While +1 / level is a great feature, it's not the only one


General Discussion


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I've liked how other games scaled your power to make things way below your level non-threats. AC scaling addresses that as well as answering the age old question of my youth, "How can I get my AC higher?" You've got armor, dex, rings... a feat here or there, but other than that it didn't really scale...

Please don't post your AC 50 fringe munchkin build and try to derail the thread.

...anyway, I like +1/level. Leveling feels meaningful every time. You get better at facing challenges. I can throw more exciting foes the players' way. Pipsqueak monsters don't stand a chance. Players feel big.

Also really enjoying exploring the new feat paths with fewer feat taxes and cool new archetyping systems.


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Indeed, flipping through books to find "what is that Ioun Stone that increases your AC" or "Oh, I've got that one already... is there something else I can buy that will stack with my stuff" so I can hit AC benchmarks was one of my absolute least favorite things in PF1. Accuracy increasing much faster than AC was one of reasons every game in the 3.x family eventually became rocket tag.

I like the archetype system, but I really do want old style archetypes wherein you are a different kind of [foo] that you put on from level 1 and wear thereafter back.


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I really like +1/level

Exo-Guardians

I've had fun with my 20 AC Redeemer telling off bad guys and tanking hits with dumb levels of HP for the level, I would have made it a dorf just to get even higher HP then MC to Barbarian so I can just sit there with what amounts to three stacking Toughness feats and tons of Con. I an't ever going to hit things but things will need to hit me if they want to attack my friends. Sadly, I'm testing some of my homebrews right now so we're working out of a Kitsune that get's their Charsima mod to spell points with which they could cast Dancing Lights doesn't break when you then add Cha to spell points again as part of Paladin or Sorc, turns out, it's not too bad, though I never get to hit things becasue no strength but I'm fine when all my hits are Glaive Crits (Sheylyn Redeemer)


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I like that it looked like they trying to make every level end up having a feat that you got to choose. I'd have been happier if all classes had a first level class feat, but the increase in number of feats was definitely a positive move. I like the idea of having the different types of feats to hopefully keep people from feeling like they should simply always get the most 'powerful' ones.

I like the increase of weapon traits, and making them more meaningful for different kinds of weapons and combat.

[My interpretation of the OP was talking about features in 2nd edition that are noteworthy, hopefully that was the intent.]


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The main feature of +1/lv is to easily create level difference and give the feel of strength comparisons. Everyone who goes on about level-equal challenges is missing out.

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

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My biggest complaint about +1/level so far is the fact that I wear out my eraser every time I level up.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Charlie Brooks wrote:
My biggest complaint about +1/level so far is the fact that I wear out my eraser every time I level up.

Paizo is planning on selling Golem shaped erasers, and sell the direct to the consumers. If they have a good supplier, they might be able to make lots of money on character sheet erasers.

Additionally, they can be used as Giant White Ooze miniatures.


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I like +1/level as well, as it at least on the surface makes it not terribly difficult for an enterprising GM to adjust that throughout the system and achieve a very different feel for the game. It reminds me a lot of 5e's bounded accuracy, and I bet if someone wanted a 5e-like experience where lower level monsters can still be used as a legitimate threat in greater numbers they could accomplish something at least similar.

Even if it requires changing too many numbers for one person, I don't doubt that at least someone will try their tweak and be able to share it for others to use. It'd at least be worth it to see the purists lose their s!&& at the sight of PF2 actually being houseruled into 5e.

Aside from that, it's number bloat you got out of PF1 anyways, just through the form of various feat taxes and inconsistent math like BAB. The point of it isn't to be "deep" since that's the job of feats (which are no longer being entirely eaten up to bloat those numbers PF1-style), the point of it is to let you style on goblins to feel like you got stronger.


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Loreguard wrote:

I like that it looked like they trying to make every level end up having a feat that you got to choose. I'd have been happier if all classes had a first level class feat, but the increase in number of feats was definitely a positive move. I like the idea of having the different types of feats to hopefully keep people from feeling like they should simply always get the most 'powerful' ones.

I like the increase of weapon traits, and making them more meaningful for different kinds of weapons and combat.

[My interpretation of the OP was talking about features in 2nd edition that are noteworthy, hopefully that was the intent.]

