give me an _argument_ for +1 / level over +0.5 / level


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Overall, I'm very happy with PF2's shift to a universal rate of advancement. However, I'm mystified as to why that rate is so steep.

Specifically, I think players should increase their proficiency modifier by 1 per two levels (probably rounded up), rather than 1 per level. As others have noted, this would have two very important benefits:

--) Each monster would remain a relevant challenge for longer.
--) High-level PCs would not have to routinely face immersion-breakingly fantastical tasks in order for skill tests to be meaningful.

I honestly can't think of any countervailing benefits of the +1/level rate. Defenders of that system, please, enlighten me.

(Though the overall issue may already have been discussed to death, I think it might be helpful to have a thread focused specifically on the question in the subject line.)


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I agree that +.5 per level would be greatly preferable. It would keep monsters usable for longer, lower the bloated high-level modifiers, prevent level from being such a huge factor compared to other things (such as armor), and mitigate the current problem of everyone becoming a master of every skill so quickly. +1 per level is just too steep. Those who prefer to rapidly have their characters "become gods" and not be threatened by lower-level foes seem to prefer the steeper power curve. Seems like two very different play-style preferences and Paizo likely won't be able to please both camps. 5E went with a flatter power curve for similar reasons. One could argue that 5E clearly did something right based on its popularity or that we already have 5E and need something steeper to differentiate PF.


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I like "high level characters are not threatened by low level monsters" (and vice versa- no plausible number of commoners pose a real threat to an ancient red dragon). Aesthetically, this is the kind of fantasy game I prefer.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I like "high level characters are not threatened by low level monsters" (and vice versa- no plausible number of commoners pose a real threat to an ancient read dragon). Aesthetically, this is the kind of fantasy game I prefer.

I agree that this is the aesthetic PF2 should be aiming for. However, I haven't yet been given a reason to think the +1/level rate is necessary for that aesthetic.

Let's take the example you gave. An ancient red dragon has an AC of 42. On the alternative proposal, this would be reduced to 32. So, commoners would be no more threatening to the dragon than they are on the present system: in both cases, the commoner would hit the dragon only on a natural 20. On the other hand, a party of PCs would be able to face that dragon earlier than they could otherwise, though not without a ton of cleverness, luck, and/or expense. I think this is a big advantage.

Do you disagree? If not, do you have another example that clearly shows the importance of bigger numbers?


Ludovicus wrote:


--) Each monster would remain a relevant challenge for longer.
--) High-level PCs would not have to routinely face immersion-breakingly fantastical tasks in order for skill tests to be meaningful.

--)So low level monsters become as irrelevant as they should be.

--)So I can accomplish fantastic tasks.

There is a well loved and popular RPG which gives players monsters that stay relevant and tightly bound skills, I'd like PF to be different. I want heroic fantasy.


Well, my main reason for liking the steep advancement is your main reason for liking a slower advantage. A matter of taste. I like the idea that a young Dragon will almost kill a party, but after enoufgh experience with the mobile sorcerers in the older dragon's mountain they can handle a flight of young dragons, maybe even manage one adult dragon. I like the idea that challenges that were the forefront of an encounter, scaling the tallest cliff in the fiefdom or busting into a minor noble house, become a backdrop when the PCs get more experience and can maybe handle a theft against an emperor. +1/2 level just means it takes twice as long to feel this progression. Workable, but I'd be awful tempted to go in and boost the advancement to full level as a houserule.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

1) Less rounding. I know 1/2 a trivial thing to round up or down, but the number of times you have to round anything can get annoying after a while. With 1/2 progression you now have to round your AC, your saves, your attack rolls, your skills, bleurgh. It's not hard, but it's not fun either.

2) Have you ever played a half-BAB character at levels 5 or 7 or any prime number level? You get nothing to your BAB or your saves. Sure, you're getting a new spell level (unless you were a spontaneous d6 class, in which case you could stick it), but none of your key numbers went up. It feels like a stagnant level (even though it really isn't). With 1/2 progression, you're extending that stagnation to to skills and AC and everything else, and you're increasing the frequency of that feeling to every other level and to everybody.

Humans are creatures of perception. We may know that it's not falling behind, but if it feels like we're falling behind we get very disappointed very quickly.


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I mean, one of the big problems with .5/level is that half the time when you level up you don't really get better.

Leveling up should feel appreciably awesome. So if we didn't increase to hit, AC, saves, etc. every level we'd need to hand out more stuff via class progression.


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dragonhunterq wrote:
Ludovicus wrote:


--) Each monster would remain a relevant challenge for longer.
--) High-level PCs would not have to routinely face immersion-breakingly fantastical tasks in order for skill tests to be meaningful.

--)So low level monsters become as irrelevant as they should be.

--)So I can accomplish fantastic tasks.

There is a well loved and popular RPG which gives players monsters that stay relevant and tightly bound skills, I'd like PF to be different. I want heroic fantasy.

Again. I agree.

For the reasons you gave, PF should have a much steeper rate of advancement than 5e. But it still would.

Under the current system, an optimized PF2 character's bonus increases from +6 (+4 ability modifier, +1 expert proficiency, +1 level) at 1st level, to +20 (+5 ability, +2 master proficiency, +10 level, +3 item) at 10th and +35 (+7 ability, +3 legendary proficiency, +20 level, +5 item) at 20th. At the reduced rate, the improvement would instead be to +15 at 10th level and +25 at 20th. That's still a huge difference! Basically, a 10th level character succeeds whenever their first-level counterpart would fail, and critically succeeds whenever their counterpart would succeed; a 20th-level character can always succeed at a task a 1st-level character never could have. (It's also more than twice the rate 5e, wherein a 1st-level fighter probably has a +6 attack bonus (+4 ability, +2 proficiency) that increases to +14 (+5 ability, +6 proficiency, +3 item) at 20th level.)

