"Correct" Math vs Fun Math


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Just finished playing one of the L5 PFS scenarios. The boss has a +14 ref save vs. our DC19s. That means there is a 30% chance of a crit success, 50% chance of success, 15% failure, and 5% crit failure. The group was 3 casters and a rogue. He crit saves vs. 2 fireballs, 2 lightning bolts, and 1 gust of wind. He also saves vs. 1 fireball, and 1 sound burst.

So across 7 spells (5 at the highest spell slot clearing out all of two caster's highest spells) he took 12 damage. This happened because monster saves are WAY too high. The math is bad because monsters are easily within a 70%+ range of making saves for most of the game. Even if you thought the math was 'good' it plays out as being a total bummer. Your spell caster plays conservatively so he can nova on a boss, who will just make save after save and just not care about your actions. As the party cleric I ended up using 3 of 6 channels just to heal myself since the boss focused on me and managed to crit me to 0hp (dropping me to dying 2). The only thing I could do and was even mildly effective was the endless swings of a spiritual weapon that I threw up. One of the other casters threw out 3 action magic missiles (because it didn't require a save). The majority of damage was from the rogue who finally got a crit off. But 3/4 of the party was largely invalidated because of the math.

The math of the DC table, of PCs likelihood to hit, of monsters making save DCs all inform us that the game isn't going to be super fun. There will be a lot of failed skill checks, a lack of crits (except for fighters), and frivolous spell slots/combat actions.


ChibiNyan wrote:

In 10-11 years, another set of game developers will claim to have figured out the "perfect RPG" and build it based on the same absolute balance of 4E and PF2e.

50% odds, unified system and equal game experience from lv1 to 20 is not the only requirement for a good game. Some of those are probably not required at all.

If what we want is a die-toss game, that already exists.

Prince Valiant Storytelling Game


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Voss wrote:

...the math is constructed in such a way if you aren't a super specialist with max attributes and the right gear and supporting magic, the best thing you can do for the party is never contribute. Just shut up and stand in the corner, or play X-box or something.

And that's terrible for a game.

This was a major failing in 4E skill challenges - besides Aid Other, only the best character should EVER roll. Please, Paizo, never try to take us back to that. People will jump ship if you do.


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Red Griffyn wrote:
This happened because monster saves are WAY too high.

Agreeing with you in principle, but there's a hitch. Saves are also used as DCs for skill checks (Athletics, Deceit). They have to scale with skills.

What is needed is not weaker saves, its higher save DCs.


John Mechalas wrote:
Moving the goal posts to between a 60% and 75% success rate for a level-appropriate challenge would work for me. The former can be for a competent build, and the latter for optimal. People who are highly specialized should be able to succeed at such a task 3/4 of the time.

I was about to respond to another post just before I went to sleep, and realized something. If this holds true for the entire game, what does that mean for boss enemies, i.e. enemies 2-3 levels above the PCs? If we start with a 60-75% chance, that means that a martially-focused enemy would be hitting 75-90% of the time on their first attack on levels alone, critting on 25-40% of them. Same thing with a spellcaster-type enemy, whose saves would be crit failed 25-40% of the time, and only succeeded against 10-25% at best.

I'm not sure that's a great direction to go down, and also unsure that the snap solution (change crit success/failure to +-15) would be helpful for that case.


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John Mechalas wrote:
iNickedYerKnickers wrote:
A "level-appropriate challenge" says, to me, that, whatever it is, it is roughly my equal. Therefore, it should either be a stale-mate (roughly 0 to 5% success rate to either side) or closer to a 50/50.

Not correct. Coming across your equal means you are both equally good at something, not in perfect balance where you cancel each other out.

If you are making an opposed check on the exact same skill, then yes, that means a 50/50 chance of success. But most of the rolls in the game are not like that. In combat, my attack roll is going against your AC. When sneaking around, my Stealth score is going against your Perception. And so on. If we have the same scores in all those areas, then we have the same odds of beating each other. That can be 50% success, or 75% success, or 20% success.

John Mechalas nails it. "Level appropriate" would refer to the particular challenge being a roughly 50/50 shot for the average character. "My equal" would be something that matches up strength for strength Vs me. If I was a great swordsman, my equal is another great swordsman; my equal is not a great blacksmith or great wizard. A "level appropriate" challenge might stress my swordsman, but not do so for a rogue. Stealth, as John notes, is such a case. My swordsman might be using heavy armor and not have invested in it; he will struggle in this challenge. Against an Ogre that only knows smash? Well, he might do better than the sneaky character.


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I've said this before - but the solution to lower level enemies hitting more often isn't a bigger bonus - just make 17-20 auto hit (not crit). Change a roll of a 1 on skill checks - if you would still hit the DC you can roll to confirm a fail. People who are masters of their domain (whatever it is) can still fail, it happens - it's just much more rare - this makes it so.

Without 'math so tight enemies more than 3 levels below you become chumps' - you fix the to hit problem. This still leaves the 'crit if you are 10 over' thing - but I'm going to be honest - I'm not finding that fun at all.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

There's fun math?

As someone with dyscalcula, I know that the math balance is important to make a good game, but I want it simple and in the background. I like Chorik's solution of autohit without crit on a 17-20.

Though I personally enjoyed the crit by 10 thing. That was easy math and fun for players when it happened, while still being scary when it comes from the monsters...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:

A lot of things look "fun" on paper but aren't that "fun" in practice.

Take the classic 3.5/PF situation, where I have +15 to a skill with my Slayer, which makes me feel that the math is fun because double digits and I hit high numbers and I got rewarded for being specialised. And I'm better than the Cleric, because with her crap skill point count and ACP and whatanot she's at +5 to that skill.

BUT

it also means that the GM has a very hard time making a challenge for a group when one person is at +15 and the other are at +5. Such challenge is either impossible for them or trivial for me. If it's trivial, well, where's the challenge, if it's impossible - woe be to the party if I don't turn up for the game, or if my PC gets kidnapped by the bad guys, or if for any other reason my super-specialised ability is unavilable. Bummer.

I think this is an aspect that gets overlooked or at least not talked about enough: The math also needs to be fun for the GM. The PF1 math-discrepancy has led to quite a lot of frustration on my end as a GM and has made the game not fun on my end, especially since quite a few unexperienced players have joined our group over the years. I know quite a few GMs who had similar problems and it made designing encounters quite difficult and tedious, which led to no one running any Pathfinder games anymore in my area, even though the hobby has grown quite a bit over the last couple of years.

Gorbacz wrote:

With PF2 math, most common challenges (eg. sneaking among sleepy orcs, climbing a cliff, swimming upstream) can be attempted by the entire party, not just by one or two super-specialised PCs. Does that take away some fun out of hyperspecialisation? Sure it does. But on the other hand, it allows more challenges where the entire party can succeed, leaving them less dependant on hyper-specialist, discourages gamey character advancement ("OK we need everybody to max Perception and now we need to split Knowledges, Sense Motive, Stealth, Diplomacy etc. among us so that we have everything maxed out) and leads to fewer situations where the party is split because only the specialist stands a chance, while others are a dead weight or worse, a liability.

And woe be to a PF1 party that has turbo-optimizers mixed with people who don't powergame at all. The discrepancies in math between those quickly reach the levels where frustration arises as the former feel dragged down by the latter while the latter feel pressurised to keep up with the former.

Lowering the floor does take some empowerment out of the game, but it does that for the sake of being more a collective experience and less an evening of vignettes on how one specialist handles the situation while everybody else gets to sit and watch.

While I think the math needs some tweaking, in favour of the specialists and maybe even PCs in general, I still find the math to be much more fun as a GM, but it seems like most people on here only, or mostly, consider the player's point of view. I think that's a serious mistake or shortcoming of the discourse on the boards here, because without any GMs to run any games and campaigns there won't be any people playing.

I hope Paizo finds a happy middleground to satisfy both players and GMs, but in my experience so far I have been very happy with the tighter math that Paizo has chosen to go with. Also, I think that some players will have to accept that with the current math auto-success or even 80 to 90% success rates are gone, and I appreciate that fact.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Gratz wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

A lot of things look "fun" on paper but aren't that "fun" in practice.

Take the classic 3.5/PF situation, where I have +15 to a skill with my Slayer, which makes me feel that the math is fun because double digits and I hit high numbers and I got rewarded for being specialised. And I'm better than the Cleric, because with her crap skill point count and ACP and whatanot she's at +5 to that skill.

BUT

it also means that the GM has a very hard time making a challenge for a group when one person is at +15 and the other are at +5. Such challenge is either impossible for them or trivial for me. If it's trivial, well, where's the challenge, if it's impossible - woe be to the party if I don't turn up for the game, or if my PC gets kidnapped by the bad guys, or if for any other reason my super-specialised ability is unavilable. Bummer.

I think this is an aspect that gets overlooked or at least not talked about enough: The math also needs to be fun for the GM. The PF1 math-discrepancy has led to quite a lot of frustration on my end as a GM and has made the game not fun on my end, especially since quite a few unexperienced players have joined our group over the years. I know quite a few GMs who had similar problems and it made designing encounters quite difficult and tedious, which led to no one running any Pathfinder games anymore in my area, even though the hobby has grown quite a bit over the last couple of years.

Gorbacz wrote:
With PF2 math, most common challenges (eg. sneaking among sleepy orcs, climbing a cliff, swimming upstream) can be attempted by the entire party, not just by one or two super-specialised PCs. Does that take away some fun out of hyperspecialisation? Sure it does. But on the other hand, it allows more challenges where the entire party can succeed, leaving them less dependant on hyper-specialist, discourages gamey character advancement ("OK we need everybody to max Perception and now we need to split Knowledges, Sense Motive, Stealth,
...

