World of Pathfinder? Open Letter


General Discussion


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Skills:

Untrained, Trained, Expert, Master, Legendary: I believe these are all the new categories of skills. I like the new depth but I believe the -1, 0+level, +1/level, +2/level, +3/level dichotomy will confuse new players. Also a lot of the unlocked feats for Master and Legendary don't live up to its name. I'm thinking if I run a playtest I'll change it -1,0/level,+1/level,+5/level, +10/level as bonuses to rolls. I'd keep the original bonuses for items created via skills. I thought the goal for PF2 is to streamline and make it easier for new players to understand. Throwing feats at everything is confusing at first. I love the built in flexibility and customization related to the feat system but it needs to be more cohesive.

Domain Abilities:

Why are these not given a short write up under the Cleric Class Description? It took me far too long to figure out what domain abilities actually did. I don't like them being intermingled with spells.

Feats:

Everything seems very feat driven in Pathfinder 2. I actually like its versatility but I'd prefer a system more like Star Wars: Edge of the Empire's talent trees if that is what we are doing now. The Pathfinder feat trees remind me of the days I played World of Warcraft. That is not necessarily a good or bad thing. It can be difficult for beginner's.

I love gaining new skills/powers/spells/class abilities/etc and augmenting the ones I already have, but I think the whole system needs more cohesion and clarification at the moment. Unlike a lot of the people here I have faith that Paizo will fix what needs fixed and do what needs done. There is a difficult balance in customization and remaining streamlined.

Grand Lodge

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+10 PER level? How would this work at any level?


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It's not +1/+2/+3 per level, it's level for trained, level +1 for expert, level +2 for master, and level +3 for legendary.

And yes, mixing in powers with spells is a bad choice, presentation-wise.


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It's a bit hubristic to come on and say ,"this way is confusing. My way is better." You'd give a +130 bonus at level 13? And a +200 bonus at level 20? Wow!


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I think they meant level +0, level +1, level +5, level +10. At least I hope that is what they meant.


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As I've mentioned in other posts, I honestly dont want to see level at all in skills/proficiency. [maybe 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 your level, but never full level]

Sure you're getting better as you level, but is a level 4 with 10 Dex really the same skill level at Acrobatics as a level 1 with 18 Dex?

I'm NOT saying Paizo should adopt a type of "Bounded Accuracy" like 5e, but something that a balance between that and how it's calculated now.

If full level is added to proficiency bonuses, then that makes your choices of Attributes, and Skill training that much less important. It's one thing to get awesome at some things as you level, but to get awesome at ALL things as you level is a bit much.

As I think about this something like you get -2 if untrained, +1/5 level if Trained, +1/4 level if Expert, +1/3 level is Master and +1/2 level if legendary. That means that at Level 20 Legendary is +10, Master is +6/7, Expert is +5, Trained is +4, Untrained is -2.

This is just an example and I would defiantly would need to be tweaked, but having all level 20 characters have a min bonus of +15 (assuming untrained &8 Attribute) and a max of what 28 (assuming Legendary & 20 attribute), sure that's a difference of 13 between trained and untrained, but that means that the worst untrained level 20 character is still better than the best level 8 character at any given skill. And sure that's a 12 level gap, but how do you justify that 8th level bard diplomat Master in Deception is a worse liar than a level 20 dwarf Untrained in deception?


Kerobelis wrote:
I think they meant level +0, level +1, level +5, level +10. At least I hope that is what they meant.

Yes, that's what I meant. My bad there.


Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
It's a bit hubristic to come on and say ,"this way is confusing. My way is better." You'd give a +130 bonus at level 13? And a +200 bonus at level 20? Wow!

I meant a static bonus of +5 plus your level plus your ability score as a master and a +10 plus your level as legendary. So a 20th level Legendary blacksmith would have a +30 +their ability modifier. Not a multiplied version as they have in the system. I didn't really like how they handled skills in OG PF but it was built upon fixing 3.0 and 3.5. This doesn't need to be a multiplicative version of that. Won't let me edit my original post or I'd clarify there. I'm not saying their system is bad. I'm perfectly fine with it. I played HERO which is far more involved. I'm saying if what they are wanting is streamline this isn't really it. The least math the better.


