Late Level Scaling


Running the Game


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Starfinder still has this problem. The DCs of things just escalate massively resulting in at high levels only the most specialized can succeed at a task. In PF2, scaling is done through the +level to everything. The end result is table 10-2, and monsters that in play pretty much consistently crit PCs once to twice a session (or more if you're fighting above your CR).

Why? There are plenty of other ways to scale challenge and enemies into the late. More hp and damage, more unique abilities, higher frequency on certain conditions, etc. The focus in PF2 seems to be combat, for now (it is still a playtest) anyway. You've made a system where PCs will do more damage as they level and get better equipment, so you're scaling hp and damage already.

Starfinder as said, still has the problem, but its groundwork is PF1. It still works off a skill point system. It does though increase damage both through higher level equipment, and through adding level to damage on weapon attacks after level 3. It feels like, if the DC problem required specialization to beat, the solution should have been to lower the gap. Which they seemed to be doing with reducing proficiency to a +3 at max... But then they also solved the problem by pushing everyone's baseline up. They've double-solved the problem, or attempted to solve the problem but also wanted to let everyone keep their high numbers for fear of "bounded Pathfinder".

Basically, TLDR; If monsters are going to be made without using player constraints (which I like), and the core of the system has a heavy push for combat, why not just make everything work within those small constraints and make the difference what a CR1 and CR5 creature can do and how tough they are, not their +5 attack and AC difference?


Why are you fighting above your CR?

I mean, unless it's a bossfight.
And you've seen how many TPKs Drakus caused just by being a couple levels ahead.

Fights are usually groups of creatures a couple levels below, if not more.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ediwir wrote:

Why are you fighting above your CR?

I mean, unless it's a bossfight.
And you've seen how many TPKs Drakus caused just by being a couple levels ahead.

Fights are usually groups of creatures a couple levels below, if not more.

Well yes, a bossfight. But something as simple as adjusting for a party of 6 has generally meant either adding more enemies, or using higher CR creatures to make up the effective APL difference.

With tiers of success (which I also like), that difference in ability isn't just enemies doing more though, it's now equivalent to shifting all rolls in favor of the enemy 5% per CR. 5% more likely to crit, 5% more likely for the players to miss, 5% more likely to negate a save ability and so one. You're adding difficulty in not just the form of maling combat harder, but needing the PCs to be luckier or die outright.

15% crit chance, which was the crit rate of the first monster in Doomsday Dawn versus a +3 dex unarmored character, is a very high crit rate. And at that kind of level it's pretty much an OHKO. Player HP doesn't rise horribly quickly either for that kind of crit rate.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ediwir wrote:
Fights are usually groups of creatures a couple levels below, if not more.

Such great stories are told of heroes who ever pick fights with the weak. Glory to those who decline to fight their equal, and instead punch down to those less powerful.


The problem with fighting your equal (i.e. 50% chance of winning) is it makes for a very short game (6% chance of winning 4 fights).


Scythia wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Fights are usually groups of creatures a couple levels below, if not more.
Such great stories are told of heroes who ever pick fights with the weak. Glory to those who decline to fight their equal, and instead punch down to those less powerful.

It's new PF2 Paradigm, PF1 monsters of lower CR than APL died if you looked at them ugly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Actually, it’s as old as 3.0, and even the latest Pathfinder APs still asssume most mooks will be one or two level below the party.
Over its life Pathfinder sortof bloated the challenge rating, and what started with “groups of creatures a few levels under, or one big creature of your level” eventually became “groups of creature one level under, or a single creature a couple levels above”.

That was from the days when CR used to mean ‘a single creature that is an adequate challenge for a group of 4 players of this level’.

PF2 is simply going back to that.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Playtest / Game Master Rules / Running the Game / Late Level Scaling All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.