My biggest problem with +1 / level


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Quentin Coldwater wrote:
So, indeed, you're right, it's not always a static DC. But how do you determine a baseline? I have no frame of reference what a regular skill DC is supposed to be like. A regular guard might be a level 1 challenge, with maybe High difficulty. But if you put a specific thing on guard, such as the Fire Giants, how do you do that? Look at CR and circumstances? Fire Giant is CR 10, and then at least High difficulty. But what if you have an abstract number (not directly related to CR) you want to set as a DC (such as recalling or gathering information)? A DC that doesn't change over time? If it's a check they didn't make the first go at it, why make it easier for them without them doing anything about it?

Most anything you do against a specific creature would be opposed by that creature, would it not? So if you are sneaking past a guard, you do not look at table 10-2 at all, the DC is equal to 10 + the Perception bonus of the monster. If you're bluffing, the same thing.

Recalling and gathering information says to use the notoriety of the target (p. 337, 338) to determine the level, and depth of information to set difficulty. Table 10-5 (p. 338) says that identifying a monarch is a level 0 challenge, while identifying a minor noble is level 2. The example for Gathering Information (p. 337) places finding the name of a caravan leader as level 1 Medium-difficulty.

If the DC doesn't change, you aren't making something easier for the characters. The characters did something to become more powerful, more skilled, or more well-known themselves.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
The idea that you set a challenge based on realism is nice and all, but it's simply not practical. Most of the time, you want a level-appropriate challenge. If the Paladin in heavy armour rolls a 3 and still manages to make the check because the DC is ridiculously low, he feels cheated. You softballed him. And while it makes sense that climbing a wall doesn't become harder when you level up, it also shouldn't automatically become easier. If there's a set DC for everything, people will know that it'll be more likely to make it if they come back in three levels. You want level-appropriate challenges to keep players on their toes.

Yes. Exactly like characters fighting goblins at level 1, ogres at level 4, and giants at level 10. In three levels, the same opponent is no longer a threat. When your character is able to kill young dragons on his own, I can't see him drowning in a still lake or failing to free climb a rope. That, or character level doesn't actually mean anything.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
For example, in this system, at level 1 players enter a regular thieves' den, riddled with traps. They're pretty good with traps, so their DC is 14. Now, the same party is level 10 and in a Fire Giant lair, also filled with traps. Fire Giants are CR-appropriate and they should be there according to your story. You planned they'd go here at roughly this level. Their traps should therefore be at level 10, and at the same difficulty level as the thieves' den, so High. That's 27. The system you're describing only works if either players are punching above or under their weight, or want very standardised challenges. Neither works.

I don't quite understand the point you're making. In PF1e the 1st level thieves' den has CR1/4 to CR2 traps and the giant lair has CR8 to CR 12 traps, in the playtest the thieves' den has level 0 to level 2 traps, and the giant lair has level 8 to level 12 traps.


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Nightwhisper wrote:
If the DC doesn't change, you aren't making something easier for the characters. The characters did something to become more powerful, more skilled, or more well-known themselves.

No, that's the entire core of the problem. +1/level means you didn't do something to become more skilled. It just happened. That's my problem with this system. Eventually, even the Charisma 8 Dwarf Druid who's never been in a settlement of more than 20 people will be able to Diplomacise the information out of someone, given enough levels.

Nightwhisper wrote:
I don't quite understand the point you're making. In PF1e the 1st level thieves' den has CR1/4 to CR2 traps and the giant lair has CR8 to CR 12 traps, in the playtest the thieves' den has level 0 to level 2 traps, and the giant lair has level 8 to level 12 traps.

Upon rereading, I admit I kinda got lost in the argument. My point here was that I hate 10-2 for offering exact numbers based on level. "If you're level 4, X should be the target number. If you're level 10, Y should be the target number." To be honest, I'm not sure if a similar table exists in PF1, but I just hate such rigidity. That's all I wanted to say.


Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
If the DC doesn't change, you aren't making something easier for the characters. The characters did something to become more powerful, more skilled, or more well-known themselves.
No, that's the entire core of the problem. +1/level means you didn't do something to become more skilled. It just happened. That's my problem with this system. Eventually, even the Charisma 8 Dwarf Druid who's never been in a settlement of more than 20 people will be able to Diplomacise the information out of someone, given enough levels.

You don't gain levels for nothing. The character has done something to gain that level. Given the default assumptions of the system, the character has actually done something heroic. Not just once, but several times per level. By level 5, when your gruff druid has managed to overcome the penalties with his level and able to make a request of basic commoners 50% of the time, he is likely to be able to defeat an ogre in single combat.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
I don't quite understand the point you're making. In PF1e the 1st level thieves' den has CR1/4 to CR2 traps and the giant lair has CR8 to CR 12 traps, in the playtest the thieves' den has level 0 to level 2 traps, and the giant lair has level 8 to level 12 traps.
Upon rereading, I admit I kinda got lost in the argument. My point here was that I hate 10-2 for offering exact numbers based on level. "If you're level 4, X should be the target number. If you're level 10, Y should be the target number." To be honest, I'm not sure if a similar table exists in PF1, but I just hate such rigidity. That's all I wanted to say.

But like I said earlier, the table explicitly is not "crossreference your level with the difficulty of the task", it is "crossreference the level of the task with its difficulty."

Swimming in a stormy ocean is always a level 5 task, though it might vary from an easy to ultimate difficulty depending on other factors like having a float or the storm being an extra bad storm. You would probably have to cast a spell of some sort to increase the level higher.

To my knowledge, PF1e does not have a table of appropriate DCs per level. Of course, it also has huge variance in skills, at 1st level going from -11 Acrobatics (dwarf with Dex 8 wearing scalemail with a heavy shield) to +21 Acrobatics (Dex 16 barbarian with a skill rank in Acrobatics that had Jump cast on them), and only growing from there in utterly unpredictable leaps and bounds (pun intended).


