While +1 / level is a problem, removing it alone is not a solution.


General Discussion

51 to 100 of 176 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dire Ursus wrote:
Igor Horvat wrote:
Richard Crawford wrote:
Igor Horvat wrote:


I would say that damage/HPs/special abilities/manuevars/spells should be enough to make definite difference in an encounter challenge.

If you are both increasing damage and attack roll or HPs and AC, you are double-dipping the same kind of thing and raising lowering difficulty too much over different levels, IMHO.

Sounds like Quadratic Fighters. Why is this an issue in-principle?

My only issue is that it trivializes CRs below your level really fast 2 or 3 levels max, and makes higher level CRs completely out of reach not matter how much preparation, tactics, or numbers you put in the fight.

A 20 str Orc with a huge ax, even if he is CR1 encounter should be a threat somewhat to higher level character, especially if he brings few friends along you you don't have any AoE or you are ambushed by them.

That's where I disagree completely. High level characters shouldn't have any problem dealing with low level orcs. Like at all. The fighter should laugh at them as he easily deflects all their blows and then slice through them like butter.

Richard Crawford said "Quadratic" and summoned the Mathmuse. Sorry about being late to the conversation.

The principle against quadratic leveling is that it is too slow at higher levels. The explanation is not simple: The Mind-Boggling Math of Exponential Leveling. The short version for this conversation is that Pathfinder 1st Edition scales so that each level makes a creature or character 41.4% more powerful. Table 4 on page 21 of the Playtest Bestiary claims this scaling, too. Thus, if a creature is a fair match against a 2nd-level party, two of that creature would be a fair match against a 4th-level party, and three of that creature would be a fair match against a 5th-level party. However, a few sample cases that I number-crunched suggest that the scaling in Pathfinder Playtest is a 68% increase in power with each level. +1 per level to many primary skills is a lot of improvement per level.

We could handle it by correcting the math on the challenge-based tables 3 and 4 in the Bestiary. Currently table 4 says:
A creature at 4 levels below the party is a low-threat minion worth 10 xp.
A creature at 3 levels below the party is a low- or high-threat minion worth 15 xp.
A creature at 2 levels below the party is a minion or standard worth 20 xp.
A creature at 1 level below the party is a standard worth 30 xp.
A creature at the party's level is a standard or low-threat boss worth 40 xp.
A creature 1 level above the party is a low- or high-threat boss boss worth 60 xp.
A creature 2 levels above the party is a high- or severe-threat boss worth 80 xp.
A creature 3 levels above the party is a severe- or extreme-threat boss worth 120 xp.
A creature 4 levels above the party is an extreme-threat solo boss worth 160 xp.

Correcting the table to a 68% increase gives:
A creature at 4 levels below the party is a laughable minion worth 5 xp.
A creature at 3 levels below the party is a low-threat minion worth 10 xp.
A creature at 2 levels below the party is a minion worth 20 xp.
A creature at 1 level below the party is a standard threat worth 30 xp.
A creature at the party's level is an underachiever boss worth 50 xp.
A creature 1 level above the party is a high-threat boss worth 80 xp.
A creature 2 levels above the party is a extreme-threat boss worth 140 xp.
A creature 3 levels above the party is a death threat worth 240 xp.
A creature 4 levels above the party is an annihilator worth 400 xp.

So if the players want a creature only 2 levels above them to be an extreme-threat boss and a creature 4 levels below them to not be worth encountering not even in large groups, that works.

I myself am accustomed to the 41.4% improvement in Pathfinder 1st Edition. To achieve that, we would need to scale back something, such as +1 for 2 levels to proficiencies, or +1 to fewer primary proficiencies per level, or much fewer new hit points per level, or weaker class features or feats. And I feel that the class features and feats and proficiency ranks UTEML are already weaker than I like.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

10 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:

You know what that table you propose doesn't do, though?

Answer the question of "what DC will typically be difficult but not impossible for a level 17 character?"

Why do I care about the answer to that question? The difficulty of the task should have nothing to do with the person attempting it. A wall doesn't know that a 17th level character is coming to climb it.

And yes, many systems have such a table of DCs by difficulty. They go back to the 80s if not the 70s.

Besides, it wouldn't be tough to add a third column to such a table indicating at which level PCs can often be expected to hit that DC. That could then answer a GM's question of things like "are my PCs ready for Very Difficult challenges yet?"

The thing that amazes me, in an industry where page count is so important, is that bit takes more space to say "this is a trivial level 7 DC," than to say, "this is DC16." Even worse is "this is a trivial check for the PC's level."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ryric wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

You know what that table you propose doesn't do, though?

Answer the question of "what DC will typically be difficult but not impossible for a level 17 character?"

The thing that amazes me, in an industry where page count is so important, is that bit takes more space to say "this is a trivial level 7 DC," than to say, "this is DC16." Even worse is "this is a trivial check for the PC's level."

One matter to note here is that referencing the table rather than giving a DC is massively beneficial to errata and future proofing. If say they need to change the DCs of things en masse (like say they did during the playtest) it is a lot easier to say "here is the new table" than it is to go

Page 25: Change the DC in the first paragraph to 12.
Page 25: Change the DC in the third paragraph to 14.
Page 27: Change the DC in the second paragraph under "Impressive Might" to 14
Page 39: Etc etc.

As to why I might want to no the DC to challenge a lvl 17 character. Because I'm designing an encounter on an ice themed demi-plane. One of the pivotal parts of this encounter is a slippery 1 inch walkway battered by howling winds. What DC do I use? I want to be a nice shortcut for people with good acrobatic. I know I'll look at the handy table to give me a good idea, I'll take the Hard DC for 17 as that is the level of the ice demon that made this place. If they use any sort of fire magic in the vicinity I'll up it to Extreme as they've melted some of it away.

That table lets me generate a reasonable DC for anything I could want without having to look elsewhere or without the devs having to come up with dozens of examples for each use of a skill.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
MER-c wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:


I too feel this way.

To me, +1/level isn't the problem. The problem is that proficiency doesn't do anything.

If you properly gate or advance abilities with proficiency, you grant the specialist feeling while maintaining the presence of level having a strong meaning.

This is especially since the change to Untrained to -4, which made the jump from U -> T very impactful.

However, the jump from T -> E (or really any variation after U -> T)...

In the meantime I've decided to patch proficiency by giving each increase double it's value and gating certain things behind level of proficiency. Haven't done anything about skill feats because I don't want to write that much.

It is indeed not a bad approach, though I tend to like to leave the "tight math" where it is and opt for something like the following:

Expert - No longer automatically Critically Fail on a 1
Master - Treat all Critical Failures as a Failure instead
Legendary - Critically succeed on beating the DC by 5 instead of 10

I haven't gotten a lot of experience in High level play, lots of fizzling out for my groups/sessions, so I can't give to much gravity to the value of the above.

The Expert piece only factors in once in a while, as normally rolling a 1 leads to a critical failure anyways, but gains more value as you level.

Master and Legendary are both big buffs (as they should be, since they are gated to specific markers of 7th and 15th).

The only concern I really have is that 13th level Fighters critically hitting on +5's might be too strong, but then again I don't hate the idea enough to strip it away.

I would certainly prefer Proficiency level with weapons to be a little less restrictive, as currently restricting Barbarians from gaining Legendary Weapon Proficiency is a bit arbitrary (especially when it's only a +1).


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Midnightoker wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
ShadeRaven wrote:

Count me among those who see +1/level to be a solution, not a problem, especially in relationship to combat. I find that it creates a clearly recognizable advancement in power as characters rise in levels.