Very much agreed. I love Skill feats being their own thing, there were nice skill boosting feats in PF1 but they rarely won out against the competition of literally every other feat. Plus I think PF2 skill feats do a lot more interesting stuff than, say, Skill Focus.

And +1 to weapon traits, too. Not to mention adding weapon dice to actally keep a damage gap between heavy and light weapons instead of just making crit range straight king.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The slight disadvantages of +1 / level (Why is my Wizard getting continually better at throwing daggers at people at the same rate as a Fighter is?) are outweighed by advantages (easier encounter design, less wacky math, easy/moderate tasks can be reliably attempted by everybody and not just specialists, etc.)


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And in addition, you get the feeling that higher level chars can handle low level threats way better, which I call the Conan-Effect. I want my lvl10 PC to feel significantly more powerful than a bunch of lvl1 critters. That's were +1/lvl truly excels.


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Big agree! My biggest problem with 5E is that roll numbers remain similarish during levels, so expressing the high-level characters as extremely competent and veteran adventure heroes feels like a farce when I know they have non-negilable chances at failing low-level tasks (although outside of save-or-suck effects it's not as much of a combat issue due to HP/damage scaling). 2E solves this quite elegantly.


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Edge93 wrote:
And +1 to weapon traits, too. Not to mention adding weapon dice to actally keep a damage gap between heavy and light weapons instead of just making crit range straight king.

Weapon Traits are awesome, I just wish it was a bit easier to play with them some. I have some concepts *coughtotallynotinspiredbyAttackonTitancough* that would love to be able to stick Twin on a pair of Longswords for instance. Who knows, maybe that can be a future Fighter feat (or feat chain, but I hope they cut down the chaininess of feat scaling.)

Bit less sold on the +X = +XdY damage thing, great in theory but in practice does hurt some flavorful builds, but given this thread is about yays rather than nays I'll digress.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I will strongly agree that the biggest issue with +1/level is the damage it does to poor erasers. XD

I would actually be hugely in favor of Paizo decoupling it from proficiency and just flat saying "add your level to these checks". Then the character sheets can just be marked with "+L" or "+level" next to those checks, and you only bother to erase and rewrite the numbers that have changed other than the level increase.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:

I will strongly agree that the biggest issue with +1/level is the damage it does to poor erasers. XD

I would actually be hugely in favor of Paizo decoupling it from proficiency and just flat saying "add your level to these checks". Then the character sheets can just be marked with "+L" or "+level" next to those checks, and you only bother to erase and rewrite the numbers that have changed other than the level increase.

Agreed! I kept track of the biggest points of confusion for my players, and proficiency = RANK+level was a big one. Just adding level to everything and not muddling it with proficiency would be stellar.


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MaxAstro wrote:

I will strongly agree that the biggest issue with +1/level is the damage it does to poor erasers. XD

I would actually be hugely in favor of Paizo decoupling it from proficiency and just flat saying "add your level to these checks". Then the character sheets can just be marked with "+L" or "+level" next to those checks, and you only bother to erase and rewrite the numbers that have changed other than the level increase.

I noticed that in the forum discussions about proficiency, almost everyone, including people who love +1 per level to proficiency, then to call it level plus proficiency, as if proficiency were -4 for untrained, +0 for trained, +1 for expert, +2 for master, and +3 for legendary and level was separate. MaxAstro's suggestion fits how people appear to think about adding level to proficiency.

Cellion wrote:
Agreed! I kept track of the biggest points of confusion for my players, and proficiency = RANK+level was a big one. Just adding level to everything and not muddling it with proficiency would be stellar.

I would miss having some kind of voluntary bonus to skills. I played characters who took Skill Focus feats in PF1. But we could treat proficiency as a separate system that adds a condition bonus or penalty to skill checks.


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Mathmuse wrote:
I would miss having some kind of voluntary bonus to skills. I played characters who took Skill Focus feats in PF1. But we could treat proficiency as a separate system that adds a condition bonus or penalty to skill checks.

I feel like Skill Feats are generally a better way to do this since rather than give you a straight numerical bonus, they give you an advantage with a specific application of the skill which further defines, for example, how specifically you are good at diplomacy.

