Proficiency System and the Change I'd Like to See


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So far, my group and I have been pretty satisfied with the playtest. Moreso once that patches started coming out. One thing has stuck out for me as a constant annoyance, both in my game, and on several boards, and that is the issues of the proficiency system. +1 every level no matter what, and an extremely small bonus for increase proficiency level has near constantly been a point of contention. For example, in Chapter 3 of Doomsday Dawn, we had a Paladin, the armor expert, in +2 Full Plate, having only a couple AC points more than the Monk in no armor, purely due to proficiency. That being said, what I think may be a good solution is making the proficiency ranks (Untrainted, trained, etc) act as gates or limits as well as an additional bonus. For example:

Legendary-Max Proficiency +25 (20 levels +5 Bonus)
Master- +20 (17 Levels +3 Bonus
Expert +15 (14 Levels +1 Bonus)
Trained +10 (10 Levels, no bonus)
Untrained +5 (9 levels, -4 penalty, though could also be 7 levels -2 penalty if it was switched back)

Mechanically, increasing your rank would allow your skill to rise to its cap, so someone untrained in martial weapons, like a level 10 wizard taking a feat to give himself trained status, would suddenly increase to +10 bonus.

Combined with more feats or class abilities adding improvements to these ranks, especially for non-skill proficiencies, and it would allow for greater distinction between characters. A level 20 legend in martial weapons would be able to have a +25 to hit, which would far outstrip someone who was only trained at +10, or an expert at +15. I don't necessarily feel like this is a perfect system, but I do feel like it would make for greater variability in classes and characters, and make more of the choices we have matter.

I welcome anyone's thoughts comments or ideas on how this might be improved. If nothing changes, we still enjoy the new system, but what I could always do is make it a house rule at my table, so I want it to be the best it can be.


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A system like this wouldn't make choices matter, it'd make choices mandatory. Legendary being +25 and Trained being +10 would make any Trained Fighter completely unviable. Trained no longer means "You are competent enough to handle the basic functions of this thing if you keep specced in other aspect of the skill on a basic level", it now means that you are completely inadequate at that thing once you get a few levels past the level where you hit the +10 cap.

A couple points difference in accuracy or AC is a HUGE difference in PF2, it really just doesn't seem that way when you look at it through the PF1 lenses, but PF1 math was broken like frick.

I do agree that there could stand to be a bit more differentiation between the ranks but blowing up the numbers is absolutely NOT the answer.

Skills have the right idea with proficiency-gated skill ranks letting your rank give you new things to do instead of blowing up the bonus, and feats like Cat Fall that scale in some way with your proficiency rock. We could use some stuff like that for attacks and defense (Saves already have it with evasion-type and improved evasion-type abilities being unofficially tied to Master and Legendary proficiency in saves), and we could use some more in skills, but that's coming in the final CRB. The skill stuff at least. Hopefully something for attack and defense too.


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As far as skills go, I'm OK with the skills only getting a +1... if they actually get meaningful skill feats. Right now a lot of the trained ones barely feel like they should be feats at all, they're just s&+% you should be able to do automatically. It's not until Legendary that you start getting s~!! that is properly distinct and useful and impactful.

For armor specifically, yeah I have some beef with how heavy armor is treated. It has a s*!!load of drawbacks that can only ever really be partially mitigated, and the speed penalty in particular is pretty dire, taking you down to a pokey 15 feet for most races from a base value of 25. I don't feel it's properly balanced against light armor for martials, especially with how stat increases work now. It's actually kind of hard now to keep DEX at just 12, so how are characters supposed to be able to justify wearing something as cool as full plate? It's riddled with penalties that you can't even begin to mitigate until level 7 as a paladin or level 11 as a fighter, you get access to upgrades for it later and at greater expense, it's just a lot of stuff that makes it hard to play as a tin can.

I'm not sure the answer is necessarily to bloat the numbers more. For heavy armor, I think maybe toning down the penalties would help, since their old benefit of not needing to invest in DEX isn't as relevant anymore. For Fighters, I think they should be able to choose between different benefits for different armors, rather than just giving heavy armor a +1, since their whole deal is that they represent a lot of different martial traditions.


The whole concept of this would hinge on more classes getting more automatic upgrades on certain features, and even allow various archetypes to include some of these automatic gains to keep value beyond the dedication. Even a level 20 Wizard should have enough experience in wielding his weapon of choice to be considered at least trained in the weapon, or even maybe even expert, considering how many adventures he must have taken. This would allow for a similar bonus to a 3/4 or 1/2 BAB scenario. Setting each class to reach certain proficiencies at certain levels would help create the differentiation that is somewhat lacking in certain options. Casters getting slower gains in exchange for their spell roll increases would be fair, and not allow that same fighter who spent the time practicing his sword forms, and using them constantly to be only a couple points ahead of the wizard who uses his +5 Staff predominately as a walking stick.

Edge93 wrote:

A system like this wouldn't make choices matter, it'd make choices mandatory. Legendary being +25 and Trained being +10 would make any Trained Fighter completely unviable. Trained no longer means "You are competent enough to handle the basic functions of this thing if you keep specced in other aspect of the skill on a basic level", it now means that you are completely inadequate at that thing once you get a few levels past the level where you hit the +10 cap.

A couple points difference in accuracy or AC is a HUGE difference in PF2, it really just doesn't seem that way when you look at it through the PF1 lenses, but PF1 math was broken like frick.

I do agree that there could stand to be a bit more differentiation between the ranks but blowing up the numbers is absolutely NOT the answer.

Skills have the right idea with proficiency-gated skill ranks letting your rank give you new things to do instead of blowing up the bonus, and feats like Cat Fall that scale in some way with your proficiency rock. We could use some stuff like that for attacks and defense (Saves already have it with evasion-type and improved evasion-type abilities being unofficially tied to Master and Legendary proficiency in saves), and we could use some more in skills, but that's coming in the final CRB. The skill stuff at least. Hopefully something for attack and defense too.


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The problem there is that 1/2 BAB in PF1 sucked. It made making a weapon-focused Wizard completely unviable, just as this system would do, just so the Fighter can feel better by having so much bigger numbers instead of being better in combat in ways that don't require making other classes useless at combat.

3/4 BAB wasn't much better, either.

There is a LOT of differentiation to be had in PF2, it's just not all in the raw numbers and that is EASILY one of the best changes PF2 has made.


But unlike PF1 where adding a second class made for some haphazard addition, it would be a simple matter of making the dedication feats grant an increase proficiency. For a feat, your wizard gets a bump in attack bonus, and later feats could increase it further, or build the later bumps into the feat itself. You could create a level 5 or 10 feat that could have language like "Increase your proficiency with simple and martial weapons by one step. (Untrained to trained, expert to master, etc). At level 15, increase your proficiency by an additional step." Now you can have a wizard that when leveled high enough could be master, or maybe even legendary, with all the proficiency that entitles them to. If that is too powerful, separate it into two feats, or make it a feat you can take a second time.

Edge93 wrote:

The problem there is that 1/2 BAB in PF1 sucked. It made making a weapon-focused Wizard completely unviable, just as this system would do, just so the Fighter can feel better by having so much bigger numbers instead of being better in combat in ways that don't require making other classes useless at combat.

