The Customization Bottleneck


General Discussion

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Loreguard wrote:

I like the idea of backgrounds in 2.0, but they are much larger packages which don't provide the same flexibility that choose 2 traits does.

Take for instance that with Campaign Backgrounds, you have to choose between having a tie into the campaign or a normal background you've been wanting to try, you can't out of the box have both.

I'm wondering if there could be something trait-like in 2.0 although the name trait is already used. Perhaps something like a knack? Might give you a +1 that can be used as a conditional bonus, or could be used to reduce one conditional penalty by 1. (something minor similar to a trait bonus)

I've been thinking that background shouldn't give you ability points. If that was moved somewhere else, it wouldn't be hard to enable taking a second background. If they want to limit skill feat creep, have the second one not give the skill feat but still give the lore and any other effects.

I like backgrounds too, I just think they're doing too much now power wise (because of the ability scores) and that limits them.


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Just what we need, more fiddly and super situational +1's. While we're at it, we can make them super unique and powerful and go against the intent of them simply being minor benefits explaining a background instead of being a backdoor way into getting some of the best and most powerful benefits or bonuses in the game.

More seriously, I just think that the character creation options are too limited. I mean, in PF1, besides Ancestry, everything else was mutable. You could be an 18 Strength Cleric. You could be an 18 Intelligence Rogue. Heck, you could even be an 18 Wisdom Fighter. But because of class, background, and everything else limiting what you can have attributes in, really hurts the immersion.


Tridus wrote:

I've been thinking that background shouldn't give you ability points. If that was moved somewhere else, it wouldn't be hard to enable taking a second background. If they want to limit skill feat creep, have the second one not give the skill feat but still give the lore and any other effects.

I like backgrounds too, I just think they're doing too much now power wise (because of the ability scores) and that limits them.

That could be rectified by changing backgrounds so that you choose the ability boosts and skill feat from any one of your selected backgrounds, while still gaining all of the bonus lore skills from every selected background.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
tmncx0 wrote:
Tridus wrote:

I've been thinking that background shouldn't give you ability points. If that was moved somewhere else, it wouldn't be hard to enable taking a second background. If they want to limit skill feat creep, have the second one not give the skill feat but still give the lore and any other effects.

I like backgrounds too, I just think they're doing too much now power wise (because of the ability scores) and that limits them.

That could be rectified by changing backgrounds so that you choose the ability boosts and skill feat from any one of your selected backgrounds, while still gaining all of the bonus lore skills from every selected background.

That seems reasonable, allowing someone to pick a background from book and adventure and choose to take the ability choices from one of them, skill feat choice from another (can be the same) and Lore's from both.

@Darksol: And yes, having some little fiddly +1 that you can keep your eye out to use every once in a while is fun, in my estimation. No it shouldn't be something that stacks with things, making other things throw out of balance, which I admit could be a risk if left to get out of hand. But I think it could be kept reigned in.


Loreguard wrote:
tmncx0 wrote:
Tridus wrote:

I've been thinking that background shouldn't give you ability points. If that was moved somewhere else, it wouldn't be hard to enable taking a second background. If they want to limit skill feat creep, have the second one not give the skill feat but still give the lore and any other effects.

I like backgrounds too, I just think they're doing too much now power wise (because of the ability scores) and that limits them.

That could be rectified by changing backgrounds so that you choose the ability boosts and skill feat from any one of your selected backgrounds, while still gaining all of the bonus lore skills from every selected background.

That seems reasonable, allowing someone to pick a background from book and adventure and choose to take the ability choices from one of them, skill feat choice from another (can be the same) and Lore's from both.

@Darksol: And yes, having some little fiddly +1 that you can keep your eye out to use every once in a while is fun, in my estimation. No it shouldn't be something that stacks with things, making other things throw out of balance, which I admit could be a risk if left to get out of hand. But I think it could be kept reigned in.

It can be reigned in, and wasn't my main concern (merely a gripe of how PF1 traits were designed). My main concern is having to keep track of more things than what this game said we weren't supposed to be tracking, since I've seen it in play and numerous people have made complaints about it.


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I feel like the problem with the current structure is that it's a half-hearted attempt at a drastically different approach to character structure.

A lot of what some archetypes did (like the ranged or shield focused paladin archetypes) are now baked more into the basic structure of the class (like shield ally being a basic option from the get-go). At least in theory.

In addition, a lot fewer static abilities per class (most prominent is spellcasting which is already modular in nature), and a lot of what was previously core abilities being turned into pick-one options directly opposed to each other.

Inherently, making everything more modular isn't a bad idea. It even makes sense to kind of pre-empt Archetypes being a thing that's necessary for the system flourishing again. (No need for alternate playstyle archetypes if you can just plug in the class feats to support your archer-monk or what have you). And then Archetypes can be for the more narrative stuff like the Black Blade Magus archetype, or Shadowdancers. Things that are more in-setting iconic than "I shoot a bow instead".

