Trying to understand removing +level from untrained proficiency


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One thought that crossed my mind is the reason they're making Untrained so punishing is to try and promote Intelligence being a more valuable attribute. If having a skill become Trained from Untrained makes it actually relevant to use, then having a higher Intelligence score besides for Class Features (which gives more Trained skills as a result) makes it very prudent for a player to consider if they want Skill usage to have more of an impact on their game.

I'd be curious to see how this would pan out in actual play, and if it would make Intelligence have more incentive, or if this is just overly punishing.

Another thing to consider is that the whole "no level to untrained" rule probably only applies to skills; proficiencies in armor and weapons are probably unchanged. If they aren't, it's pretty bad design just to meet the "keep it simple" demand.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

One thought that crossed my mind is the reason they're making Untrained so punishing is to try and promote Intelligence being a more valuable attribute. If having a skill become Trained from Untrained makes it actually relevant to use, then having a higher Intelligence score besides for Class Features (which gives more Trained skills as a result) makes it very prudent for a player to consider if they want Skill usage to have more of an impact on their game.

I'd be curious to see how this would pan out in actual play, and if it would make Intelligence have more incentive, or if this is just overly punishing.

Let's consider that. +level has been hugely controversial. Numerous people have begged for it to be removed and a lot of people have been very clear with their displeasure. Now, we can debate how many is "a lot". But the clear fact is that they said on numerous occasions that +level was not going anywhere. [I asked Jason myself directly on Facebook and he promptly and politely responded with that]

But now, at the 11th hour, they decide "you know INT need to be more important". And THAT changed everything.

I don't know how you see it, but I'll lean against this theory.

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Another thing to consider is that the whole "no level to untrained" rule probably only applies to skills; proficiencies in armor and weapons are probably unchanged. If they aren't, it's pretty bad design just to meet the "keep it simple" demand.

If they are only applying to skills then they are rocking the boat might hard for something that won't solve the problem they are addressing.

I agree it is "bad design" if you take it as-is and then remove +level. But as has been noted already, there are a lot of implications and a lot more changes are required by this one thing. We don't know how they are going about it. It will take work, so we shouldn't expect clarity real soon on that.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Another thing to consider is that the whole "no level to untrained" rule probably only applies to skills; proficiencies in armor and weapons are probably unchanged. If they aren't, it's pretty bad design just to meet the "keep it simple" demand.

I figure it would be a mistake (and one they would not consider) to make the proficiency system no longer unified. Every case of "this works the same for x, y, and z except it's different for z in cases a,b, and c"is going to cause problems.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Another thing to consider is that the whole "no level to untrained" rule probably only applies to skills; proficiencies in armor and weapons are probably unchanged. If they aren't, it's pretty bad design just to meet the "keep it simple" demand.
I figure it would be a mistake (and one they would not consider) to make the proficiency system no longer unified. Every case of "this works the same for x, y, and z except it's different for z in cases a,b, and c"is going to cause problems.

I'm not at all sure that's true.

Combat stuff has never worked the same way as the skill system before. It seems to me that it's unifying those that's causing a lot of the problems here.

The Exchange

MaxAstro wrote:
heretic wrote:
As much as there are ppl who want PCs who are kind of supermen/women who by osmosis are better than a doctor at surgery, a footballer at football and the flute than a master flautist etc. There are others who feel that is not wanted or needed.

I think that's a rather hyperbolic explanation of what untrained getting +level-4 achieved.

For one, surgery is not a thing you can even attempt untrained no matter your bonus.

For two, to be better than a master flutist, you would need to be 8 levels higher than the flutist, AND have just as much Charisma, AND have any magic or circumstantial items the flutist did... and you still couldn't put on a full performance because that's trained only.

That said, your point about the huge jump from untrained to trained I completely agree with - that's one of the things I strongly dislike about this change. Admittedly it was just as possible in PF1e.

Gosh! Excuse the length of this, I am speaking from my heart here!

My point isn’t really to do with whether or not there was a skill gated treat disease/treat poison vs administer first aid! Though the “surgeon” will be rather depressed at how good an untrained person is at that while his lifetime of study & years medical practice never granted him a single cleric spell or fighter class feat.

BTW when I say master flautist I assume you felt I meant “had a master proficiency” in it? If so, no I just mean master in the sense of really good, not just a journey man let alone an apprentice or gods forbid that guy who having murdered a piece proudly proclaims they’ve never had a single lesson.

The point is that under the playtest every PCs as they move up the levels are inexplicably good at all manner of stuff from Galt folk dancing to virtuosity with the rare Orcish nose pipes to acrobatics etc.

So a workaday jongleur will be outshone by a sorcerer within a few levels and by a tone deaf dwarf barbarian not too long after. When in ‘reality’ noone has any business being comparably good with a pro unless they actually spend time away from other endeavours learning how to be!

BTW surely an adventurer is more likely to have fancy magic kit over a jobbing pro musician not the other way round?

The inevitable impact that most DCs ending up as being level dependent regardless of a largely impractical instruction that they are not to be was my very first concern on reading the skills.

Anyhoo...

I am not expecting to dissuade you from thinking PCs should be superior in all things by design.

Accusing me of hyperbole while you (with all respect) are splitting hairs over skill gates for a ‘surgeon’ and argue the toss over wether a flautist will have the same stat as a levelling adventurer then suggesting a -4 to skills or possible access by everyday pros to cool magic items answers my concerns no more persuades me.

I was just hoping to explain why the developers might have felt a need to marginally derate the playtest skills system.

W


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Tridus wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Actually the experience with that Vitalist is one of the reasons I pushed against clerics in PF2e having loads of Channel Energy as their primary class feature - I have first hand experience with what a character that does completely unstoppable healing and nothing else looks like, and it's not really fun for anyone (the player actually switched characters after admitting that while instantly healing the party's wounds every round was fun at first, it wore thin after a while).

Oh, I agree with that entirely. I'm against healbot classes too. I think we just had a different way of going about solving that problem. :)

(The afformentioned Healer Cleric doesn't do just healing. But it is pretty fun to fire off a Blessing of Fervor, Swift Prayer, and Quick Channel all in one turn. "Okay team, be more awesome and here's some HP!" Especially when the next turn is Stormbolts. :D )

Heck yeah, someone else who knows throwing Stormbolts around is the way to go! XD 1d8?CL, target Fort so no Evasion, and Stun (AKA may-as-well-be-dead) on a failed save? Frick yeah!

But yeah, Clerics are my favorite too. I tend towards Battle Cleric with Fire and Healing domains. I don't care what optimization guides say, those buggers can actually provide meaningful healing in battle. Maybe not outpace damage, but throwing out Quick Channel between your spells can keep a party alive long enough to do the job.

And I say this as a GM who puts his party through the wringer routinely. XD

Ironically I've never really gone Warpriest. I appreciate the martial boosts, but could never bring myself to sacrifice top casting and weaken channel. Besides, buffs make up for the martial loss anyway in PF1. XP

Paizo Employee

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heretic wrote:


BTW when I say master flautist I assume you felt I meant “had a master proficiency” in it? If so l, no I just mean master in the sense of really good, not just a journey man let alone an apprentice or gods forbid that guy who having murdered a piece and proudly proclaimed they’ve never had a single lesson.

The point is that under the playtest every PCs as they move up the levels are inexplicably good at all manner of stuff from Galt folk dancing to virtuosity with the rare Orcish nose pipes to acrobatics etc.

So a workaday jongleur will be outshone by a sorcerer within a few levels and by a tone deaf dwarf barbarian not too long after. When in ‘reality’...

That's easily addressed by using the proficiency gating that already exists and making playing an instrument a trained-only use of the skill.

Most experts wouldn't be built using PC rules anyways in the playtest, they'd be built as NPCs. That was an area where PF1 fails really hard; you can't have a master baker backed by the mechanics without them inexplicably also being a high level character who apparently kneaded dough until they leveled up 10 times, because PF1 is built from a player-facing perspective where everything that is true for a PC must be true for everything else (even though that's not actually the case). If you take the tack the playtest has gone with though, and assume that building a character using PC rules is just one way someone might advance, then you can have CR 1 experts who are very good at one thing without also having to stack hit dice onto them. From that perspective, what is "true" about an expert (colloquial, not proficiency) is defined by the GM or designer creating the expert. A high level adventurer having a strong base of abilities doesn't create any incongruities if the fine uses of the skills are gated to trained only and NPCs don't have to follow the same formula.


