ultimately I STILL prefer the greater differences between fighters and wizards in combat to be more pronounced in their specific areas (ala fighters hit more often and better with weapons...while wizards do better with their spells...etc...etc).


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Drakhan Valane wrote:
That is a system I have zero interest in playing. Unlike the PF2 playtest which I find extremely exciting.
Math works out the same (at = level), it's the same system, except for extending the threat range of monsters, just like removing the treadmill from 4th Ed, works out just fine.

So Math doesn't in fact work the same at all, except for a small margin, is what you're saying?

On another point, I see verisimiltude being thrown around a bit, and honestly, I find nothing even remotely verisimiltudous about a horde of level 1s being a plausible threat to a level 20 character. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that even a horde of level 10s shouldn't pose a threat to him, and only start making him nervous when they get within 5 levels of him.

Otherwise, there's no point in a game having 20 levels at all. Just make one with maybe 5 levels, if at all, and be done with it.


I"m playing with (Playtest) and without (home-games ) the treadmill, both give different feels (threat range).

With treadmill:

20th-level Fighter (+20) with 22 Str (+6), legendary proficiency (+3), and a +5 magic weapon, has +34 to hit. A Pit Fiend has an AC of 44.

Without treadmill:

20th-level Fighter with 22 Str (+6), legendary proficiency (+3), and a +5 magic weapon, has +14 to hit. A Pit Fiend has an AC of 24.

Nothing has changed in regards to what you need to roll for a success/crit, etc.

Another example (with and without treadmill):

Fighter, AC 45, +34 to hit
Pit Fiend, AC 44, +35 to hit
Ghoul, AC 15, +7 to hit

Fighter, AC 25, +14 to hit
Pit Fiend, AC 24, +15 to hit
Ghoul, AC 14, +6 to hit

The Fighter still auto-grits the ghoul unless they roll a natural 1, and the ghoul can hit the fighter on a natural 19 or 20 .

It's just a CR/numbers deal, if you want taking on 10 ogres, solo, to be a cakewalk at higher levels, or not. I like that PF2 is so easily adjusted by such a simple adjustment (you could go for +1/2 level, or +1/4, for whatever feel/threat ranges you dig).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Maybe some, maybe all, of the skills still need to be dialed in as far as adequate proficiency gating. I will not argue that the PF2 system is perfect for that, but I would argue that dialing those gates in is relatively easy to do and does not require radically changing the entire system to work. Those can be minor edits to individual feats or skill descriptions. (lets move "play an instrument" to trained, for example).

For a play test, where the rules are still in development, the GM is going to have to shoulder a lot more of the arbitration then they will for a game that has a decade of feed back over interpreting rules. It is pretty unfair to say that PF1 guides GMs better than the palytest in how to arbitrate its rules, especially since the rules of PF2 are not even set in stone yet.

The difference between a fighter and a wizard in combat with a sword is also bigger than the +2 to +5 difference in proficiency. The attack roll will vary far more than that unless the wizard is dedicating a whole lot of character development resources on it (which would imply that they are not imagining their character as being terrible with a sword). At first level the difference may only be: Fighter STR 18, expert - +6, Wizard STR 10 - -1 (so 7). By 20th level the proficiency modifier has stretched to +5, the Attribute modifier has stretched to +6, the equipment modifier has stretched to +5, so we are well over the +10 difference that would mean the fighter is going to be hitting critically with a sword any time the wizard is going to be hitting with it.

But then we also do have gated feats for combat proficiencies, they are just nested in the classes and that makes them look more different from skills than a lot of people are seeing. A fighter who has invested 11 combat feats into fighting is going to be doing "greatest swordsfighter" type things. The wizard is not.

I don't love the commitment to magic items being a necessary part of character development, but I do have to admit that the wizard is not going to have the slew of combat related magic items that the fighter is going to have without having committed character resources (feats and attributes at the least) towards being a great fighter and they still wont have as good of feats or attributes as the fighter for melee fighting. The difference between a fighter walking around with a +5 weapon and a wizard using an old +1 or 2 weapon the party never sold for better equipment is much bigger than the +3 difference to the D20 roll.

It is a position of ignorance to dismiss the entirety of the PF2 system as one that forces all characters to be the same at everything. Part of that ignorance is clearly coming from the fact that people were expecting more time put into the explanation of the rules for the playtest than were present in the book, but it sucks writing long winded examples and explanations for things that you are guessing might radically change over the course of a play test. I am willing to give the developers a pass on that, especially because their commitment to spending the time answering questions on these boards and addressing honest ignorance is rather impressive.

The game may still be leaning towards having characters too similar, and it may need adjustments and revisions to have that separation, but a lot of the examples people are throwing out are either blatantly untrue, or easily adjustable with the right feat gate.

Now I do think that some people, like Vic, are seeing the larger picture and don't like the extreme separation of characters based solely on level, and I do understand why playing with that can be a fun and interesting house rule project, but it doesn't indicate a completely broken and useless base system, it indicates that the type of fantasy being explored as a base line, for APs, is probably not going to be what you are interested in past a certain level.

PF1 is probably a better game for keeping play below level 10 than PF2 will be. Character progression in PF2 is definitely slower (by design) and if I had a campaign that was never going past 5th level, I'd probably be more interested in homebrewing PF1 rules to handle it (using unchained action economy and some of the other things that have been introduced in PF2) than homebrewing PF2 to try to handle it. But homebrewing PF1 to handle level 15+ games is a nightmare of a headache. I have done it as a GM once and player twice. PF2 looks far more capable of handling it, especially because making high level play balanced, fun and comprehensible is being integrated from the beginning. PF1 was designed around someone else's system that didn't handle high level play well to begin with.