Speaking as my group's Constant GM, I find the PC success rate frustratingly low. There's a definite hit to player morale that I've seen across my playtest games. And, for me, if my players are feeling frustrated then I'm not really having fun either.

But I also know the pain of nothing ever being a challenge for the party. So I do like the math being tightened - I just think that it's been tightened too much. I would rather my players who specialize and put effort into an area feel confident of success - not be guaranteed it, just not approach each skill check with the defeatist attitude that multiple playtest sessions have instilled in them.

EDIT: for clarity, I have not yet gotten a chance to play since 1.3. So whether or not that makes a difference for my group yet I can't say.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
John Mechalas wrote:

I don't understand the aversion to having meaningful differences between players, each with complimentary strengths that cover individuals' weaknesses. That's how real teams work.

Many don't seem to want that anymore.

One of the many complaints I heard on 4th edition is that everything (class, damage) seemed to become the same or have the same feel after a while and was one of the reasons they stopped playing.

I am curious if this design style can support a TTRPG long term vs a short term video game as in my experience when I talk to players they do not want a "Replaceable Part" PC.

MDC


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Leedwashere wrote:
Gratz wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

A lot of things look "fun" on paper but aren't that "fun" in practice.

Take the classic 3.5/PF situation, where I have +15 to a skill with my Slayer, which makes me feel that the math is fun because double digits and I hit high numbers and I got rewarded for being specialised. And I'm better than the Cleric, because with her crap skill point count and ACP and whatanot she's at +5 to that skill.

BUT

it also means that the GM has a very hard time making a challenge for a group when one person is at +15 and the other are at +5. Such challenge is either impossible for them or trivial for me. If it's trivial, well, where's the challenge, if it's impossible - woe be to the party if I don't turn up for the game, or if my PC gets kidnapped by the bad guys, or if for any other reason my super-specialised ability is unavilable. Bummer.

I think this is an aspect that gets overlooked or at least not talked about enough: The math also needs to be fun for the GM. The PF1 math-discrepancy has led to quite a lot of frustration on my end as a GM and has made the game not fun on my end, especially since quite a few unexperienced players have joined our group over the years. I know quite a few GMs who had similar problems and it made designing encounters quite difficult and tedious, which led to no one running any Pathfinder games anymore in my area, even though the hobby has grown quite a bit over the last couple of years.

Gorbacz wrote:
With PF2 math, most common challenges (eg. sneaking among sleepy orcs, climbing a cliff, swimming upstream) can be attempted by the entire party, not just by one or two super-specialised PCs. Does that take away some fun out of hyperspecialisation? Sure it does. But on the other hand, it allows more challenges where the entire party can succeed, leaving them less dependant on hyper-specialist, discourages gamey character advancement ("OK we need everybody to max Perception and now we need to split Knowledges, Sense
...

Morale is going to sink when the numbers are simply stacked against you and there's no weakness to exploit or method of defending yourself. You just have to pray for the die to roll high enough (or low enough) to create success. This feels awful and entirely out of the control of the players.

Liberty's Edge

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Cyouni wrote:
John Mechalas wrote:
Moving the goal posts to between a 60% and 75% success rate for a level-appropriate challenge would work for me. The former can be for a competent build, and the latter for optimal. People who are highly specialized should be able to succeed at such a task 3/4 of the time.

I'd definitely be fine with slanting the bar 10% in the direction of success, so that we don't run into stalemate problems. Also to say implicitly: "hey, taking actions is better than not taking actions".

Give a bit of advantage to the active party, and avoid perfect equilibrium.

As of right now, 75% is actually about accurate at high levels (you hit that by point by 15th or so, I believe), it just takes too long to get there, IMO. I'd like to see hitting 70% before 10th level if possible.

And giving the advantage to the one acting rather than being acted on is more or less exactly how monster AC/to-hit makes combat work (as their to-hit tends to be quite high while their AC is mediocre at best). How well that works is a matter of some debate, but I actually think it's fine.

My issue remains with skills.


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Red Griffyn wrote:

The group was 3 casters and a rogue. He crit saves vs. 2 fireballs, 2 lightning bolts, and 1 gust of wind. He also saves vs. 1 fireball, and 1 sound burst.

So across 7 spells (5 at the highest spell slot clearing out all of two caster's highest spells) he took 12 damage. This happened because monster saves are WAY too high.

So here's what makes Paizo's job so difficult. I read your anecdote and I think it represents a vast improvement to what happened in PF1. Amen that 3 casters and a Rogue at 5th level can't just ROFLSTOMP a BBEG. Reading your story, makes me want to play PF2. Obviously people who play casters might feel the opposite.

Paizo's not going to make everyone happy. If casters were too good in PF1, then Paizo needed to make substantive reductions to the class' efficacy, and most of the power gamers who frequent the forums, aren't going to like that. Worse, they can both nerf caster, but not nerf them enough so neither side is happy.

Right now, my biggest beef is the Ranger. It's a show stopper for me. And yet, there are posters who say they like the changes to the class. Who should Piazo listen to?

There are no easy answers.


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As I see it, these are the problems.

1) Math is so tight that there isn't room for hyper specialization.

2) Math is based on the idea that you have a 50% chance of success vs a level appropriate challenge if and only if you have every single feat, skill increase, magic item, etc. available.

3) The math just "feels" bad. It feels like an MMO on paper. It feels like a treadmill. It feels bad to have to buy the same kit as everyone else just to be able to have fun.

The problem with 3.P was that bonuses could get WAY out of hand WAY too easily. A combination of reigning in how high stuff could get, along with some for of increasing cost to stacking bonuses that high would have probably fixed the problem.

Also, it is important to LET people still build their "hyper-specialized" characters that curb stomp on a particular check. People LIKE playing characters like that. Just make them pay for it in other ways.

Finally, don't FORCE people to use a magic item just to be good at something. It trivializes magic items and makes them not magical anymore. It also adds to the treadmill feel.

"Well, I got to go get a new sword. This one just won't cut it anymore. Goodbye, Excalibur, we had some good times. Hello Excalibur +1!"


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thflame wrote:
1) Math is so tight that there isn't room for hyper specialization.

This is an interesting contrast to what Red Griffyn said up in comment #51.

Red Griffyn wrote:

Just finished playing one of the L5 PFS scenarios. The boss has a +14 ref save vs. our DC19s. That means there is a 30% chance of a crit success, 50% chance of success, 15% failure, and 5% crit failure. The group was 3 casters and a rogue. He crit saves vs. 2 fireballs, 2 lightning bolts, and 1 gust of wind. He also saves vs. 1 fireball, and 1 sound burst.

So across 7 spells (5 at the highest spell slot clearing out all of two caster's highest spells) he took 12 damage. This happened because monster saves are WAY too high. The math is bad because monsters are easily within a 70%+ range of making saves for most of the game. ...

I see that the three casters chose their 3rd-level spells as three Fireballs and two Lightning Bolts. Both spells take a reflex save and the boss has an unusually good reflex save aided by good dice rolls. He critically saved (no damage) against four of them and regularly saved (half damage) against one. In contract, the 2nd-level Sound Burst and 1st-level Gust of Wind require Fortitude saves and his critical success rate was only 50% rather than 80% against them.

The casters put their best eggs into a single basket, Reflex save. The boss was allowed to hyper-specialize, and happened to be unusually good against that one basket. At least, I hope that boss was specialized in Reflex saves. He would be overpowered if most of his bonuses were that good. A 55% percent success rate against DC 19 would be a +9 rather than a +14.


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thflame wrote:
The problem with 3.P was that bonuses could get WAY out of hand WAY too easily. A combination of reigning in how high stuff could get, along with some for of increasing cost to stacking bonuses that high would have probably fixed the problem.

I agree with pretty much your entire list, but this one is a core problem of 3rd Ed/PF1, which makes me wish they had been capped in some ways, like AD&D. The numbers/bonuses can get so high it makes the actual d20 roll completely trivial.

Dark Archive

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Mathmuse wrote:
thflame wrote:
1) Math is so tight that there isn't room for hyper specialization.

This is an interesting contrast to what Red Griffyn said up in comment #51.

Red Griffyn wrote:

Just finished playing one of the L5 PFS scenarios. The boss has a +14 ref save vs. our DC19s. That means there is a 30% chance of a crit success, 50% chance of success, 15% failure, and 5% crit failure. The group was 3 casters and a rogue. He crit saves vs. 2 fireballs, 2 lightning bolts, and 1 gust of wind. He also saves vs. 1 fireball, and 1 sound burst.

So across 7 spells (5 at the highest spell slot clearing out all of two caster's highest spells) he took 12 damage. This happened because monster saves are WAY too high. The math is bad because monsters are easily within a 70%+ range of making saves for most of the game. ...

I see that the three casters chose their 3rd-level spells as three Fireballs and two Lightning Bolts. Both spells take a reflex save and the boss has an unusually good reflex save aided by good dice rolls. He critically saved (no damage) against four of them and regularly saved (half damage) against one. In contract, the 2nd-level Sound Burst and 1st-level Gust of Wind require Fortitude saves and his critical success rate was only 50% rather than 80% against them.

The casters put their best eggs into a single basket, Reflex save. The boss was allowed to hyper-specialize, and happened to be unusually good against that one basket. At least, I hope that boss was specialized in Reflex saves. He would be overpowered if most of his bonuses were that good. A 55% percent success rate against DC 19 would be a +9 rather than a +14.

Actually, if they're referring to the module I think they are, the boss has no ability that allows them to treat a success as a crit success. That means the boss only crit saves on Reflex around 30% of the time and on Fortitude saves 20% of the time. While the boss did seem to have saves closer to a creature 1 level higher than its stat block said, its HP was lower than average. The fact that the boss crit saved on five different spells can be chalked up to both bad spell choice and really good luck on the GM's rolls.


