My biggest problem with +1 / level


General Discussion

151 to 200 of 225 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You don't choose Perception. It's a skill tax and a litmus test of whether the player understands how 3ed works (read: if s_he has maxed Perception, we're all good, if s_he doesn't, there will be The Talk about how important Perception is, regardless of class/build/idea).


Gorbacz wrote:
You don't choose Perception. It's a skill tax and a litmus test of whether the player understands how 3ed works (read: if s_he has maxed Perception, we're all good, if s_he doesn't, there will be The Talk about how important Perception is, regardless of class/build/idea).

I've had plenty of games where 1 person maxes perception, and the rest don't because person 1 auto-succeeds all relevant checks and communicates it. Depends how often the GM requires a specific person succeed rather than 'someone'.

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:
You don't choose Perception. It's a skill tax and a litmus test of whether the player understands how 3ed works (read: if s_he has maxed Perception, we're all good, if s_he doesn't, there will be The Talk about how important Perception is, regardless of class/build/idea).

Yeaaaah, truth to be told that fighter player I mentioned would probably put those two points per level into perception and acrobatics :P I kinda went with "maybe player wants to prioritize class skills" logic

But in general when it comes to 1e rules as written core rulebook fighter, its better to just play any other martial if you want to do more out of combat.(or play one of fighter archetypes that really change how class works)

Lyee wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
You don't choose Perception. It's a skill tax and a litmus test of whether the player understands how 3ed works (read: if s_he has maxed Perception, we're all good, if s_he doesn't, there will be The Talk about how important Perception is, regardless of class/build/idea).
I've had plenty of games where 1 person maxes perception, and the rest don't because person 1 auto-succeeds all relevant checks and communicates it. Depends how often the GM requires a specific person succeed rather than 'someone'.

I can confirm that definitely in lot of APs, every character needs to succeed if they want to take part in surprise rounds

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lyee wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
You don't choose Perception. It's a skill tax and a litmus test of whether the player understands how 3ed works (read: if s_he has maxed Perception, we're all good, if s_he doesn't, there will be The Talk about how important Perception is, regardless of class/build/idea).
I've had plenty of games where 1 person maxes perception, and the rest don't because person 1 auto-succeeds all relevant checks and communicates it. Depends how often the GM requires a specific person succeed rather than 'someone'.

Aaand then that person can't come tonight (and your group doesn't do autopiloting PCs whose players aren't present)

or the PC gets hit with any Perception-impairing condition the party can't remove on the spot AND we're not in the teleport-cure-teleport zone yet.

oooor the PC gets separated from the party for whatever reason

ooooooor they just get killed, which is a temporary condition in D&D, but usually one that makes you sit out a while

oooooooooooooooooor the specialist just rolls really badly and the roll in question is trying not to get an enemy caster with quickened black testicles get a surprise round drop on you. Because, you know, rocket tag.

A whole host of reasons why specialised Perception experts are fine, but the whole group needs to have that skill maxed just in case.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Let's not forget that pretty much everyone agrees that PF1e Fighters were screwed in the skill department, and virtually everyone should have gotten more skill points per level.

In a world where people are free to dole out skill points at their leisure, putting a handful into swim to minimize the chance of drowning doesn't sound unreasonable.

I, for one, don't mind the image of a level 15 dwarf in full gear and backpack sinking in water like a stone. A prepared 15th level character who didn't put any character resources into swimming would calmly take out their potion of water breathing/activate their flight armor/crack open a single use teleport charm/telepathically ask a friend to help/summon a dolphin... all that is preferable to the system saying "Oh, you didn't want to be good at swimming? Too bad, you're a high level character."

As a proponent of +1/lvl in general, I wish people wouldn't argue that high level characters should be able to do anything that strikes their fancy.

Now, a high level character is skillful and good at learning new things and generally a cut above the rabble. It makes sense that an expert swimmer could help them with the basics, and let them apply their general experience (+lvl) for a time, before they forget it later 'cause they really haven't practiced it enough.


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:

I, for one, don't mind the image of a level 15 dwarf in full gear and backpack sinking in water like a stone. A prepared 15th level character who didn't put any character resources into swimming would calmly take out their potion of water breathing/activate their flight armor/crack open a single use teleport charm/telepathically ask a friend to help/summon a dolphin... all that is preferable to the system saying "Oh, you didn't want to be good at swimming? Too bad, you're a high level character."

As a proponent of +1/lvl in general, I wish people wouldn't argue that high level characters should be able to do anything that strikes their fancy

I'm with you on that. I'm generally in favor of +1/level because it fixes a lot of problems, but I acknowledge it's at risk of creating new ones if it's not kept in check.

IMO, high-level characters should be able to do any basic task, such as jumping across a 5-foot wide hole, even if they couldn't do it at level 1, and I don't think that should require special training. Swimming in full plate armor, however, shouldn't be a considered a basic task. Unfortunately, the armor check penalty isn't enough to adequately represent the difficulty of this specific case.

Beyond this example, It looks to me as if a lot of the debate is implicitly about what should be considered a basic task, or not.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
gwynfrid wrote:
Beyond this example, It looks to me as if a lot of the debate is implicitly about what should be considered a basic task, or not.

Full agreement there. Examples DCs at different tiers of proficiency would go a long way to sorting this out.

And yes, I would agree that an unburdened 15th level dwarf shouldn't drown in calm water without any magical aid, for sure.

And a dwarf with just "trained" in swimming at 15th level should also not be likely to drown, even fully geared.

IMO, of course.


In my view untrained in "swimming" or in this case athletics wouldn't necessarily mean that the character cannot swim. There is a major difference between knowing how to swim and actually be trained at it. Even most untrained commoners should know how to swim in my world view but sure they might suck at it in certain circumstances. So the character not knowing how to swim is not a mechanical feature but a purely RP one as far as I am concerned.
It seems to me that it's a lot easier to house-rule or roleplay a certain flaw for your character rather than changing the whole proficiency system, because that would make a lot of other "bugs" that is even more detrimental to "realism", for instance how badly most level 20 characters would be at recalling knowledge on monsters they have fought for several years.

Yes a level 10+ character will be better at everything than a first level character will be, but how often will that actually become that major of a concern. Some level 1's will still have +6 to perception and the level 10, untrained with 12 dex and -3 ACP will still only beat him with stealth on a roll of 12.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thflame wrote:
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.

Being asleep makes it hard to do sight-based Perception checks, and the person awake didn't have ranks in Perception. Oh, people noticed it...when it was 4 rounds away. Going from "you're asleep" to "dodge an avalanche" in 4 rounds isn't particularly easy when you don't have teleport.

(Teleport shouldn't have to be the answer to everything, or you're making arcane casters required.)

thflame wrote:


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.

On one hand, that's fair. On the other hand, it's not very interesting to have a level 15 character play like they're level 1 unless they specifically focused their life into a skill.