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Ssalarn wrote:
thflame wrote:


Probably, but then I'd still be wondering why training only nets you a range of 7 points while just existing is a range of 20 points.

Because you're not just "existing" you are actively leveling up.

Levels are a game mechanic. They are something we, the players, interact with, not the characters.

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And it has pretty much always been a conceit of the game that higher level creatures are better in almost every way than lower level creatures.

Better in general? Yes. At everything? Nope. No matter how strong a T-Rex gets, without magic, it won't ever learn to speak, compose a symphony, etc.

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You don't become level 5 by sitting around waiting to level up, you do it by actively performing tasks until you get there.

Unless you're an NPC that just so happens to need a certain proficiency level to contribute to the plot.

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The successful completion of those tasks makes you an objectively better being than the version of you that sat around existing, and successfully completing new and greater challenges will allow you to become an objectively better being than the person who you were before.

Here's a highly probable, and likely extremely common example as to why this makes zero sense.

Imagine a party of level 1 characters that gets to level 2 by raiding a dungeon filled with goblins. Why do these characters get better at Performance, Arcana, swimming, Lore in any area beyond Goblins and dungeoneering, etc.? Realistically, they don't, but PF2 says they do because "they got a level".

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Do people complain that wizards get more hit points every time they level up? What if the wizard never got injured a single time during that entire level? My experience is that someone who has never been in a fight before is way more likely to go down at the first punch, regardless of their starting physicality.

Final Fantasy 2 actually did this. HP only increased if you got hit. It was bad because, at a certain point, you couldn't avoid damage and characters with low HP would get one shot.

From a gameplay standpoint HP NEEDS to increase, as the alternative makes characters too frail to take a hit, which is GOING to happen.

This doesn't apply to Skills, in general, because there are ALWAYS alternate solutions, and you can reasonably make the choice to get training in these skills if you think it is necessary.

From a verisimilitude standpoint, the wizard sees his allies get hit, probably helps treat their wounds and learns, second hand, what it is like to get hit. Even so, they still get LESS HP than other classes, BECAUSE they aren't generally getting hit.

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It's harder for me to believe that someone could essentially make it all the way through basic training in the Army (lets say for the sake of argument that that's the difference between level 1 and level 2, or maybe the difference between a human without a class and a human with their first class level) and not have picked up a bunch of things they weren't specifically trained in.

"A bunch" =/= "all". I guarantee you that I am a better programmer than 95% of military personnel, because basic training does not usually teach programming.

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You'll be better at intimidation, because you've seen other people doing it a lot,

Maybe. But I know some pretty timid people who were in the military. Turns out, most grunts are pretty tame emotionally, or else they ted to get dishonorably discharged early.

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you'll be better at picking up accents and have accumulated a significant amount of knowledge through your interactions with a new and diverse group of people,

After basic training? Nope. Even after being stationed overseas, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between two citizens from different Arabic countries. (Thought the military will probably have you take a class on local customs and basic language.) You would probably know just as much as the average person who watches the news.

Also, keep in mind that most PF characters aren't soldiers, being forced to take classes on stuff outside their focus.

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and you'll likely be significantly better at all physical tasks (even the ones that don't involve push-ups, sit-ups, or running).

Well yeah. At some point, I'd assume that soldier types would put points in Athletics. But not all martial characters are soldier types.

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Heck, I even picked up a few chords and learned to play the guitar a bit (Perform) by watching one of my roommates play.

And I didn't because I didn't care to pay any attention to my roommate's guitar playing.

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The sum totality of experience is represented by a level.

True.

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A proficiency rank just represents the extra spice of proper training or specialization.

The effectiveness of "training" should not be limited to "spice". Training is MUCH more important than "how long you have been doing stuff unrelated to said skill".

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I'm less fond of, and believe that there is less thematic consistency in, a world where a wizard can battle their way through goblins, orcs, ogres, trolls, dragons, and demons only to be tripped up by a 20-foot escarpment at the end of it because they're out of fly spells.

Aside from my entire issue with Vancian Casting, this seems totally legitimate to me. You don't have the tools for the job? You can't do it. Find another way. It's a heck of a lot better than that wizard making the jump on a 15, while the legendary fighter falls to his death on a 5.

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Or where a 26 Strength giant-sized barbarian can't Intimidate a CR 1 bookkeeper because no one taught him how to be scary.

Your barbarian doesn't scare the bookeeper, because he ISN'T scary, but the bookkeeper does what he says anyway, because the bookkeeper knows that your barbarian could easily follow through on the threat.

Heck, he may not do what he says, because you both know that if your barbarian tries anything like that, the whole city will come down on him like a ton of bricks.

Intimidation is about being able to make a believable threat against them (effectively bluffing).

By having no proficiency in Intimidate, this shows me that your barbarian prefers to go straight to violence, or avoid confrontation in favor of Diplomacy or something else.

If you want a good counter example, imagine, instead of a barbarian, a paladin or a cleric of a peaceful deity. How the heck is a paladin going to threaten an innocent bookkeeper with violence? He pretty much can't, unless he can sound very convincing that he is willing to fall over this.

For your basic training example above, Privates aren't usually physically intimidated by drill sergeants. They just know that they can make their life a living hell if they don't do what they say. An intimidating drill sergeant would be the guy that could threaten to blow your head of with his service pistol and dump your body under the latrine (something he can't legally do) and make you believe that he would actually do it.

If you want a REAL counter example of that. Watch Full Metal Jacket. The drill sergeant in that film was a REAL drill sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant R Lee Ermey. He ad lib'd his scenes with the actors, but the actors were barely holding back laughter the entire time (until Ermey actually hit one of them). Obviously they weren't Intimidated, even though Ermey was trying his best to be intimidating. (I guess Ermey missed your memo on all soldiers being intimidating.)

In short, it's easy to be intimidating when you can easily follow through on your threat. It's a LOT harder when you have to convince the other guy that you are willing to go there, despite what might happen to you.

Paizo Employee

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thflame wrote:
Levels are a game mechanic. They are something we, the players, interact with, not the characters.

Alternative viewpoint, they are a gamist abstraction reflecting a real increase in power within the context of the game world. While the character might not go "Oh man, I leveled up", they did in fact experience a real increase in power that affected how they interact with and are affected by the game world.

thflame wrote:
Better in general? Yes. At everything? Nope. No matter how strong a T-Rex gets, without magic, it won't ever learn to speak, compose a symphony, etc.

Untrue. A t-rex who leveled up sufficiently could increase its intelligence score, take a point in Linguistics, and learn a language. At least in the current edition of the game. Even ignoring that, I don't see that as an argument against +level, I see it as an argument for more gates within skills requiring training to do something like play an instrument.

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After basic training? Nope. Even after being stationed overseas, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between two citizens from different Arabic countries. (Thought the military will probably have you take a class on local customs and basic language.) You would probably know just as much as the average person who watches the news.

Also, keep in mind that most PF characters aren't soldiers, being forced to take classes on stuff outside their focus.

I was speaking from personal experience there, so lets just leave it that my real life experience as a soldier contradicts your statement.

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And I didn't because I didn't care to pay any attention to my roommate's guitar playing.

Maybe if you had you'd have leveled up by now.

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The effectiveness of "training" should not be limited to "spice". Training is MUCH more important than "how long you have been doing stuff unrelated to said skill".

Which is why proficiency gates should be used to separate out things that simply aren't possible without training.

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Aside from my entire issue with Vancian Casting, this seems totally legitimate to me. You don't have the tools for the job? You can't do it. Find another way. It's a heck of a lot better than that wizard making the jump on a 15, while the legendary fighter falls to his death on a 5.

False equivalency. If the fighter is truly legendary than he won't fail the check.

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Your barbarian doesn't scare the bookeeper, because he ISN'T scary, but the bookkeeper does what he says anyway, because the bookkeeper knows that your barbarian could easily follow through on the threat.

