Trying to understand removing +level from untrained proficiency


General Discussion

251 to 300 of 444 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>

BryonD wrote:


They were pretty firm that they would not move away from +level. Then they did. If they then turn around and make that change moot then they will have done nothing but work up the slice of fanbase that like +level while doubling down on alienating everyone else. I'm pretty sure their goal is to widen the net.

For skills, I think you are right. They will leave some low DC skill checks for things that are primarily flavor things, but for anything that matters, I don't see trained being a viable proficiency level. Jason pretty much called this out himself when he said wizards will automatically get expert weapon proficiency in their starting weapons by a certain point. Armor proficiencies, including unarmored will have to be the same. There is no way that they can have legendary opponents attacking PCs with trained armor and expect the PCs to live for very long. (or legendary spell vs trained saves) It massively out stripes level. If level +4 is supposed to be an extreme challenge, then more than 2 proficiency differences in important stats is also going to be too swingy.


Unicore wrote:
BryonD wrote:


They were pretty firm that they would not move away from +level. Then they did. If they then turn around and make that change moot then they will have done nothing but work up the slice of fanbase that like +level while doubling down on alienating everyone else. I'm pretty sure their goal is to widen the net.
For skills, I think you are right. They will leave some low DC skill checks for things that are primarily flavor things, but for anything that matters, I don't see trained being a viable proficiency level. Jason pretty much called this out himself when he said wizards will automatically get expert weapon proficiency in their starting weapons by a certain point. Armor proficiencies, including unarmored will have to be the same. There is no way that they can have legendary opponents attacking PCs with trained armor and expect the PCs to live for very long. (or legendary spell vs trained saves) It massively out stripes level. If level +4 is supposed to be an extreme challenge, then more than 2 proficiency differences in important stats is also going to be too swingy.

Yeah, entirely possible and I suspect you are probably right on this part.

But we really don't know.

If automatic progression is locked into AC, then this is still going to be a complete dead in the water system for me. We don't need to revisit the difference of opinion on that. We both are well aware. I;m just stating that the naked wizard and the orc needs to be solved or else I'll play a game that already has it solved. And, IMO, a lot of other people will as well. So I hope you are wrong.

If you are wrong, then your analysis of issues is very much correct. They will need to implement pretty serious changes to make those problems go away. I'm not saying it is easy or at all obvious. And thus, it seems more than slightly possible that you are right and the naked wizard will just dance on.

We will see.


BryonD wrote:


If automatic progression is locked into AC, then this is still going to be a complete dead in the water system for me. We don't need to revisit the difference of opinion on that. We both are well aware. I;m just stating that the naked wizard and the orc needs to be solved or else I'll play a game that already has it solved. And, IMO, a lot of other people will as well. So I hope you are wrong.

If you are wrong, then your analysis of issues is very much correct. They will need to implement pretty serious changes to make those problems go away. I'm not saying it is easy or at all obvious. And thus, it seems more than slightly possible that you are right and the naked wizard will just dance on.

We will see.

This was my point at the start of this thread. Removing +level from untrained is not fixing the issues that most folks arguing against +level to proficiency were arguing for in the first place, which was that automatic progression for everything that matters is still baked into the rules. Especially with the decision to stretch proficiency bonus, it just means that the proficiency floor is going to have to raise as the game progresses, not just the bonus.

On the plus side for you, I think removing + level from proficiency will still be a relatively easy house rule, but personally, I think that so much of PF2s character progression is baked into +level, that there are better systems for representing games where a naked wizard is just a regular person.

Paizo Employee

4 people marked this as a favorite.
BryonD wrote:
OK, again I like it. This is good DMing and I'm a fan. But you are ignoring both the matter-of-fact on how 2E original draft works [...]

I'm really not. The table explicitly and very clearly exists to help you discern what an appropriate challenge looks like for a given level, in conjunction with table 10–3 which establishes the difficulty of a variety of different tasks so you have a baseline to extrapolate from. It doesn't tell you to add numbers to something that's not an appropriate challenge; in fact, it specifically tells you not to do so.

Pathfinder Playtest wrote:
It's important that you don't simply make the DC arbitrarily higher or lower with the PCs' level.
Quote:
Ultimately if there is a chunk of river *somewhere* that is just really freaking hard to swim across, so hard that the options are either it is tier gated out or it has a "nigh impossible" DC unless you are high enough level, then that chunk of river exists and works out the same, regardless of system being played. And in the original 2E draft the answer would be the nigh impossible DC. And exactly because the world doesn't change with the characters that DC exists for lower level characters.

Part of the problem is that while some of the above statement is true (up until the last two sentences) it ignores how adventures are constructed and how the systems actually work in play. I'm dubbing this "the unusually sucky river fallacy". The unusually sucky river fallacy assumes that somewhere out there, there exists a river which is so difficult to swim low level characters can't swim across it. The rules tell us that crossing a river is a 1st level challenge and even unusually sucky rivers shouldn't be considered challenges after level 6.

Since we know from reading the Difficulty Classes section of the playtest that swimming in a rocky, rushing river is a trivial task that you shouldn't even require rolls for by 6th level and swimming in a stormy ocean is a level 5 difficulty task, we should know that swimming in a river is not an appropriate challenge for a 12th level party. Creating a hypothetical situation that the system explicitly tells you not to create is not establishing anything that's "true" of the system or the play environment.

The answer in either rules system is to introduce level-appropriate challenges that increase the difficulty. The PCs should be encountering greater threats because they've reached the point of lesser threats no longer being rewarding or challenging for them, and indeed, the point where they're probably not even rolling for a lot of things that used to be challenges. They know that they can't sit around killing kobolds in the sewers or swimming in unusually sucky rivers anymore if they want to continue growing in power and experience, they have to travel farther and find greater threats (or deal with having attracted the notice of higher level threats who occupy the territory they currently operate in).


BryonD wrote:
Pathfinder isn't a video game where you level-gate parts of the world with arbitrary level requirements, and that's not how you'd design an adventure.
Agreed. I never said it was. That is kinda the point. (though thejeff *did* say "you just don't go there", so I guess he thinks there are level gates to some degree)

In the same sense that the 4th level party doesn't go raiding the ancient red dragon's lair. It's there. You could try it. But you don't, because you'll die.

I've done some rock-climbing, so I can see it like that. There are some really cool technical climbs, way beyond my skill. So, I'm not going to go do them. They're "level gated" if you will.

It's a level based system. Higher level things slaughter low level things and provide challenges for high level players. However much we disguise it with plot or world building (or even turn some responsibility over to sandbox style players) everything is fundamentally level gated.

The 12th level river is actually easier than the monsters, since it won't come after you, so you can do look at it and decide you're not going to swim it. Unlike the cave with the red dragon in it. (Of course there might be reasons you could talk with the dragon without being eaten, but that's a different question.)


I really think we need to move away from river and wall metaphors. Environmental restrictions in PF1 are trivialized with level 2 spells, and completely bypassed by level 3 and 4 spells. By level 10 most of that stuff is purely for mood and tone of the adventure in Golarion. The ability of spells to trivialize the environment is scaled back in PF2, but only by a couple of levels. A team of PCs without a wizard and no potions of Fly, Water walking, water breathing, Spider climb, is a party that is intentionally being held back beyond the issue of whether or not any of them would fail a swim check if they decided to try to swim across a river. Using a wall or a river to block level 12 characters is just not built into the setting like encountering a dragon is.