And that's not going to get that much better even if you give everyone 4 skill ranks and condense the skill list.

thflame wrote:
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.

Sure. Let's do that. Let's give the fighter full skill ranks in Perception, Acrobatics, Climb, and Swim.

Now we still have the same problem of him being completely useless outside of combat, because he has no knowledge of anything, no Stealth, and no social skills.

Even if we condense the skill list, that's still going to end up true. Let's assume four skill ranks under the current list. Two of those basically have to go into Athletics and Acrobatics, for the same reasons as before.
Now, what two are you not going to be incompetent at? You have three social skills - Deception, Diplomacy, and Intimidation (though the last helps in combat). Four knowledge skills - Arcana, Nature, Occult, Religion. There's also Crafting, if you need to repair your gear, Medicine, if you want to stay alive on your own, Stealth, and Survival.

Is it really too much to ask for high-level martials to not be broadly incompetent?

Wulfhelm II. wrote:
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.

Note that this basically ends up being an argument for +1/level, but without that this doesn't function.


WatersLethe wrote:

Let's not forget that pretty much everyone agrees that PF1e Fighters were screwed in the skill department, and virtually everyone should have gotten more skill points per level.

In a world where people are free to dole out skill points at their leisure, putting a handful into swim to minimize the chance of drowning doesn't sound unreasonable.

I, for one, don't mind the image of a level 15 dwarf in full gear and backpack sinking in water like a stone. A prepared 15th level character who didn't put any character resources into swimming would calmly take out their potion of water breathing/activate their flight armor/crack open a single use teleport charm/telepathically ask a friend to help/summon a dolphin... all that is preferable to the system saying "Oh, you didn't want to be good at swimming? Too bad, you're a high level character."

As a proponent of +1/lvl in general, I wish people wouldn't argue that high level characters should be able to do anything that strikes their fancy.

Now, a high level character is skillful and good at learning new things and generally a cut above the rabble. It makes sense that an expert swimmer could help them with the basics, and let them apply their general experience (+lvl) for a time, before they forget it later 'cause they really haven't practiced it enough.

Back when D&D 3.0 was fairly new, we began a campaign with The Burning Plague module. Our DM upgraded the underground pond in the adventure to an underground lake over six feet deep with a current. After that, we vowed that when we leveled up to 2nd level, we would all learn to swim.

At 7th level, we had an adventure where we had to swim through an water-filled underground tunnel to reach a cave system. It was a swim of 100 feet, holding our breaths. Fortunately, the current favored us, so even if we passed out, we would arrive and someone could fish us out of the underground stream. That meant we had to send a good swimmer first. We asked, who can swim well? Some of the party was new, and had not been through The Burning Plague. Of the four that had been through The Burning Plague, two had put ranks in Swim. My elf cleric archer was one of them, having put 2 ranks into Swim, but his average Strength made him swim slowly and his low Constitution meant he could not hold his breath long, so like the non-swimmers he passed out before the end.

It was 6 levels between swims. It was not a high-priority skill. Cleric is another class that gains only 2+Int skill ranks and Swim was cross-class (cost double skill points per rank) for a cleric in D&D 3.0. Fortunately, my cleric had Int 16, but he eventually multiclassed to Arcane Archer to beef up his physical skills. Pathfinder greatly improved their skill system from D&D 3.5, such as by removing the cross-class penalty.

As a GM, I learned to slip a warning into my adventures. For that old campaign, I would have had the party encounter a broken bridge at 6th level and have to swim a river. Some people wouldn't have taken the hint, but others would have remembered to upgrade their Swim skill. I have the advantage of playing adventure paths, so I know what challenges will come at the next level.

The Exchange

Wulfhelm II. wrote:
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.

There is debate about how poor old Freddie B died. Fell of his horse? A heart attack brought on by cold water in the Armenian sun coupled with the shock of being dismounted? It is also said he was very hot and wanted a paddle to cool down (some say after a meal.....perhaps with a little too much vino) but having sworn to not remove his armour until he did something or the other in the holy lands made the wrong decision. In the absence of any proof I kind of like the last option (which is what my history teacher taught us).


2 people marked this as a favorite.
WatersLethe wrote:
I, for one, don't mind the image of a level 15 dwarf in full gear and backpack sinking in water like a stone. A prepared 15th level character who didn't put any character resources into swimming would calmly take out their potion of water breathing/activate their flight armor/crack open a single use teleport charm/telepathically ask a friend to help/summon a dolphin... all that is preferable to the system saying "Oh, you didn't want to be good at swimming? Too bad, you're a high level character."

I'm playing through Majora's Mask right now and forgot that Goron Link sinks. (It also took me longer than I'd care to admit to get used to the concept of Goron Link not being able to jump) Your dwarf example reminded me of this, and I think it's a good analogy. You can't have the experience of being unskilled at something and needing to find a magic item to shore up that weakness if you're reasonably competent at everything.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really don't understand the desire to be completely and utterly incompetent at skills needed to survive.

I can't help but feel that this is driven by people feeling their niche (Rogue/Wizard) is being infringed on. If you want to suck at something then just voluntarily fail it. Simple.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:
I really don't understand the desire to be completely and utterly incompetent at skills needed to survive.

It's not that we want to be, but that we want to be able to be. The issue applies to skills in general. It's just that desert dwellers swimming is the most evocative mental image.

I'll use book 3 of Hell's Rebels as an example. (Spoilered just in case)

Spoiler:

Part of why the dinner party in Vyre is interesting is because characters can fail at the tasks, but also that characters can be good at different tasks. For example, the party rogue might excel at fishing minnows out of quicksoup, while the party fighter might excel at withstanding the heat of Galtan squash. But if everyone gets +1/level to everything, then there's already no chance of things like the wizard embarrassing himself by eating his bread early or the fighter comically failing to catch any fish. Sure, it's possible to fail, but at the same ~50% chance as anything else.

Sometimes failing spectacularly is what makes a game fun, and always sitting around a 50% chance of success doesn't provide that.

EDIT:

Or in the same book,

Spoiler:
the Dance of the Damned at the Ruby Masquerade. In 2e, it'd just be everyone flipping coins until only one person's left. But in 1e, it can be someone's chance to shine, blowing everyone out of the water. If you use background skills, it could even be someone like the party fighter getting to show hidden depths and using a skill that'd otherwise be useless.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:

I really don't understand the desire to be completely and utterly incompetent at skills needed to survive.

I can't help but feel that this is driven by people feeling their niche (Rogue/Wizard) is being infringed on. If you want to suck at something then just voluntarily fail it. Simple.

There's a distinction between completely and utterly incompetent and "lacking in competence as appropriate for your character".

