Trying to understand removing +level from untrained proficiency


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If we are humoring alternative solutions, 3.5's Unearthed Arcana had a "Defense Bonus" for classes as an alternate rule. You got a bonus to your AC equal to half your level. I believe it only applied while you were aware of enemies and capable of defending yourself. This rule was intended to be used either in a low magic setting where magic armor didn't exist, or to compliment the Armor as DR rule in the game.

As for narrative explanations for +1/level to AC for wizards, none are acceptable in my eyes.

If the +1/level to AC is due to wards, then what happens in an AMF? What about a wizard who thinks defensive spells are a waste of time? Why can't my wizard choose to devote that magical practice into something else? Not to mention that, by going with this explanation, your are telling your players what they are doing, instead of letting them decide what they are doing.

If it is due to combat experience gained over many levels of adventuring, then why don't the more combat heavy classes have a SIGNIFICANTLY better bonus? What happens when the character is caught unable to defend themselves due to being flat footed or disabled? Do they lose their level bonus, because experience doesn't matter a whole lot when you can't put it to use?

Some divine favor grants the AC bonus? What about non-religious characters? What about clerics/paladins who have upset their deities? What about highly favored low level PCs/NPCs? Shouldn't they get more "plot armor"? (That's essentially what it is.)

For any explanation you come up with, you are shoehorning players into a narrative corner whether they like it or not, and you will ultimately have weird edge cases where, by your explanation, they shouldn't have their AC bonus, but they do anyway.

Liberty's Edge

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I really and sincerely do not understand why a 10th level Wizard having a minimum AC of 22 or so is more immersion breaking than them having the 100+ HP they often do in PF2. I am honestly befuddled.

I mean...all the complaints about the lack of realism/explanation for the AC bonus apply even more to increasing hit points, so objecting to one and not the other makes absolutely no sense to me.

I mean, even in PF1 with a Raging Power Attacking 1st level Barbarian critting them for around 57 damage on average, most 10th level Wizards I've seen would survive that. That's a full on greataxe to the face kinda situation, and they're basically fine (indeed, even absent magic, they'll be fine in less than a week). I find them learning to dodge better a lot more plausible than them gaining that level of physical durability ever was.

Seriously, when people can block greataxe blows with their face, other minor feats of superhuman physical prowess seem par for the course.

Paizo Employee

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thflame wrote:

If we are humoring alternative solutions, 3.5's Unearthed Arcana had a "Defense Bonus" for classes as an alternate rule. You got a bonus to your AC equal to half your level. I believe it only applied while you were aware of enemies and capable of defending yourself. This rule was intended to be used either in a low magic setting where magic armor didn't exist, or to compliment the Armor as DR rule in the game.

As for narrative explanations for +1/level to AC for wizards, none are acceptable in my eyes.

If the +1/level to AC is due to wards, then what happens in an AMF? What about a wizard who thinks defensive spells are a waste of time? Why can't my wizard choose to devote that magical practice into something else? Not to mention that, by going with this explanation, your are telling your players what they are doing, instead of letting them decide what they are doing.

If it is due to combat experience gained over many levels of adventuring, then why don't the more combat heavy classes have a SIGNIFICANTLY better bonus? What happens when the character is caught unable to defend themselves due to being flat footed or disabled? Do they lose their level bonus, because experience doesn't matter a whole lot when you can't put it to use?

Some divine favor grants the AC bonus? What about non-religious characters? What about clerics/paladins who have upset their deities? What about highly favored low level PCs/NPCs? Shouldn't they get more "plot armor"? (That's essentially what it is.)

For any explanation you come up with, you are shoehorning players into a narrative corner whether they like it or not, and you will ultimately have weird edge cases where, by your explanation, they shouldn't have their AC bonus, but they do anyway.

That's why you provide a variety of possible narrative descriptions but leave the base undefined. Not every wizard is decked out in charms and talismans, but some are. Not every wizard is just really good at dodging blows because they've been targeted a lot, but some are. Not every wizard has the very fabric of their being strengthened by long-term exposure to magical energy, but some do. You just provide a variety of possible explanations and let the player decide how they want to interpret it for their character. Maybe it's some combination of all of those things.

There's already a lot of systems out there that use a model of "Here's the mechanics and here's a handful of suggestions for how they might be described for your character" and it's a really solid way of doing things, IMO. Sean Reynolds' 5 Moons RPG takes the idea to the outer edge of the premise and lets you use the same chassis to make wizards, psions, or mutants depending on how you feel your character gained their power. Spheres of Power from Drop Dead Studios gives a huge toolkit GMs can use to imagine the casting mechanics in literally hundreds of different ways, if not more.

As to

Quote:
If it is due to combat experience gained over many levels of adventuring, then why don't the more combat heavy classes have a SIGNIFICANTLY better bonus?

You answered that here. "Heroes get better in general as they become bigger and better heroes. They distinguish themselves from their peers with how their proficiencies are allocated. Those are the things they focus on in particular.

Fighters are better at hitting things than wizards because they have a higher proficiency tier, not because they automatically get bigger numbers per level." Both fighters and wizards are getting shot at and attacked. Odds are pretty good that in most situations the fighter and wizard have been in the exact same number of combats, so the difference shouldn't be in the base capabilities they gained from those adventures, but in their ability scores, proficiencies, and class-specific options.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I really and sincerely do not understand why a 10th level Wizard having a minimum AC of 22 or so is more immersion breaking than them having the 100+ HP they often do in PF2. I am honestly befuddled.

I mean...all the complaints about the lack of realism/explanation for the AC bonus apply even more to increasing hit points, so objecting to one and not the other makes absolutely no sense to me.

I mean, even in PF1 with a Raging Power Attacking 1st level Barbarian critting them for around 57 damage on average, most 10th level Wizards I've seen would survive that. That's a full on greataxe to the face kinda situation, and they're basically fine (indeed, even absent magic, they'll be fine in less than a week). I find them learning to dodge better a lot more plausible than them gaining that level of physical durability ever was.

Seriously, when people can block greataxe blows with their face, other minor feats of superhuman physical prowess seem par for the course.

Because if you go there, you're also going to have to explain why ANYONE can block greataxe blows with their face. Human skulls do not become more durable by training with swords, so there's no logical explanation for why Fighters are more likely to survive a direct headshot from a greataxe than Wizards are. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Which of course, it doesn't have to. HP are an abstraction. Always have been. They have always represented more than how many direct greataxe hits to the face you can take without dying.


Ssalarn wrote:
thflame wrote:
If it is due to combat experience gained over many levels of adventuring, then why don't the more combat heavy classes have a SIGNIFICANTLY better bonus?

You answered that here. "Heroes get better in general as they become bigger and better heroes. They distinguish themselves from their peers with how their proficiencies are allocated. Those are the things they focus on in particular.

Fighters are better at hitting things than wizards because they have a higher proficiency tier, not because they automatically get bigger numbers per level." Both fighters and wizards are getting shot at and attacked. Odds are pretty good that in most situations the fighter and wizard have been in the exact same number of combats, so the difference shouldn't be in the base capabilities they gained from those adventures, but in their ability scores, proficiencies, and class-specific options.

That was me, not thflame.


Also, if the AMF is a sticking point, just say that the wards or whatever are as ingrained as a golem's or skeleton's animating magic. And if the Wizard's level-appropriate ability to defend himself is explained some other way, so much the better.