Sorry for jumping in over a nitpicky thing but I really wish people would quit talking about swimming being difficult. Especially the “I don’t want my character to know how to swim” thing. (It hasn’t been brought up in this discussion but I’ve seen it all over the place)

Maybe I was born half fish but swimming, even in clothing and while carrying a few things, is almost as easy as walking. Even strong currents aren’t a huge deal. Doing it in full plate may be different, I’ve never tried it. Honestly in my experience with teaching others how to swim it’s 90% dealing with the initial fear. Once that’s out of the way the motion for swimming is ludicrously simple.

Climbing is a very different beast. I’ve never gotten the hang of it and wouldn’t even try outside of controlled circumstances. I understand why they clumped the 2 together, they are both “athletic” and I appreciate the skill condensing they’ve done but they are very different from each other.

But yes, agreed let’s get over the river scenarios.


Raylyeh wrote:

Sorry for jumping in over a nitpicky thing but I really wish people would quit talking about swimming being difficult. Especially the “I don’t want my character to know how to swim” thing. (It hasn’t been brought up in this discussion but I’ve seen it all over the place)

Maybe I was born half fish but swimming, even in clothing and while carrying a few things, is almost as easy as walking. Even strong currents aren’t a huge deal. Doing it in full plate may be different, I’ve never tried it. Honestly in my experience with teaching others how to swim it’s 90% dealing with the initial fear. Once that’s out of the way the motion for swimming is ludicrously simple.

Climbing is a very different beast. I’ve never gotten the hang of it and wouldn’t even try outside of controlled circumstances. I understand why they clumped the 2 together, they are both “athletic” and I appreciate the skill condensing they’ve done but they are very different from each other.

But yes, agreed let’s get over the river scenarios.

I'm a good swimmer too and it's not that hard to be basically competent, but I think you're trivializing it, mostly because we all have too much common sense to swim when it's actually dangerous.

Don't think "unusually sucky river", think "flash flood". Or even just high water Class 4 or 5 rapids - if you want the version without tree trunks to contend with.

It's not hard for moving water to get really dangerous, even if you're a strong swimmer under normal circumstances.


Fair enough.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:

Sorry for jumping in over a nitpicky thing but I really wish people would quit talking about swimming being difficult. Especially the “I don’t want my character to know how to swim” thing. (It hasn’t been brought up in this discussion but I’ve seen it all over the place)

Maybe I was born half fish but swimming, even in clothing and while carrying a few things, is almost as easy as walking. Even strong currents aren’t a huge deal. Doing it in full plate may be different, I’ve never tried it. Honestly in my experience with teaching others how to swim it’s 90% dealing with the initial fear. Once that’s out of the way the motion for swimming is ludicrously simple.

Climbing is a very different beast. I’ve never gotten the hang of it and wouldn’t even try outside of controlled circumstances. I understand why they clumped the 2 together, they are both “athletic” and I appreciate the skill condensing they’ve done but they are very different from each other.

But yes, agreed let’s get over the river scenarios.

I'm a good swimmer too and it's not that hard to be basically competent, but I think you're trivializing it, mostly because we all have too much common sense to swim when it's actually dangerous.

Don't think "unusually sucky river", think "flash flood". Or even just high water Class 4 or 5 rapids - if you want the version without tree trunks to contend with.

It's not hard for moving water to get really dangerous, even if you're a strong swimmer under normal circumstances.

A note on the wanting to be bad at swimming that I think I brought up elsewhere:

Almost anyone could swim in PF1.

If your Str mod-Armor Check Penalty was 0 or higher then you could take 10 and swim in calm water even with no ranks. No matter if you lived in a desert all your life, no matter if you've ever even seen water or not. The only way to fail at swimming without a strength deficit was to voluntarily roll instead of taking 10, which is just as much "voluntarily gimping yourself" as just choosing to not be able to swim in PF2. And even with a strength deficit you'd probably have a 40-50% chance to swim safely with no ranks.

So I just think it's funny that this is the usual go-to complaint when it wasn't even so in PF1 WITHOUT +level.


BryonD wrote:
If automatic progression is locked into AC, then this is still going to be a complete dead in the water system for me.

Why should accuracy grow faster than armor class? I know it did in PF1, but I always figured "characters fighting same level opponents are more likely to hit (and be hit) at high levels than at low" was bizarre and one of the reasons every 3.x game turned into rocket tag at high levels.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The thing is that the solution of, "just role play you are bad at swimming", is that its not the same as the game supporting the choice. pf1 lets you roll or role play the inability to swim. pf2 originally only supported the role play option.

Do notice that rolling a d20 on DC10 is way more variable; and, shows how you struggle to stay a float more than refusing to roll and saying you drown.

A more detail description:
* A pf1 character thats bad at swimming or has a fear of it will either have a penalty to it, the drawback for it (granted its non-core), or wont take 10 due to the fear distracting him.

In any case, sure they might be able to deal with calm water (DC10), but unless they put ranks in Swim it will be difficult to deal with rough water (DC15).

* An untrained pf2 character at the start of playtest would be able to easily pass DC15 by lv 5.

With the first nerf (level-4), they could easily pass by lv 9.

Now with no level, they would have the same chance to pass as when they were level 1.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I’m just done with the stupid swim argument. I honestly cannot comprehend the idea of a character who is able to slay ancient dragons and more but quivers in abject terror at the sight of a body of water that’s deeper than 6 feet let alone the appeal of ever playing such a character. I know that it’s mostly just an example people use for argument’s sake but please find a less ridiculous one.


I once encountered the puzzle of creating a proper environmental hazard for a 7th-level party. It ended up not involving a skill check at all.

The 3rd module in the Jade Regent adventure path, The Hungry Storm, is named after an environmental hazard, deadly morozoki storms that are appearing on and near the northern polar ice cap. There is even a stationary one blocking the intended route of the party's caravan, so they have to go around.

The module did not describe what would happened if the party entered the storm.

So I invented the details (Amaya of Westcrown: The Hungry Storm).

Mathmuse wrote:

Of course, the party investigated the morozko storm that blocked the Koumissa Gap up to Unaimo by sending their hardiest characters into it.

I decided that a morozoki storm is a ten-mile-wide hurricane filled with sharp ice shards that do 1 point of damage per minute to anyone standing in the wind, slower if the character is protected by medium or heavy armor. In addition, a mile into the storm has supernatural cold that does 1 point of cold damage per minute, too. The ground under it becomes littered with ice shards that make it difficult terrain.

With the knowledge of the deadliness of the storm, they knew the danger they faced when they found their caravan in the path of a second morozoki storm on the ice cap. I just asked my wife, who had been one of the players, and she remembers that that was exciting.

The swimming skill check of a strong current in a river does not have to be the challenge to a 12th-level party crossing the river. Inhabitants of the river, such as nymphs or water elements, could be the hazard. The enemy could have sentries posted along the river due to a good line of sight in obvious watchtowers, and the challenge is crossing the river unseen by the sentries. Peaceful fishermen on the river could need help for a sidequest, and in exchange provide practical information.

In The Hungry Storm the party crossed many rivers in the area south of the ice cap. The challenge was getting the wagons of the caravan across it, especially the time that merfolk bandits attacked.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Raylyeh wrote:
I’m just done with the stupid swim argument. I honestly cannot comprehend the idea of a character who is able to slay ancient dragons and more but quivers in abject terror at the sight of a body of water that’s deeper than 6 feet let alone the appeal of ever playing such a character. I know that it’s mostly just an example people use for argument’s sake but please find a less ridiculous one.