3/4 BAB wasn't much better, either.

There is a LOT of differentiation to be had in PF2, it's just not all in the raw numbers and that is EASILY one of the best changes PF2 has made.


Edge93 wrote:
The problem there is that 1/2 BAB in PF1 sucked. It made making a weapon-focused Wizard completely unviable, just as this system would do, just so the Fighter can feel better by having so much bigger numbers instead of being better in combat in ways that don't require making other classes useless at combat.

ahem.... ELDRITCH KNIGHT!!!!

Yeah, you've got to burn 2 caster levels, but it literally does what you want.

Although, to be fair, Arcane Strike from DnD 3.5 was a good feat for this.

Dump a spell slot for a +1 to hit and +1d4 damage per spell level dumped.


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So one of the best things about PF2 is that the proficiency system works the same for things like "saves" and "armor class" and "attacks with weapons" as it does for skills.

It would be a shame to break this in the interest of changing how skills work, and giving a fighter a massive advantage in "to hit" compared to everyone else, and giving Paladins a huge advantage in AC would be worse than the current issues with skills.

Also, nothing wrong with monks having a high AC, some of the highest AC characters I saw in PF1 were monks.


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Edge93 wrote:

The problem there is that 1/2 BAB in PF1 sucked. It made making a weapon-focused Wizard completely unviable, just as this system would do, just so the Fighter can feel better by having so much bigger numbers instead of being better in combat in ways that don't require making other classes useless at combat.

3/4 BAB wasn't much better, either.

There is a LOT of differentiation to be had in PF2, it's just not all in the raw numbers and that is EASILY one of the best changes PF2 has made.

I kinda want to double down on this, like Fighters in PF2 are still dealing crazy damage, more than a Wizard could ever hope, to the point where people are complaining that casters aren't good anymore. It's not because Fighters get a +1 to their to-hit (though that is pretty impactful now that +1/level has flattened out to-hit and AC), but rather because Fighters get a s+~+load of feats that combo into each other to do horrible, horrible things to enemies while working around MAP, and any caster class that really wanted to be a little gishy can take a few Fighter dedication feats to become a simlarly awesome badass that's grabbing people in one hand and stabbing them in the gut with the other.

+1 to hit isn't why Fighters are awesome now in PF2, it's spending two actions and making two strikes at 0 MAP and then following that up with Certain Strike to deal minimum damage even on a miss, or using Twin Parry to boost your AC and then be able to Strike your opponent with a reaction if they critically miss you. You're abusing the action economy and the scaling of magic weapons to land absolutely brutal damage and simultaneously doing something else, like shoving the enemy around or making them flat-footed to ranged allies or using your shield to prevent adjacent allies from taking damage.

Proficiency is a bit underwhelming right now, but I think that applies more to skill proficiencies than weapon proficiencies. It's boring with weapons but it's still noticeably effective, especially since it's often just a +1 that manages to get you enough to crit something for double damage and trigger your critical specialization effect.


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thflame wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
The problem there is that 1/2 BAB in PF1 sucked. It made making a weapon-focused Wizard completely unviable, just as this system would do, just so the Fighter can feel better by having so much bigger numbers instead of being better in combat in ways that don't require making other classes useless at combat.

ahem.... ELDRITCH KNIGHT!!!!

Yeah, you've got to burn 2 caster levels, but it literally does what you want.

Although, to be fair, Arcane Strike from DnD 3.5 was a good feat for this.

Dump a spell slot for a +1 to hit and +1d4 damage per spell level dumped.

Problem is, it does it badly.

You will need at least 5 levels of Wizard (6 if you wanted Sorcerer for spontaneous casting) and one level of Fighter before hitting Eldritch knight.

Due to BAB progression it will be 10th level before your BAB even comes up to be equal to a normal 3/4 BAB character. And even that isn't particularly good in PF1.

Honestly the Magus is a better mageknight than pretty much any other option (With the sole exception that a full Eldritch Knight gets higher level spells, which does count for quite a bit) which is cool and all except it consequently makes pretty much any other method of building a mageknight suck by comparison.


Pretty sure this variant would cause the whole game to end in a trash bin.

Think about it. You made a radical change to the core system of the game, treating it like a vacuum.
Now every lv20 wizard gets automatically crit by everything, and that’s just the first thing that showed up in my head. Rocket tag doesn’t even come to describe a +15 (75%!!!) difference in success rates for saves or grapples.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one of the best things about PF2 is that the proficiency system works the same for things like "saves" and "armor class" and "attacks with weapons" as it does for skills.

It would be a shame to break this in the interest of changing how skills work, and giving a fighter a massive advantage in "to hit" compared to everyone else, and giving Paladins a huge advantage in AC would be worse than the current issues with skills.

Also, nothing wrong with monks having a high AC, some of the highest AC characters I saw in PF1 were monks.

It should be broken. How chance of success should vary in skills for a fun game and how it should vary in AC/to hit for a fun game are very different. The should not use the same system for the most fun game.


Niroh wrote:

[...]

Legendary-Max Proficiency +25 (20 levels +5 Bonus)
Master- +20 (17 Levels +3 Bonus
Expert +15 (14 Levels +1 Bonus)
Trained +10 (10 Levels, no bonus)
Untrained +5 (9 levels, -4 penalty, though could also be 7 levels -2 penalty if it was switched back)
[...]
Combined with more feats or class abilities adding improvements to these ranks, especially for non-skill proficiencies, and it would allow for greater distinction between characters. A level 20 legend in martial weapons would be able to have a +25 to hit, which would far outstrip someone who was only trained at +10, or an expert at +15. I don't necessarily feel like this is a perfect system, but I do feel like it would make for greater variability in classes and characters, and make more of the choices we have matter.

I welcome anyone's thoughts comments or ideas on how this might be improved. If nothing changes, we still enjoy the new system, but what I could always do is make it a house rule at my table, so I want it to be the best it can be.

The problem here is twofold: first, in anything combat-related, everybody now has to become an expert at the least or they're just going to die against anything at 20th level and second, this wouldn't have affected anything in the scenario you cited as the inspiration for the change.

Looking more at the first problem, this arises from monsters and challenges needing to be balanced against some baseline. Even discounting Untrained, we have a spread of 15 points, meaning that practically anything the Legendary character can miss the Trained character can't hit, and anything that can hit the Legendary AC cannot miss the Trained AC. And the same goes for all saves, as well as skill checks to grapple, intimidate, etc.

If we then give the possibility of becoming a Master in weapons, armor and saves to anyone, we will likely end up with everyone being Master. While this does lead to a greater numerical difference compared to the current system (+5 Master~Legendary to +3 Trained~Legendary), it leads to less difference conceptually.

For the second point, both of your example characters are Expert in their respective armors. They are also such low level that the suggested rule still wouldn't have made a difference if one was Trained and the other was Expert since the cutoff point for trained is several levels away at that point in the adventure.

Which gets to a follow up point: the suggested rule is, for the most part, choosing a benefit that will not affect you for up to 10 levels. This same problem existed with signature skills and was one of the cited reasons for their removal.


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I just want the gap between proficiency ranks to be 2 points.