The test results have proved to be satisfactory in this regard for all my players but one who simply loves the Min-Max, Optimization First style of PF1 - unfortunately, he's found it frustrating in PF2 because he's simply not found a way to make his character significantly better than the challenges he's expected to face at various levels.

Personally, when optimization is the only path to success, I think it becomes more restraining. PF1 has innumerable options but the need to optimize/min-max actually railroads players tremendously. So many fun character concepts became trivialized by their relative inadequacy compared to the hardcore op character, resulting in frustration and abandonment. It's one of the significant factors to why PF1 campaigns have rarely succeeded at our local hobby shop and why 5E all but made PF1 extinct. The Playtest has revived Pathfinder here.

Now a concern of mine with PF2 (as it exists now) is that there isn't enough delineation between the advancement in Skills. There needs to be more meat on the bone between Trained, Expert, Master, and Legendary. Some skills show some structure that makes improved skill obvious, but many (most) don't. I expect that to change with a final release.

[Operatic Voice=Baritone] THIIIIIIIIIIIISSS. AAALLLLL OF THIIIISSS [/Operatic Voice]

I too feel this way.

To me, +1/level isn't the problem. The problem is that proficiency doesn't do anything.

If you properly gate or advance abilities with proficiency, you grant the specialist feeling while maintaining the presence of level having a strong meaning.

This is especially since the change to Untrained to -4, which made the jump from U -> T very impactful.

However, the jump from T -> E (or really any variation after U -> T)...

Honestly, I really feel like changing the bonus for proficiency to be higher, is far more likely to break the math more in these cases, I really feel like proper gating of abilities, and then potentially giving an alternate boost when someone is doing something underneath their tier. The easiest solution for me is that rather than judging the action by a specific 'LEVEL', instead describe it as something you anticipate being first reasonably doable as Untrained, Trained, Expert, Master, or Legendary. If the skill requires a tier lower than your skill. Allow them to re-roll the roll once. It will make botching on the easy things far less likely to occur, but not absolutely impossible. It will also improve the likely hood of success some, and critical success a bit. (if you are one tier higher in skill, you get the option to re-roll, but have to take the final result. If you are two tiers higher, you can reroll if you like, but may take either roll, as you choose)

I guess another option if you don't like re-rolls would be to offer doubling the skill boost when you exceed the skill category required to do something.

So if an untrained person does something gated at untrained, they get -4
If a trained skilled person does something gated at untrained, they get double (+0) for +0
If a expert skilled person does something gated at trained or lower, they will get double (+1) for a +2 bonus.
If a master skilled person does something gated at expert or lower, they will get double(+2) for a +4 bonus.
If a legendary skilled person does something gated at master or lower, they will get double (+3) for a +6 bonus.

If you only apply this to skills, it is relatively simple. If you apply it against to hit/vs AC or Spell saves, etc. It would get far more complicated.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ryric wrote:
Why do I care about the answer to that question? The difficulty of the task should have nothing to do with the person attempting it. A wall doesn't know that a 17th level character is coming to climb it.

Because you are designing a dungeon that you expect a level 17 party to explore, and you want to challenge them without destroying them?

I mean, consider the same logic applied to monsters. When you are building a dungeon do you just throw monsters of whatever kind seems appropriate and hope the players can handle it? Or do you pick monsters that are a level-appropriate challenge for the party?


7 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:

You know what that table you propose doesn't do, though?

Answer the question of "what DC will typically be difficult but not impossible for a level 17 character?"

But that should never be a question as that is just placing everything on the treadmill.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MER-c wrote:
In the meantime I've decided to patch proficiency by giving each increase double it's value and gating certain things behind level of proficiency. Haven't done anything about skill feats because I don't want to write that much.

Congrats, everyone should now play a fighter for combat things. Hope you don't ever plan on touching weapons if you're only trained. (Also barbarians get utterly devastated with -4 in comparison to the fighter, so approximately -40% effective hit rate.)

I'm pretty sure a trained attacker will never be able to inflict meaningful damage to a legendary armour-user with a shield, even though they're the same level...and in that case, are they really the same level?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
thorin001 wrote:
But that should never be a question as that is just placing everything on the treadmill.

D20 games have been on a treadmill since the 70s. It's just more obvious now. I mean, when was the last time your 10th level PF1 party fought goblins, axe beaks, crocodiles, or imps? I always just send my 10th level parties off to places where there are obstacles (with bigger numbers!) which will challenge them (because the numbers are bigger.) In PF2 the numbers of the opposition also only go up if the level of the opposition also goes up- it's the same as it has always been.

A lot of the underlying mathematical assumptions of PF2 are especially obvious because this is a playtest.


Loreguard wrote:

Honestly, I really feel like changing the bonus for proficiency to be higher, is far more likely to break the math more in these cases, I really feel like proper gating of abilities, and then potentially giving an alternate boost when someone is doing something underneath their tier. The easiest solution for me is that rather than judging the action by a specific 'LEVEL', instead describe it as something you anticipate being first reasonably doable as Untrained, Trained, Expert, Master, or Legendary. If the skill requires a tier lower than your skill. Allow them to re-roll the roll once. It will make botching on the easy things far less likely to occur, but not absolutely impossible. It will also improve the likely hood of success some, and critical success a bit. (if you are one tier higher in skill, you get the option to re-roll, but have to take the final result. If you are two tiers higher, you can reroll if you like, but may take either roll, as you choose)

I guess another option if you don't like re-rolls would be to offer doubling the skill boost when you exceed the skill category required to do something.

So if an untrained person does something gated at untrained, they get -4
If a trained skilled person does something gated at untrained, they get double (+0) for +0
If a expert skilled person does something gated at trained or lower, they will get double (+1) for a +2 bonus.
If a master skilled person does something gated at expert or lower, they will get double(+2) for a +4 bonus.
If a legendary skilled person does something gated at master or lower, they will get double (+3) for a +6 bonus.

If you only apply this to skills, it is relatively simple. If you apply it against to hit/vs AC or Spell saves, etc. It would get far more complicated.

I mean, it by definition doesn't "break the math" because it doesn't change the math at all. The only one that even changes the math slightly is Legendary, which you're already doing the math for checks like those anyways to get the +10.

However, to illustrate why my suggestion is likely a good solution, is they are already using this in a few places of the game (Improved Evasion is effectively exactly this).

Increases based on "tier" is a DM nightmare. The tables for DC's are already pretty unhelpful, adding another paradigm to keep track of with respect to a players proficiency just makes checks take longer.

Effectively, what I described is gating, but instead of charging people a premium Feat cost, just give it to all Proficiency (Skills, Saves, Weapons, etc.) for free as they gain that level of Proficiency.

It can also be condensed to a single table breakdown under the description of Proficiency, and scales with the system they already have without adding any further complexity.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thorin001 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

You know what that table you propose doesn't do, though?

Answer the question of "what DC will typically be difficult but not impossible for a level 17 character?"

But that should never be a question as that is just placing everything on the treadmill.

I can't be the only one who designs dungeons with a particular level of party in mind?

I've been doing that since PF1e, and Paizo has been doing it since before Pathfinder existed, so I'm not sure why it would be surprising that PF2e is designed with that mindset.

Exo-Guardians

Cyouni wrote:
MER-c wrote:
In the meantime I've decided to patch proficiency by giving each increase double it's value and gating certain things behind level of proficiency. Haven't done anything about skill feats because I don't want to write that much.

Congrats, everyone should now play a fighter for combat things. Hope you don't ever plan on touching weapons if you're only trained. (Also barbarians get utterly devastated with -4 in comparison to the fighter, so approximately -40% effective hit rate.)