I mean, yeah, we can make up rules all we want to make the narrative fit our desires, but that's not an argument for or against a rules structure, it's just rule-zeroing away the inconsistency that is inconvenient to your stance.

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Intimidation is about being able to make a believable threat against them (effectively bluffing).

No, it's not. Bluff is part of a completely separate skill. Intimidation is conveying the threat you pose in such a way that you don't have to follow through on the threat, or to force someone into making subpar choices due to your threatening influence.

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If you want a good counter example, imagine, instead of a barbarian, a paladin or a cleric of a peaceful deity. How the heck is a paladin going to threaten an innocent bookkeeper with violence? He pretty much can't, unless he can sound very convincing that he is willing to fall over this.

Based on your entirely subjective interpretation of Intimidate, that would be true. But a paladin could simply say "Withholding this information from me would have dire consequences for all of us. You don't want to be the cause of suffering for yourself or others do you? Don't force me to take this to a higher authority." Which could easily coerce the bookkeeper to relinquish the information without negatively impacting the paladin's oaths and anathema.

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For your basic training example above, Privates aren't usually physically intimidated by drill sergeants.

Have you been through basic training? Because I have, and my experience contradicts yours. Even were that not the case, you added the clause of "physically" intimidating, which is not a function or even something someone necessarily does. Many people are physically intimidated by someone solely because of their size or raw physicality without the person taking any action to intimidate them or needing to do anything at all.

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They just know that they can make their life a living hell if they don't do what they say. An intimidating drill sergeant would be the guy that could threaten to blow your head of with his service pistol and dump your body under the latrine (something he can't legally do) and make you believe that he would actually do it.

That is, again, youir interpretation of Intimidate which is not in any way supported by the rules. The most frightening and effective drill sergeants are typically the ones who don't say anything at all (or the minimal amount necessary) and use their presence and stance to convey significant threat with a simple phrase like "Excuse me, soldier?" loaded with menacing promise.

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If you want a REAL counter example of that. Watch Full Metal Jacket. The drill sergeant in that film was a REAL drill sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant R Lee Ermey. He ad lib'd his scenes with the actors, but the actors were barely holding back laughter the entire time (until Ermey actually hit one of them). Obviously they weren't Intimidated, even though Ermey was trying his best to be intimidating. (I guess Ermey missed your memo on all soldiers being intimidating.)

To put it in game terms, that is someone taking a significant penalty to their Intimidate check because they are in a circumstance where everyone knows they can't follow through on the threat. It's not a "REAL" counter example because it's not a real situation.

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In short, it's easy to be intimidating when you can easily follow through on your threat. It's a LOT harder when you have to convince the other guy that you are willing to go there, despite what might happen to you.

Which is meaningless in the context of the conversation. The "reality" of the situation is that a high level character is going to be fundamentally more capable of following through on his threats than most lower level characters, by virtue of acquired power. That's true regardless of class.


BryonD wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

One thought that crossed my mind is the reason they're making Untrained so punishing is to try and promote Intelligence being a more valuable attribute. If having a skill become Trained from Untrained makes it actually relevant to use, then having a higher Intelligence score besides for Class Features (which gives more Trained skills as a result) makes it very prudent for a player to consider if they want Skill usage to have more of an impact on their game.

I'd be curious to see how this would pan out in actual play, and if it would make Intelligence have more incentive, or if this is just overly punishing.

Let's consider that. +level has been hugely controversial. Numerous people have begged for it to be removed and a lot of people have been very clear with their displeasure. Now, we can debate how many is "a lot". But the clear fact is that they said on numerous occasions that +level was not going anywhere. [I asked Jason myself directly on Facebook and he promptly and politely responded with that]

But now, at the 11th hour, they decide "you know INT need to be more important". And THAT changed everything.

I don't know how you see it, but I'll lean against this theory.

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Another thing to consider is that the whole "no level to untrained" rule probably only applies to skills; proficiencies in armor and weapons are probably unchanged. If they aren't, it's pretty bad design just to meet the "keep it simple" demand.

If they are only applying to skills then they are rocking the boat might hard for something that won't solve the problem they are addressing.

I agree it is "bad design" if you take it as-is and then remove +level. But as has been noted already, there are a lot of implications and a lot more changes are required by this one thing. We don't know how they are going about it. It will take work, so we shouldn't expect clarity real soon on that.

I did say it was but a thought. It really only makes sense since the biggest way to overcome the bonus disparity from those two tiers of proficiency is to ascend to the better tier, which can be done in numerous ways. The first being boosting Intelligence, the other being spending General/Skill Feats to acquire new trained skills, or even Dedication feats via Class Feats if you need to. Of course, this still raises the question of "Intelligence is still too weak, what can be done to make it more valuable of an attribute?" But I suppose that doesn't matter in a thread like this.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Another thing to consider is that the whole "no level to untrained" rule probably only applies to skills; proficiencies in armor and weapons are probably unchanged. If they aren't, it's pretty bad design just to meet the "keep it simple" demand.
I figure it would be a mistake (and one they would not consider) to make the proficiency system no longer unified. Every case of "this works the same for x, y, and z except it's different for z in cases a,b, and c"is going to cause problems.

It hasn't caused problems in PF1. Nobody with 2 ranks in X, 3 ranks in Y, and 7 ranks in Z ever batted an eye as to how and why they got that, or why they're different. Skills have always been handled differently from other character options, in every edition of D&D, and PF1 is no different.

This question really only comes from the fact that it's so easy to hit a Level 20 Wizard in Full Plate compared to one that's unarmored with Bracers of Armor. Corner case and unlikely to come up, but I've seen people make the arguments of "Desert Level 20 Character is a Godlike Swimmer" all the time when we had it the other way, so I just find it funny that when the shoe is on the other foot the other side doesn't seem to care about the pebble lodging itself into the heel of the other foot.


Tridus wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
I don't get the examples of the wizard and the monk. All characters are trained in unarmored. So they actually gained +2.

But if you are wearing armor, then you use your proficiency with the armor (which is none, for wizard or monk).

So 15th level wizard with 10 dex has an AC of 27 (10 + 15 for level + 2 for trained). If you force that wizard into a suit of padded armor, he suddenly has an AC of 11 (10 + 1 for padded armor + 0 for untrained).

While this is true, it feels just as contrived as "force a PF1 Druid into a Breastplate and they suddenly can't do anything."

They're both true, but they're both things that you have to really go out of your way to make ever come up in a typical game.

I once played a bloodrager NPC party member with the Wings of Air feat.

Wings of Air
The winds lift you, carrying you where you want to go.
Prerequisites: Airy Step, character level 9th, sylph.
Benefit: Your bonus on saves against effects with the air or electricity descriptors and effects that deal electricity damage increases to +4. In addition, you gain a supernatural fly speed equal to your base speed (good maneuverability). You may only fly with this ability when wearing light armor or no armor.

She wore an armored coat, a form of medium armor that she could don or remove as a move action. She could take off the armored coat and carry it on one arm to fly overland. In battle, to fly while wearing the coat she used her Air Elemental bloodline ability to fly while raging. Later, she crafted a mithral armored coat (she had grown accustomed to wearing an enchanted robe under the coat) because "Most mithral armors are one category lighter than normal for purposes of movement and other limitations," and flying is movement.

BryonD wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Also, relatively easy to make a rule to handle armor proficiency. Such as armor being universally calculated as: level + dex mod + armor bonus
Which means that all classes are trained in all armors. Which makes no sense for narrative. But, it is also very odd as a practical solution. They just removed +level from untrained. Removing "untrained" would fly in the face of the change they made.

The change does not have to be as drastic as WatersLethe's suggestion. How about, "A character may use unarmored defense while wearing armor. She retains all the penalties and restrictions of the armor, but no longer gains the item bonus to AC from the armor."


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
BryonD wrote:
A couple things. First, I think we are largely in agreement.

Possibly, but the devil, as usual, is in the detail.

BryonD wrote:
As to making the AC moot, well, I'm not arguing you there, but *that point* is obviously moot to a conversation focused on what that AC is and why.

This is true if you're considering the narrative viewpoint to the exclusion of all others. I beg to differ: Narrative verisimilitude is very important, under the condition that the game remains playable at all levels. Otherwise we might as well revert to PF1: Then not just one point, but the entire conversation becomes moot.