Reduce max item bonus to +3, make the proficiency ranks -2, 0, +2, +4, +6, rebalance access, more impact within the same bounded range.


Artificial 20 wrote:

I just want the gap between proficiency ranks to be 2 points.

Reduce max item bonus to +3, make the proficiency ranks -2, 0, +2, +4, +6, rebalance access, more impact within the same bounded range.

Hey!

Just quoting Jason from a post in Facebook that might make you happy!

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Just in case folks missed it, we have already talked about how we are adjusting these numbers, proficiency in particular, for the final version of the game. In addition to a number of overall math changes to make leveling overall more meaningful, I think most with these concerns are going to be quite happy with the final implementation of the game.


The one thing I want to see is people not getting worse at doing the same thing as they level up.
If leveling gets you better, good.
If leveling keeps you sort of static, still mostly good.
If levelup makes you worse, I don’t see why I should level up.

(Yes, I am talking about Treat Wounds because that is always level-based)

Somehow I doubt the update that inspired Jason’s comment will help in this regard.


Ediwir wrote:

The one thing I want to see is people not getting worse at doing the same thing as they level up.

If leveling gets you better, good.
If leveling keeps you sort of static, still mostly good.
If levelup makes you worse, I don’t see why I should level up.

(Yes, I am talking about Treat Wounds because that is always level-based)

That reminds me of a minor effect in Tamora Pierce's Provost's Dog series: Terrier (2006), Bloodhound (2009), and Mastiff (2011). The protagonist Beka Cooper, a town guard whose job was mostly police detective, regularly got hurt and was patched up with healing magic. But each use of healing magic increased her resistance to it, so by the third book she was pretty much immune to healing magic.

If Treat Wounds were a magical healing ritual, then we could imagine its increasing difficulty was from an effect like that. Higher level means a lot of exposure to magic, so more resistance.


If I could make a last minute change to the proficiency system, I'd do this:

1) You get 1/2 level to skills, with an option to, at level 1, forgo this bonus on a given untrained skill for a bonus skill feat. (This let's player play the "I can't swim" character and gives them a small benefit in return.)

2) Proficiency modifiers are -3, 0, 3, 6, 9.

3) Gut the +/- 10 system, as it will proc too often in this new system.

This makes experience matter, while not trivializing the difference between a trained individual and a legendary individual.

Grand Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one of the best things about PF2 is that the proficiency system works the same for things like "saves" and "armor class" and "attacks with weapons" as it does for skills.

It would be a shame to break this in the interest of changing how skills work, and giving a fighter a massive advantage in "to hit" compared to everyone else, and giving Paladins a huge advantage in AC would be worse than the current issues with skills.

Also, nothing wrong with monks having a high AC, some of the highest AC characters I saw in PF1 were monks.

Could you explain what benefit this provides? Is it only for simplicity?


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It, for one, allows things to intermingle better. Like how there are various things that involve rolling a skill check against a spell, or rolling a skill against someone's Save DC for a combat maneuver, without having the math fall apart.

And having accuracy and AC on the same track is just necessary for basic combat functionality, a system where one can be pumped up way above the other is kind of a mess as the one that can be pumped more is kinda useless.

Like in PF1 how accuracy could be pumped enough that even characters who specialized in defense had useless defense.


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in◆⃟ wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one of the best things about PF2 is that the proficiency system works the same for things like "saves" and "armor class" and "attacks with weapons" as it does for skills.

It would be a shame to break this in the interest of changing how skills work, and giving a fighter a massive advantage in "to hit" compared to everyone else, and giving Paladins a huge advantage in AC would be worse than the current issues with skills.

Also, nothing wrong with monks having a high AC, some of the highest AC characters I saw in PF1 were monks.

Could you explain what benefit this provides? Is it only for simplicity?

It is for predictable mathematics.

In PF1 the main line of advancement is simple: fighters, barbarians, and rangers get +1 BAB every level, bards, clerics, and maguses get +1 to BAB every 3/4 levels, and sorcerers and wizards get +1 to BAB every 1/2 level. But really, everyone needs to hit the same monsters (assuming blaster wizards that use ranged touch attacks). The full BAB character use their BAB, the 3/4 BAB characters use their BAB plus some trick to boost their BAB close to full BAB, and the 1/2 BAB characters target touch AC instead of regular AC. However, when a full BAB character borrows the 3/4 BAB tricks or a 3/4 BAB character targets touch AC, the expected rate of hitting falls out of balance. The higher the level, the more powerful the tricks that a character can buy or borrow. The rogue and monk suffered because they had 3/4 BAB but limited low-level tricks to help them hit.

In PF2 everyone has full BAB. Bardic tricks or touch attacks are no longer necessary for balance. (I have no idea why PF2 kept touch AC.) And the system can no longer be thrown out of balance by mixing and match the strong boosts with the strong BAB. The bonuses depend on clever combinations of bonuses and are hard to predict for putting level-appropriate encounters into adventure paths.

But we still cling to the idea that the barbarian and fighter ought to be better at hitting than the bard and cleric, because those latter two have magic, too. The fighter gains expert proficiency in martial weapons to gain a +1 to hit and weapons that deal one or two more damage per hit. That counts as better. The barbarian has trained proficiency in martial weapons and a hard-to-use conditional bonus to damage for three or four more damage per hit. The bard has only light armor and needs to invest in Dexterity for defense, and needs to invest in Charisma for magic, so he is limited to finesse weapons and has a mere +1 Strength bonus, so he will be dealing less damage unless he uses his Inspire Courage trick for more damage. The cleric has medium armor, so can invest in Strength, but not as much as the fighter since the cleric also needs Wisdom for magic.

While the full BAB, 3/4 BAB, and 1/2 BAB in PF1 diverge as level increases, the reasons why the PF2 figher and barbarian hit harder don't change with level. Thus, the magical tricks that the bard and cleric use to keep up in melee don't need to grow stronger at higher levels. In PF2, the bonus from Inspire Courage grows to +2 at 5th level, +3 at 11th level, and +4 at 17th level, because the bard needs it stronger. In PF2 the bonus stays at +1, unless the bard spends a feat on Inspire Heroics. This makes those tricks less abusable at high levels.

Meanwhile, having the three saving throws diverge in PF1 meant that certain classes had weaknesses that became even more vulnerable at high levels. Since magic spells could focus on known weaknesses, that vulnerability was too easy to exploit.

Skills are odd. We like having specialists who excell at their specialty skill, like rogues who pick locks. We also like the roleplaying challenge of being bad at some skills, "Dustbrow of the Desert Lands does not know how to swim." The constraints from consistent proficiency prevent this. Nevertheless, PF1 had cases where the specialists were so good that skill challenges were not challenging.


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Mathmuse wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one of the best things about PF2 is that the proficiency system works the same for things like "saves" and "armor class" and "attacks with weapons" as it does for skills.

It would be a shame to break this in the interest of changing how skills work, and giving a fighter a massive advantage in "to hit" compared to everyone else, and giving Paladins a huge advantage in AC would be worse than the current issues with skills.

Also, nothing wrong with monks having a high AC, some of the highest AC characters I saw in PF1 were monks.

Could you explain what benefit this provides? Is it only for simplicity?

It is for predictable mathematics.

