"Correct" Math vs Fun Math


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Tridus wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
That said, I think some people would prefer to have a more basic option be in the game rather than giving all martials their own "magic system" as ToB does.

Oh, absolutely. Lots of room to do things between "strike is the best option 95% of the time" and "Fighters are now Sword Wizards." :)

I wanted to point out ToB because it's got a lot of examples of really neat martial abilities that open up combat options but let you still feel like you're melee combat focused.

I have only played pathfinder no 3.5 but Tome of Battle based on your description sounds like the sort of thing I’m talking about and something I should definitely look into :)


It's basically the same thing as Path of War, if you're familiar with that one.

Liberty's Edge

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Rysky wrote:

Something I've started to pick up on on here reading the rules and updates and watching the forums and elsewhere, is the apparent current goal of getting the math "correct", or correct as can be. Unfortunately this also seems to be coming at the expense of the math enabling fun, which is kinda the whole point of it.

A lot of times I see posts that amount to "this isn't good/fun" and other posters and the designers will chime in with "At that level +x bonus works out to xx% which is where it should be", which... actually sidesteps the prompting statement, or at least the priority of it.

Recently Untrained was remixed to give a -4, since a lot of people had the perception (little p) that something being "Untrained" should be a negative rather than so-so, which it previously had the appearance of. But on the other hand even before that, an equal number of people were calling for the higher Proficiency bonuses to be raised, so that you had the appearance of improving as you leveled even if the obstacles' stats increased along with it so they kept in tune, psychological satisfaction basically even if the math worked out the same.

Which is the crux of my concern, it doesn't matter how "correct" or flawless you get the math if it isn't fun. The math is the framework, not the endgame, it enables the game. So, is this more and more "Corrected" math fun to actually use?

What's everyone's feelings on it?

(and yes I know a bunch of monster Skills and Skills DCs are off, that's not what I'm referring to when I say the goal of "Correct" math, I'm talking about the tightening and lowering the floor.)

The underlying problem here is the +1/level bonus to everything. It causes all the numbers to scale huge and makes the math less fun. This is especially frustrating when adding +1/level has basically no mechanical benefit. It is not a source of player power (this is an illusion as whenever you level up, the DCs go up too). The only bonuses that matter are from proficiency and abilities. At level 20, adding +20 to everything drowns out the +1/+2/+3 bonuses that matter.

This is one thing 5E got right. The +1/level bonus is a sacred relic from the past that needs to be sacrificed. The table 10-2 Skills DCs by level and difficulty is helpful, but entirely unnecessary if you remove +1/level. Then your table looks like this:

Easy 8
Medium 13
Hard 15
Incredible 16
Ultimate 18
-Add +4 for group checks where only 1 success is needed.
-Add a modifier from -4 to +4 for situational penalties/bonuses.
-For trivial tasks (possibly tied to your proficiency is trained or expert or higher) you get an auto success.

This is simpler for the DM, simpler for players, faster, and makes your proficiency and ability bonuses actually feel like they matter.

It also makes game balance easier for designers, third party developers, and DMs.

Silver Crusade

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Archimedes Mavranos wrote:
The underlying problem here is the +1/level bonus to everything.
I don't think it is.
Quote:
This is especially frustrating when adding +1/level has basically no mechanical benefit.

Because of this.

There's really no difference between adding your level to everything vs never adding your level, it's just that the numbers gradually increase in the case of the former.

The way things scale though, with optimizing only giving you a 50-60%, I believe, chance of success is.


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Rysky wrote:
Archimedes Mavranos wrote:
The underlying problem here is the +1/level bonus to everything.
I don't think it is.
Quote:
This is especially frustrating when adding +1/level has basically no mechanical benefit.

Because of this.

There's really no difference between adding your level to everything vs never adding your level, it's just that the numbers gradually increase in the case of the former.

The way things scale though, with optimizing only giving you a 50-60%, I believe, chance of success is.

Correction: there's no difference when facing level appropriate challenges. Try to stab a a L1 goblin as a L15 fighter and watch the fireworks as you easily nail all 3 of your swings and more or less autocrit the first 2 thanks to the +15 you're rocking by default.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Archimedes Mavranos wrote:
The underlying problem here is the +1/level bonus to everything.
I don't think it is.
Quote:
This is especially frustrating when adding +1/level has basically no mechanical benefit.

Because of this.

There's really no difference between adding your level to everything vs never adding your level, it's just that the numbers gradually increase in the case of the former.

The way things scale though, with optimizing only giving you a 50-60%, I believe, chance of success is.

Correction: there's no difference when facing level appropriate challenges. Try to stab a a L1 goblin as a L15 fighter and watch the fireworks as you easily nail all 3 of your swings and more or less autocrit the first 2 thanks to the +15 you're rocking by default.

Everyone is right here. The argument is nuanced.

+1/level is a problem, except for level-appropriate challenges. However, the nuamce is that +1/level greatly limits the levels that are considered appropriate. An adventuring party seldom encounters hazards or hostile creatures that are exactly the same level as the party. It is usually one or two levels below or one or two levels above. Encounters would be boring if all that were allowed where one, two, or three creatures of exactly the party's level.

The +1/level exaggerates the difference between levels. A creature two levels above tha party has +2 to saves from level alone. That is in addition to the playtest bestiary giving monsters awesome saves. When combined with the 4-tiers-of-success system where a critical save means no effect, a lot of spells fizzle against those high-level monsters. The blaster wizards and debuff sorcerers shrug their shoulders and say, "It's up to you martials. We are dead weight in this battle."

In another encounter against a mob of creatures two levels below them, the spellcasters discover that their level bonus gives them good AC against the low-level minions. "Hey, this is easy. Let us finish them off with cantrips." Wait, sorry, Paizo gave the monsters a bonus to hit to make sure that that does not happen. Nevertheless, the party members have an easy time hitting the low-level minions, so the battle ends quickly.

