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


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It is interesting that a desire to have characters swashbuckling with relative ease through an adventuring life leads to a belief that is far more heroic to try something you are good at (thus not putting yourself in jeopardy) than taking a tremendous risk by trying to something you are not good at.

I mean I do get it: people want characters whose default setting means they are smarter (& stronger & faster & charming etc.) than the average bear. What makes the rogue different to the wizard is that the wizard can only juggle 3 clubs while traversing the tight rope but the rogue can do 4 and his clubs are lit on fire!

Also like to say that voluntarily taking flaws is not fun in the same way as designing a character whose dedication in the training ground means she ignored her studies or who spent his days playing cards in the tavern rather than working on his core. You want characters to be built equally but not homogenously.

I await the release of the final magnus opus next summer with baited breath.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
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.

Where did "there isn't any risk" come into this? Pretty sure that's more or less never the case.


heretic said wrote:

It is interesting that a desire to have characters swashbuckling with relative ease through an adventuring life leads to a belief that is far more heroic to try something you are good at (thus not putting yourself in jeopardy) than taking a tremendous risk by trying to something you are not good at.

I mean I do get it: people want characters whose default setting means they are smarter (& stronger & faster & charming etc.) than the average bear. What makes the rogue different to the wizard is that the wizard can only juggle 3 clubs while traversing the tight rope but the rogue can do 4 and his clubs are lit on fire!

Also like to say that voluntarily taking flaws is not fun in the same way as designing a character whose dedication in the training ground means she ignored her studies or who spent his days playing cards in the tavern rather than working on his core. You want characters to be built equally but not homogenously.

I await the release of the final magnus opus next summer with baited breath.

Well I still feel that the old system leaned more towards character optimization was the driving factor behind roleplaying decisions to have the fighter be a simpleton. It's really cool to have players having characters with flaws, because that is more akin to fantasy novels and real life; but I want the drive for that decision be based on the character perspective and not for a mechanical benefit. I feel the optional rules for flaws lends towards this objective more readily. Say maybe the GM in the talk about the character agree that your lowered wisdom score is because you spend way too much time at the gambling tables and award you trained in Lore(gambling) this is absolutely fine for me. But the default rules shouldn't be such that a dimwit fighter is actually more capable than a normally (albeit slightly below average) intelligent fighter. (average score is 12)

I don't find it to be equal or fair that certain classed where SAD to the extend that if they didn't dump certain attributes they were actually subpar in their chosen field, because the benefits far outweighed the flaws.

Flaws as an option removes it from "newbie" players who often have a newer GM as well. I like that the rules seems more designed to make a more rigid system for the inexperienced and the experienced can see the flaws and house rule appropriately. Having crouches and rules to justify why teleport isn't readily available or you can't just get a +2 weapon right now seems to be a good aid to me.

Also the whole argument that being untrained but getting +1/level is like the character being a superhuman being is frankly because they are; I would argue not a single living soul in this world could be above level 5; not that real life can really be translated into the game to most extends where it makes sense everywhere.
However for game balance perspective as well as general reason it seems fitting to me that a character that have fought countless different enemies across several species, outsiders, demons and the like would have a better grasp at understanding that world, be better at heroic performances and have seen and performed such daring tasks that they would be more stealthy, acrobatic and athletic than your average joe. A lot of tasks are gated by the trained proficiency which again make sense to me. I do agree the difference in most skills between trained and legendary amounts to 15% increased success rate, so I would love more skill feats (like cat fall) and skill gates to make increasing skills matter more. Or maybe increase the proficiency bonus a bit (but that is a can of worms in terms of game balance because of fighters and weapons)

The system itself doesn't lend itself well to do this in other ways than +1(1/2)/level; skills points as used in PF1 have obviously flaws in terms of min/maxing, so you would have to go for the call of Cthulhu method of increasing skills based on your success with using them to be more "realistic".


Kaelizar wrote:
Here's 2 alternatives for those still looking ...

Woot, math to play with. I had missed Kaelizar's October 18 post, so I didn't take this opportunity before.

Kaelizar's alternative 1 under the spoiler tag is:

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

I have been examining staggered slopes by proficiency rank: October 29 and November 16. In the October 29 posting, I explained the close relation between staggered slopes and how I typically handle skill ranks in Pathfinder 1st Edition.

In Pathfinder 1st Edition, making a decision about the assignment every single skill point would be a lot of work. Mentally, I simplified the assignment by relying on prior decisions. I had already chosen some skills that I would keep at maximum ranks and they always received a skill point. Some skills I had at half their maximum ranks, and about half the time I would throw a skill point there to keep them near half maximum. Some skills I had trained early for the +3 bonus to class skills, and on infrequent occasions I gave them another skill point. And I ignored some skills.

So I essentially sorted my skills into 4 categories: Master, Expert, Trained, and Untrained. That is compatible with the PF2 proficiency system. And sorting skills that way solves one argument against +1 per level, that the proficieny ranks are unearned. Nope, the proficiency ranks act like the skill ranks from PF1. The different proficiencies would represent how much the character prioritizes that skill. The higher the priority the more practice to hone that ability. So, of course, a master proficiency would increase faster than a mere trained proficiency.

Thus, staggered slopes in proficiency would have most of the advantages of the PF1 skill point system, but leveling up would be a lot simpler.

I like to list every single bonus created by the proficiency slopes to check whether every level looks reasonable. The tables below look better in a constant-width font. Kaelizar's slopes give a table where at 20th level trained, expert, and master differ only by 2, the gap between untrained and trained is 7, and the gap between master and legendary is 5. That looks irregular.

Level---- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
untrained -2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2 slope 0 using (0)n - 2
trained-- 1==1==1==1< 2==2==2==2==2< 3==3==3==3==3< 4==4==4==4==4< 5 slope 1/5 using (0.2)n + 1
expert--- 2==2==2< 3==3==3==3< 4==4==4==4< 5==5==5==5< 6==6==6==6< 7 slope 1/4 using (0.25)n + 2
master--- 3==3< 4==4==4< 5==5==5< 6==6==6< 7==7==7< 8==8==8< 9==9==9 slope 1/3 using (0.334)n + 3
legendary 4< 5==5< 6==6< 7==7< 8==8< 9==9<10=10<11=11<12=12<13=13<14 slope 1/2 using (0.5)n + 4

We could adjust the slopes of untrained and legendary to narrow their gaps.

Level---- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
untrained -2=-2=-2=-2=-2<-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1< 0==0==0==0==0==0< 1==1==1 slope 1/6 using (0.167)n - 2
trained-- 1==1==1==1< 2==2==2==2==2< 3==3==3==3==3< 4==4==4==4==4< 5 slope 1/5 using (0.2)n + 1
expert--- 2==2==2< 3==3==3==3< 4==4==4==4< 5==5==5==5< 6==6==6==6< 7 slope 1/4 using (0.25)n + 2
master--- 3==3< 4==4==4< 5==5==5< 6==6==6< 7==7==7< 8==8==8< 9==9==9 slope 1/3 using (0.334)n + 3
legendary 4==4< 5==5< 6==6==6< 7==7< 8==8==8< 9==9<10=10=10<11=11<12 slope 2/5 using (0.4)n + 4

Or we could instead adjust the slopes of expert and master in order to widen the gaps in the middle. Untrained moved too, to maintain a pattern.

Level---- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
untrained -2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2<-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1< 0 slope 1/10 using (0.1)n - 2
trained-- 1==1==1==1< 2==2==2==2==2< 3==3==3==3==3< 4==4==4==4==4< 5 slope 2/10 using (0.2)n + 1
expert--- 2==2==2< 3==3==3< 4==4==4< 5==5==5==5< 6==6==6< 7==7==7< 8 slope 3/10 using (0.3)n + 2
master--- 3==3< 4==4< 5==5==5< 6==6< 7==7==7< 8==8< 9==9==9<10=10<11 slope 4/10 using (0.4)n + 3
legendary 4< 5==5< 6==6< 7==7< 8==8< 9==9<10=10<11=11<12=12<13=13<14 slope 5/10 using (0.5)n + 4

That one has the problem of every proficiency gets +1 in the level-up to 10th level and the level-up to 20th level. That is an oversized power boost. But we can shift the rows by altering the constants, some to non-integers.