My main problem, is that it still tries to hang on to the 3.Finder class structure instead of breaking away from it entirely.

If you built your own character out of Feat points (or proficiency points or whatever), with things like general combat styles being free for all, with more specialized things which were previously class bound being more costly gated. And then archetypes were just feat-packages you can buy into (just as they are now). Then that would make more sense, but it would also be very new and very different from the old class structure.

I still think the current class structure is problematic because it's leaning so hard towards all-modular while still clinging to the old more rigid system from D&D 3.5. And I think it's just never gonna become something food unless it moves further back towards that, or breaks free of it entirely and goes more fully modular.

On a semi-unrelated note, you should absolutely have a progression separate from class feats for your archetype. With a wealth of them, including an option for each class which is meant as the default for that class (while neither being mandatory nor exclusive).


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

One huge thing that would help here is that if the "path" you chose at level 1 for each class leveled up with you and didn't consume feat slots to hit the key points.

For example, say you're a Ranger who picks animal companion as your "path." Well, now you get all the necessary upgrades to stay competitive as you level up. The feats you would spend on animal companion in the playtest can now go to other options, like snares or two weapon or whatever. Likewise, a two weapon Ranger would get upgrades to that at the same levels the animal Ranger gets upgrades to their path, but could spend feats on the animal if they want.

This can be done by tagging each class feat with its associated path, like the druid currently does. Then at the relevant levels, you get a bonus class feat which has to be a feat from your path. That way, even characters with the same path can branch out and be different from each other by choosing different options for customization and specialization, once splats start being published later and there are more options to pick from. You just need to make sure each class and each path gets robust options at the same levels.

An archetype can replace your path. Archetypes are more focused than base classes, and it's okay if all characters of a given archetype get the same options at the same levels, and I'm also fine with a character only having one archetype because archetype combos were a recipe for cheese in PF1. But because the path is just giving bonus feats, well, those feats are still there. Our Ranger who takes an archetype can still have an animal, because the animal feats are still there, and can be taken with class feats.

In this setup, assuming multi class remains feat based, multi class would still consume class feats rather than replacing your path. Here you really are splitting your focus, that is the nature of dipping another class. Our Ranger could take the animal path and multiclass druid but wouldn't have an archetype, or she could take an archetype and multiclass...

This is pretty much what I've been advocating for as well, although I hadn't taken it quite as far with archetypes. I think I'd prefer an archetype be purchased with class feats piece meal rather than completely replace a path, because replacing the path probably means taking some baggage you don't want.

This reasoning really resonates with me, especially given how many paths already seem to be built into the game. And they seemed to be dabbling with it a bit in 1.6. I dunno, hopefully the Paizo team has some better ideas they can employ, but this is the best I've been able to come. Up with.

Silver Crusade

I am looking forward to how the team will solve this issue, personally, I would like to be able to expect significant class changes like the Druid archetype that replaces your animal companion with a phantom (which was very fun to play thus far).


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there folks,

There are some ways that we can look at this, but generally speaking "moar feats" is not always the right answer. We are currently looking at ways that the archetypes might become a bit more broad, speaking to more than just your class feats. This might not change much for some archetypes that want to pull from that resource, but for others it could make a world of difference.

We are still investigating.

Same opinion here.

PF2 is supposed to be more intuitive (especially for new players) and less bloat than PF1.
Moar of anything is excess baggaging the system. I think dedication feats are a pretty simple and elegant way to multiclass. You can exactly choose what to get each level, either from the primary class or the dedication class. And very ingenious, if a caster multiclasses with dedication into a non-caster class, he does NOT loose the spell progression like it was the case in PF1. And I guess this is a very strong point speaking for dedication feats.


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I think there are more than enough feat slots to allow for plenty of customization. We really don't need more feats... we need better ones instead.

I would prefer for feats to be designed to scale as opposed to being designed to be taken in chains. Instead of taking three or four class feats to unlock all of your multiclass spellslots, you should only be taking one. The same goes for a combat style. They're the biggest reason customization bottlenecks, as you can only invest in one chain per feat-silo, and the class feats are far-and-away the best silo. If you cannot come up with at least a dozen feats for a given class or archetype without resorting to a feat-chain, it doesn't deserve to exist. Nor would I count any of the 'pick-a-thing-from-this-other-list' feats either, but that's just being picky because they're an uncreative design.

Finally, fill out the remainder of the (now much shorter) list with feats that let a player actually do something; because negligable static benefits in specific circumstances make terrible feats.