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Mathmuse wrote:
thflame wrote:
1) Math is so tight that there isn't room for hyper specialization.

This is an interesting contrast to what Red Griffyn said up in comment #51.

Red Griffyn wrote:

Just finished playing one of the L5 PFS scenarios. The boss has a +14 ref save vs. our DC19s. That means there is a 30% chance of a crit success, 50% chance of success, 15% failure, and 5% crit failure. The group was 3 casters and a rogue. He crit saves vs. 2 fireballs, 2 lightning bolts, and 1 gust of wind. He also saves vs. 1 fireball, and 1 sound burst.

So across 7 spells (5 at the highest spell slot clearing out all of two caster's highest spells) he took 12 damage. This happened because monster saves are WAY too high. The math is bad because monsters are easily within a 70%+ range of making saves for most of the game. ...

I see that the three casters chose their 3rd-level spells as three Fireballs and two Lightning Bolts. Both spells take a reflex save and the boss has an unusually good reflex save aided by good dice rolls. He critically saved (no damage) against four of them and regularly saved (half damage) against one. In contract, the 2nd-level Sound Burst and 1st-level Gust of Wind require Fortitude saves and his critical success rate was only 50% rather than 80% against them.

The casters put their best eggs into a single basket, Reflex save. The boss was allowed to hyper-specialize, and happened to be unusually good against that one basket. At least, I hope that boss was specialized in Reflex saves. He would be overpowered if most of his bonuses were that good. A 55% percent success rate against DC 19 would be a +9 rather than a +14.

Once he said "boss fight," the 50% save rate jumped up to about an 80% save rate due to nothing more than the +3 levels that he boss likely had on the party. Most problems people have with spells is that they attempt to use them in boss fights, and it is utterly disheartening to use a limited resource and get nothing out of it... over and over again. Level disparity means the boss fights are going to be times when frankly nothing any player does works particularly well because the math says so. Already-too-low hit % and please-don't-save-on-this % get punished even further into a high likelihood of the negative outcome for the PCs.

What casters ought do is prepare the only spell that works: Heightened Magic Missile. It's not going to be flashy damage, but it's hit chance is 100%. That alone makes it a superior turn to most everything else you could do.


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Red Griffyn wrote:

Just finished playing one of the L5 PFS scenarios. The boss has a +14 ref save vs. our DC19s. That means there is a 30% chance of a crit success, 50% chance of success, 15% failure, and 5% crit failure. The group was 3 casters and a rogue. He crit saves vs. 2 fireballs, 2 lightning bolts, and 1 gust of wind. He also saves vs. 1 fireball, and 1 sound burst.

So across 7 spells (5 at the highest spell slot clearing out all of two caster's highest spells) he took 12 damage. This happened because monster saves are WAY too high. The math is bad because monsters are easily within a 70%+ range of making saves for most of the game. ...

Mathmuse wrote:

I see that the three casters chose their 3rd-level spells as three Fireballs and two Lightning Bolts. Both spells take a reflex save and the boss has an unusually good reflex save aided by good dice rolls. He critically saved (no damage) against four of them and regularly saved (half damage) against one. In contract, the 2nd-level Sound Burst and 1st-level Gust of Wind require Fortitude saves and his critical success rate was only 50% rather than 80% against them.

The casters put their best eggs into a single basket, Reflex save. The boss was allowed to hyper-specialize, and happened to be unusually good against that one basket. At least, I hope that boss was specialized in Reflex saves. He would be overpowered if most of his bonuses were that good. A 55% percent success rate against DC 19 would be a +9 rather than a +14.

LuniasM wrote:
Actually, if they're referring to the module I think they are, the boss has no ability that allows them to treat a success as a crit success. That means the boss only crit saves on Reflex around 30% of the time and on Fortitude saves 20% of the time. While the boss did seem to have saves closer to a creature 1 level higher than its stat block said, its HP was lower than average. The fact that the boss crit saved on five different spells can be chalked up to both bad spell choice and really good luck on the GM's rolls.
Greg.Everham wrote:

Once he said "boss fight," the 50% save rate jumped up to about an 80% save rate due to nothing more than the +3 levels that he boss likely had on the party. Most problems people have with spells is that they attempt to use them in boss fights, and it is utterly disheartening to use a limited resource and get nothing out of it... over and over again. Level disparity means the boss fights are going to be times when frankly nothing any player does works particularly well because the math says so. Already-too-low hit % and please-don't-save-on-this % get punished even further into a high likelihood of the negative outcome for the PCs.

What casters ought do is prepare the only spell that works: Heightened Magic Missile. It's not going to be flashy damage, but it's hit chance is 100%. That alone makes it a superior turn to most everything else you could do.

Greg.Everham's point is good. Since saves now have +1/level rather than the PF1's +1/2 per level for good saves, a boss three levels above the party has higher saves than we PF1 players expect. In addition, since PF2 high save rolls can result in no damage rather than half damage on a non-Evasion Reflex save, that extra-high Reflex save matters more.

However, LuniasM's remark prompted me to download the Pathfinder Society Playtest Scenarios and seek out that boss. The most likely character for that mystery boss is not 3 levels above the 5th-level party. He is creature 6.

Here is a non-spoiler summary of his stats:

Mystery Boss Creature 6: AC 22, TAC 21; Fort +12, Ref +14, Will +11; HP 88; Melee morningstar +15 (versatile P), Damage 2d8+6 bludgeoning

For comparison, here are some other level-6 creatures from the Playtest Bestiary:

Cave Bear Creature 6: AC 20, TAC 18; Fort +13, Ref +9, Will +10; HP 110; Melee claw +15 (agile), Damage 2d8+6 slashing plus Grab
Dinosaur, Ankylosaurus Creature 6: AC 23, TAC 18; Fort +14, Ref +9, Will +7; HP 72; Melee tail +14 (backswing, reach 15 feet), Damage 2d8+7 bludgeoning plus punishing tail
Dragon, Young White Creature 6: AC 20, TAC 17; Fort +13, Ref +11, Will +9; HP 120, Immunities asleep, cold, paralyzed, Weaknesses fire 5; Melee jaws +14 (reach 10 feet), Damage 1d10+8 piercing plus 2d6 cold
Manticore Creature 6: AC 20, TAC 18; Fort +13, Ref +10, Will +7; HP 95; Melee jaws +15, Damage 2d8+7 piercing
Mummy Retainer Creature 6: AC 20, TAC 17; Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +12; HP 90, negative healing; Immunities asleep, death effects, disease, paralysis, poison; Weaknesses fire 8; Melee fist +15, Damage 3d6+5 bludgeoning plus mummy rot
Wraith Creature 6: AC 20, TAC 20; Fort +7, Ref +10, Will +11; HP 65, negative healing; Immunities asleep, death effects, disease, nonmagical attacks, paralysis, poison, precision; Resistances all 5 (except force, ghost touch, or positive); Melee spectral hand +14 touch, Damage 2d8+5 negative plus drain life

But suppose I made some hostile NPCs of character classes.

Half-Orc Bandit Fighter 6: AC 26, TAC 23; Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +8; HP 82; Melee +1 necksplitter +13 Damage 2d8+4 slashing, forceful, orc, versatile P + 1d4+1 bleed on crit
due to Str 19, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10
AC 26 = 10 + 4 (+1 hide armor) + 4 (Dex) + 6 (Proficiency) + 2 (circumstance from Raised Shield)
Weapon Mastery on knives, and the orc necksplitter is a knife.

The mystery boss has +2 to every save beyond the average creature 6 and +3 beyond the half-orc bandit. By the standards of the tight math of PF2, he is hyper-specialized in saves, despite lacking Evasion. His Ref +14 is +6 level, maybe +1 expert, +2 Dex modifier, and +5 monster bonus.

Since the boss has other defenses, too, blasting seems a smart attack against him. (Well, his picture does look high Dexterity, so not 100% smart.) This is a trap and it is not fair.


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Gorbacz wrote:

Well, a 50/50 success chance (against level-appropriate challenges) is at least consistent and doesn't discriminate, unlike the "will always succeed/will never succeed" of PF1. Melee-oriented PF1 characters (except Rogues and Monks) would ALWAYS hit due to +atk scaling up faster than AC, but they would *never* grapple (unless hyperspecialised after a massive dumpster dive through sourcebooks) against anything bigger than Large. Repeat for several other dichotomies, add the binary pass/fail nature of things and you end up with an optimizers heaven and a casual players' nightmare. Wheee, so much fun, as long as you have way too much free time in your life to twink your character. And as long as everybody at the table does the same. And people wonder why 5E has pretty much beaten Pathfinder to the ground.

But PF1 is not going anywhere away, you can still have your +37 Diplomancer or archerdin.

That’s not just a pathfinder 1 problem, you can break 5th edition easily as well in fact magic in 5th edition is better than in pathfinder, as for people being ‘too good at skills’ that’s the point if I invest feats and skill ranks in being better at something guess what I want to be BETTER, in the playtest trying to optomize skills is pointless since NPC’s remotely close to your level are just better than you, there’s no feeling of progress when you level you are merely treading water just trying to remain relevant in a system where everything is designed to upstage you and remind you that you’re actually not the heroes of the story you’re the side characters who’ve lasted longer than the GM expected.


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Gratz wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

A lot of things look "fun" on paper but aren't that "fun" in practice.

Take the classic 3.5/PF situation, where I have +15 to a skill with my Slayer, which makes me feel that the math is fun because double digits and I hit high numbers and I got rewarded for being specialised. And I'm better than the Cleric, because with her crap skill point count and ACP and whatanot she's at +5 to that skill.