I'm pretty sure a trained attacker will never be able to inflict meaningful damage to a legendary armour-user with a shield, even though they're the same level...and in that case, are they really the same level?

Ok, have fun good sir.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:

I can't be the only one who designs dungeons with a particular level of party in mind?

I've been doing that since PF1e, and Paizo has been doing it since before Pathfinder existed, so I'm not sure why it would be surprising that PF2e is designed with that mindset.

I feel like every good GM has "is this an appropriate challenge (not to hard or too easy) in mind when setting the stage, if not in the conceptualizing stage at least in final planning.

I suspect what a lot of people are really irritated by when they complain about the treadmill though, is that in PF1 your modifier for a check can grow much faster than "level-appropriate" DCs do. For example in Hell's Rebel's book six there's a series of high stakes diplomatic negotiations with diplomacy DCs of 28, 25, 25, 32, and 32. However, when we did it there were 3 people in the party who had at least a +30 to their diplomacy, bluff, or intimidate score so this section, while fun to roleplay, was completely trivial. I can imagine groups less invested in charisma and diplomacy would have found that section nearly impossible (and the module accounts for this.)

But this doesn't happen in PF2 anymore. Nobody is going to be able to advance their modifiers far past the DCs for level appropriate challenges. Which is to say that challenges are not appropriate for your level if they fail to challenge you at that level. At issue is that challenges keep up with you better in PF2 than they used to (perhaps too well?), not that the antagonists keep pace at all. It's more of a "tight math" issue than a "numbers go up" issue.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I think it is a bit of a disservice to the OP to let this thread devolve into a discussion again of whether to change the +level bonus to proficiency. The OP is more concerned with the reality that, on paper especially, character leveling doesn't feel very significant in relationship to the other players. Is that true?

For me, I think the problem is made to look worse than it is when theory crafting. Looking at a part of 4 first level characters, and then watching them level up to 2nd, the differences between those 4 characters numbers are not going to be as noticeable as they were in PF1. IF you don't take equipment into consideration, that issue continues through most of the mid-levels. At high levels, I think the issue morphs more into an optics issue because looking at +21 and comparing it to +24 doesn't feel all that significant in comparison to a +1 to a +4, but in the playtest, the difference really is about the same in terms of likelihood to hit and crit.

I have been underwhelmed by the skill feats and I hope a fair amount more book space is given to helping GMs gate the effects of skill checks without gating everything to a binary "can be attempted" or "cannot be attempted." By that, I mean that if proficiency gate only means checks can be attempted or cannot without X level of proficiency, then gating isn't going to be applicable to most skills. I am really hoping with knowledge for example, that they make it where different proficiency levels means that you just get more information for the same level of success if you have a higher training in the skill. Athletics and Acrobatics should work the same way without having the jumping and climbing benefits buried in confusing feat chains. These are fixes that I think the designers are already looking at, and will really improve the game when people see them, but would have been really messy to try to force fit into the playtest after it was already published and was going to have to wait for a major over haul.

I also think that a lot of character progression is hidden in character items, which personally isn't that cool to me, but I am hopeful that within a year or two, there is something like an Unearthed or Unchained book that has many optional rules to make PF2 (past the playtest) work better without being so item dependent, including how to impart more of the character development that happens with equipment fold over into innate character abilities. (That is an issue bigger than numbers and something that probably needs to be discussed in a separate thread, but is, along with the +level to proficiency, a part of why character development feels more empty in the playtest.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:

I think it is a bit of a disservice to the OP to let this thread devolve into a discussion again of whether to change the +level bonus to proficiency. The OP is more concerned with the reality that, on paper especially, character leveling doesn't feel very significant in relationship to the other players. Is that true?

No one is arguing to change the +1/level bonus to Proficiency, I'm not even sure what that really means.

The argument he made was that "you can't just remove it, that's not a solution".

To which my response was "You don't have to change it at all to solve people's issues, you just need to have Proficiency provide that specialist feeling".

Let's not pretend like Proficiency and +1/level are completely separate topics that have nothing to do with each other, Proficiency covers the concept of +1/level (albeit with a modifier attached).

It is only natural to discuss how Proficiency factors into +1/level and the alleviation of the grievances it brings about.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Possible Cabbage has the gist of it...in previous editions, yes the target numbers go up, but PC bonuses go up faster, so the feeling is that you're getting better, even at "level appropriate" things. It's not a treadmill but instead a slope, one you can get on top of.

And no, I don't design PF1 adventures with only level-appropriate challenges. Especially with skill DCs, and if other do that I can see how they get dissatisfied with PF1e skill system. I'm completely fine with throwing a DC15 skill check into an adventure where my PCs have a +23 to the skill and a -2 in the same party. One is an autosuccess, and he feels like his investment was sound, and the other has a small chance. A middle character with a couple ranks at +7 also feels their investment wasn't wasted, as their lot is noticeably easier than the -2 guy.

For monsters, CR has never been a super-accurate predictor of difficulty anyway. I can easily build an encounter with 8 CR 10 foes that puts the difficulty of a single CR 16 to shame, even though both are EL16. Just imagine 8 level 11 wizards with prep time compared to an encounter with a single level 17 antipaladin, for example. That's obviously an extreme example, and clearly indicates some flaws in PF1e. My position is not that PF1e is perfect (although the skill system is pretty close) but that the +level to everything we see in PF2e combined with table 10-2 and arbitrary monster stats is a worse system than PF1e.

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.

DISCLAIMER: read the playtest, but didn't play it. That being said, this is exactly what I feel when reading the manual: every character seems to be the same.

It's like that in Starfinder (everybody shoots the same guns, does the same things, and can pilot as good or even better as the Ace pilot...). It was also the thing with D&D 4.0, which lead us to PF in the first place.

It seems oversimplified. I don't want a game that is simple. I'll wait for the actual rules to come out. But so far, this seems dull and I'm sticking to my first opinion: this is simply for the share owners' shares to get a boost.

I don't even see any creativity in this. Seems only to be change for a change.

Sorry. To each his own, but this is not for me.

Edit: I *again* quoted the wrong post. So removed the quote. But point is the same.

Sorry about that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I feel like "PCs' numbers go up too slowly" is a fixable issue post-release in a way that "PCs' numbers go up too fast" is not. So starting with "it might be too slow" is the smarter decision.

But in terms of "designing adventures with level-appropriate challenges" I feel like you want to throw some things in there which are easy for the party, either because it makes sense for this non-challenging thing to be there, or just to make the PCs feel good. But there's a limit to how much you can do that since making the PCs roll dice in situations where they cannot realistically fail just feels to me like you're wasting everyone's time.

But the thing I want to underline about adventure design is that sometimes "someone in the party hasn't invested in the relevant skill" makes a particular approach impossible or undesirable. Stealth is a good example of this, the -2 stealth character is going to make a stealthy approach for the party impossible. So I think the "you're not so bad about the stuff you aren't good at" is an improvement.

Fundamentally the change from PF1 is "your numbers regarding the stuff you're best at increase slower, and your numbers regarding the stuff that you're not good at are generally higher." I can see wanting to fix the first part of that, but the second one I see as exclusively positive.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
But the thing I want to underline about adventure design is that sometimes "someone in the party hasn't invested in the relevant skill" makes a particular approach impossible or undesirable. Stealth is a good example of this, the -2 stealth character is going to make a stealthy approach for the party impossible. So I think the "you're not so bad about the stuff you aren't good at" is an improvement.

The problem here is that this has been a thing since skills have been a thing. If one party member can't sneak, sneaking isn't an option for that character. Good GMs work around this by letting the players come up with alternate solutions. Maybe that player bluffs his way past threats instead of sneaking? Maybe he offers a distraction to help the rest of the party? Maybe the party has to create a diversion to help him sneak by? There are a lot of potential solutions that aren't "let's make everyone good at everything".