Or, more concretely: I think a good DC for a truly fantastic task (opening the hardest lock in the world, impressing Shelyn and her entourage with a musical performance) is 35. At +1/2 levels, that's something a 1st-level character could never dream of, a 10th-level character could do on a natural 20, and a 20th-level character could do on a 10 or better. Doesn't that seem about right to you?


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Leedwashere wrote:
1) Less rounding. I know 1/2 a trivial thing to round up or down, but the number of times you have to round anything can get annoying after a while. With 1/2 progression you now have to round your AC, your saves, your attack rolls, your skills, bleurgh. It's not hard, but it's not fun either.

I dunno about you, but I never did any rounding when I increased my BAB in a 1/2 or 3/4 class. I just increased a whole number by 1 on some levels, but not others.

Leedwashere wrote:
2) Have you ever played a half-BAB character at levels 5 or 7 or any prime number level? You get nothing to your BAB or your saves. Sure, you're getting a new spell level (unless you were a spontaneous d6 class, in which case you could stick it), but none of your key numbers went up. It feels like a stagnant level (even though it really isn't).
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, one of the big problems with .5/level is that half the time when you level up you don't really get better.

I think this is an important point! Speaking purely for myself here, it wouldn't bother me so much if my character's numbers went up every odd level, so whenever this didn't happen I got to pick a class feat. That's the kind of thing I really look forward to--I anticipate my build falling more into place--so as long as I always either got that or bigger numbers whenever I leveled, leveling would always give me that nice dopamine rush.


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Ludovicus wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
Ludovicus wrote:


--) Each monster would remain a relevant challenge for longer.
--) High-level PCs would not have to routinely face immersion-breakingly fantastical tasks in order for skill tests to be meaningful.

--)So low level monsters become as irrelevant as they should be.

--)So I can accomplish fantastic tasks.

There is a well loved and popular RPG which gives players monsters that stay relevant and tightly bound skills, I'd like PF to be different. I want heroic fantasy.

Again. I agree.

For the reasons you gave, PF should have a much steeper rate of advancement than 5e. But it still would.

Under the current system, an optimized PF2 character's bonus increases from +6 (+4 ability modifier, +1 expert proficiency, +1 level) at 1st level, to +20 (+5 ability, +2 master proficiency, +10 level, +3 item) at 10th and +35 (+7 ability, +3 legendary proficiency, +20 level, +5 item) at 20th. At the reduced rate, the improvement would instead be to +15 at 10th level and +25 at 20th. That's still a huge difference! Basically, a 10th level character succeeds whenever their first-level counterpart would fail, and critically succeeds whenever their counterpart would succeed; a 20th-level character can always succeed at a task a 1st-level character never could have. (It's also more than twice the rate 5e, wherein a 1st-level fighter probably has a +6 attack bonus (+4 ability, +2 proficiency) that increases to +14 (+5 ability, +6 proficiency, +3 item) at 20th level.

Or, more concretely: I think a good DC for a truly fantastic task (opening the hardest lock in the world, impressing Shelyn and her entourage with a musical performance) is 35. At +1/2 levels, that's something a 1st-level character could never dream of, a 10th-level character could do on a natural 20, and a 20th-level character could do on a 10 or better. Doesn't that seem about right to you?

Nope - a 20th level character with legendary training should be accomplishing those tasks relatively easily.

In my mind the 50/50 mark for a high on-level task should be aimed at being achievable by an expert level and a secondary stat with minimal equipment. If you are legendary with maxed stats and maxed equipment these tasks should be easier to achieve.

Whether that 'high level 20' task turns out to be DC35 or 45 doesn't really matter to me. I'm more interested in the sense of progression and the difference between levels.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ludovicus wrote:
Leedwashere wrote:
1) Less rounding. I know 1/2 a trivial thing to round up or down, but the number of times you have to round anything can get annoying after a while. With 1/2 progression you now have to round your AC, your saves, your attack rolls, your skills, bleurgh. It's not hard, but it's not fun either.
I dunno about you, but I never did any rounding when I increased my BAB in a 1/2 or 3/4 class. I just increased a whole number by 1 on some levels, but not others.

You're either rounding or you're adding another item to a table somewhere that someone has to look up. There's no getting around that. Either way it's slightly less easy than just always adding your whole level.

Whether that's enough to make a difference? Your mileage may vary. But it is a thing you weren't doing or thinking about before that you have to be now.

For what it's worth, I don't think that point is a strong argument, just an argument that exists to add to one side of a scale with other, weightier considerations.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I like "high level characters are not threatened by low level monsters" (and vice versa- no plausible number of commoners pose a real threat to an ancient red dragon). Aesthetically, this is the kind of fantasy game I prefer.

How many commoners pose a real threat to an ancient red dragon in +0/level PF1?


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BryonD wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I like "high level characters are not threatened by low level monsters" (and vice versa- no plausible number of commoners pose a real threat to an ancient red dragon). Aesthetically, this is the kind of fantasy game I prefer.
How many commoners pose a real threat to an ancient red dragon in +0/level PF1?

You're looking at a seething horde larger than than what Saruman sent at Helm's Deep in terms of the longbow armed rabble getting double 20s to crit the dragon (400 commoners per crit going off averages), multiply that by 20 (so blocks of 8000) if we want 400 remnants after the dragon frightful presences most of them away. You're probably looking at several hundred thousand longbow commoners if you want to brute force down the dragon especially since even on crits you need fairly good rolls to get past DR 15/Magic.

Dark Archive

Why should PCs get +anything to everything for "free" when levelling up?

