Any change of bringing back point buy


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The stat buy feels too cookie cutter
Everyone was almost promised an 18 in either way but this system is too cookie cutter.
I suggest 80 points to spend on attributes, nothing below 8 or above 18 before racial stats. And having feat prerequisites have odd numbers so that some of these characters have not the same stats as everyone else to fit the current cookie cutters


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So the good news is that "use some other system to generate stats" is pretty much the easiest thing imaginable to bolt on to a game like this.

But I have to say I really prefer the ABC system for stat generation because it's easy to do in your head; something I could never do for PF1 point buy.


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Nice. So we can have THREE stats at 18? For 80 points we get 18,18,18,10,8,8. I can be a god among men! Especially since "men" (humans) get to turn two of those into 20s...

I think that would be even more cookie cutter than the current system.

I do, however, agree that it feels weird that there is pretty much no way possible to have an odd numbered ability score below 18 unless you voluntarily reduce it as per the Optional Voluntary Flaws sidebar on page 19, but you will have plenty of odd scores above 18.

I find that rather, uh, odd...


Easy to houserule back in. I'm happy with ABC+4 as the default.


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I despise the new ability stat buy in PF2e. The system is easier to build a N/PC. However, the new structure, which allows for simple 18s (and overall high stats), has stolen the challenge for me. I enjoyed the fact that it was a serious choice as to how much to dump if you really wanted to start with that 18. Now, every PC can have an 18, a few 16s, and nothing needs to be under 10. Furthermore, the optional flaw system gives nothing.

The whole stat system is designed to give easy access to optimization - that way you can have your 50% d2 coin-flip to succeed or fail!


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Did you ever see a PF1 wizard with less than 18 Int? Or one with more than 10 Str? The 'challenge' was dumping Str and Cha to 7-8 and get your 20 Int anyway.
You could do something different if you really wanted, yeah... you still can.
About having a 18 and 'a few 16s' you are wrong, that's just not possible.
The d2 coin flip is a blatant exaggeration.

I like point-buy, really. That doesn't mean that I condone spitting lies on a different system.


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Megistone wrote:

Did you ever see a PF1 wizard with less than 18 Int? Or one with more than 10 Str? The 'challenge' was dumping Str and Cha to 7-8 and get your 20 Int anyway.

You could do something different if you really wanted, yeah... you still can.
About having a 18 and 'a few 16s' you are wrong, that's just not possible.
The d2 coin flip is a blatant exaggeration.

I like point-buy, really. That doesn't mean that I condone spitting lies on a different system.

Funny since I made a character with an 18 and two 16s. Furthermore, read over the boards, look at the stats (from the people who have spent hours crunching numbers: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs428n9&page=4?Arcane-Spellcasters-in-PF2E-qu o-vadis#191

"While playtesting helps with getting practical experience with how the game works, I strenuously disagree that statistical analysis gives worse results for making informed statements. That's how we've gotten through multiple people that PF2E uses a 50% success chance model for basically all levels of play. Knowing that alone leads to much more informed analysis, IMO, than the randomness of a playtest session."

And: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs428ww?Some-statistics-on-success-chances-for#1

While there is some variation, this shows that the system is a (largely) 50% success rate. Or, d2.

I agree getting a dump on a single ability (SAD) PC was easy enough; however the MAD builds really made the player decide on stat priorities. Additionally, the point on flaws is that you can have them, but they are worthless (i.e. no benefit for taking them). The player is even warned off of taking flaws. From my long experience with the public, very few people have the benefit of starting with all "10s" in their abilities. Furthermore, if you feel like adding to the dialogue, please do.

Furthermore, I find your tone offensive with your accusation of "spitting lies." Then again, many players only understand "class" when it refers to their PC.


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Tyrannon wrote:

And: url=http://paizo.com/threads/rzs428ww?Some-statistics-on-success-chances-fo r#1

While there is some variation, this shows that the system is a (largely) 50% success rate. Or, d2.

No, it's 50%(ish) success rate if you're optimised for the task at hand. If you're not, your chances of success will be much lower. A d2 can't capture that level of nuanced disempowerment.


@Tyrannon: before starting to argue about the topic at hand, I'm sorry if I was offensive.
I found your reply snarly, bringing up things that to me are simply not true or exaggerating them to criticize the new system in general, not only the ability stats generation method, and I over-reacted.
I'm generally a person who doesn't like change very much; in the case of PF2 I'm trying to see what's good in that instead of focusing only on its problems. That's why I appreciate this different method, finding it easier and more friendly to new players, even if, as I said, I do like PF1's point-buy.

Now, about the specific points we are discussing. I can't find how you can start with a 18-16-16: I can do a 18-16-14 or a 16-16-16, but not that. What am I missing?
It's true that in PF1 MAD characters had hard choices to make, but that's also the reason why they were commonly considered flawed and sub-par, with SAD classes dominating the game (expecially full-casters). The new system is definitely more friendly to MAD classes, and offers the others a chance to be effective at other tasks than spellcasting instead of sacrificing everything to get max Int or Cha. I see this as a big feature, not a flaw.