Quote:
Fundamentally the change from PF1 is "your numbers regarding the stuff you're best at increase slower, and your numbers regarding the stuff that you're not good at are generally higher." I can see wanting to fix the first part of that, but the second one I see as exclusively positive.

The latter is positive if you want to play a character that is hyper competent or border line Mary Sue-ish. Many of us DO NOT want to play such characters.

I will also note that most of the issues in PF1 with skill discrepancies were easily linked to certain classes not getting enough skill points.

It's pretty hard to have enough skill points to play along when you get 2 per level and there are over 30 skills, about a third of which are fairly useful for every day adventurers.

I guess all I'm really saying is that, while PF1's system had flaws, I think that it would have been better to try to tweak that system that to adopt the new system.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Mekkis wrote:

The have been countless threads on this forum about issues with the +1/level system. And every time it comes up, well-meaning people suggest replacing it with +1/2 levels, or removing it entirely. I don't believe that this will achieve anything meaningful.

...

Count myself to the "countless" supporters of +1/level.

I mean, by all means, critisizm is all good and fine, but why do people always have to exxagerate and present their cause like the overwhelming majority supports their case, what's not the case in this +1/level discussion at all. Many actually like this mechanic.
So please peeps, if you have an issue with a mechanic you personally don't like do not pretend to speak for everybody or for the majority of players. Thanks.

Like "countless" other posters already pointed out is, PF is high fantasy. If I play a 10th level char, I want the Conan/Lord of the Rings feeling to be able to wade though masses of level 1 critters.
And the lack of this feeling is actually one of my biggest issues with 5th ed, where a group of 1st level cobolds are able to beat up a 10th level char pretty badly. That's no heroic feeling and that issue is addressed by +1/level in PF2 pretty elegantly.

And regarding skills, 1st complicate tasks can still be gated behind the difficulty rank and +1/level on skills, and 2nd even if you never put a rank in them at least it shows that by experience your character has witnessed the utilization of skills by watching others (or was forced to do those tasks himself) utilizing them on "countless" occasions that there is a kind of familarity even if he never trained them. Here again +1/level is a very elegant way.


thflame wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
But the thing I want to underline about adventure design is that sometimes "someone in the party hasn't invested in the relevant skill" makes a particular approach impossible or undesirable. Stealth is a good example of this, the -2 stealth character is going to make a stealthy approach for the party impossible. So I think the "you're not so bad about the stuff you aren't good at" is an improvement.

The problem here is that this has been a thing since skills have been a thing. If one party member can't sneak, sneaking isn't an option for that character. Good GMs work around this by letting the players come up with alternate solutions. Maybe that player bluffs his way past threats instead of sneaking? Maybe he offers a distraction to help the rest of the party? Maybe the party has to create a diversion to help him sneak by? There are a lot of potential solutions that aren't "let's make everyone good at everything".

so much THIS^
this "Oh, but my character sucks at sneaking so the whole party can't..." argument puzzles me since day one of the playtest, really. get creative, FFS

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Based on my playtest experience so far, +1/level has neither made everybody good at everything nor prevented people from being able to specialize. The wizard is still tops at Arcana, the rogue can sneak through areas the paladin can only dream about, and so on.

It has made it so an untrained adventurer has a small chance of success on tasks that are challenging for specialists, which seems to be a love it or hate it thing. Personally, I'm happy that I can have a challenge designed to be tough for the skill specialist but not so hard that it becomes a metaphorical broken bridge if the specialist fails.

It's also made it so somebody who wants a broad base of skills doesn't wind up unable to complete on-level challenges at high levels due to not optimally using their skill ranks.

The rulebook can benefit from more clarity in terms of what challenges are which level, but my overall experience in play so far is that the current skill system solves more issues than it presents.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Charlie Brooks wrote:
Based on my playtest experience so far, +1/level has neither made everybody good at everything nor prevented people from being able to specialize. The wizard is still tops at Arcana, the rogue can sneak through areas the paladin can only dream about, and so on.

What do you mean by "tops"? He has a SLIGHTLY better bonus? That doesn't matter a whole lot when someone a whole proficiency rank lower than you can roll 2 better on the d20 and beat you.

Quote:
It has made it so an untrained adventurer has a small chance of success on tasks that are challenging for specialists, which seems to be a love it or hate it thing. Personally, I'm happy that I can have a challenge designed to be tough for the skill specialist but not so hard that it becomes a metaphorical broken bridge if the specialist fails.

Nat 20s on a d20 offer all the "chance to succeed" I want for people who aren't trained in a skill. If you don't invest in a skill, you should be bad at it.

As it stands now, unless the particular check you are attempting is gated behind a proficiency tier, everyone and their dog just attempts the check. If your specialist rolls sub par, but the complete novice rolls decent, he beats your character.

43% of the time, a Trained individual will beat an Expert, an Expert will beat a Master, and a Master will beat a Legendary, assuming their relevant attribute scores are the same.

24% of the time, an Untrained character will beat a Legendary character, assuming their attribute scores are the same.

This is a HUGE problem.

Quote:
It's also made it so somebody who wants a broad base of skills doesn't wind up unable to complete on-level challenges at high levels due to not optimally using their skill ranks.

First of all, this could have been solved by giving out more skill points.

Secondly, most players don't realize that you don't need max ranks in a skill to be competitive at high levels.

Characters with a broad range of lower tier skills are passable at more things. They get to contribute more often, even if they aren't as good as the specialist. There is a trade off.

Quote:
The rulebook can benefit from more clarity in terms of what challenges are which level, but my overall experience in play so far is that the current skill system solves more issues than it presents.

I disagree. If I wanted to play a character that couldn't swim in PF1, I just neglected to put ranks in Swim. I can't do that at all now. That's a perfectly reasonable trope to play, and it doesn't exist anymore.

I admit that, in PF1, often times, you could not contribute to a given skill check that you wished you could. This was almost always to blame on the fact that most classes didn't get enough skill points. While PF2 does fix that problem, it does so by going WAY too far in the other direction.

Interesting characters have flaws. You can't have flaws in PF2. Therefore, you can't make interesting characters in PF2.

All PF1 needed was a few tweaks to the system, or even a happy medium between the two systems.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
thflame wrote:


Nat 20s on a d20 offer all the "chance to succeed" I want for people who aren't trained in a skill. If you don't invest in a skill, you should be bad at it.

As it stands now, unless the particular check you are attempting is gated behind a proficiency tier, everyone and their dog just attempts the check. If your specialist rolls sub par, but the complete novice rolls decent, he beats your character.

43% of the time, a Trained individual will beat an Expert, an Expert will beat a Master, and a Master will beat a Legendary, assuming their relevant attribute scores are the same.

24% of the time, an Untrained character will beat a Legendary character, assuming their attribute scores are the same.

That is mainly the problem of d20.

Run the math in 3d6 and you will have better consistency, even with only +1 difference.

d20 is Legacy and I understand that, but ironically, d20 is biggest "ball and chain" on d20 system.

We invent advantage/disadvantage, assurance feats, minimum d20 effective rolls, anything to tame the d20, but in the end all those are makeshift band-aids trying to fix what is unfixable.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Here's 2 alternatives for those still looking: (which I went over in October:)

spoiler:
1) As your character levels, it allows him/her to utilize their training more effectively. (instead of level dictating) Below is a very rough and non-balanced for level option that perhaps could include flat bonuses or not. But a maxed out Legendary proficiency would be = 10. [And would feel like those who have training are 'better' instead of just level.........