Like was said before, a 15th level character who's never seen water before diving headfirst into a lake while fully armed and armored and carrying 20 bulk of loot shouldn't automatically succeed at a swim check. This is because it's not a trivial problem. With the +lvl to untrained checks, this would be an auto succeed unless "swimming with armor" was gated behind "Trained" proficiency.

A 15th level character might fail the swim check and survive because they're a flipping 15th level character! They have magic gear that can save them, or their sheer constitution lets them walk to shore, or they have some other solution. They can be tough and laugh in the face of drowning, but they don't *have* to be able to swim just because of their level.

And we've all heard the "voluntarily suck rather than fight for rules that support your roleplay decisions" argument and it's still not worth anything.

Taken to the extreme, everyone should be able to fly and cast spells and fight with all weapons and if your character isn't supposed to, just voluntarily forget about those talents!

A system has limits for a reason, and no one is going to play with the hardcore RPer who constantly self-imposes roleplay handicaps and gets their characters killed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
RazarTuk wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
I really don't understand the desire to be completely and utterly incompetent at skills needed to survive.

It's not that we want to be, but that we want to be able to be. The issue applies to skills in general. It's just that desert dwellers swimming is the most evocative mental image.

I'll use book 3 of Hell's Rebels as an example. (Spoilered just in case)

** spoiler omitted **

Sometimes failing spectacularly is what makes a game fun, and always sitting around a 50% chance of success doesn't provide that.

EDIT:

Or in the same book,

** spoiler omitted **

But you're NOT going to be at 50%

You're *NOT* going to be anywhere near as good as someone who focused on it.

Person A:
Strength 20, Master in Athletics, +2 Item, Level 10.

5+2+2+10=+19

Person B:
Strength 10, Unskilled in Athletics, No item, Level 10.

0-4+0+10=+6

These two characters DO NOT have the same chance of success.

One is FAR inferior to the other.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I thought I should address this directly.

Wulfhelm II. wrote:

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.

Yes, you will be be behind the specialist when attempting to compete in the same skill at the same time. (Not nearly as much as PF1 - where two people focused in the same skill can have more than a +20 difference - but we'll set that aside.) This is a good thing, as it allows investment in a skill to matter.

However, what it also means is that you won't be completely and utterly incompetent at something. A level 20, 14 Str dwarf in legendary full plate will have +16 proficiency, +2 Str, -3 ACP for a total of +15 in Athletics. This is obviously not a good score, by any reckoning. However, it's still enough to perform basic tasks - swimming in a river or ocean is DC 13, and keeping yourself afloat in a stormy ocean is DC 18. They're not going to do great, but they're not going to fall into the ocean and immediately die.

Same thing for knowledge - Arcana, Nature, Religion, and Occultism. We'll go with a 10 in the stat this time, for a total of +16. Again, not good. However, the DC for level 4 Monster Identification is 16, meaning even this profoundly mediocre character can pull up basic facts about that without a hitch. (If take 10 were still a thing, that would cover up to DC 26, or level 12.) Not being trained, they're not going to get anything that's specialized (no Practice a Trade for them), but they can cover the basics. Notable in that is the fact that they will never get wrong information on basic topics up to level 12 unless they roll a natural 1.

This means that while they'll never really do that well on level-appropriate tasks, they'll still be able to accomplish tasks far below their level pretty easily.

Scarab Sages

3 people marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:


But you're NOT going to be at 50%

Right. You are going to be at 10-25%. The person that is hyper optimized for the task is going to be at 50%. Everyone else is going to be worse.

That's still not fun.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bartram wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


But you're NOT going to be at 50%

Right. You are going to be at 10-25%. The person that is hyper optimized for the task is going to be at 50%. Everyone else is going to be worse.

That's still not fun.

Now the goal posts are shifting.

I just invalidated the "good at everything" argument, and now it is, "but it's not fun."

The fact is - We know the DCs are being lowered.

We know that you *can* suck at a skill.

The argument that +level makes you good has been soundly defeated.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
RazarTuk wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
I really don't understand the desire to be completely and utterly incompetent at skills needed to survive.

It's not that we want to be, but that we want to be able to be. The issue applies to skills in general. It's just that desert dwellers swimming is the most evocative mental image.

I'll use book 3 of Hell's Rebels as an example. (Spoilered just in case)

** spoiler omitted **

Sometimes failing spectacularly is what makes a game fun, and always sitting around a 50% chance of success doesn't provide that.

EDIT:

Or in the same book,

** spoiler omitted **

The first isn't even close to true. HWalsh gave a good example for Athletics earlier, and a similar situation is applicable to most of the sections in the first example. I can even slap together an example if necessary.

I'm not sure the second is a good example even in PF1. I was pleasantly surprised when a character in my game revealed they were a surprisingly good dancer, having put a solid number of ranks into it.
They couldn't have done the final challenge except on a natural 20, because in PF1 you either heavily invest in a skill or expect to fail anything remotely challenging.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Wulfhelm II. wrote:
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.

But it's not 10%, that 20th-level character is breaking the world record by more than 50% every time he or she jumps unless someone is trying to kill him or her. And still beats it by more than 30% when someone does go for the kill.

Wulfhelm II. wrote:
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.

I'm pretty sure it is by design. Can't be completely sure since I'm not friends with any of the 3rd edition designers, but this analysis is a pretty good indication that 5th level is supposed to be the peak human value.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

There’s another overlooked wrinkle here, an Achilles Heel of sorts in the playtest as a whole. It’s not just about the current Pathfinder enthusiasts and whether or not a majority agrees one way or another. The need for a new edition has just as much, if not more, to do with attracting new fans. Otherwise, why even make the effort to reform when so many in the current flock are already happy and quite resistant to change. An Unchained 2 would probably be warmly received by current fans.

The question that also needs to be asked is: which one of these approaches, (+1/level and bloated numbers) or something approximating at least the previous editions scaling, has the more likelihood to contribute to the edition’s positive reception in the gaming climate of the 2020’s. Does the +1/level dimension of the game make it enjoyable in a more general sense, outside of our current Pathfinder bubble? If so, why? If not,why not?


heretic wrote:
In the absence of any proof I kind of like the last option (which is what my history teacher taught us).

Which source did he refer to? I don't know any that claimed Barbarossa voluntarily jumped into the river without knowing how to swim.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ikos wrote:
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.
There’s another overlooked wrinkle here, an Achilles Heel of sorts in the playtest as a whole. It’s not just about the current Pathfinder enthusiasts and whether or not a majority agrees one way or another. The need for a new edition has just...

To quote the following players I've run for who did not like Pathfinder 1e regarding the skills:

Player 1: J
"I hated the skill system in pathfinder. I felt it was dumb that after so many adventures I couldn't identify a skeleton on sight."

Player 2: W
"I felt it (PF1) was stupid. You had to have Perception. You needed Acrobatics. You wanted Climb. And you couldn't just get away with a couple points, no you needed max ranks. I was a Fighter. I had 2 skill points per level. In real life I'm more competent in skills."