The d2 statement is an exaggeration. As Matthew Downie said, it's only about a 50% success for optimized characters, while others have lower chances. As low as those chances can be, there is much more variability than a simple coin-flip for everyone. And then there are buffs, circumstance bonuses (flanking...) or penalties (cover...), shields, aid another, and other adjustments that influence the outcome that you really can't model with a d2.
Do I think that success chances are too low? Maybe. But this is easily solved by changing just the skill DC table and tweaking moster stats (which the developers have already considered doing), without necessarily taking down the entire system.
There is much more to be said on the argument, but there are many other threads to do that.


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I have to agree that mathematically speaking, 18-16-16 is impossible any way I can cut it. The four phases effectively give descending amounts of bumps (4, 3, 2, 1). That means if you stack your bumps into as few abilities as possible, the best possible spread should be 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8.

And I will say it again... SO TIRED of hearing the "d2 system" sawhorse. 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, and 60% are meaningfully different chances of success, and all common chances even in the narrow band of "my opponent is exactly my level and I am challenging them at something we are equally good at".


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MaxAstro wrote:
And I will say it again... SO TIRED of hearing the "d2 system" sawhorse. 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, and 60% are meaningfully different chances of success

So, a d5 then :P

</joking>

Seriously though, people don't like it because the range of success is so narrow. There's no opportunity for someone to be ACTUALLY GOOD at something.

Yes, we'll be up against enemies who aren't our level sometimes. Yes enemies should also be able to be "just as good as the players" sometimes. But that's not the problem.

The problem is that everything the players will go up against (that are on-level) are so good that the best a player can do is be just as good. Not an on-average thing, no, a min-maxed "this is what my character DOES" has the same score as the enemy (and sometimes not even that).

Its the game-feel that's off.


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I feel like the issue is the ±10 system that leads to critical success and critical failure. You can't have people having critical hits too often. Fortunately, with the current system you basically only critically succeed on natural 20s anyways, so I think we should just drop that system entirely and place success rate for players first attack in a round at around 75%.


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That argument I don't entirely disagree with. A think part of the issue is that there has been a shift in where that balance point happens - in PF1e you'd go up a couple CRs to hit that "near even" point much of the time.

Unless you were playing a non-optimized character, in which case you would hit it at roughly even CR.

Unless you were playing a fun-sounding crappy character*, in which case you would hit it at roughly CR-2.

I see what PF2e is trying to do, standardizing that to even CR. But I think for people used to playing optimized characters, that means that the "fun" encounter range is now CR-2, which is not obvious from the system design.

*In the Kingmaker game right now I am playing a Scaled Fist monk 4/Archeologist bard 1/dragon disciple X. This is without a doubt the least optimal character I have ever played, and it shows. My character's job in combat is basically to run around threatening inaccurate attacks of opportunity on archers and spellcasters. But I will admit, it's pretty fun... because I have a whole party to control.

If that were my only character, and I had thought that cool sounding build would actually be effective, I would be pretty upset to see how flat it falls in play.


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MaxAstro wrote:
And I will say it again... SO TIRED of hearing the "d2 system" sawhorse. 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, and 60% are meaningfully different chances of success, and all common chances even in the narrow band of "my opponent is exactly my level and I am challenging them at something we are equally good at".

Mathematically? Yes, it's meaningfully different.

Perception wise at the table? Not really. You don't roll enough rolls in a night for 60% to feel very different than 40% does, in that either way you will be failing frequently.

You might be tired of hearing it, but it keeps coming up because in play I feel like I can just flip a coin and get the same outcome with much simpler numbers. That isn't true in 1e, where my odds are FAR better at the things I'm actually good at.

Which mirrors reality. I don't fail things that I'm specifically trained to do 40% of the time. I'd never keep my job if I did. That's the whole problem. A success rate of 60% still means a failure rate so high that you don't feel heroic, or even overly competent. God help you if you ever need to roll something where the whole group has to succeed at it, because the odds are better at the roulette table than they are of five people making a 60% check successfully.


See my comment above re: CR.


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Claxon wrote:
I feel like the issue is the ±10 system that leads to critical success and critical failure. You can't have people having critical hits too often. Fortunately, with the current system you basically only critically succeed on natural 20s anyways, so I think we should just drop that system entirely and place success rate for players first attack in a round at around 75%.

Why can't we have people having critical hits too often? Imagine a player character with such a high bonus in combat that he has to roll a natural 1 to miss, he has a 45% chance of a regular hit, and a 50% chance of a critical hit. What does that ruin?

And imagining it is easy, since that is what happens when a fighter fights a much-lower-level opponent with a weak AC for its level.