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Cantriped wrote:

I think there are more than enough feat slots to allow for plenty of customization. We really don't need more feats... we need better ones instead.

I would prefer for feats to be designed to scale as opposed to being designed to be taken in chains. Instead of taking three or four class feats to unlock all of your multiclass spellslots, you should only be taking one. The same goes for a combat style. They're the biggest reason customization bottlenecks, as you can only invest in one chain per feat-silo, and the class feats are far-and-away the best silo. If you cannot come up with at least a dozen feats for a given class or archetype without resorting to a feat-chain, it doesn't deserve to exist. Nor would I count any of the 'pick-a-thing-from-this-other-list' feats either, but that's just being picky because they're an uncreative design.

Finally, fill out the remainder of the (now much shorter) list with feats that let a player actually do something; because negligable static benefits in specific circumstances make terrible feats.

And putting those "chain feats" into a single scaling feat would prevent that you have the feeling to miss something. So literally, less feats, less feat slots but way more meaning to each single feat. That would be a great take on the feat concept =)


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I'd be pretty fine if the current feats got consolidated into scaling uber feats, though I worry a little about how user friendly those feats would be. Like, some are pretty straight forward-- You remove all the animal companion later feats, you can also simplify the animal companion progression so it isn't segmented into young, full grown, save, etc.

But in other cases it could make the feats really long. Like, if you combined a big chunk of the different combat style feats into one for fighters, I reckon you'd wind up with some really text heavy feats that wouldn't be fun to weigh against each other during character creation.

But I think there's probably a happy middle ground you could shoot for, with feats that scale and/or are more potent out the box, without getting too text heavy.

I've always felt 5e has really good feats, with the major failing being how high the opportunity cost is for taking feats resulting in often getting very few of them. (Or at the very least, not getting them until high levels.) I think having 5e level feats delivered on a pathfinder feat budget would be really fun.

The average 5e feat packs 2-4 benefits into any given feat. One is often an ability score increase, which we could disregard. But the others tend to be really fun new options for you character, or really substantial benefits to an existing ability. And they manage to do it all in a pretty succinct and readable manner.

Most of the combat focused 5e feats would be equivalent to class feats in PF2. But there's also feats like Athlete and Actor which feel much more exciting than many skill feats. And Xanathar's Guide to Everything has some really good examples of what Ancestry feats could be.

For specific examples, let's compare PF2 Witch Hunter to 5e Mage Slayer.

Witch Hunter: Gives you worse version of AoO, it's only real advantage being triggering on verbal casting actions, but losing out on manipulate and move triggers. It isn't even any more likely to disrupt the spell than AoO is.

Mage Hunter: Grants you an attack against casters that AoO doesn't provide by default. Drastically increases the likelihood of disrupting a spell. Grants advantage on saving throws against spells cast by creatures within 5 feet of you.

I feel like the latter is the benchmark we should have for a feat at our current feat budget.

Other examples 5e has includes the Great Weapon Master feat, which basically gives the benefits of a PF1 style power attack and the PF2 cleave. 5e Athlete combines the benefits of Quick Jump, Quick Climb, and Kip Up. Actor gives you full blown voice mimicry plus advantage on passing yourself off as a different person. Drow High Magic gives 3 ancestry feats worth of benefits in one: an innate cantrip plus 2 once per day innate spells.

I know we don't want a 5e clone, but part of why we are getting a new edition is to incorporate lessons from the last 18 years of game design, and I think this is one area where there


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This is an interesting thread, and here is my initial thought as a forum (backseat) designer.
Add another character choice at 1st level that would grant the equivalent of one auto-scaling feat.

Choices:
Combat Style -- whatever it takes to be competitive
Expertise -- bonus Skill Increase and Skill Feat at levels 1, 5, 9, 13, 17
Animal Companion -- all the main Animal Companion Feats
Spell Adept -- limited spell casting, choose one spell list, 1 slot per spell level up to 8th?
Lay Healer -- basically giving Lay on Hands + Mercy Feats
Mastery -- bonus Class Feat at levels 1, 5, 9, 13, 17


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Perhaps there is room in the system for something like "Greater" and "Lesser" class feats.

"Greater" class feats could be things like getting an animal companion (and its progression) or an expanding spell pool with with growing options or maybe even be how you buy into multiclassing (one "greater feat" would essentially give you the equivalent of a dedication feat plus one other multiclass feat). Maybe you could make these choices at level 1 or 2 and then get additional Greater feats at 10 and 18 or whatever.

"Lesser" class feats can be things that give one-off benefits with minimal scaling: this is how you hand out things like sudden charge or widen spell, for instance.

The "greater" feats would then give you the benefit of given "feat chains" which then frees up the bottleneck some.

"Moar feats" is still a viable answer as far as I am concerned, though.
-w-


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
"Moar feats" is still a viable answer as far as I am concerned, though.

