Table 10-2 is a GM's Nightmare


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Good Point. I was wondering about some of the DC's for example in Red Flags. You have bizarrely high DC's to Gather Information about super common knowledge (Besmara, the Pirate Goddess, in a Pirate Cove and the biggest Gala that is Happening in this Nest) and Need to spend obscene amounts of Gold to do so. Why is finding out what a Gala is about a DC 25 check?


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As I see it, table 10-02 is not (should not be) a GM tool.

It's a designer's tool. It makes sense to have a range of DCs available when writing a module. Is not something that should be referenced as a matter of course when running a game.

Unfortunately, my first experience with it was playing a bard, and being forced to refer to it as a player whenever I used lingering performance. And it becomes clear that no, your bard's never going to get better at it.

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Mekkis wrote:

As I see it, table 10-02 is not (should not be) a GM tool.

It's a designer's tool. It makes sense to have a range of DCs available when writing a module. Is not something that should be referenced as a matter of course when running a game.

Unfortunately, my first experience with it was playing a bard, and being forced to refer to it as a player whenever I used lingering performance. And it becomes clear that no, your bard's never going to get better at it.

That plus any time a player wants to Recall Knowledge, the GM has to pick a DC. Which comes up a lot.

Also, the Death & Dying rules require you to look up the table to find out the save DC. I really wish those were just printed in the monster's stat block.


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Mekkis wrote:

As I see it, table 10-02 is not (should not be) a GM tool.

It's a designer's tool. It makes sense to have a range of DCs available when writing a module. Is not something that should be referenced as a matter of course when running a game.

Unfortunately, my first experience with it was playing a bard, and being forced to refer to it as a player whenever I used lingering performance. And it becomes clear that no, your bard's never going to get better at it.

Not all DMs use premade modules. I like to make up my own crap sometimes and I need a table that tells me about appropriate challenges by level with some associated DCs. So, I have no conceptual problem with a table like 10.2.

My issue with it is that its WAY too granular. As a DM, I dont want to try to conceptualize how a level 5 challenge is somehow tangibly different than a level 6 challenge. If they just condensed these down into a half-dozen tiers, it would be much more manageable.

Then they could just give us 6 or 7 examples of appropriate challenges. It should be one per challenge per tier. We would also need to know how, situationally, these challenges can shift from trivial to very hard at that level (looks like a two-axis DC system to me).

So, what does climbing look like at tier 1 (climbing a standard 15 foot wall?) vs tier 7 (climbing up the back of a gargantuan flying titan as it glides through an ongoing airship battle or something). How does the tier 1 challenge shift from trivial to very hard? How about the tier 7 one?

Without that kind of deep explanation though, this thing is kinda useless to me and we would be way better off with a handful of set DCs.


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<tongue in cheek>

Here's how to use Table 10-2. Or rather, how not to use it, but end up with the same result anyway:

Step 1: starting with the value of 11, add 1 for every 2 points of attribute they have below 18, subtract 1 for every 2 points above 18
Step 2: add 1 for every 5 levels the player has (this will counteract the effects of having stats above 18 and is intended)
Step 3: add 1 for every point of TEML below Legendary (and an extra 1 for being untrained)
Step 4: subtract 1 for every 7 levels below 21 (round down).
Step 5: if the task is "difficult" add 2, "very difficult" add 5. "Easy" subtract 3. "Trivial" just skip: they succeed!
Step 6: ask the player what their natural die roll was.
Step 7: did they roll this number or better? If so, they succeed!

Works for everything, even monster saves and AC!

</tongue in cheek>

Feel free to try that set of steps out and compare to the table. I'll be SHOCKED if the value is off by more than 1 (take the value arrived at in step 5, add the character's skill bonus, compare to the "High" column on 10-2; step 5 changes columns left and right) and too high.


Data Lore wrote:
Mekkis wrote:

As I see it, table 10-02 is not (should not be) a GM tool.

It's a designer's tool. It makes sense to have a range of DCs available when writing a module. Is not something that should be referenced as a matter of course when running a game.

Unfortunately, my first experience with it was playing a bard, and being forced to refer to it as a player whenever I used lingering performance. And it becomes clear that no, your bard's never going to get better at it.

Not all DMs use premade modules. I like to make up my own crap sometimes and I need a table that tells me about appropriate challenges by level with some associated DCs. So, I have no conceptual problem with a table like 10.2.

My issue with it is that its WAY too granular. As a DM, I dont want to try to conceptualize how a level 5 challenge is somehow tangibly different than a level 6 challenge. If they just condensed these down into a half-dozen tiers, it would be much more manageable.

Then they could just give us 6 or 7 examples of appropriate challenges. It should be one per challenge per tier. We would also need to know how, situationally, these challenges can shift from trivial to very hard at that level (looks like a two-axis DC system to me).

So, what does climbing look like at tier 1 (climbing a standard 15 foot wall?) vs tier 7 (climbing up the back of a gargantuan flying titan as it glides through an ongoing airship battle or something). How does the tier 1 challenge shift from trivial to very hard? How about the tier 7 one?

Without that kind of deep explanation though, this thing is kinda useless to me and we would be way better off with a handful of set DCs.

I would assume that as a GM, designing a challenge for my players, (or preparing and modifying an existing module), I would refer to a table like 10-02. There are similar tables in Pathfinder and 3.5, and I do refer to them when building a challenge.

I don't refer to them when running that challenge. It's the delineation between the GM as the designer, and the GM as the runner.