The end result is that the bonus to hit also operates as a bonus to damage. Getting an additional +1 to hit, so that the PC crits on a natural 10 too, would not add any more hits, but it would add one more crit, for 3% more damage per swing.


@MaxAstro, and most appreciatively, Megistone. Pardon me if I am not going to dig out page numbers, cite references, and draw upon SCOTUS precedent (but I am not "at work"); particularly when most in this thread seem to be well-versed in the topic.

The exact stat breakdown is splitting hairs. I have made one character, (perhaps it was 18, 16, 14, 14 & ?); regardless, nothing was less than a 10. This is a feat that would have been rather difficult in a normal 20 or 25 point buy. The real problem is two-fold: you can make a character with decent "looking" stats, that is far from optimal. The success system pigeonholes the player into optimization. This leads to the case where you can make a less than optimum stated PC and be the party liability that is mentioned via dumping stats.

The case here is that I am a veteran RGP play from the mid 1970s. Much like Megistone, I am not always a fan of change, but I am open-minded enough to accept it. First edition needed to have the massive bloat reduced and be more streamlined. However, this iteration -in my personal opinion - of PF2E is worse than D&DB 5th E (which I refuse to play).

Matthew Downie stated the crux of the problem best: "No, it's 50%(ish) success rate if you're optimised for the task at hand. If you're not, your chances of success will be much lower. A d2 can't capture that level of nuanced disempowerment."

That is, the rates are so poor it is a common joke about PF2E. (Sarcastically) We should be lucky enough to get a good enough success chance to just flip a coin!

Now, since this thread has gone way off topic, the remaining issue (for me) is that point buy (to ME; MY opinion; I respectfully welcome your own) provided more nuance and variety in PC creation (with the caveat of MAD mostly).

It sucks to see such decently appearing stats (for 1st ed), on a 2E PC and know that the 2E is garbage next to the 1E.


I enjoy the rules in place for rolling stats, if we're being honest. But I add one caveat - you roll down the line.


Good point Long John. I refuse to go with rolled stats. I understand how to microwave dice so you get max rolls, and I have seen people cheat stat rolls. Furthermore, great dice rolled stats can wreck balance.


Mathmuse wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I feel like the issue is the ±10 system that leads to critical success and critical failure. You can't have people having critical hits too often. Fortunately, with the current system you basically only critically succeed on natural 20s anyways, so I think we should just drop that system entirely and place success rate for players first attack in a round at around 75%.

Why can't we have people having critical hits too often? Imagine a player character with such a high bonus in combat that he has to roll a natural 1 to miss, he has a 45% chance of a regular hit, and a 50% chance of a critical hit. What does that ruin?

And imagining it is easy, since that is what happens when a fighter fights a much-lower-level opponent with a weak AC for its level.

The end result is that the bonus to hit also operates as a bonus to damage. Getting an additional +1 to hit, so that the PC crits on a natural 10 too, would not add any more hits, but it would add one more crit, for 3% more damage per swing.

Not getting rid of the critical hit system would throw off the balance on expected damage rates and monster HP.


Any comparison between a 1e character and a 2e character is necessarily going to result in the 2e character looking like garbage past maybe 3rd level at best, unless the 1e character is not remotely optimized.

That's an unavoidable result of intentionally dialing back power creep. When you remove power creep, you lose power. I wouldn't be interested in 2e if its average characters were as strong or stronger than well-built 1e characters.

Overall I think directly comparing the systems is a bad idea because they operate on very different power scales. A 14 in a stat simply means something different in 2e than it does in 1e.

But I do think "2e characters feel weak compared to 2e monsters" is a valid thing to consider. I haven't had that experience personally, but I haven't had as much play experience as some people on the board, so I'll defer my opinion to those who have been playing more than I have.


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Tridus wrote:
I don't fail things that I'm specifically trained to do 40% of the time. I'd never keep my job if I did. That's the whole problem. A success rate of 60% still means a failure rate so high that you don't feel heroic, or even overly competent.

I find statements like these terribly misleading. When you're trained at your job you may not fail 40% of the time, but you're also not put against 'Even Level Challenges' on a regular basis. When you think about it.. like seriously think about it how often does your job put you up against something that you haven't done so many times it's a rote action?

When you bring up averages for something that is meticulously tracked, let's use Baseball in this scenario you can see what I mean. One of the most celebrated batters in history was Ty Cobb. He had a career batting average of .367 and is considered a paragon in what he did.

Sure, if you took Ty Cobb or any of the other leaders and threw them up against Minor League pitchers or Batting Machines their success rates would skyrocket to the point of almost never missing. That's exactly how it is here.

Saying that a 60% success rate is too low is pretty crazy in this regard. You'd be much better off trying to exploit your surroundings and try to stack the deck in your favor using tactics or other brilliant plans. If you can be creative and you have a decent DM then you could easily swing a circumstance bonus to get a higher chance to succeed.