BUT

it also means that the GM has a very hard time making a challenge for a group when one person is at +15 and the other are at +5. Such challenge is either impossible for them or trivial for me. If it's trivial, well, where's the challenge, if it's impossible - woe be to the party if I don't turn up for the game, or if my PC gets kidnapped by the bad guys, or if for any other reason my super-specialised ability is unavilable. Bummer.

I think this is an aspect that gets overlooked or at least not talked about enough: The math also needs to be fun for the GM. The PF1 math-discrepancy has led to quite a lot of frustration on my end as a GM and has made the game not fun on my end, especially since quite a few unexperienced players have joined our group over the years. I know quite a few GMs who had similar problems and it made designing encounters quite difficult and tedious, which led to no one running any Pathfinder games anymore in my area, even though the hobby has grown quite a bit over the last couple of years.

Gorbacz wrote:
With PF2 math, most common challenges (eg. sneaking among sleepy orcs, climbing a cliff, swimming upstream) can be attempted by the entire party, not just by one or two super-specialised PCs. Does that take away some fun out of hyperspecialisation? Sure it does. But on the other hand, it allows more challenges where the entire party can succeed, leaving them less dependant on hyper-specialist, discourages gamey character advancement ("OK we need everybody to max Perception and now we need to split Knowledges, Sense Motive, Stealth,
...

The reason it’s looked at so heavily from a player perspective is pretty simple, if your players hate it you won’t have a group to GM for, furthermore if people wanted a game where it’s always 50/50 most of the time they wouldn’t bother rolling up characters they’d have the gm tell a story where we let coin flips decide everything, same thing but no one has to wast 30-60 minutes rolling characters.


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So there's an idea I've seen floated around a bunch that PF2 HAS to have tighter math because of the +10/-10 thing making it so that people would be critically succeeding all over the place, and I'm not actually sure that is true. I don't recall the devs saying it specifically, and I pay unusually close attention to the Paizo staff when they talk about the design of PF2.

Yes, if bonuses get higher, critical successes will be more common. And I'm not sure that's a bad thing? Like, if you invest in something enough to not fail at it, you probably will be pretty happy if you critically succeed at it a lot. This is especially true in a system where somethings can only be achieved with a critical result-- I'm looking at disarming and pinning enemies, for example.

I think the reason for the tighter math has been made stated up front-- to reduce the ridiculous disparity you could get within the same party between two characters who invest in the same thing. I think there's room for that to be true and still move the needle in the direction of characters succeeding more often than failing.

The +10/-10 thing DOES make each +1 more valuable, but that doesn't mean you can't have a great bonus. It just means that bonus can be even more awesome. In PF1, by the time you crossed certain thresholds your bonus stopped mattering. If you hit on a 2, the die roll only mattered if you rolled in your weapons crit range. In PF2, if you hit on a 2, that means you crit on a 12 and that is exciting.

I don't know that the Paizo has the needle in the right place, but I don't think the system itself prevents them from getting it there.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

So there's an idea I've seen floated around a bunch that PF2 HAS to have tighter math because of the +10/-10 thing making it so that people would be critically succeeding all over the place, and I'm not actually sure that is true. I don't recall the devs saying it specifically, and I pay unusually close attention to the Paizo staff when they talk about the design of PF2.

Yes, if bonuses get higher, critical successes will be more common. And I'm not sure that's a bad thing? Like, if you invest in something enough to not fail at it, you probably will be pretty happy if you critically succeed at it a lot. This is especially true in a system where somethings can only be achieved with a critical result-- I'm looking at disarming and pinning enemies, for example.

I think the reason for the tighter math has been made stated up front-- to reduce the ridiculous disparity you could get within the same party between two characters who invest in the same thing. I think there's room for that to be true and still move the needle in the direction of characters succeeding more often than failing.

The +10/-10 thing DOES make each +1 more valuable, but that doesn't mean you can't have a great bonus. It just means that bonus can be even more awesome. In PF1, by the time you crossed certain thresholds your bonus stopped mattering. If you hit on a 2, the die roll only mattered if you rolled in your weapons crit range. In PF2, if you hit on a 2, that means you crit on a 12 and that is exciting.

I don't know that the Paizo has the needle in the right place, but I don't think the system itself prevents them from getting it there.

As someone who I think falls into the group of those who think the +/-10 system necessitates tighter math (not that I think this is inherently bad or good), I want to posit something:

If you assume a hit rate of 55%, then +3 to attack bonus is +50%, as if your damage on a successful attack is X, then the damage base is 0.5*X+0.05*2X, for 0.6X, where as with a +3 bonus, it's 0.5X+0.2*2*X for 0.9X. If you assume different hit rates, the impact of each +1 will tend to be lower, as for most hit rates, you reach a value of less than +16.67% for each +1. Now this might not be an issue much, but will deviate from the assumptions of the devs, and might make crits too assumed, or too overpowered, depending on the assumed hit rate. By deviating from the +/-10 system, the assumed hit rate doesn't have to be tied to the effect of crits on their design of monsters.

Now I don't know that they couldn't adjust for monster HP and monster AC, to allow for monsters that are more easily hittable, but take more hits to take down (accounting for the increase in crits), and this is even something I've advocated for, but the longer I've considered this, the more I don't know that tying crit chance and hit chance as a 1:1 ratio is a reasonable option. I don't disagree with some of the posivives, such as ease of play or the value of a +1, but, I don't know that it works best on the whole, in part due to tighter math, and in part due to the values desired by that math.


Tezmick wrote:
That’s not just a pathfinder 1 problem, you can break 5th edition easily as well

Yeah, even without feats, multiclassing, or magic, as they tied grappling to Athletics (one of the blunders), and then Expertise blows the whole BA thing up. A bard or rogue with a good Str and Expertise in Athletics, by 9th-level, can go around pinning to the ground, almost every Large or smaller monster in the game, with ease. The narrative bothers me as well: in the 5th Ed Multiverse, Bards and Rogues are the best wrestlers/grapplers, bar none.

I am aware they have added a feat or two to grant Expertise outside the bard and rogue, but that does not address the problem; Expertise should grant + 1-1/2 x profciency bonus, and grappling should be a simple Str-attack (like in 3rd Ed).

Dark Archive

Mathmuse wrote:

The mystery boss has +2 to every save beyond the average creature 6 and +3 beyond the half-orc bandit. By the standards of the tight math of PF2, he is hyper-specialized in saves, despite lacking Evasion. His Ref +14 is +6 level, maybe +1 expert, +2 Dex modifier, and +5 monster bonus.

Since the boss has other defenses, too, blasting seems a smart attack against him. (Well, his picture does look high Dexterity, so not 100% smart.) This is a trap and it is not fair.

Lemme do a breakdown.

Spoilered for length:
The boss has the AC, TAC, and Saves of a Level 7 creature with a specialty in Reflex saves. The boss is fairly mobile, so they can avoid taking more than 1 melee attack a round and also prevent flanking if they also limit themselves to making 1 melee attack a turn (think Spring Attack). Other than this, the boss has no special defenses - they have a 30% chance to crit save vs Reflex and a 20% chance vs Fortitude.

The boss has the attack bonus and damage of an average Level 6 creature, and slightly less HP than most Level 6 creatures. Personally I would've given it HP closer to a Level 5 creature to offset its higher defenses, but Your Mileage May Vary.

The party consisted of 1 Rogue and 3 unspecified spellcasters. From my DPS calculations I can say that Rogues really need to get Sneak Attack to keep up with the more offensively-inclined martial classes, and flanking is usually the easiest way to do so. Without flanking the Rogue would need to find a way to make the boss Flatfooted, which can be hard for a Rogue to set up without support (especially since Bottled Lightning, the second-most reliable source, would likely miss due to range penalties).

As for the Casters, while we don't know their builds we do know that 5/7 spells given were damage spells targeting Reflex - the boss's strongest save. Even then, the boss has a 30% chance to take no damage and a 50% chance to take half damage. The fact that the boss critically saved on 4/5 is unusual - the GM would've needed to roll a 15+ four times. The GM even crit-saved vs Gust of Wind, the one spell cast that could've possibly limited the boss's mobility long enough to set up a flank for the Rogue. They needed to roll a 17+ to crit save against that. Basically, the GM's dice were on fire.

So, recap - the party's only martial character depends on the Flatfooted condition, and the two easiest ways to make that happen were countered by high mobility. Without Sneak Attack, the boss easily outdamages the Rogue. The party's casters focused heavily on damage spells targeting Reflex, and on top of being the boss's strongest save the GM also had a lucky streak of high rolls. The only spell that could've made the Rogue's job easier was negated, again, thanks to a lucky roll.

IMO, this fight was hard but doable. Any single factor being different could've evened the odds - if the boss hadn't crit-saved against as many spells, if the party's spell selection was more varied, if they managed to reduce the boss's mobility, if they had spells targeting TAC instead of Reflex, etc. It seems to me that a number of factors combined to create the perfect storm, and as a result the encounter ended up being far more difficult than usual. Personally the boss didn't have a low enough HP to compensate for higher defenses, but I'd call it either a strong Level 6 or a weak Level 7 creature based on its stats.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LuniasM wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

The mystery boss has +2 to every save beyond the average creature 6 and +3 beyond the half-orc bandit. By the standards of the tight math of PF2, he is hyper-specialized in saves, despite lacking Evasion. His Ref +14 is +6 level, maybe +1 expert, +2 Dex modifier, and +5 monster bonus.

Since the boss has other defenses, too, blasting seems a smart attack against him. (Well, his picture does look high Dexterity, so not 100% smart.) This is a trap and it is not fair.

Lemme do a breakdown.

** spoiler omitted **...

Yeah I honestly don't see anything wrong with these numbers for a boss fight. Bosses should be hard to take down. And you should feel like you need to spend absolutely everything to take them down. Especially if you are targeting their best saving throw.