As a kid they almost drowned trying to get a frog in a river and the trama haunted them since. Sure they can be willing to drink a potion of Flying and grapple a dragon to the ground but get them near water and well that hero could flash back to a scared crying thrashing kid.

It's not just for argument's sake, it's based around your character. I think having some normal human fears on a character helps keep them grounded.

Heck, I'm playing Carrion Crown with a character that's scared of Undead. Now he deals with this fear by masking it with hate and bashing their skulls but should be fun to see how he deals with some of the bigger nasties.

Now as for why you'd want to mechanically not be able to swim, that I can't tell you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
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

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

The ability to be be bad in something critical, like AC is different in both the playtest and will be in PF2, then it was in past iterations of the game because of the +/-10 mechanic, not the +level to proficiency progression. Even in the very first iteration of the game, with +level to proficiency, Wizards were supposed to be considered trained in unarmored defense because the difference between level -2 AC and level+0 AC, on top of a minimal bonus from Dex was seen as too much of a difference to be viable.

Now the differences in proficiency are stretched even further. Sure some of that will be adjusted for with equipment bonuses coming down, but you have to remember that the original mathematical models of the playtest (and PF1) assumed that all players would be within a +1 of the expected magical item bonus by any given level, so magic item bonuses were largely considered automatic progressions within the system itself. They could be taken away, but doing so meant the GM needed to be aware that they were playing with an underpowered party, or else use the automatic bonus progression from Unchained.

PF2 will be doing the same thing, but is doing it more sneakily by working the automatic bonus progression into automatic proficiency boosts at specific levels in addition to the + level to proficiencies. Most of the class charts and feats that maxed out granting trained proficiency are going to be changed in the final product, because a feat that only grants a flat training in something essential to character identity just became a trap option. My guess is that most of these feats will automatically grant expert proficiency at some specific level (probably 13ish), because expert is the new high level floor for essential abilities.

Are players going to be happy with this system?

I don't know.

The issue of "not being able to be bad at something," was largely an issue of optics and GM play in the playtest. It was players looking for objective measures of being good at something, when in play, all relevant measures were really subjective anyway, and the original game did too good a job of making those subjective challenges feel very challenging. Yes objective world measures existed, and the +level to proficiency meant that level 10 characters were not regular humanoids any more, as if the inability to climb a 10 foot wall was enough to make characters feel mortal, while shrugging off multiple bites of an owlbear.

Now the optics have been inverted. It is very easy to look at a character and see that you will have a couple of skills that will be truly, objectively terrible at, and that cannot be used to accomplish almost any task without intervention from magic or an ally. In exchange, that means that growth in all the important proficiencies have to become locked to level progression, because the stretch in proficiency bonus means that level alone is not enough to balance characters anymore.

Maybe some folks will be satisfied that their level 18 wizard can have a +0 to their survival checks (despite having made 30 of them over the course of their adventuring career) but pick up a dagger for the first time and have the same level of proficiency with it as an X level barbarian would be (i.e: Expert. Barbarians are obviously getting master weapon proficiency at some level now, but I am not sure what level that will be). Because proficiency in PF 2 is in an awkward conceptual space between actual training and just pure numerical value.

Basically, I am not sure if any of us are certain that a character's proficiency is defined just by the UTEML scale or a scale that is supposed to include UTEML + level X. dropping the U off of the second one looks to me like it is just short changing the scale. Making the scale (U)TE at low levels and EM(L) + level at high levels. I liked the UTEML+ level with proficiency gates scale much better, but everyone probably knows that already.

I have yet to see anyone make an impassioned argument in favor of the (U)TE at low levels and EM(L) + level at high level scale yet, but that is because people will probably need to see it before they will really believe that no 20th level character will be making a trained check or save outside of the occasional random skill check, that they probably should not be making on their own, or without some kind of magical safeguard. My concerns will probably become common discussion points by this summer.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
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

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

This is a valid argument. But it's the exact same argument that's been used to defend every sacred cow since time immemorial. That's not to say that there are no sacred cows worth keeping. But all of them should get a second look from time to time, and a new edition is just the opportunity to do so.

This particular sacred cow is the wizard as a glass cannon. This concept doesn't have any special, inherent value, and isn't supported by a lot of fantasy culture. On the flip side, the glass cannon wizard is, by nature, bad for game balance: The lack of physical defenses is compensated by overwhelming offense and by spells that make armed combat irrelevant. This gets worse at high levels: The glass cannon is increasingly powerful and increasingly fragile, hence the rocket tag issues we experience in PF1. All in all, it's a sacred cow I don't mind seeing the end of.


gwynfrid wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
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

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

This is a valid argument. But it's the exact same argument that's been used to defend every sacred cow since time immemorial. That's not to say that there are no sacred cows worth keeping. But all of them should get a second look from time to time, and a new edition is just the opportunity to do so.

This particular sacred cow is the wizard as a glass cannon. This concept doesn't have any special, inherent value, and isn't supported by a lot of fantasy culture. On the flip side, the glass cannon wizard is, by nature, bad for game balance: The lack of physical defenses is compensated by overwhelming offense and by spells that make armed combat irrelevant. This gets worse at high levels: The glass cannon is increasingly powerful and increasingly fragile, hence the rocket tag issues we experience in PF1. All in all, it's a sacred cow I don't mind seeing the end of.

Hear, Hear!

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
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

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

It would appear that the collective wisdom of the enthusiasts on these fora knows no fear! The way forward for PF is apparently to create a PF2 that is a radical departure from what went before, refusing to be hidebound by 40 odd years of precedent and the devil take the hindmost. It is a high risk strategy for reasons that have been endless debated. As I expect to be running quite a lot PF2 as part of Pathfinder Society come August I look forward to seeing what is in store.

W


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Unicore wrote:

It is very easy to look at a character and see that you will have a couple of skills that will be truly, objectively terrible at, and that cannot be used to accomplish almost any task without intervention from magic or an ally .

I want to dig into this because I see it get tossed around like it's true, and self evidently a problem.

Removing +lvl to a skill means you can still attempt to roll on all untrained uses of a skill and hope to succeed for DCs between 5 and 20+ability modifier. That's a wide range, and encompasses level appropriate DCs, according to the DC chart, up to about level 8. This is in a skill you have sunk zero resources in. In my book, that's pretty good.

If you're asking to regularly beat high DC challenges that are appropriate for trained, high level characters without any sort of investment, then you're asking for homogeneity. What's wrong with asking a party member who is a legendary sneak thief for help sneaking? What's wrong with using magic items in D&D to do things you character can't normally do? Why is it a problem if someone can't do something one way because they built there character to focus on other things?

Furthermore, if untrained advances with level you get weird things like the wizard untrained in athletics for his whole life suddenly running up walls because they reached a break point in the DC chart, and running up a wall doesn't require them to use a spell slot.

The only way removing +lvl to untrained is a problem is if high level characters never encounter low DC options, which we've been assured isn't supposed to be the case.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
WatersLethe wrote:
Unicore wrote:

It is very easy to look at a character and see that you will have a couple of skills that will be truly, objectively terrible at, and that cannot be used to accomplish almost any task without intervention from magic or an ally .

I want to dig into this because I see it get tossed around like it's true, and self evidently a problem.

Removing +lvl to a skill means you can still attempt to roll on all untrained uses of a skill and hope to succeed for DCs between 5 and 20+ability modifier. That's a wide range, and encompasses level appropriate DCs, according to the DC chart, up to about level 8. This is in a skill you have sunk zero resources in. In my book, that's pretty good.