Steve Geddes wrote:
heretic wrote:
In all candour I find it almost impossible to be receptive to anyone who includes a “ if you don’t like this then this game isn’t for you etc.”.

Especially during a playtest where Paizo have said that everything is potentially up for change and they want to hear about what we do and don’t like. It’s premature to declare “this game isn’t for you”.

I don’t like +1/level more broadly than just this. However, the real problem for me is the way it applies to untrained skills my character has never attempted. I figure that distinction is worth bringing up to the design team.

The fans of +1/level may not be able to think of a way to reconcile the system as it currently stands with what I’m looking for. They may also think the cohort of people who share my opinion is negligible and safely addressed via “just overrule your PC’s stats or go find another game”.

I’m not really speaking to them. I’m addressing my concerns to the design team who are both more informed as to the state of the market and more experienced at crafting RPG subsystems. Maybe it will help improve the game or maybe not. It doesn’t hurt to put it forth during an open playtest (nor should it be shutdown by people who like the system as is - they can explain what they like without arguing over whether what I like “makes sense” or is “crazy”).

In the end it's about numbers and majorities. You and your cohorts dislike +1/level, there might be legions (including me) who like +1/level.

As you said, we all lack the knowledge of the true numbers supporting each approach. It might as well be that what appears to be cohorts shows to be the tiniest minorities as people content with a rule rather tend not to post in forums.


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Nightwhisper wrote:
You don't gain levels for nothing. The character has done something to gain that level. Given the default assumptions of the system, the character has actually done something heroic. Not just once, but several times per level. By level 5, when your gruff druid has managed to overcome the penalties with his level and able to make a request of basic commoners 50% of the time, he is likely to be able to defeat an ogre in single combat.

Who's to say? What have they done, some will only accept what is established in play, or though background. Maybe your wizard has not bothered, or really dealt with climbing or what have you; that's it.


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Rameth wrote:

I think the problem a lot of people have is that they don't remember that by the time your level actually makes you good enough to do anything you aren't a normal person anymore.

Like in Pathfinder 2E what lvl are "normal" people? I would think they would be lvl 3 or 4 tops.

Well, I was under the apparently mistaken impression that PF was supposed to be a heroic fantasy RPG and not a superhero RPG. And I have a hunch that many people feel the same way.

Levelling was ridiculous enough as it was and did indeed veer outside of the heroic fantasy genre at higher levels in earlier editions. But to say that basically every level 5+ character is a superhuman is such a more drastic blow to any pretense of simulating a high fantasy world that I do not see how the game's stated goal of being able to tell the same stories as before can be achieved.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Ephialtes wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
heretic wrote:
In all candour I find it almost impossible to be receptive to anyone who includes a “ if you don’t like this then this game isn’t for you etc.”.

Especially during a playtest where Paizo have said that everything is potentially up for change and they want to hear about what we do and don’t like. It’s premature to declare “this game isn’t for you”.

I don’t like +1/level more broadly than just this. However, the real problem for me is the way it applies to untrained skills my character has never attempted. I figure that distinction is worth bringing up to the design team.

The fans of +1/level may not be able to think of a way to reconcile the system as it currently stands with what I’m looking for. They may also think the cohort of people who share my opinion is negligible and safely addressed via “just overrule your PC’s stats or go find another game”.

I’m not really speaking to them. I’m addressing my concerns to the design team who are both more informed as to the state of the market and more experienced at crafting RPG subsystems. Maybe it will help improve the game or maybe not. It doesn’t hurt to put it forth during an open playtest (nor should it be shutdown by people who like the system as is - they can explain what they like without arguing over whether what I like “makes sense” or is “crazy”).

In the end it's about numbers and majorities. You and your cohorts dislike +1/level, there might be legions (including me) who like +1/level.

As you said, we all lack the knowledge of the true numbers supporting each approach. It might as well be that what appears to be cohorts shows to be the tiniest minorities as people content with a rule rather tend not to post in forums.

I think I lack the technical knowledge as well as knowledge of the market. The designers put it in for a reason, so it may well be that what I’m looking for is inconsistent with those reasons and that it should stay in, even if most don’t like it. I don’t think they should always act according to what the majority say they want - I believe in expertise and experts.

Irrespective, “this isn’t the game for you” is clearly premature, given that the designers are still asking us what we like or dislike about the playtest system.


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Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Its like TTRPGs are destined to have crappy skill systems.

No, many of them have great skill systems. Or at least serviceable ones. The BRP, Traveller and GURPS families of games spring to mind.

However, if we are talking about the D&D family of games, you have a good point. Some of that is, without a doubt, due to the inherent difficulty of intermeshing a skill-based system with a level-based system. This is quite obvious from this very discussion - the problem is less the skill system as such, but the question of how to implement level-based improvements to skills.

I don't think there is a clear answer to that. Some games of the D&D family (early versions, 5e, various OSR games) avoid it by having no or at best a rudimentary skill system in the first place.

Other older games (for example, Bushido, which is not exactly a D&D derivate, but close enough in concept) tried separating their elaborate system for skills and their improvement (by devoting time to training) from their leveling up system.

The 3.x family always used the rather awkward approach of integrating the skills into the system of level benefits. The flat +1/level to everything drives this to an unnecessary extreme, but it has always been a problem that no one could be an expert in any skill without also being a high-level character.


Steve Geddes wrote:

rather tend not to post in forums.

I think I lack the technical knowledge as well as knowledge of the market. The designers put it in for a reason, so it may well be that what I’m looking for is inconsistent with those reasons and that it should stay in, even if most don’t like it. I don’t think they should always act according to what the majority say they want - I believe in expertise and experts.

Irrespective, “this isn’t the game for you” is clearly premature, given that the designers are still asking us what we like or dislike about the playtest system.

If you imply it isn't a game for me just because +1/level might vanish I tell you that you err and are indeed premature. If +1/level doesn't make it into the final product but the remaining positive aspects overweigh, I will be still interested in PF2. I am not like some who would throw themselves on the ground thrash the floor pouting because not every single aspect caters to my will 100%.