This is the question that needs to be satisfactorily answered rather than debating what the actual value of the increment is.

The issue with the "dead level" argument is that because the DCs are increasing at the same rate, any concrete improvement that your character receives is based on options they select. And given that - at least compared with Pathfinder - the options are pretty lacklustre, every level feels "dead".


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, one of the big problems with .5/level is that half the time when you level up you don't really get better.

Leveling up should feel appreciably awesome. So if we didn't increase to hit, AC, saves, etc. every level we'd need to hand out more stuff via class progression.

Yes, +0 to everything at all odd levels and +1 to everything at all even levels is too irregular. I thought of that problem and I have been experimenting with a solution.

Leedwashere wrote:
You're either rounding or you're adding another item to a table somewhere that someone has to look up. There's no getting around that. Either way it's slightly less easy than just always adding your whole level.

Hence, I made a table. The rate of increase depends on proficiency rank: U for untrained, T for trained, E for expert, M for master, and L for legendary.

1st level U -2, T +0, E +1, M +2, L +3
2nd level U -2, T +1, E +1, M +2, L +3
3rd level U -1, T +1, E +2, M +3, L +4
4th level U -1, T +1, E +3, M +3, L +4
5th level U -1, T +2, E +3, M +4, L +5
6th level U +0, T +2, E +4, M +5, L +6
7th level U +0, T +3, E +4, M +6, L +7
8th level U +0, T +3, E +5, M +7, L +8
9th level U +1, T +3, E +6, M +7, L +9
10th level U +1, T +4, E +6, M +8, L +10
11th level U +1, T +4, E +7, M +9, L +11
12th level U +2, T +5, E +7, M +10, L +12
13th level U +2, T +5, E +8, M +11, L +13
14th level U +2, T +5, E +9, M +11, L +14
15th level U +3, T +6, E +9, M +12, L +15
16th level U +3, T +6, E +10, M +13, L +16
17th level U +3, T +7, E +10, M +14, L +17
18th level U +4, T +7, E +11, M +15, L +18
19th level U +4, T +7, E +12, M +15, L +19
20th level U +4, T +8, E +12, M +16, L +20

For those who prefer rounding:
Untrained follows the formula (1/3)n - 2, rounded down.
Trained follows the formula (2/5)n + 1/5, rounded down.
Expert follows the formula (3/5)n + 3/5, rounded down.
Master follows the formula (4/5)n, rounded down.
Legendary equals level.
And I fudged some of the numbers at low levels to get Untrained -2, Trained +0, Expert +1, Master +2, and Legendary +3 at 1st level.


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Ecidon wrote:

Why should PCs get +anything to everything for "free" when levelling up?

This is the question that needs to be satisfactorily answered rather than debating what the actual value of the increment is.

The issue with the "dead level" argument is that because the DCs are increasing at the same rate, any concrete improvement that your character receives is based on options they select. And given that - at least compared with Pathfinder - the options are pretty lacklustre, every level feels "dead".

Now this is easy, not that I agree with the reasoning. It's so that high level PCs are significantly and automatically better than lower level ones. I can even understand why it's as high as it is - they don't want the very flat competency curve their main competitor has.

Honestly though, the homogeneity (you get +x better at eeeeeverything, with maybe a small bump from a proficiency increase) and the closeness of everyone's modifiers when they have the same ability scores turns me way off still.


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While the above table would certainly work, you have to admit that "Add your level to stuff" is at the very least easy to remember and do in your head. I don't really want to have to look at the "how much to increase stuff" every time I level.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
While the above table would certainly work, you have to admit that "Add your level to stuff" is at the very least easy to remember and do in your head. I don't really want to have to look at the "how much to increase stuff" every time I level.

You don't look up how much to increase. Instead, you look at the character sheet whereever it is labeled TEML and you copy the new level-based number into the box to its right labeled PROF. Half the time, that number won't change, so you don't change the bonus. The other half of the time, the number increases by 1, so you increase the bonus by 1.

It is like no-change at odd levels and +1 at even levels, but sorted by UTEML instead.

Yes, it is complicated. I just invented it this weekend and have not had time to test it or simplify it.


What implications on monster/challenge scaling would your proposal have, Mathmuse? I suppose an edited table 8-2 would help sum up the differences. Overall it seems your system will result in lower bonuses for the PCs at any given level, but I'm positive you wouldn't post that without also knowing how this will affect the rest of the gem.


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My problem with the Red Dragon example is that a Red Dragon beats commoners because it's a colossal flying lizard that breathes fire and casts spells, not because it is a higher level. High level heroes stand a chance against dragons because they have supernatural abilities and resilience that makes up for the dragon's physical and magical properties.

Level should play a role in how effective you are, but not more than the abilities/training/attributes you have combined.

I like the idea of a system where experience, training, talent, and equipment all have about the same weight for how effective you are.

Instead we have a system where:

experience varies from 1 to 20
training varies from -2 to +3
talent varies from -1 to +7 (with magic)
(I haven't looked at tools yet)


Reasons for +1/lvl as opposed to +0.5/lvl seem to primarily be...

1: Comparable scaling to DnD 3.0/DnD 3.5/and PF1 for attack bonus and skills. So in terms of how much more powerful a lvl 20 character is relative to a lvl 1 character they can keep most of the story structure the same. The real difference is that the floor was raised up significantly.

2: Scaling bonus eventually becomes larger than the d20 which represents, at least for low level tasks, your character becoming so good that they virtually have no chance of failure.

3: Ease of use. Add your level is slightly easier than add half your level.


I mean, yeah "Attack bonus" always added +Level (for some people) and skills did too when you put max ranks in them. People set armor class benchmarks as "your level + something is what you want to hit". Sure, you had to jump through hoops to hit this but you still wanted to increase your AC by at least 1 every level.