In a Sept 22 comment about encounters in The Divinity Drive (minor spoilers about the setting), I describe interesting encounters with an 8-level difference between the combatants. Those were extreme cases, because Pathfinder 1st Edition lends itself better to 5 levels below and 3 levels above. I think that Pathfinder 2nd Edition will have to limit itself to 3 levels below and 2 levels above.

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Mathmuse wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Archimedes Mavranos wrote:
The underlying problem here is the +1/level bonus to everything.
I don't think it is.
Quote:
This is especially frustrating when adding +1/level has basically no mechanical benefit.

Because of this.

There's really no difference between adding your level to everything vs never adding your level, it's just that the numbers gradually increase in the case of the former.

The way things scale though, with optimizing only giving you a 50-60%, I believe, chance of success is.

Correction: there's no difference when facing level appropriate challenges. Try to stab a a L1 goblin as a L15 fighter and watch the fireworks as you easily nail all 3 of your swings and more or less autocrit the first 2 thanks to the +15 you're rocking by default.

Everyone is right here. The argument is nuanced.

+1/level is a problem, except for level-appropriate challenges. However, the nuamce is that +1/level greatly limits the levels that are considered appropriate. An adventuring party seldom encounters hazards or hostile creatures that are exactly the same level as the party. It is usually one or two levels below or one or two levels above. Encounters would be boring if all that were allowed where one, two, or three creatures of exactly the party's level.

The +1/level exaggerates the difference between levels. A creature two levels above tha party has +2 to saves from level alone. That is in addition to the playtest bestiary giving monsters awesome saves. When combined with the 4-tiers-of-success system where a critical save means no effect, a lot of spells fizzle against those high-level monsters. The blaster wizards and debuff sorcerers shrug their shoulders and say, "It's up to you martials. We are dead weight in this battle."

In another encounter against a mob of creatures two levels below them, the spellcasters discover that their level bonus gives them good AC against the low-level minions. "Hey, this is...

Mathmuse is correct. Sorry, I was tired and didn't list the appropriate qualifications on my comments. +1/level has not benefit against level-appropriate challenges,

The key here, that most people don't understand, is that level-appropriate challenges are the ONLY ones that matter, because that is what the game is designed for. Challenges against trivial or godly monsters are not fun or interesting gameplay. The ONLY important thing is that the system can support challenges that vary from easy to hard, and you can do that without +1/level scaling. This also has the added benefit of increasing the range of monsters you can use in a fight, since the overall scaling is flatter. This helps DM and game developers.

+1/level scaling has may drawbacks.
-It makes your important bonuses from trained/expert/master/legendary feel weak (+20 level +4 legendary doesn't feel very legendary)
-It makes the math quickly hard to understand. The monster has AC 23. Is that good? I don't know, let me see what level it is and do some math. Without the number bloat of +1/level, AC 23 is ALWAYS pretty good and you know just at a glance.
-It means that interesting skill challenges require a table like Table 10-2 that lists easy-ultimate DCs per level. The appropriate challenge scales constantly with level. If you remove the +1/level bonus, your easy-ultimate DCs are basically always (roughly):
easy 8
medium 10
hard 12
extreme 15
ultimate 16
-With some small modifiers from 1-4 to adjust things). You only have 1 set of numbers to remember and you don't need table. You always know in your gut a DC of 12 is kind of hard, etc.

Removing all this extra math will make the game easier for new players, easier for normal players, easier for DMs, and easier for game developers.

There is literally no USEFUL benefit from the +1/level scaling. The only arguments in favor are:
1.) It makes higher level characters more powerful than lower level characters/monsters. This is not useful, however, as I said since imbalanced encounters are not fun, and you can increase players power with level in more interesting ways than +1 and achieve the same results.

2.) Some skill checks should become trivial as you level up.
-There are already rules that cover this (read the skills DC section carefully), you don't need a numeric way to do this. Furthermore, the trained/expert/master/legendary system is a PERFECT way to gate certain tasks and make them trivial. You are expert in Acrobatics? Ok, you auto succeed walking that rope.

The +1/level bonus is better than Pathfinder 1E because it makes everything scale at the same rate, as opposed to 1E/3.5 where everything scaling at different rates (which when you really look at it from a game design perspective is bonkers). It wasn't until I saw the +1/level in Pathfinder 2E that I went through this thought process:
"Oh, look, the scaling is standardized! That's great! Now it makes sense to compare skill checks to saves or attacks or whatever".
then...
"But if I level up and add +1 to all attacks and all monsters that are level appropriate get +1 to AC, then that is a +0 bonus..."
"They should just remove the scaling..."

This is what 5E did and its awesome. The sad part is, Pathfinder has many improvements over 5E (variable levels of proficiency, crit success/failure, skill feats, more customization, 3 actions economy, variable action spells). Unfortunately, Pathfinder is much more complex, which makes it harder on players/DMs/developers. I think Pathfinder could capitalize on most of what makes it unique and still be simplified a bit to make it run smoother. 5E feels elegant and powerful. Pathfinder feels powerful but inelegant.


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I'm obliged to point out your system has absolutely no way of handling a simple scenario such as: "you fight goblins at level 1, and then you fight the same goblins at level 3".

They will be exactly as deadly at both levels.


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Cyouni wrote:

I'm obliged to point out your system has absolutely no way of handling a simple scenario such as: "you fight goblins at level 1, and then you fight the same goblins at level 3".

They will be exactly as deadly at both levels.

I don't really have a horse in the +1/level race, but that's not really true at all. To hit bonus is far from the only way characters become more powerful - the 3rd level characters will have more HP and more powerful abilities, and while the difference will certainly be closer than if they also had +2 to attack and AC, it is not going to be the same fight at all.


My opinion is that if a level 1 and a level 20 fighter start a duel with nothing but a mundane weapon, the rookie fighter should (almost) never be able to hit the master, utterly outmached by their skill. And the master fighter should (almost) never miss the rookie, for the same reason.
It never made sense to me that in PF1 AC never scaled up except for equipment and a few other things like Dodge.