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Ephialtes wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

rather tend not to post in forums.

I think I lack the technical knowledge as well as knowledge of the market. The designers put it in for a reason, so it may well be that what I’m looking for is inconsistent with those reasons and that it should stay in, even if most don’t like it. I don’t think they should always act according to what the majority say they want - I believe in expertise and experts.

Irrespective, “this isn’t the game for you” is clearly premature, given that the designers are still asking us what we like or dislike about the playtest system.

If you imply it isn't a game for me just because +1/level might vanish I tell you that you err and are indeed premature. If +1/level doesn't make it into the final product but the remaining positive aspects overweigh, I will be still interested in PF2. I am not like some who would throw themselves on the ground thrash the floor pouting.

Steve Geddes didn't imply that ...

You infered it ...
I think - ?


GRuzom wrote:
Ephialtes wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

rather tend not to post in forums.

I think I lack the technical knowledge as well as knowledge of the market. The designers put it in for a reason, so it may well be that what I’m looking for is inconsistent with those reasons and that it should stay in, even if most don’t like it. I don’t think they should always act according to what the majority say they want - I believe in expertise and experts.

Irrespective, “this isn’t the game for you” is clearly premature, given that the designers are still asking us what we like or dislike about the playtest system.

If you imply it isn't a game for me just because +1/level might vanish I tell you that you err and are indeed premature. If +1/level doesn't make it into the final product but the remaining positive aspects overweigh, I will be still interested in PF2. I am not like some who would throw themselves on the ground thrash the floor pouting.

Steve Geddes didn't imply that ...

You infered it ...
I think - ?

I think not, it is this thought-terminating cliché critics blame supporters for of well, supporting certain rules/aspects. I support +1/level but would never infer that PF2 wouldn't be a game in total for the critics. I doubt there is any system that will fulfill every single expectation of any player. It's about if you can live with the subjective "shortcommings" or deem them deal-breakers.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

To me, the +1/lvl makes perfect sense for Attack Bonus, AC, Saves and Skills You Care About.

A level to an adventurer represents your improved ability to face threats in and out of combat and come out alive. Attacks, AC, and Saves are clearly related to your improved prowess in a variety of situations. Skills You Care About improve because you use them to aid your survival.

The best way to decide which are the Skills You Care About is to let the player select them, because you can't assume that all skills have been encountered and improved with experience, so you might as well give players the agency there.

Training is essentially hitting the checkbox that says you care about the skill. Further training unlocks more, but doesn't really matter for the +1/lvl discussion.

Leave untrained skills at rock bottom. It doesn't matter if it might be useful now, if your entire party is essentially a marching band with full plate for 15 levels, it's okay if they have no hope in hell of sneaking into the dragon's lair.

However, I agree that it's balls to split the party if one person is a stealth master, essentially preventing them from playing their build because the party overrules their playstyle.

In that case, since adventurers are flexible and quick learners, let the expert provide temporary training. Give pointers, tuck in noisy accoutrements, show others where to step, and make the party temporarily Trained for the task at hand, giving them +lvl to the skill, and giving the party a hope in hell of succeeding.

Dark Archive

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That why I suggest +1(1/2Level)
This way your level will not over come your bonuses or penalties until a much higher tier

Changing the proficiency numbers


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HWalsh wrote:


I had enough of being told, "No, you need acrobatics to jump this 5 foot hole, even though you're level 11 and can bench press a Buick you can't do this."

And how is this different from "No, you need to be trained/expert/master/legendary even though you are level 20"?


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... I doubt there is any system that will fulfill every single expectation of any player. It's about if you can live with the subjective "shortcommings" or deem them deal-breakers.

This I can agree with 100%

Personally I dislike the +1/level, but I'm aware that some, probably a lot? like it.

I don't think the devs are going to drop the +1/level, but I hope so and saying so now, during the playtest, is the right time to do so - in a year, it's a take it or leave it situation.

:-)


GRuzom wrote:

This I can agree with 100%

Personally I dislike the +1/level, but I'm aware that some, probably a lot? like it.

I don't think the devs are going to drop the +1/level, but I hope so and saying so now, during the playtest, is the right time to do so - in a year, it's a take it or leave it situation.

:-)

I am excited about what the devs may have up their sleve. I like +1/level because it elevates higher level chars over minion opponents and standard situations. If you are 10th level and never trained a certain skill you will nonetheless have encountered situations in where you watched others dealing with such or were forced to deal with them yourself. I would call it a kind of "overall experience". But in the end modifying +1/level wouldn't probably be a hill to die upon for me, there is still too much I like about PF2.^^


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Wulfhelm II. wrote:
Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Its like TTRPGs are destined to have crappy skill systems.

No, many of them have great skill systems. Or at least serviceable ones. The BRP, Traveller and GURPS families of games spring to mind.

However, if we are talking about the D&D family of games, you have a good point. Some of that is, without a doubt, due to the inherent difficulty of intermeshing a skill-based system with a level-based system. This is quite obvious from this very discussion - the problem is less the skill system as such, but the question of how to implement level-based improvements to skills.

I don't think there is a clear answer to that. Some games of the D&D family (early versions, 5e, various OSR games) avoid it by having no or at best a rudimentary skill system in the first place.

Other older games (for example, Bushido, which is not exactly a D&D derivate, but close enough in concept) tried separating their elaborate system for skills and their improvement (by devoting time to training) from their leveling up system.

The 3.x family always used the rather awkward approach of integrating the skills into the system of level benefits. The flat +1/level to everything drives this to an unnecessary extreme, but it has always been a problem that no one could be an expert in any skill without also being a high-level character.

Excellent post. Skills in RPGs are usually best in a system built around them. They always seem a tad clunky, tacked on, not quite meshing with D&D and its other systems, and that goes for all editions/iterations of the game, to me.