A complaint I always had with PF1e was that boss fights very rarely feel epic. It's usually goes like "ok we survived his turn now let's just try to end him with our turns" and with the all damage design of PF1e where you are actively punished for making defensive characters that usually mean't every boss fight lasted 2 or 3 rounds of full attacks and spells. Or even 1 round if you managed to get off a save or die spell like hold person at lower levels, or baleful polymorph.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Yeah I honestly don't see anything wrong with these numbers for a boss fight. Bosses should be hard to take down. And you should feel like you need to spend absolutely everything to take them down. Especially if you are targeting their best saving throw.

Everything, or everything they have left? There's a difference. And, if the boss is too far out of whack defensively, then you won't be able to touch them and it just becomes a lethal grind. Grinds are not fun.

Quote:
A complaint I always had with PF1e was that boss fights very rarely feel epic. It's usually goes like "ok we survived his turn now let's just try to end him with our turns"

Boss fights in general do not work because of the action economy. You have to add minions, mess with the terrain, impose conditions on the party, and other trickery to make them expend their resources on more than just killing the boss. That's how you get an epic fight.

The epic battle against the solo boss is great in movies, but it doesn't work in turn-based RPG's. Buffing the boss is not a great solution to this problem because it just becomes a grind and, as above, grinds are not fun.


Dire Ursus wrote:
A complaint I always had with PF1e was that boss fights very rarely feel epic.

More hit points (always the best thing to target in any encounter) and less save or die/suck helps. They seem to be addressing both of those, which is nice.

There are no official boss monsters in 3rd Ed/PF1, per se, it would be nice for PF2 to have boss/solo types with more actions and reactions (something like Legendary monsters in 5th Ed, which could be improved).


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John Mechalas wrote:
Boss fights in general do not work because of the action economy.

5th Ed address that with Legendary monsters (more out of turn actions), not perfect, but PF2 could implement something similar.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
A complaint I always had with PF1e was that boss fights very rarely feel epic.

More hit points (always the best thing to target in any encounter) and less save or die/suck helps. They seem to be addressing both of those, which is nice.

There are no official boss monsters in 3rd Ed/PF1, per se, it would be nice for PF2 to have boss/solo types with more actions and reactions (something like Legendary monsters in 5th Ed, which could be improved).

Yeah I agree. Stuff like multiple reactions, maybe even giving them two initiatives where they get to act twice in one turn. That'd be interesting.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

So there's an idea I've seen floated around a bunch that PF2 HAS to have tighter math because of the +10/-10 thing making it so that people would be critically succeeding all over the place, and I'm not actually sure that is true. I don't recall the devs saying it specifically, and I pay unusually close attention to the Paizo staff when they talk about the design of PF2.

Yes, if bonuses get higher, critical successes will be more common. And I'm not sure that's a bad thing? Like, if you invest in something enough to not fail at it, you probably will be pretty happy if you critically succeed at it a lot. This is especially true in a system where somethings can only be achieved with a critical result-- I'm looking at disarming and pinning enemies, for example.

I think the reason for the tighter math has been made stated up front-- to reduce the ridiculous disparity you could get within the same party between two characters who invest in the same thing. I think there's room for that to be true and still move the needle in the direction of characters succeeding more often than failing.

The +10/-10 thing DOES make each +1 more valuable, but that doesn't mean you can't have a great bonus. It just means that bonus can be even more awesome. In PF1, by the time you crossed certain thresholds your bonus stopped mattering. If you hit on a 2, the die roll only mattered if you rolled in your weapons crit range. In PF2, if you hit on a 2, that means you crit on a 12 and that is exciting.

I don't know that the Paizo has the needle in the right place, but I don't think the system itself prevents them from getting it there.

I highly doubt that any dev will straight up say "It's to stop crits," but the metric is pretty clear that the goal is to leave you very, very close to 5% crit (nat20 only) if you optimize and face an equal level opponent.

I do agree with your point, though, that it's about the disparity between good and bad getting closed up so that two extremes cease to occur. No longer will the bottom end have no hope of a success, and no longer with the highest end fail on only a 1.

The issue the community is having right now appears to be a disagreement with the devs about how large the gap ought be. To the devs, the low end of success should be roughly 40% while the higher end should be 65%, against equal level challenges. I think players, generally and broadly and supported by anecdotal evidence on the forums, would prefer something more like a low-end rolling to see if they can save with a very high roll (like that 30%ish figure), a middle-of-the-pack character getting that success-on-11 midpoint, and characters scaling upward to legendary that crit fail only on the nat 1 and grow an expanding crit chance in their specialty.

In terms of the math giving the right feel to the game (to loop back to Buhlman's last musings on math), the way the devs set it up for the initial numbers gives players a feeling of being all jammed up in the middle of where it feels like you're more-or-less kinda okay at everything. There's no feeling of being really having a weakness to your characters, and there's no feeling that being expert or master really provides any significance. Players would want their characters to start at this feeling and scale up to feeling more competent and powerful. The numbers grow but the feeling is that you're always just a bit off.


Dire Ursus wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
A complaint I always had with PF1e was that boss fights very rarely feel epic.

More hit points (always the best thing to target in any encounter) and less save or die/suck helps. They seem to be addressing both of those, which is nice.

There are no official boss monsters in 3rd Ed/PF1, per se, it would be nice for PF2 to have boss/solo types with more actions and reactions (something like Legendary monsters in 5th Ed, which could be improved).
Yeah I agree. Stuff like multiple reactions, maybe even giving them two initiatives where they get to act twice in one turn. That'd be interesting.

Yes, like Demogorgon has, at least in one of the best 3rd Ed books, ever: Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss - fantastic job, Erik!

The 5th Ed way is pretty cool, the monster can take a legendary action after a PC's turn (only problem is there can be too few, especially against a party of more than 4).


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Dire Ursus wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

The mystery boss has +2 to every save beyond the average creature 6 and +3 beyond the half-orc bandit. By the standards of the tight math of PF2, he is hyper-specialized in saves, despite lacking Evasion. His Ref +14 is +6 level, maybe +1 expert, +2 Dex modifier, and +5 monster bonus.

Since the boss has other defenses, too, blasting seems a smart attack against him. (Well, his picture does look high Dexterity, so not 100% smart.) This is a trap and it is not fair.

Lemme do a breakdown.

** spoiler omitted **...

Yeah I honestly don't see anything wrong with these numbers for a boss fight. Bosses should be hard to take down. And you should feel like you need to spend absolutely everything to take them down. Especially if you are targeting their best saving throw.

I am not familiar with playing Pathfinder Society Scenarios. I have purchased the PDFs of two scenarios before in order to borrow elements for a campaign, but I did not play by PFS rules.

Does your explanation mean that a Creature 6 is supposed to be a full-fledged risking-TPK boss against a 5th-level party in PFS? He appears to have been the final encounter.

Dire Ursus wrote:
A complaint I always had with PF1e was that boss fights very rarely feel epic. It's usually goes like "ok we survived his turn now let's just try to end him with our turns" and with the all damage design of PF1e where you are actively punished for making defensive characters that usually mean't every boss fight lasted 2 or 3 rounds of full attacks and spells. Or even 1 round if you managed to get off a save or die spell like hold person at lower levels, or baleful polymorph.

I learned how to fix that. Preparing for an epic battle requires building the battle around the strengths of the party and the strengths of the opponent. Knowing how each side could fare against the specific attacks favored by the other side let me keep it difficult.

PF1 does not punish defensive characters. PF1 punishes characters who rely on passive defenses such as AC and saving throws. Characters who defend themselves by hiding, or by turning incorporeal, or by flying before the party can fly, or by distracting the party with champion lieutenants, or by slamming and barring a door in their faces stay alive. I have had bosses survive by taking a 5-foot-step backwards and casting Dimension Door. One of my nastiest bosses had multiple simulacrum of himself scattered around the stronghold and would swap places with them. That boss was finally taken down by Baleful Polymorph, but I had made tracking him down the main part of the followup adventure, so it wasn't a disappointment.

Dark Archive

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Party Composition/how the scenario played:

------------------------

Custom Built L5 Rogue
Seoni L5 Pregen
Custom Build Cleric/Druid (worships Sarenrae, hence fireball)
Custom Build Wizard/Cleric

This composition is a perfect example of the crapshoot that happens in PFS. I only had two characters built, a L5 Bard Fighter (archer) who likely would have faired better in the final encounter, but since we didn't have a dedicated cleric, I opted for "Paris Healton". Since I prepare spells, I decided that I wanted to try out a blaster based PC. Something I have never done in 1e because I prefer battlefield control or party buffing. However, control spells and buff spells are so nerfed (i.e., just bad choices) that I couldn't bring myself to pick any of them. I tried to convince the pregen to swap to Valeros or something to flank with the rogue, but he wanted to play what he wanted, and I made the promise to get into melee to help the rogue flank or heal him up with my channel pool.

First combat - My L2 item was a wand of grease, so we had some yakkity slack moments where I prevented charge lanes on the caster and ended up proning both creatures (2 castings). Spent resonance off my staff of healing and 1 channel to heal two comrades, threw out some ineffectual cantrips (rays of frost that just simply missed), and rolled a nat 20 crit on intimidating glare causing one creature to waste a round running (and drop saves for grease). Consciously wanted to save big ticket spells for later, but healing the party also took 1-2 actions on key rounds where my AOE spells would have been of use. Mostly helped rogue by proning creatures and flanking with my 'staff' for SA. One lucky crit touch attack with shocking grasp was quite vicious on a prone creature (from seoni).

Second combat - diplomacy through (may have been some GM caveat to keep the scenario rolling since it is literally the first combat repeated).