Player 3: M
"They (PF1) skills were terrible. Unless you were a bard or rogue or maybe a spellcaster you were all but useless. If 5e I felt generally competent in a bunch of skills. I like this (PF2) much better."


2 people marked this as a favorite.

As I said earlier, I think there is a design space for being incompetent at something in the system. However, this shouldn't be default. Adventures are designed for a baseline, and the baseline being some more general competency opens up a lot of options and closes off none.

Even if it isn't in the core book, we could get drawbacks down the line and you can be truly bad at something. This shouldn't be the default assumption, though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
WatersLethe wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

I really don't understand the desire to be completely and utterly incompetent at skills needed to survive.

I can't help but feel that this is driven by people feeling their niche (Rogue/Wizard) is being infringed on. If you want to suck at something then just voluntarily fail it. Simple.

There's a distinction between completely and utterly incompetent and "lacking in competence as appropriate for your character".

Like was said before, a 15th level character who's never seen water before diving headfirst into a lake while fully armed and armored and carrying 20 bulk of loot shouldn't automatically succeed at a swim check. This is because it's not a trivial problem. With the +lvl to untrained checks, this would be an auto succeed unless "swimming with armor" was gated behind "Trained" proficiency.

A 15th level character might fail the swim check and survive because they're a flipping 15th level character! They have magic gear that can save them, or their sheer constitution lets them walk to shore, or they have some other solution. They can be tough and laugh in the face of drowning, but they don't *have* to be able to swim just because of their level.

And we've all heard the "voluntarily suck rather than fight for rules that support your roleplay decisions" argument and it's still not worth anything.

Taken to the extreme, everyone should be able to fly and cast spells and fight with all weapons and if your character isn't supposed to, just voluntarily forget about those talents!

A system has limits for a reason, and no one is going to play with the hardcore RPer who constantly self-imposes roleplay handicaps and gets their characters killed.

I question how a character reaches 15th level without encountering water of any kind. This is basically an extreme edge corner case being used and treated as a generic example, since we have water spells that a PC will be exposed to one way or another. Three out of Four Doomsday Dawn adventures I've played thus far featured natural water in some format, and two of then featured obviously special water.

Even then, there are much better, more practical ways around those obstacles. As one example, I can fly over or use a grappling hook + rope and throw it over to a section across the way and pulley myself over. Or hell, I can just borrow underneath the river onto the other side, or just dimension door/teleport. These are all valid and approachable solutions available as a 15th level character. Why on earth would this character, whom has no swimming experience, try to risk taking a swim when there are other much more preferable solutions available?

As a player, I would practically never use or plan for water because encounters in water, even when planned for, are still the worst encounters ever (both to play and to run). Granted, this is mostly because water mechanics are almost always tailored to be disadvantageous to players, and as such you're preparing for an uphill battle at best, but it's because of reasons like this that players sooner build to avoid these obstacles (such as the examples I gave above) than they do to overcome them, and in both cases, the end result (defeating the obstacle) is the same.

So really, all I'm seeing is "But this one corner case invalidates every single other source of information that is much more commonplace" being used as an argument here, in which case its own argument defeats itself due to its impractical supposition.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
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.

FWIW I'm no fan of the +1/level to everything. It's been said before, but for myself when you're adding the same scaling number to everything, you may as not be adding anything and just going off Stat and Prof level. Unfortunatley doing this with skills (where my biggest problem lies) would also lead us back to the PF1 forced incompetance again.

Perhaps if skill proficiency levels were more available/granted a higher scaling bonus something could be done there?


Nightwhisper wrote:
But it's not 10%, that 20th-level character

Yeah, okay, now we're talking about extremely high level characters, which is an entirely different thing and for which I already conceded that they veered outside of the realm of the heroic fantasy genre. Not really seeing the point in shifting goalposts here.

Quote:
I'm pretty sure it is by design. Can't be completely sure since I'm not friends with any of the 3rd edition designers, but this analysis is a pretty good indication that 5th level is supposed to be the peak human value.

That is a blog post, and not one which supports your point particularly well. Its whole argument completely falls apart when you take into account that "taking 10" is an option, not an obligation. So when he makes the argument that Einstein* was only a 5th level physicist so he can answer DC25 physics questions by taking 10, one should recall that this amazing feat can also be performed by just about any moderately intelligent person with a few ranks in "physics" if they roll high enough. The randomness of the D20 simply precludes the kind of skill differences that, in the real world, would make a task easy for a physics genius and impossible for a physics amateur. All the other examples similarly fall apart when you take into account the randomness of the dice.

That said, regarding physical capabilties: In some areas PF moderately overestimates actual human capabilities (regardless of level), such as jumping. In some areas it drastically overestimates them (such as carrying capacity).
In some areas (swim speed) it moderately underestimates human capabilities and in yet others, it drastically underestimates them (such as holding your breath, which actual real life record holders can do for ~200 combat rounds.)
That does not speak for the designers having a consistent 'superhuman' design philosophy. It does speak for them just eyeballing things. (And considering how ridiculously off-target designers can be with questions of scale and measurements... cough, cough, Starfinder starships... that seems like the much more likely scenario.)

The only thing this blog post "proved": 3.x D&D is obviously not really designed to be a precise simulation of reality. But then again, no one's demanding that.

To put it succinctly: By saying that 6th-level+ characters are superhuman, you are saying that a the difference between a talented beginner (level 1) and a superhuman is about ~15% in performance. Yeah... no.

*Leaving aside the fact that the author is apparently thoroughly ignorant of Einstein's life and career.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nightwhisper wrote:
Wulfhelm II. wrote:
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.
But it's not 10%, that 20th-level character is breaking the world record by more than 50% every time he or she jumps unless someone is trying to kill him or her. And still beats it by more than 30% when someone does go for the kill.

I once ran the Ruby Phoenix Tournament module, which has the player characters entering an international athletic competition. The 10th-level PF1 characters did a fine job of using their class abilities and skills to compete at an Olympic level.

Nightwhisper wrote:
Wulfhelm II. wrote:
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.
I'm pretty sure it is by design. Can't be completely sure since I'm not friends with any of the 3rd edition designers, but this analysis is a pretty good indication that 5th level is supposed to be the peak human value.

I have read The Alexandrian's D&D: Calibrating Your Expectations. It is mostly about how D&D 3rd Edition did a reasonably good job of simulating human limits. One point with the crafting DCs is that a town did not require 10th level smiths to create the items that a town needs. A 1st-level smith, aided by an apprentices (what level is the apprentice?), was enough, or a 5th-level smith for the work given to master smiths. Note that the 1st-level smith needed the Skill Focus feat and that feat is not available in Pathfinder 2nd Edition.