Untrained = -2
Trained = ~1/5th of your level
Expert = ~1/4th of your level
Master = ~1/3rd of your level
Legendary = ~1/2 of your level

2) Your proficiency determines bonus. (Because you can't achieve certain levels of proficiency until certain levels anyway, it show how dedicating to one thing pays off) The way I describe this is that if you're Trained then you should be perhaps on par with someone who's naturally good at something. If you're Expert then you should be a little better, but on par with someone who's has a natural talent. If you're Master then you should be better than someone who has a natural talent. And if you're Legendary it is something that is impossible for someone with a natural talent to perform. (And using 'naturally good' and 'Natural talent' as say, oh I don't know, ability Modifiers. then it's fairly easy to calculate, but if we want Legendary to be Truly Legendary, then we can use Powers of 2.

Untrained = -2
Trained = 2
Expert = 4
Master = 8
Legendary = 16

I'm 100% behind OPs ideas. I think that your choices as a player should be the most important part of your numerical bonuses on your character sheet. Not your level.

I mean they made the awesome system of Proficiency, and completely made it basically pointless numerically (what, you're 15% better between trained and Legendary?) something sounds off


2 people marked this as a favorite.
thflame wrote:

I disagree. If I wanted to play a character that couldn't swim in PF1, I just neglected to put ranks in Swim. I can't do that at all now. That's a perfectly reasonable trope to play, and it doesn't exist anymore.

I admit that, in PF1, often times, you could not contribute to a given skill check that you wished you could. This was almost always to blame on the fact that most classes didn't get enough skill points. While PF2 does fix that problem, it does so by going WAY too far in the other direction.

Interesting characters have flaws. You can't have flaws in PF2. Therefore, you can't make interesting characters in PF2.

All PF1 needed was a few tweaks to the system, or even a happy medium between the two systems.

People really need to let the "You can't be bad at anything" argument die. The book specifically calls out that you can choose to have lowered stats, to be bad at things. The ONLY difference from PF1 in that regard is that it doesn't give you/free up a resource to use elsewhere. Or phrased more to the point, it doesn't give min-maxing benefit for what should be a roleplaying decision! Also characters are no longer FORCED to be wholly incompetent at things despite being at levels that are well beyond human limitations. I feel that is a good decision.

And the idea that "I don't have low numbers on my character sheet" equates to "My character is flawless" is just idiotic. Characters are far more than the numbers on their sheet. It's called roleplaying.

As for PF1 only needing a few tweaks... Maybe other people's experience varies but I've found PF1 FAR too broken to be fixed with a mere few tweaks. Exhibit A, Pathfinder Unchained WAS "a few tweaks". It helped but it wasn't enough. Not even close.

And Ironically, +/level, the so hotly debated topic, is one of the first things I would try to incorporate into PF1 if I wanted to "fix" it, right after the 3 action economy.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Like the thing about a higher level person attempting a skill in which they are untrained is that it doesn't represent that they are good at the skill in question, so much as it represents that they are a competent person with perspective and a variety of experiences that puts their best effort towards doing something they haven't ever done before. I feel like "that person succeeds a significant portion of the time" is both more satisfying and realistic than "this person decides not to try, knowing that they will almost certainly fail."

What I have found is that Level-4 for untrained skills encourages players to attempt to do more things that their characters are not prepared for, because they have a non-negligible chance of success" if your level 7 character untrained in sailing lore manages to help tie down the appropriate ropes during a storm, that doesn't mean they are destined for the admiralty- it means they are a thinking person who tried hard to help and managed to not screw it up.

In situations where you *want* your character to fail for RP reasons, just neglect to roll. I took a PF1 character through an AP who never even attempted a perception check.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Edge93 wrote:


As for PF1 only needing a few tweaks... Maybe other people's experience varies but I've found PF1 FAR too broken to be fixed with a mere few tweaks. Exhibit A, Pathfinder Unchained WAS "a few tweaks". It helped but it wasn't enough. Not even close.

And Ironically, +/level, the so hotly debated topic, is one of the first things I would try to incorporate into PF1 if I wanted to "fix" it, right after the 3 action economy.

I don't think there is anything in this statement that I don't disagree vehemently with. This perception is so far removed from my gaming experiences or thos I play with, so far removed from any reality I know, that I honestly don't believe we're playing the same games here.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

4 people marked this as a favorite.
thflame wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
Based on my playtest experience so far, +1/level has neither made everybody good at everything nor prevented people from being able to specialize. The wizard is still tops at Arcana, the rogue can sneak through areas the paladin can only dream about, and so on.
What do you mean by "tops"? He has a SLIGHTLY better bonus? That doesn't matter a whole lot when someone a whole proficiency rank lower than you can roll 2 better on the d20 and beat you.

Looking over character sheets, I've got a 4th-level wizard with a +9 Arcana and a 4th-level fighter with a +1. Over in the Stealth department, the 4th-level rogue has a +8, and the fighter is in negative numbers. As proficiencies, abilities, and skill-enhancing items come into play, the gap has the potential to grow.

Now if the fighter chose to invest in Arcana by taking training and boosting her Intelligence, that gap could narrow. But that would also mean shifting focus away from fighter things, like Athletics and Intimidation.

Quote:
Nat 20s on a d20 offer all the "chance to succeed" I want for people who aren't trained in a skill. If you don't invest in a skill, you should be bad at it.

This is pretty much the crux of the issue, and a reason I hope alternatives to +level get worked in down the line as optional rules. You either buy the notion that level represents a certain general level of experience within the world or you don't.

On my end, I buy that a fighter who spends years digging through magic-laden sites eventually picks up a working knowledge of Arcana, just as a wizard who is exposed to all manner of toxins through an adventuring career gets a better Fortitude save. I can understand why people find that such increases tread on the boundaries of their willing suspension of disbelief, though.

Quote:
As it stands now, unless the particular check you are attempting is gated behind a proficiency tier, everyone and their dog just attempts the check. If your specialist rolls sub par, but the complete novice rolls decent, he beats your character.

Technically, that's true of 1st edition as well, at least until you get to higher levels where specialists get skill bonuses high enough that they don't have to roll. And since PCs will usually be facing challenges near-ish to their level, odds are good that the specialist will still succeed much more than the layperson. The time the reverse happens would be comparable to those rare moments where Watson catches something that Holmes missed.

Quote:
43% of the time, a Trained individual will beat an Expert, an Expert will beat a Master, and a Master will beat a Legendary, assuming their relevant attribute scores are the same.

That last bit is a big assumption. In the games I've experienced so far, specialists still carve out their niches pretty well. Fighters still have markedly better attacks, rogues tend to sneak better than others, and bards can be diplomacy monsters. Ability boosts, skill feats, and items all factor in to raise a specialist's ceiling pretty notably.

Yes, you could definitely have somebody with similar advancement stay just a rank or two behind the master, but that means investing away from that character's other niches within the party.

I have yet to experience a game where the surly fighter outclasses the bard in performance ability. I have experienced a party's wizard train in Medicine so the group can have a backup in case the cleric goes down, which I consider to be a perk of the system.

Quote:
Characters with a broad range of lower tier skills are passable at more things. They get to contribute more often, even if they aren't as good as the specialist. There is a trade off.

The broad range of lower tier skills works fine at low- and mid-levels, but as the game approaches higher levels the discrepancy becomes an issue, in my experience.

A 16th-level character with maxed out Stealth has a good chance to sneak up on a 16th-level enemy. A player who put half her maximum ranks in Stealth because she wanted to be decent but not great at it is suddenly pretty unlikely to make the roll. An experienced player knows that keeping Stealth that low is not a great idea if you want to go sneaking around at higher levels, but somebody without a strong level of system mastery can get blindsided by that stuff. The fact that some skills benefit from maximizing your investment in them while others only require a few ranks complicates the problem more.