In PF1 the main line of advancement is simple: fighters, barbarians, and rangers get +1 BAB every level, bards, clerics, and maguses get +1 to BAB every 3/4 levels, and sorcerers and wizards get +1 to BAB every 1/2 level. But really, everyone needs to hit the same monsters (assuming blaster wizards that use ranged touch attacks). The full BAB character use their BAB, the 3/4 BAB characters use their BAB plus some trick to boost their BAB close to full BAB, and the 1/2 BAB characters target touch AC instead of regular AC. However, when a full BAB character borrows the 3/4 BAB tricks or a 3/4 BAB character targets touch AC, the expected rate of hitting falls out of balance. The higher the level, the more powerful the tricks that a character can buy or borrow. The rogue and monk suffered because they had 3/4 BAB but limited low-level tricks to help them hit.

In PF2 everyone has full BAB. Bardic tricks or touch attacks are no longer necessary for balance. (I have no idea why PF2 kept touch AC.) And the system can no longer be thrown out of balance by mixing and match the strong boosts with the strong BAB. The bonuses depend on clever combinations of bonuses and are hard to predict for putting level-appropriate encounters into adventure paths.

But we still cling to the idea that the barbarian and fighter...

I honestly to this day still don’t see the problem if I’m playing a Rogue for example and invest all of my feats, skills and other bonuses into a particular skill then I want to be bloody good at it, it’s utterly stupid to me that a character who commits at being a specialist can lose out because something else rolled 2 or 3 higher on the D20, if everything is roughly 50/50 then why roll up characters I could just flip a coin to decide everything.


Tezmick wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one of the best things about PF2 is that the proficiency system works the same for things like "saves" and "armor class" and "attacks with weapons" as it does for skills.

It would be a shame to break this in the interest of changing how skills work, and giving a fighter a massive advantage in "to hit" compared to everyone else, and giving Paladins a huge advantage in AC would be worse than the current issues with skills.

Also, nothing wrong with monks having a high AC, some of the highest AC characters I saw in PF1 were monks.

Could you explain what benefit this provides? Is it only for simplicity?

It is for predictable mathematics.

In PF1 the main line of advancement is simple: fighters, barbarians, and rangers get +1 BAB every level, bards, clerics, and maguses get +1 to BAB every 3/4 levels, and sorcerers and wizards get +1 to BAB every 1/2 level. But really, everyone needs to hit the same monsters (assuming blaster wizards that use ranged touch attacks). The full BAB character use their BAB, the 3/4 BAB characters use their BAB plus some trick to boost their BAB close to full BAB, and the 1/2 BAB characters target touch AC instead of regular AC. However, when a full BAB character borrows the 3/4 BAB tricks or a 3/4 BAB character targets touch AC, the expected rate of hitting falls out of balance. The higher the level, the more powerful the tricks that a character can buy or borrow. The rogue and monk suffered because they had 3/4 BAB but limited low-level tricks to help them hit.

In PF2 everyone has full BAB. Bardic tricks or touch attacks are no longer necessary for balance. (I have no idea why PF2 kept touch AC.) And the system can no longer be thrown out of balance by mixing and match the strong boosts with the strong BAB. The bonuses depend on clever combinations of bonuses and are hard to predict for putting level-appropriate encounters into adventure paths.

But we still cling to the idea that

...

And by all means, just continue to ignore that completely specializing in a skill eventually gets you 85-95% success for standard challenges of your level (To say nothing of below your level), depending on the skill.

If that's not "bloody good", then I don't think I can help you...


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Edge93 wrote:
Tezmick wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one of the best things about PF2 is that the proficiency system works the same for things like "saves" and "armor class" and "attacks with weapons" as it does for skills.

It would be a shame to break this in the interest of changing how skills work, and giving a fighter a massive advantage in "to hit" compared to everyone else, and giving Paladins a huge advantage in AC would be worse than the current issues with skills.

Also, nothing wrong with monks having a high AC, some of the highest AC characters I saw in PF1 were monks.

Could you explain what benefit this provides? Is it only for simplicity?

It is for predictable mathematics.

In PF1 the main line of advancement is simple: fighters, barbarians, and rangers get +1 BAB every level, bards, clerics, and maguses get +1 to BAB every 3/4 levels, and sorcerers and wizards get +1 to BAB every 1/2 level. But really, everyone needs to hit the same monsters (assuming blaster wizards that use ranged touch attacks). The full BAB character use their BAB, the 3/4 BAB characters use their BAB plus some trick to boost their BAB close to full BAB, and the 1/2 BAB characters target touch AC instead of regular AC. However, when a full BAB character borrows the 3/4 BAB tricks or a 3/4 BAB character targets touch AC, the expected rate of hitting falls out of balance. The higher the level, the more powerful the tricks that a character can buy or borrow. The rogue and monk suffered because they had 3/4 BAB but limited low-level tricks to help them hit.

In PF2 everyone has full BAB. Bardic tricks or touch attacks are no longer necessary for balance. (I have no idea why PF2 kept touch AC.) And the system can no longer be thrown out of balance by mixing and match the strong boosts with the strong BAB. The bonuses depend on clever combinations of bonuses and are hard to predict for putting level-appropriate encounters into adventure paths.

But we

...

Not forgetting things like "If you Fail at a Stealth check you succeed instead. That is effectively a +9 in any fail situation in which you don't Crit Fail.


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Edge93 wrote:
Tezmick wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one of the best things about PF2 is that the proficiency system works the same for things like "saves" and "armor class" and "attacks with weapons" as it does for skills.

It would be a shame to break this in the interest of changing how skills work, and giving a fighter a massive advantage in "to hit" compared to everyone else, and giving Paladins a huge advantage in AC would be worse than the current issues with skills.

Also, nothing wrong with monks having a high AC, some of the highest AC characters I saw in PF1 were monks.

Could you explain what benefit this provides? Is it only for simplicity?

It is for predictable mathematics.

In PF1 the main line of advancement is simple: fighters, barbarians, and rangers get +1 BAB every level, bards, clerics, and maguses get +1 to BAB every 3/4 levels, and sorcerers and wizards get +1 to BAB every 1/2 level. But really, everyone needs to hit the same monsters (assuming blaster wizards that use ranged touch attacks). The full BAB character use their BAB, the 3/4 BAB characters use their BAB plus some trick to boost their BAB close to full BAB, and the 1/2 BAB characters target touch AC instead of regular AC. However, when a full BAB character borrows the 3/4 BAB tricks or a 3/4 BAB character targets touch AC, the expected rate of hitting falls out of balance. The higher the level, the more powerful the tricks that a character can buy or borrow. The rogue and monk suffered because they had 3/4 BAB but limited low-level tricks to help them hit.

In PF2 everyone has full BAB. Bardic tricks or touch attacks are no longer necessary for balance. (I have no idea why PF2 kept touch AC.) And the system can no longer be thrown out of balance by mixing and match the strong boosts with the strong BAB. The bonuses depend on clever combinations of bonuses and are hard to predict for putting level-appropriate encounters into adventure paths.

But we

...