But I'm going to echo the confusion above: why are hit points exempt? I can explain my Wizard's increased hit points in any number of ways (his god loves him more, magic wards, doing situps with the Monk), but I do not get to just forgo getting more hit points or devote whatever-it-is-that-goes-towards-getting-more-hit-points towards some other Wizardly study instead. So what's the difference?

Especially considering the P1E-and-earlier paradigm where, at later levels, your AC wasn't really supposed to deflect all attacks coming your way, just the iteratives, and your hp partially represented you strenuously dodging out of the way. Yes, this new paradigm has fringe cases where the mechanics don't match up to an in-universe narrative, and there's no game mechanic paradigm that won't. But, IMO, the nonsensical fringe cases, at least where AC and hp is concerned, are less now than then.


Ssalarn wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Sure you wouldn't learn how to play the flute because you hiked a mountain and slew a dragon, but that's what Trained-only mechanics are for. Just add a note to Perform that you can't play an instrument unless you're trained.
Though that doesn't really fix the problem from a mechanical POV either. Now you Train, so that you can play the flute and poof you can play any instrument you come across, which isn't really any more realistic.

So add a line after Perform like Lore skills have and make Perform (flute) a separate skill from Perform (drums)? These seem like really small and easily addressed issues.

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And you still know how to swim if you know how to climb.

This is a non-issue for me. Well-rounded physical fitness does bring benefits in other areas. If it's part of your backstory that you've never swam before I could see the GM applying a circumstance penalty to your checks, but I don't see this as much of an issue, and if it is one, it seems very easily addressed.

Quote:


It's a broad, simplistic mechanic applied to a complex synergistic interwoven set of abilities. It can't (and shouldn't!) be too close to how we really learn things.
Agreed!

They're both non-issues to me. In the context of the rules being a broad abstraction. In the context of "This particular aspect of the rules doesn't match my idea of how learning things works", I think it's useful to point out all the other things that don't really work if you examine them too closely. It's in the interest of convincing people it's a broad abstraction, not a detailed simulation and it always was.

As for "well-rounded physical fitness does bring benefits in other areas", that's certainly true. Becoming a world class athlete in one speciality however doesn't make you the same in all others. Actually what it really should do is raise your base stats - at least at first and up to some minimum level. You can't be a world class climber without getting into good physical shape and that's going to help your swimming in general. But it's not going to teach you efficient swimming strokes either.
And dividing up musical instruments into completely separate skills, while letting you get all athletics in one makes no sense at all. While you do need to learn different instruments separately, there's a lot of overlap in performing with them. Many skilled musicians can pick up new instruments relatively easily. It's certainly more common than people being professional athletes in multiple fields.

Again, I don't care. They're broad, not particularly realistic categories. That's the whole point. Run with it.


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Also on the idea of "My desert dweller should be able to be bad at swimming" style complaints that assert you should be able to be bad at things in PF1, I think it's worth noting that most PF1 characters can swim without a single rank.

Calm water swim DC in PF1 is 10. That means without ACP or a negative Str mod anyone can take 10 and swim just fine in calm water, no matter if they've set foot in so much as a puddle or not.

The only way to fail at swimming in calm water without armor or below-human-average strength is to choose to roll the dice instead of taking 10 (Even then you have a 45% chance, more if you have a positive Str mod), which IMO is just as much "Voluntarily gimping yourself" (To use the phrasing I've seen used a lot) as just choosing to be unable to swim via roleplay.

It just kinda gets me that the main go-to example I see used by people to say PF1 skills were better because you could be unable to do things you didn't think you should be able to do is something that isn't even true in PF1 for the most part.

And this is a moot point with +level to untrained being lost anyway but I really wanted to put this out there and wish I'd realized it sooner. XP


thejeff wrote:
As for "well-rounded physical fitness does bring benefits in other areas", that's certainly true. Becoming a world class athlete in one specialty however doesn't make you the same in all others.

Okay, so we really aren't in disagreement for the most part on this post I don't believe, but this is a great place to note something regarding this quote.

The being better in one aspect of a skill than others rather than the same is exactly where skill feats are meant to come in. The above idea of being a world-class climber having some carryover to swimming but not being as good is covered perfectly by feats like Quick Climber, Rapid Mantel, One-Handed Climber, and Legendary Climber. Suddenly you are much better at climbing than swimming, despite having the same numerical bonus to both.

This is something I see overlooked almost all of the time when discussing matters of +level and proficiency tiers.

It goes for the inverse too, with Quick Swimmer, Underwater Marauder, and Legendary Swimmer. There are similar applications for other skills as well. This is why I love PF2 skills and skill feats way more than PF1 skills, it really fleshes out the specifics of how your skillset is developed in a deeper way than PF1.


I agree that skill feats do help with diversifying skills, and if PF1 had better skill feats more people would use them (There are things like Signature Skill feat that are nice).

Sorry for the extremely long post and everything on it is based on my understanding of both rule systems (AKA it might not be perfect or accurate)

* The lv of abstraction between HP, AC, Saves, Atk Bonuses, and Skills is different by their very different nature.

HP at one point was just minor injuries and stamina. Where taking "damage" was decreasing your ability to continue. Imagine action scenes where the people are bloody and gasping but they still continue fighting. Its also a problem of a necessary evil to allow high level play without rolling the same dmg die for 20 lvs.

* P.S. The massive damage rule was that if you took 50+ dmg in one hit you had to save or die instantly. So in PF1 the wizard in the example would most likely die instantly if he took a single hit of 57. In PF2 you need to get 2* max HP to die instantly.

AC is typically everything from dodging, deflecting, or absorbing blows or just plain luck. Now in PF1, a high level dex less, unarmored, luckless person would get hit by everything barring horrendous roll. In PF2, the same character would had been dodging out the way of low level threats like a cartoon character in a comedy sketch (which last time I check people complained their fighter was too "anime"). But, okay you want to "choose" to fail rather then "choose" to not fail.

Saves was always weird so I'm not going to touch them.

Atk bonus is a weird mix of training, skill, and aptitude. In PF1, a Fighter and Wizard got different BAB, but it was also assumed they spent their time training different things. In PF2, this is still true; However, proficiency determines how much better you are as opposed to level (vs a same lv PC).

Finally skills, skills are a polarizing bunch were some people want to fail in skill they didn't trained at high level. While other want to "choose" to fail.

* Personally, I would had preferred skill system where for every so many ranks in one skill you got a bonus to related skills: That system would be way to complicated. Ex: Putting ranks in climb would give a bonus on swim as you have better muscle control and vice versa.


Temperans wrote:


* P.S. The massive damage rule was that if you took 50+ dmg in one hit you had to save or die instantly. So in PF1 the wizard in the example would most likely die instantly if he took a single hit of 57. In PF2 you need to get 2* max HP to die instantly.

Two notes here:

Massive damage actually had to be both 50+ damage and at least half of your current HP, so if you had over 100 HP at a given time then the damage required to trigger massive damage increased.

Second, the save DC for massive damage was a flat DC 15 Fortitude, nothing in the game barring variant rules would increase this. Depending on your build this can be passed on anything but a Nat 1 not long after you get to the point where you are actually taking 50+ damage in a single hit.

Though admittedly Wizards are probable one of the slowest classes to hit +13 or better in Fortitude.