Please no. There's enough tracking complexity at mid to high levels as is. Fewer options that scale better are the way to go.


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
"Moar feats" is still a viable answer as far as I am concerned, though.
Please no. There's enough tracking complexity at mid to high levels as is. Fewer options that scale better are the way to go.

Please yes! I want to make creative and interesting builds and I want to have the latitude to do so! I want to find rules interactions that let me build novel but effective characters. Real talk: that is the only reason that I played PF1 for so long.

That said, I know that some people don't like keeping track of all that jazz. As a middle ground you could implement "paths" or "greater feats" that collapse some of those systems into larger and more manageable design "atoms".


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I mean, one of the reasons I feel pressure on everything competing for the same resource pool (class feats) is that class feats are really the only mechanics for a character that make that character feel special or interesting (at least for non-spellcasters). It's not that things like "your weapon/armor/saving throw proficiencies increase" are bad, it's that they are not as exciting, interesting, or build defining as stuff you get from class feats.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
"Moar feats" is still a viable answer as far as I am concerned, though.
Please no. There's enough tracking complexity at mid to high levels as is. Fewer options that scale better are the way to go.

Please yes! I want to make creative and interesting builds and I want to have the latitude to do so! I want to find rules interactions that let me build novel but effective characters. Real talk: that is the only reason that I played PF1 for so long.

That said, I know that some people don't like keeping track of all that jazz. As a middle ground you could implement "paths" or "greater feats" that collapse some of those systems into larger and more manageable design "atoms".

While I liked how some feats such as the skill feat seemed to automatically scale based on their proficiency, and like to see feats that get a bit better as you level. I certainly don't want it to be pushed to the point where you pick your ancestry, your background, your class, your path, and your feat (defining the chain) and voila all your choices are now made... watch as your character levels up to 20 based on those choices.

So I like getting new feats that add bits as you go up. I don't care for them set to be scaled so to keep up with being useful, you have to spend all your feats of that category to keep up and be able to continue making use of that ability. Re-upping your investment to open a new chapter of greater abilities seems reasonable if it doesn't feel like by the time you get a new feat, that's your only choice.

So I'm a little between the more, and let what we have scale (some) automatically.


Loreguard wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
"Moar feats" is still a viable answer as far as I am concerned, though.
Please no. There's enough tracking complexity at mid to high levels as is. Fewer options that scale better are the way to go.

Please yes! I want to make creative and interesting builds and I want to have the latitude to do so! I want to find rules interactions that let me build novel but effective characters. Real talk: that is the only reason that I played PF1 for so long.

That said, I know that some people don't like keeping track of all that jazz. As a middle ground you could implement "paths" or "greater feats" that collapse some of those systems into larger and more manageable design "atoms".

While I liked how some feats such as the skill feat seemed to automatically scale based on their proficiency, and like to see feats that get a bit better as you level. I certainly don't want it to be pushed to the point where you pick your ancestry, your background, your class, your path, and your feat (defining the chain) and voila all your choices are now made... watch as your character levels up to 20 based on those choices.

So I like getting new feats that add bits as you go up. I don't care for them set to be scaled so to keep up with being useful, you have to spend all your feats of that category to keep up and be able to continue making use of that ability. Re-upping your investment to open a new chapter of greater abilities seems reasonable if it doesn't feel like by the time you get a new feat, that's your only choice.

So I'm a little between the more, and let what we have scale (some) automatically.

It sounds like we are essentially of the same mind on this topic. What you are talking about--choosing class, path, ancestry, and feat--is kind of like my worst case scenario for how Pathfinder might evolve. That is essentially how 5e DnD is and while I respect that some people enjoy and/or value that kind of quick character creation, that is not at all what I want from Paizo.

I would be happy with there being some feat chains if you had enough feats to still be creative and I do not think giving a small number of powerful feats is a perfect "one-size-fits-all" solution. There are a lot of small and/or situation benefits and tweaks that can be interesting for a character that do not fit nicely into a "few big feats" sort of paradigm.


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When they announced how classes would work in 2E I was kind of hoping for something more like what Rogue Genius did with their "Talented Class" line of stuff. It allowed for a huge amount of variety and customization within a class, including some really outside the box ideas like a Cleric that doesn't cast spells but could be more Domain or Combat focused.

I've found what they did do for 2E to be very limiting, and as has been pointed out in a lot of cases your early choices lock you into a specific progression of feats and removes a lot of choices from you. Stray from that path and you end up with a sub-par character who can't really do much very well. My Ranger couldn't be an effective Archer and have an useful Animal companion. I was essentially stuck following one route or the other if I wanted to be useful(and it didn't help that the Archer route wasn't even available at 1st level when the playtest started)

The whole of Class design is really the only thing keeping from liking 2E.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
"Moar feats" is still a viable answer as far as I am concerned, though.
Please no. There's enough tracking complexity at mid to high levels as is. Fewer options that scale better are the way to go.

so even less variety? No thanks.