Skill feats in the playtest are generally too weak, I feel, but "you have a trick people without this feat can't do" makes me feel more "good at this skill" than "having a bigger number."


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Having just had to spend an afternoon revising one of my player's sheets to figure out why he had +14 Diplomacy at level 4 with low charisma (and finding mistakes), believe me, I won't miss ranks and tidbits.

All hail +1/lv.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
I would miss having some kind of voluntary bonus to skills. I played characters who took Skill Focus feats in PF1. But we could treat proficiency as a separate system that adds a condition bonus or penalty to skill checks.

I feel like Skill Feats are generally a better way to do this since rather than give you a straight numerical bonus, they give you an advantage with a specific application of the skill which further defines, for example, how specifically you are good at diplomacy.

Skill feats in the playtest are generally too weak, I feel, but "you have a trick people without this feat can't do" makes me feel more "good at this skill" than "having a bigger number."

I know, right? This has been my opinion on the skill feats and proficiency stuff, having different applications or changed applications for skills to differentiate noobs from pros is WAY more meaningful than having huge number gaps IMO.

Exo-Guardians

At one point the group I play with, being a bunch of engineers decided to write the formula out for later use (Programming it ;P )
B = S (L+R) + C + I
Moving that out to:
B = S + L + R + C + I
would not change much, makes it simple to read though.


MER-c wrote:

At one point the group I play with, being a bunch of engineers decided to write the formula out for later use (Programming it ;P )

B = S (L+R) + C + I
Moving that out to:
B = S + L + R + C + I
would not change much, makes it simple to read though.

S = (B - C - I) / (L + R)

XD


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Skill and general feats are a great way to separate all feat progression from focusing on combat capability. I really like this dynamic. I'm not worried about skill DCs (work in progress) or a lack of cool skill feats at this point. It's the playtest after all. We know this isn't all the content that will ultimately make it into the core. I agree, gated access to cool skill based abilities is more interesting than more +'s.

This thread is definitely cooler than the negative thread on +1/level, and everyone posting in it is awesome! ;)


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Well, generally speaking being positive about something feels better than either being negative about something or arguing over something, so that's only logical. :P

The negative thread serves an important purpose, which is to debate the cons of the system and hopefully suss out flaws. But it is very nice to be able to come to this thread and relax after that. :)


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Highly agreed.
Now I just need to muster the time and motivation to craft that thread I wanted to make for people to post their houserules. XP


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Edge93 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
I would miss having some kind of voluntary bonus to skills. I played characters who took Skill Focus feats in PF1. But we could treat proficiency as a separate system that adds a condition bonus or penalty to skill checks.

I feel like Skill Feats are generally a better way to do this since rather than give you a straight numerical bonus, they give you an advantage with a specific application of the skill which further defines, for example, how specifically you are good at diplomacy.

Skill feats in the playtest are generally too weak, I feel, but "you have a trick people without this feat can't do" makes me feel more "good at this skill" than "having a bigger number."

I know, right? This has been my opinion on the skill feats and proficiency stuff, having different applications or changed applications for skills to differentiate noobs from pros is WAY more meaningful than having huge number gaps IMO.

This discussion led me to idly speculate whether proficiency could be made into a subsystem of the feat system rather than its own major system. Okay, that sounds complicated, but the result is that proficiency is granted by feats, which seems simpler than the current system.

Basically, drop Skill Increases from character advancement. Skill increases are described on page 43 of the Playtest Rulebook in the Classes chapter. Replace them with Feat Proficiencies, which would be described on page 162 in the General Feats chapter, which is mostly about Skill Feats.

Quote:

Feat Proficiencies

Most skill feats have a skill as a trait. Others have the trait Varies, which serves as a skill trait for the skill selected in the body of the feat. A character with a feat with a skill trait is trained in that skill. A character of 3rd or higher level with two or more feats with the same skill trait is expert in that skill. A character of 7th or higher level with three or more feats with the same skill trait is master in that skill. A character of 15th or higher level with four or more feats with the same skill trait is legendary in that skill.

In the current rulebook, the tables on pages 160-162 sort the skill feats into skill categories, including Varying. The Feat Proficiency system would add those skill categories as a trait on the feats themselves.