His use of Einstein as an example totally falls apart, because being able to routinely answer hard questions about physics is not the same as creating revolutionary theories of physics. D&D does not want its PCs creating revolutionary new physics or magic, because it would unbalance the game, so it has no DC for doing so.

So, The Alexandrian's analysis is good for showing the levels needed in a village, town, or city, but not at showing the best in the world. In fact, because characters built by PC rules lack boosts such as Skill Focus and Take 10, the townsfolk will need to be higher level. Or we build the regular townsfolk while ignoring the proficiency restrictions on PCs.

The Exchange

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Wulfhelm II. wrote:
heretic wrote:
In the absence of any proof I kind of like the last option (which is what my history teacher taught us).
Which source did he refer to? I don't know any that claimed Barbarossa voluntarily jumped into the river without knowing how to swim.

Though I appreciate this could be seen a sort of derailing, the teacher in question back in the mid 1980’s did not feel the need to provide spotty teenagers with authorities:-).

The moral of the story was that he could have enjoyed the cool waters safely but refusing to take off his armour found himself in a fatal position. Who can tell what really happened?

Additional thoughts.... mariners in the age of sail I have read did not learn to swim. These were people surrounded by the opportunity to learn and certainly had the physical capacity. Apparently they often didn’t though because if the ship went down at sea being able to swim meant a slow death rather than a quick one. You have to choose to expend effort to learn a skill.

So to mix metaphors like mad.....On reflection it seems that PF2 sees skill choices as means to distinguish you from other ‘supers’ not for you to risk being outshone by mere muggles. I miss the idea of being able to customise the character warts and all.

W


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Rameth wrote:
The thing is in Pathfinder/D&D there are levels of play. Most typical fantasy tropes, such as LOTR, Harry Potter or even Game of Thrones are in the 1 through 7 range. There are only a few things in those works of fiction that cannot be created by lvl 7 or so. So after that you have to start getting into beyond that fantasy. Like Eragon (toward the end anyway), Beowulf, or most superhero characters. After Lvl 13+ the characters are essentially demigods. The stories of Hercules, Achilles or Superman are those types of stories. One just simply can't expect someone who is level 15 to behave the same as someone who is lvl 4.

Just played chapter six and my level 14 character felt nothing like a demigod. Didn’t even feel like year seven Harry Potter.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Albatoonoe wrote:

As I said earlier, I think there is a design space for being incompetent at something in the system. However, this shouldn't be default. Adventures are designed for a baseline, and the baseline being some more general competency opens up a lot of options and closes off none.

Even if it isn't in the core book, we could get drawbacks down the line and you can be truly bad at something. This shouldn't be the default assumption, though.

I’m not being prescriptive as to the solution - this kind of thing would suit me fine. I’m not arguing that everyone should have glaring weaknesses, merely stating my preference that I’d prefer the mechanics allow it.

As an aside - deliberately failing something (a commonly put forth solution) isnt the same feel as not being able to do it. It’s kind of like running slowly to let the kid win vs going full pelt and being beaten by a child - the suggested approach would be identical mechanics wise, even though it’s modelling two very different events. I would feel comfortable with that solution in a storytelling/narrative based game but in PF2 with its heavy numbers based simulationist approach, such a solution would always feel like a fudge, I suspect (as in, I’d always notice that “the game says I can do this, but I’m going to deliberately overrule the mechanics and fail, because I don’t want to be able to”).


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
As an aside - deliberately failing something (a commonly put forth solution) isnt the same feel as not being able to do it. It’s kind of like running slowly to let the kid win vs going full pelt and being beaten by a child - the suggested approach would be identical mechanics wise, even though it’s modelling two very different events. I would feel comfortable with that solution in a storytelling/narrative based game but in PF2 with its heavy numbers based simulationist approach, such a solution would always feel like a fudge, I suspect (as in, I’d always notice that “the game says I can do this, but I’m going to deliberately overrule the mechanics and fail, because I don’t want to be able to”).

Of course it is not the same feel, that is kinda the point. One thing does NOT ALLOW you to be competent and FORCES you to suck, the other MAKES you competent and ALLOWS you to suck.

They may both not be ideal choices, but I like being allowed to suck better then being forced to.

As for mechanics, sure, DD/PF is rules heavy. That is kinda part of its point. But I do not see how this prevents you from roleplaying. Heck, you can roleplay CHESS if you are so inclined. It is just that your co-player better plays along, or it will be a singularly frustrating experience.

The one nice thing about PF adventure paths being 'easy' compared to what optimization allows is that THEY ALLOW YOU TO NOT OPTIMIZE.

Quite frankly, if someone boosts their character to the limits, they DO NOT GET TO COMPLAIN if they find nothing challenging any more. They brought this upon themselves. But PF2 aims to make it impossible to 'over-optimize'. That makes it necessary to ALSO make it impossible to 'under-optimize'. It's really the flip-side of the same coin.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

As I said earlier, I think there is a design space for being incompetent at something in the system. However, this shouldn't be default. Adventures are designed for a baseline, and the baseline being some more general competency opens up a lot of options and closes off none.

Even if it isn't in the core book, we could get drawbacks down the line and you can be truly bad at something. This shouldn't be the default assumption, though.

I’m not being prescriptive as to the solution - this kind of thing would suit me fine. I’m not arguing that everyone should have glaring weaknesses, merely stating my preference that I’d prefer the mechanics allow it.

As an aside - deliberately failing something (a commonly put forth solution) isnt the same feel as not being able to do it. It’s kind of like running slowly to let the kid win vs going full pelt and being beaten by a child - the suggested approach would be identical mechanics wise, even though it’s modelling two very different events. I would feel comfortable with that solution in a storytelling/narrative based game but in PF2 with its heavy numbers based simulationist approach, such a solution would always feel like a fudge, I suspect (as in, I’d always notice that “the game says I can do this, but I’m going to deliberately overrule the mechanics and fail, because I don’t want to be able to”).

Thing is - You're forcing us to suck at things completely (instead of the normal sucking I've proven the system grants) simply because you want to. I'm not down with that.

You also don't want people to just suck - I've shown +6 vs +19 is seriously sucking.

You want -4 vs +19

You want PF1 levels of skill imbalance.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

As I said earlier, I think there is a design space for being incompetent at something in the system. However, this shouldn't be default. Adventures are designed for a baseline, and the baseline being some more general competency opens up a lot of options and closes off none.

Even if it isn't in the core book, we could get drawbacks down the line and you can be truly bad at something. This shouldn't be the default assumption, though.

I’m not being prescriptive as to the solution - this kind of thing would suit me fine. I’m not arguing that everyone should have glaring weaknesses, merely stating my preference that I’d prefer the mechanics allow it.