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Loreguard wrote:
While I liked how some feats such as the skill feat seemed to automatically scale based on their proficiency, and like to see feats that get a bit better as you level. I certainly don't want it to be pushed to the point where you pick your ancestry, your background, your class, your path, and your feat (defining the chain) and voila all your choices are now made... watch as your character levels up to 20 based on those choices.

I don't think anyone wants things to go that extreme...but I'd greatly prefer selecting a feat that scales with level/proficiency to a chain of feats that accomplish the same goal. That leaves later feats for new abilities and multiclassing. As noted, I also want proficiency divorce from feats entirely into it's own progress.


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The easiest solution conceptually is to give class feats a points cost. It allows wider feat power variety, and makes it easier to fine tune powers after the fact. It would be more work for the designers and more complicated for the players, but the end result would be easy to work with and modify for both the designers and those running the game.

It would seem like a bit of a departure from classic Pathfinder though, so I'm not sure how reasonable it is.


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ErichAD wrote:

The easiest solution conceptually is to give class feats a points cost. It allows wider feat power variety, and makes it easier to fine tune powers after the fact. It would be more work for the designers and more complicated for the players, but the end result would be easy to work with and modify for both the designers and those running the game.

It would seem like a bit of a departure from classic Pathfinder though, so I'm not sure how reasonable it is.

I would actually rather like something like that. Gain Class Points with each level and then Spend them on Class Feats when you want to. Some Class Feats could be discounted if you have certain earlier feats to represent those Feat Chains (Or even discounted for other reasons like your Ancestry or Archetype)

and errata wise some fixes could be as simple as increasing or decreasing the cost


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I really am enjoying the new mechanics to 2E. However, regarding the progression process of new characters, can we keep it similar to 1E but just write it in a way that is compatable with 2E's fluid like mechanics? In other words, still allow actual multiclassing, create actual archetypes, maintain character progression (similar to the oracle with 1E where the revelations had their own progression options), allow the selection of feats based on their category: Combat, metamagic, crafting, teamwork, general, etc. My group is having alot of fun with the playtest and the new system, but I think if we kept the same customization options as was available in 1E, this will really be an awesome system.


Belisar wrote:
Cantriped wrote:

I think there are more than enough feat slots to allow for plenty of customization. We really don't need more feats... we need better ones instead.

I would prefer for feats to be designed to scale as opposed to being designed to be taken in chains. Instead of taking three or four class feats to unlock all of your multiclass spellslots, you should only be taking one. The same goes for a combat style. They're the biggest reason customization bottlenecks, as you can only invest in one chain per feat-silo, and the class feats are far-and-away the best silo. If you cannot come up with at least a dozen feats for a given class or archetype without resorting to a feat-chain, it doesn't deserve to exist. Nor would I count any of the 'pick-a-thing-from-this-other-list' feats either, but that's just being picky because they're an uncreative design.

Finally, fill out the remainder of the (now much shorter) list with feats that let a player actually do something; because negligable static benefits in specific circumstances make terrible feats.

And putting those "chain feats" into a single scaling feat would prevent that you have the feeling to miss something. So literally, less feats, less feat slots but way more meaning to each single feat. That would be a great take on the feat concept =)

That is how 5th Ed Feats work, they are more macro, each one is more like two or three 3rd Ed/PF1 feats.


So far we have folks interested in:

* "moar feats"
* scaling feats
* paths or greater/lesser feats
* point cost to buy class feats

[sorry if I missed any]

As someone who detested the feat-chain paradigm, I'm mostly interested in scaling feats, particularly if they give you more functions (as apparently some 5e feats do). I imagine these scaling feats would need to be presented across all classes, and be class feats to ensure a modicum of, if not balance, then availability and interest.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I will agree that, in general, having to take every step in a chain of feats to stay relevant with that particular feature is horrifically unsatisfying.


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Loreguard wrote:
While I liked how some feats such as the skill feat seemed to automatically scale based on their proficiency, and like to see feats that get a bit better as you level. I certainly don't want it to be pushed to the point where you pick your ancestry, your background, your class, your path, and your feat (defining the chain) and voila all your choices are now made... watch as your character levels up to 20 based on those choices.
I don't think anyone wants things to go that extreme...but I'd greatly prefer selecting a feat that scales with level/proficiency to a chain of feats that accomplish the same goal. That leaves later feats for new abilities and multiclassing. As noted, I also want proficiency divorce from feats entirely into it's own progress.