Quote:
I disagree. If I wanted to play a character that couldn't swim in PF1, I just neglected to put ranks in Swim. I can't do that at all now. That's a perfectly reasonable trope to play, and it doesn't exist anymore.

This is true. It is worth noting, however, that unless you're facing trivial tasks, being untrained at something is still a steep hill to climb. Yes, your 10th-level character who has never taken a swimming lesson in her life can now swim in a calm lake with ease, but I don't know of too many 10th-level adventures that call for that. More likely, an Athletics check at 10th-level involves staying above water during a fierce storm, and you'll still need luck or help to make that check.

Quote:
Interesting characters have flaws. You can't have flaws in PF2. Therefore, you can't make interesting characters in PF2.

This is not my experience so far. I've seen characters who are garbage at negotiating, who have miserable Will saves, and who couldn't sneak down a dark hallway if their lives depended on it.

Moreover, in both my 1st and 2nd edition play experiences, I've found that most people I game with define their flaws less on the lowest numbers on their character sheets and more on role-playing decisions. I've seen lots of people whose flaws are along the lines of, "I'm greedy," "I'm a sucker for a pretty face," or, "I'm incredibly vain," but not so many people who describe their PCs' flaws along the lines of, "I have a -1 to Climb checks."

None of this is to say that +1/level is the perfect solution to issues raised by the old skill system. However, it is a solution that, in my play experience so far, has worked pretty smoothly.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

Personally, I want the flaws that I roleplay be reflected in the numbers. Something about a clumsy Dex 18 character doesn't look, sound and feel right


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I strongly prefer flaws which are roleplayed, not flaws which are "this number is lower than it could be." It's completely possible to be a clumsy character with high dex or an absentminded character with a high wis or a eternally sickly character with a high con.

I did, however, see a lot of "I'm going to lower this number for min-max reasons, so I will play this character as though they have this flaw" in PF1, and I'm glad that's gone. IMO a character's flaws and other quirks should largely predate writing anything on the character sheet.

But realistically if you want mechanical impact to your flaws, you won't be having an 18 dex for your clumsy person, you will simply decline to put stat boosts into dex, leaving you with a 10 or a 12. If you want to play a character who doesn't know the first thing about religion, you simply choose not to put skill increases in it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:


I did, however, see a lot of "I'm going to lower this number for min-max reasons, so I will play this character as though they have this flaw" in PF1, and I'm glad that's gone.

Lucky you. You wouldn't believe the number of people I've seen coming out with Cha 7 0 social ranks people making Lord of the Rings type speeches because they're RPing it out and not rolling it or just taking not-an-actual drawbacks like Cha 7 and just traiting away charisma checks to intelligence for no appreciable difference.


Man, I've played some low Cha diplomancers who based social skills on Wisdom or Intelligence, and it's hard to roleplay that properly (i.e. make arguments based solely in Ethos or Logos with no Pathos to be found.) Extemporaneously pontificating in a steady monotone is hard.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
What I have found is that Level-4 for untrained skills encourages players to attempt to do more things that their characters are not prepared for, because they have a non-negligible chance of success" if your level 7 character untrained in sailing lore manages to help tie down the appropriate ropes during a storm, that doesn't mean they are destined for the admiralty- it means they are a thinking person who tried hard to help and managed to not screw it up.

The biggest exception I've seen to that is rolls where critical failures can mess things up for the group. An untrained person might hesitate to recall knowledge, because the relatively high chance of critical failure means a good likelihood that they gather false information.

Personally, I'm hoping that many critical failure results for skills get toned down or removed in the final version of the game.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Lucky you. You wouldn't believe the number of people I've seen coming out with Cha 7 0 social ranks people making Lord of the Rings type speeches because they're RPing it out and not rolling it or just taking not-an-actual drawbacks like Cha 7 and just traiting away charisma checks to intelligence for no appreciable difference.

One of my favorite characters that I GMed for was actually the opposite of this. She had super-high diplomacy skills, but often chose to be as rude as possible. On the other hand, when she applied her diplomatic ability, she convinced a criminal to willingly submit to house arrest and talked a couple of fiendish minotaurs into becoming bar dancers.

She could solve all her problems with words, but usually preferred to provoke people until they tried to punch her.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:


I did, however, see a lot of "I'm going to lower this number for min-max reasons, so I will play this character as though they have this flaw" in PF1, and I'm glad that's gone. IMO a character's flaws and other quirks should largely predate writing anything on the character sheet.

^^^THIS. It is down right offensive to see people think that characters like Hodor from Game of Thrones is a suitable PC/main character of a story, without changing the entire narrative of the game to center around issues of communication and socialization, which can be done, but is not typically the focus of Pathfinder games. Instead the player communicates everything they want out of character and then stutters or repeats their name and pretends like they are actually role playing a disabled character. I am glad the game disincentivizes dumping stats and then adopting negative stereotypes about disability to justify that they are "role playing" their attributes.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

10 people marked this as a favorite.

You all do realize that "you can voluntarily lower your own stats for no tradeoff" is basically a non-starter, right? First, this is a team game, so choosing to make yourself weaker to no benefit is disrespectful to the other players that need you to be up to par. It also means this option likely won't be available in PFS, for that very reason. A 10 in an ability score is not a "flaw," it's average.

The solution should be to make all ability penalties meaningful, so it's a tough choice to take them, rather than to eliminate having them all together. It's the same design attitude that drove me away from other editions - "Fixing this option is hard, so we'll just get rid of it." I don't like PCs with three 7s either, but I should be able to make a character who is actually clumsy or foolish and get some tradeoff for it. I should also pay, in game, for that clumsiness or foolishness.

You want people to stop casually dumping Charisma? Make all class special abilities depend on Charisma. For spellcasters, make all max spell levels based on Int, bonus spells on Wis, and save DCs on Cha and you nerf casters and eliminate them being SAD at the same time. Dex and Con don't need much work as everyone feels the sting if they are bad. Base item slots off Strength so casters are less willing to dump it. Boom, now everyone feels the burn for dumping anything.

My little paragraph there is just one possible way to fix stat dumping without eliminating it.

Fundamentally, it looks like a lot of the core philosophy of PF2e is that of a game I don't really want to play. I switched to PF1e because 4e wasn't a game that felt like D&D to me, and now PF2e looks to be going down that same road and 5e is looking more appealing. Right now I plan to pick up the PF2e core book when it comes out, but I don't have high expectations. I currently expect that I'll read through the 2e CRB at Gen Con, come home, and cancel my subs. Paizo staff are nice people so I hope this change does work out for them; I'm more just sad that it seems like the game they want to make isn't for me.


Hythlodeus wrote:
Personally, I want the flaws that I roleplay be reflected in the numbers. Something about a clumsy Dex 18 character doesn't look, sound and feel right

A clumsy Dex 18 character is an oxymoron, just like a Stupid Wizard with 18 Int. Unless this is the Oxymoronfinder forums, I can absolutely see why you are playing a completely different game from everyone else.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I strongly prefer flaws which are roleplayed, not flaws which are "this number is lower than it could be." It's completely possible to be a clumsy character with high dex or an absentminded character with a high wis or a eternally sickly character with a high con.

I did, however, see a lot of "I'm going to lower this number for min-max reasons, so I will play this character as though they have this flaw" in PF1, and I'm glad that's gone. IMO a character's flaws and other quirks should largely predate writing anything on the character sheet.