BryonD wrote:
I agree that naked high level wizards don't actually fight orcs. But that was not the point. The point is, I cherish the narrative. And I know the mechanics. If the mechanics are not tied to the narrative, then they are "wrong" as far as I am personally concerned. If it is stone giants and they are hitting 70% of the time instead of 95% of the time, it still works. If the move to 70% is because of a spell and a ring and an amulet, then cool. If it is because of "hey, the math works out the same" then I'm off to play a game that remembers this is about a story.

Right now, with the numbers at hand (yes, they will change, so our mileage is limited in such calculations): A CR 10 monster, the fire giant, has +20 to attacks. A level 10 wizard trained in unarmored combat (+level+2), Dex 16 (+3), and no equipment or active spells has AC 25. The giant hits 80% of the time and crits 30% of the time. These numbers go down by 15% if the wizard has mage armor or level-appropriate bracers on. I don't think the narrative for that is absurd, certainly not to the point that the story breaks and you have to leave the room... Do you?


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Ssalarn wrote:
thflame wrote:
Levels are a game mechanic. They are something we, the players, interact with, not the characters.
Alternative viewpoint, they are a gamist abstraction reflecting a real increase in power within the context of the game world. While the character might not go "Oh man, I leveled up", they did in fact experience a real increase in power that affected how they interact with and are affected by the game world.

That doesn't mean they got better at everything. They just got enough better at enough things to be "on a different level". We don't need a +1 to everything every level to adequately represent the power increase of a level.

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thflame wrote:
Better in general? Yes. At everything? Nope. No matter how strong a T-Rex gets, without magic, it won't ever learn to speak, compose a symphony, etc.
Untrue. A t-rex who leveled up sufficiently could increase its intelligence score, take a point in Linguistics, and learn a language. At least in the current edition of the game. Even ignoring that, I don't see that as an argument against +level, I see it as an argument for more gates within skills requiring training to do something like play an instrument.

I would not want to play in that game. A T-Rex has a physical limitation on how smart it can get. Barring magic(or something similar), it will never breach animal intelligence.

Maybe you could train one to do tricks, or roar on command, but not speak.

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After basic training? Nope. Even after being stationed overseas, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between two citizens from different Arabic countries. (Thought the military will probably have you take a class on local customs and basic language.) You would probably know just as much as the average person who watches the news.

Also, keep in mind that most PF characters aren't soldiers, being forced to take classes on stuff outside their focus.

I was speaking from personal experience there, so lets just leave it that my real life experience as a soldier contradicts your statement.

Most of the adults in my family are veterans. Everything they learned in the military (aside from stuff like, "that guy is a jerk", or "this place has good food") was taught to them in classes, either as part of basic, or as part of their specializations.

A character that was a soldier in a military in the world of Golarion would likely have their skills determined by the military they belonged to.

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And I didn't because I didn't care to pay any attention to my roommate's guitar playing.
Maybe if you had you'd have leveled up by now.

Let's try to keep this classy.

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The effectiveness of "training" should not be limited to "spice". Training is MUCH more important than "how long you have been doing stuff unrelated to said skill".
Which is why proficiency gates should be used to separate out things that simply aren't possible without training.

No. I literally mean that a mathematician is NOTICEABLY better at basic math than someone who graduated high school. PF2 would literally assume that a PFC would be better at Algebra than a Math Major in college, because the PFC has fought in battles, and thus, has more levels.

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Aside from my entire issue with Vancian Casting, this seems totally legitimate to me. You don't have the tools for the job? You can't do it. Find another way. It's a heck of a lot better than that wizard making the jump on a 15, while the legendary fighter falls to his death on a 5.
False equivalency. If the fighter is truly legendary than he won't fail the check.

No, it's not. The difference between Untrained and Legendary is 7 points in the old rules. That could totally happen. It probably DID happen a few times in the playtest.

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Your barbarian doesn't scare the bookeeper, because he ISN'T scary, but the bookkeeper does what he says anyway, because the bookkeeper knows that your barbarian could easily follow through on the threat.
I mean, yeah, we can make up rules all we want to make the narrative fit our desires, but that's not an argument for or against a rules structure, it's just rule-zeroing away the inconsistency that is inconvenient to your stance.

Fine, I'll offer a counter example: Level 1 disgruntled peasant get's lucky and put's a knife to the king's throat. Does he roll to intimidate the level 20 PCs (who, for argument's sake have left their weapons at the gate and are in an Anti-Magic-Field), or do the PCs just assume that the peasant will kill the king if they don't take him seriously.

By your logic, they won't be, because they are a higher level. But, unless they are jerks who don't care about the king, they will likely try to negotiate with the peasant, who is poised to kill the king.

Ergo, they aren't "intimidated" per se, but they realize that the situation is dangerous enough that they yield to the peasant's demands, at least for now.

Where the intimidate check comes in is when the threat isn't immediately obvious.

Man in a cloak draws a sword and demands your coin purse or your life. Is he bluffing? Can he take your character in a fight? Is it worth the trouble?

It comes back to the "paladin is immune to fear" fiasco in 3.P. Yeah, your paladin is immune to fear, but that doesn't stop him from running away from a Great Wyrm Red when he's level 5.

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Intimidation is about being able to make a believable threat against them (effectively bluffing).
No, it's not. Bluff is part of a completely separate skill. Intimidation is conveying the threat you pose in such a way that you don't have to follow through on the threat, or to force someone into making subpar choices due to your threatening influence.

Perhaps I misspoke. A bluff CAN be an intimidation check, but an Intimidation check isn't always a bluff. Though, usually, when a character makes a threat that they are easily capable of and willing to follow through on, the check is not rolled, because the check is pointless. If the target is intimidated, then the character get's what he wants. If not, then the character follows through on the check and bad stuff happens.

If the character is incapable of following through with the threat (either because they aren't physically capable, or they aren't willing to do so) then a check in needed (and they are essentially bluffing).

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If you want a good counter example, imagine, instead of a barbarian, a paladin or a cleric of a peaceful deity. How the heck is a paladin going to threaten an innocent bookkeeper with violence? He pretty much can't, unless he can sound very convincing that he is willing to fall over this.
Based on your entirely subjective interpretation of Intimidate, that would be true. But a paladin could simply say "Withholding this information from me would have dire consequences for all of us. You don't want to be the cause of suffering for yourself or others do you? Don't force me to take this to a higher authority." Which could easily coerce the bookkeeper to relinquish the information without negatively impacting the paladin's oaths and anathema.

That would fall under Diplomacy more than Intimidation. First of all, it requires the target of the "intimidation" to be in danger if they don't cooperate AND under the jurisdiction of a higher authority that cares to punish them. If neither of those are true, then there is no reason to cooperate with the paladin.

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For your basic training example above, Privates aren't usually physically intimidated by drill sergeants.
Have you been through basic training? Because I have, and my experience contradicts yours. Even were that not the case, you added the clause of "physically" intimidating, which is not a function or even something someone necessarily does. Many people are physically intimidated by someone solely because of their size or raw physicality without the person taking any action to intimidate them or needing to do anything at all.

Both of my parents were in the military. The reason why you are "afraid" of your drill sergeants is because they can make you run extra miles, do extra push ups, clean the latrines with your toothbrush, etc. They have authority over you to make your life hell.

As for the second part of that, as I have already discussed, people who are physically capable of harming you, and willing to do so, don't need to make an intimidate check, because it would be pointless. Either you cave because you fail, or you cave anyway(because you're smart), or you resist because you're and idiot and you get your butt handed to you.

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They just know that they can make their life a living hell if they don't do what they say. An intimidating drill sergeant would be the guy that could threaten to blow your head of with his service pistol and dump your body under the latrine (something he can't legally do) and make you believe that he would actually do it.
That is, again, youir interpretation of Intimidate which is not in any way supported by the rules. The most frightening and effective drill sergeants are typically the ones who don't say anything at all (or the minimal amount necessary) and use their presence and stance to convey significant threat with a simple phrase like "Excuse me, soldier?" loaded with menacing promise.