As an aside - deliberately failing something (a commonly put forth solution) isnt the same feel as not being able to do it. It’s kind of like running slowly to let the kid win vs going full pelt and being beaten by a child - the suggested approach would be identical mechanics wise, even though it’s modelling two very different events. I would feel comfortable with that solution in a storytelling/narrative based game but in PF2 with its heavy numbers based simulationist approach, such a solution would always feel like a fudge, I suspect (as in, I’d always notice that “the game says I can do this, but I’m going to deliberately overrule the mechanics and fail, because I don’t want to be able to”).

Thing is - You're forcing us to suck at things completely (instead of the normal sucking I've proven the system grants) simply because you want to. I'm not down with that.

You also don't want people to just suck - I've shown +6 vs +19 is seriously sucking.

You want -4 vs +19

You want PF1 levels of skill imbalance.

Nah.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I guess it seems odd to me.

The argument seems to be that people want their character to be utterly and completely terrible at skills they don't or can't invest in.

I'm not saying some people don't genuinely want that - I'm sure that some people do.

My fear, I guess, is that it will really be used to put low skilled class players "in their place" as it were.

Rogues - They'll be fine, they get a bazillion skills.
Wizards - They'll be fine.
Bards - Also fine.

Paladins? Ha! They'll suck. I mean they already kind of suck by default being Strength and Charisma. They'll suck worse.

Fighters? Serves them right for being big and dumb eh?

I mean that's my concern. Taking away +level is going to hurt classes that already aren't good at skills even worse.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Lycar wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
As an aside - deliberately failing something (a commonly put forth solution) isnt the same feel as not being able to do it. It’s kind of like running slowly to let the kid win vs going full pelt and being beaten by a child - the suggested approach would be identical mechanics wise, even though it’s modelling two very different events. I would feel comfortable with that solution in a storytelling/narrative based game but in PF2 with its heavy numbers based simulationist approach, such a solution would always feel like a fudge, I suspect (as in, I’d always notice that “the game says I can do this, but I’m going to deliberately overrule the mechanics and fail, because I don’t want to be able to”).

Of course it is not the same feel, that is kinda the point. One thing does NOT ALLOW you to be competent and FORCES you to suck, the other MAKES you competent and ALLOWS you to suck.

They may both not be ideal choices, but I like being allowed to suck better then being forced to.

As for mechanics, sure, DD/PF is rules heavy. That is kinda part of its point. But I do not see how this prevents you from roleplaying. Heck, you can roleplay CHESS if you are so inclined. It is just that your co-player better plays along, or it will be a singularly frustrating experience.

The one nice thing about PF adventure paths being 'easy' compared to what optimization allows is that THEY ALLOW YOU TO NOT OPTIMIZE.

Quite frankly, if someone boosts their character to the limits, they DO NOT GET TO COMPLAIN if they find nothing challenging any more. They brought this upon themselves. But PF2 aims to make it impossible to 'over-optimize'. That makes it necessary to ALSO make it impossible to 'under-optimize'. It's really the flip-side of the same coin.

The post you quoted was in reply to Albatoonoe's comment that they'd be okay with a "flaws" system of some description provided it wasn't the baseline (ie you could take it if you want, but didn't need to). I replied that I'd be perfectly fine with that.

You then editted out both of those parts and said I was insisting that everyone else has to go along with what I want. I'm really not - I'm pointing out to the designers exactly what it is that I don't like about the +1/level system (or at least, the biggest gripe I have about it) and inviting them to meet my preferences, whilst still solving the problems they were trying to address with +1/level.

As I said, I'm not being prescriptive: this is what I don't like, maybe Jason, Logan, Stephen and Mark are able to find a way to achieve both goals.

My OP suggested removing the +1/level for untrained but not for the rest. An optional flaws system of some description would be great too, as far as I'm concerned. There are (no doubt) many other options and some would suit and some wouldn't. The passage you quoted above was just an attempt to clarify why "just autofail, even though you've got the skill to pass it" doesn't fit what I'm looking for. It wasn't an argument, it was just an illustration - I suspect some people advancing it are focussed on the endpoint, % chance of success, whereas my objection is really about feel not statistics.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I can always take a ruleset and ignore the bits that don’t fit for me. Maybe they’ll have a way to make that unnecessary. It’s possible they didn’t consider “can I make my PC suck at something?” as the kind of question some players routinely ask. If there’s a lot of people who share my tastes, maybe it’s worth trying to enable that as an option too.

I know I've harped on about it since the previews started coming through. Jason explicitly said we'd still get skill ranks to assign (which while technically correct certainly gave me the wrong impression when I first read it). I think they're aware and it's simply too intrinsic to the system and not enough negative feedback to change at this point.

pjrogers wrote:

Question from me as I don't fully understand the logic behind the +1 / level mechanic.

Is it supposed to ...

a) Give all characters some chance of success at everything as they level up? For example, I have a 9th level lion shaman druid with a Chr of 8 who has never put any levels in Diplomacy. I play him as inarticulate, tongue-tied, and generally bad at interactions with people. In PF1e, he has a Diplomacy of -1. In PF2e, he would have a diplomacy of 6 (1 per level, -1 for 8 Chr, and -2 for untrained), correct?

b) Limit crazy high skills, etc. which come from optimization and stacking all one's feats, archetype features, etc. on one or two things. The other night I played with a guy who has put together an overrun build that has a +20-something to overrun attempts at 6th level.

c) Both - if so, does it appear as if goal a) or goal b) are more important to the PF2e design team.

Ultimately it's intrinsic to PF2e's philosophy that everyone has the same boundaries in what their bonuses are. It's also why we get so many ability score boosts. The boundaries are larger then in D&D 5e, but it's a very similar concept. It's also why we saw +1/2 level being added to everything in D&D 4e exactly the same way that +level is being added to everything.

Vic Ferrari wrote:

I can understand, I am not a fan of the +Level deal (removed it in SWSE and 4th Ed), so, I simply omit it, and adjust where the other bonuses (item and potency runes) come from.

Based on Trained proficiency and Level.

Trained Proficiency Bonus (Extra Weapon Damage Dice) by Level: Armour Class, Weapon Attacks, Saving Throws, Skills.

Level
3-4: +1 (+1 weapon damage dice)
5-8: +2 (+2 weapon damage dice)
9-12: +3 (+3 weapon damage dice)
13-16: +4 (+4 weapon damage dice)
17-20: +5 (+5 weapon damage dice)

Those are some pretty extensive houserules. Kudos to you for being willing to undertake them. I don't see enough in PF2e to motivate me to make such extensive changes myself.

Bruntfca wrote:
The designers are aware of the issue. In the twich he said something along the lines of, do you want to be a hero who is still threatened by a mob of 8 bandits (heroic) or do you want to be so powerful that a mob of 8 represents no threat at all (super hero).