This isn't to refute the idea that massive damage came into play more often in PF1, just to note that even in PF1 it almost never happens. I have actually never seen someone die of massive damage in PF1 without using variant rules that altered the massive damage threshold and raised the DC depending on how badly you got wounded. And I've only used those rules in one campaign.


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Tridus wrote:
graystone wrote:
For me it isn't the lack of "narrative justification", but the lack of one that explains why EVERYTHING advances at the exact same rate: attacking the same as defending. Mental strength the same as reflexes. Skills the same as all the above...
That's only true if proficiency never changes. When it does, the gap between things grows further.

But that's the thing. If everyone and everything advances at the same rate and the dc's also advance at about the same rate then what is the point of more or less adding level on both sides of the equation? You could just cut out the middleman and not advance the numbers at all with only proficiency mattering. Then add in the narrowing of possible stat 'rolls' and everything starts looking pretty much the same. For me, the only real reason to track levels is if they DIDN'T add at the same rate like in PF1.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Tridus wrote:
graystone wrote:
For me it isn't the lack of "narrative justification", but the lack of one that explains why EVERYTHING advances at the exact same rate: attacking the same as defending. Mental strength the same as reflexes. Skills the same as all the above...
That's only true if proficiency never changes. When it does, the gap between things grows further.
But that's the thing. If everyone and everything advances at the same rate and the dc's also advance at about the same rate then what is the point of more or less adding level on both sides of the equation? You could just cut out the middleman and not advance the numbers at all with only proficiency mattering. Then add in the narrowing of possible stat 'rolls' and everything starts looking pretty much the same. For me, the only real reason to track levels is if they DIDN'T add at the same rate like in PF1.

Level exist to track the relative potency of the PCs against the challenges they are facing.

At level 1, a 0-level goblin warrior represents a noticeable challenge. At level 3, it's much less dangerous, and by level 5 it's basically a joke. Conversely, a 5th level Large elemental is a towering, life-threatening danger to a level 1 character, a potent force to be reckoned with at 3rd level, and a serious but manageable foe at 5th.

That progression is what levels mean.

Liberty's Edge

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Tridus wrote:

Because if you go there, you're also going to have to explain why ANYONE can block greataxe blows with their face. Human skulls do not become more durable by training with swords, so there's no logical explanation for why Fighters are more likely to survive a direct headshot from a greataxe than Wizards are. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Which of course, it doesn't have to. HP are an abstraction. Always have been. They have always represented more than how many direct greataxe hits to the face you can take without dying.

Ah! So you're saying we can treat HP as an abstraction rather than actual damage done to your physical body? Excellent.

Going by that line of logic, we can likewise treat AC as an abstraction rather than merely how good at dodging you are in-universe. It's a combination of that, and luck, and plot armor, and a host of other things both in-world and out. Just like HP is.

I mean...what's the difference between a greataxe that hits you for 1/10 your HP and one that misses entirely due to your level-based AC narratively speaking? It's not a large one, and in both cases can be attributed to almost the exact same list of causes.

The argument that somehow level-based HP makes sense while level-based AC does not is what bewilders me, since the same justifications that are used for HP almost universally also work for AC even more easily.

Shisumo wrote:
graystone wrote:
Tridus wrote:
graystone wrote:
For me it isn't the lack of "narrative justification", but the lack of one that explains why EVERYTHING advances at the exact same rate: attacking the same as defending. Mental strength the same as reflexes. Skills the same as all the above...
That's only true if proficiency never changes. When it does, the gap between things grows further.
But that's the thing. If everyone and everything advances at the same rate and the dc's also advance at about the same rate then what is the point of more or less adding level on both sides of the equation? You could just cut out the middleman and not advance the numbers at all with only proficiency mattering. Then add in the narrowing of possible stat 'rolls' and everything starts looking pretty much the same. For me, the only real reason to track levels is if they DIDN'T add at the same rate like in PF1.

Level exist to track the relative potency of the PCs against the challenges they are facing.

At level 1, a 0-level goblin warrior represents a noticeable challenge. At level 3, it's much less dangerous, and by level 5 it's basically a joke. Conversely, a 5th level Large elemental is a towering, life-threatening danger to a level 1 character, a potent force to be reckoned with at 3rd level, and a serious but manageable foe at 5th.

That progression is what levels mean.

Exactly this.

If you want a game where 1st level enemies are a threat to 20th level characters in sufficient numbers you should absolutely remove Level adding to everything (and, indeed, it is easy to do so and that's one of the nicer things about the game's clean math).

But that is very much not the kind of game PF2 is aiming to be. PF2 is aiming for a game with a more superheroic/mythic feel at high levels where, like in PF1, a 20th level character can probably destroy an army of 1st level enemies pretty casually. Where level matters, and matters a lot.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tridus wrote:

Because if you go there, you're also going to have to explain why ANYONE can block greataxe blows with their face. Human skulls do not become more durable by training with swords, so there's no logical explanation for why Fighters are more likely to survive a direct headshot from a greataxe than Wizards are. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Which of course, it doesn't have to. HP are an abstraction. Always have been. They have always represented more than how many direct greataxe hits to the face you can take without dying.

Ah! So you're saying we can treat HP as an abstraction rather than actual damage done to your physical body? Excellent.

Going by that line of logic, we can likewise treat AC as an abstraction rather than merely how good at dodging you are in-universe. It's a combination of that, and luck, and plot armor, and a host of other things both in-world and out. Just like HP is.

I mean...what's the difference between a greataxe that hits you for 1/10 your HP and one that misses entirely due to your level-based AC narratively speaking? It's not a large one, and in both cases can be attributed to almost the exact same list of causes.

The argument that somehow level-based HP makes sense while level-based AC does not is what bewilders me, since the same justifications that are used for HP almost universally also work for AC even more easily.

Thing is we were all told from the very beginning of learning how to play (at least AD&D IIRC, likely even earlier) that HPs are an abstraction. Not so for AC

We are talking about 40 years of ingraining the concept here. Hence the differing perceptions

Few human beings question what was always there and kinda faded into the background


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The Raven Black wrote:

Thing is we were all told from the very beginning of learning how to play (at least AD&D IIRC, likely even earlier) that HPs are an abstraction. Not so for AC

We are talking about 40 years of ingraining the concept here. Hence the differing perceptions

Few human beings question what was always there and kinda faded into the background

AC was always an abstraction as well, as it was originally meant to represent the armor class of warships (either it breaches the hull or it doesn't). Individual wizards aren't actually warships, though, so it always had to be tortured a bit to explain what it actually means.

HP is more understood as an abstraction because it's the concept that really caught on. Nearly every game featuring combat since video games began adopting the concept has it now, and in pop culture it's just been accepted as a thing that exists because it makes the game more fun. AC doesn't have that same cultural pull, and new players are almost constantly surprised it isn't damage reduction.


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There is a nice series of blog posts here discussing the history of things like AC and HP in D&D. Another useful resource because of it's 3.5 focus is this Rules of the Game Archive.

While I am ironically not at all an originalist when it comes to constitutional law, I've found myself becoming a bit of a D&D/Pathfinder originalist. I think it's useful to look back at where various rules and concepts came from and how they've been interpreted as a guide to creating and playing the game today.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
But that is very much not the kind of game PF2 is aiming to be. PF2 is aiming for a game with a more superheroic/mythic feel at high levels where, like in PF1, a 20th level character can probably destroy an army of 1st level enemies pretty casually. Where level matters, and matters a lot.