You were only intimidated because they could make your life a living hell. If this were a TTRPG, they wouldn't even roll the check. They would say, "drop and give me 50" and you would do so, or you would be subject to disciplinary action. (Or they would wake everyone up at "o'dark thirty" and tell everyone that their early morning was thanks to YOU.

Again, they have both the authority to carry out the threat and the willingness to do so. The only way you wouldn't be intimidated is if you didn't care what they did to you.

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If you want a REAL counter example of that. Watch Full Metal Jacket. The drill sergeant in that film was a REAL drill sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant R Lee Ermey. He ad lib'd his scenes with the actors, but the actors were barely holding back laughter the entire time (until Ermey actually hit one of them). Obviously they weren't Intimidated, even though Ermey was trying his best to be intimidating. (I guess Ermey missed your memo on all soldiers being intimidating.)
To put it in game terms, that is someone taking a significant penalty to their Intimidate check because they are in a circumstance where everyone knows they can't follow through on the threat. It's not a "REAL" counter example because it's not a real situation.

Shouldn't matter by your logic. Ermey is obviously a "higher level" than these actors were, and he's likely an Expert at Intimidation (again by your logic.)

Or, Ermey wasn't intimidating, he was just in a position of authority while he was in the Marines and people respected his authority and knew he could give them hell if they didn't.

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In short, it's easy to be intimidating when you can easily follow through on your threat. It's a LOT harder when you have to convince the other guy that you are willing to go there, despite what might happen to you.
Which is meaningless in the context of the conversation. The "reality" of the situation is that a high level character is going to be fundamentally more capable of following through on his threats than most lower level characters, by virtue of acquired power. That's true regardless of class.

Here's another example as to why level shouldn't matter.

Take two identical old geezers. One is a level 20 wizard, and the other is just some old guy. Both say, in the exact same tone of voice, "give me your coin purse, or I'll turn you into a newt" to a level 1 fighter.

The fighter has no idea which one if any is a high level wizard. (Chances are, they're both just old peasants that he could dispatch with a casual swing of his sword.) Why would he be randomly intimidated by the level 20 wizard.

Heck, the fighter has no concept of "level". They ARE just two old guys to him.

Unless the high level wizard has practiced being intimidating, he won't actually sway the fighter, because the fighter will think that he is just some crazy old coot. (It sucks for the fighter if the wizard follows through, though.)

I can literally think of dozens of examples of high level characters being incapable of intimidating low level characters.


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I feel like you could fix the "put someone in armor they are not-proficient in and suddenly their AC drops by 10" with something like "you can choose to use your unarmored proficiency minus the ACP of the appropriate armor if it would be higher."


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thflame wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
thflame wrote:
The effectiveness of "training" should not be limited to "spice". Training is MUCH more important than "how long you have been doing stuff unrelated to said skill".
Which is why proficiency gates should be used to separate out things that simply aren't possible without training.
No. I literally mean that a mathematician is NOTICEABLY better at basic math than someone who graduated high school. PF2 would literally assume that a PFC would be better at Algebra than a Math Major in college, because the PFC has fought in battles, and thus, has more levels.

We mathematicians are not necessarily better at basic math. As my wife joked before I retired, the only numbers I worked with were 0 and 1. I used to develop algorithms for that 5% of military personnel who were trained in computer programming.

I trained myself in mental arithmetic because I was embarrassed to pick up a pocket calculator in front of my class for adding together two-digit numbers in an earlier job as a college professor. And I can derive most trigonometric formulae from a simple application of Euler's formula. Thus, I am better at basic math than most people.

Furthermore, we polymath-muse bards wrestle with the forces of logic itself. That is lots of xp from a single victory, so we level up quickly and can stay ahead of a Private First Class. Yet somehow I managed to remain untrained in Performance, as anyone who ever heard me sing would confirm.


When the final game comes out, I'm going to try the rules as printed. If they still have untrained equals no bonus, I'll try it. If it doesn't work out, I'll probably do untrained equals +1/2 level or something similar.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
Overall, this is just a change that doesn’t make sense to me, but I know it has made a lot of folks happy. I would love to hear why.

For me it’s simply because I like the idea of remaining bad at something forever. Nearly all my characters have some weakness/phobia/blindspot in this way and looking at how things were in the playtest book, I couldn’t really recreate any of them at high level.

My houserule was going to be:

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each PC chooses 0-4 “blindspot” skills that incur a -1/level penalty if untrained.

I suspect Paizo’s changes will end up achieving a similar result.

Ultimately, I think it’s that I regard level as important but not as all pervasive as PF2 has set it. I can live with the change in importance, but not having any true, crippling* weaknesses (skills-wise, in particular) didn’t sound fun, to me.

*:
As in “not worth trying, find another way”. I think alternate methods of solving the problems are important, so I would want +1/level for things like saves and AC which are generally unavoidable tests at some point in a PC’s career. I’m just keen to lose it for some more situational challenges.


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This is all problem of d20, it's very existance.

Having a tool(d20) that gives same chance for best/worst(20/1) performance and an average one(10) is a bad tool. As that is not how things work.

If we have 3d6 instead of d20 +1/level or lack of it, and proficiency going from +0 to +3 would have some meaning.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Overall, this is just a change that doesn’t make sense to me, but I know it has made a lot of folks happy. I would love to hear why.
For me it’s simply because I like the idea of remaining bad at something forever. Nearly all my characters have some weakness/phobia/blindspot in this way and looking at how things were in the playtest book, I couldn’t really recreate any of them at high level.

The playtest rules say that you can give your character flaws for roleplaying purposes if you desire, so I'm not sure why you felt you couldn't make a character who is bad at a particular skill.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Really? Where does it say that?

(To be clear, I mean specifically not getting better at a specific skill. I don’t mean stuff like “scared of heights”).


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:

Really? Where does it say that?

(To be clear, I mean specifically not getting better at a specific skill. I don’t mean stuff like “scared of heights”).

Pretty sure they're just talking about the old "kneecap yourself without any sort of benefit or balance or rules support so that the other players at the table secretly stop inviting you" thing.

Yes, we know you can voluntarily gimp your character while everyone else is playing the default infallible mary sues.


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Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:

Really? Where does it say that?

(To be clear, I mean specifically not getting better at a specific skill. I don’t mean stuff like “scared of heights”).

"Voluntary flaws", p19. This is about ability flaws, though, not skills.


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WatersLethe wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Really? Where does it say that?

(To be clear, I mean specifically not getting better at a specific skill. I don’t mean stuff like “scared of heights”).

Pretty sure they're just talking about the old "kneecap yourself without any sort of benefit or balance or rules support so that the other players at the table secretly stop inviting you" thing.

Yes, we know you can voluntarily gimp your character while everyone else is playing the default infallible mary sues.

Getting benefit for weakening yourself was the base of the minmaxing mess in PF1. Just ask every Cha 7 Str 18 Fighter out there for a start.

Everyone who I have seen complain that they should be able to be bad at things seems to get so offended at the notion that they wouldn't get a mechanical benefit for a choice they claim is for roleplay. When you attach a mechanical benefit to this you get people making themselves bad at as many things as they can get away with to get better at their main thing. And then everyone else has to join in or fall behind.

I've said this before but if your group shuns you because, say, you can't swim or woo a crowd then your group sucks and you're better off without.

Also I love how you refer to being bad at an untrained skill or two as "Gimping" your character, but you want everyone to be bad at all untrained skills. "I want to roleplay being bad at something, but everyone else has to be bad at a bunch of things too", basically.

And of course make sure to throw in the "Mary Sue" buzzword to discredit people who actually like playing across-the-board-competent superhumans at high levels who find their challenges in things other than the number on their untrained skill modifier, or who face great enough challenges that being untrained doesn't cut it even with their level added.

If you want to roleplay being bad at something that won't totally disrupt the game, just do it. If you have a good group they'll go with it for the good roleplay. You shouldn't have to make everyone else have to be bad at a bunch of things whether they want to or not to do this.


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gwynfrid wrote:


This is true if you're considering the narrative viewpoint to the exclusion of all others. I beg to differ: Narrative verisimilitude is very important, under the condition that the game remains playable at all levels. Otherwise we might as well revert to PF1: Then not just one point, but the entire conversation becomes moot.