So the only things in Pathfinder 1st edition that didn't scale to level but does now are "saving throws" and "skills you haven't invested in."

So you could make untrained skills scale slower (or not at all) but I think you'd need to balance that out by handing out a lot more skill ranks. I think making attack bonuses, and "skills you care about" scale slower than in PF1 would be weirdly incongruous, and there's benefit to making the proficiency system work the same for everything.


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If you're going to have an automatic scaling by level, 20 is the default. It's a d20 system, the level cap is 20. Scaling to 20 is the expected progression. Using 1/2 level scaling means every other level you aren't improving by a measurable amount.

A better question would be, why use 1/2 level scaling?


+1/2 per level to everything was already tried, in 4th edition


ChibiNyan wrote:
What implications on monster/challenge scaling would your proposal have, Mathmuse? I suppose an edited table 8-2 would help sum up the differences. Overall it seems your system will result in lower bonuses for the PCs at any given level, but I'm positive you wouldn't post that without also knowing how this will affect the rest of the gem.

If I could find table 8-2 I would have a better answer. But I don't see any table in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook between Table 6–19: Item Quality and Table 9–1: Sizes.

Do you mean the Leveling Up list on page 278, the first page of Chapter 8, Advancement and Options?

  • • Increase Hit Points as detailed in your class description.
  • • Add Class Features from your class advancement table, including ability boosts and skill increases.
  • • Select Feats from the appropriate list, as indicated on your class advancement table. For ancestry feats, see Chapter 2. For general and skill feats, see Chapter 5.
  • • Learn Spells if your class grants any additional spells.
  • • Adjust Proficiency as shown on your class advancement table, making sure to account for any skill increases. Adjust all of your proficiency values due to your new level (usually just increasing each by 1, unless the proficiency changed).

That is unchanged, except that adjusting proficiency values is more complicated and requires consulting a table based on UTEML.

I have based my notions on Table 3: Hazard Experience in the Bestiary. According to it, two boggard scouts (creature 1) are enough of a challenge to earn 80 xp for a 1st-level party. Three boggard scouts earn 90 xp for a 2nd-level party. Four boggard scouts earn 80 xp for a 3rd-level party. Six boggard scouts earn 90 xp for a 4th-level party. Eight boggard scouts earn 80 xp for a 5th-level party. Remember this is the PF2 xp system where 1000 xp earns a character a new level no matter how many levels the character has.

In practice, a 5th-level party would have +4 to AC and +4 to hit and two more spell levels and at least double hit points from 4 extra levels alone and would make mincemeat of an eight-member boggard patrol even without accounting for the party's better gear and new feats. The Bestiary is optimistic in declaring that a party-level - 4 challenge can be multiplied by 8 to become a party-level + 2 challenge.

Thus, the party would say, "On our way to the dungeon, when we went through this swamp, there were boggard villages everywhere and we had to hide from their patrols. Now on our return, boggards seem to have gone extinct." As Ludovicus said, each monster would remain a relevant challenge for longer.

Under my slowdown, the 5th-level party would have only a +2 to AC and +2 to hit from their levels. But a +2 to hit is 18% more hits and 200% more crits (assuming 55% chance of hitting at 1st level) for 36% more damage. The +2 to AC would perhaps be 18% less damage taken. That is still plenty of improvement in combat, but not enough to defeat 8 boggard scouts. Instead, I would want better feats, feats with powerful tactics.

I would rather have effective feats rather than large numerical bonuses as the primary improvement in combat. The current feats in the Pathfinder playtest feel lackluster.


I think 1 per is simpler that's my number one reason. saying ok you gain +1/2 to hit which is meaningless when adding up bonuses.


Mathmuse wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
What implications on monster/challenge scaling would your proposal have, Mathmuse? I suppose an edited table 8-2 would help sum up the differences. Overall it seems your system will result in lower bonuses for the PCs at any given level, but I'm positive you wouldn't post that without also knowing how this will affect the rest of the gem.

If I could find table 8-2 I would have a better answer. But I don't see any table in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook between Table 6–19: Item Quality and Table 9–1: Sizes.

Do you mean the Leveling Up list on page 278, the first page of Chapter 8, Advancement and Options?

  • • Increase Hit Points as detailed in your class description.
  • • Add Class Features from your class advancement table, including ability boosts and skill increases.
  • • Select Feats from the appropriate list, as indicated on your class advancement table. For ancestry feats, see Chapter 2. For general and skill feats, see Chapter 5.
  • • Learn Spells if your class grants any additional spells.
  • • Adjust Proficiency as shown on your class advancement table, making sure to account for any skill increases. Adjust all of your proficiency values due to your new level (usually just increasing each by 1, unless the proficiency changed).

That is unchanged, except that adjusting proficiency values is more complicated and requires consulting a table based on UTEML.

I have based my notions on Table 3: Hazard Experience in the Bestiary. According to it, two boggard scouts (creature 1) are enough of a challenge to earn 80 xp for a 1st-level party. Three boggard scouts earn 90 xp for a 2nd-level party. Four boggard scouts earn 80 xp for a 3rd-level party. Six boggard scouts earn 90 xp for a 4th-level party. Eight boggard scouts earn 80 xp for a 5th-level party. Remember this is the PF2 xp system where 1000 xp earns a character a new level no matter how many levels the character has.

In practice, a 5th-level party would have +4 to AC and +4 to hit and...

My bad, I meant the fabled "Difficulty Class by level" (10-2 not 8-2, I was going from memory) table that has the trivial/easy/hard/severe/extreme tracks for levels 1-20. Most of the bestiary and adventure design rotates around that 1 holy table.

But also, doesn't your proposal make the Fighter scale out of control compared to the other classes after a while?