The other side of the coin applies as well. It's also a game where you have to send big heroes to get deal with the big threats, you can't just put together a small army of militiamen to go kill the Big Bad.

Liberty's Edge

The Raven Black wrote:

Thing is we were all told from the very beginning of learning how to play (at least AD&D IIRC, likely even earlier) that HPs are an abstraction. Not so for AC

We are talking about 40 years of ingraining the concept here. Hence the differing perceptions

Few human beings question what was always there and kinda faded into the background

I understand that people cling to tradition, and that tradition is the reason for this, but that doesn't make it any more clear to me, at least on a gut level, why people can't more easily generalize principles like 'game mechanics can be abstractions'.

thejeff wrote:
The other side of the coin applies as well. It's also a game where you have to send big heroes to get deal with the big threats, you can't just put together a small army of militiamen to go kill the Big Bad.

Absolutely! You'll note that I referenced a 20th level character rather than only a 20th level PC being able to destroy armies. That definitely includes main villains, and with folks like Razmir around, is canonically necessary for Golarion.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Thing is we were all told from the very beginning of learning how to play (at least AD&D IIRC, likely even earlier) that HPs are an abstraction. Not so for AC

We are talking about 40 years of ingraining the concept here. Hence the differing perceptions

Few human beings question what was always there and kinda faded into the background

I understand that people cling to tradition, and that tradition is the reason for this, but that doesn't make it any more clear to me, at least on a gut level, why people can't more easily generalize principles like 'game mechanics can be abstractions'.

Aye, tradition and "ingraining the concept" works fine for explaining why we have a particular knee-jerk or instinctive reaction to or outlook on something, but can't really be fallen back on when we are trying to take a conscious and reasoned look at something. When we're at the point in logical discussion of acknowledging that a concept is ingrained then we should also be at the point of being able to put aside that ingraining in our reasoning.


thejeff wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
But that is very much not the kind of game PF2 is aiming to be. PF2 is aiming for a game with a more superheroic/mythic feel at high levels where, like in PF1, a 20th level character can probably destroy an army of 1st level enemies pretty casually. Where level matters, and matters a lot.
The other side of the coin applies as well. It's also a game where you have to send big heroes to get deal with the big threats, you can't just put together a small army of militiamen to go kill the Big Bad.

Is that not the desired effect? Many games try to avoid putting the emphasis on "big armies do the job" because managing entire armies is a staggering amount of work if you come in with the assumption that "each person is an individual" inherent in these sorts of games.

Since we're not going to send an army to depose the tyrant necromancer (because nobody has that many miniatures, that big a grid map, and each combat would take 4-6 hours), instead we're going to send a crack team of 3-5 people, it's good there's a reason that your crack team is a better choice for the job than the army.

Level mattering as much as it does is why the villagers will ask the visiting heroes to go kill that dragon that has been bothering them, rather than just banding together. Both are valid stories but only one of them really fits into "how playing these games works."

I mean, I don't know of anyone who likes mass combat rules in Pathfinder or similar games. Sometimes they are a necessity but they walk that narrow path between "overly abstract" and "still too fiddly".


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
But that is very much not the kind of game PF2 is aiming to be. PF2 is aiming for a game with a more superheroic/mythic feel at high levels where, like in PF1, a 20th level character can probably destroy an army of 1st level enemies pretty casually. Where level matters, and matters a lot.
The other side of the coin applies as well. It's also a game where you have to send big heroes to get deal with the big threats, you can't just put together a small army of militiamen to go kill the Big Bad.

Is that not the desired effect? Many games try to avoid putting the emphasis on "big armies do the job" because managing entire armies is a staggering amount of work if you come in with the assumption that "each person is an individual" inherent in these sorts of games.

Since we're not going to send an army to depose the tyrant necromancer (because nobody has that many miniatures, that big a grid map, and each combat would take 4-6 hours), instead we're going to send a crack team of 3-5 people, it's good there's a reason that your crack team is a better choice for the job than the army.

Level mattering as much as it does is why the villagers will ask the visiting heroes to go kill that dragon that has been bothering them, rather than just banding together. Both are valid stories but only one of them really fits into "how playing these games works."

I mean, I don't know of anyone who likes mass combat rules in Pathfinder or similar games. Sometimes they are a necessity but they walk that narrow path between "overly abstract" and "still too fiddly".

That's the point.

"other side of the coin" didn't mean "counterargument", just that it doesn't just apply to hordes of goblins trying to kill the PCs.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:


Level mattering as much as it does is why the villagers will ask the visiting heroes to go kill that dragon that has been bothering them, rather than just banding together. Both are valid stories but only one of them really fits into "how playing these games works."

Not exactly. Sure, a village/town/city could send an army to kill the dragon, however, in process lose 75%+ of the village population. Instead, they can offer a cash reward for some specialists to do the job and save the town as an alternative.

Just pointing out that a BA world makes sense in how these games work too. I know thats not what PF2 is going for.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Ah! So you're saying we can treat HP as an abstraction rather than actual damage done to your physical body? Excellent.

Going by that line of logic, we can likewise treat AC as an abstraction rather than merely how good at dodging you are in-universe. It's a combination of that, and luck, and plot armor, and a host of other things both in-world and out. Just like HP is.

I mean...what's the difference between a greataxe that hits you for 1/10 your HP and one that misses entirely due to your level-based AC narratively speaking? It's not a large one, and in both cases can be attributed to almost the exact same list of causes.

The argument that somehow level-based HP makes sense while level-based AC does not is what bewilders me, since the same justifications that are used for HP almost universally also work for AC even more easily.

Yep. I'm not sure if you thought I disagreed or was just using my quote to reply to someone else, but I agree with that entirely. :)

Level based AC scaling makes perfect sense if we have level based other stuff scaling (which we do).

The Exchange

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Reading the various threads populated by most of the same people I am increasingly dismayed; we are certainly not forming a consensus which is fine but nor are we showing respect for our differences, which isn't

If Paizo want to produce a Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG I have faith that they will make a very good one.

If they want to make a successor to Pathfinder which has the DNA of the world's oldest RPG running through it then I am sure they can do that too.

Reading these threads has only strengthened my original thought: It will be next to impossible to do both in the same game.

I await as ever with baited breath for August to see what is in store.

W


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heretic wrote:

Reading the various threads populated by most of the same people I am increasingly dismayed; we are certainly not forming a consensus which is fine but nor are we showing respect for our differences, which isn't

If Paizo want to produce a Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG I have faith that they make a very good one.

If they want to make a successor to Pathfnder which has the DNA of the world's oldest RPG running through it then I am sure they can do that too.

Reading these threads has only strengthened my original thought: It will be next to impossible to do both in the same game.

Don't many people already see PF1 as a "Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG" "which has the DNA of the world's oldest RPG running through it"?

The Exchange

thejeff wrote:
heretic wrote:

Reading the various threads populated by most of the same people I am increasingly dismayed; we are certainly not forming a consensus which is fine but nor are we showing respect for our differences, which isn't

If Paizo want to produce a Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG I have faith that they make a very good one.

If they want to make a successor to Pathfnder which has the DNA of the world's oldest RPG running through it then I am sure they can do that too.

Reading these threads has only strengthened my original thought: It will be next to impossible to do both in the same game.

Don't many people already see PF1 as a "Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG" "which has the DNA of the world's oldest RPG running through it"?