Heh :)

YES!! I agree that regardless of all other points, the game must still NOT SUCK. :)

But, all that really means is that the game has multiple ways to fail. there are a lot of high standards which have already been achieved by other games. To some degree any new game must achieve all of them. Now clearly you can back off of some points if you double down on a key segment of the market. There is give and take. But the bar is very high these days.

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Right now, with the numbers at hand (yes, they will change, so our mileage is limited in such calculations): A CR 10 monster, the fire giant, has +20 to attacks. A level 10 wizard trained in unarmored combat (+level+2), Dex 16 (+3), and no equipment or active spells has AC 25. The giant hits 80% of the time and crits 30% of the time. These numbers go down by 15% if the wizard has mage armor or level-appropriate bracers on. I don't think the narrative for that is absurd, certainly not to the point that the story breaks and you have to leave the room... Do you?

Yes. Because you have again taken it back to "the numbers are ok", which is not close to adequate for me. The *REASON* for those numbers must also be ok. They are not. I know it. Fun == Not here.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


I did say it was but a thought. It really only...

I hear you.

all I can really offer is that you should seriously try to look at it from the point of view that they want to grow their fanbase.
I know that you and others love it the way it was.
But digging in your heels won't help you. It won't help anyone.

4E fans bug in their heels and they won. Until they lost.

Clearly, IMSO, there is a serious need to rework the system to broaden the appeal. This does not mean that you need to be kicked out of the boat. There is room for a core game that is adaptable. But you can help with that by working for a solution which improves the broad appeal of the game while retaining adaptability for you. Your post, to me, come off as if you simply refuse to entertain the idea that they are needing to make a serious change. And so you suggest things that mitigate or undo the impacts of that change.

If that is where you want to stay, then so be it. I went down this road with the 4E fans and they still call me a h4ter. shrug.

There is room for a lot of diversity at the table. Right now, I'm completely excluded. The changes presented suggest that I may become included. But they have not remotely crossed that line yet. I think they are working in that general direction. But we will see.

But I think you would best served in protecting your own interests by being realistic about the NEEDED changes and then making suggestions that support your tastes while also working with the marketplace demands.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Edge93 wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Really? Where does it say that?

(To be clear, I mean specifically not getting better at a specific skill. I don’t mean stuff like “scared of heights”).

Pretty sure they're just talking about the old "kneecap yourself without any sort of benefit or balance or rules support so that the other players at the table secretly stop inviting you" thing.

Yes, we know you can voluntarily gimp your character while everyone else is playing the default infallible mary sues.

Getting benefit for weakening yourself was the base of the minmaxing mess in PF1. Just ask every Cha 7 Str 18 Fighter out there for a start.

Everyone who I have seen complain that they should be able to be bad at things seems to get so offended at the notion that they wouldn't get a mechanical benefit for a choice they claim is for roleplay. When you attach a mechanical benefit to this you get people making themselves bad at as many things as they can get away with to get better at their main thing. And then everyone else has to join in or fall behind.

Was “everyone” just casual hyperbole there? (ie did you mean “a lot of people”?)

To be clear, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with casual hyperbole, I’m just curious as I’m included at the start of that quote train and the houserule I had prepared to implement prior to these changes (half a dozen posts above yours) neither grants compensation for a flaw nor insists those who want to be good at everything need to partake.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
gwynfrid wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Really? Where does it say that?

(To be clear, I mean specifically not getting better at a specific skill. I don’t mean stuff like “scared of heights”).

"Voluntary flaws", p19. This is about ability flaws, though, not skills.

Ah, cheers. Yeah that’s not what I meant.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

To be fair, Bryon, until you got something resembling your way on this issue, you were pretty solidly in the "digging in your heels" camp, imho.

Obviously I'm not really one to talk, here, but I'm just pointing out that comment does sound a little patronizing. :)


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Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
BryonD wrote:


YES!! I agree that regardless of all other points, the game must still NOT SUCK. :)

But, all that really means is that the game has multiple ways to fail. there are a lot of high standards which have already been achieved by other games. To some degree any new game must achieve all of them. Now clearly you can back off of some points if you double down on a key segment of the market. There is give and take. But the bar is very high these days.

Indeed, we are in agreement about a lot of things :-)

BryonD wrote:


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Right now, with the numbers at hand (yes, they will change, so our mileage is limited in such calculations): A CR 10 monster, the fire giant, has +20 to attacks. A level 10 wizard trained in unarmored combat (+level+2), Dex 16 (+3), and no equipment or active spells has AC 25. The giant hits 80% of the time and crits 30% of the time. These numbers go down by 15% if the wizard has mage armor or level-appropriate bracers on. I don't think the narrative for that is absurd, certainly not to the point that the story breaks and you have to leave the room... Do you?
Yes. Because you have again taken it back to "the numbers are ok", which is not close to adequate for me. The *REASON* for those numbers must also be ok. They are not. I know it. Fun == Not here.

I propose the following reason behind the numbers: My level 10 wizard is ... trained in unarmored combat. This comes from having been in a large number of skirmishes, brawls and deadly fights. My wizard survived to that point, because he learned to dodge at least a few blows (not that many: remember he still gets whacked 80% of the time by a serious opponent; if he gets surrounded by a bunch of level 1 orcs, he’s still far from invulnerable).

This is enough of a narrative reason for me, I accept it is perhaps not for you. At the very least, it is better than any of the alternatives I can think of:
- He’s untrained, so his AC of 13 means he gets critted by the giant 80% of the time and statistically goes down in 2 attacks or so (the giant averages 27 damage, 54 on a critical and my wizard has 80-90 hp). He shouldn’t go on dangerous adventures.
- Spells and magical items get buffed so my wizard has all-day-long flight, stoneskin, displacement etc. He’s generally invulnerable unless the opposition has magic or area of effect attacks.
For me, fun= not here in either case. That said, you may be thinking of better alternatives.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Really? Where does it say that?

(To be clear, I mean specifically not getting better at a specific skill. I don’t mean stuff like “scared of heights”).

Pretty sure they're just talking about the old "kneecap yourself without any sort of benefit or balance or rules support so that the other players at the table secretly stop inviting you" thing.

Yes, we know you can voluntarily gimp your character while everyone else is playing the default infallible mary sues.

Getting benefit for weakening yourself was the base of the minmaxing mess in PF1. Just ask every Cha 7 Str 18 Fighter out there for a start.

Everyone who I have seen complain that they should be able to be bad at things seems to get so offended at the notion that they wouldn't get a mechanical benefit for a choice they claim is for roleplay. When you attach a mechanical benefit to this you get people making themselves bad at as many things as they can get away with to get better at their main thing. And then everyone else has to join in or fall behind.

Was “everyone” just casual hyperbole there? (ie did you mean “a lot of people”?)

To be clear, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with casual hyperbole, I’m just curious as I’m included at the start of that quote train and the houserule I had prepared to implement prior to these changes (half a dozen posts above yours) neither grants compensation for a flaw nor insists those who want to be good at everything need to partake.

Aye, my apologies. I meant to change that to be less all-encompassing. Almost all/most would be more accurate.


gwynfrid wrote:
BryonD wrote:


YES!! I agree that regardless of all other points, the game must still NOT SUCK. :)

But, all that really means is that the game has multiple ways to fail. there are a lot of high standards which have already been achieved by other games. To some degree any new game must achieve all of them. Now clearly you can back off of some points if you double down on a key segment of the market. There is give and take. But the bar is very high these days.

Indeed, we are in agreement about a lot of things :-)

BryonD wrote:


Quote:
Right now, with the numbers at hand (yes, they will change, so our mileage is limited in such calculations): A CR 10 monster, the fire giant, has +20 to attacks. A level 10 wizard trained in unarmored combat (+level+2), Dex 16 (+3), and no equipment or active spells has AC 25. The giant hits 80% of the time and crits 30% of the time. These numbers go down by 15% if the wizard has mage armor or level-appropriate bracers on. I don't think the narrative for that is absurd, certainly not to the point that the story breaks and you have to leave the room... Do you?
Yes. Because you have again taken it back to "the numbers are ok", which is not close to adequate for me. The *REASON* for those numbers must also be ok. They are not. I know it. Fun == Not here.