Ronnam wrote:
+1/2 per level to everything was already tried, in 4th edition

And 90% of people that played it confirmed that +0 per level in 4E instead of +1/2 per level is superior.

More training categories and +0 per level could be better solution.

I.E. +0,+2,+4,+6,+7,+8


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I do believe that 1/lvl is an easier number to remember but my issue with 1/lvl isn't how it works but how it feels. As ludovicus mentioned earlier a lvl 10 character will have a +20 in his/her chosen field (10lvl, 5stat, 2 training, 3 item). As a character I feel pathetic that the effort I put into training and honing my skill makes up 1/10th of my proficiency (the smallest number added). You are great at picking locks not because of the years you spent in the thieves guild training but because A) you punched a couple dragons in the face, B) because you were always very dexterous, and C) because you found these cool gloves in a box somewhere.

With the +.5/lvl system suddenly these numbers are more rounded. +5/lvl, +5/stats, +3/items, +2/training. Every bonus has always been relevant but suddenly IT FEELS like the training plays a bigger part. General experience=natural proclivity>tools [roughly]=training. Personally I would like to see training give larger bonuses and be more available (as well as small alternative bonus to balance class features). For instance if training was +2/tier suddenly training would be about on par with level. From a narrative perception geniuses (people with high natural stats) would pull away from the crowd but with heroic hard work and training characters could catch up. I realize that boosting training means you have to balance other class features and there are a myriad of other potential issues that crop up, but these numbers can be adjusted. For instance the fighter has superior training and thus will have the highest attack bonus, but perhaps the barbarian rage gives a small bonus to hit at higher levels so that they are only a little behind and the other classes can achieve at least expert level with some weapons. You still get the high numbers=high fantasy feel, but where those numbers come from is different. I can cut that dragon in half not because I grinded killing a bunch of small mooks but because I am a high level barbarian and am ANGRY! My spells can turn the tide of battle not because I practiced wacking people with my stave but because I am a high level wizard and I AM POWER! It feels so much more statisfying to say "I AM A HIGH LEVEL ____" rather than "I AM A HIGH LEVEL"


Use Headbutt!! wrote:

I do believe that 1/lvl is an easier number to remember but my issue with 1/lvl isn't how it works but how it feels. As ludovicus mentioned earlier a lvl 10 character will have a +20 in his/her chosen field (10lvl, 5stat, 2 training, 3 item). As a character I feel pathetic that the effort I put into training and honing my skill makes up 1/10th of my proficiency (the smallest number added). You are great at picking locks not because of the years you spent in the thieves guild training but because A) you punched a couple dragons in the face, B) because you were always very dexterous, and C) because you found these cool gloves in a box somewhere.

With the +.5/lvl system suddenly these numbers are more rounded. +5/lvl, +5/stats, +3/items, +2/training. Every bonus has always been relevant but suddenly IT FEELS like the training plays a bigger part. General experience=natural proclivity>tools [roughly]=training. Personally I would like to see training give larger bonuses and be more available (as well as small alternative bonus to balance class features). For instance if training was +2/tier suddenly training would be about on par with level. From a narrative perception geniuses (people with high natural stats) would pull away from the crowd but with heroic hard work and training characters could catch up. I realize that boosting training means you have to balance other class features and there are a myriad of other potential issues that crop up, but these numbers can be adjusted. For instance the fighter has superior training and thus will have the highest attack bonus, but perhaps the barbarian rage gives a small bonus to hit at higher levels so that they are only a little behind and the other classes can achieve at least expert level with some weapons.

Leveling up is training too. some of the attribute is about training as well. you get some dex because of rogue training some dex because your background required it you gain some because you level up which leveling is a very training type process etc. everything about leveling and attributes is still related to training.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:


Leveling up is training too. some of the attribute is about training as well. you get some dex because of rogue training some dex because your background required it you gain some because you level up which...

I feel like I have poorly defined some terms so things like training can be taken multiple ways. Personally I define "working at a particular task" to be training while "learning to think on your feet by completing challenges" to be experience. Let's look at a quick example ok?

A ranger has lived his entire life in the forest hunting deer with a bow and skinning and selling their pelts. He has high dex and experience using said dex both to hunt and with skills (skinning pelts is a high finesse task). So the high level ranger who has never seen a lock in his life suddenly find's his animal companion's foot trapped in a bear trap from a rival hunter and needs to pick the lock to free his companion. Well, he has a high dex which makes it a lot easier to feel when the lock's pins go into place. That should play a huge part and it does. Not only is he naturally gifted with high dex but he has practiced using his hands both for tasks and combat (high level). Once again that should make the task easier but with the current system it maks it A LOT easier (+10). Unfortunatly he has no ideas how locks work so that is a -2. Ok now compare that to a rogue with the same level. The rogue has been practicing picking locks all his life because his livelihood depends on it (master). Compared to a similairly stated ranger he has a +2 due to training which makes his bonus +4 relative.

That +4 seems like a lot but it represents that the difference between having no idea how something works and a task you practice everyday is only 40% of the benefit you get for shooting a bow (and the ability to think on your feet from fighting in combat). Additionally half of that difference isn't from a bonus but rather from not having a penalty. So having a ton of training is really only 1/5th the worth of general experience at mid level (worse at high levels). The difference between 2 identical rogues but one picks a lock every day while one picks a lock every year is a mere +2 out of a total bonus of +17 (assuming neither has a bonus item). If level was +1/2 then focused training would be 2/12 while general learning and problem solving would be 5/12 and superhuman dex would be the last 5/12. The previous ranger would be attempting it at a +8, the general use rogue would be at a +10 and the life long lock picker would be at a +12. Despite being equal differences, it feels like a much stronger effect than the 13/15/17 in the current system. To me, 8/10/14 (with training being +2/tier) seems more representative of the situation but I do understand why people want a more bounded range.