If you're asking to regularly beat high DC challenges that are appropriate for trained, high level characters without any sort of investment, then you're asking for homogeneity. What's wrong with asking a party member who is a legendary sneak thief for help sneaking? What's wrong with using magic items in D&D to do things you character can't normally do? Why is it a problem if someone can't do something one way because they built there character to focus on other things?

Furthermore, if untrained advances with level you get weird things like the wizard untrained in athletics for his whole life suddenly running up walls because they reached a break point in the DC chart, and running up a wall doesn't require them to use a spell slot.

The only way removing +lvl to untrained is a problem is if high level characters never encounter low DC options, which we've been assured isn't supposed to be the case.

Rolling any check with a +0 vs a DC 19 is only possible in PF2 if the consequences for critical failure are insignificant. At the point where the consequences are real and significant for critically failing a check, no level 20 character is going to risk making a check that has a greater chance of critically failing then of succeeding. This will include all secret checks, because any secret check made with such low odds has to be assumed a critical failure, so any knowledge gained from an arcana check, for instance, would more likely be false than useful. This is also going to include anything like swimming, where the consequences of consecutive critical failures includes death.

Skills like diplomacy need to completely be rewritten as well, or the game is super doubling down on only ever having 1 character per party ever talk during a social encounter because that is set against the will save DC of the opposing character. If the king (designed to be an on level social encounter for an equal level party) turns to the wizard and asks how she feels about what the paladin is saying (or the wizard interjects with an additional request for something from the king) then whatever the wizard says can't result in any kind of die roll or else the whole situation is probably turning sidewise. This situation can probably be ok if GMs and players really stick to the rules carefully about looking at social encounters as actions (gather information, make an impression or request) that require x amount of time and fit within the mechanical structure of expected encounters, but if players were prone to reading how skills work and what can and cannot be done with untrained checks, then they would have understood skill gates a lot better and not been so vocally upset about the idea that barbarian can write a dissertation on the magical praxis of lichdom because they have a +18 untrained bonus on the arcana check.

I think we will see a fair number of DC 5 and 10 checks scattered through adventures level 1-20. Most of these will be for insignificant challenges that let players make jokes about who stumbled over the fence walking drunk out of the tavern last week. As soon as DCs hit 13 or higher, they will become things that only trained characters will attempt unless they are being forced to, or they are impetuous and hopefully their entire party enjoys their Leeroy Jenkins shenanigans, and being dragged into conflict with NPCs because the Barbarian just had to ask if she could eat the rest of the kings plate and the GM said, ok, make a diplomacy check...which can be fun every once in a long while but not 95% of the time the Barbarian opens her mouth.

But the game is probably going to have to include a mechanic for finding out exact DCs or else how "hard is that wall to climb?" is a question that will have to be answered individually for each character anyway in terminology that makes it clear who has a reasonable chance of making the check and who doesn't. Or else most players will hear, oh, that is a x skill check, and just know that they better not try it if they are untrained, in which case, the proficiency gate is still real, it is just a lot easier for characters not to see and to make critical failures of themselves.


gwynfrid wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
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

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

This is a valid argument. But it's the exact same argument that's been used to defend every sacred cow since time immemorial. That's not to say that there are no sacred cows worth keeping. But all of them should get a second look from time to time, and a new edition is just the opportunity to do so.

This particular sacred cow is the wizard as a glass cannon. This concept doesn't have any special, inherent value, and isn't supported by a lot of fantasy culture. On the flip side, the glass cannon wizard is, by nature, bad for game balance: The lack of physical defenses is compensated by overwhelming offense and by spells that make armed combat irrelevant. This gets worse at high levels: The glass cannon is increasingly powerful and increasingly fragile, hence the rocket tag issues we experience in PF1. All in all, it's a sacred cow I don't mind seeing the end of.

We Pathfinder players have had experience with arcane spellcasters who are not glass cannons: bard and magus and eldritch knight. The alchemist, skald, and bloodrager had some arcane magic, too.

My Iron Gods campaign had five party members: fighter, gunslinger, magus, skald, and bloodrager. That was a party with no vulnerable people who had to be protected, so the standard combat tactics of a durable front line protecting the squishies in the back was unnecessary. The party adopted a skirmishing style, using their mobility and ranged attacks to their advantage. It was a different way to play Pathfinder combat, but it was fun, too.

Games without the sacred cow work just fine.

In folklore, most of the protagonists lacked armor. The clever peasant was as vulnerable as the magical wizard. Robin Hood did not wear armor. The Kinghts of the Round Table were well armored, but they usually fought armored foes and tough-hide beasts. In contrast, the modern Sword and Sorcery genre had to have a squishy wizard, because the swordsman would usually get only one chance to take down a mystical opponent who could cloud his mind or vanish in a puff of smoke. I have read that the Dungeons & Dragons wizard was modeled after artillery in wargames, as a vulnerable ranged unit, but the Sword and Sorcery stories provided the role.

Yet J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings with sword-wielding wizard Gandalf has been a more enduring model of the fantasy wizard than the Sword and Sorcery stories. In more recent stories, we have Harry Potter and Harry Dresden. Okay, Harry Potter is fragile because of his age, but his wizard friend Hagrid is very tough. The fragility of wizards is no longer part of our stories.

heretic wrote:
It would appear that the collective wisdom of the enthusiasts on these fora knows no fear! The way forward for PF is apparently to create a PF2 that is a radical departure from what went before, refusing to be hidebound by 40 odd years of precedent and the devil take the hindmost. It is a high risk strategy for reasons that have been endless debated. As I expect to be running quite a lot PF2 as part of Pathfinder Society come August I look forward to seeing what is in store.

Sadly, heretic, I am agreeing with your strawman. Paizo ought to break from 40 years of precedent whenever they have a better idea.


heretic wrote:

It would appear that the collective wisdom of the enthusiasts on these fora knows no fear! The way forward for PF is apparently to create a PF2 that is a radical departure from what went before, refusing to be hidebound by 40 odd years of precedent and the devil take the hindmost. It is a high risk strategy for reasons that have been endless debated. As I expect to be running quite a lot PF2 as part of Pathfinder Society come August I look forward to seeing what is in store.

W

Although for most of that forty-odd years high level characters inevitably saved against most of the SFX that various casters and monsters threw around, and I suspect you'll find it rather hand to persuade the large contingent of people who hate the 'nerf' to casters to go along with that. 3.x/PF threw out a whole pile of features in a radical departure from 26 years of tradition, but if you want to insist on, "This far and no further" in that respect it is your right. Just don't pretend that everything you're defending is forty years of precedent, because it isn't.


Mathmuse wrote:

We Pathfinder players have had experience with arcane spellcasters who are not glass cannons: bard and magus and eldritch knight. The alchemist, skald, and bloodrager had some arcane magic, too.

My Iron Gods campaign had five party members: fighter, gunslinger, magus, skald, and bloodrager. That was a party with no vulnerable people who had to be protected, so the standard combat tactics of a durable front line protecting the squishies in the back was unnecessary. The party adopted a skirmishing style, using their mobility and ranged attacks to their advantage. It was a different way to play Pathfinder combat, but it was fun, too.

Games without the sacred cow work just fine.

What you're saying is that games without the sacred cow work better. I agree, and I'm not the only one. Half-caster classes have been very popular. One reason for that it that they don't break the game, or at least, they don't break it as obviously and as thoroughly as the glass cannon wizard does.