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Archimedes Mavranos wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Archimedes Mavranos wrote:
The underlying problem here is the +1/level bonus to everything.
I don't think it is.
Quote:
This is especially frustrating when adding +1/level has basically no mechanical benefit.

Because of this.

There's really no difference between adding your level to everything vs never adding your level, it's just that the numbers gradually increase in the case of the former.

The way things scale though, with optimizing only giving you a 50-60%, I believe, chance of success is.

Correction: there's no difference when facing level appropriate challenges. Try to stab a a L1 goblin as a L15 fighter and watch the fireworks as you easily nail all 3 of your swings and more or less autocrit the first 2 thanks to the +15 you're rocking by default.

Everyone is right here. The argument is nuanced.

+1/level is a problem, except for level-appropriate challenges. However, the nuamce is that +1/level greatly limits the levels that are considered appropriate. An adventuring party seldom encounters hazards or hostile creatures that are exactly the same level as the party. It is usually one or two levels below or one or two levels above. Encounters would be boring if all that were allowed where one, two, or three creatures of exactly the party's level.

The +1/level exaggerates the difference between levels. A creature two levels above tha party has +2 to saves from level alone. That is in addition to the playtest bestiary giving monsters awesome saves. When combined with the 4-tiers-of-success system where a critical save means no effect, a lot of spells fizzle against those high-level monsters. The blaster wizards and debuff sorcerers shrug their shoulders and say, "It's up to you martials. We are dead weight in this battle."

In another encounter against a mob of creatures two levels below them, the spellcasters discover that their level bonus gives them good AC against the

...

First off, hat tip to the folks talking this angle so far. It's been a great read and really mirrors my feelings on the subject. +1/level is a bad mechanic.

The thing I'd want to add is to note just how locked into the system it is and how it cannot be easily changed. The game is, as has been pointed out, designed to use that +1/level mechanic to provide the gap in power between two different characters of different levels. In examples given, the level 1 Fighter will lose to the level 10 Fighter, not just because he's got far fewer HP and worse capabilities (keep this in mind for a second), but because his level-based bonuses are inferior. The L1 will be crit on each attack against him, and struggle to land anything against the L10.

The question would be what capabilities does the L1 Fighter lack that the L10 has? A quick look at the class section hints that they're more or less the same Fighter, with the L10 just having more numbers bonuses. What types of things does the class grant as class features? Access to Crit Spec (which are very very weak and only function when fighting lower level things which likely die by damage before the crit spec applies), Bravery (almost as bad as PF1's Bravery)... everything else is just adding to the numbers that a Fighter might get from +1/level. What about class feats? Most of these feats are made to either remove penalties or give increased numbers, again, nothing that grants greater capabilities or more power level.

Why bring this up? Well, it seems that the main way that characters increase in competency at their role in PF2 is by having more levels, which gives that higher modifier. Why do you beat up on lower level things? Because of the +10/-10 crit rule. More level difference leads to the increased likelihood of triggering that rule one way or the other. Your feats, your proficiency tiers, your class features... They don't seem to matter so much. It's just that sweet, sweet level difference.

For the game to move away from that +1/level mechanic, there'd have to be a complete redesign of how characters gain in capability and competency. I'm 100% for this, of course, but I also recognize that, at this point, the decision will likely not be made to rebuild the game from the ground up. A comment was made on another thread that "a delayed game is good eventually, but a rushed game is bad forever." This applies here; the 1-year playtest window isn't enough time to put in such a hefty rethinking of literally everything in the game. For better or worse, +1/level is sorta here to stay, even if it is ultimately the biggest problem with PF2.


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Greg.Everham wrote:
For better or worse, +1/level is sorta here to stay, even if it is ultimately the biggest problem with PF2.

I'm afraid you are exactly right.

But that begs the question: Is 2E here to stay?
Ask a 4E fan and then consider how much the D&D brand helped prop up 4E.

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Isn't the point of a level-based system that you gain power by gaining levels?


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Shisumo wrote:
Isn't the point of a level-based system that you gain power by gaining levels?

Yes.

But nobody is questioning if it is a level-based system.
People are questioning (and answering) if it is a *good* one.

Silver Crusade

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I’m going to disagree that that level appropriate fights are the only ones that matter and variances aren’t fun. They can be tons of fun when used correctly. A challenging fight can be fun at the end of the adventure or other climatic moments, and sparsing less challenging fights throughout the adventure lets your players feel how strong they’ve become as they steamroll them.


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Greg.Everham wrote:
<lots of stuff, including a detailed example of a level 1 vs level 10 fighter>

With the +1/level, that level 1 fighter would also lose to a level 10 wizard, for the same reasons. Which I bring up because it circles around to a point that was made on Magnuskn's magic thread - it's a fundamental design choice that affects the type of stories you can tell with your system.

Without +1/level, your wizards can be Raistlin (grew in magic power, was never a combatant because he was always frail). A low-level melee combatant or several was always a threat he avoided *or dealt with via magic*.

With +1/level your wizards are all movie-Gandalf, smiting the hordes with their magic sword, as needed. Capable of doing physical feats that lesser men only dream of - just not quite as well as Aragorn and Legolas do them.

It does strange things to the game world, too. If an area is full of high-level acrobatics or athletics or survival challenges (for example) that are of appropriate DC for a 15th-level party - what wild animals could possibly live there? I mean, I get that there is obviously something there for the party to fight, but *what does that thing eat, when there aren't any adventurers showing up with swords and ketchup*? It makes the ecology of the game world odd, because you wind up with video-game-style zones where everything is just tougher and the wolves from zone A are completely different than the wolves in zone Q. Yes, I know I *can* work around this - but it's work I don't want to have to do to make my game world immersive. I don't want to jump through the hoops to make my level 0 arctic bunnies able to live in an area with DC-15th-level ice sheets and blizzards.