It's not multiplied now right? it's either level -4(untrained), Level(trained), level+1(Expert), Level+2(Master) or Level +3(Legendary)

This is how I understand it as of now. so the max bonus is 23 + ability mod


Kaelizar wrote:

It's not multiplied now right? it's either level -4(untrained), Level(trained), level+1(Expert), Level+2(Master) or Level +3(Legendary)

This is how I understand it as of now. so the max bonus is 23 + ability mod

Item bonus is included in the maths, which goes up to +5.

Of course, at level 20 you almost certainly pumped the stat for your legendary skill to 22, and then potentially nabbed a stat raising item for it.
So maximum permanent bonus comes out at 23 + 5 + 7, so 35.


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This is why I'm not a fan of +Level to proficiency. It's basically an arbitrary +Level to any DC to keep it challenging. (It's not like Jumping and hanging on a ledge all of a sudden become a DC 30, where 10 levels ago it was a DC 20..) I just don't understand the justification.

It seems somehow un-Pathfinder to have a level 5 wizard swinging a club, or shooting a crossbow, having the same bonuses (or higher) to attack that a level 1 fighter has.

It's an arbitrary "Game" thing that's messing with my understanding of Pathfinder's "In Game" rules/laws.

Like why would any mid/high level NPC offer a quest to any level 1 PCs? they could do everything they are doing but better....


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Kaelizar wrote:


Like why would any mid/high level NPC offer a quest to any level 1 PCs? they could do everything they are doing but better....

I never understand why this argument is ever made. Why does anyone hire someone to do something they can do themselves?

It could be:
- they don't have time
- they technically have time but want to spend it on more important things
- they have time but are rich and can afford to get someone else to do it so they can spend their time on frivolities
- they're getting too old for this s$~+
- it's 'beneath' them
- humor the young 'uns
- let the new generation learn how to do things, we won't be around forever

etc. etc. etc.

Just to take one of the PCs in my game as example.
She's now 20th level and can obviously take out a few low-level bandits but . :
- spend most of her time being a ruler for a new principality that has given universal citizenship to all sentients in the valley, and she tries to keep the peace despite centuries of bloody murder and racial hatred
- time-traveling adventures to other planes
- stopping wars that could easily become continent-spanning
- stopping 200 meter tall steammechs from rampaging across her domain
- fighting ancient evil rulers in distant lands
- fighting a god
- getting killed and trying to rebuild her shattered realm in the wake of her ex-lover-now-vampire trying to turn everyone undead
- spending tons of time trying to figure out how to become Immortal and going through the difficult quests just to get to the job interview, and the real challenges started after she was accepted

(the rest of the PCs have similarly interesting and busy lives)

This is all to say that when a few bandits appear and start bothering people, she is very relieved to be able to think "I have people to take care of this s!~* for me".


Kaelizar wrote:

This is why I'm not a fan of +Level to proficiency. It's basically an arbitrary +Level to any DC to keep it challenging. (It's not like Jumping and hanging on a ledge all of a sudden become a DC 30, where 10 levels ago it was a DC 20..) I just don't understand the justification.

It seems somehow un-Pathfinder to have a level 5 wizard swinging a club, or shooting a crossbow, having the same bonuses (or higher) to attack that a level 1 fighter has.

It's an arbitrary "Game" thing that's messing with my understanding of Pathfinder's "In Game" rules/laws.

Like why would any mid/high level NPC offer a quest to any level 1 PCs? they could do everything they are doing but better....

I suppose this is part of why I don't care as much.