Level---- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
untrained -2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2=-2<-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1=-1< 0 slope 1/10 using (0.1)n - 2
trained-- 1==1==1==1==1< 2==2==2==2==2< 3==3==3==3==3< 4==4==4==4==4 slope 2/10 using (0.2)n + 0.8
expert--- 2==2==2< 3==3==3< 4==4==4< 5==5==5==5< 6==6==6< 7==7==7< 8 slope 3/10 using (0.3)n + 2
master--- 4==4< 5==5==5< 6==6< 7==7==7< 8==8< 9==9==9<10=10<11=11<12 slope 4/10 using (0.4)n + 3.8
legendary 6< 7==7< 8==8< 9==9<10=10<11=11<12=12<13=13<14=14<15=15<16 slope 5/10 using (0.5)n + 6.5


I feel like fractional math is a non-starter for the actual product (though it's fine for a house rule) since one of the reasons we added +Level to begin with was that it was a lot easier and cleaner than +Level to some things +3Level/4 to others, +Level/2 to some things, and +Level/3 to those other things.

Like are people really going to enjoy figuring out which numbers to increment when they level up, instead of just incrementing all of them?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like fractional math is a non-starter for the actual product (though it's fine for a house rule) since one of the reasons we added +Level to begin with was that it was a lot easier and cleaner than +Level to some things +3Level/4 to others, +Level/2 to some things, and +Level/3 to those other things.

Like are people really going to enjoy figuring out which numbers to increment when they level up, instead of just incrementing all of them?

They will look it up in a table, PROFICENCY BONUS BY LEVEL. The character sheet will have a line to record all the five kinds of proficiency bonus by rank, and then the player will use that line to alter individual skill entries. Erasing and changing some skill bonus numbers will be physically easier than changing them all.

The Pathfinder Playtest already has plenty of similar tables. My wizard leveled up to 7th level. Let me check TABLE 3–21: WIZARD ADVANCEMENT on page 136. He gets 4th-level spells, general feat, skill increase. Let me check TABLE 3–22: WIZARD SPELLS PER DAY. He can cast 2 4th-level spells a day. Let me check TABLE 5–1: GENERAL FEATS on page 160-162. ...

Pathfinder 1st Edition has full, 3/4, and 1/2 progressions for BAB, 1/2 and 1/3 progression for saving throws, 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/3 minus 4 progression for spell levels, 1/4 progression for attribute boosts and several class features, 1/5 progression for multiple attacks by BAB. Those were not showstoppers for that edition.


Wow.

I knew this was a hot topic, but I didn't expect this level of reaction.

I don't think I'll be able to address everything, but let's address some of the points:

Ephialtes wrote:
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.

The only comment I made was that there were countless threads: nothing about whether the nebulous majority supports my views.

And even that playtest surveys did not address this issue, so it's unlikely that the designers have a clear idea of how many people support it.

MaxAstro wrote:
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.

Using "level-appropriate DCs" to design a dungeon is one thing (it's still an issue - if there's an underground river, it doesn't have to be "swiftly flowing with slick sides requiring a DC38 swim check). The other issue is that abilities such as Lingering Performance and Treat Wounds are also based on such scaling DCs.

A bard is never going to reach the point where he can reliably pull off a lingering performance.

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?

Not just the other players. The game itself. If I get better at hitting things, I want to be able to hit "things" on a lower number on the d20.

The fact that now I'm level 6, I'm better at hitting CR2 "things" is immaterial - I'm not hitting them anymore. I'm hitting CR6 things.

Unicore wrote:
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.

Negative Theorycrafting works both ways.

But one thing that Pathfinder has going for it is that skills are "allowed" to be "broken", because they don't have as much impact on combat. And with the static printed DCs, your improvement is obvious and clear.

The DM of wrote:


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.

The point of this thread is that it removing +1/level doesn't change the dynamic. All it does is makes some numbers lower.

The DM of wrote:
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.

What +1/level does achieve is an obfuscation of the fact that your character isn't actually advancing much at all.


Except it makes you significantly less likely by default to be hit by things lower level than you, and vice versa for things higher.

And let's not pretend that you only ever fight things that are exactly equal to your level.


Mekkis wrote:
A whole lot of stuff, only a couple points of which I am addressing and sormatting is hard.

"...if there's an underground river, it doesn't have to be swiftly flowing with slick sides..."

Agreed. From what I have seen no one is saying it does have to be, save for people who claim scaling DCs removes any potential for advancement. But as you acknowledge, the table is useful for when you DO want a swiftly flowing, slick, or otherwise difficult-even-for-superhumans river and wish to know what DC would make it a challenge for your particular brand of superhumans. Because no matter what level you do still want to run into actual challenge at times, and with years of GMing PF1 I can say guessing gets OLD after a while. And the table is even nice for the regular rivers, you can see the level 0/1 DC and you and your players can have a laugh over how much they trounce it by.

That is to say, your comments on the issue in that sense echo the proponents of 10-2, so I really don't think we are actually in disagreement here.

"...Lingering Performance and Treat Wounds are based on scaling DCs..."

This is something I am a personal proponent of. Higher level players can sustain more egregious wounds, and thus I feel would be harder to treat. An interesting point was made on another thread about how higher level PCs could easily be flavored as having physically tougher skin that is more difficult to mend. This is to say, I simply find it to make sense. That said I am all for a suggestion I have seen, for failure on Treat Wounds to be lesser healing and crit fail just no healing. It keeps the idea of tougher wounds being tougher to heal while making it less likely to have completely ineffective healing.

Lingering Performance, I view this as being a power exerted to wrestle greater control over your powerful innate magic. Magic that grows stronger as you do and thus would be easier to control. Here a scaling DC makes sense to me.

YMMV of course, and understandably so, but I find these things reasonable, and I believe keeping them does not ultimately prevent a feeling of enhancement either, due to the following.

"A Bard is never going to reach the point where he can reliably pull of a Lingering Performance."

If you'll pardon my saying so, this is actually just dead wrong. Level 1, DC for that is 15. Level 20, it is 39. Same for Treat Wounds as it happens.

Level 1, max Performance/Medicine score is +5 (1 level, 0 trained, 4 stat). Level 20, max is +35 (20 level, 3 legendary, 7 stat, 5 item). Actually +37 for Performance if you take a certain skill feat.

That means at level 1 there is a 55% chance at these if maxed in the skill. At level 20, there is an 85% chance if maxed in the skill (95% with that performance feat). That sounds quite reliable if I may say so. It also means a 35/45% chance of critical success which is pretty sweet.

This applies to any skill being maxed out. 55% chance, eventually 85-95% for Hard challenges. This also means that even semi-specialization at higher levels yields solid chances, and that full specialists at higher level can take very solid shots at harder-than-Hard challenges.

"Not just the other players. The game itself. If I get better at hitting things, I want to be able to hit "things" on a lower number on the d20.

The fact that now I'm level 6, I'm better at hitting CR2 "things" is immaterial - I'm not hitting them anymore. I'm hitting CR6 things."

If this is how you feel, I fear we must agree to disagree, as I disagree vehemently for the most part. Attacking someone to me is not just a test of your skill, it is a test of your skill in offense against their skill in defense. Now for martial characters this means there should be some growth against non or low-martial monsters as your focus on offense exceeds theirs on defense. But tough foes, the bros who stand front and center or are renowned for their toughness? In my opinion they should remain as challenges for even a martial to hit (By challenge I mean 50-60% chance), because if they WEREN'T that hard to hit then I'd be bugged because to me that says the monster's defense is simply inappropriate for its level. And honestly that is a sticking point for me.

Phrasing differently, it is no different to me than if a PC specializes or partially specializes in armor or defense but is still getting hit 75+% of the time because their opponents invested in attack and so they should see growing success rates. It seems silly to reward offense over defense like that. And if we are saying it should just be PCs that have this growing success then that gets right back into the problem of level x monsters not REALLY being level x. If a group needs to have high hit, dodge, and save chances to feel powerful then the GM should just be giving them lower level encounters if that's really the battle style that sits the group, rather than making monster of level x so much weaker than player of level x that you have to jack the CR like crazy to really challenge players like in PF1. Because if you need to do that then what the heck is the CR even for at that point, it sometimes feels like.

Again, not saying every battle has to be a grit-fest where every interaction has a 50% success chance. And that's not what PF2 is anyway. But if a monster is level 10 and I am level 10 I expect that monster to be a match for me in stats, competence, and abilities. I expect a real struggle, not hitting with my sword 80% of the time and making my saves against his breath weapon/spells/etc. 75% of the time.

Of course, as said there is variance within a level. Fighter-tier, Ranger-tier, Rogue-tier, and everyone else-tier all have different hit chances because they have different specializations. But it's all within the same ballpark, with the tiers in that order maxing at +4/+3/+2/+0 compared to the everyone else-tier. Likewise monsters have variance, with tanks like dragons being top, stuff like outsiders being a point or so lower, tough mortal monsters a point or so below that, and mage types a point or two below that. So you might just run into an 80% hit chance if it's a big difference like Fighter vs. Skeleton Mage, but I don't think that kind of accuracy should be the norm.

Wanting it to be so is a perfectly viable style of play, but so is wanting it to not be. However things turn out, one style is going to have to make tweaks to support it, but I really feel weakening things that are too strong/hard is easier than trying to upgrade things. Maybe I'm wrong.

"The point of this thread is that it removing +1/level doesn't change the dynamic. All it does is makes some numbers lower."

Agreed. That alone won't change the dynamic. Those who dislike the dynamic will have to do more. But again, I feel adjusting down is easier than adjusting up. Also, I do feel at least a little regard should be given to the fact that PF1 HAS the frankly less balanced dynamic and it is VERY hard to balance, meaning PF2 +/level looks just BEAUTIFUL for those who are interested in a more balanced Pathfinder, it uses a clean slate to give us what we've tried to jury-rig to for a long time. That isn't to say "If you don't like it here, go back to PF1, it's still there", it is to say there are two very valid camps here, the existing system supports one heavily while being, with a lot of work, servicable to the other. So I feel it is nice for the other edition to heavily support the other camp while being in a workable position for the first.

"What +1/level does achieve is an obfuscation of the fact that your character isn't actually advancing much at all."

Another point we may just have to agree to disagree. I feel very much advancement in PF2 personally. In skills, the previous point about 10-2 stands for why I think there is plenty of progression there, while it is compounded even further by skill feats and potentially proficiency gates (this is mostly a GM tool now, but I fully expect more proficiency gated tasks in the final book) expanding WHAT you can do with a skill at a base level, not just what your success rate is and what things you can now meet the DCs of. To me it is a much more nuanced system of growth and I love it while simultaneously agreeing it needs expansion.

For combat, Again percentage successes rotating in a rough range around an approximate axis of level does not bother me. The combat abilities gained from higher level spells and class feats in particular again feels MUCH better and more nuanced than just boosts to accuracy and damage. Having a moderate baseline percentage also makes the buff/debuff game much stronger. If you already hit 80+% of the time on first attack then I believe you will appreciate a +1 or 2 much less than someone who hits 50-60%. And if you're making your saves against a monster with similar success rates (or a converse situation with the attack rolls he needs to hit you) then why bother with hitting him with a -1 or 2, it'll be more efficient to just swing more swords and end him earlier.

And again, I feel it's easier to fix for GMs who want higher player success. Sure, you could argue GMs who want more challenge just upscale things but looking at both PF1 and PF2 thus far I VASTLY prefer the idea of level equivalencies actually making an effective encounter building guide and then adjust from there instead of lowballing and leaving us to guess at what a more equivalent challenge is for our chosen difficulty category.

One more thing, I kinda said this before, but I REALLY appreciate how civil this thread has been. I don't mean that to be patronizing or anything, just SERIOUSLY the bickering and jabbing I have seen over this topic, both ways even...
I like that we can disagree but still find a fair bit of common ground and discussion.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

One thing I will say is that the level jumping nature of the playtest does make it feel worse than it is. So it probably does feel like you may not have notably improved in raw numbers (and sameways for abilities of non-casters who seem to get most of their cool Action economy enhancers pre level 8) because the playtest setup has consitently tried to test fighting few severe challenges over a more natural game setup.

That is to say you get into the lvl 17 part and don't feel notably more powerful because you are just fighting lvl 17+ enemies constantly, with plenty of time to recover in between.

In a more natural game you will be levelling up over the course of an adventure and you will still be fighting some of the same foes/challenges because the story hasn't jumped 2 years ahead. You will feel the sense of growth when those CR 4 Brigabrags you had to isolate and take out on their own at lvl 2 are something you can deal with in groups at lvl 6. That just hasn't happened at all in the playtest which I think is one of Paizo's greatest mistakes (along with making all skill feats useless most of the time so by their 5th character players hated shopping for skill feats, like seriously design maps so that the guy invested in jumping might actually be able to use a short cut every now and then.)


An additional point I meant to add on that last point about advancement, not much new just reinforcing and expanding the explanation of my opinion.

To feel advancement, I don't need my 14th level fighter fighting a level 14 Adult Red Dragon to be an objectively easier fight than my 10th level Fighter fighting a level 10 Young Red Dragon. For me, the combination of the 14th level Fighter knowing he could walk all over that young dragon from before now (to the tune that it would take FOUR of them to equal him), combined with the battle against the new dragon at the new level not being easier but being more developed and complex a battle due to us both having new abilities, that's a feeling of growth for me. I don't want to be able to walk all over a level 14 dragon at 14th level. Honestly from a gameplay perspective I want a harder fight, because OoC I expect a certain escalation as my character grows in power and I grow in experience on playing the game. But that difficulty doesn't come from being at a numbers disadvantage compared to the fights of previous levels, I expect that to be -roughly- the same, and certainly not me at an advantage numerically compared to earlier equal fights. The new difficulty such as it is comes from doing battle with more powers and abilities going on, resulting in a fight more epic in scale than those previous, that feels a greater growth to e than an easier fight would.

Also I know PF is a team game, 1v1s like discussed here are rare but I do so because it is easier to illustrate certain concepts. It also is another reason I am a proponent for equal level foes NOT getting easier, because a well coordinated party is a TERROR. Even if you have these moderate success rates to start, buffs, debuffs, and flanking/maneuvers will quickly change the landscape of the battle so to speak. If you started out with higher success rates, adding buffs and debuffs all into that just makes a mess, something I saw loads in PF1. Again, love the old edition, could have plenty of fun for ages with it, but dang if this stuff couldn't be a problem.


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.

You realize, of course, we agree on this, right? that was my whole point


Edge93 wrote:

"A Bard is never going to reach the point where he can reliably pull of a Lingering Performance."

If you'll pardon my saying so, this is actually just dead wrong. Level 1, DC for that is 15. Level 20, it is 39. Same for Treat Wounds as it happens.

Level 1, max Performance/Medicine score is +5 (1 level, 0 trained, 4 stat). Level 20, max is +35 (20 level, 3 legendary, 7 stat, 5 item). Actually +37 for Performance if you take a certain skill feat.

That means at level 1 there is a 55% chance at these if maxed in the skill. At level 20, there is an 85% chance if maxed in the skill (95% with that performance feat). That sounds quite reliable if I may say so. It also means a 35/45% chance of critical success which is pretty sweet.

This applies to any skill being maxed out. 55% chance, eventually 85-95% for Hard challenges. This also means that even semi-specialization at higher levels yields solid chances, and that full specialists at higher level can take very solid shots at harder-than-Hard challenges.

So here's the issue with your math: In the entire game there are only 8 items that give a bonus to Performance checks, counting the various forms of items with multiple levels. Of those 8, only 1 of them (a level 18 item, not a small cost even by level 20 standards given you should only have 2 at that level) gives a +5 bonus, half of them require 2 hands to use (including the one +5 bonus item) so Gods help you if you want to do something crazy like wield a weapon or staff or something, and the half that don't require 2 hands to use only apply to specific checks (two of which even if we argued that Lingering Composition used a Performance-based perform check for it, which can easily see table variation, wouldn't count anyways given that Lingering Performance is a Verbal component (aka Auditory Performance as per the rules of Bardic Performances) and the items only give bonuses to Dance (aka a Visual Performance).)


Shinigami02 wrote:
Edge93 wrote:

"A Bard is never going to reach the point where he can reliably pull of a Lingering Performance."

If you'll pardon my saying so, this is actually just dead wrong. Level 1, DC for that is 15. Level 20, it is 39. Same for Treat Wounds as it happens.

Level 1, max Performance/Medicine score is +5 (1 level, 0 trained, 4 stat). Level 20, max is +35 (20 level, 3 legendary, 7 stat, 5 item). Actually +37 for Performance if you take a certain skill feat.

That means at level 1 there is a 55% chance at these if maxed in the skill. At level 20, there is an 85% chance if maxed in the skill (95% with that performance feat). That sounds quite reliable if I may say so. It also means a 35/45% chance of critical success which is pretty sweet.

This applies to any skill being maxed out. 55% chance, eventually 85-95% for Hard challenges. This also means that even semi-specialization at higher levels yields solid chances, and that full specialists at higher level can take very solid shots at harder-than-Hard challenges.

So here's the issue with your math: In the entire game there are only 8 items that give a bonus to Performance checks, counting the various forms of items with multiple levels. Of those 8, only 1 of them (a level 18 item, not a small cost even by level 20 standards given you should only have 2 at that level) gives a +5 bonus, half of them require 2 hands to use (including the one +5 bonus item) so Gods help you if you want to do something crazy like wield a weapon or staff or something, and the half that don't require 2 hands to use only apply to specific checks (two of which even if we argued that Lingering Composition used a Performance-based perform check for it, which can easily see table variation, wouldn't count anyways given that Lingering Performance is a Verbal component (aka Auditory Performance as per the rules of Bardic Performances) and the items only give bonuses to Dance (aka a Visual Performance).)

Umm, the bit about only 1 item, and it being an 18th level item, doesn't really effect anything here. There shouldn't be an item of that potency of a lower level, and none of that effects the idea that a Performance based Bard will likely get one nor does it have an effect on the argument for whether or not a Bard can ever reliably perform Lingering Composition.

Same with arguing as to how few items their are to boost this one skill. How many do we need? There are items for every boost from +1 to +5, save that the only +4 item is a Dance booster. So yeah, if we can't get past that bit then for a few levels you have 5% lower chance than you could working with other skills.

And really all of this is one of those things that we can safely expect to be cleaned up in the CRB. With the math expecting you to have certain items at certain levels (Whether or not that's good is an ENTIRELY other discussion), there's no way we won't have +1-+5 items for every skill.

As for Lingering Performance potentially not using a performance-based Perform check, frankly that's a little silly. Especially given that Bards can substitute Verbal Casting for Material Casting by playing their instrument. (P196)

Yes, this is currently a bit screwy for bards who don't want to use a physical instrument, but that's also another argument separate from "Can a Bard do this", with the answer to can a Bard do this being a resounding yes with an asterik that you need a couple certain things. And also I expect the CRB to have a bit better support for non-instrument performance.

TL;DR the above arguments are valid points about certain issues in the Playtest but they don't at all effect the fact that it is entirely possible for a Bard to eventually hit 95% success with Lingering Composition.


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Shinigami02 said wrote:
So here's the issue with your math: In the entire game there are only 8 items that give a bonus to Performance checks, counting the various forms of items with multiple levels. Of those 8, only 1 of them (a level 18 item, not a small cost even by level 20 standards given you should only have 2 at that level) gives a +5 bonus, half of them require 2 hands to use (including the one +5 bonus item) so Gods help you if you want to do something crazy like wield a weapon or staff or something, and the half that don't require 2 hands to use only apply to specific checks (two of which even if we argued that Lingering Composition used a Performance-based perform check for it, which can easily see table variation, wouldn't count anyways given that Lingering Performance is a Verbal component (aka Auditory Performance as per the rules of Bardic Performances) and the items only give bonuses to Dance (aka a Visual Performance).)

Well if the bard wants to be the absolutely best at performing he would have to use his hands to wield his instrument for +5. Otherwise a persona mask (item level 15) still gives a +4 bonus, which should also be enough to ensure that he almost always succeeds. Likely being +36 on a DC39.

I don't see the amount of different items being a large factor; it's not like they are all hard to get your hands on.

I do however not favor the scaling skill DC of lingering composition and threat wounds (I'm unsure how to best handle this skill). And I think lingering composition might instead simply be a flat check on dc 11 or 10 that you can reduce with certain class feats or features. But it's not gamebreakinig to me either, so if it stays the same way it's also completely okay with me.

I find peoples hatred of 10-2 so weird, and while I do agree the world shouldn't automatically scale with you, so does Paizo. It's clearly stated in the rules that the world doesn't arbitrarily scale, so all 10-2 really is, is a helpful tool. I do however want Paizo to make a more larger list of what level certain challenges would normally be, and I think they plan to do so in the final version.
(And yes there is the fear that adventuring designers will automatically scale the world to party level, but let's not assume that is the case before it actually happens; in DD they specifically did this to test the success rate of skills rather than follow their own rules)


Hythlodeus wrote:
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.
You realize, of course, we agree on this, right? that was my whole point

Sure, but you're trying to say people play those kinds of characters, and they don't. They never did that, not even in PF1, so I don't understand why you brought up what is basically a strawman, both in theory and in actual gameplay, because nobody is saying they play, or have played, those kinds of characters.


I think the only flawed characters I have played in PF1 which I do not have the tools to replicate are ones where I would have to be untrained in perception. But since perception and sense motive are now combined, I would have to make them naive in addition to inattentive.

I feel like characters in PF1 were *very* rarely defined by "I am bad at this skill" since there were so many skills, so all sorts of characters didn't know anything about nobility, or how to appraise, or how to play the bassoon, or how to bake a cake, or tell a convincing lie, or ride a horse, or juggle, or identify poisonous mushrooms, etc.

But, for example, in fiction a character who is a terrible cook is defined as much by "failing to complete basic tasks" as by "attempting things far beyond their skill and failing spectacularly". So even if your level 7, Int 10 fighter untrained in "cooking lore" might be able to boil water or make toast with their +3 modifier, you can still portray them as hapless in the kitchen with stuff like "we were running low on meat, so I substituted raisins for the beef in the stew... but it was a little sweet, so I had to add about 50 of those little orange peppers to balance it out...enjoy!" One of the defining characteristics of people who are wholly incompetent about something is that they vastly overestimate their ability to do it.


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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.

...

right here, Darksol. while I agree it is possible, it feels, looks and reads wrong and is the most inelegant solution a RPG system can provide.

(why on Earth my response to that post shows up as being postet right bfore that post, only the Gods of Forum Software will understand, though)


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MaxAstro wrote:


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.

I think you're missing the point. When I say that the +1/level mechanic is a lazy version that doesn't necessarily mean it's completely useless. It does exactly what you're describing here.

However what I am stating is that the other systems I listed can accomplish the same thing. For example, a Goblin from level 1 in current PF2e can only hit a level 10 fighter on a natural 20 because anything less just won't cut it. But why does the separation have to be level? Why can't something as simple as the Goblin being simply trained in his Dogslicer determine his chances at hitting a fighter who is Master/Legendary in the use of his armor.

Instead of factors actually driven by player choice, it's largely driven by just level. As a player I want to be in control of those things. Sure, a high level Wizard might be experienced in combat. But what if in game my character has largely avoided any melee confrontations. He's just miraculously better at avoiding attacks in a melee now despite having avoided it consistently over his career?

These are the holes in this system, you as a player can't make logical decisions about what experience has actually improved your character or not. And while it's often fun to feel like epic heroes it's also fun to actually choose what your character is epic at. Instead the current system will present scenarios where suddenly the level 10 Paladin in half-plate is able to sneak up on a group of goblins simply because he has +10 from level to his stealth compared to their +1 from level, even if you consider potential penalties and a lack of proficiency.

For example, a Goblin Commando has +1 perception. Meanwhile, the Paladin in half plate is going to have at worst a +5 to stealth (assuming non-magical and non high-quality armor as well as untrained in the skill, this will be lower with magical/higher quality). This means to beat passive perception the Paladin need only roll a 6 without having done anything in character to advance that skill. That just feels strange to me.

Now swap that Paladin in Half-Plate out with a wizard. Instead of the measely +5 (due to the -4 from his armor), and likely slightly higher dex he's probably gonna have a +8 or more, bringing that check down to rolling a 3 or higher. Doesn't matter that the Wizard is loud and obnoxious and doesn't know how to sneak his way out of a paper bag at night; he's somehow better at sneaking simply because he's of higher level. And the player has pretty much no say in that outside of willingly failing.


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Well, what I mean is if you have a high stat in something you can flavor that thing in a way that colors both what you're so good at and what you struggle with.

So a high con character who is sickly might have been coughing up blood for the last 25 years but nevertheless they will. not. die. As uncomfortable as they might be, they manage to slog through things that would kill most people. Perhaps they are just inured to suffering and pay it no mind most of the time.

A high dex character who is clumsy might have poor equilibrium and subsequently fall down a lot, but has tremendous manual dexterity and reflexes (possibly honed by how dangerous they find stairs to be.)

A high wis character who is inattentive may be so preoccupied with pondering the deeper mysteries of the world that they regularly do not notice what's going on around them. Someone who might seem like "they are never paying attention" but nevertheless is someone who can readily supply staggeringly insightful observations on the situation when pressed.

And so forth. If we accept that a high charisma person could be a tremendous musical talent, but also kind of an unpleasant person to be around (real life suggests many examples of this) then I do not see why any of the above are contradictions.


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Emn1ty wrote:
Snip

I feel at that point you really don't want a level system at all. Afterall gaining HP is arbitrary, gaining BAB is arbitrary and so is saves. You should just get xp points that you spend on improving what you want. Which to be fair plenty of games do.

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Mathmuse wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like fractional math is a non-starter for the actual product (though it's fine for a house rule) since one of the reasons we added +Level to begin with was that it was a lot easier and cleaner than +Level to some things +3Level/4 to others, +Level/2 to some things, and +Level/3 to those other things.

Like are people really going to enjoy figuring out which numbers to increment when they level up, instead of just incrementing all of them?

They will look it up in a table, PROFICENCY BONUS BY LEVEL. The character sheet will have a line to record all the five kinds of proficiency bonus by rank, and then the player will use that line to alter individual skill entries. Erasing and changing some skill bonus numbers will be physically easier than changing them all.

The Pathfinder Playtest already has plenty of similar tables. My wizard leveled up to 7th level. Let me check TABLE 3–21: WIZARD ADVANCEMENT on page 136. He gets 4th-level spells, general feat, skill increase. Let me check TABLE 3–22: WIZARD SPELLS PER DAY. He can cast 2 4th-level spells a day. Let me check TABLE 5–1: GENERAL FEATS on page 160-162. ...

Pathfinder 1st Edition has full, 3/4, and 1/2 progressions for BAB, 1/2 and 1/3 progression for saving throws, 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/3 minus 4 progression for spell levels, 1/4 progression for attribute boosts and several class features, 1/5 progression for multiple attacks by BAB. Those were not showstoppers for that edition.

Agreed, I’ve encountered zero players over the better half of two decades who found these 3x tables outlining fractional advancement the least bit disconcerting. A finger and an eye are all that is required. The drive to do away with them altogether is conceptual - the tidiness of +1/ level to everything in the Playtest looks great when presented as a unifying system; too bad its homogenizing influence makes play feel distinctly different from what preceded it.

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Emn1ty wrote:
However what I am stating is that the other systems I listed can accomplish the same thing. For example, a Goblin from level 1 in current PF2e can only hit a level 10 fighter on a natural 20 because anything less just won't cut it. But why does the separation have to be level? Why can't something as simple as the Goblin being simply trained in his Dogslicer determine his chances at hitting a fighter who is Master/Legendary in the use of his armor.

It could very simply be that, but it would shift the style of heroic fantasy that the system simulates. Pathfinder, both 1st and 2nd edition, largely defaults to the idea that a 10th-level fighter can wade through a small army of 1st-level goblins without having to worry about anything more than some minor cuts and bruises.

By contrast, D&D and similar systems presents a world where high-level PCs have similar capabilities to their Pathfinder counterparts but are still vulnerable to large numbers of low-level creatures.

Both styles have their merits, and it's up to the designers to figure out which style the game's audience wants more.

The good news, from my perspective, is that the game seems to work fairly well if you do want to strip +level out of it. There are a few knock-on effects, such as the crit system not functioning in quite the same way, but for the most part the game would still hold together under this paradigm. (My guess is that removing +level and changing crits to +/-5 instead of +/-10 would probably work pretty well.)

Quote:
For example, a Goblin Commando has +1 perception. Meanwhile, the Paladin in half plate is going to have at worst a +5 to stealth (assuming non-magical and non high-quality armor as well as untrained in the skill, this will be lower with magical/higher quality). This means to beat passive perception the Paladin need only roll a 6 without having done anything in character to advance that skill. That just feels strange to me.

The way I view the current skill system is that all the skills reflect things you typically face over the course of an adventuring career. While you might see it as unrealistic that a high-level paladin who hasn't actively tried to advance his stealth skill can still sneak, I see it as unrealistic that somebody who has dealt with regular ambushes and dungeon perils for a good portion of his life didn't learn a thing or two about sneaking somewhere along the way.

There's not really a right or wrong answer there, but rather a difference in taste and preferred style. Fortunately, the +1/level thing is possibly the easiest dial in the game to adjust. You could scale it back to +1/2 per level, rip it out entirely, or even make it +2/level (if you want high-level character to be straight-up demigods) without having to do a lot of work in other areas of the game.

(Also, I think one of the general surveys asked specifically about opinions on +1/level, so I highly recommend folks completing that survey if they haven't done so already.)

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Apparently spending a few weeks fighting monsters makes you better at stuff you've never tried before than people who have spent their entire lives studying that same stuff, but with no monster killing. A new wizard who has spent his entire life to this point absorbing as much arcane knowledge as exists has probably a +5 Arcana, which means a barbarian who has spent his entire adult life at war and has never even really had the inclination to crack a book without pictures in it has somehow, through osmosis, by 6th level, absorbed more arcane lore. The barbarian apparently learned all this while slaughtering orc lairs and so forth. And sure, we can justify this for individual cases - but this is true for every skill, that it's not just possible to go from novice to really good in weeks, but absolutely required in every skill's untrained uses. The wizard by 6th level has somehow picked up more about repairing weapons than a youth who's been a blacksmith's apprentice for years. And the wizard has no choice in the matter. And yes, the trained people have a greater breadth of what they can do with their skill, but you shouldn't get better at even the untrained stuff than a lower level character with justified expertise.

In PF1e you could become an instant expert in skills without justification. In PF2e you must. Combine this with scaling DCs and you have a situation where characters aren't allowed to be either good or bad at anything - you must always trounce lower level tasks while struggling against equal/higher level ones, no matter what your concept says you should be good at. Welcome to mediocrity for everyone.

Never mind the fact that since Recall Knowledge is untrained, any random tavern with 20 people in it knows pretty much everything that it is possible to know. Somebody in there will roll a 20 and autosucceed.


Malk_Content wrote:
Emn1ty wrote:
Snip
I feel at that point you really don't want a level system at all. Afterall gaining HP is arbitrary, gaining BAB is arbitrary and so is saves. You should just get xp points that you spend on improving what you want. Which to be fair plenty of games do.

I find that the majority of RPGs do the "you only increase the specific things you choose to increase by spending whatever experience-based currency on" thing. Having characters "level up" with a package of things which aren't hyper-targeted is one of the appeals of a game like this.

Like in Exalted they shame you in the rulebook if you spend 100% of your character building resources on "being an unbeatable swordsperson" but there's nothing else preventing you from doing it beyond peer pressure.

But one of the problems with a system like PF1 is that leveling might be a chore (especially if you have to do it at the beginning or during a session) since you have to pick so many different things. Reducing that number is sensible and the first thing I would personally get rid of is "assign a bunch of skill ranks every level." I personally really like the 13th Age model of "your modifier for skill checks is: Ability Modifier + Highest Applicable Background + Level" since it means you don't have to ever enumerate skills or figure out what skill bin a task fits in (e.g. I have to perform minor surgery on an Owlbear...Medicine, Arcana, Handle Animal, or Nature?)

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ryric wrote:
Never mind the fact that since Recall Knowledge is untrained, any random tavern with 20 people in it knows pretty much everything that it is possible to know. Somebody in there will roll a 20 and autosucceed.

Yeah, but most of them will crit-fail. So if you survey a tavern for rumors of where the lich hid its phylactery, you'll probably get 15 pieces of conflicting information, and only one of those will have a grain of truth in them.


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Despite posting 2.5% of the comments in this thread, I have not yet discussed Mekkis' original issue, is +1/level only a symptom of an underlying problem? My opinion is, yes, but I would say underlying design rather than underlying problem. The design is not necessarily a problem. Rather the design has problems. It is only in the playtest stage so problems are to be expected. However, the developers need to understand how the underlying design gives rise to these problems to most effectively fix the problems.

Let me start with Mekkis' standard from My Pathfinder 2e Litmus test:

Does the system provide clear and meaningful advancement to a PC as it advances in levels?

1) Advancement - +1 per level is a large increase in power. If a character has a 12/20 chance of hitting, +1 to weapon proficiency makes that 13/20. It also increases critical hits from 2/20 to 3/20. Overall, that is a 14% improvement in offense. The +1 to AC and saving throws gives a similiar improvement in defense. The improvement in skills and perception is harder to judge mathematically, since I would have to analyze typical scenerios that use each individual skill and average the results together, so let's put the ballpark figure at just 5% (critical successes at skills are usually unimportant). (1.14)(1.14)(1.05) = 1.36, a 36% improvement. That is a lot of improvement, 88% of the total improvement that one level-up is supposed to give.

2) Clear - +1 per level is the ultimate in clear improvement. The only thing simpler would be no improvement, which would not count as advancement. It prevents many forms of time-consuming bookkeeping, which the PF1 skill point system has in abundance. It eliminates problems about certain skills being better than other skills (compare Athletics versus Occultism).

3) Meaningful - "Meaningful" has many meanings. Mekkis likely mean that the advancement has to add to the character as played. +1 to lockpicking is not meaningful to the typical wizard. +1 to everything means +1 to everything meaningful to the character, so the improvement will be meaningful. That covers most interpretations of meaningful, except for the specific case of meaningful to character concept.

Imagine that Paizo publishes the final version of Pathfinder 2nd Edition in August 2019 and we see that at 9th level, the fighter gains primal spellcasting with access to a few 5th-level primal spells. We players would be in an uproar, "Fighters are not a caster class!" That is what "meaningful to character concept" means. Some of the people who are currently arguing, "You can just roleplay your character as bad in the skills where he has gigantic unwanted proficiency," would say, "The fighter can just ignore those spells and never use them. Then it will be the same as before." Sorry, that would be just a personal houserule. Fighter would still have become a spellcaster class.

However, numbers don't carry much story meaning. If I say, " H. M. Woggle-Bug has +5 in Intelligence," my players would have to rely on their Pathfinder and D&D experience to make sense of that and they will mostly judge that information for its mechanics, like, "Hm, he probably has bonus languages, so no speaking Elvish for secret communication." It lacks the impact of, " H. M. Woggle-Bug won the chess championship in Korvosa seven years running," even though chess has little relevance to the gameplay. The 20th-level character is still going around calling himself "Untrained," and that carries as much story meaning as the number.

Thus, +1 per level passes the litmus test: clear and meaningful advancement.

What fails the litmus test is the so-called tight math.

To call tight math a problem would be a base exaggeration. It is a design decision that solves some problems. Jason Buhlman explained in a video that PF1 players have piled together small bonuses into gigantic bonuses beyond what the gameplay can handle. Thus, the bonuses need to be more tightly controlled. I would have strongly preferred other solutions.

+1 per level closely relates to the tight math. One way to achieve tight math is to give seldom give bonuses. Some people in these forums have said that D&D 5th Edition uses that method, but I have never played D&D 5th Edition, so I do not know the accuracy of that statement. That would be a disappointing solution. Instead, Pathfinder 2nd Edition gives predictable bonuses. That way the PCs can have large bonuses but the game design can predict them and make sure the gameplay can handle them. The +1 per level is the developers' way of making the bonuses predictable.

For example, in comment #109 Edge93 gave an example of a bard with Performance bonus +35 (20 level, 3 legendary, 7 stat, 5 item). The breakdown is:
57% (20/35) from the +1 per level.
20% (7/35) from routine optimization of primary stat
23% (8/35) from meaningful player choices in skill improvement and purchases.

Over half of the character's improvement in the character's most important ability is outside the player's control. Only 23% of it is under the player's meaningful control, i.e., further control would be only by self-sabotage. And this is in Pathfinder, a game whose greatest features are customization and storytelling.

The fighter in Pathfinder 1st Edition has the same problem, because its most important ability is its BAB, base attack bonus, which also gains most of its value from level and stat. The big complaint about the fighter is how the class is locked into one narrow role, combat alone, due to this design. Fortunately, +1 to everything applies to everything, so PF2 won't be as limited as that. But I worry that it might make everything feel like fighter combat: "I miss and try again, hit and try again, miss and try again--no, this is not combat, I am playing my lute for a tough audience."


So help me understand something. Every single edition of this game leading up to Pathfinder since thac0 was no longer a thing has had the fighter add 1 to his rolls to hit every single level. With the same equipment a level 20 fighter will hit things on a 2 that a level 1 fighter will only hit on a 20 in 3rd edition, 3.5, and PF1. We can even trace this back to 1st edition even though the thac0 chart ends at "17+", as a first level fighter hits AC 0 on a 20 and a 17th level fighter needs a 4; thac0 being basically 20-BAB.

Why are we suddenly wanting to do away with this?

I personally want my high level fighter's ability to hit things to be much greater than the same character at low level. If BAB, and hence +Level, is fine for accuracy why are we making the argument about +Level instead of "what, specifically, it is added to."


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Malk_Content wrote:
Emn1ty wrote:
Snip
I feel at that point you really don't want a level system at all. Afterall gaining HP is arbitrary, gaining BAB is arbitrary and so is saves. You should just get xp points that you spend on improving what you want. Which to be fair plenty of games do.

If we assume level represents overall effectiveness, which I believe it does, then it can be said that we can represent this level of effectiveness in more ways than just "+1 to everything". It's honestly quite a lazy design approach to making characters stronger. It is essentially saying, "I don't know how to make characters stronger except by increasing their chance to succeed at everything they do by 5%".

Furthermore, certain things ARE reasonably increased with an increase in level, while others aren't.

A character at level 10, for example, would have a REALLY bad time if they had the same HP they had at level 1. Therefore, HP is a reasonable thing to increase on a level up basis.

Adventurers fight a lot, therefore bonuses to their fighting abilities are a reasonable thing to increase when they level. What that increase is and where it applies should be different for different classes, but it should increase, nevertheless.

On the other side, I don't think that a fighter, who devotes all of his time and practice towards navigating dungeons and killing monsters, should be any better at identifying spells that he hasn't seen before.

A wizard who spends all of his time learning new spells and blasting monsters probably doesn't know how to temper a blade in a forge AT ALL, let along any better than he did a level ago (unless he is researching a spell to do that, of course).

A barbarian who loves to rush in blindly and murder everything to death, and thinks stealth is for wussies, probably isn't going to get any better at sneaking. I mean, he DEFINITELY isn't going to waste any of his time learning from the rogue how to walk more quietly. It's also quite likely that once the situation DOES come up where the barbarian meets an enemy that makes him wet his pants, he probably isn't going to be very good at sneaking around it. (Though, if he survives, he will probably book some lessons with the rogue afterward.)

A paladin who absolutely refuses to lie isn't going to get any better at lying, because he isn't going to practice. While he might deal with liars a lot, that doesn't make him better at lying. If that were true, EVERY old person would be an expert liar.

Then there is the obvious situation where a character NEVER got a chance to use a skill or even witness someone else using a particular skill in a given level. Why does something that you haven't used, let alone witnessed anyone using, improve when you level.

For example, in a desert campaign, where the only bodies of water are small oasis, unless you specifically ask to go swim in the oasis (in other words, put ranks in Swim) you aren't going to be better at swimming. When the PCs finally get that quest that sends then across the sea at level 15, they aren't going to be magically good at swimming in stormy seas.

What a good level up system does is increase the things that absolutely need to be increased, while granting some optional increases for things that the player wants.

Most systems that let you spend XP to purchase upgrades for your character are also classless systems and usually EXTREMELY complicated. (Like 3.5 is EASY comparatively.) And while I have not played many such systems, if they have a concept of Hit Points similar to PF, I doubt that that is something that is solely determined based on how many times you have purchased the "extra HP" upgrade.