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Megistone wrote:

My opinion is that if a level 1 and a level 20 fighter start a duel with nothing but a mundane weapon, the rookie fighter should (almost) never be able to hit the master, utterly outmached by their skill. And the master fighter should (almost) never miss the rookie, for the same reason.

It never made sense to me that in PF1 AC never scaled up except for equipment and a few other things like Dodge.

This is totally valid.

IME, 1E works out fine with this issue never really coming to the front.
But that doesn't change the point that fighters don't get somewhat better at avoiding blows. Saying that a good system should include a model of that makes sense.

But what we have here is a system where the wizard and cleric get better at avoiding blows to the exact same measure as the fighter. And the fighter gets better at sneaking in the exact same measure. And pretty much everything else as well. And you can't even really call this advancement in AC an experience thing, because unintelligent level 12 creatures get the same +12 to AC as that Level 12 fighter.

Your point is completely valid. But it seems this valid point just happens to be buried in the midst of a mountain of other issues.


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Shisumo wrote:
Isn't the point of a level-based system that you gain power by gaining levels?

Yes, and Pathfinder is scaled so that each level makes a character 41.4% better in combat. Okay, not precise to one tenth of one percent: Paizo often alternates 33% better and 50% better which averages to 41.4% better. See my thread, The Mind-Boggling Math of Exponential Leveling.

If a character hits on 60% of his attacks (50% regular hits, 10% critical hits), a +1 to hit increases his damage by 14.3%. A +1 to AC decreases his opponents hits by 12.5%. The combined effect (1.143)/(0.875) is a 30.6% increase in combat effectiveness. If we give the character 8% more hit points, that accounts for the entire 41.4% increase in combat effectiveness. Thus, the level-up has no slack for combat feats, weapon proficiency increase, armor proficiency increase, or better gear.

Pathfinder 2nd Edition gives the feat and gear anyway. The true increase in combat effectiveness is around 68%.

Since (1.414)^2 = 2, a 41.4% increase means that a creature's or character's combat effectiveness would double every two levels. Table 4 on page 21 of the Playtest Bestiary reflects this.
A creature at 4 levels below the party is a trivial minion worth 10 xp.
A creature at 3 levels below the party is a weak minion worth 15 xp (50% more).
A creature at 2 levels below the party is a minion worth 20 xp (33% more).
A creature at 1 level below the party is a standard threat worth 30 xp (50% more).
A creature at the party's level is a weak boss worth 40 xp (33% more).
A creature 1 level above the party is a boss worth 60 xp (50% more).
A creature 2 levels above the party is a high-threat boss worth 80 xp (33% more).
A creature 3 levels above the party is a severe-threat boss worth 120 xp (50% more).
A creature 4 levels above the party is an extreme-threat boss worth 160 xp (33% more).

But with a 68% increase, table 4 is wrong. The values should be:
A creature at 4 levels below the party is a laughable minion worth 5 xp.
A creature at 3 levels below the party is a trival minion worth 10 xp.
A creature at 2 levels below the party is a minion worth 20 xp.
A creature at 1 level below the party is a standard threat worth 30 xp.
A creature at the party's level is an underachiever boss worth 50 xp.
A creature 1 level above the party is a high-threat boss worth 80 xp.
A creature 2 levels above the party is a severe-threat boss worth 140 xp.
A creature 3 levels above the party is an very-extreme-threat boss worth 240 xp.
A creature 4 levels above the party is an annihilator worth 400 xp.


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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.

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...

Actually with the current DCs its more likely the entire party (including the specialist) will fail to sneak past sleeping orcs.


Matthew Downie 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.

I don't have a problem with having autosuccess/autofail challenges for that kind of situation. If you've invested in that thing, you are rewarded. If you haven't, you have to cope.

It's just a question of designing adventures so either situation is a fun time.

If you can read the ancient language, you learn how to open the door without fighting the guardian. If you can't, you fight the guardian.

If you can climb the difficult tree, you can see into the enemy camp and know what you're going to be facing. If you can't climb the tree, you have to go into the enemy camp with no prior knowledge.

If you can make the diplomacy check, the guy will tell you what you need to know. If you can't, you have to bribe him or beat the information out of him.

If you can disarm the trap, you are rewarded by taking no damage. If you can't, you have to try to work out how to disarm it with minimal loss of resources.

If you pass the perception check, you spot the hidden treasure. If you can't, you never even realise there was a treasure.

If you can cast a healing spell, you are able to save the dying peasant and find out who attacked him. If not, you can use...

Reminds me of campaign where I was the only Lawful (monk) character where every one else was various chaotic, but the town the adventure was based around was run by Hellknights. Starting a 2nd lvl on I had maxed out Profession (Lawyer) which combined with my high Wisdom probably saved more PC lives than our cleric.


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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,
...

But if the easy to make and run adventures bore everyone that they don't want to play, isn't good either. And there are always going to be more players than GMs. I know plenty of players who never GM, their just not interested in running, regardless of the system.


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N N 959 wrote:
dnoisette wrote:
Someone mentioned in this thread that casters being no more valuable than martial characters will increase the desirability of said martials.

That was me.

Quote:

That's not how it is right now: non-multiclassed spellcasters are less valuable than anything else and, as a result, my playest group now consists of 4 martial characters (Fighter, Paladin, Rogue, Monk) and one multiclassed Cleric/Fighter.

Nobody wants to try a pure spellcaster again until they (hopefully) are fixed, after having played one themselves. :/

And Paizo has to know that this perspective is skewed because the playtest consist of people who are mostly familiar with casters from PF1. Of course those people are going to find casters unplayable. Go look at the shapechanging Druids. It's the same thing. They were used to being able to shape change for hours. Now, it's been reduced to a battle at time and they hate it. Duh.

There's no way for Paizo to bring casters down to earth and have those same players remain happy. It isn't going to happen. If I'm Paizo, I'm doing it because I believe that in the long run, it will make for a much better and fairer game.