Now with PF2, I'll appreciate a chance to play a wizard again without begin an all-powerful caster dependent on either pre-buffs or winning initiative to survive round 1, and otherwise unstoppable.

Mathmuse wrote:

In folklore, most of the protagonists lacked armor. The clever peasant was as vulnerable as the magical wizard. Robin Hood did not wear armor. The Kinghts of the Round Table were well armored, but they usually fought armored foes and tough-hide beasts. In contrast, the modern Sword and Sorcery genre had to have a squishy wizard, because the swordsman would usually get only one chance to take down a mystical opponent who could cloud his mind or vanish in a puff of smoke. I have read that the Dungeons & Dragons wizard was modeled after artillery in wargames, as a vulnerable ranged unit, but the Sword and Sorcery stories provided the role.

Yet J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings with sword-wielding wizard Gandalf has been a more enduring model of the fantasy wizard than the Sword and Sorcery stories. In more recent stories, we have Harry Potter and Harry Dresden. Okay, Harry Potter is fragile because of his age, but his wizard friend Hagrid is very tough. The fragility of wizards is no longer part of our stories.

Indeed. Even Harry himself isn't really an exception. He doesn't wear armor but still, he dodges a lot of blows in the series. He's also pretty good at his sport of choice, which is portrayed as very physical. Fragile wizards aren't in our stories, and I would contend they have never been. They're an artificial, game-based construct, as you noted.


To me it seems that all those non frail wizards either trained to be able to fight, have some level of plot armor, or live in a world where they aren't going to fight a horde/army of enemies by themselves (whether armored or not).

Not to mention that the Harry Potter universe is very much a Wizards Only universe. That universe also uses the, "I can cast any spell I know at anytime, all day if needed" magic rules.


gwynfrid wrote:
Now with PF2, I'll appreciate a chance to play a wizard again without begin an all-powerful caster dependent on either pre-buffs or winning initiative to survive round 1, and otherwise unstoppable.

So you're saying it's impossible to play PF1 wizard without being dead or Treantmonk.


MerlinCross wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Now with PF2, I'll appreciate a chance to play a wizard again without begin an all-powerful caster dependent on either pre-buffs or winning initiative to survive round 1, and otherwise unstoppable.
So you're saying it's impossible to play PF1 wizard without being dead or Treantmonk.

There are other solutions. One is well-known: Stop the campaign before the point where the problem gets really bad, somewhere between level 10 and 12 (YMMV). Some use a scheme called "E6" to the same effect (I never tried it). It's always possible to houserule the worst issues away. My own solution as GM is to work through this with the wizard player. That's OK, but I'd rather have a system that doesn't have this issue in the first place.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
Rolling any check with a +0 vs a DC 19 is only possible in PF2 if the consequences for critical failure are insignificant. At the point where the consequences are real and significant for critically failing a check, no level 20 character is going to risk making a check that has a greater chance of critically failing then of succeeding. This will include all secret checks, because any secret check made with such low odds has to be assumed a critical failure, so any knowledge gained from an arcana check, for instance, would more likely be false than useful. This is also going to include anything like swimming, where the consequences of consecutive critical failures includes death.

For me, this is a good thing. Making checks in skills you're untrained in for the hell of it because the likelihood of critically failing is low and you stand a decent shot at beating the specialized characters at a task is bad game design (in my opinion).

This means you only make these rolls when you have to. Swim check when you fall out of a boat. Last ditch effort to climb a tree to avoid an enemy. Unless, of course, you took steps to patch up your weaknesses and bought cool items that give you a leg up, or get help from a legendary party member who is now actually making a difference to the group.

It also comes down to narrative breaking things like the high level party taking a look at the DCs of swimming and deciding they don't need a boat because no one can fail their swim checks to reach the island. Or walls being useless against any sufficiently leveled enemy because they can all make the climb checks to waltz over it.

Also, also, the -4 to untrained skills made everything that much worse at lower levels, so untrained characters were just straight up never going to be able to do lots of things they might reasonably attempt but are nevertheless low level challenges.

Unicore wrote:
Skills like diplomacy need to completely be rewritten as well, or the game is super doubling down on only ever having 1 character per party ever talk during a social encounter because that is set against the will save DC of the opposing character...

I agree that skills from the Playtest need to be rewritten. One thing that I insist needs to be included is someone of expert or higher in a skill being able to provide training to their team. The bard taking 5 minutes to give everyone pointers on how to speak to the king and making them trained in diplomacy and bluff for the task is WAY better than every team, regardless of their investment in speaking ability, having a fair shot at bluffing some extraordinarily shrewd NPC.

A party of bone chewing 8 cha barbarian orcs don't go "Hey, this coming encounter was written as a social encounter, so everyone whip out your +lvl to bluff and lets get this done." They think of a way to avoid the social encounter, or do something to shore up their skills. This is integral to my enjoyment of an RPG.

Also, the gating features of the UTEML are fantastic and I approve them greatly and I hope everyone reads them and understands them and Paizo fleshes out what is gated behind what level.

Unicore wrote:
I think we will see a fair number of DC 5 and 10 checks scattered through adventures level 1-20. Most of these will be for insignificant challenges that let players make jokes about who stumbled over the fence walking drunk out of the tavern last week.

This attitude is exactly why I firmly believe +lvl to untrained should stay removed. Making a DC18 or whatever check to climb a brick wall is objectively an impressive feat. I can't do it in real life. With +lvl failing to climb that wall is a joke to the rest of the party at higher levels. Don't you see how this cuts the tethers to reality, and makes the super high DC stuff seem normal rather than actually hyper impressive?


gwynfrid wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Now with PF2, I'll appreciate a chance to play a wizard again without begin an all-powerful caster dependent on either pre-buffs or winning initiative to survive round 1, and otherwise unstoppable.
So you're saying it's impossible to play PF1 wizard without being dead or Treantmonk.
There are other solutions. One is well-known: Stop the campaign before the point where the problem gets really bad, somewhere between level 10 and 12 (YMMV). Some use a scheme called "E6" to the same effect (I never tried it). It's always possible to houserule the worst issues away. My own solution as GM is to work through this with the wizard player. That's OK, but I'd rather have a system that doesn't have this issue in the first place.

I find it's only a problem because the community expects it to fully be one. It's seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy. "High end must be rocket tag so I need to build for rocket tag" and then don't be surprised that the end of the game is fully rocket tag. Because if the wizard built for Rocket tag(Something it's actually good at doing), the GM is forced to also build for Rocket Tag.

Now I'm not saying Wizard can't just go out of control. The whole "Time Stop, Summon Lantern Archons" is proof enough for that. I find it dubious that every wizard player is going to play to that level of power because they can and it seems to be fully expected of them.

The same goes with all the high tier classes. Which I'm interested in seeing the reaction when PF2 tier list hits.


MerlinCross wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
I’m just done with the stupid swim argument. I honestly cannot comprehend the idea of a character who is able to slay ancient dragons and more but quivers in abject terror at the sight of a body of water that’s deeper than 6 feet let alone the appeal of ever playing such a character. I know that it’s mostly just an example people use for argument’s sake but please find a less ridiculous one.

As a kid they almost drowned trying to get a frog in a river and the trama haunted them since. Sure they can be willing to drink a potion of Flying and grapple a dragon to the ground but get them near water and well that hero could flash back to a scared crying thrashing kid.

It's not just for argument's sake, it's based around your character. I think having some normal human fears on a character helps keep them grounded.

Heck, I'm playing Carrion Crown with a character that's scared of Undead. Now he deals with this fear by masking it with hate and bashing their skulls but should be fun to see how he deals with some of the bigger nasties.