Igor Horvat wrote:
Ronnam wrote:
+1/2 per level to everything was already tried, in 4th edition
And 90% of people that played it confirmed that +0 per level in 4E instead of +1/2 per level is superior.

Yeah, I omit +1/2 level, and use the Inherent Bonus rule from the DMG 2 for 4th Ed, much better experience.

13th Age does +Level, and Star Wars Saga Edition, before it, does +Heroic level to all Defences (game completely breaks down at higher levels; I also omit +Heroic level from SWSE, again, for a vastly superior experience).

I am currently playing PF2 with, and without the treadmill, testing out scenarios/encounters, I much prefer without.


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The problem I think is if the rogue has 10 more then the ranger to do a task when you set the DC you make it igther impossible for the ranger or embarrassingly easy for the rogue. If the trap were meant to be a real challenge I mean and not just an inconvenience. If the trap were meant to be simple then I have no objection for igther of them having an easy time with it.

(also off topic a bit but I didn't know bear traps have locks on them is that a thing?)


Vidmaster7 wrote:

The problem I think is if the rogue has 10 more then the ranger to do a task when you set the DC you make it igther impossible for the ranger or embarrassingly easy for the rogue. If the trap were meant to be a real challenge I mean and not just an inconvenience. If the trap were meant to be simple then I have no objection for igther of them having an easy time with it.

(also off topic a bit but I didn't know bear traps have locks on them is that a thing?)

Is there a problem with embarrassingly easy for the rogue? He is an expert or even a master at Thievery. Sometimes the purpose of the obstacle is not to slow down the party, but to let the expert show off.

And sometimes the obstacle is for versimitude. In my Iron Gods campaign, the party explored the remains of several crashed spaceships. In a few cases, the module forgot to give the DC for unlocking the doors or even whether some doors were locked or not. Locked doors openable only with an electronic lockpick made sense, for it explained why previous wanderers had not looted the spaceship centuries ago. On the other hand, a DC that both party members with e-picks would fail 25% of the time would slow down the party when they faced lots of rooms to explore. Thus, I copied the DC from the previous module, which was low compared to the skills of the current party.

As for the locked bear trap, if Use Headbutt!! retells his story, change it from an actual lock to a complicated latch that a trapped animal could not release no matter how it struggled.

Dark Archive

Technotrooper wrote:
Those who prefer to rapidly have their characters "become gods" and not be threatened by lower-level foes seem to prefer the steeper power curve.

Having a high number does not make you a god. Given the lack of listed DCs, it's hard to tell exactly what a high number gets you, but one data point is that a DC30 acrobatics check will give you the "godlike" ability to...

Jump vertically 8'. With a run up.


Mathmuse wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

The problem I think is if the rogue has 10 more then the ranger to do a task when you set the DC you make it igther impossible for the ranger or embarrassingly easy for the rogue. If the trap were meant to be a real challenge I mean and not just an inconvenience. If the trap were meant to be simple then I have no objection for igther of them having an easy time with it.

(also off topic a bit but I didn't know bear traps have locks on them is that a thing?)

Is there a problem with embarrassingly easy for the rogue? He is an expert or even a master at Thievery. Sometimes the purpose of the obstacle is not to slow down the party, but to let the expert show off.

And sometimes the obstacle is for versimitude. In my Iron Gods campaign, the party explored the remains of several crashed spaceships. In a few cases, the module forgot to give the DC for unlocking the doors or even whether some doors were locked or not. Locked doors openable only with an electronic lockpick made sense, for it explained why previous wanderers had not looted the spaceship centuries ago. On the other hand, a DC that both party members with e-picks would fail 25% of the time would slow down the party when they faced lots of rooms to explore. Thus, I copied the DC from the previous module, which was low compared to the skills of the current party.

As for the locked bear trap, if Use Headbutt!! retells his story, change it from an actual lock to a complicated latch that a trapped animal could not release no matter how it struggled.

Read the whole thing please I said if it is suppose to be challenging for the rogue. challenging doesn't mean auto success I really feel I emphasized that quite a bit like seriously.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Read the whole thing please I said if it is suppose to be challenging for the rogue. challenging doesn't mean auto success I really feel I emphasized that quite a bit like seriously.

Under what circumstances is the trap meant to be challenging to a highly-skilled rogue?

Are you challenging the rogue because it makes sense for the setting? The door to the treasure vault should not be easy to open. In that case, the ranger having no chance also makes sense.

Are you challenging the rogue just to give him a chance to fail and remind him that his skills need to be better? I do that sometimes, when I know that the skill will be vital in the next adventure. The rogue failing ought to inspire the ranger to study harder, too.

Are you challenging the rogue because you feel the rogue needs a chance of failure in order to earn the XP? I would argue that the rogue earned the XP by investing skill improvements and skill feats in a relevant skill. The ranger can earn his XP in other ways.

Are you challenging the rogue because a difficult challenge sets an entertaining pace for the adventure? Then the ranger having no change is part of that pacing.

The flat math of the Pathfinder playtest undermines several of these reasons. If the vault door is tough to open yet any high-Dex ranger of the party's level has a chance, the door does not seem so tough anymore.


Conceptually, I like the idea of .5/level as well. If this were done, I would get rid of the penalty for multiclass casters, though.

It seems that it may help out low and mid level sandbox play since it may give you more leeway in what you can throw at a party and it may be easier to set DCs. It might also stop magic users from grousing so much since it will up the value of all the bonuses and penalties that their spells can confer. Finally, it may make TEML numerical bonuses feel a bit more impactful.