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Gloom wrote:
I find statements like these terribly misleading. When you're trained at your job you may not fail 40% of the time, but you're also not put against 'Even Level Challenges' on a regular basis. When you think about it.. like seriously think about it how often does your job put you up against something that you haven't done so many times it's a rote action?

My old job.

Or heck, my new job that I start Monday.

Welcome to software development.

Case and point, I had a project at my old job where I had to create an HTML-based video player that could display HTML text on top of the video and do so at predefined points (cue-points). Not that hard right?

I had to program it once and have it work on Internet Explorer 6 and iPad Safari. No "do it twice, once for each platform" nonsense.

At the time when this was going on any Google search I could pull up about how to access the current time on an <embed> video with Javascript told me it was impossible and to stop trying.

I started smashing things together and 2 days later I had something that worked.

Then I had to make a drag-and-drop word scramble activity (I did it, too!).

There's a reason my Skype status for the next week was "I accomplished two impossible things today, what did you do?"

On Friday we showed what we had to the client. I was butt-ugly and functional. They said, "eehh...forget the iPad, finish it in Flash." (The project had been given to us half-built in Flash and had been taken away from another company for missing deadlines and we were to wrap up development in 3-4 weeks with extra specifications).

My boss remembered this project two years later as the only time he ever had to tell a client we couldn't do something (and how bad it made us look).


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Mathmuse wrote:
Why can't we have people having critical hits too often? Imagine a player character with such a high bonus in combat that he has to roll a natural 1 to miss, he has a 45% chance of a regular hit, and a 50% chance of a critical hit. What does that ruin?

If it's a monster doing that and you're a PC on the receiving end, getting blasted from full to dying in one turn ruins a fair bit of your day.

It also ruins a lot in the opposite direction: if something is difficult for you to do, your odds of critical failure quickly skyrocket up to "you shouldn't even attempt it" levels.

Quote:

And imagining it is easy, since that is what happens when a fighter fights a much-lower-level opponent with a weak AC for its level.

The end result is that the bonus to hit also operates as a bonus to damage. Getting an additional +1 to hit, so that the PC crits on a natural 10 too, would not add any more hits, but it would add one more crit, for 3% more damage per swing.

That example is such an edge case that it's hardly relevant because said Fighter was already going to win effortlessly.

When things are more equally matched, tilting the numbers a little bit acts as a double bonus because you're increasing your chance to hit (a DPR boost) and increasing your chance to crit (another DPR boost).

That makes bonuses to hit super powerful and results in them being extremely stingy and not stacking, with all the side effects that causes. Everyone has to be in a relatively narrow range or things get so crit happy that the burst damage potential is massive. And then we have rocket tag again, except it's Greatsword rocket tag instead of spell rocket tag.


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Gloom wrote:
I find statements like these terribly misleading. When you're trained at your job you may not fail 40% of the time, but you're also not put against 'Even Level Challenges' on a regular basis. When you think about it.. like seriously think about it how often does your job put you up against something that you haven't done so many times it's a rote action?

Software developer here. More often than you might think. Half my job is automating those rote actions away so we don't waste time doing them anymore.

Quote:
When you bring up averages for something that is meticulously tracked, let's use Baseball in this scenario you can see what I mean. One of the most celebrated batters in history was Ty Cobb. He had a career batting average of .367 and is considered a paragon in what he did.

Not a terribly good example given how baseball is setup to require failure in order to move the game towards its conclusion. The deck is stacked such that nobody will be batting .600.

Lets take another example: auto repair. Would you accept your mechanic having a 40% failure rate on a repair for a problem they haven't seen before? I sure as hell wouldn't. The expectation in that industry is a failure rate around 0%. If I take my car in, I expect them to fix it. I certainly don't expect them to critically fail and think they fixed it when they actually didn't, nor do I expect them to come back and say "we have no idea how to fix this, go somewhere else." (Although those things do happen occasionally, they're extremely rare.)

Quote:
Sure, if you took Ty Cobb or any of the other leaders and threw them up against Minor League pitchers or Batting Machines their success rates would skyrocket to the point of almost never missing. That's exactly how it is here.

Not really, because again, Baseball's rules are built to expect batters to fail a majority of the time to keep the game moving. Games would drag on forever if people had .700 batting averages.

Failure as a prerequiste to advance is not baked into Pathfinder. The opposite is true: success is required to advance. The failure rate is far, far too high for that. Indeed, high failure rates drag the game out longer as you keep missing enemies, not getting required info, not finding clues, not picking locks, not being a heroic adventurer...

Quote:
Saying that a 60% success rate is too low is pretty crazy in this regard. You'd be much better off trying to exploit your surroundings and try to stack the deck in your favor using tactics or other brilliant plans. If you can be creative and you have a decent DM then you could easily swing a circumstance bonus to get a higher chance to succeed.

