I finally understand the design goals of PF2


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Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Anguish wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
It's an illusion.

Thing is, it's really not.

Disclosure: I have long ago given up on trying to vote/influence the "monster/NPC stats as PC stats" argument on the basis that the overall power/math level eclipses every other concern/complaint/preference I have.

That said, the argument you make - while a decent one - ignores that what you describe is the exception. Yes, most monsters have several bonuses that exist to justify their uniqueness. But most stats on most monsters actually do follow the formula. None of us expect - or even want - zero deviation from PC stats. Adding a natural armor bonus or exception Strength score, or a saving throw doesn't change that the vast majority of the statblock is rational. That most of the monster is consistent, with hit dice influencing so much else, gives the feel of coherence. So while the occasional monster has two or three bonus feats, virtually every other one in the book will have precisely as many as it should, in the order they must, and that... is no illusion.

You seem to misunderstand what I'm saying:

It's not an illusion because the formula is never followed, it's an illusion because the formula is followed only when it results in the correct numbers for the CR. Whenever the formula is not sufficient to result in those numbers tweaks are made. Which means the formula and any reliance on it, is an illusion. It is always and completely subordinate to the CR math. The CR math is what is actually followed when the two come into conflict. Always. Making the HD based stuff an illusion (well, except for Skills...but that's because there are no CR guidelines for Skills, which is terrible).

And it seems clear that there will be at least as much consistency in PF2 as there is in PF1 (indeed, I suspect there will be more). It's tied into level rather than HD (since HD won't exist)...but I remain unconvinced that's a major issue in any way.

Not only is DMW correct here, but you don't always see some of the weird but less explicit side effects. It's easy to see the imp's save DC is a kludge because it states the +2 racial bonus. But the effects of a using a spreadsheet to sudoku numbers to rest where we want compared to the baselines from Bestiary Table 1-1 can sometimes be subtler than that, things you won't notice until you compare two monsters that you normally wouldn't compare, or unless you were one of the people doing a design pass on the monster.

For example: Between the CR 13 cetus and the CR 25 tarrasque, two enormous and strong beasties, who has higher Strength? Surprisingly, it's cetus, with 46 to the tarrasque's 41. There's not some sort of deeper meaning here about cetus's place in the world and why it can win a coil-wrestling match (opposed Strength check) with the tarrasque most of the time. It's just because it's colossal at a level significantly lower than most other colossal creatures, so to hit a reasonable accuracy with the -8 from colossal, it needs to have either a ton of HD or enormous Strength, and that many dragon HD would bloat out its saves and HP too much (it already only has 20 Con, pretty low, actually, to help keep those in line).

The racial bonus to non-skill creatures like imps and creatures that add a random stat to something in a feature aren't the norm (though they're still not at all uncommon), but those kind of decisions like in the cetus, sudokuing the constraints to arbitrarily set HD and ability scores hit the numbers, are absolutely the norm for PF1 monster design.

I do recognize that it can be hard to just hear this and accept it right away because it happened to me; Sean actually told me something very similar when I was at my first Paizocon as a fan (including the imp example) and I didn't quite internalize it or fully accept it until I actually designed a bestiary.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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While I am going to refer a number of posts here for moderation, I think this topic has run its course.

Monsters were never really designed like PCs. They may have had similar pieces, but the process for making them was never really the same. It always involved an ridiculous amount of pushing and pulling on an inflexible system to get it to create the creature you envisioned. We are just being a bit more honest about it now, giving you the tools to create a monster that fits your needs.

As for the OP of this thread. We do want to give tools to make the GMs life easier, to make it a cleaner path for them to tell the stories they have in their head. That statement does not counter the fact that the players are a part of that story. Their characters bring it to life and we want to ensure that is a part of the game too.

Now, I need to get back to the pit and hammer away at some new text for Chapter 1, in part to explain all of this.

This thread is locked.

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