We could frame an example of something that would be a positive usage of feat scaling on things that are not level directly. I would suggest things be built to take proficiency into account, but not necessarily the same proficiency that keys the class (so not always spell casting proficiency for a caster, weapon proficiency with a Fighter, or armor proficiency on a Paladin).

What example would I give? A level 2 Fighter class feat, Intimidating Strike. In it's current form, on a hit, it applies Frightened 1 and Flat-footed. That's it. It doesn't scale, it doesn't do anything better. Just apply two small debuffs. What the feat SHOULD read is that it would apply Frightened 1, and add your proficiency in Intimidate (-4 for untrained, +0 for trained, +1 for expert, +2 for master, +3 for legendary) to that debuff. So, at untrained in Intimidate, you'd be unable to use this class feat, but at Legendary, you're applying a Frightened 4. Obviously, the "until end of turn" would have to be removed, such that the penalty would tick down like normal for the Frightened condition.

Why is this better? Well, it allows interactions between your skill proficiency and a class feat. It creates synergy in character creation, which is mostly lacking within PF2. It creates one feat that you get early on that scales up as you level. If you choose, you could, theoretically, continue to push your ability to be truly scary on the battlefield, taking feats that might send things running with a second Demoralize check, things that might take advantage of a target being Frightened, or so on. In a different angle, you could take a feat to gain a debuff that applies a circumstance penalty to an enemy, thus applying both of the possible penalties in one round. Or, you could eschew all of that and simply run the Intimidate skill upward and be happy to have a non-combat skill that is useful in combat, using Intimidating Strike to open a combat and moving on to a different tactic later. Because the feat scales, it frees opens it to be a core mechanic to multiple builds while also being a side benefit of almost any Fighter.

I get it that this example isn't one of the feats that has a "bigger" version of itself later, but this is the type of thing that, IMO, PF2 would benefit from having.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Scaling feats and Point Buy feats both sound like good ways to go. I will say that while 5e made things super easy by having scaling class feats, they also made leveling a character incredibly boring past level 3 for anyone without spells. I'm enjoy playing pathfinder 1e and the playtest because every level I actually get to do something and would hate for that to disappear because of scaling feats.


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Greg.Everham wrote:
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Loreguard wrote:
While I liked how some feats such as the skill feat seemed to automatically scale based on their proficiency, and like to see feats that get a bit better as you level. I certainly don't want it to be pushed to the point where you pick your ancestry, your background, your class, your path, and your feat (defining the chain) and voila all your choices are now made... watch as your character levels up to 20 based on those choices.
I don't think anyone wants things to go that extreme...but I'd greatly prefer selecting a feat that scales with level/proficiency to a chain of feats that accomplish the same goal. That leaves later feats for new abilities and multiclassing. As noted, I also want proficiency divorce from feats entirely into it's own progress.

We could frame an example of something that would be a positive usage of feat scaling on things that are not level directly. I would suggest things be built to take proficiency into account, but not necessarily the same proficiency that keys the class (so not always spell casting proficiency for a caster, weapon proficiency with a Fighter, or armor proficiency on a Paladin).

What example would I give? A level 2 Fighter class feat, Intimidating Strike. In it's current form, on a hit, it applies Frightened 1 and Flat-footed. That's it. It doesn't scale, it doesn't do anything better. Just apply two small debuffs. What the feat SHOULD read is that it would apply Frightened 1, and add your proficiency in Intimidate (-4 for untrained, +0 for trained, +1 for expert, +2 for master, +3 for legendary) to that debuff. So, at untrained in Intimidate, you'd be unable to use this class feat, but at Legendary, you're applying a Frightened 4. Obviously, the "until end of turn" would have to be removed, such that the penalty would tick down like normal for the Frightened condition.

Why is this better? Well, it allows interactions between your skill proficiency and a class feat. It creates synergy in...

I like this concept a lot, although I think the specific example MIGHT be a tad overpowered, what with how good intimidate already is. I do wish we had more ways to get past Frightened 1 or 2 right now though. I like the current Frightened condition quite a bit, and think the decreasing every round makes a lot of sense, but if it never gets past 1 it isn't as exciting.


The only issue I take with scaling feats has to do with new future feats. Rather than printing an extension of the previous feat chain, you'd now need a new scaling feat, or some method of swapping out tiers on the scaling feats. It's just a print space issue though, not a gameplay one.


Ok but what does scaling feats look in practice?
Is the selection of them limited to first levels only, because there is no way it will be acceptable to pick a feat later in your character's career that makes them a master of a "chain" instantly. Dedication still ought to be rewarded.