Third Combat - 2 Channels were overly effective against undead. Helped to flank with rogue. Others used come cantrips or low level spells (magic missiles).

Final Combat - I had to expend 2xL3 slots (2x fireblls), 1xL2 slot (sound burst), 1xL1 druid slot (gust of wind), 3 channels (on self to keep tanking damage),1 resonance on the healing staff (on self), 2 resonance on Spiritual weapons (2xL2 slot) (had to recast from L4 item wand after being knocked out and not being able to concentrate for a round - was healed quickly from the wizard cleric with his staff of healing so I was able to keep contributing), and I believe I missed on a ray of enfeeblement (bad roll vs. touch ac). Between the rogue and I we had 3 attempts to use intimidating glare (none of them worked) to drop his saves (couldn't do it more often cause he flew out of range). Of this expenditure only my fireball (for half damage) and spiritual weapons did anything to the boss because of his crazy saves and high AC (i.e., non-fun math).

The sorcerer sent out two lighting bolts and ranged cantrips at the boss for lack of anything better to hit the 'flying' lunge attack creature. Otherwise they got into melee and was helping the rogue get SA and clear the goons. The wizard also threw a fireball, and had some strange illusion creature firing arrows (all missed). He started pumping out magic missiles and spent a few charges from his healing staff to get me back up. Between both of them they cast haste and invisibility on the rogue to let him run up and be extra effective.

The rogue ran up and had some good old fashioned pushing matches, throwing goons off of the 20-30 ft platforms (he also fell but had catfall/expert proficiency to avoid damage, it was probably the best moment in the scenario for the PCs). He also ended up killing all 3 goons and doing most of the damage to them. After cleaning up the English firing line, he came back and used me as a flanking partner. He didn't have a reasonable ranged option and no one had AoOs so, it would have been extremely difficult to do anything to the boss if the GM hadn't brought him down from flying.

The boss flew in taking pot shots at me and escaping out of line of sight with his ~70ft movement speed so I couldn't exactly target him for most of the combat. I took a few cantrip shots at the archers and again tanked damage from them so the other casters/rogue didn't. The GM decided to hurry up the encounter by bringing the flying boss into melee to full attack. Nearly all 3 attacks on each turn hit me because of the bosses insane to hit bonus (i.e., not fun math). With my only effective spell requiring concentration I didn't exactly have many actions. I basically moved (to avoid 3rd attack), self healed, and concentrated (i.e., nerfs to concentrate spells really kill casters in play and make their play not so fun).

The rogue gets in a crit and solid hit with SA and drops the thing. He probably did as much or more damage in that round than what anyone else had done the entire combat.

------------------------

So what does the above experience say? It proves exactly my complaint that the math in this game is punitive to characters and the success rates that Paizo is aiming for will drain the fun from the game. Adventurers can't possibly know at the beginning of day what to prepare. With knowledge checks being nerfed in the game we didn't get 'weakest save' information. However, now that battlefield control and buffs are such weak options I find it hard to pick anything but damage spells. Especially as a cleric who will be playing healbot as required, I felt sufficient resources were going towards 'the team' and that I wanted some fun things to do in play (i.e., lets try a blaster). I think grease is still workable (used a wand and access via druid), but was there something else I could have prepared that would have been better? The cleric spell list isn't inspiring. 4 of 6 of my L1/L2 slots were condition removals that simply never came up (the curse of a prepared caster) and I wisely chose some consumable wands that made me actually contribute. Cantrips are comparatively weak, since they take 2 actions an are 1/4 -1/3 the damage most martials can put out in a round. I could have had 2xL3 SMIII spells, but I have already tried some summon builds (via bard) and it isn't that much fun (summons are also super under-powered and would be extremely unlikely to hit this 'flying' boss).

The most positive thing I can say is that "THANK GOD FOR THE V1.3 TREAT WOUNDS UPDATE". If it wasn't for there would have been a TPK because those 3 channels/1 healing staff charges in the final combat would have been used earlier in the day. I likely wouldn't have also had the resonance to throw out the spiritual weapons.

------------------------

Summary: The math of 2e is not 'fun'. Monster DCs/Attack Modifiers are too high. One CR+1 creature invalidated 3 of 4 party members despite them expending nearly all of their available spells (i.e., the OP limited resource everyone says makes up for bad save/weapon/armor proficiency).

Dark Archive

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N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:

The group was 3 casters and a rogue. He crit saves vs. 2 fireballs, 2 lightning bolts, and 1 gust of wind. He also saves vs. 1 fireball, and 1 sound burst.

So across 7 spells (5 at the highest spell slot clearing out all of two caster's highest spells) he took 12 damage. This happened because monster saves are WAY too high.

So here's what makes Paizo's job so difficult. I read your anecdote and I think it represents a vast improvement to what happened in PF1. Amen that 3 casters and a Rogue at 5th level can't just ROFLSTOMP a BBEG. Reading your story, makes me want to play PF2. Obviously people who play casters might feel the opposite.

Paizo's not going to make everyone happy. If casters were too good in PF1, then Paizo needed to make substantive reductions to the class' efficacy, and most of the power gamers who frequent the forums, aren't going to like that. Worse, they can both nerf caster, but not nerf them enough so neither side is happy.

Right now, my biggest beef is the Ranger. It's a show stopper for me. And yet, there are posters who say they like the changes to the class. Who should Piazo listen to?

There are no easy answers.

Somehow 3 of 4 party members not being able to contribute meaningfully to a combat other than 'keeping themselves alive' constitutes an improvement? No one here was trying to ROFLSTOMP anything, but you're telling me that your happy that most spells and spell-casters are frequently made worthless now? Somehow, being conservative in game and minimizing spell use (so you can throw out you're high level spells vs. the really deadly guys) isn't rewarded. What is the option then as a caster? Shall casters fail to contribute vs. the BBEG (i.e., CR equivalent or higher monsters) by:

1. Casting their spells elsewhere in the day (i.e., haven't nothing left to cast but cantrips).

2. Casting their spells on the BBEG and having them fail to have an effect the majority of the time.

3. By preparing only condition removal spells that aren't relevant.

4. By preparing only buff spells (all of which are substandard) on better classes so they can contribute, but not your PC itself.

Where is the 'fun' for casters who want to see themselves contribute to BBEG fight by dealing damage or using battle field control (i.e., not just healing or buffing others). Where is the balance for non-standard PFS parties like ours where we don't have more reliable classes to handle the actual combats since in combat spells vs. CR equivalent or higher creatures are almost always saved against.

At least in 1e the BBEG wouldn't have been able to crit save without evasion and was going to at least take 1/2 damage from 5 of those L3 spells. That in of itself would have improved the combat.

As discussed in other threads, Paizo needed to nerf casters but they didn't need to nerf them with extreme prejudice. Casters are weak PC chassis in multiple ways and over nerfed from 1e. Here is a list of 12 nerfs that 'casters' have to deal with and it isn't surprising they aren't fun to play:

1. Less spell slots (30-50% less than 1e).

2. Mechanically weaker spells (less damage, weaker bonuses, tiered failure effects where the good effect is only on a crit fail, etc.).

3. Massive spell duration nerf (getting rid of most long term buffs).

4. Spell level changes (i.e., later access).

5. Monster save vs. spell DC are heavily weighted in favour of monsters (especially for CR equivalent or greater threats) - i.e., non-fun math.

6. Less feats (8 vs. 11).

7. Bad feat levels (screws up multi-classing due to lack of a L12 feat).
8. Weaker action economy for a 2-3 action spell vs. 1 attack (melee or ranged) (throw in multiple attacks and martials are out damaging casters easily).

8. Concentration required for any summon based spell is a big action tax.

9. Lack of scaling on non-cantrips quickly making most low level spells obsolete.

10. Delayed proficiency in casting, whereas various martials get some of these bonuses earlier (e.g., fighter/Paladin for weapon/armor proficiency bumps).

11. Worse Saves.

12. Less relative HP from level increases vs. other classes


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Gorbacz wrote:

Setting up challenges that reward specialisation (eg. being a Master/Legend in a skill) and provide the party with optional yet relevant rewards is one thing, ensuring that a relatively simple task (sneaking past a bunch of hobgoblin guards, swimming across a ford) doesn't become a festival of hilarious failure by supposedly heroic characters is another.

They're not mutually exclusive, but under 3.5/PF1, you could do the former, but the latter was virtually impossible. Sure, you could magic the problem away, but that only reinforced the status of caster as godlike beings and martials as meatsack beatsticks.

Thats still a problem, though. Skills that have critical failure conditions are best not used by the entire party. Like Recall Knowledge. You want your specialist doing that.

Why?

They have much less chance to critically fail and thus avoid actively sabotaging the group. If your entire party rolls that, the untrained guy is far more likely to completely screw the whole thing up by getting wrong information the party will then have to stop and argue about.

The real problem here is that there's only a narrow range of numbers where you won't wind up with a specialist banging out critical successes and everyone else banging out critical failures frequently. That leaves the game keeping everyone in that narrow range, and thus it doesn't feel like you're progressing at all or that your "legendary" skill character is actually particularly better than the guy who took the basic two day course in how to do the same thing.


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Starfox wrote:
But when rolls like Lingering Composition and Medicine automatically increase in DC as you increase in level, it just feels WRONG. You are automatically getting worse every level, your level increase, ability increases, skill feats, and items have to be spent just to fight this all-consuming entropy.

This reminds me of the Oblivion. When I first got it, I wandered around a bit. Ended up in a dungeon or something. Killed a few things. Gained a level, so I rested to apply it.

Suddenly, everything in the dungeon I'm in has also levelled up. Some stuff also got gear upgrades, and they actually gained more that level than I did because of it. It felt so ridiculous and cheesy that I never picked the game up again.