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+1/level was a BIG complaint from detractors of 4e. I played it for about a year or so, then switched to Pathfinder. Complaints were also about sloggy combats (difficult battles easily lasting 3-4 hours), disassociated mechanics, required magic items, amongst other things.

PF2e has a few of the same problems. Resonance (or whatever its called nowadays) somewhat reminds me of healing surges (which actually worked pretty well). Required magic items, combat slog, hp bloat, class homogeneity, it all smacks of a similar approach, to me.

*NOTE: I am not trying to start a another discussion about editions, please.

What I want to say is that +1/level just bloated everything, and made the skill DC system very meta, where you had to increase DCs to keep them level appropriate, and assign increasingly wonky explanations for the increase in difficulty (but of course the difficulty relative to the players doesn't actually increase with "level appropriate challenges", so the whole +level thing is a wash most of the time).

How many greased, smooth-glass walls in a rainstorm, during an earthquake with a DC50 climb check are in your world? +level to everything is possibly the biggest deal breaker for me, I hated it then, and I hate it now. Some people like it obviously, but watch as all the same old complaints come rolling in when this game reaches the masses.

I like +1/2 level, that is much more reasonable and you don't have to update your whole character sheet every single level (was annoying in 4e too, and that game is a lot simpler). I actually wished 5e went with +1/2 level over the +2 to +6 they went with.


Dr. Zerom Brandercook wrote:
+1/level was a BIG complaint from detractors of 4e.

4th Ed is +1/2 level.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dr. Zerom Brandercook wrote:
+1/level was a BIG complaint from detractors of 4e.
4th Ed is +1/2 level.

I don't have the books anymore are you sure? Because I remember the complaints and being annoyed updating the sheets all the time. That's funny then, so + level would actually be worse.

I did just wake up so forgive me if I'm being insane.

EDIT: Oh yeah, you are right. Well I remember hating how everything just automatically advanced for no reason, so the point still stands. Auto-scaling skills is bad. To me d&d (and most great fantasy stories) has always been about overcoming weaknesses, this makes that much less of a thing and it makes me sad.


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My issue with the +1/level mechanic is that it causes the auto-scaling issue seen in a lot of video games that has proven to not be fun.

Does anyone remember playing Elder Scrolls Oblivion? Does anyone remember how as you leveled the game was so tightly balanced around auto-scaling that you never felt badass? everything always seemed hard. This was an issue that was panned for a long time about the game, Skyrim loosened it up a bit, and made it so you could see weaker enemies occasionally, and also harder enemies that you could try beating for a very hard challenge.

The same is true here. With the current system you have no incentive to try easier challenges because you get no reward (xp) for doing them, and higher level challenges quickly become near impossible due to the ramping.

The biggest issue I find with this though, is that Paizo has balanced DCs around optimal characters. No one wants to pour everything into being awesome at one skill, only to find out the system expected this of you to start with, and made it so you have a 60% chance of succeeding instead of the 30% chance everyone else has.

If I become a legendary stealth ninja, I want to blow everyone else out of the water with my mad skills. Paizo has set up a decent opportunity for allowing this with the +10 = critical success, but I don't think they are utilizing it appropriately.

The numbers need to be balanced so that someone who never invested anything into a skill has a crap chance at success, someone who put a marginal amount into it, has an OK chance, and someone who is legendary shouldn't even be worrying about success, they should be concerned with how often they critically succeed instead.

These are the Heroes of the story. The people who specialize for a task should be amazing at it. Sure, a nat 1 fails, but that is just a good story hook at that point, on how the legendary stealth rogue just screwed up and now there's drama unfolding.

The best way to accomplish this I think is to make it so that the level of training and investment is the most important aspect of success. High levels just make harder tasks more accomplish-able, or allows you try try doing them at all.

My players an I were discussing a system where the t/e/m/l system worked a bit differently for skills. (combat rolls stay the same though, since no one likes missing their attacks, and we haven't discussed the combat system yet)

Quote:


At untrained you get nothing but your stat bonus, and any other bonuses from items and spells, like normal.

At trained, you get 1/2 level rounded up, +1.

Expert is like trained but with a +2

Master brings you to full +level bonus +3

Legendary is full level with a +4.

We were considering doing 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, full progression as well, but were concerned about too many tables of progression, plus the tables are barely different at low levels.

The idea behind this was to make it so that level still contributes, but not if you don't invest anything at all, and it makes the skill training significant to the bonus you receive.

Most people whose characters are bad at something are bad at it because it's either part of their character concept, they don't care about it, or they have other ways of solving the problem the skill solves (suck at something? pretty sure there's a spell for that, says every wizard ever)

The DCs also need to be set based on an average joe who is just trained in the skill, with maybe a 12 in the stat. Personally I like static DCs, since they are easy to remember. It also make it so that an easy task is always the same, as you level you aren't trying for easy tasks anymore, you are trying for success with medium, hard, or harder tasks.

Something like trivial 5, very easy 10, easy 15, medium 20, hard 25, very hard 30, extreme 35, impossible 40.

A level 20 legendary is going to have +20, +7 stat, +4 legendary skill, +4 item, for +35 if they are super optimized. this makes success on all but impossible tasks guaranteed almost, with a very high chance of critical success.

A level 7 master (someone at the pinnacle of mortal skill before becoming a true heroic personage) would have +7, +3 skill, +4 stat, +2 item, for +16... they can TRY an extreme challenge with a low success rate (10%), have a much better chance with very hard (35%) and thus could do it with a few tries and some time, and pretty much auto succeed at anything easy.

This is just an example of what Paizo could do, there is a lot of room to experiment with the numbers, but I think the key is to not just blindly add +level to everything for everyone, and make it so true legendary skill users are aiming for critical success on the top challenges, not just success.


Dr. Zerom Brandercook wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dr. Zerom Brandercook wrote:
+1/level was a BIG complaint from detractors of 4e.
4th Ed is +1/2 level.

I don't have the books anymore are you sure? Because I remember the complaints and being annoyed updating the sheets all the time. That's funny then, so + level would actually be worse.