We only need one plan, since circumstance bonuses don't stack. ;) If the DM has to constantly hand out +4 circumstnace bonuses and the players have to constantly come up with ways to stack the deck to get a success rate that doesn't make their heroic characters feel like stooges, that's a flaw in the rules. It'll also drag games out even longer as people try to figure out ways to game every single skill check instead of just going ahead and rolling.

Draco18s wrote:
War stories from the industry

Good stuff. :)


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Tridus wrote:
Gloom wrote:
I find statements like these terribly misleading. When you're trained at your job you may not fail 40% of the time, but you're also not put against 'Even Level Challenges' on a regular basis. When you think about it.. like seriously think about it how often does your job put you up against something that you haven't done so many times it's a rote action?
Software developer here. More often than you might think. Half my job is automating those rote actions away so we don't waste time doing them anymore.

My dad sent me a news story about this recently.

Think it was this one. Ah, nope, was this one, but mentions the same dude as well as a question I saw on Workplace SE when it was hot.

Quote:
Quote:
War stories from the industry
Good stuff. :)

Far from my only one! *Shudder*

I left that job because my boss started to plan those types of miracles into the budget and timelines of projects. You know, the opposite thing a sane person does, by budgeting some extra time for unexpected issues.


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Draco18s wrote:
Gloom wrote:
I find statements like these terribly misleading. When you're trained at your job you may not fail 40% of the time, but you're also not put against 'Even Level Challenges' on a regular basis. When you think about it.. like seriously think about it how often does your job put you up against something that you haven't done so many times it's a rote action?

My old job.

Or heck, my new job that I start Monday.

Welcome to software development.

Oh yes, software development...

Having management every two weeks give the customer the promise that this time you will deliver the Full and Final Version of the Program for half a year's time, with the corresponding guilt trips and feeling of inadequacy every time you fail to deliver, even though you work 60h-70h weeks doing your best effort. And every time you fail, they promise the client more functionality as compensation to avoid a contract fine...

That's one of the reasons why I hate treadmill DCs with a passion. I want to be able to put up intermediate benchmark goals for my character's competency and feel I've reached them.


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Mats Öhrman wrote:

That's one of the reasons why I hate treadmill DCs with a passion. I want to be able to put up intermediate benchmark goals for my character's competency and feel I've reached them.

I don't understand this sentiment. Or rather, I don't understand how people can feel this way and say that PF1e did it any better.

Open any first book of an Adventure Path and look at the average difficulty of skill checks.

Now open any last book of an Adventure Path and look at the average difficulty of skill checks.

If your benchmark goal was being able to hit any static value, eventually that value will be less relevant as your opponents and challenges get stronger.

The only goal that escapes the treadmill would be "I want to get this skill so high that every challenge for the rest of the AP is trivial". In my opinion the fact that you could do that in 1e was a major flaw of the system.

That's not to say that 2e's treadmill isn't too tight or that adjustments need to be made; I think there absolutely is room for improvement. But to say that 2e is a treadmill and 1e wasn't just doesn't make sense.


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I also work in development as a quality assurance engineer. Kickbacks are a regular occurrence, especially on larger projects.

While you may not cause critical errors in your software minor errors do occur on a regular basis. Just because you fail does not mean that you're not supported by a team that can catch the mistakes and allow you the opportunity to address them before it's released to a customer.

Back to the topic at hand though.

Let's use a 6th Level Monk as an example.

This example monk is an expert in Athletics and has an 18 Strength.

Level Bonus: 6
Ability Bonus: 4
Proficiency Bonus: 1

Total Bonus: 11

Now, when you look at the Skill DC chart for a 6th Level Adventurer.

Easy Challenge = 13
Medium Challenge = 19
Hard Challenge = 21
Incredible Challenge = 23
Ultimate Challenge = 25

They will succeed on an Easy challenge by rolling a 2. (95%)
They will succeed on a Medium challenge by rolling an 8. (65%)
They will succeed on a Hard challenge by rolling a 10. (55%)
They will succeed on an Incredible challenge by rolling a 12. (45%)
They will succeed on an Ultimate challenge by rolling a 14. (35%)

The only point that this breaks down is when you're competing against an enemy because their stats can vary. While a particular enemy may not be difficult overall it could have an incredible difficulty for a particular opposed skill. This isn't so much an issue as it is something to just acknowledge.

Based on those numbers, they have a really good chance of succeeding in their specialty. This is not including any sort of item, magic, or circumstance bonus. On top of this they are able to do if they pick up the skill feats or class feats that support it.

Some examples would be:

  • Quick Jump: You can use High Jump and Long Jump as a single action instead of 2 actions. If you do, you don’t perform the initial Stride, and you don’t need to have moved 10 feet.
  • One-Handed Climber: You can Climb even if one of your hands is occupied. You must still have one hand and both legs available in order to Climb.
  • Powerful Leap: When you use the Leap action, you can jump 5 feet up with a vertical Leap, and you increase the distance you can jump horizontally by 5 feet.
  • Rapid Mantel: When you perform a Leap and grab the edge of a surface, you can immediately pull yourself up onto that surface into a standing position as part of your action. If you’re a master in Athletics, you can also pull yourself up as part of a successful Grab Edge reaction.