That's how I feel when the DC to do a thing like Medicine goes up for no apparent reason just because we levelled. That +1 we gained to it for levelling is negated automatically and really what was the point?

It makes no sense that it gets harder for me to bandage a papercut at level 10 than at level 1. None.


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Tridus wrote:
Starfox wrote:
But when rolls like Lingering Composition and Medicine automatically increase in DC as you increase in level, it just feels WRONG. You are automatically getting worse every level, your level increase, ability increases, skill feats, and items have to be spent just to fight this all-consuming entropy.

This reminds me of the Oblivion. When I first got it, I wandered around a bit. Ended up in a dungeon or something. Killed a few things. Gained a level, so I rested to apply it.

Suddenly, everything in the dungeon I'm in has also levelled up. Some stuff also got gear upgrades, and they actually gained more that level than I did because of it. It felt so ridiculous and cheesy that I never picked the game up again.

That's how I feel when the DC to do a thing like Medicine goes up for no apparent reason just because we levelled. That +1 we gained to it for levelling is negated automatically and really what was the point?

It makes no sense that it gets harder for me to bandage a papercut at level 10 than at level 1. None.

But you heal more HP. People keep forgetting (or just avoid considering) that.

I would still like an option to "undercast" Treat Wounds, but it's NOT like your DC increases for nothing.


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Tridus wrote:


The real problem here is that there's only a narrow range of numbers where you won't wind up with a specialist banging out critical successes and everyone else banging out critical failures frequently. That leaves the game keeping everyone in that narrow range, and thus it doesn't feel like you're progressing at all or that your "legendary" skill character is actually particularly better than the guy who took the basic two day course in how to do the same thing.

No the problem is tied to two major factors: Factoring gear into DCs and Poorly Zeroing DCs.

Consider that there are 3 primary factors that determines the chance someone succeeds or fails on an at level check. They are Ability, Training and Gear.

  • Ability - The characters Ability score bonus. This variable goes between -1 and +7. A 9 number spread.
  • Training - The characters training in the skill. This currently varies between -4 and +3. An 8 number spread
  • Gear - The characters gear. Due to how badly designed armor is this varies between -5 and +5, an 11 number spread. On checks not influenced by ACP the gear modifier is between -2 and +5, an 8 number spread.

All 3 combined leads to a spread a 26(23) number spread of -10(-7) to +15. A 26 number spread with a d20 random variable means that a check cannot be designed to test both extremes. If gear isn't factored in we end up with a 17 number -5 to +10 spread that can have checks test both extremes and gear becomes a benefit.

The recently updated DCs are badly zeroed as the zeroes on most DCs shift as levels rise assuming characters have gear and ability scores that they may not have. Medium DCs start at an assumed bonus of +2 and then grow to an assumed bonus of +6, Hard DCs start at +4 and end at +9, Incredible go from +5 to +13, and Ultimate start at +7 and end at +17. Instead of an increase letting you succeed at harder checks they let you maintain the same level of difficulty.


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Megistone wrote:

But you heal more HP. People keep forgetting (or just avoid considering) that.

I would still like an option to "undercast" Treat Wounds, but it's NOT like your DC increases for nothing.

I like the succinctness of this reply. One short paragraph explains the correct aspect of the math and the other short paragraph contrasts it to the fun aspect of the math. It fits right into the topic, "Correct Math vs Fun Math."


Mathmuse wrote:
Megistone wrote:

But you heal more HP. People keep forgetting (or just avoid considering) that.

I would still like an option to "undercast" Treat Wounds, but it's NOT like your DC increases for nothing.

I like the succinctness of this reply. One short paragraph explains the correct aspect of the math and the other short paragraph contrasts it to the fun aspect of the math. It fits right into the topic, "Correct Math vs Fun Math."

I really like the 4 tiers of success system and even basing that system on +- 10. I also think it is not always the correct way for certain checks to be handled. Sometimes a check of 18 should be better than a check of 14, even if the base DC is 10.


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Mathmuse wrote:
Megistone wrote:

But you heal more HP. People keep forgetting (or just avoid considering) that.

I would still like an option to "undercast" Treat Wounds, but it's NOT like your DC increases for nothing.

I like the succinctness of this reply. One short paragraph explains the correct aspect of the math and the other short paragraph contrasts it to the fun aspect of the math. It fits right into the topic, "Correct Math vs Fun Math."

If they are clashing then why not redesign the ability so it no longer is frustrating?

Treat Wounds: You make a Medicine check DC 10. You heal 1 hit point to up to 6 creatures +1 hit point for every number over 10 your check results in. If you roll a 1 you can no longer use this ability for the day. If you roll a 20 double the result healed. (some conditions may change the critical failure/success ranges of this ability).

Now you never get worse - you can still fail no matter what level you are - and your skill always gets better. Numbers can be adjusted (like - if you are expert in medicine double your healing per DC beat, if you are master in this you can remove ability damage as well etc).

Just saying there is design space to allow for the effect to work, without needing 'undercasting' or needing scaling DC's.


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Red Griffyn wrote:
Somehow 3 of 4 party members not being able to contribute meaningfully to a combat other than 'keeping themselves alive' constitutes an improvement?

Absolutely. Because there should be situations in which Casters aren't dominating the game. I did one of the PFS playtests at level 5 and the casters absolutely dominated. My Ranger was a joke in combat and had no utility advantage over the casters. The cleric, bard, and goblin wizard killed most of the mobs and successfully owned the BBEG that the GM just called the fight. Neither my Ranger nor the Paladin even got an attack on the BBEG before the casters ruined him.

Quote:
No one here was trying to ROFLSTOMP

Yes you did. You brought out fireballs and lightning bolts, which in PF1 would typically crush the opposition on account of casters having all these gimmicks to boost damage or change the damage type or raise the DC, etc.

Quote:
happy that most spells and spell-casters are frequently made worthless now?

You aren't "frequently" made worthless. You had one adventure where you were not the star of the show. A-frickin-men. Because as a martial I dealt/deal with that in PF1, every. single. scenario. after level 5. And quite honestly, the casters were absolutely essential, you provided crucial healing, without which, the party would have TPK'd. Sure, you probably didn't find that fun, but if that had been 3 martials with a Rogue, it would have been a TPK because the martials would not have had the ability to do any in-combat healing.

I find it telling that you completely overlook the benefit of being able to cast grease. What martial has that ability along with doing damage? Martials can't even cast a weaker form of grease because they have none of the versatility that casters have.

Quote:
Somehow, being conservative in game and minimizing spell use (so you can throw out you're high level spells vs. the really deadly guys) isn't rewarded. What is the option then as a caster? Shall casters fail to contribute vs. the BBEG (i.e., CR equivalent or higher monsters) by:

You did contribute. You just didn't own the entire combat like you would have in PF1. You also failed to figure out which saves to target and it made a different. Wow. I've never seen that even be an issue in PF1.

What is most encouraging about your encounter was that 3 casters actually needed the help of the martial. Yes, I would absolutely call that progress. No, I don't expect casters who are used to being dominant to like it.


The reason you cannot lower the DC of heal checks is so that you don't have guaranteed success to heal any HP. If you could do that then you'd just make 50 treat wounds checks in a row to max out HP, even if each one only heals a little from the low DC.

The logic was that if DC is high, then you'd at least Crit Fail eventually.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

The reason you cannot lower the DC of heal checks is so that you don't have guaranteed success to heal any HP. If you could do that then you'd just make 50 treat wounds checks in a row to max out HP, even if each one only heals a little from the low DC.

The logic was that if DC is high, then you'd at least Crit Fail eventually.

My one experience with Treat Wounds was this Tuesday in the In Pale Mountain's Shadow chapter of Doomsday Dawn. The wizard and barbarian were badly injured--the barbarian had been dying until her player spent a Hero Point. The Superstition-totem barbarian used her once-an-hour self heal. Next, the alchemist with a +5 to Medicine started using Treat Wounds, DC 16. Thirty minutes later, after one success, one failure, and one critical failure, she passed the Healer's Tools to the wizard with a +4 in Medicine. Thirty more minutes of Treaat Wounds yielded two successes and one failure. The barbarian used her Superstition self-healing again and suggested that the wizard drink the alchemist's Elixirs of Life so that they could get moving again.

Time, rather than critical failure, appeared to be the limiting factor on Treat Wounds. And another success would have healed everyone to full, so that was another limit, perhaps the real one in this case.

Dark Archive

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N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
Somehow 3 of 4 party members not being able to contribute meaningfully to a combat other than 'keeping themselves alive' constitutes an improvement?
Absolutely. Because there should be situations in which Casters aren't dominating the game.

You realize that all L1-L5 play in 1e is totally dominated by martials. Casters barely have any slots, DCs, meaningful number of caster level, or anything requisite to drop in combat. They only contribute via skill checks and being able to use a CLW wand? Whereas the Barbarian/Bloodrager or two handing martial is one-shoting most creatures, and can solo a lot of CR+2 creatures if the dice are only mildly nice to them. Being a caster in 1e from L1-L5 is awful. It isn't until L5 or L6 with L3 spells that they can really contribute and finally get to have fun.

N N 959 wrote:
I did one of the PFS playtests at level 5 and the casters absolutely dominated. My Ranger was a joke in combat and had no utility advantage over the casters.

Thats because the ranger class is the tied for the second worst class in v1.0 of 2e. Alchemist is the worst, then Ranger tied with Sorcerer for second worst. That is why all three got big overhauls in V1.3. Rangers were bad because crossbows are still bad, they have no worthwhile class feats (they are all class locked into the fighter), they had no way to heal an animal companion (which aren't great either), and the class feat's action economy doesn't have any synergy with the hunt target class feature. You would have been better to MC Fighter for point blank shot and use a longbow. You would have been MUCH better off being a straight fighter thanks to the master weapon proficiency (you could have point blank and double shot) and way outpace the casters in DPR without needing to be within ~0-60ft for a cantrip.