Come now, if thought that then my statement would clearly make no sense. So please lay of the rhetorical questions. They are getting us nowhere, fast.

A party of 4-6 Doc Savage, Man of Bronze style super adventurers might make for a good game, but for my money will materially disconnect from what went before. Like I said we will have to see what delights Jason and co. will serve up to us.

W

Paizo Employee

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thejeff wrote:
heretic wrote:

Reading the various threads populated by most of the same people I am increasingly dismayed; we are certainly not forming a consensus which is fine but nor are we showing respect for our differences, which isn't

If Paizo want to produce a Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG I have faith that they make a very good one.

If they want to make a successor to Pathfnder which has the DNA of the world's oldest RPG running through it then I am sure they can do that too.

Reading these threads has only strengthened my original thought: It will be next to impossible to do both in the same game.

Don't many people already see PF1 as a "Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG" "which has the DNA of the world's oldest RPG running through it"?

That's actually very close to how Pathfinder was first explained to me almost a decade ago. I wonder where the schism in perception comes from? Is it generational, based on when you started playing RPGs, or something else?

Pathfinder to me has always been a game where the heroes are larger than life and are all basically Greek heroes or demigods by the time they hit level 6. It's never been this game I occasionally hear people talk about where wizards are squishy and weak at low levels but get to compensate for it at high levels (just as one example). When we played Rise of the Runelords years ago our wizard was an elf whose scrolls and spells meant she was functionally performing at the same level as our fighter when it came to archery and with the same AC, and by 3rd level when the fighter was a noticeably better archer she'd moved on to 2nd level spells and still had the bow in reserve if necessary. There was never really any point where she was notably weaker than the fighter. I have played games like Baldur's Gate where that dynamic was true though, and it makes me wonder to what degree the difference between how people perceive Pathfinder falls between those who had Pathfinder as their first gaming experience and really embraced the more anime and pulp hero elements of it, and those who just used it as an engine to play the kind of game they learned in older editions of D&D.

Or maybe my perception is skewed because I've always seen Pathfinder as a high fantasy, pulp hero game and that's really just an aberration stemming from how big the system is and how quickly it was built out. I don't feel like that's true; the CRB has so many anime elements to it, like Amiri's ridiculously giant sword, alien elves, and green-haired gnomes, but I'm willing to admit it's possible.


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I don't really get the comparison that PF2 is any more a superhero level game than PF1 is, since the numbers on the high end for "someone who is as good at x as they possibly could be" are on par-with or lower than the PF1 version, with the exception of save DCs and saving throws because those opposed things were changed to scale by level instead of half-level (which works out more or less the same, because they are opposed- you're rolling +10 against DC 22 instead of +5 against DC 17.)


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heretic wrote:
thejeff wrote:
heretic wrote:

Reading the various threads populated by most of the same people I am increasingly dismayed; we are certainly not forming a consensus which is fine but nor are we showing respect for our differences, which isn't

If Paizo want to produce a Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG I have faith that they make a very good one.

If they want to make a successor to Pathfnder which has the DNA of the world's oldest RPG running through it then I am sure they can do that too.

Reading these threads has only strengthened my original thought: It will be next to impossible to do both in the same game.

Don't many people already see PF1 as a "Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG" "which has the DNA of the world's oldest RPG running through it"?

Come now, if thought that then my statement would clearly make no sense. So please lay of the rhetorical questions. They are getting us nowhere, fast.

A party of 4-6 Doc Savage, Man of Bronze style super adventurers might make for a good game, but for my money will materially disconnect from what went before. Like I said we will have to see what delights Jason and co. will serve up to us.

W

But thejeff is correct. Many people DO think of PF1 "Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG." I do, for example. The moment I point to for why I love Pathfinder was when my players cast Enlarge Person and fly on a Brawler, and he suplexed a dragon into another dragon.

Everyone who likes Path of War does. It is a very well regarded third party product with its roots in wuxia style antics.

The Order of the Stick treats 3.5 this way, which is basically just Pathfinder. They call attention to the fact that their fighter has the strength of a giant and has walked off being impaled by a triceratops. And this is probably the most iconic webcomic among the fanbase, and is responsible for many people beginning to play at all.

The Adventure Zone also features fantasy super heroics, both in terms of the magic Taako unleashes, the scale of their conflicts, and the physical action movie stunts Magnus Burnsides performs. 5e has a notably lower power curve than PF1 or PF2, but its still pretty superhero. And again, this this podcast is responsible for tons of people joining the hobby.

I don't watch Crititcal Role, but I have friends who do, and tell me about some of the crazy shenanigans those characters get up to at high level and it reinforces the point.

Paizo Employee

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Captain Morgan wrote:


But thejeff is correct. Many people DO think of PF1 "Golarion skinned pulp superhero RPG." I do, for example. The moment I point to for why I love Pathfinder was when my players cast Enlarge Person and fly on a Brawler, and he suplexed a dragon into another dragon.

And it's not like the publications don't support the idea that Pathfinder characters are pulp superheroes. Cyricas the Leaping Lion is a Taldan grand prince described in the back of The Six-Legend Soul; he's basically Tarzan. There's a vigilante class, which I think covers a significant amount of pulp territory all by itself. There's an entire country of Beowulfs who decide successions based on who can kill or tame the biggest primeval dragon and survive its death curse. There's a giant spaceship crashed into the middle of fantasy-land spewing out robots and lasers, surrounded by chainsaw-wielding orcs. Elves are aliens. Gnomes are anime-haired adrenaline junkies. One of the iconics is wielding a 7-foot tall, two-and-a-half-foot-wide sword. Valeros has been depicted using a pair of full-sized anvils wrapped in chains as hand weights. CRB-only rogues can literally cut the magic off of people. Heck, there's an entire comic book line about the Pathfinder iconics adventuring with the whole pantheon of classic pulp heroes as they bounce from plane to plane.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

I really and sincerely do not understand why a 10th level Wizard having a minimum AC of 22 or so is more immersion breaking than them having the 100+ HP they often do in PF2. I am honestly befuddled.

I mean...all the complaints about the lack of realism/explanation for the AC bonus apply even more to increasing hit points, so objecting to one and not the other makes absolutely no sense to me.

I mean, even in PF1 with a Raging Power Attacking 1st level Barbarian critting them for around 57 damage on average, most 10th level Wizards I've seen would survive that. That's a full on greataxe to the face kinda situation, and they're basically fine (indeed, even absent magic, they'll be fine in less than a week). I find them learning to dodge better a lot more plausible than them gaining that level of physical durability ever was.

Seriously, when people can block greataxe blows with their face, other minor feats of superhuman physical prowess seem par for the course.

Forget hit points. What did folks happen when a wizard's reflex save went up? Yes, reflex scales slower in PF1, but they still get better at dodging fireballs. Why is it weirder for them to get better at dodging axes?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah, you'd have to make a pretty strong argument that Pathfinder isn't larger then life pulp fantasy.

The first campaign I ever ran involved the party monk performing a leaping six-hit-combo on a giant owlbear, the rogue riding a dying dragon through a collapsing gate to another plane, the bard talking his way out of his own death by making a bargain with an extraplanar being, and the final boss confronting the party inside a private demiplane that contorted to her every whim as they used a magic sword literally made from solidified love to cut her head off twice.

Tell me you wouldn't read that comic. :P

The Exchange

Look folks.

You are missing the point.

You can have different flavours of pulp adventures, you can have different flavours of super hero adventures.