The great thing about Pathfinder 1e is it's not an either/or situation. I can both be able to fend off 8 bandits while still being unable to not get tongue-tied around nobles in a social setting. It's disappointing to see the designers* frame the discussion in such a light. It's also a bit perplexing that these are the same designers who've worked on PF1e for so many years.

*I'm taking Bruntfca's word for it that this is an accurate summary of the twitch. I don't participate in twitch myself.

Ephialtes wrote:
Agree 100%. The normal person/employee will probably rather be a level 1 expert, maybe up to level 4 depending on their education and experience.

Experts don't exist in PF2e. Now you just have arbitrary numbers that the GM assigns based on which level the NPC is meant to be a challenge for.

Lycar wrote:
to stay on the treadmill, you have to put ALL YOUR POINTS into the skills you want to be relevant in. Just relevant, not good. 'Good' requires investing feats. Or being a caster, but that is a problem they are getting at. However, that means that all your skill points are spoken for, and even putting so much as 1 skill point into a knowledge skill for flavour (mostly being able to roll for more then a 10 and actually know something that isn't 'common knowledge') is basically 'gimping' you character elsewhere. /hyperbole.

I'm sorry to hear this has been your experience. It's certainly not been mine. I just finished a campaign where my character had 3 ranks in Knowledge (nature). It was relevant for the first 3 levels and then stopped because the skill was of minimal benefit in that campaign. It was fun to roll from time to time and get a 10 or 12 and then declare something wasn't natural.

Yolande d'Bar wrote:

My question is Do you guys think that the reason none of the designers ever discuss the numerous objections to +1/lvl is that they have no intention of changing it?

It’s weird how silent they are on an issue so many people call a dealbreaker for them.

I believe they've said they will not be looking at changing this rule at this time in a recent twitch (I'm going off hearsay on this). That would indicate they haven't received sufficient negative feedback through surveys and such to consider changing this rule. I do think the developers think this rule is a good one that's intrinsic to the game's design so they set a pretty high bar on how disgruntled people would have to be to change it. Even in this thread you see lots of people coming to champion the rule which helps drown out those who object to it.

Ultimately Paizo has the survey results and they're using it to guide how the game develops. I know it's a big deal for my group (as are how classes are designed) and that ultimately it will stop us from playing the game. I also know no-one in my group has filled in a survey (most of them haven't actually played the game). Because of this choice of theirs Paizo doesn't know that they exist and so ultimately cannot take them into account. I do wonder how many people have made similar choices. We won't find out until year 2 or 3 of PF2e I expect.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:

I guess it seems odd to me.

The argument seems to be that people want their character to be utterly and completely terrible at skills they don't or can't invest in.

I'm not saying some people don't genuinely want that - I'm sure that some people do.

My fear, I guess, is that it will really be used to put low skilled class players "in their place" as it were.

Rogues - They'll be fine, they get a bazillion skills.
Wizards - They'll be fine.
Bards - Also fine.

Paladins? Ha! They'll suck. I mean they already kind of suck by default being Strength and Charisma. They'll suck worse.

Fighters? Serves them right for being big and dumb eh?

I mean that's my concern. Taking away +level is going to hurt classes that already aren't good at skills even worse.

This thread has had several people reply to me whilst arguing against positions advanced by other posters elsewhere.

I'm not pretending to speak for everyone who objects to +1/level. I am limiting myself to one, specific gripe as for me it is the biggest hurdle to enjoying PF2's take on skills.

I don't actually like +1/level for lots of other reasons, but I don't think it's fruitful for me to push that barrow. I'm resigned to it being in the system, I'm hoping to contribute feedback that will result in an end product that enables me to get what I want without compromising on the goals the designers have tried to meet by introducing +1/level.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I can always take a ruleset and ignore the bits that don’t fit for me. Maybe they’ll have a way to make that unnecessary. It’s possible they didn’t consider “can I make my PC suck at something?” as the kind of question some players routinely ask. If there’s a lot of people who share my tastes, maybe it’s worth trying to enable that as an option too.
I know I've harped on about it since the previews started coming through. Jason explicitly said we'd still get skill ranks to assign (which while technically correct certainly gave me the wrong impression when I first read it). I think they're aware and it's simply too intrinsic to the system and not enough negative feedback to change at this point.

One of the things I'm bearing in mind is that a playtest-designed-for-us and a playtest-designed-for-paizo would be two very different beasts. The fact they're not talking about something doesn't mean they're not looking to revisit it or change it. It means they're not looking to get it playtested. We'd probably all like this to be more collaborative, with more insight into what the designers are thinking and where they're likely to go.

I'd love to hear:

"Here are the three different problems we see with resonance, we're tinkering with X,Y and Z as ways to fix it, but if not we have the option of reverting to A, B or C which were alternative systems we discarded prior to the playtest".

I'm more likely to get:

"There's problems with resonance. Try this tweaked version. We're working on it."

I think the same is true of +1/level - I suspect they've got some fallback positions, some variations and some pure "maths tweaks" that will be played with and informed by surveys and messageboard threads like this one. I don't have high hopes that they'll walk away from +1/level (it doesn't seem unpopular enough for that, to me). I am nonetheless not dissuaded from talking about it and requesting it be removed, even if the designers remain silent about it.

I realise that they have to use the playtest efficiently and in a way that works best for them - it's function as a marketing/community engagement exercise is very much subservient, in my view.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cyouni wrote:


However, what it also means is that you won't be completely and utterly incompetent at something. A level 20, 14 Str dwarf in legendary full plate will have +16 proficiency, +2 Str, -3 ACP for a total of +15 in Athletics. This is obviously not a good score, by any reckoning.

Actually, that is an impossibly good score - by the reckoning of any low level character.

If you're saying that this is just a moderate competency allowing you to accomplish basic tasks, then you are also saying that all low level characters are comically incompetent at even their most specialized skills.

(Also, where do you get these DCs from? Playtest rulebook simply says that anyone can swim in calm waters, but you might have to roll under less than ideal conditions.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I can always take a ruleset and ignore the bits that don’t fit for me. Maybe they’ll have a way to make that unnecessary. It’s possible they didn’t consider “can I make my PC suck at something?” as the kind of question some players routinely ask. If there’s a lot of people who share my tastes, maybe it’s worth trying to enable that as an option too.
I know I've harped on about it since the previews started coming through. Jason explicitly said we'd still get skill ranks to assign (which while technically correct certainly gave me the wrong impression when I first read it). I think they're aware and it's simply too intrinsic to the system and not enough negative feedback to change at this point.

One of the things I'm bearing in mind is that a playtest-designed-for-us and a playtest-designed-for-paizo would be two very different beasts. The fact they're not talking about something doesn't mean they're not looking to revisit it or change it. It means they're not looking to get it playtested. We'd probably all like this to be more collaborative, with more insight into what the designers are thinking and where they're likely to go.