Now as for why you'd want to mechanically not be able to swim, that I can't tell you.

Don’t get me wrong, I love good role playing but in my experience D&D/PF is first and foremost a combat simulator. Just measure how much of an average session is spent in combat rounds vs. all other activities. Maybe it’s just because I’ve played dozens of systems over the years but when I compare them that’s what D&D/PF is. If I want a more role playing focused game there’s plenty I’d go for before D&D/PF.

And for the whole role playing a phobia thing. Along with being a combat simulator this system is about larger than life heroes. If I want to play a character with crippling mental problems I will probably play something like Unknown Armies.

I know that D&D is the most well known game out there and PF right behind it. But being completely attached at the hip to this game is silly. Explore the depths of this hobby please.


MerlinCross wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Now with PF2, I'll appreciate a chance to play a wizard again without begin an all-powerful caster dependent on either pre-buffs or winning initiative to survive round 1, and otherwise unstoppable.
So you're saying it's impossible to play PF1 wizard without being dead or Treantmonk.
There are other solutions. One is well-known: Stop the campaign before the point where the problem gets really bad, somewhere between level 10 and 12 (YMMV). Some use a scheme called "E6" to the same effect (I never tried it). It's always possible to houserule the worst issues away. My own solution as GM is to work through this with the wizard player. That's OK, but I'd rather have a system that doesn't have this issue in the first place.

I find it's only a problem because the community expects it to fully be one. It's seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy. "High end must be rocket tag so I need to build for rocket tag" and then don't be surprised that the end of the game is fully rocket tag. Because if the wizard built for Rocket tag(Something it's actually good at doing), the GM is forced to also build for Rocket Tag.

Now I'm not saying Wizard can't just go out of control. The whole "Time Stop, Summon Lantern Archons" is proof enough for that. I find it dubious that every wizard player is going to play to that level of power because they can and it seems to be fully expected of them.

The same goes with all the high tier classes. Which I'm interested in seeing the reaction when PF2 tier list hits.

The wizard doesn't need to be built specifically towards rocket tag. The player doesn't need to go crazy into class guides. Just taking the most obviously juicy spells is enough to get there - no special creativity required. I experienced this problem with my player group, and these aren't folks who spend a lot of time on the forums discussing game balance issues. This is a problem we've had all the way back to our 2E days, and 3E/PF, while a vastly superior game, made it worse.

I agree there are similar balance issues with other classes too, and I hope PF2 will get us to a more reasonable point. In fact, if the community ends up in consensus on a clear-cut tier list after the CRB drops, I would rate that a big disappointment with the new edition.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
I find it's only a problem because the community expects it to fully be one. It's seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy. "High end must be rocket tag so I need to build for rocket tag" and then don't be surprised that the end of the game is fully rocket tag. Because if the wizard built for Rocket tag(Something it's actually good at doing), the GM is forced to also build for Rocket Tag.

I think it's more that the average player enjoys building their character to be as effective as possible; given a choice between an option that makes their better better at what they want their character to specialize in and one that doesn't, most players will take the specialty option.

PF1e makes it very, very easy to just stack up a few specialty options and then break the game. My Hell's Rebels PCs accidentally make themselves into utter combat monsters, just because they wanted to roleplay being good at teamwork.

They took some teamwork feats and the particular combination of feats turned out to be completely gamebreaking. These weren't strange arcane options that had to be dug up, either. The party broke the game with three common teamwork feats, a low level Spheres of Power spell, and a common Vigilante talent.

In my experience, that kind of "oops I broke it" happens more often then not in PF1e. It's rarely the people like me who are trying to powergame that are the problem.


WatersLethe wrote:
Don't you see how this cuts the tethers to reality, and makes the super high DC stuff seem normal rather than actually hyper impressive?

I do see that. That is what + level bonus to proficiency did in the first place. It meant that level 10 characters are superheroes beyond anything I can imagine accomplishing. PF2 is embracing taking characters and pushing them to the limits fo what we can imagine people are capable of. I will return to this later.

First, I want to express how much I appreciate you, WatersLethe, for giving an impassioned defense of the decision to remove +level from untrained, because I can tell that you really feel like this was the missing link in making PF2 the game you want to play.

There are a lot of unknowns that we will have to wait to see how they work out in the final book, and hopefully by having these continuing conversations in a place where there is a chance that a developer reads them, the issues are at least considered before the new rule set is sent to print.

But returning to the conflict of Heroic play and the floor of untrained proficiency, I feel like the commitment to +level to proficiency as the metric for measuring a characters advancement really falls apart when it is not universal, especially when compounded by proficiency modifiers that stretch 8 points and a critical success/failure system that hits +/-10. It really looks like the primary solution to this problem is going to be to mostly remove untrained from play, except in the case for some specialized and specific skills.

Even the solutions you present about Master characters getting the ability to allow all the people around them to act as trained is essential just another work around for removing untrained from the game at higher level.

I think that the large scale distain that people had for not being able to be bad at things, was probably a large issue that taps into the interplay of the entire proficiency system + the +/-10 critical system, but surfaced as a singular complaint against the symptomatic issue of characters being good at things that it didn't feel like they should be, and the conflict people have with the idea that an NPC could spend their whole life working at one profession and be outshined by a PC doing that task for the first time.

But that is much more about the awkwardness of what level means in world and whether time spent doing something is as relevant to getting better at something as killing monsters and deciding you want to be good at something new.

I strongly agree that untrained -4 was too punishing of a restriction for untrained skills, especially at low levels, and I can understand why, especially with how many people misunderstood what could be attempted untrained, -2 felt too wishy washy against what an expert character could do. I just personally believe that numerical bonuses to a D20 check on the whole were the wrong way to try to establish those differences.

The optimist in me thinks that the developers probably see that untrained as +0 with no level bonus means that untrained will be more viable at levels 1 to 4 and then start to go away entirely at the point where parties get access to items and level 2 spells that trivialize most of the environmental hazards that that characters face. It is interesting that they feel like it is ok to do this with the things resolved by skill checks, but they clearly want to make sure that it is removed entirely from anything related to combat.

If that is the case, that combat requires tighter math than any other aspect of the game, then it doesn't make sense for me to force the out of combat mechanics to operate on the same universal system as the combat ones. I think the places where the playtest was most awkward where where it tried to force combat mechanics onto out of combat situations. I think the gaming community as a whole is a little skeptical of systems that try to do that because it has a rough track history in systems like 4e. Personally, I was impressed by the playtests effort, and think the proficiency had a lot of potential for fixing the issues that 4e had, but it probably would have been better to do so in a system that removes level's importance and probably is not class-based. Trying to keep the idea that high level means exceptionally better character, and still retain more than one or two massive flaws for that character (something like a voluntary "incompetent" proficiency below untrained), is a pretty strong clashing of ideas and going to end up making the tightly balanced aspects of the game have to operate very far away from the looser game elements. Something that a universal proficiency system does not handle well.

It makes me feel like exploration mode is not being treated as carefully as encounter mode as far as balancing math and utility options of characters

Paizo Employee

1 person marked this as a favorite.
WatersLethe wrote:
This attitude is exactly why I firmly believe +lvl to untrained should stay removed. Making a DC18 or whatever check to climb a brick wall is objectively an impressive feat. I can't do it in real life. With +lvl failing to climb that wall is a joke to the rest of the party at higher levels. Don't you see how this cuts the tethers to reality, and makes the super high DC stuff seem normal rather than actually hyper impressive?