I'm not coming from Golarion, nor am I intending to run games where quests are even really a Thing as such? I intend to set the world and backstory up, and let my players loose on it, burning it all down or improving it as they see fit.
Like. Combat wise at least from what I've seen so far I enjoy the effect +level has to the game (minions getting mass barbecued for double damage by a PC Fireball for instance, and bosses being hard to pin down (the latter is nice for me as I've come from 5e, which gets around the problem by just flat out giving designated monsters 3/day immunity to such effects, and I like the skewed odds better than a flat No)). And setting wise?
I just finished running a game with serial regicide and rebellion against fey warlords, angelic tyrants, and devils. The future version of my setting is going to have literal dragons for high level NPC crafters, skilled traders having to make delivery runs through hell, and the best doctors are the revered Ghoul-priests of the God of Second Chances.
So obviously in my case I'm going to be more fine with the power curve this has on the world as a whole.

That said, not to nitpick. But the DCs really shouldn't scale arbitrarily to fit level, and as has been noted frequently they aren't supposed to be run like that. It's supposed to let you glaze over the minor challenges (So instead of "Oh no, a rusty lock on the bar door" it's "Of course, you knock the door down" or "You pick the lock with ease and slip inside"). Doomsday Dawn just hasn't done the best job of showing this off, and we could possibly do with more fixed DC examples, e.g. in the bestiary.


Kaelizar wrote:

This is why I'm not a fan of +Level to proficiency. It's basically an arbitrary +Level to any DC to keep it challenging. (It's not like Jumping and hanging on a ledge all of a sudden become a DC 30, where 10 levels ago it was a DC 20..) I just don't understand the justification.

It seems somehow un-Pathfinder to have a level 5 wizard swinging a club, or shooting a crossbow, having the same bonuses (or higher) to attack that a level 1 fighter has.

It's an arbitrary "Game" thing that's messing with my understanding of Pathfinder's "In Game" rules/laws.

Like why would any mid/high level NPC offer a quest to any level 1 PCs? they could do everything they are doing but better....

Okay, I know this is probably just an arbitrary specific example but to present a counter to the idea of that being "un-Pathfinder":

Level 1 PF Fighter with a Crossbow, let's arbitrarily assume 18 Dex, that's kinda hard to get with standard rules but it's pretty standard to point buy. Let's say he took Weapon Focus for one of his feats. +4 Dex, +1 BAB, +1 feat, +6 to hit.

Level 5 Wizard, let's say he's got 16 Dex. This is typically what I see most mages go for if they can manage it. And he probably has a masterwork Crossbow by now because it's chump change. And he has taken Weapon Focus as well just because.

+3 Dex, +2 BAB, +1 feat, possibly +1 masterwork if we count that. +6 or +7 to hit.

I apologize if I'm over-analyzing but I just wanted to show that it certainly is possible to have just this situation in PF1, and that's with the Wizard not even putting any really major investment into the weapon.

Granted this breaks down in later levels as the gap further increases (A level 20 Wizard might only have the accuracy of a level 10 Fighter if that for example) but I just wanted to point out this isn't new to PF2. XD

As for the scaling DCs I get why that bugs people but it doesn't me. Especially when most of the scaling DCs are things that make sense to scale to me, and something I think gets overlooked a lot is that there ARE static DCs, not everything grows in difficulty with you. There are things that become trivial at later levels. Maybe it would be nice if table 10-3 (I think that's the one) had more examples but it also seemed clearly implied to me that that list is far from all-inclusive on what things should be static.

To me table 10-2 isn't just intended as "If your player tries to do a thing go to their level and pick a difficulty, that's the DC" but also as "Someone wants to do a thing, the table lets you get a reasonable DC by looking at what level you think it would be a challenge for" as well.

And for things like Lingering Performance that scale, it makes sense to me personally. I think of it like as your magic and abilities grow stronger so does the difficulty of empowering them with things like that. So while you get better on an arbitrary scale at one rate you get better relatively to the challenge at a slower rate. I agree that for Treat Wounds it seems a little more odd (And I do agree it should be based on target level not user level) but I think it's important enough to the working of the ability that I'm happy to take the minor suspension of disbelief required to accept one of the reasons it could scale.