Assuming you can keep a party invested till at least tenth level it’s a little dishonest to talk like they get this guaranteed reliability heck it doesn’t even show any promise till at least seventh level, in the event you’re talking about assurance you don’t add bonus to that you get the number it provides, it doesn’t become remotely attractive till tenth level when you gain access to sneak savant turning a fail into a success a feat I never would of needed before because I’d be actually good at stealth.

If taking ten levels before you notice any real improvement is your idea of good then sure it might be ok, but none of the players at my table could imagine slogging through ten levels of mediocrity before their character does as advertised.


Tezmick wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Tezmick wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one of the best things about PF2 is that the proficiency system works the same for things like "saves" and "armor class" and "attacks with weapons" as it does for skills.

It would be a shame to break this in the interest of changing how skills work, and giving a fighter a massive advantage in "to hit" compared to everyone else, and giving Paladins a huge advantage in AC would be worse than the current issues with skills.

Also, nothing wrong with monks having a high AC, some of the highest AC characters I saw in PF1 were monks.

Could you explain what benefit this provides? Is it only for simplicity?

It is for predictable mathematics.

In PF1 the main line of advancement is simple: fighters, barbarians, and rangers get +1 BAB every level, bards, clerics, and maguses get +1 to BAB every 3/4 levels, and sorcerers and wizards get +1 to BAB every 1/2 level. But really, everyone needs to hit the same monsters (assuming blaster wizards that use ranged touch attacks). The full BAB character use their BAB, the 3/4 BAB characters use their BAB plus some trick to boost their BAB close to full BAB, and the 1/2 BAB characters target touch AC instead of regular AC. However, when a full BAB character borrows the 3/4 BAB tricks or a 3/4 BAB character targets touch AC, the expected rate of hitting falls out of balance. The higher the level, the more powerful the tricks that a character can buy or borrow. The rogue and monk suffered because they had 3/4 BAB but limited low-level tricks to help them hit.

In PF2 everyone has full BAB. Bardic tricks or touch attacks are no longer necessary for balance. (I have no idea why PF2 kept touch AC.) And the system can no longer be thrown out of balance by mixing and match the strong boosts with the strong BAB. The bonuses depend on clever combinations of bonuses and are hard to predict for putting level-appropriate encounters into

...

If they're feeling so mediocre they might need to work on their creativity a bit or something, my group somehow hasn't been having that problem. Like at all. And they don't exactly have low standards for play, judging from my PF1 games with them.

But they also don't have to be virtually incapable of ever failing at things to feel like they were good at them, either.


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Mathmuse wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one of the best things about PF2 is that the proficiency system works the same for things like "saves" and "armor class" and "attacks with weapons" as it does for skills.

It would be a shame to break this in the interest of changing how skills work, and giving a fighter a massive advantage in "to hit" compared to everyone else, and giving Paladins a huge advantage in AC would be worse than the current issues with skills.

Also, nothing wrong with monks having a high AC, some of the highest AC characters I saw in PF1 were monks.

Could you explain what benefit this provides? Is it only for simplicity?

It is for predictable mathematics.

In PF1 the main line of advancement is simple: fighters, barbarians, and rangers get +1 BAB every level, bards, clerics, and maguses get +1 to BAB every 3/4 levels, and sorcerers and wizards get +1 to BAB every 1/2 level. But really, everyone needs to hit the same monsters (assuming blaster wizards that use ranged touch attacks). The full BAB character use their BAB, the 3/4 BAB characters use their BAB plus some trick to boost their BAB close to full BAB, and the 1/2 BAB characters target touch AC instead of regular AC. However, when a full BAB character borrows the 3/4 BAB tricks or a 3/4 BAB character targets touch AC, the expected rate of hitting falls out of balance. The higher the level, the more powerful the tricks that a character can buy or borrow. The rogue and monk suffered because they had 3/4 BAB but limited low-level tricks to help them hit.

I couldn't agree more. But the solution that worked for 3.5e was not to print these options. And it worked pretty well.

The fact that the APG released the alchemist (3/4 BAB that targets touch), followed by the Gunslinger (full BAB that targets touch) illustrates a possible lack of understanding on the part of the developers early this decade.

These options weren't in core, and is how that if it was redone, it wouldn't happen again.


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Though I gave the explanation that in◆⃟ requested, I don't completely agree with the design. It is a solution but a weak one. I guess my view stood out, because Edge93 and Malk_Content spoke up to further support the design.

Edge93 wrote:

And by all means, just continue to ignore that completely specializing in a skill eventually gets you 85-95% success for standard challenges of your level (To say nothing of below your level), depending on the skill.

If that's not "bloody good", then I don't think I can help you...

When my health problems flared up and my rate of success in my job's projects dropped to 90%, I was fired. (Then my formal complaint brought to the agency's attention that my supervisor had fired me instead of giving me my requested and approved reasonable accommodation for my disability, so it converted the firing into early retirement.) Ironically, before that job I had a research job where a 10% success rate would have been excellent.

A standard 85-95% success rate does not fit all tasks. For some tasks, such as melee attacks, frequent failure is expected and the only need is to succeed often enough. For other tasks, such as a recall knowledge check on an opponent's weaknesses, failure means just a minor disadvantage. For other tasks, such as picking a lock, failure means to try again, perhaps against a deadline that still leaves plenty of time. For other tasks, such as climbing a tall cliff or sneaking past a guardhouse, failure means a world of hurt.

In theory, the DCs can be selected to reflect realistic failure rates. In practice, the DCs in Table 10-2 don't have enough range. For example, at 7th level Easy is DC 14, Medium is DC 21, and Hard is DC 22. Those are the routine DCs, rather than the expected-failure DCs of Incredible and Ultimate. Given +8 from trained proficieny and +4 from a maximum attribute, the character has +12. Thus, without outside aid, an expert fails 10% of the time at a easy task and fails 45% of the time at a hard task. Both those success rates sound poor for an expert, but more importantly, the difference between easy and hard is only 35%. And the difference between medium and hard is only 5%.

And sometimes the selected DC seems wrong. My wife's 7th-level elf noble bard selected Lingering Composition. It requires a Performance check against a high-difficulty DC, DC 22 in this case. With an additional +2 from a Dancing Scarf, her bard has 50% success for one addition round of Inspire Courage, 15% critical success for two additional rounds, and 35% failure for no additional rounds (Lingering Composition lacks a critical failure). That is an average return of 0.8 additional rounds. And each attempt costs one spell point. She gave up on Lingering Composition until dire circumstances, because it seemed wasteful of spell points.

Writing about that 50% success chance reminds me that 50% is the maximum chance of regular success. Anything better goes into critical success. But for many tasks, regular success should be frequent, say 80%, and critical success should be rare, say 10%. The alternative, seen in a few PF2 skills, it to make critical success just regular success with a tiny perk.

Hard DC starts at 13 at level 0 in Table 10-2 and increases to 39 at level 20, so a character needs to gain +6 in bonuses from something besides level to keep up. We have +3 from advancing proficiency from trained to legendary. The character could get +1 from boosting the relevant attribute from 18 to 21. That leaves spells and items to make up the rest. The design of the table seems like a Red Queen's Race, having to run as fast as possible to remain in the same spot.

Malk_Content wrote:
Not forgetting things like "If you Fail at a Stealth check you succeed instead. That is effectively a +9 in any fail situation in which you don't Crit Fail.