That assumes that they'll have a long run after driving away anybody who likes to play casters or skilled characters and go broke.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
My wife points out that her character did expend resources to get past the guards without fighting them. She designed her character to be good at sneaking or bluffing or bribery, and that reduced her character's ability to fight in the boss combat. And the other characters also had to sneak or walk in without armor to support the bluff or donate money to the bribe, so they did not get a free ride either.

I’m enjoying a lot of your PF2 commentary/analysis. This in particular really resonated with me. I can’t get my group to see this, so when I build lore heavy characters or high diplomacy characters the DMs inevitably try to stymie my solutions (or let me roll some dice...then have the battle they’d always planned anyhow “after Steve’s Roleplaying”).

It’s really frustrating that reducing one’s combat effectiveness in every battle throughout a campaign “doesn’t count” as spending resources.

I feel this is a really important aspect of PF2.


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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. 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.

Not trying to debate here, just wondering how this came to be. This is so very different from my play experience. I guess that some rules must be interpreted differently for this to be true. Or perhaps its the massive number of casters - it seems there were 4 casters and 2 non-casters and the casters might have achieved some kind of synergy.

These different experiences seem to be widespread. Perhaps I should go look for a podcast of a Casters Dominate game and listen to how it differs from the games I run. Can anyone point me at such a podcast?


Greg.Everham wrote:
For better or worse, +1/level is sorta here to stay, even if it is ultimately the biggest problem with PF2.

Excellent post, but the good news is, it's dead simple to omit, or dial up or down.

Outside the playtest, I have experimented with +1/4 level, +1/2 level, +2 x level, and complete removal. I prefer complete removal. Opens up the threat range of monsters, less auto-crits and only hitting on a natural 20, less number inflation.
Seems intentional, and they have talked about a mechanical variant book (that's how we got the new Action Economy), could easily mention omission of +Level for a different feel. I wish 5th Ed would release a book of mechanical variants (that XGtE turned out to be a guide to not much at all...).

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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:
For better or worse, +1/level is sorta here to stay, even if it is ultimately the biggest problem with PF2.

Excellent post, but the good news is, it's dead simple to omit, or dial up or down.

Outside the playtest, I have experimented with +1/4 level, +1/2 level, +2 x level, and complete removal. I prefer complete removal. Opens up the threat range of monsters, less auto-crits and only hitting on a natural 20, less number inflation.
Seems intentional, and they have talked about a mechanical variant book (that's how we got the new Action Economy), could easily mention omission of +Level for a different feel. I wish 5th Ed would release a book of mechanical variants (that XGtE turned out to be a guide to not much at all...).

Has anyone run an actual stat breakdown regarding stripping +1/level out of PF2? The math becomes onerous in the playtest at much lower levels than PF1, to the point in which running chapter 4 in Doomsday felt like running a 13th to 14th level game of PF1. The numbers scale high too quickly for easy enjoyment. Staving off the math porn for as long as possible sounds increasingly like the right course for me. That, or either not GMing past level 9.


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Ikos wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:
For better or worse, +1/level is sorta here to stay, even if it is ultimately the biggest problem with PF2.

Excellent post, but the good news is, it's dead simple to omit, or dial up or down.

Outside the playtest, I have experimented with +1/4 level, +1/2 level, +2 x level, and complete removal. I prefer complete removal. Opens up the threat range of monsters, less auto-crits and only hitting on a natural 20, less number inflation.
Seems intentional, and they have talked about a mechanical variant book (that's how we got the new Action Economy), could easily mention omission of +Level for a different feel. I wish 5th Ed would release a book of mechanical variants (that XGtE turned out to be a guide to not much at all...).
Has anyone run an actual stat breakdown regarding stripping +1/level out of PF2? The math becomes onerous in the playtest at much lower levels than PF1, to the point in which running chapter 4 in Doomsday felt like running a 13th to 14th level game of PF1. The numbers scale high too quickly for easy enjoyment. Staving off the math porn for as long as possible sounds increasingly like the right course for me. That, or either not GMing past level 9.

Removing it opens up the threat ranges of monsters (and lessens auto-crits and only hitting on a natural 20).

With +Level:
20th-level Fighter (+20) with 22 Str (+6), legendary proficiency (+3), and a +5 magic weapon, has +34 to hit.
AC 45. 10 + 20 (level) + 3 (Legendary Proficiency) +11 (+5 plate) +1 (Dex)

A Pit Fiend has an AC of 44.

Without:
20th-level Fighter with 22 Str (+6), legendary proficiency (+3), and a +5 magic weapon, has +14 to hit.

A Pit Fiend has an AC of 24.

Nothing has changed in regards to what you need to roll for a success/crit, etc.

Some other comparisons for monsters of different levels:

With +Level:

20th-level Fighter, AC 45, +34 to hit
Pit Fiend, AC 44, +35 to hit
Fire Giant, AC 28, +20 to hit
Ghoul, AC 15, +7 to hit

Without:

20th-level Fighter, AC 25, +14 to hit
Pit Fiend, AC 24, +15 to hit
Fire Giant, AC 18, +10 to hit
Ghoul, AC 14, +6 to hit

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Thanks, I didn’t think +1/level was an issue until looking at it square in the eye at the table yesterday. Just like higher level play in PF1, the more math inclined in chapter 4 playtest seemed to have little difficulty while the other half of the table’s brows immediately furrowed as they sought to keep pace. Removing it could only benefit the system in terms of ease of play and accessibility to new players.


Hmm okay, that gives just a very narrow space for values for monsters to have. If the best thing we can hope for is a +10 increase or so (+2 stat, +3 proficiency, +3 item, +2 or so buff spells), then monster stats also only can be upped by this margin. Over 20 levels of challenge rating.