When you do pulp superhero stories ala old school superman/batman and the afore mentioned Doc Savage you are dealing with something outwith traditional heroic fantasy even relatively high fantasy.

High jinks and craziness are all par for the course. Being homo superior by level 1 or 6 or 20 isn't.

Anyway as I keep saying we'll see what the final product is like but the fundamental break with tradition that the +1 per level to every thing for every member of the adventurer super species with addition of the UTMEL to differentiate between the supers who have left base humanity so far behind is noticeable and deeply felt.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

But being a super hero is unavoidable in Pathfinder (DND) if you go past level 4 or 5. By level 6 even an unoptimised character can survive things beyond human capabilities (or at least come away without being horribly crippled.) Just by raw maths, before any specific content. You can run that po faced if you want, but PF2 isn't any worse in that regard. You still have to ignore what basically all the maths is stating in PF2 to do it, but you had to do that in PF1 anyway.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I really and sincerely do not understand why a 10th level Wizard having a minimum AC of 22 or so is more immersion breaking than them having the 100+ HP they often do in PF2. I am honestly befuddled.

I mean...all the complaints about the lack of realism/explanation for the AC bonus apply even more to increasing hit points, so objecting to one and not the other makes absolutely no sense to me.

I mean, even in PF1 with a Raging Power Attacking 1st level Barbarian critting them for around 57 damage on average, most 10th level Wizards I've seen would survive that. That's a full on greataxe to the face kinda situation, and they're basically fine (indeed, even absent magic, they'll be fine in less than a week). I find them learning to dodge better a lot more plausible than them gaining that level of physical durability ever was.

Seriously, when people can block greataxe blows with their face, other minor feats of superhuman physical prowess seem par for the course.

I have not even tried to read all the updates. But I think I can sum up my position in response to this while I wait for real updates from Paizo.

First, it is mildly humorous to me that I was accused of lack of imagination, but suddenly HP may only be viewed as "an axe to the face".

But, I have two separate responses to the point, each of which stand independently.

1) You are welcome to your opinion and I am welcome to mine. I disagree with you. I feel that HP do a quite reasonable job of modeling the genre. Fights last much longer than "real" fights would ever last. HP capture a sense of picking away and wearing down that is completely cliche in fantasy. So it works for me. It doesn't have to work for you, but it does for me.

Naked wizards dodging orc axes is not cliche. You can call it immersion breaking or use any other buzz phrase you want. I desire the game to feel like the genre. And I have the liberty to demand that.

Proclaiming that my preference is badewrongfun won't help 2E.

2) I'm totally open to something BETTER than HP. In some genres there are better things. But HP have lasted through so many different game systems for so long because ultimately, they have proven to work.

I *HAVE* better things than +level to AC already. I am open to new things that are better than what I have. I am not open to new things that are worse than what I have.

Again, that is my opinion. You are free to disagree.

Show me something better than 1E and I'll embrace it. This applies to both HP and AC.
Show me something worse than 1E and I'll reject it. This applies to both HP and AC.


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heretic wrote:

Look folks.

You are missing the point.

You can have different flavours of pulp adventures, you can have different flavours of super hero adventures.

When you do pulp superhero stories ala old school superman/batman and the afore mentioned Doc Savage you are dealing with something outwith traditional heroic fantasy even relatively high fantasy.

High jinks and craziness are all par for the course. Being homo superior by level 1 or 6 or 20 isn't.

Anyway as I keep saying we'll see what the final product is like but the fundamental break with tradition that the +1 per level to every thing for every member of the adventurer super species with addition of the UTMEL to differentiate between the supers who have left base humanity so far behind is noticeable and deeply felt.

No, we get the point. We disagree with it. Those are not the same thing.

Right now I'm playing a Cleric who can literally walk on air, conjure enough food for 324 people a day with only a single level's spell slots, banish relatively strong demons to their own plane by uttering a few magic words, imprison a champion of a big bad wielding an artifact sword into my scimitar (true story, was great), bring the dead back to life, and call down literal Miracles. I can do all those things at more or less the same time in one day, and still have enough power left over to wield fire and lightning, heal impossibly grievous injuries, cure nearly any disease, engage in diplomacy with nearly anyone successfully, sing a pretty great aria...

I mean, this isn't an exhaustive list. This is stuff on my spell list from two game sessions ago and a couple of skills that are jacked right up (although I haven't had to feed an entire town lately). And that's not even a particularly powerful character, I built a healer because they're fun. :)

So I mean, if you're trying to say that +1 somehow breaks tradition because PCs aren't world altering forces at high level... my not so optimized Cleric wants to say hi. And so does the God King Wizard who actually did try to become as powerful as possible, because that guy is beyond superhero.

And since they changed it so untrained doesn't get that +1 anymore, my Cleric even gets to keep his comic ineptitude at Stealth!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
BryonD wrote:
I feel that HP do a quite reasonable job of modeling the genre. Fights last much longer than "real" fights would ever last. HP capture a sense of picking away and wearing down that is completely cliche in fantasy. So it works for me. It doesn't have to work for you, but it does for me.

An average mid to high-level Pathfinder fight is 2-3 rounds (18 seconds max) of rocket tag until the tilt when the result is decided and all that's left is mop-up. Dunno how that's a "real", "fantasy genre appropriate" fight, but even Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat matches tend to be nail biting until the finish, while a PF fight is mostly about initiative and not rolling badly on save or suck/die effects. The rest is gravy. I'd rather have less of that, thankyouverymuch.


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Malk_Content wrote:
But being a super hero is unavoidable in Pathfinder (DND) if you go past level 4 or 5. By level 6 even an unoptimised character can survive things beyond human capabilities (or at least come away without being horribly crippled.) Just by raw maths, before any specific content. You can run that po faced if you want, but PF2 isn't any worse in that regard. You still have to ignore what basically all the maths is stating in PF2 to do it, but you had to do that in PF1 anyway.

You don't even have to get as far as the map. Trying to pretend PF1 never became superhuman can't even hold up past looking at the cover art. Rune Giants were from the original pathfinder adventure path covers. Google image a Rune Giant. Consider that Valeros fights that thing with a piece of metal and Ezren can survive getting hit by it.

The idea that high level PF1 characters were meant to have realistic human bodies while fighting things like that is baffling.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Edge93 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Thing is we were all told from the very beginning of learning how to play (at least AD&D IIRC, likely even earlier) that HPs are an abstraction. Not so for AC

We are talking about 40 years of ingraining the concept here. Hence the differing perceptions

Few human beings question what was always there and kinda faded into the background

I understand that people cling to tradition, and that tradition is the reason for this, but that doesn't make it any more clear to me, at least on a gut level, why people can't more easily generalize principles like 'game mechanics can be abstractions'.
Aye, tradition and "ingraining the concept" works fine for explaining why we have a particular knee-jerk or instinctive reaction to or outlook on something, but can't really be fallen back on when we are trying to take a conscious and reasoned look at something. When we're at the point in logical discussion of acknowledging that a concept is ingrained then we should also be at the point of being able to put aside that ingraining in our reasoning.

I'm not really one for arguing about game mechanics (they don't matter much to me) however, I thought I'd point out that in my view, this formulation is begging the question (in the philosophical sense, not in the "this makes me think of a question" sense).