Unicore wrote:
Now I do think that some people, like Vic, are seeing the larger picture and don't like the extreme separation of characters based solely on level, and I do understand why playing with that can be a fun and interesting house rule project, but it doesn't indicate a completely broken and useless base system, it indicates that the type of fantasy being explored as a base line, for APs, is probably not going to be what you are interested in past a certain level.

Thanks, Unicore, the base system is fine, some great stuff, and so is playing with +Level (which I am), I just enjoy playing with the +Level dial for certain campaigns/settings. It's more to with the sorts of stories/characters you want to tell.


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Forget the 10 ogres solo for the moment, how does it work the other way around?

Can PCs take much stronger solo monsters? With everything flattened, do APL+6 or 7 encounters become reasonable? Does it start to make more sense to throw a couple dozen town militia at the rampaging monster rather than a few high level PCs?

The Exchange

GreyWolfLord wrote:
......However, most of those pushing against the +1/level are JUST as unrealistic, if not moreso about how the world works, thinking a world class neurosurgeon only is 20% better at brain surgery than the guy off the street. Their training has only made them 20% better at it rather than years of experience and training......

Genuinely confused as to where we're going here Greywolflord. I am not a fan of 5e so this may be a comparison to how 5e skills would work, even allowing for that I remain puzzled as to what you mean. I don't think that anyone is saying "keep the current skill system but don't have a mechanic for any skill progression at all".

The issue is that in the play test a brain surgeon gets better at brain surgery at the same rate that a professional ballerina does and the ballerina gets better at ballet dancing at the same rate that surgeon does. (ignoring medicine as a gated skill for now).


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I've run a few scenarios with and without level bonus. I wanted to post some results here.

I took a party of Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard leveled to 3rd and 7th with and without level bonus (so 4 different iterations) vs a group of 4 Ogres (level 3 creatures).

Lvl 3 with or without Level Bonus (LB):

How long did the combat last: 9 rounds
Who won the combat: The PCs
How many times did the PCs drop: 3
How often did the Party hit the Ogres: 52.5%
How often did the Party crit the Ogres: 17.5%
How many of the Party's hits were crits: 33.33%
How much damage did the Party do per hit: 12.86
How often did the Ogres hit the Party: 40.48%
How often did the Ogres crit the Party: 7.14%
How many of the Ogre's hits were crits: 17.65%
How much damage did the Ogres do per hit: 16.06

Lvl 7 with LB (Wizard and Cleric only cast cantrips):

How long did the combat last: 4 rounds
Who won the combat: The PCs
How many times did the PCs drop: 0
How often did the Party hit the Ogres: 85.7%
How often did the Party crit the Ogres: 61.9%
How many of the Party's hits were crits: 72.22%
How much damage did the Party do per hit: 17.61
How often did the Ogres hit the Party: 30%
How often did the Ogres crit the Party: 30%
How many of the Ogre's hits were crits: 100%
How much damage did the Ogres do per hit: 16.33

Lvl 7 with LB (2nd try, Wizard and Cleric cast spells too):

How long did the combat last: 4 rounds
Who won the combat: The PCs
How many times did the PCs drop: 0
How often did the Party hit the Ogres: 84.21%
How often did the Party crit the Ogres: 52.63%
How many of the Party's hits were crits: 62.5%
How much damage did the Party do per hit: 18.56
How often did the Ogres hit the Party: 11.11%
How often did the Ogres crit the Party: 0%
How many of the Ogre's hits were crits: 0%
How much damage did the Ogres do per hit: 17

Lvl 7 without LB:

How long did the combat last: 5 rounds
Who won the combat: The PCs
How many times did the PCs drop: 0
How often did the Party hit the Ogres: 70.59%
How often did the Party crit the Ogres: 29.41%
How many of the Party's hits were crits: 41.67%
How much damage did the Party do per hit: 17.17
How often did the Ogres hit the Party: 42.11%
How often did the Ogres crit the Party: 0%
How many of the Ogre's hits were crits: 0%
How much damage did the Ogres do per hit: 9.63

As you can see, the lvl 3 is our baseline because the ogres are level 3 and the PCs are level 3. Roughly an equal proposition based on level bonus. The PCs had a very difficult time with the encounter with a few of the PCs dropping only to be healed by the cleric to get up again.

Moving to Level 7, the PCs expectedly won handedly whether they were with Level Bonus or without.

I do notice a few things. With all cases of 7th level, the PCs hit 70% of the time or more. However, the LB PCs Crit on Hits an average 62% of the time opposed to almost 30% for non-LB. Additionally, the Ogres hit the non-LB Party 42% of the time, which is far more than the LB Party which averaged about 20% between the 2 scenarios. And the Ogres almost never critted, or if they did, it was because they could only crit on an LB character with a 20.

One final thing, I did the first Lvl 7 LB encounter with the Cleric and Wizard only casting Cantrips and no healing spells. Essentially, they destroyed the other side without spending any resources in 4 rounds. You'll also notice that the Ogres were significantly worse against the second group of LB PCs when they actually cast spells.

What this tells me, is that no matter if you have have Level Bonus or not, the 7th level PCs are going to clobber the 3rd level Ogres. The Ogres just had a little bit of a better shot at wasting some of the resources of the non-LB PCs than the LB PCs because they hit more often.


heretic wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
......However, most of those pushing against the +1/level are JUST as unrealistic, if not moreso about how the world works, thinking a world class neurosurgeon only is 20% better at brain surgery than the guy off the street. Their training has only made them 20% better at it rather than years of experience and training......