But realistically if you want mechanical impact to your flaws, you won't be having an 18 dex for your clumsy person, you will simply decline to put stat boosts into dex, leaving you with a 10 or a 12. If you want to play a character who doesn't know the first thing about religion, you simply choose not to put skill increases in it.

Is the statement "You do not have to put stat bonuses into skills", if you want to play a flaw, in the PF 2.0 rules?

I am all for have some options that provide for RP such as my PC is clumsy while cooking and using knives so they get X penalty.
And as someone will point out the less relevant the flaw the less it should be worth. So a flaw that is Combat Over Stimulation and gives you a penalty to Perception in combat or before combat should be worth more than my cooking example above (yes I do agree the cooking example could be worth nothing but it is simply provided as an example).

MDC


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I have a few things to say about the whole scope of the +1/level, skill proficiency and player choice problems being discussed in this thread.

I truly do think it all comes down to choice or the lack-there-of.

But the first thing I want to address is the idea that roleplaying a character based on mechanics is somehow less genuine that doing so without it. The idea that a character's flaws should predate anything written on a character sheet is just completely disregarding that people can derive enjoyment from any number of ways of creating a character.

In fact, I'd argue that creating a character and maturing them over the course of an adventure fall into three different categories:

1) You define a character before you even look at the options. A concept, perhaps even pulling from a character in other media that you like (Lord of the Rings, maybe a video game or a book such as Wheel of Time). You then create your character based on that concept, choosing what aspects of your character you want to reflect mechanically or not. As you progress, you choose to either continue down the path of your concept or adjust based on what's needed and the experiences of your character.

2) Mechanics, or in other words min-maxing. People who scour mechanics specifically to make the most effective character at a particular role and the RP comes after. Dumping strength, int or charisma and just "roleplaying" it to excuse the number or even worse not roleplaying it at all.

3) The hybrid approach, searching for mechanics that emulate a particular concept or finding mechanics that inspire a concept. A good example of this was a monk that I wanted to create. Finding synergy between tripping and sneak attacks inspired me to create a character with a specific fighting style and strategy, plus a personality and background to justify it. Another such synergy I found in Paladin and Bloodrager (not entirely optimal) but inspired me to create a Paladin that could lose their cool and bring some magic to the table beyond that given by their background.

So writing off people's mechanics decisions which inspire roleplay is really just an ego-driven attempt to justify the way you like to play. There is no wrong way to build a character or concept one into being; only bad roleplay and execution.

Now, that that's out of the way.

My big issue with +1/level is that it's unnecessary. The arguments for why it exists is to give a level of progression, improvement beyond player choices. The thing is, there are a myriad of ways to accomplish that within the current system. Proficiency and skill increases could be more readily available. More meaning can be put into item quality, rarity and magical bonuses. Training and classes can provide additional oomph to get you even more of that extra edge.

+1/level is, in my opinion, a lazy version of trying to make your characters feel as if they are improving when there are such alternatives such as proficiency, items, quality, rarity and potentially (if added) class bonuses and features.

In PF1, the whole point of skill improvements and other improvements were to reflect the progress your character has made. Progress they are actively working towards. In PF2, you character almost doesn't have to actively work towards anything... they just get inherently better. And even worse, they aren't actually getting better because DC's scale... so it's a false sense of advancement.

+1/level isn't really the core of the problem, the real issue is that success and failure is so tight between different proficiencies you can't really specialize to the extent you expect in the game nor can you truly be flawed to the extent you want either. I routinely roleplay bad rolls, always asking if my character would attempt a roll despite knowing they aren't good at it. In 2e, I don't feel like there's truly a "I am so bad I will almost surely fail outside of a miracle". And the reality is there are characters who are just that terrible at it, and not for a lack of trying.

Personally I love mechanics reflecting my character, otherwise why are we even bothering with mental stats or physical stats? Why even have a sheet?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Emn1ty wrote:
+1/level is, in my opinion, a lazy version of trying to make your characters feel as if they are improving when there are such alternatives such as proficiency, items, quality, rarity and potentially (if added) class bonuses and features.

This is my sentiment as well.

Although, I also don't like the idea of magic items determining how good you are at stuff. I would like magic items to give you cool abilities or special qualities more than a flat bump to a skill or attribute.


I would love to see a TTRPG lean into a paper rock scissors style of balance, wherein depending on the conditions, and the threats faced, a character could punch significantly above there level.

For example, I feel that a magic user should have no problem mind controlling a pure fighter many levels above him.

By the same token, if a fighter got the drop on a wizard many levels higher, where that wizard was not prepared for the encounter, was gagged, prevented from holding his focus, etc. then that wizard would be in deep trouble.

Another example would be creating a distinction between hard to hit opponents, vs hard to damage ones. Had vitality/wnds been made core, with crits going to wnds, and armor providing DR for wnd dmg only, you could give fighters a reason to drop the greatsword and pull a brace of daggers, or toss his shield in favor of a 2 handed grip on his sword.

This type of balance encourages tactics, and outside the box thinking.3.pf had some of that, and I would have loved to see that expanded, rather than removed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Emn1ty wrote:
+1/level is, in my opinion, a lazy version of trying to make your characters feel as if they are improving when there are such alternatives such as proficiency, items, quality, rarity and potentially (if added) class bonuses and features.

I disagree with the premise of this.

I don't think +1/level creates the feeling of advancement by giving you slightly bigger numbers on your character sheet.

The way it creates a feeling of advancement is by causing monsters that used to be dangerous to be no longer able to effectively threaten you.

It is actually really, REALLY good at creating a feeling of advancement in that manner, as you can discern from many stories of gameplay around the forums. Level 5 monsters trash level 3 characters, but level 8 characters can walk through packs of those same level 5 monsters with no trouble. The numbers on the character sheet are almost a side effect.

Whether or not you find that specific kind of feeling of advancement satisfying seems to in part be the crux of the issue.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ryric said wrote:

You all do realize that "you can voluntarily lower your own stats for no tradeoff" is basically a non-starter, right? First, this is a team game, so choosing to make yourself weaker to no benefit is disrespectful to the other players that need you to be up to par. It also means this option likely won't be available in PFS, for that very reason. A 10 in an ability score is not a "flaw," it's average.

The solution should be to make all ability penalties meaningful, so it's a tough choice to take them, rather than to eliminate having them all together. It's the same design attitude that drove me away from other editions - "Fixing this option is hard, so we'll just get rid of it." I don't like PCs with three 7s either, but I should be able to make a character who is actually clumsy or foolish and get some tradeoff for it. I should also pay, in game, for that clumsiness or foolishness.

Well the same argument could be made for not using dump-stats to min-max your character in PF1. "You aren't pulling your weight and you shouldn't be allowed to play a non-optimized character!" That is crazy talk to me. Secondly based on this system in no way is 10 an average stat. The few npc's listed has a total modifier bonus of +7 (at level 0); +9 (at level 3) +13 (at level 5). So the average stat is 12+ for low levels and 14+ for fifth levels and further increasing.

I don't get the point that if your character is flawed in some way he automatically gets a bonus for it, having a disability doesn't automatically make you better at other things. Choosing to not focus on something to spend time/ resources focusing on other stuff does. Sure a blind person is better at navigating the world without sight, but that is purely through hard work and how the brain functions focusing on other stimuli, a person with muscle atrophy isn't somehow smarter or wiser than everyone without it.