The higher power of monsters would then come from what? Having gobs of HP that just outlast anyone with lower HP totals, even if they would not be too bad at hitting? Or maybe magical abilities to debuff the PCs, that make having achieved a certain spell level to field the necessary mitigation spells a must (don't fight Medusae until you rock flesh-to-stone)?

This then would move progression towards 'you must have the right magic' available to play. Which I find problematic.

Unless, I suppose, there are Feats for that and magic merely augments what the PCs can already do themselves. So that the power 'was in them the whole time' etc.

Honestly, I have no good answer for that. But it seems that +1/lv. is the less onerous way to pump up characters. Because ultimately, any tactical wargame is a numbers game.

Of course, for those to whom PF isn't a tactical wargame, well, roleplaying can solve situations in ways no numbers game ever can. So the problem, or maybe 'problem' is muted for them because it only ever matters when diplomacy and clever ideas have failed and it is time for plan B (or C or D depending).

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Yes, the bounded accuracy in 5e is accomplished by higher hit points, not higher math. The higher hit points are already there in PF2 as is the high damage. The fact that the math in PF2 scales higher faster than PF1 is my concern, not that math exists in the game. Higher level play in PF1 was unattractive for many reasons, one of them being that it became larded with higher numbers to the enjoyment of few.


Ikos wrote:
Yes, the bounded accuracy in 5e is accomplished by higher hit points, not higher math. The higher hit points are already there in PF2 as is the high damage. The fact that the math in PF2 scales higher faster than PF1 is my concern, not that math exists in the game. Higher level play in PF1 was unattractive for many reasons, one of them being that it became larded with higher numbers to the enjoyment of few.

Full BaB classes are +1/level in PF1. A skill you fully invest in gets 1 rank/level.

The only thing that scales more (and for PCs only) in this version is AC.


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Lycar wrote:

Hmm okay, that gives just a very narrow space for values for monsters to have. If the best thing we can hope for is a +10 increase or so (+2 stat, +3 proficiency, +3 item, +2 or so buff spells), then monster stats also only can be upped by this margin. Over 20 levels of challenge rating.

The higher power of monsters would then come from what?

I think you are inflating the importance/impact of +Level (as my above example shows), and number inflation is not where the higher power of monsters comes from.

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Ed Reppert wrote:
I've never understood why there are so many numerophobes in the world. In particular I don't understand why higher numbers are a problem. Is it just because they're higher?

The same could be said of people who don’t find the math unpleasant by those who do. Not all that profound; we’ll chalk it up to the mysteries of the universe.

For me, it really boils down to wanting a pastime (after 60 plus hours of work at a salary position) to feel like a relaxing hobby rather than just another spreadsheet. The sentiment is shared by most of the people who left PF1 for 5e in droves a few years back.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Lycar wrote:

Hmm okay, that gives just a very narrow space for values for monsters to have. If the best thing we can hope for is a +10 increase or so (+2 stat, +3 proficiency, +3 item, +2 or so buff spells), then monster stats also only can be upped by this margin. Over 20 levels of challenge rating.

The higher power of monsters would then come from what?

I think you are inflating the importance/impact of +Level (as my above example shows), and number inflation is not where the higher power of monsters comes from.

Well? Where DOES the higher power come from then? Your above example doesn't show that.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
I've never understood why there are so many numerophobes in the world. In particular I don't understand why higher numbers are a problem. Is it just because they're higher?
I don't think it's necessary to label people because they are maybe tired of number porn (3rd and 4th Ed have it in spades) or what-have-you, especially when it's so transparent and unnecessary ("...but this goes to 11..."), though the good part is, with the Playtest, it is so easily omitted, or tweaked (+1/4, +1/2, +2 x Level).

Speaking of labelling...

Never mind. Not worth the effort.


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Lycar wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Lycar wrote:

Hmm okay, that gives just a very narrow space for values for monsters to have. If the best thing we can hope for is a +10 increase or so (+2 stat, +3 proficiency, +3 item, +2 or so buff spells), then monster stats also only can be upped by this margin. Over 20 levels of challenge rating.

The higher power of monsters would then come from what?

I think you are inflating the importance/impact of +Level (as my above example shows), and number inflation is not where the higher power of monsters comes from.

Well? Where DOES the higher power come from then? Your above example doesn't show that.

For monsters? Arbitrary monster bonuses.

Random page for a level 10+ monster...
Mutilation demon, which is Glabrezu, I guess

AC 38. Ok base 10, level 16, dex +5 = 31 So thats 7 points of AC as ??

TAC is 35, which leaves +4 as ???

+29 to hit. 16 from level, +9 from strength... +4 from ???

28 Fort 16 +7 =23... +5 from ???

DC 32 paralyzing gaze. 16 + uh.. 6 from wisdom? maybe +9 from strength instead? still leaves +10 or +7 from ???

Perception 28. 16+6... +6 ???

From Skills, Perception and Proficiency on page 23, I guess we can assume all of those are master ranked (since its 9th level or higher, but not 17th), so that accounts for +2 of the +4 to +7, but that still leaves a pile of math unaccounted for.

So... arbitrary monster bonuses.

Or the team that did the bestiary was on a different page with different math.

If you eliminate +level, nothing changes. Monsters still have a variable +??? to stats.


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Voss wrote:
If you eliminate +level, nothing changes. Monsters still have a variable +??? to stats.

One detail changes. A monster 2 levels above the party has an additional +2 to attacks, AC, and saves purely from levels relative to the party, along with its monster bonuses. The Doomsday Dawn playtests report the boss monsters making critical-success saves against spells a lot.


What, just numbers? Nothing about new special attacks/defences making certain spell levels necessary to deal with them?


Lycar wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Lycar wrote:

Hmm okay, that gives just a very narrow space for values for monsters to have. If the best thing we can hope for is a +10 increase or so (+2 stat, +3 proficiency, +3 item, +2 or so buff spells), then monster stats also only can be upped by this margin. Over 20 levels of challenge rating.

The higher power of monsters would then come from what?