Genuinely confused as to where we're going here Greywolflord. I am not a fan of 5e so this may be a comparison to how 5e skills would work, even allowing for that I remain puzzled as to what you mean. I don't think that anyone is saying "keep the current skill system but don't have a mechanic for any skill progression at all".

The issue is that in the play test a brain surgeon gets better at brain surgery at the same rate that a professional ballerina does and the ballerina gets better at ballet dancing at the same rate that surgeon does. (ignoring medicine as a gated skill for now).

Many of those who are wanting skills to not advance are coming from a 5e viewpoint, and this is what 5e does.

So yes, this is the 5e comparison and why I personally cannot stand 5e to a degree.

In the playtest, if they gated skills more, than they would make it so that EMT stuff was gated behind being trained, General Doctor stuff and General Practitioner behind an even higher level and Brain surgery would be a skill feat only someone with Legendary could get.

So though the Surgeon and Ballerina would advance equally in putting a bandaid on your cut, or being able to put pressure on your arterial bleed until the bleeding hopefully stopped...only someone trained in medicine would be able to even try to do a skill check in Brain surgery.

5e does try to say for DM's to do something like this, but as it really doesn't define it to the degree it needs to, no one at the tables really adheres to this idea. This then is played typically as meaning that the High School Student stands just as good a chance (well +2 proficiency modifier instead of the +6 the Brain Surgeon gets) as the Brain Surgeon, or at least decently close, to succeeding at the same task.

PF2e has as similar problem currently (which is probably a bigger problem than the +1/level), but a solution is in place already for PF2e if they decide to use it, which is to gate a LOT more of the greater stuff behind skill feats and mastery of various skills.


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SqueezeBox wrote:

I've run a few scenarios with and without level bonus. I wanted to post some results here.

I took a party of Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard leveled to 3rd and 7th with and without level bonus (so 4 different iterations) vs a group of 4 Ogres (level 3 creatures).

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **...

Yep, at lvl-4 running Bound, ie no +lvl, the monsters will be more of a speed bump. IMO its a more worthwhile encounter. The party will still steamroll them, but it will be more engaging and cost resources especially if the party makes poor decisions. Smart play is better rewarded as there is more risk. Unbound, ie with +lvl, it often boils down to hoping the enemies don't roll 20s to hurt you. I find hitting enemies on 2+/7+ like a lvl 7 fighter does vs a lvl 3 Ogre to be less than fun. Ogres are what rolling ~15+/20+.

If you do he inverse, run this vs a single enemy at level +4 you'll find the Bound system makes it a more manageable fight, but still with significant risk. The Unbound with +lvl will be very dangerous and depending on what level you are starting at can be outright fatal. I mean, take four level 2 characters and toss them against a lvl 6 Young white Dragon.

For this example, it would be running those four level 7s against say a lvl 11 Adult Black Dragon. You'd see the party really struggle to hurt the Dragon, the Fighter would be in the 15+/20+ and getting hit on like 3+/8+. They'd be failing their reflex saves ~50 of the time and crit failing 20% of the time against the breath weapon.

Now, running that same Dragon fight Bound those numbers look like the fighter hitting the dragon on 11+/16+ and getting hit back on 7+/12+. The breath weapon would change to 45% fail 5% crit fail. It would still "feel" like a very tough encounter.

Running bound you push the viable opposition scale out to ~ +/-6lvls vs +/-4 lvls. I've been doing some playtesting with it and am pretty thrilled with how P2 works bound.


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My main point was that the level bonus seems to purposefully limit the players to get them to the "numbers" the developers want them at when optimized to ensure the 50/50 treadmill they want is working properly.

Which is also safe to say that they don't plan to release any future content that may disrupt that too. They'll likely release different classes and monsters, with different flavor and fluff, but largely the same mechanics.

Aside from that, it seems to justify nothing. Yes, the wizard is going to get better at balancing (acrobatics), marching (athletics), and even sustaining in the wild (survival), but all these things are a negligible DC and don't require any proficiency to do anything. One could simply take 10, or spend some time rolling the dice in a non-combat situation, to achieve the exact same results.
Ontop of that, anytime they would apply aside from these negligible checks, they're often proficiency gated and therefore useless. What's the point of the barbarian having a +18 to nature if he can't use it to identify something that requires master? He might as well not have the bonus to begin with, because only a druid or ranger with the appropriate proficiency can even roll for the roughly 50/50 chance of passing.

If they wanted characters to be good at their signature skills (or whatever skills they pick, up to expert), then they could add something similar to Operative's specialization (pick a skill group, gets an automatic +1 per level) but allow players to get the same progression of their choice that doesn't go above expert if it's not a class' signature skill.
That way you can have barbarians that can be good at performing, but won't be as good at performing as a bard of the same level, and will only be good at it if they choose to learn to do it, rather than it being oddly instinctive.

Though, if it's done this way, there won't be a need for proficiency gated tasks to begin with.
Especially if the DCs continue to scale as hard as they do, the only ones having an even slight chance of being useful are the ones that chose to invest time and effort into learning it.


GreyWolfLord wrote:
PF2e has as similar problem currently (which is probably a bigger problem than the +1/level), but a solution is in place already for PF2e if they decide to use it, which is to gate a LOT more of the greater stuff behind skill feats and mastery of various skills.

Yes, I have said before, this is where Legendary could gate some really sick stuff, truly epic/mythic action.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
SqueezeBox wrote:

I've run a few scenarios with and without level bonus. I wanted to post some results here.

I took a party of Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard leveled to 3rd and 7th with and without level bonus (so 4 different iterations) vs a group of 4 Ogres (level 3 creatures).

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **...

SqueezeBox, it is awesome that you are doing these tests and sharing your results with the forum. I have a couple of questions that I ask, not to trivialize your results, but delve further into your research:

Did the 2 level 7 parties have magical items/equipment? Equipment seems like a massive part of character growth in PF2, so the combat effectiveness of both +level and without it would probably change significantly if they were not equipped with level 7 equipment. WOuld the effects of that change be the same? Possibly, but I could also see items that give a +1 to various things making the party without the +level bonus more effective.

Are you going to try to repeat this experiment with any monsters that have higher AC? The Ogre is deliberately a monster designed to be a challenge for lower level parties and a minion for higher level parties because its HP is artificially high for its level and its AC is artificially low. This makes it easier for both parties to hit it, and favors parties that prioritize damage over accuracy. I wonder if the results would change significantly against an enemy geared around being difficult to hit, like a dragon?


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I will say I will not buy a system that uses +1 per level with bounded accuracy. I was not a fan of it in the systems that pre-date PF2. So currently it is looking like I may only use PF2 as a place to pillage for house rules.

Flat(ish) Math with bounded accuracy has some advantages. (AKA dice is god)

1) It leaves more of the monster manual usable as levels go by. As even if all the monster represents is a theoretical threat that is often enough when made part of a mixed encounter.

2) Simple math, I don't know why it takes Dave so long to add 21 to a dice roll but it does. So simpler math can be quicker.

3) Fairly static DC's make GMing easier to get familiarity with.

It has some issues in that:

1) It can feel mechanically boring.
2) It can have narrative issues, the uncharismatic half ork barbarian winning the battle of the bands against the half-elf bard is interesting once. After the third time the half elf player was not amused.
3) Everyone rolls for everything as its mostly up-to the dice which can be slow.

Unbounded Math of the PF1 kind did also give me some advantages.

1) Player agency if they wanted to be good at something, they could be to the point the math breaks and spins off into the setting sun. Took me a while as a GM to be happy with this but these days its yes your character is absurdly good at this you succeed.

2) One resolution system, the difference between an epic jump and a normal one, the DC.

3) Can help characters feel different. Wizard verse fighter etc.

Downsides are

1) Math is someone suspect and can take time for the player to resolve.
2) Saves can get to the state where it becomes fairly binary.
3) Can encourage "roll-play" over role-play.

The PF2 system comes with only downsides for me and my GMing.
1) Monsters become obsolete as per PF1
2) Math is still going to take Dave god knows how long to resolve.
3) Its mechanically dissonant from expected results. (The whom is better at first aid example, the new paramedic just out of school or nearing retirement John from accounting who has never seen a bandage before(*)...) The patch for this is feat gates but lets be honest gates have never been particularity popular.
4) Resolution complexity, instead of the DC, it's now DC plus when-either or not it should be trained only, expert only etc...
5) You can end up on a treadmill that defeats all sense of progress. If at level one I need a 11 to succeed at a task and by level 10 I still need an 11 it going to feel quite similar, regardless of the numbers involved.

(*) Yes you can "sort of" fix this issue by ensuring that all NPC's in a world don't exceed level 4. However from what I read of adventure paths this is not the case and it is also quite limiting for GMing to only have such worlds.
Also the its fantasy who cares argument misses the point it is easier to make the fantastical magical if the base system at least ensure the narrative expected result is the default. The John from accounting saved the casualty because of the magic beans he ate is interesting in a way. He saved the casualty because of his 30 years reading excel documents is weird.
(The to level he must have seen combat is only true in a world without quest exp. He could have just completed a lot of accounting quests. A kill only XP world is fundamentally different and changes the very social structure.)


OverworkedDM wrote:

Also the its fantasy who cares argument misses the point it is easier to make the fantastical magical if the base system at least ensure the narrative expected result is the default. The John from accounting saved the casualty because of the magic beans he ate is interesting in a way. He saved the casualty because of his 30 years reading excel documents is weird.

(The to level he must have seen combat is only true in a world without quest exp. He could have just completed a lot of accounting quests. A kill only XP world is fundamentally different and changes the very social structure.)

That John from accounting is actually high level because he's been an accountant and therefore is physically tougher than large predators and capable of killing them with his penknife if necessary is weirder to me than any strangeness with his skills and that's been baked into the system for decades.

Unless you assume that the vast majority of people just don't get more than a few levels, in which case most of the other world building issues go away anyways.

You're still going to have issues with PCs and skills, (or theoretically high-level important NPCs), but that's not quite the same.


Except I would not have that issue in PF1 as it is unbounded. Which was my point.
As "peasant NPC" with bad saves, bad bab, d4 hp per level and 2 skills per level. He is just not going to be that good at combat regardless of level.
Now he could have a real good profession accountant number (such that the CEO was impressed with his work) but the rest is likely to be garbage as the system is not bounded. Especially once you factor in his physical attributes will have been on the wane, he has no real armour to speak of.
Should the orks invade through HR I am perfectly fine with John kicking the bucket last. He may also heroically scratch one of them with his d3-1 points of damage from a letter opener.


OverworkedDM wrote:

Except I would not have that issue in PF1 as it is unbounded. Which was my point.

As "peasant NPC" with bad saves, bad bab, d4 hp per level and 2 skills per level. He is just not going to be that good at combat regardless of level.
Now he could have a real good profession accountant number (such that the CEO was impressed with his work) but the rest is likely to be garbage as the system is not bounded. Especially once you factor in his physical attributes will have been on the wane, he has no real armour to speak of.
Should the orks invade through HR I am perfectly fine with John kicking the bucket last. He may also heroically scratch one of them with his d3-1 points of damage from a letter opener.

A 15th level commoner accountant isn't going to stack up against 15th level combat optimized PCs, but he'll still handle the 1st level orcs just fine. He's got bad saves and BAB and low hp, but that's still nothing to sneeze at against CR1 enemies. If he's an expert, he's even better off. He's mostly handicapped by only giving him the letter opener. Spend a bit of even NPC 15th level WBL on gear and he'll do fine - even if most of it is on masterwork tools for his job and such.

Make a village full of such high level NPCs and I wonder what 1st level PCs are supposed to do. It's one thing when there are a couple of mid-level NPCs in town. They can reasonably have stuff to do. When nearly everyone can fight off a grizzly with a knife, it's weird.


Unicore wrote:

SqueezeBox, it is awesome that you are doing these tests and sharing your results with the forum. I have a couple of questions that I ask, not to trivialize your results, but delve further into your research:

Did the 2 level 7 parties have magical items/equipment? Equipment seems like a massive part of character growth in PF2, so the combat effectiveness of both +level and without it would probably change significantly if they were not equipped with level 7 equipment. WOuld the effects of that change be the same? Possibly, but I could also see items that give a +1 to various things making the party without the +level bonus more effective.

Thanks Unicore. I'll give some full disclosure.

I wanted to use Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, and Wizard because it is "classic" adventuring party and the classes are what Paizo measures other classes against. For each of these characters, I gave them starting equipment for their particular level according to Table 11-2 in the Treasure chapter on page 348. Each of the PCs were leveled up as if a player came into the game with a character that matched the level of the existing group.

I played this with my kids (16 & 12). I controlled the Ogres and the Fighter and Wizard while they played the Cleric & the Rogue respectively. My 12 year old GMs Giantslayer for his friends and my 16 year old is trying to break the Playtest with all sorts of different combinations, so they have experience with playing and tend to think outside the box.

UPDATE: I started the combat with the Ogres being 65 feet away from the party, and each Ogre at least 20 feet apart from each other so an area of effect spell could only affect 2 of the Ogres at a time in the first round. The PCs were separated ~ 20 feet apart, Fighter-Rogue up front, Cleric-Wizard in back. The Rogue rolled Stealth for initiative, the Fighter was Defending, and every but the Rogue rolled Perception for initiative.

Unicore wrote:
Are you going to try to repeat this experiment with any monsters that have higher AC? The Ogre is deliberately a monster designed to be a challenge for lower level parties and a minion for higher level parties because its HP is artificially high for its level and its AC is artificially low. This makes it easier for both parties to hit it, and favors parties that prioritize damage over accuracy. I wonder if the results would change significantly against an enemy geared around being difficult to hit, like a dragon?

Funny you should mention that. I have tried a few other aspects, but haven't gotten to the point of being able to publish it as of yet. For instance, I did the same 3rd level PCs against 4 Level 7 Hill Giants (complete slaughter) and the 3rd level PCs with LB against 1 Hill Giant (came close to winning). But I haven't done the 7th level PCs against the Hill Giants as of yet. That's why I can't publish. Perhaps this weekend I can get those last scenarios in.

I can post up the PCs and my excel spreadsheet if need be, but I'll only do it if someone is truly interested in looking at how I did my numbers.


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thejeff wrote:

That John from accounting is actually high level because he's been an accountant and therefore is physically tougher than large predators and capable of killing them with his penknife if necessary is weirder to me than any strangeness with his skills and that's been baked into the system for decades.

Unless you assume that the vast majority of people just don't get more than a few levels, in which case most of the other world building issues go away anyways.

You're still going to have issues with PCs and skills, (or theoretically high-level important NPCs), but that's not quite the same.

I honestly believe that PF2 can fix this whole issue very elegantly by simply having the untrained proficiency bonus be zero. After that, it becomes a simple matter of creating a commoner class that has no proficiency with any weapon or armor (if you want them to have militia training, that's what feats are for). Now you can have a level 20 commoner who can make spreadsheets that would make angels weep with joy but can't at the same time use his letter opener to obliterate the king's guard.

It also instantly solves the whole commonly brought up issue of level 15 barbarians winning violin competitions against level 5 bards.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
they just need to be on their toes or have the white flag out to handle things with stealth or diplomacy

How well will that work when the creatures that are five or ten levels above you are scaled to challenge parties whose stealth or diplomacy rolls are automatically five or ten higher than yours possibly can be? Is it even possible to stealth past or negotiate with a creature that's that far above your level?

Captain Morgan wrote:
The d20 is so swingy that such absurdity is hard to avoid.

That's it's own problem with d20 games in general that has been bothering me more and more over the last few years, to the point that I've said that I'd really like to try messing around with 5E using 2d10 instead of 1d20, to see if getting a probability curve into standard resolutions would bring down the swingyness and make small bonuses feel important.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
Miyamoto NEVER actually survived his multiman fight, being killed in the middle of it...and other fights where it was two or three vs. him all ended up with him being mortally wounded.

I don't think that there's anyone complaining that the guy who hits people with his sword getting better at hitting people with his sword from leveling. Mostly we're complaining about the guys who never try acrobatics, cooking, or learning archaic magical lore improve in those skills just by getting better at hitting people with their swords. And to a lesser extent, we're saying that we don't like the idea that the guy who very rarely has to swing a weapon or dodge a sword are getting better at swinging and dodging as the guy who does that every round of every fight.


ZanThrax wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
they just need to be on their toes or have the white flag out to handle things with stealth or diplomacy

How well will that work when the creatures that are five or ten levels above you are scaled to challenge parties whose stealth or diplomacy rolls are automatically five or ten higher than yours possibly can be? Is it even possible to stealth past or negotiate with a creature that's that far above your level?

I'm speaking in general terms. I honestly believe that both versions of Pathfinder are complete garbage for a proper sandbox game simply because of the general paradigm of CR and you'd be far better off seeking another system to do such a campaign.


3d6 system FTW!!! Seriously though... we should be using 3d6 if you want bounded accuracy... Why aren't we doing this thing? (bows down to sacred d20 cow)


ZanThrax wrote:


GreyWolfLord wrote:
Miyamoto NEVER actually survived his multiman fight, being killed in the middle of it...and other fights where it was two or three vs. him all ended up with him being mortally wounded.
I don't think that there's anyone complaining that the guy who hits people with his sword getting better at hitting people with his sword from leveling. Mostly we're complaining about the guys who never try acrobatics, cooking, or learning archaic magical lore improve in those skills just by getting better at hitting people with their swords. And to a lesser extent, we're saying that we don't like the idea that the guy who very rarely has to swing a weapon or dodge a sword are getting better at swinging and dodging as the guy who does that every round of every fight.

Plenty of people are saying that they want low level foes to remain relevant and dangerous to higher level PCs, at least in numbers. Not to the level of never being able to beat 3 guys, but much more outnumbered than that should be a problem to some here.

Part of the problem with this discussion is that there are a number of different points of view. One group does want to get rid of all level bonus scaling, leaving just special abilities, hp and the proficiency grades.


tivadar27 wrote:
3d6 system FTW!!! Seriously though... we should be using 3d6 if you want bounded accuracy... Why aren't we doing this thing? (bows down to sacred d20 cow)

There is an official variant rule for that in the 3rd Ed Unearthed Arcana/d20 SRD (see below; ports over directly to PF or 5th Ed):

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/bellCurveRolls.htm


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I do not have an issue with having a uniform bonus progression of +X/level (as I describe way upthread), but I have yet to be convinced that it is better than +0.5/level.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the only reason I see why the design team would not want to shift to +0.5 level is because they've decided to assumption from D&D 3.x that the power level of a creature is to double with every increase of 2 levels, and they've worked out the math so that +1/level is a base assumption in this exponential increase.

Personally, I would rather see this increase in power come from more interesting and powerful abilities than from an increase in sheer numbers. I think of the XCOM series of computer games, where your soldiers level up mainly through getting new perks (a.k.a. feats) that unlock entirely new abilities consistent with your theme, such as the Sharpshooter being able to fire their pistol against everyone in sight, or the Ranger being able to retreat after killing something with their sword. Perhaps part of the reason why the feats in PF2 come off as a little "meh" is because of this +1/level increase?

Just some food for thought...


tivadar27 wrote:
3d6 system FTW!!! Seriously though... we should be using 3d6 if you want bounded accuracy... Why aren't we doing this thing? (bows down to sacred d20 cow)

Would not work in PF2, unless you make the critical threshold 6 or less (I believe 5 would be ideal)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

With the number of TPKs, are we sure that a group of lesser enemies are not overwhelming to higher level creatures when armed with bows? Afterall, if 100 people make 3 attacks, then that is , on average 15 nat 20s. With deadly weapons that might be more of a threat then we are anticipating.

It seems like there might be a massive cut off in threat level right at the point where a natural 20 is no longer a critical hit.

The opposite consideration doesn't really ever become important because not critically missing isn't even close to as valuable a distinction as not critically hitting.

It seems like the + level bonus's biggest role is changing the point at which monsters can or cannot hit critically.


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Unicore wrote:

With the number of TPKs, are we sure that a group of lesser enemies are not overwhelming to higher level creatures when armed with bows? Afterall, if 100 people make 3 attacks, then that is , on average 15 nat 20s. With deadly weapons that might be more of a threat then we are anticipating.

It seems like there might be a massive cut off in threat level right at the point where a natural 20 is no longer a critical hit.

The opposite consideration doesn't really ever become important because not critically missing isn't even close to as valuable a distinction as not critically hitting.

It seems like the + level bonus's biggest role is changing the point at which monsters can or cannot hit critically.

According to my numbers against the Ogres vs lvl 7 LB (earlier in the thread), the ogres would miss so often that when they hit, it was most likely a critical hit. While the majority of their 40% hits against non-LB PCs ended up being regular hits and not crits.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Marelt Ekiran wrote:


I honestly believe that PF2 can fix this whole issue very elegantly by simply having the untrained proficiency bonus be zero. After that, it becomes a simple matter of creating a commoner class that has no proficiency with any weapon or armor (if you want them to have militia training, that's what feats are for). Now you can have a level 20 commoner who can make spreadsheets that would make angels weep with joy but can't at the same time use his letter opener to obliterate the king's guard.

It also instantly solves the whole commonly brought up issue of level 15 barbarians winning violin competitions against level 5 bards.

Losing the level bonus for things that are untrained is incredibly punishing. It is a much worse idea than getting rid of level bonus all together. I don't think that there should be any level 20 characters that are at serious threat of being critically hit on a 2+, multiple times in a round, which is what would happen if you were untrained in your armor facing other level 20 opposition, that have +35s to their attack rolls.

Making the critical system move to a +/- 10 means you just can't have numbers swing like they did in PF1.

What I think really needs to change is that for the final product, there is going to have to be a lot more space taken up in the Core rule book talking about how skill challenges and other checks have to be handled differently then in past RPG systems. The idea of just having characters roll dice without consideration for their proficiencies (specifically for skills), is not a good challenge design for PF2. It doesn't work like it did in past RPGs. I don't think PF2 should waste time comparing their system to other past systems, but there needs to be some clear examples of handling characters making untrained checks and what untrained success looks like in comparison to trained success for skills that require GM fiat.

I can understand why that is a turn off for a lot of old school players, maybe enough to make it dead on arrival, but it is a problem of perception and people hanging on to old methods for handling non-combat encounters, not a fatal logic flaw of the system that can't be corrected with minor fixes to how the proficiency gates work.


Unicore wrote:
I don't think that there should be any level 20 characters that are at serious threat of being critically hit on a 2+, multiple times in a round, which is what would happen if you were untrained in your armor facing other level 20 opposition, that have +35s to their attack rolls.

Why are you wearing armor you're not proficient in to fight a level 20 enemy?


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I'm wondering if perhaps the same system doesn't need to be used for armor and weapons and saves and skills.

It's far more critical that saves, for example, stay reasonably close to each other than that every one stays close in their general skills.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I don't think that there should be any level 20 characters that are at serious threat of being critically hit on a 2+, multiple times in a round, which is what would happen if you were untrained in your armor facing other level 20 opposition, that have +35s to their attack rolls.
Why are you wearing armor you're not proficient in to fight a level 20 enemy?

I was responding to a post about having level 20 commoners that would have no +level bonus to attacks or defense, saying that they don't need to be 20 points or more behind the things attacking them, because that basically just means massive critical fails and successes.

It would make a lot more sense just not to have level 20 commoners because commoners don't need to be level 20 to accomplish their role as weak NPCs that desperately need the party's protection.


OverworkedDM wrote:

I will say I will not buy a system that uses +1 per level with bounded accuracy. I was not a fan of it in the systems that pre-date PF2. So currently it is looking like I may only use PF2 as a place to pillage for house rules.

Flat(ish) Math with bounded accuracy has some advantages. (AKA dice is god)

1) It leaves more of the monster manual usable as levels go by. As even if all the monster represents is a theoretical threat that is often enough when made part of a mixed encounter.

2) Simple math, I don't know why it takes Dave so long to add 21 to a dice roll but it does. So simpler math can be quicker.

3) Fairly static DC's make GMing easier to get familiarity with.

It has some issues in that:

1) It can feel mechanically boring.
2) It can have narrative issues, the uncharismatic half ork barbarian winning the battle of the bands against the half-elf bard is interesting once. After the third time the half elf player was not amused.
3) Everyone rolls for everything as its mostly up-to the dice which can be slow.

Unbounded Math of the PF1 kind did also give me some advantages.

1) Player agency if they wanted to be good at something, they could be to the point the math breaks and spins off into the setting sun. Took me a while as a GM to be happy with this but these days its yes your character is absurdly good at this you succeed.

2) One resolution system, the difference between an epic jump and a normal one, the DC.

3) Can help characters feel different. Wizard verse fighter etc.

Downsides are

1) Math is someone suspect and can take time for the player to resolve.
2) Saves can get to the state where it becomes fairly binary.
3) Can encourage "roll-play" over role-play.

The PF2 system comes with only downsides for me and my GMing.
1) Monsters become obsolete as per PF1
2) Math is still going to take Dave god knows how long to resolve.
3) Its mechanically dissonant from expected results. (The whom is better at first aid example, the new paramedic just...

I would trust a 10 year combat veteran with no formal first aid training to work on gunshot wound, more than the first year paramedic.

there are real world examples that can support either argument.


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thejeff wrote:

I'm wondering if perhaps the same system doesn't need to be used for armor and weapons and saves and skills.

It's far more critical that saves, for example, stay reasonably close to each other than that every one stays close in their general skills.

This has REALLY become an issue to me right here.

There seems to be a theme in 2E design of "Some known issues in 1E plus simple is better equals once size fits all solutions"

Resonance does some really cool things. And yet it applies all over the place and just gets bizarre.

But +level is an even better example. The mechanical implications of it to skills is different than for saves, and both are different than combat.
One size just does not fit all.

In saves, it seems really interesting. The implicitly abstract nature of saves helps it be ok. And then the heavy use of critical success and critical failure (both new to 2E for saves) creates a new range of meaningful outcomes. So it looks like it works. I'm not ready to proclaim victory there, but it looks cool.

For skills it does a completely different thing with everybody gets a lot better at everything. No point in poking the debate about the merit of it for this post. Just read up above for that… But I think it is fair to say that the interaction with the game as a whole is quite different than it is for saves.
Then you get into combat. +level to everything actually doesn’t exist when you are only interacting at your own level. A L7 party fighting level 7 foes has +7 on both sides of every equation, so it fully cancels out. The +level thing only serves to dissuade play from straying more than ~4 levels from a proclaimed correct range. So, again, the interaction is totally different.
Regardless of any individual opinion, the prospect that this one mechanical silver bullet is the optimal solution in so many different scenarios seems highly unlikely. Which I believe gets back to the wild diversity of complaints.


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Unicore wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I don't think that there should be any level 20 characters that are at serious threat of being critically hit on a 2+, multiple times in a round, which is what would happen if you were untrained in your armor facing other level 20 opposition, that have +35s to their attack rolls.
Why are you wearing armor you're not proficient in to fight a level 20 enemy?

I was responding to a post about having level 20 commoners that would have no +level bonus to attacks or defense, saying that they don't need to be 20 points or more behind the things attacking them, because that basically just means massive critical fails and successes.

It would make a lot more sense just not to have level 20 commoners because commoners don't need to be level 20 to accomplish their role as weak NPCs that desperately need the party's protection.

I don't think we actually have "level 20 commoners", do we? I didn't see anything about NPC classes in the rule book.


BryonD wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I'm wondering if perhaps the same system doesn't need to be used for armor and weapons and saves and skills.

It's far more critical that saves, for example, stay reasonably close to each other than that every one stays close in their general skills.

This has REALLY become an issue to me right here.

There seems to be a theme in 2E design of "Some known issues in 1E plus simple is better equals once size fits all solutions"

Resonance does some really cool things. And yet it applies all over the place and just gets bizarre.

But +level is an even better example. The mechanical implications of it to skills is different than for saves, and both are different than combat.
One size just does not fit all.

In saves, it seems really interesting. The implicitly abstract nature of saves helps it be ok. And then the heavy use of critical success and critical failure (both new to 2E for saves) creates a new range of meaningful outcomes. So it looks like it works. I'm not ready to proclaim victory there, but it looks cool.

For skills it does a completely different thing with everybody gets a lot better at everything. No point in poking the debate about the merit of it for this post. Just read up above for that… But I think it is fair to say that the interaction with the game as a whole is quite different than it is for saves.
Then you get into combat. +level to everything actually doesn’t exist when you are only interacting at your own level. A L7 party fighting level 7 foes has +7 on both sides of every equation, so it fully cancels out. The +level thing only serves to dissuade play from straying more than ~4 levels from a proclaimed correct range. So, again, the interaction is totally different.
Regardless of any individual opinion, the prospect that this one mechanical silver bullet is the optimal solution in so many different scenarios seems highly unlikely. Which I believe gets back to the wild diversity of complaints.

I think there might even be a useful distinction between combat/adventuring skills, especially those that are often opposed rolls and things like Profession and Craft skills.

That guy with the +40 bluff and the PC with only a +20 Sense Motive can be an issue. Having someone who's a really good Sailor, while everyone else has no clue on boats isn't a big deal.


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Unicore wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I don't think that there should be any level 20 characters that are at serious threat of being critically hit on a 2+, multiple times in a round, which is what would happen if you were untrained in your armor facing other level 20 opposition, that have +35s to their attack rolls.
Why are you wearing armor you're not proficient in to fight a level 20 enemy?

I was responding to a post about having level 20 commoners that would have no +level bonus to attacks or defense, saying that they don't need to be 20 points or more behind the things attacking them, because that basically just means massive critical fails and successes.

It would make a lot more sense just not to have level 20 commoners because commoners don't need to be level 20 to accomplish their role as weak NPCs that desperately need the party's protection.

I guess this boils down to basic design and worldbuilding philosophy. Personally, I think there should totally be level 20 commoners. There should be people who have never seen a day in combat and yet have a skill beyond the reach of any but the most epic of PCs, because its what they are talented in and what they spend their entire life honing, as opposed to dredging old ruins. And if the best painter in the world came face-to-face with a level 20 demon, she should totally be killed in seconds, because that's not what she spent her life preparing for.

Designing your settings with the idea that things just exist for PCs to interact with creates lifeless, stilted, MMORPG-like worlds. Basically telling your players "this thing doesn't need to make sense, since it only exists for you to throw dicerolls at" is one of the fastest way to break suspension of disbelief.


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Marelt Ekiran wrote:
Personally, I think there should totally be level 20 commoners. There should be people who have never seen a day in combat and yet have a skill beyond the reach of any but the most epic of PCs, because its what they are talented in and what they spend their entire life honing, as opposed to dredging old ruins. And if the best painter in the world came face-to-face with a level 20 demon, she should totally be killed in seconds, because that's not what she spent her life preparing for.

I'd argue that this would be better represented by having the world's best painter be a level 1 NPC with a special +30 bonus to Painting skill. Level 20 has always meant huge increases to HP and combat accuracy and saving throws.


My thought was that NPC classes should only get like 1 hp per level.

+con


Matthew Downie wrote:
Marelt Ekiran wrote:
Personally, I think there should totally be level 20 commoners. There should be people who have never seen a day in combat and yet have a skill beyond the reach of any but the most epic of PCs, because its what they are talented in and what they spend their entire life honing, as opposed to dredging old ruins. And if the best painter in the world came face-to-face with a level 20 demon, she should totally be killed in seconds, because that's not what she spent her life preparing for.
I'd argue that this would be better represented by having the world's best painter be a level 1 NPC with a special +30 bonus to Painting skill. Level 20 has always meant huge increases to HP and combat accuracy and saving throws.

Me too, nothing wrong with an NPC with 3 hit points being way better in X skill than a 20th-level PC. The inflation of HD/BAB/Saves, etc, in order to achieve good skills checks for an NPC is one of the things I detest about 3rd Ed/PF1.

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