I did just wake up so forgive me if I'm being insane.

EDIT: Oh yeah, you are right. Well I remember hating how everything just automatically advanced for no reason, so the point still stands. Auto-scaling skills is bad. To me d&d (and most great fantasy stories) has always been about overcoming weaknesses, this makes that much less of a thing and it makes me sad.

True, though it's easy enough to omit, that is what I did, and used the Inherent Bonus variant from the DMG2.

Did the same with SWSE; so, so far, the +1/2 or +Level deal has been a bit rubbish, in my d20 experience.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dr. Zerom Brandercook wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dr. Zerom Brandercook wrote:
+1/level was a BIG complaint from detractors of 4e.
4th Ed is +1/2 level.

I don't have the books anymore are you sure? Because I remember the complaints and being annoyed updating the sheets all the time. That's funny then, so + level would actually be worse.

I did just wake up so forgive me if I'm being insane.

EDIT: Oh yeah, you are right. Well I remember hating how everything just automatically advanced for no reason, so the point still stands. Auto-scaling skills is bad. To me d&d (and most great fantasy stories) has always been about overcoming weaknesses, this makes that much less of a thing and it makes me sad.

True, though it's easy enough to omit, that is what I did, and used the Inherent Bonus variant from the DMG2.

Did the same with SWSE; so, so far, the +1/2 or +Level deal has been a bit rubbish, in my d20 experience.

Funny. And yet SWSE was my most favorite D20 itteration and in those days it was my hope that 4e would develope in its direction (which it didn't to my disappointment).

After all it's a matter of subjective taste and not objective practicability.


Ephialtes wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dr. Zerom Brandercook wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dr. Zerom Brandercook wrote:
+1/level was a BIG complaint from detractors of 4e.
4th Ed is +1/2 level.

I don't have the books anymore are you sure? Because I remember the complaints and being annoyed updating the sheets all the time. That's funny then, so + level would actually be worse.

I did just wake up so forgive me if I'm being insane.

EDIT: Oh yeah, you are right. Well I remember hating how everything just automatically advanced for no reason, so the point still stands. Auto-scaling skills is bad. To me d&d (and most great fantasy stories) has always been about overcoming weaknesses, this makes that much less of a thing and it makes me sad.

True, though it's easy enough to omit, that is what I did, and used the Inherent Bonus variant from the DMG2.

Did the same with SWSE; so, so far, the +1/2 or +Level deal has been a bit rubbish, in my d20 experience.
Funny. And yet SWSE was my most favorite D20 itteration and in those days it was my hope that 4e would develope in its direction (which it didn't to my disappointment).

Me too, as SWSE and ToB/Bo9S were "snapshots" into 4th Ed design, at the time, I lament they leaned towards the latter.

The +Heroic level and BAB (playing terribly together) creates a math breakdown, in SWSE, especially at higher levels. Then the weird +1/2 level for skills, and the Skill Focus feat making a mess of things. Also, what force user is not going to take Skill Focus (Use the Force); stupid feat tax garbage.
The game plays wonderfully when you omit that crap, adjust Amour bonuses to Ref, and give an attack bonus, commensurate with the class bonuses to Defences.


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"...If you are 10th level and never trained a certain skill you will nonetheless have encountered situations in where you watched others dealing with such or were forced to deal with them yourself. I would call it a kind of "overall experience" ..."

I see your reasoning and respect it, though that is not a game that I would want to GM, or be a player in. I've played in another system, where skills auto-scaled and disliked it intensely. This has nothing to do with right or wrong, but a question of liking/disliking certain kinds of food.

I've tasted that particular dish, and it was not for me.


GRuzom wrote:

"...If you are 10th level and never trained a certain skill you will nonetheless have encountered situations in where you watched others dealing with such or were forced to deal with them yourself. I would call it a kind of "overall experience" ..."

I see your reasoning and respect it, though that is not a game that I would want to GM, or be a player in. I've played in another system, where skills auto-scaled and disliked it intensely. This has nothing to do with right or wrong, but a question of liking/disliking certain kinds of food.

I've tasted that particular dish, and it was not for me.

If this is just the dessert that tasted a bit shallow, the main course still might be to your taste. :)

My main concern is actually resonance. The other aspects would be bearable to me. Of course if there were improvements in several minor aspects, the better for all of us.


Ephialtes wrote:
My main concern is actually resonance.

If that is truly your main concern for the game, you are already home-free.


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Ephialtes wrote:
GRuzom wrote:

"...If you are 10th level and never trained a certain skill you will nonetheless have encountered situations in where you watched others dealing with such or were forced to deal with them yourself. I would call it a kind of "overall experience" ..."

I see your reasoning and respect it, though that is not a game that I would want to GM, or be a player in. I've played in another system, where skills auto-scaled and disliked it intensely. This has nothing to do with right or wrong, but a question of liking/disliking certain kinds of food.

I've tasted that particular dish, and it was not for me.

If this is just the dessert that tasted a bit shallow, the main course still might be to your taste. :)

My main concern is actually resonance. The other aspects would be bearable to me. Of course if there were improvements in several minor aspects, the better for all of us.

Well put sir:-)

And resonance is also not to my taste ...


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Ephialtes wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

rather tend not to post in forums.

I think I lack the technical knowledge as well as knowledge of the market. The designers put it in for a reason, so it may well be that what I’m looking for is inconsistent with those reasons and that it should stay in, even if most don’t like it. I don’t think they should always act according to what the majority say they want - I believe in expertise and experts.

Irrespective, “this isn’t the game for you” is clearly premature, given that the designers are still asking us what we like or dislike about the playtest system.

If you imply it isn't a game for me just because +1/level might vanish I tell you that you err and are indeed premature. If +1/level doesn't make it into the final product but the remaining positive aspects overweigh, I will be still interested in PF2. I am not like some who would throw themselves on the ground thrash the floor pouting because not every single aspect caters to my will 100%.