Feat Proficiencies give the sense that the character gained more proficiency in the skill because he or she learned a new aspect about the skill. That is more flavorful than skill increases that operate without any context. They should also feel like getting something for free: the character selected the feat for the feat's uses and also gained the proficiency. We might change the thresholds for expert, master, and legendary to even levels, since skill feats are granted at even levels. Currently, the rogue gains a skill feat and a skill increase at every level: this would change to just a skill feat at every level, since the feat grants an automatic skill increase.

But we also have the training granted at character creation, which we need to work into the feat-proficiency system with a second paragraph. I invented the term "premium skill" to mean the skills trained at character creation.

Quote:

Feat Proficiencies, second paragraph

If the character gains a skill feat for a premium skill, then the skill is no longer premium. The character gains a premium feat, which is an additional skill feat for which he or she is qualified. The premium skill feat can be in another skill, but the skill must be non-premium.

I had considered leaving the premium in the skill and having it count as another feat toward a higher proficiency rank, but I want this system to emphasize that skill feats create skill proficiency, so premium skills become just a temporary placeholder for future skill feats. And this also means that extra premium skills from Intelligence bonus become extra premium feats, improving the value of Intelligence. The non-premium-skill requirement on other skills is to prevent the conversion of a lot of premium skills to premium feats by chaining across premium skills at 2nd level. If anyone has a more elegant solution to that problem, I would be glad to hear it.

I had considered other variants, such as having each feat grant a particular proficiency in which a 1st-level skill feat would grant trained proficiency and a 4th-level skill feat would grant expert proficiency, but it did not play well with the premium skills. I went for simplicity, instead.


Huh, this is a pretty interesting idea.


I'm actually into the idea. I've pitched replacing "item bonuses" with "skill bonuses." A cumulative +1 you get every time you take a skill feat for a skill. But I guess there's no reason why proficiency and skill feats need to be separate at that point?

However, it does make skills no longer run on the same engine as most other things, which might not be the best.

Exo-Guardians

Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm actually into the idea. I've pitched replacing "item bonuses" with "skill bonuses." A cumulative +1 you get every time you take a skill feat for a skill. But I guess there's no reason why proficiency and skill feats need to be separate at that point?

However, it does make skills no longer run on the same engine as most other things, which might not be the best.

They still do it's just that proficiency only goes up with feats rather than with a floating resource that sorta makes sense, but only if you tilt your head and close both eyes.

We already have feats that increase proficiency rank when you take them.
(The three save feats) so why not tie that to skill feats?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MER-c wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm actually into the idea. I've pitched replacing "item bonuses" with "skill bonuses." A cumulative +1 you get every time you take a skill feat for a skill. But I guess there's no reason why proficiency and skill feats need to be separate at that point?

However, it does make skills no longer run on the same engine as most other things, which might not be the best.

They still do it's just that proficiency only goes up with feats rather than with a floating resource that sorta makes sense, but only if you tilt your head and close both eyes.

We already have feats that increase proficiency rank when you take them.
(The three save feats) so why not tie that to skill feats?

General Feats being able to bump Skill Proficiency to certain levels seems like a no-brainier and a good idea. For balance sake I'd probably have it lag behind the level up gates a bit (such that you couldn't say get an extra Legendary straight away at lvl 15.)

Exo-Guardians

Some ancestry feats even grant scaling ranks, Gnome's Obsessive for example gives out and extra Lore skill that goes up over time at the right levels. But yeah level gating skill increases via feats would be needed.


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I am a huge fan of the unified proficiency mechanic. It works for everything the same and is easy to use.

I really like Lvl bonus to AC since it helps keep everything more balanced. I would prefer +1/2 levels since I think that would match the PF1 power scaling better due to the new crit system making each +1 more valuable but +1/level sure is easy which is a plus.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm actually into the idea. I've pitched replacing "item bonuses" with "skill bonuses." A cumulative +1 you get every time you take a skill feat for a skill. But I guess there's no reason why proficiency and skill feats need to be separate at that point?

However, it does make skills no longer run on the same engine as most other things, which might not be the best.