Kaelizar wrote:

This is why I'm not a fan of +Level to proficiency. It's basically an arbitrary +Level to any DC to keep it challenging. (It's not like Jumping and hanging on a ledge all of a sudden become a DC 30, where 10 levels ago it was a DC 20..) I just don't understand the justification.

It seems somehow un-Pathfinder to have a level 5 wizard swinging a club, or shooting a crossbow, having the same bonuses (or higher) to attack that a level 1 fighter has.

It's an arbitrary "Game" thing that's messing with my understanding of Pathfinder's "In Game" rules/laws.

Like why would any mid/high level NPC offer a quest to any level 1 PCs? they could do everything they are doing but better....

Also on the specific matter of jumping, Long Jump has a DC based on the distance you're aiming for, while High Jump has a flat DC with differing effects based on your degree of success. So these are both things you get better at as you increase your skill.

I expect grabbing a ledge would be the same but we don't have a DC for that, I expect that's just an oversight.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Kaelizar wrote:


Like why would any mid/high level NPC offer a quest to any level 1 PCs? they could do everything they are doing but better....

I never understand why this argument is ever made. Why does anyone hire someone to do something they can do themselves?

It could be:
- they don't have time
- they technically have time but want to spend it on more important things
- they have time but are rich and can afford to get someone else to do it so they can spend their time on frivolities
- they're getting too old for this s!~*
- it's 'beneath' them
- humor the young 'uns
- let the new generation learn how to do things, we won't be around forever

etc. etc. etc.

Just to take one of the PCs in my game as example.
She's now 20th level and can obviously take out a few low-level bandits but . :
- spend most of her time being a ruler for a new principality that has given universal citizenship to all sentients in the valley, and she tries to keep the peace despite centuries of bloody murder and racial hatred
- time-traveling adventures to other planes
- stopping wars that could easily become continent-spanning
- stopping 200 meter tall steammechs from rampaging across her domain
- fighting ancient evil rulers in distant lands
- fighting a god
- getting killed and trying to rebuild her shattered realm in the wake of her ex-lover-now-vampire trying to turn everyone undead
- spending tons of time trying to figure out how to become Immortal and going through the difficult quests just to get to the job interview, and the real challenges started after she was accepted

(the rest of the PCs have similarly interesting and busy lives)

This is all to say that when a few bandits appear and start bothering people, she is very relieved to be able to think "I have people to take care of this s&&~ for me".

This is true for real life, but in a world where everyone who gains experience in 1 things, gets better at everything I feel this argument falls off. Someone who's a master rock climber, is not going to be expert(or even a trained) level at playing pool, running a marathon, fencing, debate, identifying foot prints, foraging the jungle, or lying.

I'm completely okay with there being some flat DC for mundane things, but i don't think any untrained character should ever have the same bonus as a master, no matter what. And if you happen to have a similar stat than someone who's trying to max out then you're only 3 or 4 points behind.. which i think isn't a big enough gap for how the Proficiency system feel like it should be.

There's a Legendary feat that gives you a swim and a climb speed, but if there's standard DCs for those sorts of things, then why ever take that feat, b/c you'll already getting around a +20 just for being at the level that can get Legendary feats.


Kaelizar wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
*snip*

This is true for real life, but in a world where everyone who gains experience in 1 things, gets better at everything I feel this argument falls off. Someone who's a master rock climber, is not going to be expert(or even a trained) level at playing pool, running a marathon, fencing, debate, identifying foot prints, foraging the jungle, or lying.

I'm completely okay with there being some flat DC for mundane things, but i don't think any untrained character should ever have the same bonus as a master, no matter what. And if you happen to have a similar stat than someone who's trying to max out then you're only 3 or 4 points behind.. which i think isn't a big enough gap for how the Proficiency system feel like it should be.

There's a Legendary feat that gives you a swim and a climb speed, but if there's standard DCs for those sorts of things, then why ever take that feat, b/c you'll already getting around a +20 just for being at the level that can get Legendary feats.

Um, I fail to see how this post in any way relates to what I said...

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