SNEAK SAVANT Feat 10

Rogue
Prerequisite master in Stealth
When you attempt a Sneak action, you treat a failure as a success. You can still critically fail.

A rogue class feat does not help a ranger trying to scout. All the ranger gets is Camouflage (feat 10), Stealthy Companion (feat 14), and the Stealth skill feats, none of which improve the ranger's own Stealth roll. Yet the ranger in concept is supposed to be a good scout. Instead, the ranger has to buy an expensive magic cloak to improve his stealth. Likewise, it does not help a 9th-level rogue: see Tezmick's comment above.

I love that in the real world, if I have a major carpentry project then I can buy, rent, or borrow a table saw to make long straight cuts beyond my abilities. Yet "borrow" is the key term. The expertise is in the saw not me. That feels flat for a roleplaying character. And my playtest players have exchanged an expert climber's kit among themselves to aid each one's climb and an expert healer's kit to treat wounds in the 4th-level chapter In Pale Mountain's Shadow.


Mathmuse wrote:
Hard DC starts at 13 at level 0 in Table 10-2 and increases to 39 at level 20, so a character needs to gain +6 in bonuses from something besides level to keep up. We have +3 from advancing proficiency from trained to legendary. The character could get +1 from boosting the relevant attribute from 18 to 21. That leaves spells and items to make up the rest. The design of the table seems like a Red Queen's Race, having to run as fast as possible to remain in the same spot.

I shall endeavor to find the time to voice my thoughts on other parts of your post later but for the moment I feel it is relevant to note here that this does not account for potential item bonuses, which can range as high as +5 and are very much considered when arranging the DCs of the table to allow for specialists to increase their success rate over time.


Edge93 wrote:

The problem there is that 1/2 BAB in PF1 sucked. It made making a weapon-focused Wizard completely unviable, just as this system would do, just so the Fighter can feel better by having so much bigger numbers instead of being better in combat in ways that don't require making other classes useless at combat.

3/4 BAB wasn't much better, either.

There is a LOT of differentiation to be had in PF2, it's just not all in the raw numbers and that is EASILY one of the best changes PF2 has made.

Yes I agree giving everyone the same BAB progression is one of the best changes in the PF2 playtest. The other being the action system.

I'm going to disagree on what the best BAB progression is though.


Edge93 wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Hard DC starts at 13 at level 0 in Table 10-2 and increases to 39 at level 20, so a character needs to gain +6 in bonuses from something besides level to keep up. We have +3 from advancing proficiency from trained to legendary. The character could get +1 from boosting the relevant attribute from 18 to 21. That leaves spells and items to make up the rest. The design of the table seems like a Red Queen's Race, having to run as fast as possible to remain in the same spot.
I shall endeavor to find the time to voice my thoughts on other parts of your post later but for the moment I feel it is relevant to note here that this does not account for potential item bonuses, which can range as high as +5 and are very much considered when arranging the DCs of the table to allow for specialists to increase their success rate over time.

Thank you for the information that the boost from items goes up to +5. I have not read enough about high-level items to know that number.

I would tease that proficiency going to +3 while items going to +5 gives the game to items, but that would be a lie. Since untrained gives -4 and legendary gives +3, proficiency really has a span of +7, giving it a greater effect than items. I like that.

So a trained Ability Score 18 1st-level character with no boosting items has +5 to his roll. Against a 1st-level Hard DC 15, he needs to roll a 10 or higher for success, a 55% chance. At 20th level, that character will be legendary Ability Score 21 with a +5 item bonus for a +33 to his roll. Against a 20th-level Hard DC 39, he needs to roll a 6 or higher for success, a 75% chance. Well, that is advancement, 4 more chances out of 20 better. And the character might find a circumstance or conditional bonus to add on top of that.

Yet a character who does nothing to get better at the task past 1st-level has the +5 convert automatically to +24 at 20th level. He can succeed against the 20th-level Hard DC 39 on a roll of 15 or better, a 30% chance of success. Okay, the +1 per level is supposed to represent a routine amount of improvement for experience rather than letting skills stay the same, but the math tells me that 19 levels of routine lackadaisical investment gives a +19 (+1 per level) and 19 levels of determined maximum investment gives a +28 (+1.5 per level). Something feels wrong about that, but I can't figure out what yet.


Mathmuse wrote:
... So a trained Ability Score 18 1st-level character with no boosting items has +5 to his roll. Against a 1st-level Hard DC 15, he needs to roll a 10 or higher for success, a 55% chance. At 20th level, that character will be legendary Ability Score 21 with a +5 item bonus for a +33 to his roll. Against a 20th-level Hard DC 39, he needs to roll a 6 or higher for success, a 75% chance. Well, that is advancement, 4 more chances out of 20 better. And the character might find a circumstance or conditional bonus to add on top of that...

It doesn't make much difference, but I was under the impression 22 was the maximum ability score you could reach without a potency item at level 20.

Level 1: 18
Level 5: 19
Level 10: 20
Level 15: 21
Level 20: 22

That's only possible if you can start with an 18 at level 1, mind. Still, that's 20 (level) + 3 (legendary) + 7 (ability) + 5 (item) = 35. 36 if you use a potency item to get your ability to 24.

Personally I like the total, against Hard DC 39 it's an 85% or 90% rate of success. I just want legendary to not contribute the least to it; I would prefer items making the smallest difference.


Artificial 20 wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
... So a trained Ability Score 18 1st-level character with no boosting items has +5 to his roll. Against a 1st-level Hard DC 15, he needs to roll a 10 or higher for success, a 55% chance. At 20th level, that character will be legendary Ability Score 21 with a +5 item bonus for a +33 to his roll. Against a 20th-level Hard DC 39, he needs to roll a 6 or higher for success, a 75% chance. Well, that is advancement, 4 more chances out of 20 better. And the character might find a circumstance or conditional bonus to add on top of that...

It doesn't make much difference, but I was under the impression 22 was the maximum ability score you could reach without a potency item at level 20.

Level 1: 18
Level 5: 19
Level 10: 20
Level 15: 21
Level 20: 22

That's only possible if you can start with an 18 at level 1, mind. Still, that's 20 (level) + 3 (legendary) + 7 (ability) + 5 (item) = 35. 36 if you use a potency item to get your ability to 24.

Personally I like the total, against Hard DC 39 it's an 85% or 90% rate of success. I just want legendary to not contribute the least to it; I would prefer items making the smallest difference.

That is correct, a +5 modifier was used I believe because getting higher requires a potent item and/or the stat being your key ability score. So yeah, for true specialization you can get a couple points higher than what Mathmuse laid out, but that is the tippy-top of specialization.

And as Mathmuse noted, FWIW, if you consider Untrained to Legendary then it is a +7 instead of +3 effectively, more influence than the items. XD


The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.


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Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.

It sounds like they are considering back off the +5 items for maybe a +3 max.

Grand Lodge

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Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.

I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.

I don't think it limits creativity at all. It opens it up to whole new possibilities.

Off the top of my head you could never have had the following idea in PF1 because skills operate on such a different scaling it would be impossibly strong.

Imaginary Psychic based class

Coercive Manouvre
You may use your Diplomacy skill for trip, bull rush and disarm attempts. If you are expert in Diplomacy you may attempt these actions from 10ft away, Master 15 or Legendary 25.