For me, preservation of tradition is a goal of any mechanical tinkering that I do. I want the games I play (or houserule) to preserve the feel of the gaming I started in the 70s. Given that's my goal, it really doesn't make sense for me to "put aside that ingraining" in my reasoning.

The reason I think this matters (beyond pure pedantry) is that in my experience, people will often launch into arguments over game mechanics with an implicit assumption as to what is trying to be achieved. To provide another example, RPG debates will often focus on the striving for "balance" in various guises - as it happens, I prefer imbalance in RPGs. I want magic to be strictly superior to mundane solutions. Often that perspective is obscured from discussion from a blanket "imbalance = poor design" whereas, of course, if one is aiming for an imbalanced game then a balanced mechanic could well be poorly designed.

I wouldn't bother trying to prosecute the case on a Pathfinder forum that magic-mundane imbalance should be built in. Nonetheless, I don't think we should adopt language which implicitly assumes that's an axiomatic design goal of RPGs. I think it's valuable to remember what you're trying to achieve (even if everyone in the conversation thinks balance is worthy, as is usually the case in Pathfinder online debates).


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BryonD wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

I really and sincerely do not understand why a 10th level Wizard having a minimum AC of 22 or so is more immersion breaking than them having the 100+ HP they often do in PF2. I am honestly befuddled.

I mean...all the complaints about the lack of realism/explanation for the AC bonus apply even more to increasing hit points, so objecting to one and not the other makes absolutely no sense to me.

I mean, even in PF1 with a Raging Power Attacking 1st level Barbarian critting them for around 57 damage on average, most 10th level Wizards I've seen would survive that. That's a full on greataxe to the face kinda situation, and they're basically fine (indeed, even absent magic, they'll be fine in less than a week). I find them learning to dodge better a lot more plausible than them gaining that level of physical durability ever was.

Seriously, when people can block greataxe blows with their face, other minor feats of superhuman physical prowess seem par for the course.

I have not even tried to read all the updates. But I think I can sum up my position in response to this while I wait for real updates from Paizo.

First, it is mildly humorous to me that I was accused of lack of imagination, but suddenly HP may only be viewed as "an axe to the face".

But, I have two separate responses to the point, each of which stand independently.

1) You are welcome to your opinion and I am welcome to mine. I disagree with you. I feel that HP do a quite reasonable job of modeling the genre. Fights last much longer than "real" fights would ever last. HP capture a sense of picking away and wearing down that is completely cliche in fantasy. So it works for me. It doesn't have to work for you, but it does for me.

Naked wizards dodging orc axes is not cliche. You can call it immersion breaking or use any other buzz phrase you want. I desire the game to feel like the genre. And I have the liberty to demand that.

Proclaiming that my preference is badewrongfun won't help 2E.

2) I'm totally open to something BETTER than HP. In some genres there are better things. But HP have lasted through so many different game systems for so long because ultimately, they have proven to work.

I *HAVE* better things than +level to AC already. I am open to new things that are better than what I have. I am not open to new things that are worse than what I have.

Again, that is my opinion. You are free to disagree.

Show me something better than 1E and I'll embrace it. This applies to both HP and AC.
Show me something worse than 1E and I'll reject it. This applies to both HP and AC.

I think people are taking issue with the fact that, apparently, Wizards can't be good at avoiding attacks. Why does a Wizard have to be bad at avoiding axes or fireballs to the face? Because he's a Wizard? It's just silly, especially when he should be the most intelligent one to realize that he needs to dodge those attacks which he can easily predict are coming. On top of that, those are attacks by entities which are well below his paygrade. The fact he can't tank level 1 creatures as a level 10 character because of his class choice is beyond absurd.

In addition, "real fights" in the world, if mixed martial arts and other similar "legal" fights are fair precedent, are infinitely longer than most you would play out in tabletop RPGs, even if a large amount of that time is mostly just jumping around and throwing pot shots; by the game's standards, you're in combat there. In-game, no fight should last any more than 20 rounds, or 2 minutes of real life time, which is about a fraction of a whole round in boxing, except for some stupid shenanigans. Ever heard of 15 minute adventuring days?


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Gorbacz wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I feel that HP do a quite reasonable job of modeling the genre. Fights last much longer than "real" fights would ever last. HP capture a sense of picking away and wearing down that is completely cliche in fantasy. So it works for me. It doesn't have to work for you, but it does for me.

An average mid to high-level Pathfinder fight is 2-3 rounds (18 seconds max) of rocket tag until the tilt when the result is decided and all that's left is mop-up. Dunno how that's a "real", "fantasy genre appropriate" fight, but even Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat matches tend to be nail biting until the finish, while a PF fight is mostly about initiative and not rolling badly on save or suck/die effects. The rest is gravy. I'd rather have less of that, thankyouverymuch.

Not at my table.

But, most importantly, I think you missed a couple points.

You missed the point about you are welcome to your opinion and I am welcome to mine. Telling me who certain you are of what my game plays like isn't insightful.

You missed the point that I am open to improvements. So telling me what you think is bad now does nothing to improve the system you declined to even mention in your post.

As I have said many times before, 3X (in all iterations) has no safety wheels. It will let you screw it up and it won't try to save you. I totally agree that this (hugely successful) game has consistent complaints about several items and high level play is on the list. It *can* be managed. I manage it just fine thank you very much. But if you present a BETTER solution, I'll be happy to enjoy it.

IMO 5E is significantly different on the point you bring up here. And I think it is a very good alternative. And, by the definition of bringing joy to the most people it unquestionably is better than 1E. Cool. I approve.

Now we just need to talk about bringing 2E into that realm. I really very much want that to be a truth. I'm hopeful that when they reveal more we will see it.

I'm sorry that your PF games suck so bad. I know it can be fun, so that must really be a bummer.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Why does a Wizard have to be bad at avoiding axes or fireballs to the face? Because he's a Wizard? It's just silly, especially when he should be the most intelligent one to realize that he needs to dodge those attacks which he can easily predict are coming. On top of that, those are attacks by entities which are well below his paygrade. The fact he can't tank level 1 creatures as a level 10 character because of his class choice is beyond absurd.

Just to point out, the wizard already got better at dodging fireballs, he just didn't also get better at dodging axes for... reasons.

I guess in 5e wizards don't get better at dodging fireballs though, for whatever that is worth? But neither do fighters as I recall. Which is a big problem for me from an immersion stand point.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I think people are taking issue with the fact that, apparently, Wizards can't be good at avoiding attacks. Why does a Wizard have to be bad at avoiding axes or fireballs to the face? Because he's a Wizard? It's just silly, especially when he should be the most intelligent one to realize that he needs to dodge those attacks which he can easily predict are coming. On top of that, those are attacks by entities which are well below his paygrade. The fact he can't tank level 1 creatures as a level 10 character because of his class choice is beyond absurd.

You have my position backwards.

It is entirely reasonable to make a wizard who CAN be good at dodging attacks. I already explicitly said that somewhere. The +level model says it is impossible to make a wizard who CAN'T.

Again, it is very important to keep in mind that I completely accept that the wizard will have magic which makes the narrative drive the math to the place where most every wizard will have some decent defense. But if the narrative were a naked no-magic wizard then he should get killed by much lower level foes. And if the system does that wrong, the the system isn't telling the story in a way that I want it for normal encounters either. So I do assume that wizards will avoid attacks. But for narrative reasons.

Saying wizards can't be good at avoiding attacks is a complete failure to repeat back what I said.