Nope, not implying that. Fwiw, I think you should tell the designers you like it (via the surveys, if it ever comes up, but also in discussions like this one).


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Ephialtes wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

rather tend not to post in forums.

I think I lack the technical knowledge as well as knowledge of the market. The designers put it in for a reason, so it may well be that what I’m looking for is inconsistent with those reasons and that it should stay in, even if most don’t like it. I don’t think they should always act according to what the majority say they want - I believe in expertise and experts.

Irrespective, “this isn’t the game for you” is clearly premature, given that the designers are still asking us what we like or dislike about the playtest system.

If you imply it isn't a game for me just because +1/level might vanish I tell you that you err and are indeed premature. If +1/level doesn't make it into the final product but the remaining positive aspects overweigh, I will be still interested in PF2. I am not like some who would throw themselves on the ground thrash the floor pouting because not every single aspect caters to my will 100%.
Nope, not implying that. Fwiw, I think you should tell the designers you like it (via the surveys, if it ever comes up, but also in discussions like this one).

There does seem to be this blindly-following love of the +Level deal, much like the amp that goes to 11.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Ephialtes wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

rather tend not to post in forums.

I think I lack the technical knowledge as well as knowledge of the market. The designers put it in for a reason, so it may well be that what I’m looking for is inconsistent with those reasons and that it should stay in, even if most don’t like it. I don’t think they should always act according to what the majority say they want - I believe in expertise and experts.

Irrespective, “this isn’t the game for you” is clearly premature, given that the designers are still asking us what we like or dislike about the playtest system.

If you imply it isn't a game for me just because +1/level might vanish I tell you that you err and are indeed premature. If +1/level doesn't make it into the final product but the remaining positive aspects overweigh, I will be still interested in PF2. I am not like some who would throw themselves on the ground thrash the floor pouting because not every single aspect caters to my will 100%.
Nope, not implying that. Fwiw, I think you should tell the designers you like it (via the surveys, if it ever comes up, but also in discussions like this one).
There does seem to be this blindly-following love of the +Level deal, much like the amp that goes to 11.

I don't like +1/level, but people who do, are not doing it for bad or stupid reasons - they just like it.

All a matter of taste:-)


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Ephialtes wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

rather tend not to post in forums.

I think I lack the technical knowledge as well as knowledge of the market. The designers put it in for a reason, so it may well be that what I’m looking for is inconsistent with those reasons and that it should stay in, even if most don’t like it. I don’t think they should always act according to what the majority say they want - I believe in expertise and experts.

Irrespective, “this isn’t the game for you” is clearly premature, given that the designers are still asking us what we like or dislike about the playtest system.

If you imply it isn't a game for me just because +1/level might vanish I tell you that you err and are indeed premature. If +1/level doesn't make it into the final product but the remaining positive aspects overweigh, I will be still interested in PF2. I am not like some who would throw themselves on the ground thrash the floor pouting because not every single aspect caters to my will 100%.
Nope, not implying that. Fwiw, I think you should tell the designers you like it (via the surveys, if it ever comes up, but also in discussions like this one).

I did in the open surveys, indeed. And I will do so in discussions. To be honest, there have been a couple of points I was a staunch defender of in the past and reading others oppinions made me rethink some. At least I try to be open minded^^ I am very positive that the final product will benefit in the end from all those discussions.


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Look, I'm tired of having level 15 characters that can only spot an avalanche when it's on top of them. (This is literally something that happened in a game I was in.)

I'm tired of level 15 characters that drown in a calm pond because they're wearing armour and haven't put ranks into Swim.

I'm tired of level 15 characters that are stymied by a small cliff because they didn't explicitly plan around climbing.

The sheer amount of incompetence automatically assumed in PF1 for high levels is aggravating, in that you're never going to succeed in a thing which you haven't invested half your life in. The average level 15 fighter will know absolutely nothing about the world, have no idea what he's been fighting for 15 levels (even level 3 things can't be identified), can only do one of climb/swim/jump, and shouldn't ever waste their time with anything social.

That's not remotely interesting as a high level character.


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What Cyouni said.

And yes, +1/lv to everything is no panacea. But I'll take it over PF1's forced incompetence hands down, warts and all.

Now if only we could make more out of those proficiency levels...


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Lycar wrote:

What Cyouni said.

And yes, +1/lv to everything is no panacea. But I'll take it over PF1's forced incompetence hands down, warts and all.

Now if only we could make more out of those proficiency levels...

FWIW, I agree also.

My reason for starting this thread is that I have a vague glimmer of why the designers went down this road. Although it's not my preferred solution, I can live with it as a solution to these kinds of problems.

However (in my opinion), the price of now being unable to remain totally incompetent is too high. I'd like them to solve the problem of auto-fail vs auto-succeed situations which cropped up in PF1 without making everyone able to do everything.

I'm hoping they'll be able to tweak the system and find a way to let me do that, whilst still solving the problems they're trying to solve.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Ephialtes wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

rather tend not to post in forums.

I think I lack the technical knowledge as well as knowledge of the market. The designers put it in for a reason, so it may well be that what I’m looking for is inconsistent with those reasons and that it should stay in, even if most don’t like it. I don’t think they should always act according to what the majority say they want - I believe in expertise and experts.

Irrespective, “this isn’t the game for you” is clearly premature, given that the designers are still asking us what we like or dislike about the playtest system.

If you imply it isn't a game for me just because +1/level might vanish I tell you that you err and are indeed premature. If +1/level doesn't make it into the final product but the remaining positive aspects overweigh, I will be still interested in PF2. I am not like some who would throw themselves on the ground thrash the floor pouting because not every single aspect caters to my will 100%.
Nope, not implying that. Fwiw, I think you should tell the designers you like it (via the surveys, if it ever comes up, but also in discussions like this one).
There does seem to be this blindly-following love of the +Level deal, much like the amp that goes to 11.