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Malk_Content wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.

I don't think it limits creativity at all. It opens it up to whole new possibilities.

Off the top of my head you could never have had the following idea in PF1 because skills operate on such a different scaling it would be impossibly strong.

Imaginary Psychic based class

Coercive Manouvre
You may use your Diplomacy skill for trip, bull rush and disarm attempts. If you are expert in Diplomacy you may attempt these actions from 10ft away, Master 15 or Legendary 25.

+1 to this. Agreed that the system absolutely opens up creativity and innovation rather than closing it off. I really don't see how it would close things off honestly.


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Malk_Content wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.

I don't think it limits creativity at all. It opens it up to whole new possibilities.

Off the top of my head you could never have had the following idea in PF1 because skills operate on such a different scaling it would be impossibly strong.

Imaginary Psychic based class

Coercive Manouvre
You may use your Diplomacy skill for trip, bull rush and disarm attempts. If you are expert in Diplomacy you may attempt these actions from 10ft away, Master 15 or Legendary 25.

Fully agree. This unified proficiency system removes all the unwieldy rules for CMB, CMD etc and replaces all of that with clean skill checks. This is one of the most notable improvements in the system's ease of use, and it also allows for alternative methods of achieving the same result. For example Disarm uses an Athletics check vs Reflex DC. It could conceivably be done with Acrobatics, Deception, Intimidation, or Thievery, at the cost of a skill feat to be invented. Conversely, defending against it could be done with the Perception DC (used in a Sense Motive manner), Acrobatics DC, Deception DC... This opens up a lot of doors.


Edge93 wrote:
3/4 BAB wasn't much better, either.

I mean, almost all the 3/4 BAB classes had an "accuracy enhancer" effect making them effectively full BAB (or better!) anyway, so it was kind of pointless.


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Malk_Content wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.

I don't think it limits creativity at all. It opens it up to whole new possibilities.

Off the top of my head you could never have had the following idea in PF1 because skills operate on such a different scaling it would be impossibly strong.

Imaginary Psychic based class

Coercive Manouvre
You may use your Diplomacy skill for trip, bull rush and disarm attempts. If you are expert in Diplomacy you may attempt these actions from 10ft away, Master 15 or Legendary 25.

It makes skills better for combat, but it makes skills much worse for what you want a skill system for. There's enough things tied to combat, let skills be separate. Limiting skills to combat appropriate values really restricts how big differences should be between them, I'd like a game with more meaningful impact of focus on a skill. An expert in stealth should be more than than just a little better than trained.


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Unicore wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
It sounds like they are considering back off the +5 items for maybe a +3 max.

I really hope this is true. I’m not a huge fan of how item reliant characters can be, especially at high levels. Though this may just be due to the fact that currently skill items don’t seem to have any standardization whatsoever. Some skills get an item at lower levels than others, a few skills have multiple items but each only adds to a particular use of the skill (survival is really bad on this front) and many of them don’t even get a +5 item. So they either need to lower their impact or add a much wider variety of items and standardize what levels they are available at. Hell, they need to do the second one regardless.


Artificial 20 wrote:

I just want the gap between proficiency ranks to be 2 points.

Reduce max item bonus to +3, make the proficiency ranks -2, 0, +2, +4, +6, rebalance access, more impact within the same bounded range.

I'll take that update, thanks Paizo.

Grand Lodge

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Malk_Content wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.

I don't think it limits creativity at all. It opens it up to whole new possibilities.

Off the top of my head you could never have had the following idea in PF1 because skills operate on such a different scaling it would be impossibly strong.

Imaginary Psychic based class

Coercive Manouvre
You may use your Diplomacy skill for trip, bull rush and disarm attempts. If you are expert in Diplomacy you may attempt these actions from 10ft away, Master 15 or Legendary 25.

I understand that this does become an option. But at what cost?

Now skill modifiers are required to be as "tight" as combat modifiers. In a single combat encounter, a single character might be throwing five or six "attack" rolls. In total, the players might be making in excess of thirty rolls. When that many dice are being rolled, the +1 or +2 proficiency modifier afforded by being more trained might become noticeable amid the d20 "random noise".

On the other hand, in a social context, at least in most of the Pathfinder I've played, the number of skill rolls is much fewer. To make a modifier more noticeable when rolling a single die, a much larger modifier is required.

Even a system known for its extremely tight math (D&D 5e) displays this: there are several class features that allow a character to double her "proficiency bonus" to skills (for example, the first-level Rogue's Expertise), and there are Uncommon items that offer +5 modifiers to skill usages (Gloves of Thievery).

The other way of trying to make these modifiers more noticeable is to require a social encounter to be resolved by multiple rolls. There are several examples of this, (Chase rules, Skill Challenges, Social Combat, etc), but they all "feel" like forcing a very "gamist" perspective on what should be a roleplaying effort. So far, none of them have been particularly good.


in◆⃟ wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.

I don't think it limits creativity at all. It opens it up to whole new possibilities.

Off the top of my head you could never have had the following idea in PF1 because skills operate on such a different scaling it would be impossibly strong.

Imaginary Psychic based class

Coercive Manouvre
You may use your Diplomacy skill for trip, bull rush and disarm attempts. If you are expert in Diplomacy you may attempt these actions from 10ft away, Master 15 or Legendary 25.

I understand that this does become an option. But at what cost?

Now skill modifiers are required to be as "tight" as combat modifiers. In a single combat encounter, a single character might be throwing five or six "attack" rolls. In total, the players might be making in excess of thirty rolls. When that many dice are being rolled, the +1 or +2 proficiency modifier afforded by being more trained might become noticeable amid the d20 "random noise".

On the other hand, in a social context, at least in most of the Pathfinder I've played, the number of skill rolls is much fewer. To make a modifier more noticeable when rolling a single die, a much larger modifier is required.

But where do you draw that distinction? Is Bluff a social skill or a combat skill? Intimidate? When the system defines your Will, shouldn't you use that one value in and out of combat?

To me, the unified proficiency system is the answer.

Grand Lodge

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Nightwhisper wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.

I don't think it limits creativity at all. It opens it up to whole new possibilities.

Off the top of my head you could never have had the following idea in PF1 because skills operate on such a different scaling it would be impossibly strong.

Imaginary Psychic based class

Coercive Manouvre
You may use your Diplomacy skill for trip, bull rush and disarm attempts. If you are expert in Diplomacy you may attempt these actions from 10ft away, Master 15 or Legendary 25.

I understand that this does become an option. But at what cost?

Now skill modifiers are required to be as "tight" as combat modifiers. In a single combat encounter, a single character might be throwing five or six "attack" rolls. In total, the players might be making in excess of thirty rolls. When that many dice are being rolled, the +1 or +2 proficiency modifier afforded by being more trained might become noticeable amid the d20 "random noise".

On the other hand, in a social context, at least in most of the Pathfinder I've played, the number of skill rolls is much fewer. To make a modifier more noticeable when rolling a single die, a much larger modifier is required.

But where do you draw that distinction? Is Bluff a social skill or a combat skill? Intimidate? When the system defines your Will, shouldn't you use that one value in and out of combat?