Quote:
In addition, "real fights" in the world, if mixed martial arts and other similar "legal" fights are fair precedent, are infinitely longer than most you would play out in tabletop RPGs, even if a large amount of that time is mostly just jumping around and throwing pot shots; by the game's standards, you're in combat there. In-game, no fight should last any more than 20 rounds, or 2 minutes of real life time, which is about a fraction of a whole round in boxing, except for some stupid shenanigans. Ever heard of 15 minute adventuring days?

I've honestly never considered "legal" fights with referees as remotely a basis for TTRPGs. I mean, certain cool tropes might show up, but nothing that aligns with your point here. The fights are no rules and to the death. There might, on occasion be a gladiator type thing. But that is not what I presume. I doubt anyone goes to that as the default. Real world honest fights are very short. And, seriously, watch some olympic fencing. Even if I concede to "legal" you put weapons into it and the fight will be VERY short.

As to 15 minute adventuring days, that is a red herring.
First, again this is an issue that the system readily allows. But it can be avoided. Second, the 15 minute adventuring day is, by cliche a single 90 second fight, some looting, rest repeat. You can get quite a few olympic fencing faceoffs in that time. The 15 minute adventuring day says nothing at all about fight duration. It is all about lack of urgency between the fights.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Why does a Wizard have to be bad at avoiding axes or fireballs to the face? Because he's a Wizard? It's just silly, especially when he should be the most intelligent one to realize that he needs to dodge those attacks which he can easily predict are coming. On top of that, those are attacks by entities which are well below his paygrade. The fact he can't tank level 1 creatures as a level 10 character because of his class choice is beyond absurd.

Just to point out, the wizard already got better at dodging fireballs, he just didn't also get better at dodging axes for... reasons.

I guess in 5e wizards don't get better at dodging fireballs though, for whatever that is worth? But neither do fighters as I recall. Which is a big problem for me from an immersion stand point.

Would you like for me to offer up something about 1E that irks me to no end?

Big dinosaurs are always good at avoiding fireballs because REF scale with HD.

Low hanging fruit for improvement right there.

The scaling of DCs in 1E tends to obscure the pace of save advancement in 1E. So it doesn't shine all that bright. But it is a point where the system is wonky.

I even think that +level for DCs and Saves together is at least as good and quite possibly better than the 1E system. I'll totally support it where it works.

Liberty's Edge

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Tridus wrote:

Yep. I'm not sure if you thought I disagreed or was just using my quote to reply to someone else, but I agree with that entirely. :)

Level based AC scaling makes perfect sense if we have level based other stuff scaling (which we do).

I'm glad we're in agreement. :)

BryonD wrote:

I have not even tried to read all the updates. But I think I can sum up my position in response to this while I wait for real updates from Paizo.

First, it is mildly humorous to me that I was accused of lack of imagination, but suddenly HP may only be viewed as "an axe to the face".

That's actually not what I said. Indeed, my very next post makes the argument that HP are clearly an abstraction...and that therefore complaining that AC is also an abstraction is kinda silly.

BryonD wrote:
But, I have two separate responses to the point, each of which stand independently.

Okay, let's examine these.

BryonD wrote:
1) You are welcome to your opinion and I am welcome to mine. I disagree with you. I feel that HP do a quite reasonable job of modeling the genre. Fights last much longer than "real" fights would ever last. HP capture a sense of picking away and wearing down that is completely cliche in fantasy. So it works for me. It doesn't have to work for you, but it does for me.

AC neatly captures most of the same vibe, at least in the sense of long fights (in the case of AC, this being while people try and get in the perfect blow). Indeed, in some ways it represents that better.

BryonD wrote:
Naked wizards dodging orc axes is not cliche. You can call it immersion breaking or use any other buzz phrase you want. I desire the game to feel like the genre.

Based on having read a lot of fiction in the fantasy genre, all protagonists being excellent at dodging greataxe blows (at least in the sense of succeeding at avoiding them) is one of the most in-genre things possible. All protagonists (with the occasional exception of the superhumanly tough) do this routinely...or they tend to die.

BryonD wrote:
And I have the liberty to demand that.

You have the liberty to demand whatsoever you desire. Demands are usually a bad way to get what you want, of course.

BryonD wrote:
Proclaiming that my preference is badewrongfun won't help 2E.

My issue with your position has nothing to do with 'badwrongfun' and everything to do with it being inconsistent.

BryonD wrote:
2) I'm totally open to something BETTER than HP. In some genres there are better things. But HP have lasted through so many different game systems for so long because ultimately, they have proven to work.

Sure. So has increasing defensive numbers as skill/power level goes up. Indeed, that going up is significantly more common than HP going up in most games I've seen.

BryonD wrote:
I *HAVE* better things than +level to AC already. I am open to new things that are better than what I have. I am not open to new things that are worse than what I have.

I strongly disagree that the mishmash nightmare that is 'how to raise AC' in PF1 is remotely as good as simply adding level, Dex, and armor.

BryonD wrote:

Again, that is my opinion. You are free to disagree.

Show me something better than 1E and I'll embrace it. This applies to both HP and AC.

I definitely disagree. I strongly feel that adding Level to AC is a vast improvement over how AC worked in PF1.


BryonD wrote:


It is entirely reasonable to make a wizard who CAN be good at dodging attacks. I already explicitly said that somewhere. The +level model says it is impossible to make a wizard who CAN'T.

As was stated earlier, the +level model does in fact allow you to make a Wizard who can't dodge attacks. In mechanics it is called being a willing target, which makes offenses against you automatically succeed. In narrative it can be being unable to dodge physical attacks successfully. Which is essentially exactly what you are demanding.

So PF2 readily allows both Wizards that are effective at dodging weak attacks and Wizards who are not. PF1 does not readily allow both. So your arguments of PF2 not allowing a character who cannot avoid the attacks of weaker foes are altogether incorrect.


Perhaps I missed it, but I will suggest untrained as X+1/2 level.

That way, you stil get something for all that experience, but you still fall behind someone who was trained. And that reduced the max difference closer to a d20.

Or maybe something like untrained as +0, trained as +1/5 level, expert as +1/4 level, master at +1/3 level, and legendary at +1/2 level. Which would increase the differences as you level, and also reduce number bloat.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Edge93 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Thing is we were all told from the very beginning of learning how to play (at least AD&D IIRC, likely even earlier) that HPs are an abstraction. Not so for AC

We are talking about 40 years of ingraining the concept here. Hence the differing perceptions

Few human beings question what was always there and kinda faded into the background

I understand that people cling to tradition, and that tradition is the reason for this, but that doesn't make it any more clear to me, at least on a gut level, why people can't more easily generalize principles like 'game mechanics can be abstractions'.

Aye, tradition and "ingraining the concept" works fine for explaining why we have a particular knee-jerk or instinctive reaction to or outlook on something, but can't really be fallen back on when we are trying to take a conscious and reasoned look at something. When we're at the point in logical discussion of acknowledging that a concept is ingrained then we should also be at the point of being able to put aside that ingraining in our reasoning.

That some people can acknowledge that ingraining is taking place does not mean that all people participating in a debate realize this

And to DMW, it is not a matter of tradition but of paradigm. If a person is completely certain that a given thing is absolutely sure and self-evident, they will not think of questioning it. Or wondering why it is the way it is. It just will not occur to them. For example, obviously the sun travels around the Earth, or of course the Earth is flat

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