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ryric said wrote:

Apparently spending a few weeks fighting monsters makes you better at stuff you've never tried before than people who have spent their entire lives studying that same stuff, but with no monster killing. A new wizard who has spent his entire life to this point absorbing as much arcane knowledge as exists has probably a +5 Arcana, which means a barbarian who has spent his entire adult life at war and has never even really had the inclination to crack a book without pictures in it has somehow, through osmosis, by 6th level, absorbed more arcane lore. The barbarian apparently learned all this while slaughtering orc lairs and so forth. And sure, we can justify this for individual cases - but this is true for every skill, that it's not just possible to go from novice to really good in weeks, but absolutely required in every skill's untrained uses. The wizard by 6th level has somehow picked up more about repairing weapons than a youth who's been a blacksmith's apprentice for years. And the wizard has no choice in the matter. And yes, the trained people have a greater breadth of what they can do with their skill, but you shouldn't get better at even the untrained stuff than a lower level character with justified expertise.

In PF1e you could become an instant expert in skills without justification. In PF2e you must. Combine this with scaling DCs and you have a situation where characters aren't allowed to be either good or bad at anything - you must always trounce lower level tasks while struggling against equal/higher level ones, no matter what your concept says you should be good at. Welcome to mediocrity for everyone.

Never mind the fact that since Recall Knowledge is untrained, any random tavern with 20 people in it knows pretty much everything that it is possible to know. Somebody in there will roll a 20 and autosucceed.

Well that is the issue with level overall. You spend several years studying magic or training your fighting skill to reach level 1 capabilities and depending on how quickly you level you could be way behind years of training in a few weeks. This isn't a flaw specific to +1/level but rather to a system with levels overall (at least if levels aren't limited to once a month or year etc).

The barbarian unless trained in arcana (and if so why should he be punished) is -4 compared to wizard (before int modifiers or items) and all he can do is recall various knowledge on subjects, he can't learn/identify spells, read magic text etc. So the biggest flaw is the amount he has become better (in all areas, fighting included) in a short time. I still wouldn't trust the barbarian to know obscure and strong monsters weaknesses with certitude, but low level enemies sure.

But to me it seems that what you are actually saying doesn't make sense is levels rather than the proficiency bonus. Finally in my view, a lot of the mechanical aspects doesn't have to make a lot of sense, a lot of it doesn't (how could you ever justify hp), and in a "realistic" world levels would never be a thing. But Pathfinder is a system that uses levels, so you have to view anything according to that framework; and if you by fighting monsters for a few weeks magical get years worth of training in combat, spellcasting etc I don't see why you wouldn't also get better at various other tasks.
If the campaigns lasted longer with more downtime thinks would start to make more sense, but that is not always a fun way to play the game.

And maybe you don't view a difference in skills modifiers of 8-10 to be a big deal, but that is close to the difference between succeeding and critical succeeding or failing and critical failing and could often be the difference in actual gameplay between two characters. I don't like that in PF1 the difference between skills at first level could easily be 10-15 and by the later levels 40+. Of course there are certain things only the trained/expert or better should only be able to do successfully and that is why there is proficiency gates.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So help me understand something. Every single edition of this game leading up to Pathfinder since thac0 was no longer a thing has had the fighter add 1 to his rolls to hit every single level. With the same equipment a level 20 fighter will hit things on a 2 that a level 1 fighter will only hit on a 20 in 3rd edition, 3.5, and PF1.

Why are we suddenly wanting to do away with this?

That's a strawman, and you know it.

It makes perfect sense for a class that's main shtick is fighting to get better at fighting. Especially given that the main method of gaining XP is by killing stuff.

In every edition leading up to Pathfinder, Skills have NOT increased this way. (BTW, most people here jumped ship on 4e, and the way skills were handled was a contributing reason as to why for many.) Why start now?

Sure, tweak the system in PF1. Heck, I even LIKE the idea of proficiency tiers. Just don't make a skill automatically progress regardless of how much it is used or how important it is to a character.


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Edge93 wrote:
As for Lingering Performance potentially not using a performance-based Perform check, frankly that's a little silly. Especially given that Bards can substitute Verbal Casting for Material Casting by playing their instrument. (P196)

Here's the thing: Using Perform for Performance is one thing. The issue is when the items (again, literally every item that grants a bonus and does not use both hands to use) grants a bonus to "Perform checks made to [Specific Performances Here]." So, is Lingering Composition "acting, orating, performing comedy, or singing"? Some GMs may say yes... but just as easily some GMs may say no, in which case again, your only options are items that take up both hands. So for one, possibly very small, subset sure you can reach that absolute maximum score and it's technically possible. The issue remains though, how many are going to be guaranteed access to that maximum bonus and be able to use it when they need it?

Edge93 wrote:
And really all of this is one of those things that we can safely expect to be cleaned up in the CRB. With the math expecting you to have certain items at certain levels (Whether or not that's good is an ENTIRELY other discussion), there's no way we won't have +1-+5 items for every skill.

To be totally honest though, this is the crux of my issue: The game, IMO, shouldn't expect you to have these items (and otherwise be absolutely min-maxed to the extreme for that matter) to be able to reliably use a class feature/feat. Especially not a level 1 class feature/feat.


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Shinigami02 wrote:


To be totally honest though, this is the crux of my issue: The game, IMO, shouldn't expect you to have these items (and otherwise be absolutely min-maxed to the extreme for that matter) to be able to reliably use a class feature/feat. Especially not a level 1 class feature/feat.

I agree with you here. All it takes is a GM that wants magic items to have to be found in dungeons/given as rewards as opposed to purchased at "Ye Olde Magic Mart" to forget that you need a +X item to use your class ability reasonably effectively and your character just has to suck until the GM finds an excuse to give you your item.

Sometimes, the GM doesn't even notice.

There is also the issue that Bards tend to be a bit Gishy, and thus they likely won't have a 24 CHA at level 20.


thflame wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So help me understand something. Every single edition of this game leading up to Pathfinder since thac0 was no longer a thing has had the fighter add 1 to his rolls to hit every single level. With the same equipment a level 20 fighter will hit things on a 2 that a level 1 fighter will only hit on a 20 in 3rd edition, 3.5, and PF1.

Why are we suddenly wanting to do away with this?

That's a strawman, and you know it.

It makes perfect sense for a class that's main shtick is fighting to get better at fighting. Especially given that the main method of gaining XP is by killing stuff.

In every edition leading up to Pathfinder, Skills have NOT increased this way. (BTW, most people here jumped ship on 4e, and the way skills were handled was a contributing reason as to why for many.) Why start now?

Sure, tweak the system in PF1. Heck, I even LIKE the idea of proficiency tiers. Just don't make a skill automatically progress regardless of how much it is used or how important it is to a character.

It's not a strawman, there are people on these boards who are seriously house ruling adding +Level to anything at all, which would mean that if you gave the same longsword to a level 1 fighter and a level 20 fighter the only difference in "how good they are with it" would be +2 and whatever the difference in StrMod is. I do not understand this mindset, this seems like a huge change compared to how certain things incremented in previous editions.

So if the issue is skills (since saves and DCs, which are opposed, go up by the same amount, that should be NBD), why is the complaint phrased as +Level? I read "+Level is a problem" and read this as also implying that BAB is a problem, which is just strange to me, since nobody seemed to have a problem with BAB in previous editions.

Also, since 3e added skill ranks, I have always incremented the skills I care about by 1 point per level. Rangers with Stealth, Monks with Acrobatics, Wizards with spellcraft, etc. So the only thing that's really changing is "you are better at the stuff you haven't invested in" which doesn't really seem like a "problem" so much as "a matter of taste."

So I am as good (with fewer things to add to it, so probably less good all things considered) as I was at what I am best at and slightly better than I was at the rest of the stuff. I don't see how this isn't a really minor issue.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
So if the issue is skills (since saves and DCs, which are opposed, go up by the same amount, that should be NBD), why is the complaint phrased as +Level? I read "+Level is a problem" and read this as also implying that BAB is a problem, which is just strange to me, since nobody seemed to have a problem with BAB in previous editions.