Generally, it SOUNDS good to me. However, thats how is sounds. In reality, it will probably foul up all the math and screw the game up.


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Data Lore wrote:

Conceptually, I like the idea of .5/level as well. If this were done, I would get rid of the penalty for multiclass casters, though.

It seems that it may help out low and mid level sandbox play since it may give you more leeway in what you can throw at a party and it may be easier to set DCs. It might also stop magic users from grousing so much since it will up the value of all the bonuses and penalties that their spells can confer. Finally, it may make TEML numerical bonuses feel a bit more impactful.

Generally, it SOUNDS good to me. However, thats how is sounds. In reality, it will probably foul up all the math and screw the game up.

Not at all, changes monster threat ranges, feel; I am playing with and without +Level, currently, also starting to try +1/4 and +1/2 (for encounters, scenarios). Next, +2 per level, your 20th-level PC has an AC of 50, naked.


Vidmaster7 wrote:

The problem I think is if the rogue has 10 more then the ranger to do a task when you set the DC you make it igther impossible for the ranger or embarrassingly easy for the rogue. If the trap were meant to be a real challenge I mean and not just an inconvenience. If the trap were meant to be simple then I have no objection for igther of them having an easy time with it.

(also off topic a bit but I didn't know bear traps have locks on them is that a thing?)

Ok, but the difference in modifiers between scenario A where the ranger and rogue get +1/lvl and scenario B where the ranger and the rogue get +1/2 per level is 0. I mean 13/15/17 has the same differences as the 8/10/12 mentioned. It is still a bounded system with no difference in odds for success (assuming DCs are balanced around the same 1/2 rate), the only mechanical changes are how fast the bonus ramps up. I support it because I feel the proportion of bonuses fits the real world better and thus helps justifies the character skills narratively.

Admittedly my last sentence did mention my preference for +2/tier instead of +1, which I should have left off or turned into a separate point. Despite that, with double bonus from training at extreme levels the difference between untrained and legendary is only +8 instead of the current +5. If +3 is such a huge deal perhaps magic item bonuses to skills should be nerfed instead?

Lastly, yes bear traps do not have locks. A better example would have been the animal companion getting captured and being locked in a cage and then the ranger finding him later. However I feel most characters keep their animal companions with them almost all the time so I wanted an example that could quickly happen (plus it was early morning and I had not slept so I didn't think about it).


Use Headbutt!! wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

The problem I think is if the rogue has 10 more then the ranger to do a task when you set the DC you make it igther impossible for the ranger or embarrassingly easy for the rogue. If the trap were meant to be a real challenge I mean and not just an inconvenience. If the trap were meant to be simple then I have no objection for igther of them having an easy time with it.

(also off topic a bit but I didn't know bear traps have locks on them is that a thing?)

Ok, but the difference in modifiers between scenario A where the ranger and rogue get +1/lvl and scenario B where the ranger and the rogue get +1/2 per level is 0. I mean 13/15/17 has the same differences as the 8/10/12 mentioned. It is still a bounded system with no difference in odds for success (assuming DCs are balanced around the same 1/2 rate), the only mechanical changes are how fast the bonus ramps up. I support it because I feel the proportion of bonuses fits the real world better and thus helps justifies the character skills narratively.

Admittedly my last sentence did mention my preference for +2/tier instead of +1, which I should have left off or turned into a separate point. Despite that, with double bonus from training at extreme levels the difference between untrained and legendary is only +8 instead of the current +5. If +3 is such a huge deal perhaps magic item bonuses to skills should be nerfed instead?

Lastly, yes bear traps do not have locks. A better example would have been the animal companion getting captured and being locked in a cage and then the ranger finding him later. However I feel most characters keep their animal companions with them almost all the time so I wanted an example that could quickly happen (plus it was early morning and I had not slept so I didn't think about it).

Granted and that's fair that you prefer a 1/2 I think the main downside is as slight as the difference it between the two. Its slight both ways. I think 1/per is just easier not significantly true but still is a bit easier plus it will be the same every level. I think its just simplier to do it and the advantage of stretching out the bonuses byt a slight amount does not out weigh the simplicity of 1/per level.


Mathmuse wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Read the whole thing please I said if it is suppose to be challenging for the rogue. challenging doesn't mean auto success I really feel I emphasized that quite a bit like seriously.

Under what circumstances is the trap meant to be challenging to a highly-skilled rogue?

Are you challenging the rogue because it makes sense for the setting? The door to the treasure vault should not be easy to open. In that case, the ranger having no chance also makes sense.

Are you challenging the rogue just to give him a chance to fail and remind him that his skills need to be better? I do that sometimes, when I know that the skill will be vital in the next adventure. The rogue failing ought to inspire the ranger to study harder, too.

Are you challenging the rogue because you feel the rogue needs a chance of failure in order to earn the XP? I would argue that the rogue earned the XP by investing skill improvements and skill feats in a relevant skill. The ranger can earn his XP in other ways.

Are you challenging the rogue because a difficult challenge sets an entertaining pace for the adventure? Then the ranger having no change is part of that pacing.

The flat math of the Pathfinder playtest undermines several of these reasons. If the vault door is tough to open yet any high-Dex ranger of the party's level has a chance, the door does not seem so tough anymore.

Man I'm just going to have to stop talking to you about this. Your missing the point of what I'm saying and going on some tangent. I don't care about the specific bear trap analogy. It was just an example. In fact it wasn't even my example I was just trying to use it as an example to explain what I was talking about since it was already established. I don't know where your trying to go but I have no interest in going their with you. Have a nice trip!