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    MaxAstro wrote:

    The only goal that escapes the treadmill would be "I want to get this skill so high that every challenge for the rest of the AP is trivial". In my opinion the fact that you could do that in 1e was a major flaw of the system.

    That's not to say that 2e's treadmill isn't too tight or that adjustments need to be made; I think there absolutely is room for improvement. But to say that 2e is a treadmill and 1e wasn't just doesn't make sense.

    I'd argue that it's exactly that 'flaw' - the ability to get ahead of the curve, to succeed reliably at challenges if you specialise - that makes PF1 feel less like a treadmill.

    If my 'expert' PC fails 35% of the time at 'medium' tasks throughout his career, he doesn't feel like much of an expert.


    Gloom wrote:
    Based on those numbers, they have a really good chance of succeeding in their specialty. This is not including any sort of item, magic, or circumstance bonus. On top of this they are able to do if they pick up the skill feats or class feats that support it.

    You haven't looked at the DCs for jumping have you.

    Work out the DC to jump 1 foot farther than that monk you built can just auto-succeed at by doing a Leap action and calculate their chance of success.

    Now give them the Powerful Leap skill feat and do it again.

    Oh, and while we're at it, mind listing the skill feats a Wizard who is a Master in Arcana can pick up?

    That'd be great.

    Spoiler:
    Hint: there's only one and it gives said wizard access to a spell he already knows


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
    Matthew Downie wrote:
    If my 'expert' PC fails 35% of the time at 'medium' tasks throughout his career, he doesn't feel like much of an expert.

    Any task that a character undertakes will eventually become trivial to them as they continue to gain more experience. A 35% chance of failure against a medium difficulty task is appropriate for a specialist. Eventually that task will be next to impossible to fail with a high chance of critical success.

    As you grow so to do your challenges.

    Any system that allows a player an 85% or higher chance to succeed in an equal level task is flawed and it should not be something that this system should aspire to be.

    Full stop.


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    With Powerful Leap you can leap 15 feet on a failure, falling prone at the end of a leap with a critical failure.

    You could leap up to a total of 25 feet as a human. Doing so would require a DC 30 check.

    This is possible to do with a roll of 19 or 20. You should know your limitations in these circumstances.

    Either way, you would still be able to do a horizontal leap of 15' on a failure. As you get to be a higher level that 25 foot leap will be much more reasonable to pull off.

    Regarding your other request to list out the skill feats for Arcana... I'll take that as a condescending remark as that's what it seemed to be. In which case, you're just being childish.

    If you are serious about wanting this list though please let me know and I'll be happy to provide it.


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    Also, to add to my last response. For the Monk specifically if you care about getting the most out of your long jumps you could also pick up the 4th level class feat Dancing Leaf.

    Doing this you can add 5 feet to any long jump, high jump, or leap you succeed at. This does not increase the DC of the check.

    In this example on a failure they would jump 20 feet.


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    If I my character, Picky McLocksmith, is a Rogue with maximum dexterity who invests in every possible feat and magic item to make him good at picking locks (thus making him less invested in every other area), why should he fail to pick the locks he encounters more than, say, 5% of the time? What more could he have done? If you could auto-succeed at everything, that would be a problem. But succeeding reliably at one minor aspect of the game on a regular basis doesn't break anything.

    Gloom wrote:
    Any task that a character undertakes will eventually become trivial to them as they continue to gain more experience.

    Sure, but I never get to experience that unless adventures continue to challenge me with level 5 locks when I'm level 10. Will they? I suspect not, because:

    Gloom wrote:
    As you grow so to do your challenges.


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    Matthew Downie wrote:
    If I my character, Picky McLocksmith, is a Rogue with maximum dexterity who invests in every possible feat and magic item to make him good at picking locks (thus making him less invested in every other area), why should he fail to pick the locks he encounters more than, say, 5% of the time?

    You want a 95% success rate on an even level challenge. The only thing I can say here is that I think that you are wrong.

    There is no debate to that. We disagree on fundamental concepts of what makes a good game.


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    This is the inherent problem.

    Most people (myself included) think that someone who has specialized into something, should have a high success rate on level appropriate task.

    I don't know if I would go as high as 95%, but the current ~50% success rate feels too low for a specialist. For a "regular difficultly" challenge (CR = level) I would expect to succeed at least 75% of the time. To feel accomplished I should succeed more often then I fail, by a substantial margin.


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    One of the bigger issues here is that it is possible to gain other bonuses either through Items/Magic or through circumstances. Circumstance bonuses can go up to +/- 4 and Item/Magic Bonuses can go up to +/- 5.