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I'm not sure I like the idea of tying class feat effectiveness to skill proficiency. One of the theoretical strengths of the current feat paradigm is that it separates combat capabilities from narrative capabilities. This means wizards or fighters can focus on stealth, crafting, or diplomacy rather than arcane lore or athletic prowess based on their desired role and backstory. If combat capabilities depend on skills (outside combat maneuvers, which are generally weak), that freedom goes away, a shame given how few skill increases most classes get.

Having said that, boosting feats based on skill proficiency would make increasing proficiency more exciting. I can see value in that, but the developers would need to work to make sure the skill-powered feats are appealing but not mandatory. Otherwise, optimizers will feel constrained by the system and non-optimizers will underperform to the point of frustration.


Envall wrote:
Ok but what does scaling feats look in practice?

Cat Fall, is a good start.


Zioalca wrote:
Scaling feats and Point Buy feats both sound like good ways to go. I will say that while 5e made things super easy by having scaling class feats, they also made leveling a character incredibly boring past level 3 for anyone without spells. I'm enjoy playing pathfinder 1e and the playtest because every level I actually get to do something and would hate for that to disappear because of scaling feats.

I hear that, another reason I am hoping they embrace this Alternate Class features (I already have) deal.

5th Ed talked about modularity...and, yeah...still waiting...the chassis's ready, hack-friendly, warm and willing...yet...?


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Envall wrote:
Ok but what does scaling feats look in practice?
Cat Fall, is a good start.

I feel that is a key distinction, that "scaling" be related to proficiency and not to level.

Whats the point of starting out with a feat that is just a bunch of feats built in and as you level they unlock? Just grab the individual feats as you level.

Some characters prefer to organically grow themselves over the course of a campaign, picking up feats related to how they are playing the character, which may change as game progresses, and not be locked down starting at level 1.


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Captain Morgan wrote:


I've always felt 5e has really good feats, with the major failing being how high the opportunity cost is for taking feats resulting in often getting very few of them. (Or at the very least, not getting them until high levels.) I think having 5e level feats delivered on a pathfinder feat budget would be really fun.

There is a big difference though. 5th edition D&D feats are rare and come at a cost of sacrificing your ability score advancement. Due to these two reasons, they need to be great. I also do not consider this a failure, i think it is a very meaningful decision in the development of a 5th edition D&D character. One of the few that gets made as 5th edition doesn't have a lot of character decision points as they level.

With all the feats in PF2, i cannot see how you could make that many that all have such a high power level as 5th edition.

Another main goal of 5th edition feats was to make them so all encompassing so you wouldn't need so many feats. It makes the game free from a lot of clutter.

In some ways i find the feat system for PF2 to be like magic the gathering deck building. Only a few of the many feats are viable. Only a few magic cards are tournament viable. So you need to pick those feats / magic cards to make that Character / deck work.


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DudeWheresMyPath wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Envall wrote:
Ok but what does scaling feats look in practice?
Cat Fall, is a good start.

I feel that is a key distinction, that "scaling" be related to proficiency and not to level.

Whats the point of starting out with a feat that is just a bunch of feats built in and as you level they unlock?

What's the point of starting out with a feat that is a worthless hoop-jumping stage of an exercise to get to the good feat (ability/feature), you actually want?


Kerobelis wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


I've always felt 5e has really good feats, with the major failing being how high the opportunity cost is for taking feats resulting in often getting very few of them. (Or at the very least, not getting them until high levels.) I think having 5e level feats delivered on a pathfinder feat budget would be really fun.

There is a big difference though. 5th edition D&D feats are rare and come at a cost of sacrificing your ability score advancement. Due to these two reasons, they need to be great. I also do not consider this a failure, i think it is a very meaningful decision in the development of a 5th edition D&D character. One of the few that gets made as 5th edition doesn't have a lot of character decision points as they level.

With all the feats in PF2, i cannot see how you could make that many that all have such a high power level as 5th edition.

Another main goal of 5th edition feats was to make them so all encompassing so you wouldn't need so many feats. It makes the game free from a lot of clutter.

In some ways i find the feat system for PF2 to be like magic the gathering deck building. Only a few of the many feats are viable. Only a few magic cards are tournament viable. So you need to pick those feats / magic cards to make that Character / deck work.

Great post.


DudeWheresMyPath wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Envall wrote:
Ok but what does scaling feats look in practice?
Cat Fall, is a good start.

I feel that is a key distinction, that "scaling" be related to proficiency and not to level.

Whats the point of starting out with a feat that is just a bunch of feats built in and as you level they unlock? Just grab the individual feats as you level.

Some characters prefer to organically grow themselves over the course of a campaign, picking up feats related to how they are playing the character, which may change as game progresses, and not be locked down starting at level 1.

There is one issue with putting scaling strictly to Proficiency. What proficiency do you use for Class Feats? For spell casters casting proficiency doesn't scale at all until level 12, and for martials any inherent proficiency scaling is all over the place, when it happens at all.