To me, the unified proficiency system is the answer.

There's no such distinction. The difference is in the effect that a skill usage is able to produce in a combat situation.

Look at Pathfinder's usage of skills in-combat - Feint allows you to use Bluff to cause someone to become Flat-footed against your attack. But it requires a standard action. While that's not an insignificant effect, it's also not game-breaking. Even if you have a +150 to bluff.

Intimidate to demoralise too imparts the Shaken condition. Even if you're able to succeed 100% of the time, it's also not game-breaking.

Even most of the skill uses in PF2 don't have game-breaking effects if you can auto-succeed (critical success notwithstanding).

I can see why it's tempting to have a unified system where all the numbers are the same. To be honest it feels lazy. But they don't have the same degree of importance and it's folly to assume that they should.


in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
in◆⃟ wrote:
Nightwhisper wrote:
The problem is that items have to go to +5 because of legacy reasons related to weapons and armor. And that then has to go to extend to skill boosting items because having the numbers consistent allows for the interaction mentioned earlier.
I would argue that the interaction between skills, attacks and saves, while attractive on the surface, is the cause of a lot of problems and limits a lot of innovation and creativity.

I don't think it limits creativity at all. It opens it up to whole new possibilities.

Off the top of my head you could never have had the following idea in PF1 because skills operate on such a different scaling it would be impossibly strong.

Imaginary Psychic based class

Coercive Manouvre
You may use your Diplomacy skill for trip, bull rush and disarm attempts. If you are expert in Diplomacy you may attempt these actions from 10ft away, Master 15 or Legendary 25.

I understand that this does become an option. But at what cost?

Now skill modifiers are required to be as "tight" as combat modifiers. In a single combat encounter, a single character might be throwing five or six "attack" rolls. In total, the players might be making in excess of thirty rolls. When that many dice are being rolled, the +1 or +2 proficiency modifier afforded by being more trained might become noticeable amid the d20 "random noise".

On the other hand, in a social context, at least in most of the Pathfinder I've played, the number of skill rolls is much fewer. To make a modifier more noticeable when rolling a single die, a much larger modifier is required.

But where do you draw that distinction? Is Bluff a social skill or a combat skill? Intimidate? When the system defines your Will, shouldn't you use that one value in and out of combat?

To me, the unified proficiency system is the answer.

There's no such distinction. The difference is in the effect...

You can literally scare people to death with a skill feat. A critical success on a normal in combat Intimidate causes the Fleeing condition, taking an opponent out for one round, potentially two.

I can understand that it feels lazy, but for me it feels like there's an error in the system when taking Iron Will or having a Cloak of Resistance does not make you less likely to be intimidated, only less likely to be frightened by a dragon.

Not to mention that PF1e Intimidate requires its own way to calculate the DC, but Bluff is an opposed skill check (with a special modifier for the defender) and Diplomacy is against yet another difficulty depending on the target's disposition and Charisma (meaning that the greater their presence, the harder it is to make friends with them). No rhyme or reason.

Grand Lodge

There seem to be three different statements going on here...

Nightwhisper wrote:


...
in◆⃟ wrote:


There's no such distinction. The difference is in the effect that a skill usage is able to produce in a combat situation.

Look at Pathfinder's usage of skills in-combat - Feint allows you to use Bluff to cause someone to become Flat-footed against your attack. But it requires a standard action. While that's not an insignificant effect, it's also not game-breaking. Even if you have a +150 to bluff.

Intimidate to demoralise too imparts the Shaken condition. Even if you're able to succeed 100% of the time, it's also not game-breaking.

Even most of the skill uses in PF2 don't have game-breaking effects if you can auto-succeed (critical success notwithstanding).

I can see why it's tempting to have a unified system where all the numbers are the same. To be honest it feels lazy. But they don't have the same degree of importance and it's folly to assume that they should.

You can literally scare people to death with a skill feat. A critical success on a normal in combat Intimidate causes the Fleeing condition, taking an opponent out for one round, potentially two.

My point is that this being an option in PF2 is not necessarily a good thing. It limits non-combat uses of the skill. Luckily, PF2 is a new system. This should be open to change if the math doesn't work.

Moreover, imparting the Fleeing condition isn't exactly fun from a gameplay perspective. It causes combat to drag on more than anything else.

Nightwhisper wrote:
I can understand that it feels lazy, but for me it feels like there's an error in the system when taking Iron Will or having a Cloak of Resistance does not make you less likely to be intimidated, only less likely to be frightened by a dragon.

Now this sounds like an issue with PF1. It's not any stretch to believe that this won't be the case in PF2 - I don't believe that Iron Will or a Cloak of Resistance exist in PF2.

Also, should a dragon choose to intimidate you, your cloak and feat won't help.

Nightwhisper wrote:


Not to mention that PF1e Intimidate requires its own way to calculate the DC, but Bluff is an opposed skill check (with a special modifier for the defender) and Diplomacy is against yet another difficulty depending on the target's disposition and Charisma (meaning that the greater their presence, the harder it is to make friends with them). No rhyme or reason.

This seems to be aimed at Pathfinder, rather than the Playtest.

Diplomacy isn't a combat-relevant skill. It doesn't work in-combat (the -10 to use Diplomacy as a full-round action rule from D&D3.5 wasn't brought over to Pathfinder).

The DCs of Intimidate and Bluff are an attempt to compensate for the fact that it's likely that the enemy doesn't have ranks in Sense Motive. Regardless, the end effect of the Intimidate and Bluff checks, while sometimes significant, isn't game-breaking even if it's certain to work.


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in◆⃟ wrote:


Nightwhisper wrote:
I can understand that it feels lazy, but for me it feels like there's an error in the system when taking Iron Will or having a Cloak of Resistance does not make you less likely to be intimidated, only less likely to be frightened by a dragon.

Now this sounds like an issue with PF1. It's not any stretch to believe that this won't be the case in PF2 - I don't believe that Iron Will or a Cloak of Resistance exist in PF2.

Also, should a dragon choose to intimidate you, your cloak and feat won't help.

Umm, Iron Will does exist in PF2, it just raises your Will to Expert rather than give an untyped +2.

And Cloak of Resistance does not exist any more but it's almost exact effect has been added to magic armor.

And in PF2, these things do help against intimidation. In PF1 raising Will only helped against things like Frightful Presence that allowed a Will save (The Dragon fear referenced here) but not on fear resulting from an Intimidation check because that doesn't interact with your Will save.

In PF2 Will still helps against Frightful Presence and other magical fear but now Intimidation checks go against your Will DC instead of a totally independent DC with its own calculation method, so bolstering your will actually makes you harder to intimidate, unlike in PF1. That;s what the quoted comment is getting at.

And that kind of interaction is the kind of opening of the design space that unified proficiency allows. Intimidation in PF1 was nonsense, you could bump your Intimidate modifier so high that you could unfailingly demoralize or coerce any monster or character, no matter how stalwart or powerful they were, because the DC that Intimidate is rolled against runs on a completely different track that can never be pumped in the same way.

Unified proficiency avoids interactions like that where an application of something has so much higher of a ceiling than the defense against that thing, like the above where you can make yourself unfailing at intimidation but can never become unfailing at resisting intimidation.

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