    When you compare all of the bonuses it is possible to get, minus Circumstance bonuses on a character you would have something more akin to this.

    Level: 20
    Attribute: 7
    Proficiency: 3
    Item: 5

    Total Result: 35

    Compared to level 20 skill difficulties:

    Easy: 27
    Medium: 36
    Hard: 39
    Incredible: 43
    Ultimate: 47

    They will succeed on an Easy challenge by rolling a 2. (95%)
    They will succeed on a Medium challenge by rolling a 2. (95%)
    They will succeed on a Hard challenge by rolling a 4. (85%)
    They will succeed on an Incredible challenge by rolling an 8. (65%)
    They will succeed on an Ultimate challenge by rolling a 12. (45%)

    If the whole party is attempting the check and only one person needs to succeed to pass the encounter, the rules in 1.3 suggest adding a +4 Modifier to the DC. In this case all of the success chances with the exception of the Easy difficulty numbers will shift down by 20% success rate.

    As it is right now, those numbers seem pretty solid in super-late game.

    I think one of the issues right now at lower levels is the cost in obtaining item bonuses to skills.

    Please note that my example of the Monk did not include item, magic, or circumstance bonuses as to prevent people from arguing that obtaining those items at level 6 would not be feasible.

    While it is possible I can definitely see how it would be a significant investment for a character of that level.


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    I think we have to understand what 'level appropriate' means in this new system, or at least in the playtest.

    In PF1 a CR=APL enemy is easily slaughtered most of the time; some groups have to routinely face APL+3 or APL+4 opponents in order to be challenged. Skill checks don't have a 'level' attached, but we know that there are so many ways to pump up your bonus in a desired skill that you can build a character to pass any plausible check with 2+.

    Now, it seems that things have changed. Level appropriate monsters are tough. Level appropriate skill checks have a notable chance of failure even when attempted by specialists.
    Maybe we just have to change the point of view. As MaxAstro said too, nothing is forcing groups to always face level appropriate challenges; it could well be that the most common enemies or checks are 1-2 levels lower, while on-level challenges are the harder ones, really dangerous and daring.

    I don't know how official adventures will be designed, but at least for home games, the GMs will find the 'sweet spot' for their groups.


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    Megistone wrote:
    Maybe we just have to change the point of view. As MaxAstro said too, nothing is forcing groups to always face level appropriate challenges; it could well be that the most common enemies or checks are 1-2 levels lower, while on-level challenges are the harder ones, really dangerous and daring.

    According to the Bestiary and "how to build encounters" an "even fight" for a party of 4 has an exp budget that works out to 4 level-2 enemies.

    So, you're right.

    Though it seems to scale linearly in both directions (I disagree, as does the math, above the L-2 I'd reduce the rate by half, so rather than L-1, L+0, L+1, etc. I'd want something like L-1.5, L-1, L-0.5, etc).

    The problem is that the Doomsday Dawn Adventure seems to have forgotten that.

    *Cough, manticore, cough*


    which point buy the unweighted or unweighted.
    the weighted version sucks... cant stand the -2 and -3 parts where as the unweighted one was just -1. so even with 80 points nobody told you that you had to take all the points.

    but then the weighted point buy always left me with why do I want to use this even with dice roll version makes me feel like that I am Joe Blow Commoner instead of the hero


    Gloom wrote:

    Any system that allows a player an 85% or higher chance to succeed in an equal level task is flawed and it should not be something that this system should aspire to be.

    You want a 95% success rate on an even level challenge. The only thing I can say here is that I think that you are wrong.

    There is no debate to that. We disagree on fundamental concepts of what makes a good game.

    Apparently you also disagree with the designers since the 1-3 update says

    Quote:
    A hard skill DC, the most common in the game, represents something that an average commoner might not try but that adventurers attempt frequently. This DC challenges even characters who have strongly focused on the skill and can often be overcome by a character who has increased their modifier or proficiency rank. A character who’s really strong in the skill starts at around a 50% chance of succeeding but ends up almost certain to succeed at higher levels.

    Now they may not have hit that goal with the current design and certainty may be 85 or 90 percent, rather than 95, but I believe they will adjust the game to meet the goal outlined and I am glad. I hope the certainty hits between 10-15, rather than waiting until 16, but my guess is 16.


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    StratoNexus wrote:

    Apparently you also disagree with the designers since the 1-3 update says

    Quote:
    A hard skill DC, the most common in the game, represents something that an average commoner might not try but that adventurers attempt frequently. This DC challenges even characters who have strongly focused on the skill and can often be overcome by a character who has increased their modifier or proficiency rank. A character who’s really strong in the skill starts at around a 50% chance of succeeding but ends up almost certain to succeed at higher levels.

    See the above post where I showed an example of a level 20 character that has almost every bonus they can get. They intend for challenges to be very challenging, especially at lower levels.