Personally I think this way of thinking is actively harmful to the game and horrifically immersion-breaking. Climbing a brick wall is impressive for you or me; it shouldn't be an impressive feat for a 7th level character. These are literally characters who don't (didn't) even have to roll to swim down a rocky and rapids-filled river. They have the ability to overcome all kinds of obstacles and have almost certainly already done so to reach that level. I wouldn't expect a person who free runs their way through a series of abandoned warehouses every day to get to work to be bothered by a brick wall, and that's a thing that happens in the real world every day where we don't have anything even remotely close to 6th-level characters.

This is just another example of the unusually sucky river fallacy where people are advocating for the system to make things challenging that never were challenging, and impose nonsensical limitations based on their own real-world human frailties. And it's not like those limitations exist anyways; the party is going to climb that wall if climbing that wall matters. All that arbitrarily limiting skill progressions does is make spellcasters even more necessary to the group and limit the kinds of stories you can tell. It also limits character choice and makes the game more generic and cookie-cutter; any skill that regularly comes up is going to be one most players will feel like they have to choose, so suddenly every wizard is trained in Athletics, not because that was relevant to their character, but because it's actively a bad idea not to be given how often it will come up. For the wizard it's not an issue of course, since they're going to have a huge number of trained skills second only to bards and rogues (and maybe not even them). But for the person who wanted to play a Cleric, Druid, or Sorcerer who starts out kind of bookish and slowly grows into a hero, their growth is suddenly limited due to nonsensical restraints that say it doesn't matter if you spend your entire career running from natural hazards and fighting monsters, you'll always suck at Athletics unless you go to hero bootcamp and get trained in it. That to me is just fundamentally nonsensical and I don't understand how anyone can claim it makes more sense that you could survive adventure after adventure in this physically intense lifestyle and never get any better at it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Raylyeh wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
I’m just done with the stupid swim argument. I honestly cannot comprehend the idea of a character who is able to slay ancient dragons and more but quivers in abject terror at the sight of a body of water that’s deeper than 6 feet let alone the appeal of ever playing such a character. I know that it’s mostly just an example people use for argument’s sake but please find a less ridiculous one.

As a kid they almost drowned trying to get a frog in a river and the trama haunted them since. Sure they can be willing to drink a potion of Flying and grapple a dragon to the ground but get them near water and well that hero could flash back to a scared crying thrashing kid.

It's not just for argument's sake, it's based around your character. I think having some normal human fears on a character helps keep them grounded.

Heck, I'm playing Carrion Crown with a character that's scared of Undead. Now he deals with this fear by masking it with hate and bashing their skulls but should be fun to see how he deals with some of the bigger nasties.

Now as for why you'd want to mechanically not be able to swim, that I can't tell you.

Don’t get me wrong, I love good role playing but in my experience D&D/PF is first and foremost a combat simulator. Just measure how much of an average session is spent in combat rounds vs. all other activities. Maybe it’s just because I’ve played dozens of systems over the years but when I compare them that’s what D&D/PF is. If I want a more role playing focused game there’s plenty I’d go for before D&D/PF.

And for the whole role playing a phobia thing. Along with being a combat simulator this system is about larger than life heroes. If I want to play a character with crippling mental problems I will probably play something like Unknown Armies.

I know that D&D is the most well known game out there and PF right behind it. But being completely attached at the hip to this game is silly. Explore the depths of this hobby please.

I might be weird, but I do consider PF (and before that 3.5) a role-playing game first and combat simulator second. Game experiences differ. I agree that most of the rules of PF are focused around combat, but if I measure how much of our average sessions are spent on combat versus other things, the split is 50-50 at most. We've had whole sessions where we didn't roll a single die (in a fight, at least).

As for why I don't play other games for that? I like the APs that Paizo makes for Pathfinder and I like the world, and I don't feel the need to mess about converting those into another system. Telling someone to "explore the depths of the hobby" strikes me as a bit...condescending, I guess? People's time and finances are both limited, after all, and it's perfectly valid to just stick with one system and tweak it to suit.


The APs are excellent and are the only reason my group still plays PF. My group enjoyed the playtest despite some of the kinks that still need working out. So far it has already solved a number of problems we had with PF1. If many of the new mechanics stick for the CRB my group may take a renewed interest in PF. Which pretty much the reason I got on this forum.

FYI most systems don’t require anywhere near the financial and time investment that PF does. Many systems are easily available on the internet and or only have a few splat books at most. There are a few with more than that but I can count them on 1 hand and Paizo still blows the others out of the water. (Sorry Paizo but it’s true) Hell that’s one of my turn offs for the game and the source of many of the others. Oh and why does me having played many systems mean that I make good money? That seems like something you were implying. I won’t go into details but I can assure you that I don’t.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t counting 3.5 in my systems with splat books count so I don’t want to hear a comparison argument between PF and 3.5. That would be some ugly numbers.


gwynfrid wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
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

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

This is a valid argument. But it's the exact same argument that's been used to defend every sacred cow since time immemorial. That's not to say that there are no sacred cows worth keeping. But all of them should get a second look from time to time, and a new edition is just the opportunity to do so.

This particular sacred cow is the wizard as a glass cannon. This concept doesn't have any special, inherent value, and isn't supported by a lot of fantasy culture. On the flip side, the glass cannon wizard is, by nature, bad for game balance: The lack of physical defenses is compensated by overwhelming offense and by spells that make armed combat irrelevant. This gets worse at high levels: The glass cannon is increasingly powerful and increasingly fragile, hence the rocket tag issues we experience in PF1. All in all, it's a sacred cow I don't mind seeing the end of.

The playtest is over. Sacred cows don't need to be murdered or protected. Paizo has all the feedback its willing to consider and is going to make whatever game they think will sell the best. Trying to convince people the game they enjoy is silly is pointless at this point. It won't influence the final product and if people haven't been convinced by now that the game they genuinely enjoy is objectively bad they're unlikely to be convinced.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Unicore wrote:

It is very easy to look at a character and see that you will have a couple of skills that will be truly, objectively terrible at, and that cannot be used to accomplish almost any task without intervention from magic or an ally .

I want to dig into this because I see it get tossed around like it's true, and self evidently a problem.

Removing +lvl to a skill means you can still attempt to roll on all untrained uses of a skill and hope to succeed for DCs between 5 and 20+ability modifier. That's a wide range, and encompasses level appropriate DCs, according to the DC chart, up to about level 8. This is in a skill you have sunk zero resources in. In my book, that's pretty good.

If you're asking to regularly beat high DC challenges that are appropriate for trained, high level characters without any sort of investment, then you're asking for homogeneity. What's wrong with asking a party member who is a legendary sneak thief for help sneaking? What's wrong with using magic items in D&D to do things you character can't normally do? Why is it a problem if someone can't do something one way because they built there character to focus on other things?

Furthermore, if untrained advances with level you get weird things like the wizard untrained in athletics for his whole life suddenly running up walls because they reached a break point in the DC chart, and running up a wall doesn't require them to use a spell slot.

The only way removing +lvl to untrained is a problem is if high level characters never encounter low DC options, which we've been assured isn't supposed to be the case.

Rolling any check with a +0 vs a DC 19 is only possible in PF2 if the consequences for critical failure are insignificant. At the point where the consequences are real and significant for critically failing a check, no level 20 character is going to risk making a check that has a greater chance of critically failing then of succeeding. This will include all secret...