I really like this idea, actually. It removes the potential issue of not having the item for your particular skill available and requiring particular skill items, and the idea that you get better at the overall skill as you refine your talents within that skill makes a lot of sense. It's also another place the player can feel like their choices matter above the +1/;level. (I don't mind +1/level personally, but I can see why some people do.)

The only issue I can see is that not all skills have an equivalent number of feats, which is pretty easily dealt with just by making more of them.

Exo-Guardians

Meraki wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm actually into the idea. I've pitched replacing "item bonuses" with "skill bonuses." A cumulative +1 you get every time you take a skill feat for a skill. But I guess there's no reason why proficiency and skill feats need to be separate at that point?

However, it does make skills no longer run on the same engine as most other things, which might not be the best.

I really like this idea, actually. It removes the potential issue of not having the item for your particular skill available and requiring particular skill items, and the idea that you get better at the overall skill as you refine your talents within that skill makes a lot of sense.

The only issue I can see is that not all skills have an equivalent number of feats, which is pretty easily dealt with just by making more of them.

One of the few times moar feats are in fact the answer. :)


Meraki wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm actually into the idea. I've pitched replacing "item bonuses" with "skill bonuses." A cumulative +1 you get every time you take a skill feat for a skill. But I guess there's no reason why proficiency and skill feats need to be separate at that point?

However, it does make skills no longer run on the same engine as most other things, which might not be the best.

I really like this idea, actually. It removes the potential issue of not having the item for your particular skill available and requiring particular skill items, and the idea that you get better at the overall skill as you refine your talents within that skill makes a lot of sense. It's also another place the player can feel like their choices matter above the +1/;level. (I don't mind +1/level personally, but I can see why some people do.)

The only issue I can see is that not all skills have an equivalent number of feats, which is pretty easily dealt with just by making more of them.

This reminds me of how I often describe Reflex saves. The rogue with evasion makes his save against a fireball and I say, "I throw my cloak over my face so that no skin is exposed as I duck below the hottest part of the fire." It does not matter that my rogue is wearing leather armor and explorer's clothes without a cloak listed; obviously, a cloak is a part of the roguish explorer's clothes because it helps Reflex saves. Likewise, a forest ranger's clothes would be in forest colors. It is also like the wizard's spell component pouch that never runs out of cheap spell components.

If we assume that someone with expert proficiency automatically has expert tools, then we don't need expert tools as a separate item bonus.

And the biggest bottleneck lately in my playtesters creating PF2 characters has been selecting items.


I actually don't mind mundane quality based item bonuses. I'm just not super fond of the way magic items add to skills right now.


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The DM of wrote:

I've liked how other games scaled your power to make things way below your level non-threats. AC scaling addresses that as well as answering the age old question of my youth, "How can I get my AC higher?" You've got armor, dex, rings... a feat here or there, but other than that it didn't really scale...

Please don't post your AC 50 fringe munchkin build and try to derail the thread.

...anyway, I like +1/level. Leveling feels meaningful every time. You get better at facing challenges. I can throw more exciting foes the players' way. Pipsqueak monsters don't stand a chance. Players feel big.

Also really enjoying exploring the new feat paths with fewer feat taxes and cool new archetyping systems.

Not to derail here but average fighters get over 50 AC by 20th level PFv1 from my experience.

Still it makes sense to scale AC 1/level like BAB was. You get better at attacking you should get better defending too.


voska66 wrote:
The DM of wrote:

I've liked how other games scaled your power to make things way below your level non-threats. AC scaling addresses that as well as answering the age old question of my youth, "How can I get my AC higher?" You've got armor, dex, rings... a feat here or there, but other than that it didn't really scale...

Please don't post your AC 50 fringe munchkin build and try to derail the thread.

...anyway, I like +1/level. Leveling feels meaningful every time. You get better at facing challenges. I can throw more exciting foes the players' way. Pipsqueak monsters don't stand a chance. Players feel big.

Also really enjoying exploring the new feat paths with fewer feat taxes and cool new archetyping systems.

Not to derail here but average fighters get over 50 AC by 20th level PFv1 from my experience.

Still it makes sense to scale AC 1/level like BAB was. You get better at attacking you should get better defending too.