    People are trying to get 85%+ success rates throughout most of the game.

    As it is the skill challenge difficulties appear to match up with their estimates, if not giving a little bit of an advantage to the player characters.


    I will mention that I do think the "goal success chance" for highly skilled characters being challenged by the things they are good at should be about 70%, not 50%. But 85% seems high to me - at that point it's not really a challenge anymore.


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    To me that's like saying, "An optimally built and played combat-focused character shouldn't ever have more than 70% chance of winning a battle."

    But I suppose it depends a lot on the type of challenge.

    Consider some situations:

    The party comes to a trap. If they have a 70% chance of finding it, and a 70% chance of disarming it, they have only a 50% chance to avoid triggering it. This is fine, as long as the trap is not too deadly.

    A sneaky character must make a perception check, an acrobatics check, a stealth checks, pick a lock, make another acrobatics check, and another stealth check, in order to get past the guards, steal the treasure and escape.
    If he's optimised at all those skills, and that means an 85% chance of success on each roll, the cumulative failure chance will still be high. If he isn't optimised at all those skills, or optimised means 70% success, he has virtually no chance at all.

    There is a door to enter the dungeon that can only be opened by positive energy (for example, pouring a healing potion on it). The party must make some kind of magical knowledge check to realise this.
    In this situation, the party really needs to succeed in order to be able to get to the adventure, so a 30% chance of failure is pretty risky.

    The party is attempting diplomacy to find information about where to go next in an adventure. If they fail, is that a good thing? Does failure cause them to antagonise the local criminal underworld and make the adventure more interesting? Or does it just mean they get stuck?

    A character attempts a diplomacy check to talk an angry cyclops out of attacking the party. The encounter is designed to be a battle, so the GM expects the character to fail.
    In this situation, a low success rate even for an optimised PC is perfectly acceptable. You can't talk your way out of everything.


    Keep in mind I'm saying that challenging encounters should have a 70% success rate (per attack in a battle, obviously, not for the battle as a whole).

    If a rogue needs to make six checks to succeed at what they are doing, then each individual one of those things had better not be challenging. If you try to do six challenging things in a row you almost certainly fail at one of them.

    I'm not saying that every encounter a PC has should top out at 70%; PCs should have lots of easier encounters over the course of an adventure. And if the GM expects the rogue to succeed, then most likely only one part of that expedition is challenging (probably the stealth check), while the others are easier.


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    Matthew Downie wrote:
    ...

    For most situations failure on a skill does not necessarily mean immediate termination of what a character is attempting to do. It's usually just a minor setback or delay. There are some exceptions to this such as Acrobatics to Grab an Edge after you've fallen as a reaction, Stealth to Hide and Sneak, or checks to Identify Magic but for the most part this remains pretty consistent.

    The only time you suffer truly negative consequences is when you critically fail. Otherwise it's just a delay to whatever it is you are attempting to do. You can typically keep trying your task until you succeed.

    In regard to failures setting off a trap, that is not currently possible within this system. It requires a critical failure and having no successes on disarming a trap to set it off.

    Some examples below.

    Acrobatics - Balance: You must stay stationary (wasting the action) or you fall. If you fall, your turn ends.
    Acrobatics - Escape: You fail to escape your restraints or grapple.
    Acrobatics - Grab Edge (After falling from a failed Balance check): You fail to grab the edge of or handhold and continue falling.
    Acrobatics - Maintain Balance: You fall.
    Acrobatics - Squeeze: You make no progress.
    Arcana - Identify Magic: You fail to identify the magic and cannot try again for 1 day.
    Athletics - Break Grapple: You do not break the Grapple.
    Athletics - Break Open: You do not break open your target.
    Athletics - Climb: You make no progress.
    Athletics - High Jump: You are limited by the standard 'Leap' action.
    Athletics - Long Jump: You are limited by the standard 'Leap' action.
    Athletics - Swim: You make no progress, effectively treading water.
    Diplomacy - Request: The target refuses the request, though you may be able to propose a less extreme alternative.
    Thievery - Disable a Device: You make no progress.
    Thievery - Pick a Lock: You make no progress.
    Stealth - Hide: You do not hide.
    Stealth - Sneak: You are seen during your movement.


    I think the thing about "failure rate" is that with skills it's mostly fine, but in combat "I spend my turn and accomplish precisely nothing" is deeply unsatisfying.


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    That's funny, my experience is often the opposite - my players tend to be more disappointed by failed skill checks than with the occasional wasted turn in combat.


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    I think "failing at a skill check you will eventually succeed at" is a good model for those moments in fiction where our hero suffers a setback to create drama- "hanging from a broken rope bridge, you reach for the next plank only to have it snap in half", "the guard doesn't buy your story, and asks a question you don't know the answer to", "the sneaky person does not go completely unnoticed, instead they have to evade searchers", etc.

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