I'd love to hear:

"Here are the three different problems we see with resonance, we're tinkering with X,Y and Z as ways to fix it, but if not we have the option of reverting to A, B or C which were alternative systems we discarded prior to the playtest".

I'm more likely to get:

"There's problems with resonance. Try this tweaked version. We're working on it."

I think the same is true of +1/level - I suspect they've got some fallback positions, some variations and some pure "maths tweaks" that will be played with and informed by surveys and messageboard threads like this one. I don't have high hopes that they'll walk away from +1/level (it doesn't seem unpopular enough for that, to me). I am nonetheless not dissuaded from talking about it and requesting it be removed, even if the designers remain silent about it....

Normally I agree, but apparently they have said +level is not being considered for change. You would have to watch/read twitch to see more context.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was wrong. It wasn't twitch. It was here in this thread. . Hopefully Jason will wade into this thread and discuss the subject further given he wasn't willing to I'm the other thread.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I was wrong. It wasn't twitch. It was here in this thread. . Hopefully Jason will wade into this thread and discuss the subject further given he wasn't willing to I'm the other thread.

Yeah that comment was what prompted this thread. Specifically this bit:

Jason wrote:

...We are looking at ways of tightening it up so that it performs a bit closer to expectation.

At the current time, we are not considering removing it from the system, and we will not be discussing it further in this thread.

My takeaway from that was that they were unlikely to remove it (though “at this time” is wiggle room) but that they are looking at adjusting it in some way.

If it’s not going to be taken out, I’m hoping I can at least provide a perspective to be considered (among many) as they come up with their ways of “tightening it up”.


Wulfhelm II. wrote:
Cyouni wrote:


However, what it also means is that you won't be completely and utterly incompetent at something. A level 20, 14 Str dwarf in legendary full plate will have +16 proficiency, +2 Str, -3 ACP for a total of +15 in Athletics. This is obviously not a good score, by any reckoning.

Actually, that is an impossibly good score - by the reckoning of any low level character.

If you're saying that this is just a moderate competency allowing you to accomplish basic tasks, then you are also saying that all low level characters are comically incompetent at even their most specialized skills.

(Also, where do you get these DCs from? Playtest rulebook simply says that anyone can swim in calm waters, but you might have to roll under less than ideal conditions.)

Fine, I'll specifically clarify that. That's not a good score...for a level 20 character, who could have up to +34.

It's a moderate competency allowing you to accomplish what should be basic tasks for a high-level character, which should not be basic tasks for a low-level character. It's hard to reach the cookies on the top shelf if you're a kid, but if you're a giant, the "top shelf" is tiny to you.

(Page 338, Table 10-4. Swim in a river is a level 1 task, and swim in a stormy ocean a level 5 task. I picked medium for both of those, though you could pick hard as the DC if you wanted.)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

So a thing that always annoyed me in PF1 is that no matter how many vampires a character manages to fight and kill, unless they manage to invest (some of potentially very precious skill ranks) in Knowledge: Religion they will never be able to identify or explain how to kill one barring GM fiat.

Which is to say that there was no mechanic for "you have seen this before and know how it goes" in PF1 which does not rely on a player making mechanical choices to represent "what has happened" rather than their own view of their character.

So I find "Level -4" for untrained to be a good representation for "you have paid attention when you adventured and have learned things even if they are not your speciality" and I certainly want some mechanic like this to make it into the final game. Lest we have situations in PF1, where by RAW someone without ranks in knowledge skills can struggle to tell a dragon from an ooze.

I basically threw out the monster identification rules for PF1 entirely and "untrained people still add their level" is the one thing that makes it playable in PF2, IMO.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Which is to say that there was no mechanic for "you have seen this before and know how it goes" in PF1 which does not rely on a player making mechanical choices to represent "what has happened" rather than their own view of their character.

Are you actually saying that your PC's cannot know anything they have been told or experienced without a successful knowledge check? What a strange way to play. No wonder people are excited by the playtest rules if this is actually how they play. I can't say it's ever been my experience in either home games or PFS.

Dark Archive

John Lynch 106 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Which is to say that there was no mechanic for "you have seen this before and know how it goes" in PF1 which does not rely on a player making mechanical choices to represent "what has happened" rather than their own view of their character.
Are you actually saying that your PC's cannot know anything they have been told or experienced without a successful knowledge check? What a strange way to play. No wonder people are excited by the playtest rules if this is actually how they play. I can't say it's ever been my experience in either home games or PFS.

That is in fact the case in PFS by raw because GM isn't allowed to assume that player is speaking truth when they say PC has encountered creature in previous scenario <_<


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cyouni wrote:
Fine, I'll specifically clarify that. That's not a good score...for a level 20 character, who could have up to +34.

(So, obviously only by one very specific reckoning...)

Yeah, but that is exactly the problem here, isn't it? The notion of "for a level XY character" is precisely what causes the problem I (and others I guess) have with this skill system. High-level characters can easily beat tasks even completely outside their own area of expertise, while low-level characters will routinely and comically fail simple tasks even in skills they are specialized in. And it really cannot work any other way.

This was always a problem in 3.x games (although PF2e cannot really be called a 3.x game any longer), but this new system has massively increased it. All to solve an apparent other problem that could have been solved much more easily and more elegantly by other means (e.g. a skill system that is completely divorced from the core adventuring competencies, and/or one that encourages growing your skill base rather than/in addition to specialization, and/or one that treats all characters equally and does not arbitrarily deny skills to the "dumb fighter"...)

P.S.: One of the problems, I should clarify. There are others, such as the ever-more ridiculous number bloat.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Wulfhelm II. wrote:


This was always a problem in 3.x games (although PF2e cannot really be called a 3.x game any longer), but this new system has massively increased it. All to solve an apparent other problem that could have been solved much more easily and more elegantly by other means (e.g. a skill system that is completely divorced from the core adventuring competencies, and/or one that encourages growing your skill base rather than/in addition to specialization, and/or one that treats all characters equally and does not arbitrarily deny skills to the "dumb fighter"...)

I think what I hear you voicing here, is that it felt like PF1 was a game designed for the nuance around skills to be a centered core game mechanic that felt very character defining and that that has been lost in PF2 as skills have been brought in from being their own separate thing (because PF1 skills did not work well with combat or saves or any other game mechanic), and in the process of doing so, skill points feel less like a way to flavor a character and more of a wrote mechanical element of the game that must by necessity loose much of its variability if skills are going to be essential to characters success in adventures.

Personally I am happy that the core chassis of PF2 is being designed around integrating skills into all elements of the game instead of isolating them away from things like combat and saves. Maybe it can focus on the nuance of how to make backgrounds feel like a bigger part of character identity and not need one skill rank in x skill to be the way you accomplish that.

151 to 200 of 225 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / My biggest problem with +1 / level All Messageboards