The idea seems to be to keep the monster CRs tighter so you don't need to look too far afield to find relevant threats. If the increment is too small, then the CR range a designer needs to look at becomes much larger as well. That per level increment is tied to proficiencies in order to give proficient characters a longer highlight in ability. If you shift the increment per level, then you also need to shift the increment for proficiency. While +1/2 per level is easy enough, +1/2 proficiency is pretty tedious. You could decrease the frequency of training bumps, but then the player is getting less fun things overall.

If you dorked around with it at all, I'd mess with the bonus from proficiency not level. Decreasing the level increment introduces unnecessary math instead of the simpler proficiency increase which has an identical impact on the game's balance. You could also remove the increased cost to improve stats about 18 which would give characters a different advancement niche.

Thinking about it, it may be best to have a mix of classes, some that can raise their stats cheaply and some with a better proficiency increment. Right now they just manually adjust proficiency on certain things and it comes out feeling arbitrary.


Mathmuse wrote:
I thought of that problem and I have been experimenting with a solution.

You recognize, right, that this proposal would require rebalancing every class in the game? That you're describing a system in which fighters have a +3 bonus to attack rolls over barbarians at 6th level, increasing to +8 by 20th?


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My biggest concern with a half level bonus is that it creates more dead levels in game play and a less consistent balance of power. The difference between 2nd and 3rd level should not be radically different between level 3 and level 4. Especially because it would get wacky with CR if character level +/-1 was not very consistent in power. What about just having 10 levels and having spell levels advance with character level? Martial character can maybe get class feats every level to balance things out?


Ludovicus wrote:


I honestly can't think of any countervailing benefits of the +1/level rate. Defenders of that system, please, enlighten me.

(Though the overall issue may already have been discussed to death, I think it might be helpful to have a thread focused specifically on the question in the subject line.)

To answer the question in the subject line: Because we are still kicking ourselves over the fact that we came up with a brilliant and elegant way to do ability modifiers in Third Edition D&D, and yet there is still a questionable difference several editions later between a 14 and a 15 in an ability score. Modifiers are better. Ability scores in a range of 3-18 are now a relic of pure nostalgia.

(Note: I like this nostalgia, so I'm ok with it, but it's still pretty dumb.)

tl;dr +1/level is more elegant and will have less buyer's remorse.


+1 vs +0.5: 4e does +0.5 per level, can't copy 4e!

+0.5 vs +1: 4e math comes out to +1 per level, can't copy 4e!

Vic Ferrari wrote:
Igor Horvat wrote:
Ronnam wrote:
+1/2 per level to everything was already tried, in 4th edition
And 90% of people that played it confirmed that +0 per level in 4E instead of +1/2 per level is superior.
Yeah, I omit +1/2 level, and use the Inherent Bonus rule from the DMG 2 for 4th Ed, much better experience.

How do you adjust monsters?


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Hello Tequila, love your avatar. I tried to edit your post for a moment.

That said, I used to advocate +0.5 per level myself a while ago. It sounded smoother and easier and made 10.2 a lot simpler... Then I ran higher-level games and placed monsters in front of characters.

Boy the +1 per level changes things.

A 4-level difference feels big, but not so big that it's a walk in the national gardens - at most it's a walk in a crappy old disused park where you might need to watch for needles. Monsters still hit you, they just almost never crit, and you feel strong and resilient, and you crit often, and when you crit it's still not enough to one-shot them so it's ok.

But here's the kicker.

Remember all those little annoying things that seem to do very little unless you crit succeed? Like Disarm? Or those that feel so much better when you crit, like the weapon enchantment properties or Demoralise?
+1/lv makes that work.

The 4-degree system relies on the idea that you are going to fight things that are lower level than you.
Just like in P1.

Party level 6? Let's have them face a group of 4 Ghasts in the swamp as a warmup, and then advance to something bigger - a big decaying Troll assisted by a couple wraith spawns.
I just described a level 6 simple encounter (using CR2 creatures) and a level 7.5 fight (CR4 and CR5 creatures). Expect PF2 to be the same. With a +0.5/lv system, you will not crit and those actions will not work.

Also no, I do not know why that Troll lives with so many undeads, stop judging me for my examples


Ediwir wrote:

Hello Tequila, love your avatar. I tried to edit your post for a moment.

That said, I used to advocate +0.5 per level myself a while ago. It sounded smoother and easier and made 10.2 a lot simpler... Then I ran higher-level games and placed monsters in front of characters.

Boy the +1 per level changes things.

A 4-level difference feels big, but not so big that it's a walk in the national gardens - at most it's a walk in a crappy old disused park where you might need to watch for needles. Monsters still hit you, they just almost never crit, and you feel strong and resilient, and you crit often, and when you crit it's still not enough to one-shot them so it's ok.

But here's the kicker.

Remember all those little annoying things that seem to do very little unless you crit succeed? Like Disarm? Or those that feel so much better when you crit, like the weapon enchantment properties or Demoralise?
+1/lv makes that work.

The 4-degree system relies on the idea that you are going to fight things that are lower level than you.
Just like in P1.

Party level 6? Let's have them face a group of 4 Ghasts in the swamp as a warmup, and then advance to something bigger - a big decaying Troll assisted by a couple wraith spawns.
I just described a level 6 simple encounter (using CR2 creatures) and a level 7.5 fight (CR4 and CR5 creatures). Expect PF2 to be the same. With a +0.5/lv system, you will not crit and those actions will not work.

Also no, I do not know why that Troll lives with so many undeads, stop judging me for my examples

Dunno but Modern PF1 nowadays assumes the weakest enemy you'll fight is CR = APL for the trivial encounters. Parties don't start sweating til like APL+3. Yeah, it's power creeped, but that's how it plays nowadays, and why 2E feels so jarring in this respect.

Fighting an enemy of CR lower than your level in PF1 is a total waste of time and likely no PC will take even 1 damage.

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