I propose the following reason behind the numbers: My level 10 wizard is ... trained in unarmored combat. This comes from having been in a large number of skirmishes, brawls and deadly fights. My wizard survived to that point, because he learned to dodge at least a few blows (not that many: remember he still gets whacked 80% of the time by a serious opponent; if he gets surrounded by a bunch of level 1 orcs, he’s still far from invulnerable).

This is enough of a narrative reason for me, I accept it is perhaps not for you. At the very least, it is better than any of the alternatives I can think of:
- He’s untrained, so his AC of 13 means he gets critted by the giant...

One thing I don't get in the "This isn't believable" camp:

One says it is unrealistic for a Wizard's body and/or skill at high level to make them more resistant to blade-to-flesh contact.

But then takes no issue with HP at high level making those same bodies capable of withstanding many more blade-to-body contacts...


BryonD wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


I did say it was but a thought. It really only...

I hear you.

all I can really offer is that you should seriously try to look at it from the point of view that they want to grow their fanbase.
I know that you and others love it the way it was.
But digging in your heels won't help you. It won't help anyone.

4E fans bug in their heels and they won. Until they lost.

Clearly, IMSO, there is a serious need to rework the system to broaden the appeal. This does not mean that you need to be kicked out of the boat. There is room for a core game that is adaptable. But you can help with that by working for a solution which improves the broad appeal of the game while retaining adaptability for you. Your post, to me, come off as if you simply refuse to entertain the idea that they are needing to make a serious change. And so you suggest things that mitigate or undo the impacts of that change.

If that is where you want to stay, then so be it. I went down this road with the 4E fans and they still call me a h4ter. shrug.

There is room for a lot of diversity at the table. Right now, I'm completely excluded. The changes presented suggest that I may become included. But they have not remotely crossed that line yet. I think they are working in that general direction. But we will see.

But I think you would best served in protecting your own interests by being realistic about the NEEDED changes and then making suggestions that support your tastes while also working with the marketplace demands.

I'm more accurately trying to understand the justifications behind some of the proposed changes from their latest stream. I actually dislike how the current proficiency system works (because it's really only minor number boosts), and I'm not really seeing the appeal of the new changes outside of attempting to make Intelligence more valuable for players whom want better skill competence (or raising the value of Trained Skill feats), and in my opinion there are better ways to accomplish those goals than what's presented. What those are, I don't know, but the developers have been doing this longer and better than I, so I'm sure they can figure it out a lot sooner and better.

I actually never played 4E or 5E, so I don't know what the draw for those games are. Not knowing what the competition has done (other than that it has somehow done better) can't help with what I want out of a game because of copyright reasons. It's a miracle Paizo is getting away with item names and class rules and such the way they are since I genuinely think WotC could sue Paizo for copyright infringements; the only reason PF1 worked was because of OGL. Now, I don't know if that's legal since it's not really obeying the OGL.


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Edge93 wrote:

One thing I don't get in the "This isn't believable" camp:

One says it is unrealistic for a Wizard's body and/or skill at high level to make them more resistant to blade-to-flesh contact.

But then takes no issue with HP at high level making those same bodies capable of withstanding many more blade-to-body contacts...

Mostly I suspect, we're used to the second. Hit points have worked that way since OD&D. Despite plenty of quibbling about how unrealistic that it, we mostly just accept it. This is a change. It's new.


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Mathmuse wrote:
She wore an armored coat, a form of medium armor that she could don or remove as a move action.

You should have taken the trait Jacket Training. "You can treat an armored coat as light armor."

On the subject of the thread, I'm am pleased that the new game allows players and NPC's and monsters to be bad at things. No more does my horse add it's level to playing the piano...

Liberty's Edge

This applying to AC and Saves is a very interesting consequence and while I'm a bit nervous that the numbers just shot WAYYY up in favor of Martial Characters I think we probably need to wait to see how it pans out.

That being said, Wizards are now squishier than ever.


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thejeff wrote:
Edge93 wrote:

One thing I don't get in the "This isn't believable" camp:

One says it is unrealistic for a Wizard's body and/or skill at high level to make them more resistant to blade-to-flesh contact.

But then takes no issue with HP at high level making those same bodies capable of withstanding many more blade-to-body contacts...

Mostly I suspect, we're used to the second. Hit points have worked that way since OD&D. Despite plenty of quibbling about how unrealistic that it, we mostly just accept it. This is a change. It's new.

Fair enough. I accept my superhumanity in a variety of flavors, but I can see how it would be jarring to others.

It is just one of my favorite changes though. AC progression in PF1 irritated the heck out of me (Particularly that leveling up made you better at hitting things but not better at avoiding hits) and having AC and accuracy on the same track in PF2 is just something I didn't even know how much I wanted. XD


MaxAstro wrote:

To be fair, Bryon, until you got something resembling your way on this issue, you were pretty solidly in the "digging in your heels" camp, imho.

Obviously I'm not really one to talk, here, but I'm just pointing out that comment does sound a little patronizing. :)

no.

I reject that completely. If you go browsing through my comments you will find that I have *repeatedly* stated that the game should appeal to the largest possible group. I have stated that I want the final product to include those who like it now as much as possible. And I have even stated that if they make a hugely popular game that happens to exclude me, then I have zero issue with that.

Your statement is schoolyard "I know you are but what am I talk" but completely conflicts with reality.

It *is* true that I'm not some wild outlier and I believe without doubt that some significant movement in my direction is obligatory for the market overall. But my repeated statements that it isn't about me still stand. and if they come up with some other compromise that I don't like AND appeals widely, then I'll completely stand by that.


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gwynfrid wrote:


I propose the following reason behind the numbers: My level 10 wizard is ... trained in unarmored combat. This comes from having been in a large number of skirmishes, brawls and deadly fights. My wizard survived to that point, because he learned to dodge at least a few blows (not that many: remember he still gets whacked 80% of the time by a serious opponent; if he gets surrounded by a bunch of level 1 orcs, he’s still far from invulnerable).

This is enough of a narrative reason for me, I accept it is perhaps not for you.

First "trained" is a mechanical term here. I'm not onboard with it as a good narrative description of wizards. If the game "works" (still a big if right now) then those kind of meta issues are insignificant.

I've been playing various versions of TTRPGs since the 80s and it should be no surprise that I also enjoy related media. You are not describing wizards I recognize.

Wizards use a lot of magic items and spells to defend themselves. And even then they AVOID getting into hand to hand combat. The is literally no narrative basis *at all* for the wizard getting better at dodging blows.

I think if you were to go out to the public at large and describe this, you would get odd looks. It "makes sense" only to gamers who want to rationalize free boosts to their characters.

Quote:

At the very least, it is better than any of the alternatives I can think of:

- He’s untrained, so his AC of 13 means he gets critted by the giant...

Well,certainly. As I have said a few times now, just saying that untrained doesn't gain +level is a nice indication. But the game *as-is* with that change is just a new train wreck. And I assume that Paizo has no intention whatsoever of making that change in a vacuum. A lot of additional changes will be need to account for this.


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Edge93 wrote:

One thing I don't get in the "This isn't believable" camp:

One says it is unrealistic for a Wizard's body and/or skill at high level to make them more resistant to blade-to-flesh contact.

But then takes no issue with HP at high level making those same bodies capable of withstanding many more blade-to-body contacts...

Shrug

HP have been a thing for decades. I was debating the realism of HP in the 80s, and they were old then.
I'm good with it and I don't see "many more blade to body contacts" as a phrase that suggests a lot of thought on the topic.

Fights lasting a lot longer than they should *IS* a fantasy cliche. HP achieve that.

Wizards dodging swords is *NOT* a fantasy cliche.

there are games out there that achieve fantasy cliches without forcing one to swallow non-cliche disconnects.

Paizo Employee

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BryonD wrote:

Wizards use a lot of magic items and spells to defend themselves. And even then they AVOID getting into hand to hand combat. The is literally no narrative basis *at all* for the wizard getting better at dodging blows.

While this might just lead to the very contentious "Gandalf's not really a wizard" debate, Gandalf is in fact perhaps the most iconic example people think of when they think of a wizard, and he fights in a robe with sword and staff against high-level opponents on several occasions without ever casting anything we might identify as an armor-boosting spell (at least not "on screen" or in the direct narrative, though he does drop a few area wards here and there).