That seems odd. Maybe I'm running the math wrong. Let's see:

10 base, 14 for +5 Full Plate, +5 Dex (max on Full Plate with armor training 4), +5 Ring, +5 Amulet. That's the base stuff and puts us at AC 39. Anything from here, save for maybe the Dodge feat, is really just various levels of munchkinning, from small to as much as possible.

Potential augments include the Dodge feat for +1, the Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone (One of those items where if you know about it you get it because why not? And if you don't know then hard luck.) for +1, and Mithral Full Plate plus pushing Dex to +7 for another +2.

Total AC, 43. Used to be 1 higher but the Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier got nerfed hard. Used to be better than the Rose Prism but provided a different bonus type. Ring of Force Shield might add another +2 but there's debate on whether or not it requires a free hand to use. Munchkin Fighter AC hits 45 if it's kosher, though.

Shields used casually can add 7 to this, taking casual AC to 46. Focusing feats on it is another +2 from Shield Focus and Greater, making our shield user's minmax AC 52. But to be fair sword and board isn't "typical" for a Fighter so you can only regard it so much when considering "average" fighters.

So, final results:

Casual, 39-40, 46-47 w/shield.
Munchkin to the max, 43-45, 52 w/shield.

So yeah, no, average Fighters do NOT get over AC 50 in PF1. It takes a shield and heavy munchkinning to break 50. And I think the only other class that even has a CHANCE is Monk, but I'm pretty sure they can't beat Shield Fighters for AC still.

I feel like this is a great time to plug PF1 Fighter accuracy in comparison:

Casual, 20 BAB, at least 8-10 STR, +5 weapon, +4 Weapon Training, maybe Weapon Focus for +1. Casual accuracy is +37-40, vs. casual AC of 39-40, 46-47 with shield. That is to say, casual Fighter hits casual Fighter on anything but a 1 (Because auto-fail) and hits casual shield (Read: defensively focused at the cost of a LOT of offensive potential) Fighter on 6-9, AKA 60-75% chance.

Minmaxing accuracy ensures STR of at least 10, and in addition to the previous stuff you add Greater Weapon Focus for +1, the gloves that up your weapon training bonus (Another take it if you know of it, hard luck if you don't item) for another +2, a Pale Green Prism Ioun Stone (Regular of Cracked, doesn't matter for this purpose) for +1, and a Flawed Pale Green Prism Ioun Stone for another +1 of a different type.

Total Minmax accuracy, assuming +10 STR mod (STR doesn't cap as firmly as Armor+Dex so there are ways this could be higher
potentially) is:

+45. Minmax AC was 43-45, 52 with shield. So again, minmax Fighter hits minmax Fighter on anything but a 1, hits minmax shield Fighter on a 7, 70% chance.

THIS, among other things, is why I love the unified proficiency system and reduced number of bonus types and having feats not have all these numerical bonuses.

And I know these are extremes, but other high martial classes can still very much get accuracy that trivializes the AC of anything but an optimized Fighter or maybe Monk.

EDIT: Ah, crap. I forgot ONE thing. Armor Specialization. In pace of one of your Armor Training increases you can take this to add 1/4 your level to your AC, to a max depending on the category of armor (For Heavy it is +5, so you get the full benefit).

So you drop your max Dex by 1 to raise AC by 5, a net gain of +4. This is DEFINITELY not a casual-level optimization choice though.

So that makes max Minmax AC 47-49, 56 with shield. This also means minmax Fighter hits minmax Fighter on 2-4, minmax shield Fighter on 11 (50% chance).

The point still holds that it requires a shield and intense minmaxing to break AC 50. And on the accuracy vs. AC, it's worth adding that I may be missing options there and that buff spells more readily increase accuracy than AC, so outside of isolation the disparity is even worse.


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...Does the fact that I put out all of that without even LOOKING at any PF1 material mean I've played too much PF1? XD


Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm actually into the idea. I've pitched replacing "item bonuses" with "skill bonuses." A cumulative +1 you get every time you take a skill feat for a skill. But I guess there's no reason why proficiency and skill feats need to be separate at that point?

However, it does make skills no longer run on the same engine as most other things, which might not be the best.

Haven't you just reinvented skill points, with a different name?