I like the idea that Table 10-2 is a tool for designers, but that GMs have leeway to use whatever DC they think fits (using that table as a reference).

Also, if the final Dying rules match it, I would like the DC for dying be matched with the creature (with different results if they have STR attacks and spell-based attacks).


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EberronHoward wrote:
I like the idea that Table 10-2 is a tool for designers, but that GMs have leeway to use whatever DC they think fits (using that table as a reference).

I mean, as the GM you always have the ability to ignore or overrule the rulebook. It's just that for playtest purposes it's best to run it "by the book", which isn't really a problem since Doomsday Dawn tells you what the DCs should be.


I thought the dying DC was matched since the DC was based on the attack mod or spell dc the creature used? Did I read that wrong? Dying system confuses me slightly.


Data Lore wrote:
I thought the dying DC was matched since the DC was based on the attack mod or spell dc the creature used? Did I read that wrong? Dying system confuses me slightly.

If it was an effect that has a saving throw, the DC is the same as that effect. If it doesn't, you use the Class DC (if it has one, using an appropriate stat) otherwise consult table 10-2.


Lets face it the only reason a unified table like this didn't exist in PF1 is because having +25 in one skill might be considered decent where as having +25 in another would be considered bad. Let alone trying to have that same table give recommendations for non skill things (like saves.) It wasn't because such a table is BAD, but because it was impossible. Thus you had essentially the same table adjusted and reprinted for everything instead.


Draco18s wrote:
Data Lore wrote:
I thought the dying DC was matched since the DC was based on the attack mod or spell dc the creature used? Did I read that wrong? Dying system confuses me slightly.
If it was an effect that has a saving throw, the DC is the same as that effect. If it doesn't, you use the Class DC (if it has one, using an appropriate stat) otherwise consult table 10-2.

Seems silly. Why not just add 10 to the attack mod and call it a day?


Data Lore wrote:


Seems silly. Why not just add 10 to the attack mod and call it a day?

For attacks it would work out to that value (or very nearly). Its non-attack non-save effects that are the edge case. How? No idea. Things should be one or the other.

Persistent damage maybe?


Hmm, I hope they clean things up so I dont need to reference that table in play. Me no likee that table. Especially not when Im three beers in.

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Btw, anyone already sorted out how do you adjudicate dying conditions from falling damage? Ground/falling objects don't have a level to use with table 10.2.

+1 to ditchinhg the 10.2 table. It does not do anything useful for GM or players.


Laik wrote:
Btw, anyone already sorted out how do you adjudicate dying conditions from falling damage? Ground/falling objects don't have a level to use with table 10.2.

The planet itself is of mythic tier difficulty, so you use the last row on the table. ;P

Though I suspect the answer from the purple golem is "whatever the DC of the cliff you fell off of was."


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Tamago wrote:


That's another gripe. It would be way easier to just include the DC in the monster's stat block so that we don't need to go look it up all the time.

Yes! Yes! Yes! One thousand times yes! Why not just include the DC in the monster's stat block? Definitely something I would want to have on a GM screen.


Personally, I don't see how it would mess the game up if the DCs were simply set by average difficulty level, such as was done with PF1.

In other words, 10 is simple, 15 is not-as-simple, 20 is a moderate challenge, etc. etc. etc.

Since everyone is leveling up their bonuses per-level and getting a few little ups here and there, the trivial tasks would sort themselves out by becoming trivial by the numbers. Labels such as "simple" or "hard' become relative to the power of the player.

As players level up and get to the point of having +10 or +20, the GM doesn't need to roll for lesser "challenges" and, since they are heroes and should be facing tougher stuff as they move through their career, the larger DCs start to become the norm.

This would make it a lot easier for GMs to know what baselines they need to use at each level, since they would be able to look at any group of #level players and know what their bonuses will look like (since everyone has about the same bonuses these days). Don't want players to succeed easily? Use the higher number.

This would also allow for set DCs within skills. A player wants to know something about a particular critter at level 1? His limited experience would hamper that. Is he level 12 now? Well, he's probably heard about that critter by now and so the roll is almost unnecessary.

Maybe I'm not seeing some sort of deeper math here, but the 50/50 rule for setting DCs feels it's punishing the players. And, by way of the annoying table, punishing GMs as well.


Draco18s wrote:

<tongue in cheek>

Here's how to use Table 10-2. Or rather, how not to use it, but end up with the same result anyway:

Step 1: starting with the value of 11, add 1 for every 2 points of attribute they have below 18, subtract 1 for every 2 points above 18
Step 2: add 1 for every 5 levels the player has (this will counteract the effects of having stats above 18 and is intended)
Step 3: add 1 for every point of TEML below Legendary (and an extra 1 for being untrained)
Step 4: subtract 1 for every 7 levels below 21 (round down).
Step 5: if the task is "difficult" add 2, "very difficult" add 5. "Easy" subtract 3. "Trivial" just skip: they succeed!
Step 6: ask the player what their natural die roll was.
Step 7: did they roll this number or better? If so, they succeed!

Works for everything, even monster saves and AC!

</tongue in cheek>

Feel free to try that set of steps out and compare to the table. I'll be SHOCKED if the value is off by more than 1 (take the value arrived at in step 5, add the character's skill bonus, compare to the "High" column on 10-2; step 5 changes columns left and right) and too high.

Clever. You know I do wish they didn't add Prof into it however I feel like that bonus should be pure plus without it being countered.

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