This statement is a blunt confession that you don't grasp the point other are making. If you can't see the distinction, you are completely incapable of making constructive comments on the topic.

It is fine if you love it this way. But you can't reasonably expect to ignore the views of others and this statement either states that you are fully blind to those views or, at best, you simply refuse to entertain them. But either way, your simplistic view is absurd to the point of laughable to many people.

Quote:
Also, since 3e added skill ranks, I have always incremented the skills I care about by 1 point per level. Rangers with Stealth, Monks with Acrobatics, Wizards with spellcraft, etc. So the only thing that's really changing is "you are better at the stuff you haven't invested in" which doesn't really seem like a "problem" so much as "a matter of taste."

Well, this is a game that is planned to be sold to people. So everything is about taste. And if somebody makes a game in which a huge chunk of the marketplace shrugs and moves on because the games fails to deliver to their taste, then *that* is a problem.

And, it is a problem. It is a huge problem which at this point is beyond solving.


I agree that there are two different problems that are phrased as "+Level", one, the most severe one, imo, is the +Level to skills, the other one is the lack of variety that occurs when every class progresses at the exact same rate in saves and BAB.
If PF2 had only the latter problem (and no others, like the monster building rules for examples), while it wouldn't be ideal, I could actually live with it. sure, it would still feel boring, I guess, but bundled with the first problem, the +Level to skills, it is where PF2 becomes very ugly and unenjoyable.


Very certain people keep repeating "lack of variety" but it's manifestly not true. In all my Doomsday Dawn sessions, no character was remotely similar to one another, even when we had 4 clerics. Not the same feats, not the same stats, not the same skills - nothing.

If your definition of "lack of variety" is "I can't have +50 to one skill while having +0 to another, in a party where everyone hovers around +20", then honestly, lack of variety is a good thing.


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Cyouni wrote:

Very certain people keep repeating "lack of variety" but it's manifestly not true. In all my Doomsday Dawn sessions, no character was remotely similar to one another, even when we had 4 clerics. Not the same feats, not the same stats, not the same skills - nothing.

If your definition of "lack of variety" is "I can't have +50 to one skill while having +0 to another, in a party where everyone hovers around +20", then honestly, lack of variety is a good thing.

That's a false dichotomy.

Just because we want our choices to matter more than our level, doesn't mean we want +0/+50.

I'll be the first to admit that Skill modifiers got insane in PF1. Many of the feats/class abilities that lead to this needed to be taken out behind the barn and shot. (Though +50 was usually overkill and only really seen in theory crafting.)

What I want is a more realistic Skill spread for characters. Stuff you don't practice and use is very low and stuff you try to specialize in is very high.

I think it should be entirely possible, and highly likely, for a level 1 wizard to know something about general magical knowledge that a level 20 fighter never learned, because the fighter never decided to waste time reading the Magic 101 text book.

If a high level fighter DOES know something about magic that the wizard doesn't, it should be because the PLAYER saw it happen in a session, it's part of their backstory, or the fighter decided to invest in learning about magic.


thflame said wrote:

That's a false dichotomy.

Just because we want our choices to matter more than our level, doesn't mean we want +0/+50.

I'll be the first to admit that Skill modifiers got insane in PF1. Many of the feats/class abilities that lead to this needed to be taken out behind the barn and shot. (Though +50 was usually overkill and only really seen in theory crafting.)

What I want is a more realistic Skill spread for characters. Stuff you don't practice and use is very low and stuff you try to specialize in is very high.

I think it should be entirely possible, and highly likely, for a level 1 wizard to know something about general magical knowledge that a level 20 fighter never learned, because the fighter never decided to waste time reading the Magic 101 text book.

If a high level fighter DOES know something about magic that the wizard doesn't, it should be because the PLAYER saw it happen in a session, it's part of their backstory, or the fighter decided to invest in learning about magic.

The issue is that the second you start decoupling skills from proficiency if you don't rein in the achievable modifier suddenly certain skill uses would be incredible overpowered. And to be honest it just seems needlessly complicated.

Regarding your specific example, there is a lot of things the fighter doesn't know (unless he is trained in arcana), he can't identify spells being cast or read them etc. And yes his knowledge of various arcana related monsters, events etc far surpasses the wizard, however he is also capable of fighting demigods, so maybe that is alright.

If it really destroys the "realism" or whatever you could call it, houserulling +1/level away from untrained skills is quite easy and might not have the biggest impact, except ensuring from midlevels and on any skill that is untrained is unusable in most scenarios. (I find it better that most characters aren't immediately sidelined the second a certain skill is useful as is often the case in PF1)
If the problem is that you can never get near the same auto-success situations as you could in PF1 then I'm not sure what to say to that. With the new crit-system that likely do some very broken things if you could so you would have to change that as well.
As for PF1 several skills could easily be broken (without GM intervention) by the specialist while the rest of the party had no real chance of every succeeding (I don't find that especially fun in play).

If your concern is that level as a factor is hard to mitigate you can always reduce the +1/level to 1/2 or something to reduce this factor, and for the most part it would actually work quite similar, except expanding to which extend things challenge you or are challenge by you. But I don't think it undermines your choices, since the difference between equals will always be the choices.


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Nettah wrote:
I find peoples hatred of 10-2 so weird, and while I do agree the world shouldn't automatically scale with you, so does Paizo. It's clearly stated in the rules that the world doesn't arbitrarily scale, so all 10-2 really is, is a helpful tool. I do however want Paizo to make a more...

Although it's "clearly stated in the rules", both Doomsday Dawn and abilities like Lingering Performance clearly have DCs that directly use that scale.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
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?

Six months ago! It was pretty fun!


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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.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
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.

To some extent, but it heavily depends on the character and their build. If the only thing that matters is what level you are, it can feel very flat. If I'm building something from scratch, I consider what the characters are broadly capable of more than their level (which often comes into play, but is by no means the only thing).

(I am not saying PF2 feels flat or cannot be bent, merely touching on this particular topic. Related: some time back, I had players exploring and they ran into several somethings that were waaaaayyyyy too powerful for them. They learned, quickly, and fled... after one died. Or that other game where the PCs simply attempted too much and couldn't meet the DCs, as it was too tough, despite being broadly within the scope of characters of their level. Or that time when a low-level rube ended up in charge of a high-level assassins guild through slick diplomacy and low-grade magic buffs -> powerful skill checks. Both failures and successes eventually became powerful motivations for improvement and changed the course of the game. This is most certainly still possible, and doesn't actually tie into the "per level" presumptions, but is related to the concept of attempting and failing or succeeding at tasks of various levels beyond what is "ascribed.")

PossibleCabbage wrote:
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.)

This sounds awesome~! That sounds like a fantastic gaming experience to both run and play!


dmerceless wrote:
The reason I dislike +1/level is how quickly threats become non-threatening and challenges become non-challenging.

Was this also a problem in PF1, 3.5, 3e, etc?

Since my 18 Str 5th level fighter in PF1 adds +10 to their to-hit rolls with their martial weapon of choice (in PF2 I would add +10). My 16 Dex 5th level Monk adds +11 to their Stealth rolls (in PF2 I would add +9), etc. All of the numbers to me seem in keeping with previous editions, except for how the floor is higher and the ceiling is lower, and if you asked me like 4 years ago what I would like to be seen done with a new edition I would have said "higher floor, lower ceiling for the numbers."


PossibleCabbage wrote:
dmerceless wrote:
The reason I dislike +1/level is how quickly threats become non-threatening and challenges become non-challenging.

Was this also a problem in PF1, 3.5, 3e, etc?

Since my 18 Str 4th level fighter in PF1 adds +8 to their to-hit rolls (in PF2 I would add +9). My 16 Dex 5th level Monk adds +11 to their Stealth rolls (in PF2 I would add +9), etc. All of the numbers to me seem in keeping with previous editions, except for how the floor is higher and the ceiling is lower, and if you asked me like 4 years ago what I would like to be seen done with a new edition I would have said "higher floor, lower ceiling for the numbers."

Well, it definetly was. Actually, I hope I don't get killed by the Pathfinder mafia for saying this, but I really don't like Pathfinder 1 or 3.5. I came from other RPGs and I fell in love with PF2 since the beggining of the playtest. So... yeah, this happened in PF1 for sure, but I don't think it is a good thing just because it's legacy.

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