Edge93 wrote:
...Does the fact that I put out all of that without even LOOKING at any PF1 material mean I've played too much PF1? XD

Clearly not enough, because you also forget the circumstantial combat modifiers.

Fighting Defensively can give you upwards of +3 AC with the appropriate feats, and Combat Expertise can give you upwards of +6 AC. Sure, the character is trash in melee due to having -9 to-hit (or even -15 if we want to Power Attack on top of it), but if it's AC min-maxing we're talking about, this stuff also needs to be on the table.

You could even go so far as to allow the Tower Shield Specialist archetype for the Tower Shield AC and all of the ACP reductions applicable, combined with other AC-boosting options (Defender of the Society trait, Armor Focus/Greater Armor Focus, Shield Focus and Greater Shield Focus, even the Shield Specializations can work here for other benefits), you can have as much as +11 AC to your total, which is 63 AC, and a large amount of these bonuses applying to Touch AC makes the character nearly unhittable by CR-relevant enemies.

And this isn't even getting into buffing territory with potions and activation magic items.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
...Does the fact that I put out all of that without even LOOKING at any PF1 material mean I've played too much PF1? XD

Clearly not enough, because you also forget the circumstantial combat modifiers.

Fighting Defensively can give you upwards of +3 AC with the appropriate feats, and Combat Expertise can give you upwards of +6 AC. Sure, the character is trash in melee due to having -9 to-hit (or even -15 if we want to Power Attack on top of it), but if it's AC min-maxing we're talking about, this stuff also needs to be on the table.

You could even go so far as to allow the Tower Shield Specialist archetype for the Tower Shield AC and all of the ACP reductions applicable, combined with other AC-boosting options (Defender of the Society trait, Armor Focus/Greater Armor Focus, Shield Focus and Greater Shield Focus, even the Shield Specializations can work here for other benefits), you can have as much as +11 AC to your total, which is 63 AC, and a large amount of these bonuses applying to Touch AC makes the character nearly unhittable by CR-relevant enemies.

And this isn't even getting into buffing territory with potions and activation magic items.

Hmm, perhaps so. But I was aiming to outline base AC, without conditional or accuracy-crippling effects like the fighting methods. I was also deliberately avoiding anything 3pp such as Armor Specialization. I did forget about Defender of the society though, but I did mention Shield Focus and Greater in the original post.

And I left potions and magic items and buffs out because, again, base AC. I did the same with the accuracy calculations because buffing and circumstance is a whole other game and IME favors offense anyway.

So yeah, I suppose I did leave out a couple things but most of the rest was left off because it was outside of the premise of the original post.

Though all that said it still doesn't change that an "Average" Fighter is still likely to be well below AC 50 and a Fighter without a shield in particular is never getting anywhere near the ACs you mentioned (I mention this because I made a point to distinguish shield and non-shield AC since they are two entirely different brackets).


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I also have to point out that your post has outlined beautifully why I am ready to lay down PF1 for PF2. It just relies SO much out-of-character book knowledge to make characters that are effective when put up to the standard. A defense-focused Fighter built by someone playing casually who just wants to try to be a defense-focused Fighter and doesn't know ll this obscure s*** (Because why should he know even half of this?) is just going to find his defense so ineffective against anything with any focus in accuracy, not to mention if he somehow ends up side-by-side with someone focusing on defense who knows all this crap. Similar concerns for trying to build for accuracy, or really practically anything in PF1. If you don't know the tricks and splatbooks and meta and instead just pick cool stuff or stuff that seems fitting then you're going to just be so far behind.

With fewer trap options and fewer requirements to optimization, this is far, FAR less the case in PF2. And +/level is a huge part of that.

Maybe we'll end up with bloat and problematic meta someday, but that's a long way off. For now what we have is awesome, I never felt as free to pick RP-based options and varied concepts in PF1 as I do in the Playtest.

And really the focus of balance in the PF2 chassis means it's likely bloat will be staved off much longer. With the reduction in bonus types and the rarity of numerical bonuses from feats, you can add a whole lot of content without breaking the math. There are other considerations but without screwing with the math it's a lot easier to prevent broken combos and such and instead just have a lot of cool and viable abilities to choose from.