This is probably why 3.0-PF1 never had critical success and critical failure on skill checks. It seems like a flaw in the PF2 skill system to me.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
The playtest is over. Sacred cows don't need to be murdered or protected. Paizo has all the feedback its willing to consider and is going to make whatever game they think will sell the best. Trying to convince people the game they enjoy is silly is pointless at this point. It won't influence the final product and if people haven't been convinced by now that the game they genuinely enjoy is objectively bad they're unlikely to be convinced.

By that logic, why even post here at all?


John Lynch 106 wrote:
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

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

This was an argument made in response to people saying Wizards shouldn't be able to defend themselves well in combat physically.

But hey, if you like strawmen, by all means keep making them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
I find it's only a problem because the community expects it to fully be one. It's seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy. "High end must be rocket tag so I need to build for rocket tag" and then don't be surprised that the end of the game is fully rocket tag. Because if the wizard built for Rocket tag(Something it's actually good at doing), the GM is forced to also build for Rocket Tag.

I think it's more that the average player enjoys building their character to be as effective as possible; given a choice between an option that makes their better better at what they want their character to specialize in and one that doesn't, most players will take the specialty option.

PF1e makes it very, very easy to just stack up a few specialty options and then break the game. My Hell's Rebels PCs accidentally make themselves into utter combat monsters, just because they wanted to roleplay being good at teamwork.

They took some teamwork feats and the particular combination of feats turned out to be completely gamebreaking. These weren't strange arcane options that had to be dug up, either. The party broke the game with three common teamwork feats, a low level Spheres of Power spell, and a common Vigilante talent.

In my experience, that kind of "oops I broke it" happens more often then not in PF1e. It's rarely the people like me who are trying to powergame that are the problem.

That resembles my players. They build characters that work well together, the PF1 system rewards teamwork, and they become masters of combat when their goal was roleplaying.

Fortunately, they use that combat power for roleplaying. They prefer to spend the first round of combat trying to talk to the hostiles and make peace. Thus, they don't launch into rocket tag. My job as the GM is to let them talk their enemies into peace occassionally, to reward that behavior. That is why I have been advocating for quick diplomacy and other ways to make friends in FP2.

Meraki wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
Don’t get me wrong, I love good role playing but in my experience D&D/PF is first and foremost a combat simulator. Just measure how much of an average session is spent in combat rounds vs. all other activities. Maybe it’s just because I’ve played dozens of systems over the years but when I compare them that’s what D&D/PF is. If I want a more role playing focused game there’s plenty I’d go for before D&D/PF.

I might be weird, but I do consider PF (and before that 3.5) a role-playing game first and combat simulator second. Game experiences differ. I agree that most of the rules of PF are focused around combat, but if I measure how much of our average sessions are spent on combat versus other things, the split is 50-50 at most. We've had whole sessions where we didn't roll a single die (in a fight, at least).

I view Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons as roleplaying games built on top of combat simulators. The underlying wargame adds dramatic tension to the roleplaying, but creating stories through roleplaying is the purpose of the games.

To contrast with other roleplaying games, the Serenity Roleplaying System, set in the universe of the Firefly TV show and Serenity movie, is a roleplaying system built on top of an economic game. The underlying business game adds dramatic tension as the characters try to make a living in shady ventures while avoiding being cheated or shot in the back. An interesting difference in Serenity is that splitting the party to gather information or distract rivals is a good strategy. The party does not need to always be together for strength in combat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
The playtest is over. Sacred cows don't need to be murdered or protected. Paizo has all the feedback its willing to consider and is going to make whatever game they think will sell the best.

That's true, and I'm not trying to influence Paizo's decisions by posting here. They've told us our part in that in over. But that doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't share our differing viewpoints - even if the debate is mostly academic at this stage, I find it interesting in its own right. I'm sure people will come here to debate the merits of PF1 vs PF2 forever, and as long as it remains civil, I don't see a problem with that.


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

I see a couple possibilities for the potential of ways of handling the potential of using an untrained skill as a defense.

Both would designate a failover defense.

If you have a grab maneuver, it could list that you can use acrobatics or athletics to defend with a failover of reflex save.

I see two ways of using it. One perhaps the simplest, if using a failover defense apply a modifier such as -2 if you us it instead of a primary specified skill. This would give someone with that skill an advantage in the defense, but would allow for a base value a few points under another set defense. By taking a base defense that will by default always have level in it, you create a situation that that can be a baseline with a small penalty, that people who are untrained would have that minimum defensive capability to resist such an attack.

Another alternative would be to have the failover act as a form of a parachute. They make their check, but if they are untrained in the skill, if they roll a critical failure, they would use the same roll and check it as the backup defense, and will count as a simple failure, instead of a critical failure, unless a roll like that would be a critical failure as well.

This second method, people would tend to fail still, but it would make critical failures would remain much closer to the same rarity as a trained person.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Raylyeh wrote:
The APs are excellent and are the only reason my group still plays PF. My group enjoyed the playtest despite some of the kinks that still need working out. So far it has already solved a number of problems we had with PF1. If many of the new mechanics stick for the CRB my group may take a renewed interest in PF. Which pretty much the reason I got on this forum.

For me, the APs by themselves are sufficient to want to stick with PF. I agree that PF1 has some clunky bits, but it's not enough to make me dislike it. I also like a good amount of what the playtest is doing, so I'm not intending this to come across like I'm opposed to it. (There are specific parts I don't like as much. The same can be said of PF1, but my group's long since house-ruled those out of existence, so the rougher bits of the playest are more visible to us.)

Raylyeh wrote:
FYI most systems don’t require anywhere near the financial and time investment that PF does. Many systems are easily available on the internet and or only have a few splat books at most. There are a few with more than that but I can count them on 1 hand and Paizo still blows the others out of the water. (Sorry Paizo but it’s true) Hell that’s one of my turn offs for the game and the source of many of the others.

Fair enough, but some people still prefer to stick with a system they know rather than investing into another system, either money or time-wise, regardless how of much is involved. (The amount of time a campaign takes seems pretty system-agnostic to me.) Some people, like me, like the APs and don't want to have to convert them. Those people, imo, should not be told they're playing wrong or should go to another system because they play a little differently than the prevailing norm.

Raylyeh wrote:
Oh and why does me having played many systems mean that I make good money? That seems like something you were implying. I won’t go into details but I can assure you that I don’t.

I...didn't say anything whatsoever about your personal financial situation and I'm not sure how you got that impression? If it's about the "limited time and finances" comment, that's a general fact and wasn't a statement directed at you specifically.

Again, I'm not arguing the merits of the playtest specifically, but people play PF1 in a lot of ways (and are going to play PF2 in a lot of ways) and saying people should be playing a different system for more role-play intensive games kind of rubs me the wrong way. That's all I intended to point out.


MaxAstro wrote:
By that logic, why even post here at all?

You'll see I largely haven't been. I've glanced at the forums once or twice a week but otherwise haven't kept up with the posts. This thread caught my attention, hence my response.

Good conversations can still be had about PF2e that doesn't devolve into "the game you've played for all this time is silly and objectively bad and the closer Pathfinder 2 resembles it the worse it will be."

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
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

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

This was an argument made in response to people saying Wizards shouldn't be able to defend themselves well in combat physically.

But hey, if you like strawmen, by all means keep making them.

And that is exactly true for all editions of D&D (a lineage pathfinder 1e proudly considered itself to be a part of) except 4e. So going back to my point: telling people the game they've enjoyed all this time is silly seems like a wasted effort.

gwynfrid wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
The playtest is over. Sacred cows don't need to be murdered or protected. