Leveling-Up Streamlined: Re-Tool the Training Bubbles!

General Discussion

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

After some character generation and leveling exercises Monday and tonight, my group identified what we feel would be a HUGE time-saver when it comes to creating and leveling characters. It would also make UTEML a lot more intuitive.

Here's a visual example of what we're proposing:
Preview Image


  1. First, make the Training Modifier for Untrained equal "0".
    Reasoning: If you are Untrained in a skill, then that means you have *zero* investment in it. If the modifier for Untrained becomes "0" instead of "-2", then not only is that more intuitive, but a lot of fill-ins and potential mistakes have been instantly eliminated.
  2. Second, move the TEML labels into the circles and place the modifiers above them.
    Reasoning: We can now see the Training Modifier and know to add it. But what about the Proficiency Modifier box you ask?
  3. Third, relabel the Proficiency field as "Level".
    Reasoning: Now that the Training Modifier is visible, calculating the Proficiency Mod is no longer a necessary step.
  4. Lastly, it's usually pretty easy to remember what character level you are without having to rewrite it 30 times. What if we wrote the word "Level" in light-grey text inside our new Level field?
    Reasoning: Players who don't get the hint could still write their level in this box, but for the rest of us, it would save 30 erasures per level-up!

With these changes, we would go from this:

  • Erase Proficiency Modifiers 30x
  • Erase Skill/Attack/Whatever™ Modifiers 30x
  • Recalculate & rewrite Proficiency Modifiers 30x
  • Recalculate & rewrite Skill/Attack/Whatever™ Modifiers 30x

To this:

  • Erase Skill/Attack/Whatever™ Modifiers 30x
  • Recalculate & rewrite Skill/Attack/Whatever™ Modifiers 30x

That's a pretty significant savings in both time and erasers. Also, by eliminating fully half of the calculation steps, we've eliminated dozens of potential opportunities for mistakes and typos.

Furthermore, at those special times where we actually get to increase our level of training, it will be a lot easier to appreciate the change since we would no longer be rewriting a Proficiency Mod on that line the same as every other as we presently do. :)

Restating from the preview, here's what this formatting change would look like for the Acrobatics Skill: PNG Image

Even if Paizo doesn't want to tweak the math slightly by making Untrained "0" and bumping the others up by +2 each, the other suggestions can still be implemented without the use of houserules — they are merely formatting changes, after all, and wouldn't modify the rules or math one bit! In that event, we'd simply add a "U bubble" for Untrained and put "-2" above it. :)

Sovereign Court

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Shadow Lodge

Make this happen Paizo

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I 100% support character sheets with intuitive information display. You had me at bubbles.

I'm totally on board with the visual design; it's much more clear-cut but I would prefer the prof mods stay at the -2, 0, +1, +2, +3.

I like this!

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes! Why make the skills I don't care about harder to work out?

Sovereign Court

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Great idea!

Maybe the Signature Skill bubble can also be incorporated in a way that indicates it is a requirement for Master and Legendary.

Something like:

+1 +2 +3 +4

Hats off if you can incorporate that without taking up too much vertical real estate in the list

well sign me up to its much more easy to grasp then current ones.

I do not like the TEML graphical design, as it would be more efficient as a single box like Dex or Item. Reason being is that if you are only ever going to select one of X number of choices, the space taken up by the other choices is wasted.

I would much prefer the space be taken by one box marked "Prof", where you'd just write in the total of your level + proficiency mod, or perhaps seperate level and prof mod boxes.

This is brilliant, 100% agree that untrained should be 0

I'd also put the relevant ability abbreviation into the box, in the same light grey you've used for Level and for the same reasons (though ability scores don't go up as often, they do still go up)

I like everything in the OP except for shifting all values by 2. Most people at Level 1 use their Trained proficiencies and not their Untrained ones (e.g., weapons), and so the current numbers lessen the math.

We have "add X if you're proficient" from 4E and 5E and it ends up being another step to remember.

i like it.

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I created my first ever Pathfinder character the other day, and proficiency was a big pain point for me. I found it difficult to understand what numbers I needed because the character sheet doesn't give good guidance on it. Furthermore I hated having a bunch of -1 proficiency modifiers on my character sheet. I know the math would work out the same if all the difficulties, etc. were also adjusted by 2, but negative modifiers are a big turn-off for players. We also had some question as to if you apply proficiency in certain situations. For example, if you are unarmored, are you considered untrained (-2)? I'm still not sure on that one. With those things in mind, I 100% agree with the proposed changes.

Also, I would rather have "add X if you're proficient" as another step than "subtract X if you aren't proficient."

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