I think you are inflating the importance/impact of +Level (as my above example shows), and number inflation is not where the higher power of monsters comes from.

Well? Where DOES the higher power come from then?

Ha, sounds like a religious question.

Where it usually comes from, higher ability scores, more damage, AC, higher level innate spellcasting, special/unique attack actions, special qualities, immunities, resistances, etc, etc.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Lycar wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Lycar wrote:

Hmm okay, that gives just a very narrow space for values for monsters to have. If the best thing we can hope for is a +10 increase or so (+2 stat, +3 proficiency, +3 item, +2 or so buff spells), then monster stats also only can be upped by this margin. Over 20 levels of challenge rating.

The higher power of monsters would then come from what?

I think you are inflating the importance/impact of +Level (as my above example shows), and number inflation is not where the higher power of monsters comes from.

Well? Where DOES the higher power come from then?

Ha, sounds like a religious question.

Where it usually comes from, higher ability scores, more damage, AC, higher level innate spellcasting, special/unique attack actions, special qualities, immunities, resistances, etc, etc.

So... where does a Martial's higher power come from? Ability scores take 10 levels to have any effect once you get past 18 (which to most people, especially on a Martial, is the baseline for your important stat), more damage for weapon users almost purely comes from items and thus has nothing to do with the character's power level (a quite frustrating thing IMO), same with AC without level, spellcasting I would hope is self-explanatory, special qualities/immunities/resistances... I'm guessing this part is referring to monsters because I don't recall any PCs getting most of that stuff... so basically we're left with "special/unique attack actions"... so only 1 point... which quite often you can't even make work together, sometimes even actively oppose each other, and are sometimes so niche that you basically have to hope the GM deigns to let you use your ability. Or that the dice deign to let you use it in the case of crit-based abilities, of which there are more than a few.


Shinigami02 wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Lycar wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Lycar wrote:

Hmm okay, that gives just a very narrow space for values for monsters to have. If the best thing we can hope for is a +10 increase or so (+2 stat, +3 proficiency, +3 item, +2 or so buff spells), then monster stats also only can be upped by this margin. Over 20 levels of challenge rating.

The higher power of monsters would then come from what?

I think you are inflating the importance/impact of +Level (as my above example shows), and number inflation is not where the higher power of monsters comes from.

Well? Where DOES the higher power come from then?

Ha, sounds like a religious question.

Where it usually comes from, higher ability scores, more damage, AC, higher level innate spellcasting, special/unique attack actions, special qualities, immunities, resistances, etc, etc.

So... where does a Martial's higher power come from?

Similar things.

An extra +1 to hit for gaining a level, that you and your monster buddy, get, is neat and all, but doesn't really equate to more power. Certainly not more interesting, either; should not a higher level, more powerful being, be about more than its to hit bonus and AC?


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
-Trimming the Quote Tree-
So... where does a Martial's higher power come from?

Similar things.

An extra +1 to hit for gaining a level, that you and your monster buddy, get, is neat and all, but doesn't really equate to more power. Certainly not more interesting, either; should not a higher level, more powerful being, be about more than its to hit bonus and AC?

The bonus does at least theoretically equate to a more powerful being, because while a level-appropriate enemy will have the same bonuses and thus be on the same power level (how well balanced that power level is is its own debate that is already raging, so setting that aside for the moment) other creatures that were once a threat now... aren't, really. And frankly that is my biggest issue with the whole idea of stripping out the level bonus and going bounded accuracy like 5e did, to be quite frank I don't want the same enemies I was fighting 5, 10, 15 levels ago to still be a meaningful threat, without applying some kind of (hopefully justified In-Universe) super enhancement to them. I get that some people might, but frankly, I rather like the image of the high-level character who can casually stroll through an army of level 0-1 enemies and just lay waste to those around them like some engine of destruction while the enemy can barely lay a finger on them.

Now that's not to say I don't think it would be awesome to be able to get some of those other things too, like inherent damage scaling, awesome abilities (that can actually work together and be used reliably preferably) and the like. Heck, I was one of those pushing for Legendary Skill Feats to be, well, Legendary (possibly even approaching "Anime" tier, I happen to like Anime and have spent the last 4 or 5 years trying to build it anyways ^.^; ) back in pre-release. But besides that, I still see the level bonus's effects as a feature, rather than the bug that some people see it as.


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Shinigami02 wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
-Trimming the Quote Tree-
So... where does a Martial's higher power come from?

Similar things.

An extra +1 to hit for gaining a level, that you and your monster buddy, get, is neat and all, but doesn't really equate to more power. Certainly not more interesting, either; should not a higher level, more powerful being, be about more than its to hit bonus and AC?

The bonus does at least theoretically equate to a more powerful being, because while a level-appropriate enemy will have the same bonuses and thus be on the same power level (how well balanced that power level is is its own debate that is already raging, so setting that aside for the moment) other creatures that were once a threat now... aren't, really.

Yes, +Level is good at tightening up threat ranges, and, also, 5th Ed may have gone a bit too far with the BA thing.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
The bonus does at least theoretically equate to a more powerful being, because while a level-appropriate enemy will have the same bonuses and thus be on the same power level (how well balanced that power level is is its own debate that is already raging, so setting that aside for the moment) other creatures that were once a threat now... aren't, really.
Yes, +Level is good at tightening up threat ranges, and, also, 5th Ed may have gone a bit too far with the BA thing.

Why do some people want the threat range tightened up?

If people want to fight new kinds of monsters, ones more powerful than before, won't a fast experience point progression work just as well? Instead of 1,000 xp to the next level, make the threshold 500 xp.

I want a wider threat range. If the party has been fighting individual orc bandits at 1st level, and well-buffed orc veterans at 3rd level, and small orc patrols at 5th level, and warbands of orcs led by orcish champions at 7th level, and all around saving their small town from the orc menace, I have trouble saying, "You reached 9th level, so you will never see an orc again. The orcish champions are no longer a threat to you, not one, two, nor four of them, so those encounters are over."