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Ha, it's hilarious that munchkin builds were expressly asked to not be posted and we get a non-munchkin build instead. All fine and good, but to get back on track, this does outline the differences and corrections coming with PF2.

When I heard about +1/level, I had a knee jerk reaction to it, but when I thought about it in regards to skills, I realized the PF1 skill system already had +1/level. It didn't have it to every skill, unless your build had a lot of skill points, but the mechanic was identical. You can increase your rank in skills by 1 each level. Reducing that to, "Everyone gets +1 / level anyway," does in fact simply that. Adding skill feats on top of that is a really cool way to add gated fun things on top of the system. I'd rather concern myself with picking out slick skill feats than assign +'s all over the place.

As for scaling AC, I never forced my groups to operate at the, "All slots must be filled by +5 items or you can't keep up," level. Those items are fun, don't get me wrong, but a good DM challenges her players appropriately so everyone can have fun. Having AC go up naturally on its own, fits my sense of fantasy style and every movie or book I've ever fantasized. Great characters are great at avoiding damage. They don't need magic rings or full plate. They just get better to some degree. I'm still enjoying seeing how this is scaling in PF2. I would like to see more ways to improve proficiency levels in armor as well as unarmored and cool feats behind those like what was recently brought up in another thread (might be on reddit). The idea was to have armor feats let you use a type of armor to reduce damage to some extent similar to how shields let you do it. Why not? That sounds really cool. It could give people more action options in combat as well.


The DM of wrote:
As for scaling AC, I never forced my groups to operate at the, "All slots must be filled by +5 items or you can't keep up," level. Those items are fun, don't get me wrong, but a good DM challenges her players appropriately so everyone can have fun. Having AC go up naturally on its own, fits my sense of fantasy style and every movie or book I've ever fantasized. Great characters are great at avoiding damage. They don't need magic rings or full plate. They just get better to some degree. I'm still enjoying seeing how this is scaling in PF2. I would like to see more ways to improve proficiency levels in armor as well as unarmored and cool feats behind those like what was recently brought up in another thread (might be on reddit). The idea was to have armor feats let you use a type of armor to reduce damage to some extent similar to how shields let you do it. Why not? That sounds really cool. It could give people more action options in combat as well.

The characters in my campaigns avoid damage through teamwork. The high AC characters would be in the front to protect the low AC people behind them, or the magus would cast Mirror Image and then retreat (which was enabled by teammates) to recast it as the images were destroyed, or the gunslinger would shoot the weapons out of the enemy's hands.

Moreover, because the teamwork and tactics made them as effective as an average party two levels higher than them, I increased the Challenge Ratings of their encounters by 2. Most adventure paths have a fairly easy set of encounters, because inexperienced players might run them.

And my players responded to my raising the bar by not bothering to improve their characters with high-level gear. They realized that if the party got any stronger, I would simply raise the CR more. They focused on the fun abilities. Class abilities and team tactics were fun, gear was boring. Their characters were generous, returning stolen loot to the original owners and giving away other wealth to the needy. In two different campaigns they rescued slaves and built those former slaves a safe home. In my most recent campaign, Iron Gods, I gave them a method to smelt the adamantine out of the alien alloy glaucite, a common metal in Numeria, so that they could make the adamantine weapons that let them fight armor-plated robots (two party members were smiths, so it fit their character concept). They could have become rich from selling adamantine. They didn't.

Okay, one newbie player did not get it. He wanted to be able to handle all challenges himself and realized better gear would make him better. The party began dividing party treasure into fair shares plus a common-good share; otherwise, he would spend half of it on himself. And he dared argue once that his character should dip into the common-good share, reserved for items that served the entire party such as one wand of cure light wounds, because him becoming stronger would be good for the party. Yet that player did not object to the charity, because it felt heroic.

Having +1 per level replace the reliance on gear would suit my players just fine. Except that those players in my playtest feel that PF2 has too much reliance on gear, such as needing a magic weapon to deal effective damage or needing a skill-boosting item in order to be really good for your level at a skill.


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Great sounding group, Mathmuse! And good DM'ing.

PF2 won't become anymore reliant on gear than in PF1 for you for the same reasons PF1 wasn't.


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PS This thread is #1. All other threads are #2 or lower. Except the sticky threads. And only at this moment.

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