It's okay if the game aren't for you, not everything can be for everyone. But the argument that +1/level or that lack of getting bonuses from flaws should be the reason for it seems weird to me. I see that earlier you also mentioned monsters getting comparably weaker as you leveled for on-level challenges, this again doesn't make any sense to me, either the foe you are facing is at an equal in terms of power to you or not, the fact that PF2 seems to have figured out a way for this to be true makes me happy. If you want to keep the feeling of out-scaling the opponent simply face lower-level threats.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Personally, I want the flaws that I roleplay be reflected in the numbers. Something about a clumsy Dex 18 character doesn't look, sound and feel right
A clumsy Dex 18 character is an oxymoron, just like a Stupid Wizard with 18 Int. Unless this is the Oxymoronfinder forums, I can absolutely see why you are playing a completely different game from everyone else.

Ditto on this.

This thread is all over the place. If PF2 is going to use +1/level, that's going to the balanced dynamic. If you don't like that, you can subtract that everything and play however you feel best playing. Personally, I like the new dynamic. I like leveling up to be more meaningful for absolutely everything with specializations thrown on top of that. Skill challenges are irrelevant for me. I am experienced enough at GM'ing to set DC's on the fly that give an appropriate chance of success. Adding level to that or not changes nothing for me.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Nettah wrote:

Well the same argument could be made for not using dump-stats to min-max your character in PF1. "You aren't pulling your weight and you shouldn't be allowed to play a non-optimized character!" That is crazy talk to me. Secondly based on this system in no way is 10 an average stat. The few npc's listed has a total modifier bonus of +7 (at level 0); +9 (at level 3) +13 (at level 5). So the average stat is 12+ for low levels and 14+ for fifth levels and further increasing.

I don't get the point that if your character is flawed in some way he automatically gets a bonus for it, having a disability doesn't automatically make you better at other things. Choosing to not focus on something to spend time/ resources focusing on other stuff does. Sure a blind person is better at navigating the world without sight, but that is purely through hard work and how the brain functions focusing on other stimuli, a person with muscle atrophy isn't somehow smarter or wiser than everyone without it.

It's okay if the game aren't for you, not everything can be for everyone. But the argument that +1/level or that lack of getting bonuses from flaws should be the reason for it seems weird to me. I see that earlier you also mentioned monsters getting comparably weaker as you leveled for on-level challenges, this again doesn't make any sense to me, either the foe you are facing is at an equal in terms of power to you or not, the fact that PF2 seems to have figured out a way for this to be true makes me happy. If you want to keep the feeling of out-scaling the opponent simply face lower-level threats.

Requiring min-maxing is far different than not wanting another player to voluntarily gimp their character. You don't have to want pun-Pun in order to also not want an 9 Int wizard in the party.

Obviously real life isn't fair about awarding extra abilities to those who have flaws, but in a game where ideally everyone starts at some similar power level you want to allow trade offs. The point is that character creation should be fair. I highly doubt the other players at a PFS table will be happy if I sit down with a PC with 2 6s for stats that would have been 10s.

Here's another way to put that character bonuses should grow faster than DCs and AC. At level 1 in AD&D, and 3.X and variants, you generally need decent rolls to hit - usually in the 9-12 range on the d20. But, when you do hit, level 1 foes generally drop in a single blow. So combats are swingy. Losing your round to a miss is annoying, but you get a big payoff when you do hit. At higher levels it's pretty easy to hit on a 2 - but, foes now take many hits to drop. So you hit often, you don't feel like your round was wasted, but it still takes just about as long to deal with threats because they have more hp, and hp scales faster than damage. You feel that you are good at things because you don't miss as often, but it really doesn't make fight easier on average. In PF2e, now you waste your time at level 12 just as often as you do at level 1, but it also takes more hits to drop foes so it's twice as frustrating.


ryric said wrote:

Requiring min-maxing is far different than not wanting another player to voluntarily gimp their character. You don't have to want pun-Pun in order to also not want an 9 Int wizard in the party.

Obviously real life isn't fair about awarding extra abilities to those who have flaws, but in a game where ideally everyone starts at some similar power level you want to allow trade offs. The point is that character creation should be fair. I highly doubt the other players at a PFS table will be happy if I sit down with a PC with 2 6s for stats that would have been 10s.

Here's another way to put that character bonuses should grow faster than DCs and AC. At level 1 in AD&D, and 3.X and variants, you generally need decent rolls to hit - usually in the 9-12 range on the d20. But, when you do hit, level 1 foes generally drop in a single blow. So combats are swingy. Losing your round to a miss is annoying, but you get a big payoff when you do hit. At higher levels it's pretty easy to hit on a 2 - but, foes now take many hits to drop. So you hit often, you don't feel like your round was wasted, but it still takes just about as long to deal with threats because they have more hp, and hp scales faster than damage. You feel that you are good at things because you don't miss as often, but it really doesn't make fight easier on average. In PF2e, now you waste your time at level 12 just as often as you do at level 1, but it also takes more hits to drop foes so it's twice as frustrating.

Well your argument was that you would actively be hurting the team by having a character that isn't as optimal as could be. I think having a single ability flaw in PF2 makes much less of a difference than optimizing or not-optimizing did in PF1, but you might disagree. And no I don't see it as reasonable that you would be playing a character with 2 6s in a PFS game or likely most games. But there is a pretty big gap in between you choosing a single 8 for a flaw and 2 6s.

If someone was playing with a fighter with 8 int or charisma instead of 10 there is a big chance I might not even notice mechanically, and if he feels that adds to his character and let's him enjoy the game/ character more, then more power to him. I haven't played PFS myself, and I don't know how big an aspect the roleplaying is, so people might want more "combat/skill" focused characters than more real characters.
As I mentioned above 12 is the average stat score below level 5 for people in Golarion now, so at 10 you are already below average and 8 would be closer to PF1s 6.

As for the scaling at higher levels in PF1 it wasn't unusual for fights to last a single round either because of crazy save or die effects or by insane damage builds. I do agree that it can feel bad when you miss your attack and do nothing, and that is one of the reasons the 3 action system is really good, now even at low-levels you get to do more than just a single attack.

I have quite limited experience with playing higher levels in the playtest, so I am not sure how well combat performs there, but several people on here have stated something akin to 5ish rounds for a challenging fight, which seems perfectly fine to me, I want high level combat to last longer than the swingy low levels.


I feel like a big problem with not having +Level to untrained skills, is that it means past a certain level you will absolutely never want to try to do something untrained for fear of a critical failure. Sure, this is in part a consequence of DCs going up as you level, but that's always been the case- the DC to identify a CR10 creature has always been 5 more than the DC to identify a CR5 creature.

I think that the game is far more heroic if people are not afraid of attempting things in which they have not received formal training.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Is it really heroic though if there isn’t any risk in attempting those things because, hey, they’re good at them now just because they exist and have raised levels, no other reason.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Arssanguinus wrote:
Is it really heroic though if there isn’t any risk in attempting those things because, hey, they’re good at them now just because they exist and have raised levels, no other reason.

This doesn't add up in the slightest. Simply because something needing to be a risk is most certainly not a requirement to be a hero, and there are numerous examples of this happening all around the world every single day. People giving aid to those in need, sacrificing themselves for the benefit of others, that is what being heroic is all about. Quite frankly, your description would make gamblers at casinos heroic, which is dubious at best, and flat-out wrong more often than not. They are gutsy and bold, perhaps. But most certainly not heroic, and if they lose or fail, then they are often called "foolish."

In addition, the DCs at Table 10-2 have been notoriously scrutinized simply because people have complained that, much like the Big 6 being required in PF1, needing optimal proficiencies, attributes, and item bonuses being required only gets you a coin flip at-best. So, suggesting that "they're good at them now because of level" furthermore invalidates this criticism that everyone makes, which creates a paradox of pointing fingers at what the real problem is.

51 to 100 of 176 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / While +1 / level is a problem, removing it alone is not a solution. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.