N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
No one here was trying to ROFLSTOMP
Yes you did. You brought out fireballs and lightning bolts, which in PF1 would typically crush the opposition on account of casters having all these gimmicks to boost damage or change the damage type or raise the DC, etc.

You're comparing apples to oranges. A 1e fireball spec'd evoker can easily have a caster level of ~8 level 5 for fireball/lightening and throw down an admixture fireball that wrecks encounters. I was a cleric of sarenrae with a 18 WIS and nothing else. These are completely different subjects and comparing them makes no sense. Monster's relative saves vs. the DCs I can achieve are totally different (so is the spell mechanics).

You shouldn't pretend to know what I was thinking at the time or what my intent was. I am well versed with the chance of creatures making saves in this game. I have posted and commented on a variety of math related threads on Paizo/Reddit. On average, reflex is the WORST save vs. CR1-10 creatures and then pulls away at higher levels as the best save to target (instead of Fort or Will). I knew there was little chance of a creature failing or crit failing, but it was in my arsenal and I wanted to prove to myself that the math bears out lackluster game-play for casters. I was hoping that he would only 'pass' so I could get half damage on him. The map spacing, goon placement, and high mobility of the BBEG means these weren't even AOE spells. 2e has over nerfed casters and over buffed creatures and as it stand a CR equivalent creature means anything with a save DC is basically a waste of time.

N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
happy that most spells and spell-casters are frequently made worthless now?

You aren't "frequently" made worthless. You had one adventure where you were not the star of the show. A-frickin-men...

No, I don't expect casters who are used to being dominant to like it.

I have put in 8+ 4 hour sessions, playing various casters and watching others play casters. I have probably put in 50+ hours just playing around with different character builds to see how they come together. The resulting game play has always been the same. Disappointment from people playing casters. They are visibly having little or no fun because they have little to no impact on the game play. The first fight of the other L5 PFS scenario is a straight slap in the face to a caster because the thing is immune to magic (even conjuration spells are no longer exempt from this). Talk about a surefire way to make someone sit around and lose excitement for 2e. Maybe you should stop portraying people who want to play casters as people who only want to be the "star" of the one man party show. If someone played a caster and doesn't find the experience fun, their input isn't invalidated because of your prejudice against 1e casters.

N N 959 wrote:


I find it telling that you completely overlook the benefit of being able to cast grease. What martial has that ability along with doing damage? Martials can't even cast a weaker form of grease because they have none of the versatility that casters have.

Literally every martial can do it in 2e with a level 1 skill feat (Trick Magic Item) and it would only take a L2 easy DC check + one extra action to execute for a L2 item/L1 wand (something to use that third action on in the previous round). How about any martial MC into wizard or druid? They could pick up a wand just like my PC did and cast it without the feat or pick it as their L1 spell to get a scaling DC. They also have 3 more feats (4 if your a fighter past L10) from which to do a MC into a caster. Martial PCs are more versatile in 2e game because they can use consumables (even wands/staves) just as easily as casters (via a skill feat) and they can dish out way more damage in more reliable ways. Just look at the 12 ways above in which casters where nerfed. The nerf bat was applied too judiciously. Why not build a pathfinder version where each PC class is enjoyable AND balanced, instead of trying to over correct the game. Otherwise we'll be left waiting for pathfinder 3e for things to pan out where everyone at the table can enjoy themselves.


Mathmuse wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

The reason you cannot lower the DC of heal checks is so that you don't have guaranteed success to heal any HP. If you could do that then you'd just make 50 treat wounds checks in a row to max out HP, even if each one only heals a little from the low DC.

The logic was that if DC is high, then you'd at least Crit Fail eventually.

My one experience with Treat Wounds was this Tuesday in the In Pale Mountain's Shadow chapter of Doomsday Dawn. The wizard and barbarian were badly injured--the barbarian had been dying until her player spent a Hero Point. The Superstition-totem barbarian used her once-an-hour self heal. Next, the alchemist with a +5 to Medicine started using Treat Wounds, DC 16. Thirty minutes later, after one success, one failure, and one critical failure, she passed the Healer's Tools to the wizard with a +4 in Medicine. Thirty more minutes of Treaat Wounds yielded two successes and one failure. The barbarian used her Superstition self-healing again and suggested that the wizard drink the alchemist's Elixirs of Life so that they could get moving again.

Time, rather than critical failure, appeared to be the limiting factor on Treat Wounds. And another success would have healed everyone to full, so that was another limit, perhaps the real one in this case.

Yep. I see no reason everyone wouldn't get Trained in medicine just to keep the healing rolling as long as you have the time.


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Red Griffyn wrote:
You realize that all L1-L5 play in 1e is totally dominated by martials.

False. The L1 PFS scenario I played, the sorcerer dominated the social encounters. In the L5 goblin Wizard and Bard completed the skills challenge. The wizard was MC with Rogue, but needed his spells to do the physical challenges.

Quote:
Casters barely have any slots, DCs, meaningful number of caster level, or anything requisite to drop in combat. They only contribute via skill checks and being able to use a CLW wand?

At low levels, no class is well rounded. Casters are hardly alone in that department.

Quote:
Whereas the Barbarian/Bloodrager or two handing martial is one-shoting most creatures, and can solo a lot of CR+2 creatures if the dice are only mildly nice to them.

Yes, I have a Barbarian and if I can hit it with a stick I'm good. Funny how frequently scenarios go out of their way to make sure I have trouble doing that.

Quote:
Being a caster in 1e from L1-L5 is awful.

It can't be that awful as casters are ridiculously popular in PFS. You know what must be awful? Samurai.

Quote:
It isn't until L5 or L6 with L3 spells that they can really contribute and finally get to have fun.

Fun? You must mean pwn scenarios to such a high level that a party is actually stronger without martials.

Quote:
You're comparing apples to oranges. A 1e fireball spec'd evoker can easily have a caster level of ~8 level 5 for fireball/lightening and throw down an admixture fireball that wrecks encounters.

No, I'm comparing what casters could do to what they can do now, which is exactly the problem Paizo intends to fix in PF2. In the past, that barrage would have ended the encounter and then some.

Quote:
That is why all three got big overhauls in V1.3.

Rangers did not get an "overhaul" they got two feats that give one extra attack...under specific conditions. That hardly counts as an overhaul by any stretch of the imagination.

Quote:
as it stand a CR equivalent creature means anything with a save DC is basically a waste of time.

How fortunate that you can change your spells more frequently than you change your underwear. Paizo comes out with new spells, no retraining or starting over needed.

Quote:
The resulting game play has always been the same. Disappointment from people playing casters. They are visibly having little or no fun because they have little to no impact on the game play.

Yeah, casters were trivializing martials. Now, not so much. How could most people who enjoyed that kind of power and versatility not be disappointed?

Quote:
The first fight of the other L5 PFS scenario is a straight slap in the face to a caster because the thing is immune to magic (even conjuration spells are no longer exempt from this).

That's false. The first encounter is not completely immune to magic. The goblin wizard in our encounter did more damage to it than anyone else. He also had other spells that dramatically reduced damage taken.

Quote:
Talk about a surefire way to make someone sit around and lose excitement for 2e.

I played a level 7 PFS scenario as a Paladin. I sat around the entire scenario until the BBEG combat at the end. The casters and M/C casters solved all the problems. My biggest contribution? Channel healing, LOL. My big contribution was channel healing the casters.

Quote:
Maybe you should stop portraying people who want to play casters as people who only want to be the "star" of the one man party show

When they consistently insist on solving every problem and trying to shut down every combat, because they can....yeah, I think the description fits. My favorite is the use of summoned monsters to disarm traps, even when we have a Rogue.

Quote:
Literally every martial can do it in 2e with a level 1 skill feat (Trick Magic Item)

You mean PF2's version of UMD? Sorry, that's not even in the same universe as versatility/utility casters get from spells, on top of the damage.

Quote:
The nerf bat was applied too judiciously. Why not build a pathfinder version where each PC class is enjoyable AND balanced, instead of trying to over correct the game.

Sorry, I don't believe that casters from PF1 can be objective about balance. You want compromise, and that's not the same thing.


graystone wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

The reason you cannot lower the DC of heal checks is so that you don't have guaranteed success to heal any HP. If you could do that then you'd just make 50 treat wounds checks in a row to max out HP, even if each one only heals a little from the low DC.

The logic was that if DC is high, then you'd at least Crit Fail eventually.

My one experience with Treat Wounds was this Tuesday in the In Pale Mountain's Shadow chapter of Doomsday Dawn. The wizard and barbarian were badly injured--the barbarian had been dying until her player spent a Hero Point. The Superstition-totem barbarian used her once-an-hour self heal. Next, the alchemist with a +5 to Medicine started using Treat Wounds, DC 16. Thirty minutes later, after one success, one failure, and one critical failure, she passed the Healer's Tools to the wizard with a +4 in Medicine. Thirty more minutes of Treaat Wounds yielded two successes and one failure. The barbarian used her Superstition self-healing again and suggested that the wizard drink the alchemist's Elixirs of Life so that they could get moving again.

Time, rather than critical failure, appeared to be the limiting factor on Treat Wounds. And another success would have healed everyone to full, so that was another limit, perhaps the real one in this case.

Yep. I see no reason everyone wouldn't get Trained in medicine just to keep the healing rolling as long as you have the time.

This.

The 50 easy checks mentioned mean that you are resting for more than the canonical 8 hours, after all. If you have that much time, you can just camp and sleep.
Now, rolling the d20 fifty times can be boring, that's true.

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