From more modern media you have Harry Dresden, who despite using various defensive wards is also specifically noted as getting better at combat and dodging attacks just by virtue of experience.

In Brent Week's Lightbringer series most spellcasters develop some kind of defensive option that makes them harder to kill as they grow in power, though in the narrative this is anything from physical magic-stuff suffusing their skin to certain combative character traits being exacerbated and making them faster, stronger, or just generally more ornery.

Harry Potter's physical abilities grow with him over the course of the series (though granted he starts as a child) and he ducks a few troll swings and dodges a few death blasts over the course of things. You could say that that's just "plot armor", but considering that all PCs are the stars of their own story one could also say that the +level mechanic is simply a way of expressing said plot armor.

The White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia easily fended off attacks from literally every kind of warrior and creature imaginable until the lion god Aslan wrecks her, which is darn near a perfect example of level-based scaling in effect, since she could only be significantly threatened by a same or higher level opponent.

Oh, also Reflex saving throws. In virtually every edition of the game wizards have a scaling Reflex saving throw or equivalent, which while maybe not scaling at the same rate as a rogue or similar character class, does improve with level. So from one perspective it's actually kind of weird that wizards get better at dodging fireballs, breath weapons, arrow storms, acid pools, and spurting blood, but not sword swings or spear stabs.

So I would definitely disagree that there's no narrative basis at all for a wizard getting better at dodging or deflecting blows.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

...I accept your rejection of my opinion as fair. My intent was to call it as I saw it, not to resort to childishness, and I'm sorry it came across that way.

On topic:

I'm not sure I agree that something being or not being a fantasy cliche is a compelling argument one way or another.

That said, I do think this argument comes down to do what breaks immersion for some people doesn't break immersion for others, and vice versa, which makes it an overall pointless argument.

Since I've made a couple mis-steps, it's probably thus best that I bow out here.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As long as we're talking about it...

Do we really need different armor proficiencies any more? All armors are averaging out to granting a similar total armor class with people preferring lighter armors if they have the dex for it. Heavy armor is downright stomach turning at this point with all the penalties it gives.

Is there some secret to using different armors effectively that can't be captured by battle experience and levels? Seriously wondering if it's a huge problem if anyone can strap on any armor they can get their hands on.

The narrative preference of having unarmored wizards could be satisfied with making mage armor very attractive for them. Sneaky trope characters will want lower ACP for their skills.

I'm just... not seeing a huge need for armors requiring distinct proficiencies.

Also, it would be neat if we had Magical Defense and Unarmored shared a similar niche. Like how monks get benefits from being unarmored, casters could get benefits from focusing on magical defenses like mage armor or Shield.

The Exchange

Though this is a bit of a tangent I have read some of the points of views up thread before , so just a quick history lesson if I may.

AC for a character didn’t usually change according to level because in traditional D&D the relationship between HPs and AC addresses how a more experienced adventurer is harder to land a telling blow on.

That is: cleanly cutting the throat of a 20th level mage (or anybody in fact) is every bit as deadly as doing it to a first level. However the high level mage is much harder to get that telling blow on (ie more HPs). So you get closer to the killing blow by whittling away HPs. AC being an additional bulwark meaning that it is harder to whittle and is based on other variables than level. Naturally it was the preserve of martials with the casters sacrificing that extra durability for magical oomph.

It fits in with the trope of the scurrilous bad guy “cheating” by using poison to barely scratch our hero yet get a telling blow in.

It is a design that worked for many years as an enjoyable abstraction. 4e moved away from this if I recall. PF2 is too and it may well work brilliantly.
It is not though, fixing something that has ever bothered my simulationist brain one bit!

W


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I'm sorry, why is this whole "desert fighters shouldn't know how to swim" still a thing?

Regardless of what the Untrained modifier is, your Fighter will be able to swim because he can climb rocks. Athletics isn't a split skill, and you get it automatically. And if not, you'll get it anyways to trip/disarm/grapple.
What you want is a more fragmented skill system, where you can forego ranks in Starting Campfires to gain ranks in Ways To Kill An Opponent With Your Thumb while still retaining the ability to Track Bandits.
...OR INSTEAD, you might want to roleplay the fact that your character, despite having +26 in Athletics, has a paralyzing fear of water. Which you can do without entirely decoupling the skill system from the combat system, willingly gimping yourself for no benefit whether Untrained has level or not.

Only one of those two examples creates a fun moment at the table. I'll let you figure out which one.

Grand Lodge

Edge93 wrote:


Fair enough. I accept my superhumanity in a variety of flavors, but I can see how it would be jarring to others.

It is just one of my favorite changes though. AC progression in PF1 irritated the heck out of me (Particularly that leveling up made you better at hitting things but not better at avoiding hits) and having AC and accuracy on the same track in PF2 is just something I didn't even know how much I wanted. XD

The advantage of AC progression being markedly different to attack bonus progression is that it changes the dynamic of the game as levels increase, from one where accuracy is very important (because at low levels, two hits will knock you down), to one where damage becomes important (because at high levels, you can shrug off two hits without issue).


Ediwir wrote:

I'm sorry, why is this whole "desert fighters shouldn't know how to swim" still a thing?

Regardless of what the Untrained modifier is, your Fighter will be able to swim because he can climb rocks. Athletics isn't a split skill, and you get it automatically. And if not, you'll get it anyways to trip/disarm/grapple.

A good point.

Another thing easily overlooked, since it's just been the way it is so long. Makes no sense to lump all those very different skills together in one. Trade off verisimilitude for making the game playable.

Why does that desert fighter become an expert swimmer throughout his dungeon exploring adventures? Who knows. Doesn't matter.


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thejeff wrote:
Why does that desert fighter become an expert swimmer throughout his dungeon exploring adventures? Who knows. Doesn't matter.

More accurately, he doesn’t learn how to swim because you, the player, decide that he doesn’t, and not because he gains a bonus from not knowing how to swim, but because it wouldn’t make sense.

Roleplay your characters, dammit.

The Exchange

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Ediwir wrote:

I'm sorry, why is this whole "desert fighters shouldn't know how to swim" still a thing?

Regardless of what the Untrained modifier is, your Fighter will be able to swim because he can climb rocks. Athletics isn't a split skill, and you get it automatically. And if not, you'll get it anyways to trip/disarm/grapple.
What you want is a more fragmented skill system, where you can forego ranks in Starting Campfires to gain ranks in Ways To Kill An Opponent With Your Thumb while still retaining the ability to Track Bandits.
...OR INSTEAD, you might want to roleplay the fact that your character, despite having +26 in Athletics, has a paralyzing fear of water. Which you can do without entirely decoupling the skill system from the combat system, willingly gimping yourself for no benefit whether Untrained has level or not.

Only one of those two examples creates a fun moment at the table. I'll let you figure out which one.

A number of interesting points.

Surely though saying that the mechanics for all things athletic should apply to .... all things athletic.... because it currently applies to ... all things athletic i.e. It is not a split skill is rather a circular argument??

Wanting choices to count and mean that if you want to learn to swim/ speak Kellish/ play the drums etc. you cannot do so without making time to do that as opposed to something else.... is not a revolutionary idea!

Plus a system that says you are free to produce flawed characters (even ones like poor old Ambrose) but by default you are practically flawless seems rather off at least to me.

There is a clear lack of consensus as to just how inherently universally superior Pathfinder PCs should be to normal mortals. I have faith the developers will produce a brilliant reveal that won't break too many hearts but it was never gong to be easy.

W


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Ediwir wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Why does that desert fighter become an expert swimmer throughout his dungeon exploring adventures? Who knows. Doesn't matter.

More accurately, he doesn’t learn how to swim because you, the player, decide that he doesn’t, and not because he gains a bonus from not knowing how to swim, but because it wouldn’t make sense.

Roleplay your characters, dammit.

Well yeah, but I was rolling with the rules assumptions.

Still, even with "roleplay your characters", it's nice to have mechanics to back it up. It's one thing to roleplay the character as not wanting to swim, it's another to fall in the river and not have a mechanic to fall back on to see whether his flounderings bring him to shore.

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