As for the bit about 'just grabbing the individual feats as you level,' that works fine for some chains. Others (Animal Companions I think being the most notorious example right now) you don't really have a choice about grabbing those other feats, they're kind of mandatory to stay relevant. Likewise with the Wild Shape feats, where you have to get at least 4 feats (nearly half your feats, literally half your feats if you're a Druid of any order other than Wild) just to make it more than a 1/day ability if you're not a Wild Order druid, and probably want that extra use even if you are since that's kind of Wild Druid's main trick. Stuff like that should have inherent scaling, rather than requiring a massive chunk of your feats to make it actually work properly.


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Shinigami02 wrote:
There is one issue with putting scaling strictly to Proficiency. What proficiency do you use for Class Feats? For spell casters casting proficiency doesn't scale at all until level 12, and for martials any inherent proficiency scaling is all over the place, when it happens at all.

This leads to my complete ambivalence towards the whole UTEML deal. Has no traction (or Legacy), not as impactful as I would like. Plus, I was hoping that Legendary would open up for some legendary action; again, Cat Fall is pretty good.


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to me the simple solution is more complete feats or feats that scale when you level. style feats are an excellent place to start. there is no reason you should have to keep taking crane style feats as a monk, once you have learned the basic crane style. it should be assumed that once you take it, you are learning more and more abilities passively as you level up. it should be built into the +1 level assumption. not every feats needs to work like this, but the ones that are clearly meant to be backbone of a class or a signature feature, like storm born should.


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Indeed, the level 6 style upgrade feats are things which are generally unappealing as options I find, but are things which would come up situationally if they were just natural extensions of the feat granted at 6th level.

I mean, if "taking a style feat" granted two bonuses separated by level, then "style switching" feats would be a lot more appealing. It's a huge investment in terms of feats to even make something like "Master of Many Styles" even functional, since the benefit of switching stances without a 2nd feat is minimal (e.g. without the 2nd feat tiger, wolf, and tangled forest all do the same damage, so it's just a question of slashing vs. piercing and 10' step vs. forceful on flank vs. enemies have to check to move away- you will generally be okay with just one of these.) So if you want Master of Many Styles to be really functional you need to devote at least 6 class feats to it (and the results are not amazing.)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I actually hope we do not end up with 5E style macro feats. I enjoy the customization option more than the macro.


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I hated that I had to choose between a attribute bump and a feat. made me sad.


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I think the branching styles thing, like the brute and finesse rogues, or the different ranger fighting styles are a good direction, and should be expanded a bit, or add a part two of it, like how the part 2 of the ranger could be spell-casting or animal companions. Not sure how it could be expanded in terms of scaling though.

Scaling skill feats are a good design, and should be kept. If there has to be standalone skill feats, then they should definitely be stronger. A medicine legendary skill should be equivalent of resurrection spells, like how Asclepius using the blood of medusa to resurrect people, well, until Zeus struck him with a lightning bolt out of fear of him tampering the eternal division between humanity and the gods.


I'm a big fan of legendary skills feeling legendary, but. I think full out resurrection is a bridge too far. If for no other reason than I like that ad a ritual with major consequences for critically failing.

I think the closest I'd want would be something more in a breath of life; you patch someone up on the spot when they are only "mostly" dead.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm a big fan of legendary skills feeling legendary, but. I think full out resurrection is a bridge too far. If for no other reason than I like that ad a ritual with major consequences for critically failing.

I think the closest I'd want would be something more in a breath of life; you patch someone up on the spot when they are only "mostly" dead.

Too bad Breath of Life is broken and there's no way to tell how it works based on RAW.

It gives 4D8 + mod in HP, but then says it throws the character to Dying 3 and gives them a bonus on their next stabilization check.

Are they still unconscious? Wouldn't them being at positive HP from a heal effect make them conscious and they instead become Wounded 3? How long does the bonus to their next stabilization check last? And since the stabilization check is now a flat check, does that bonus still even apply, or is there some other roll we aren't talking about?

I used this spell in Part 4 of Doomsday Dawn on numerous occasions (once per encounter, actually), and it's baffled me as to how the developers made this spell into something completely broken and nonsensible compared to how easy and simple to use it was in PF1. And the silly thing is that I'm not even sure they are aware of this issue. (If they are, great, but I really hope I'm not the only player who has used this spell which has saved several PCs lives.)

Dark Archive

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I like the current iteration of feats in the game. Yes, straying from a distinct path may make a character subpar, but I like that doing so does not make the character wholly ineffective. I like that characters can sacrifice a specialized path for a more general character path. I think tossing all the feat chains into big progressing feats would result in either more overpowered/unpredictable characters for later levels with less customization and feats later on to keep the math balanced.

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