I don't want to slow down their xp progression to expand the time with similar threats, because part of the fun is the players mastering new abilities. Once they learned how to take advantage of their latest class feature, the time has come to gain another.

I also don't want the new threats to be more powerful just because they hit harder. I want to add dwarf fighters who trip, orc fighters who disarm, human duelists fencing one-handed, flying creatures, incorporeal creatures, creatures made of ice that take extra damage from fire, oozes that split into two healthy oozes if cut, and other things where the party has to invent new tactics on the fly. Having less of their power come from +1/level and more from exotic abilities is more interesting.


Mathmuse wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
The bonus does at least theoretically equate to a more powerful being, because while a level-appropriate enemy will have the same bonuses and thus be on the same power level (how well balanced that power level is is its own debate that is already raging, so setting that aside for the moment) other creatures that were once a threat now... aren't, really.
Yes, +Level is good at tightening up threat ranges, and, also, 5th Ed may have gone a bit too far with the BA thing.

Why do some people want the threat range tightened up?

If people want to fight new kinds of monsters, ones more powerful than before, won't a fast experience point progression work just as well? Instead of 1,000 xp to the next level, make the threshold 500 xp.

I want a wider threat range. If the party has been fighting individual orc bandits at 1st level, and well-buffed orc veterans at 3rd level, and small orc patrols at 5th level, and warbands of orcs led by orcish champions at 7th level, and all around saving their small town from the orc menace, I have trouble saying, "You reached 9th level, so you will never see an orc again. The orcish champions are no longer a threat to you, not one, two, nor four of them, so those encounters are over."

Individual Orc Bandits > Orc Veterans/Orc Patrols > Orcish Warbands > Orcish Champions is a good progression though, and exactly the kind of thing I was mentioning with improving the orcs. But here's the thing, that isn't what would be happening with the change, particularly the Orcish Patrols or Warbands... because those individual Bandits from level 1 are still going to be potentially lethal to you at level 9. Sure they die in less hits than the Champion you're fighting now, but they're probably just about as hard to hit and hit likely just as easily. A patrol might well lead to a TPK, and a Warband, well, you might as well just run because you're going to need an army not an adventuring party. Meanwhile those Champions numerically are only going to be a little bit stronger than the Bandits, with the (possibly) primary difference being HP. And that's what sits poorly with me. I want that Demigod level of strength that most games don't give, by level 15 I want the army of lowly level 1s, and even level 5s to tremble in fear at the mention of my name, not for me to be forced to retreat because 5 of them are going to walk right over me. And most importantly, I want this to happen because I'm level 15, not because my fighter was lucky enough to happen into a +whatever sword and armor.

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Shinigami02 wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
The bonus does at least theoretically equate to a more powerful being, because while a level-appropriate enemy will have the same bonuses and thus be on the same power level (how well balanced that power level is is its own debate that is already raging, so setting that aside for the moment) other creatures that were once a threat now... aren't, really.
Yes, +Level is good at tightening up threat ranges, and, also, 5th Ed may have gone a bit too far with the BA thing.

Why do some people want the threat range tightened up?

If people want to fight new kinds of monsters, ones more powerful than before, won't a fast experience point progression work just as well? Instead of 1,000 xp to the next level, make the threshold 500 xp.

I want a wider threat range. If the party has been fighting individual orc bandits at 1st level, and well-buffed orc veterans at 3rd level, and small orc patrols at 5th level, and warbands of orcs led by orcish champions at 7th level, and all around saving their small town from the orc menace, I have trouble saying, "You reached 9th level, so you will never see an orc again. The orcish champions are no longer a threat to you, not one, two, nor four of them, so those encounters are over."

Individual Orc Bandits > Orc Veterans/Orc Patrols > Orcish Warbands > Orcish Champions is a good progression though, and exactly the kind of thing I was mentioning with improving the orcs. But here's the thing, that isn't what would be happening with the change, particularly the Orcish Patrols or Warbands... because those individual Bandits from level 1 are still going to be potentially lethal to you at level 9. Sure they die in less hits than the Champion you're fighting now, but they're probably just about as hard to hit and hit likely just as easily. A patrol might well lead to a TPK, and a Warband, well, you might as well just run because you're going to need an army not an adventuring party....

That's assuming for some reason you're in the habit of fighting armies of anything. PF1 made the troop template for that very reason - to make large groups of mooks perform as genuine threats, mostly because somebody thought it would be more interesting if they did. There's diminishing returns to the momentary glow of being invincible. It gets old pretty quickly.


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Mathmuse wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
The bonus does at least theoretically equate to a more powerful being, because while a level-appropriate enemy will have the same bonuses and thus be on the same power level (how well balanced that power level is is its own debate that is already raging, so setting that aside for the moment) other creatures that were once a threat now... aren't, really.
Yes, +Level is good at tightening up threat ranges, and, also, 5th Ed may have gone a bit too far with the BA thing.

Why do some people want the threat range tightened up?

If people want to fight new kinds of monsters, ones more powerful than before, won't a fast experience point progression work just as well? Instead of 1,000 xp to the next level, make the threshold 500 xp.

I'm speculating, as I don't think I've seen it stated explicitly, but it seems to me that the "zero to hero" model of D&D/PF is important to many in terms of the feel of the game. I suspect that beginning out as a supertalented farmhand and rapidly becoming a mover of mountains and shaper of world events is a key part of what makes Pathfinder Pathfinder to them.

As such, still being threatened by the mooks that used to push you around when you started detracts from the "power to rival demigods" feel of later levels. When you've got a built in +12 or something, it's much easier to laugh off any but the most significant horde.

It was certainly a criticism I heard levelled against 5E (who had as one of their goals to retain the threat of lower level creatures in sufficient numbers, even to high level PCs). People who didn't like that approach sometimes labelled it "not D&D enough" - as if the goblin-orc-ogre-giant-... progression was a key element of what they were looking for.

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