I haven't seen anyone I'd consider to be blindly following it. I just think there's a lot of different playstyles out there and we're all taking the opportunity to pull PF2 towards the one we favor.


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The world and challenges should rarely be scaled to the party. They should have stable benchmarks independent of the party.

Even if they keep + Level and don't change it 1/2 Level, I would still hope for Untrained to be shifted to Half level. Sure, the character wouldn't pass a "level appropriate challenge," but a social encounter at a ball at the castle probably shouldn't be higher than level 5-10 even if you're level 15-20, so the untrained character could still participate just fine.

And for level appropriate challenges, that's why you're a team, not a single player solo experience. This is something easily mitigated by baking into the system that an expert etc can cover for less trained people in their group, with their successes wiping out one or more failures by others in their party.


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Cyouni wrote:
Look, I'm tired of having level 15 characters that can only spot an avalanche when it's on top of them. (This is literally something that happened in a game I was in.)

How? This sounds like there were either extenuating circumstances or you had a jerk GM. Anything in plain sight doesn't require a Perception Check to notice, and given that the roar of an avalanche is louder than a DC 0 conversation, your players should have heard it coming.

Quote:
I'm tired of level 15 characters that drown in a calm pond because they're wearing armour and haven't put ranks into Swim.

Then put ranks in swim. I know, PF1 doesn't give nearly enough Skill Points to certain classes, but if your character NEVER decided to get any training in swimming, they would obviously drown.

Quote:
I'm tired of level 15 characters that are stymied by a small cliff because they didn't explicitly plan around climbing.

Grappling hook + knotted rope. DC 5 Climb Check. Climbing gear is also trivially cheap at level 15. Complaining that your level 15s are stopped by a cliff is like claiming you can't have a picnic because you didn't bring food.

Quote:

The sheer amount of incompetence automatically assumed in PF1 for high levels is aggravating, in that you're never going to succeed in a thing which you haven't invested half your life in. The average level 15 fighter will know absolutely nothing about the world, have no idea what he's been fighting for 15 levels (even level 3 things can't be identified), can only do one of climb/swim/jump, and shouldn't ever waste their time with anything social.

That's not remotely interesting as a high level character.

This is where I have an issue with PF1. You don't get near enough skill points, and the game incentivizes putting all of your points into a few skills. This could be easily fixed by making 4+INT mod the minimum skill points for characters and/or consolidating the skill list. There is no need to make everyone Mary Sues/Marty Stus at high level.

The Exchange

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In an earlier post I likened the skill system and the plus 1 per level to how Batman was presented in years gone by. That making characters be like Bruce Wayne with magic is a bad idea. In the context of the rest of the post I thought the analogy was clear. Apparently not.....

In old Batman stories the hero was a genius academic, martial artist supreme and an actor of the highest calibre and these were just a few tips of an iceberg of awesomeness where the audience lived out vicarious power fantasies through a character who was just brilliant at everything.

How was this possible? Well because well he was Batman and Batman had done all the things that you’d ever need to do to be brilliant at everything while becoming Batman and he keeps current and learns new skills at the same brilliant level in the down times between adventures. Thus no matter what fate or the Joker threw at him he was always prepared and never left his fans feeling irrelevant by proxy.

In PF2 you can add in magic to further empower good ol’ Bat’s awesomeness.

For me PF characters are ordinary people who share our human flaws and foibles who become extraordinary because they become diplomats or warriors, wizards or burglars of the highest calibre. They have to work at it just like we all do: there are no free lunches.

Hope that clarifies.

Thinking on it.....

Barbarossa was a renowned king & warrior from history who showed that with great power comes the responsibility to learn how to swim when you jump in a river just as it comes to people who have little or no power.

My father, God rest him, was recognised as being one of the most promising in his profession as a young man. As my mum would relate he was not at all good at dancing. 20 years on at the top of his profession he still could not dance to save his life.

I forget her name but a celebrated writer who had lived in Moscow was speaking on radio in the U.K. saying that she shared the commonly held idea that if you just lived in a foreign city for a few years you gained the language by osmosis. Turns out this is of course nonsense. You have to make the effort to learn Russian: a flat by the Moscow river and an entirely anglophone circle of friends and associates won’t cut it!

W


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Cyouni wrote:
Look, I'm tired of having level 15 characters that can only spot an avalanche when it's on top of them. (This is literally something that happened in a game I was in.)

Perception is being separated into its own thing, similar to how BAB and saving throws already were. So that problem should solve itself.

Quote:

I'm tired of level 15 characters that drown in a calm pond because they're wearing armour and haven't put ranks into Swim.

I'm tired of level 15 characters that are stymied by a small cliff because they didn't explicitly plan around climbing.

The obvious solution would be to put ranks into those skills.

Quote:
The average level 15 fighter will know absolutely nothing about the world, have no idea what he's been fighting for 15 levels (even level 3 things can't be identified), can only do one of climb/swim/jump, and shouldn't ever waste their time with anything social.

That is a different problem, caused by the way skill ranks and skill advancement worked in PF1. An additional problem was the scarcity of skill ranks for certain classes, which resulted in the fighter - for example - usually only having enough ranks to raise his or her 'crucial' skills by 1 rank every level.

In short words, the old system did not (except for some classes which had skill points in absolute abundance) reward growth in width; you were encouraged to raise the skills you already had rather than expanding your skill base.

I agree that this was unsatisfactory, but I will add:
The new system does not change that. All characters start off with the same basic skill base, and growth will occur vertically, by increasing specialization.
Yes, you might, in theory, opt to use your skill increases to become trained in new skills rather than improve skills you already have. But with skill increases being a comparatively scarce resource, and with them also working in the same linear fashion as skill ranks did, the incentive to specialize is clearly there.

So, in short words: Yes, in the new system your level 15 fighter will be much more competent at perception and stealth than your level 1 fighter was. (Knowledge, the example you mention, is actually gated behind the Additional Lore skill feat, so unless you invest in that, you will still be completely clueless about everything you did not have a Lore skill for at level 1.)

However, your level 15 fighter will actually be less competent at these things than your level 15 rogue companion compared to their respective situations at level 1. Much less, in fact. So when the dreaded level appropriate challenges pop up, the situation will be very much the same as it was in PF1: The expert's skill is what counts, whether you dabbled in it does not really matter.


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heretic wrote:
Barbarossa was a renowned king & warrior from history who showed that with great power comes the responsibility to learn how to swim when you jump in a river just as it comes to people who have little or no power.

Bit unfair there, old chap. He was thrown off his horse, it's not like he voluntarily jumped into the water. ;-)

In any event, I agree with what you are saying. I think the problem is that skills are completely integrated into the matrix of what I'd like to call "core adventuring competencies". If there is a whole character class (or several, even) casually referred to as the "skill monkey", then obviously being good with skills is one possible area of specialization among adventurers.

My suggestion would be to get away from this paradigm and instead separate out all core competencies into their own things. Early versions of D&D did this, partially because they had no skills. 3.x did this for magic, combat and saving throws, but worked former thief abilities, as well as some other things, into the skill system.


Wulfhelm II. wrote:
In any event, I agree with what you are saying. I think the problem is that skills are completely integrated into the matrix of what I'd like to call "core adventuring competencies".

Total, and that is a legitimate approach, like the party is a rescue team ("...my men are not assassins..."), as in Predator (fantastic action film, great everything), but some prefer a more Hobbity approach (fish out of water, seriously incompetent in some areas), room for both is possible.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
You don't gain levels for nothing. The character has done something to gain that level. Given the default assumptions of the system, the character has actually done something heroic. Not just once, but several times per level. By level 5, when your gruff druid has managed to overcome the penalties with his level and able to make a request of basic commoners 50% of the time, he is likely to be able to defeat an ogre in single combat.
Who's to say? What have they done, some will only accept what is established in play, or though background. Maybe your wizard has not bothered, or really dealt with climbing or what have you; that's it.

Maybe not. But he is heroic. He is able to, on his own and with ease, defeat enemies that he would have needed a party to defeat at 1st level.

A 10th level archer in both PF1e and the playtest is able to single-handed defeat a young dragon or a band of giants. Why would it make sense for him or her to be even able to not know anything about binding wounds, climbing or or surviving in the wild?

A 20th level party is able to challenge Asmodeus in combat... and it's possible they will all drown when they try to cross a river.


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Wulfhelm II. wrote:
Levelling was ridiculous enough as it was and did indeed veer outside of the heroic fantasy genre at higher levels in earlier editions. But to say that basically every level 5+ character is a superhuman is such a more drastic blow to any pretense of simulating a high fantasy world that I do not see how the game's stated goal of being able to tell the same stories as before can be achieved.

In PF1e, a character of 5th level that has focused on jumping (Dex 18, max ranks, class skill, Skill Focus, Acrobatic, Run) has a +21, routinely beating the world record for long jump (Mike Powell 8.95 m (29 ft 4​1⁄4 in), 1991) without any magic.

At 10th level, the same character has a +31 bonus, still without magic. His or her every jump beats the world record, without fail and with a wide margin.

At 20th level, the bonus has increased to +41 if the character never raised their Dexterity. The character has no trouble clearing a semi-trailer's length. The character can also jump more than 10ft straight up from.

That sounds pretty superheroic to me.


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Nightwhisper wrote:
That sounds pretty superheroic to me.

Not to me. Exceeding current records in the field of physical activity by 10-20% is not really what I'd call a superheroic feat.

All the more because it is quite obvious to me that this was not, in fact, by design, but simply because many of the rules were simply eyeballed and don't serve all that well as a simulation of reality. I mean, even a starting character can beat the world record if he tries a few times because of how swingy d20 rolls are.

"Roughly in the ballpark of realistic human achievement" is good enough for my sense of genre not to explode. An exact, by-foot, replication of real-world human capabilities is not necessary.

Dark Archive

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I'd like to point out that its really jerk response to say "Well you should have put those points into swim" if you are talking about 1e RAW Fighters. I mean, let's assume campaign is using 15 pb(because GM wants to run it RAW and learned that APs use 15 pb), fighter needs good Strength and Con, Dex is good for them too unless they use heavy armors and wisdom is best out of three mental stats for them to increase saves, cha isn't useful because fighters don't have many CHA using class skills and if party has bard or sorcerer they are going to be better anyway and int is kinda hard to justify when you already have only 2 + int skill levels so most likely all other party members are going to be better in skills(even barbarian has it better because they have 4 + int) than you anyway even if you invest in int and make yourself physically weaker and feebler. So basically there are 4 stats you are more likely to invest in especially if you want to survive in combat at higher levels.

Okay, so Fighter in 1e has about 1-4 skill ranks per level depending on starting int, race(like human's skilled bonus) and willingness to put favored class bonuses to int, but let's say they are full plate using fighter. Which at higher levels with mwk armor still gives -5 penalty to swim checks, so let's be generous and say fighter has 2 skill ranks per level for because they are playing half orc, have 10 int and put all FC bonuses into HP.

Well, fighter probably wants to choose between climb, acrobatics(for CMDs and avoiding AoO), swim and perception(because you always want chance to avoid ambushes). If characters wants to invest in acrobatics, they pretty much have to put all points into it due to way monsters' CMD grows over levels. So that leaves one more skill to invest in, meaning they are likely going to split those between levels into different points(especially if for roleplaying reasons player wants to have profession blacksmith or something). And thats not taking in account that if they have that fullplate, that -5 acp penalty is going to negotiate most of bonus they get to swim skill from strength alone and that is assuming they also don't have shield for further acp penalties.

Basically, fighter players are kinda screwed at high levels when it comes to skills, so its rather mean to be like "Well, clearly you should have put your average of 2-3 skill points into swim then".

(That said, I definitely agree with problem of scaling skill DCs, it makes it feel like succeeding at them is purely about luck and not character skill)

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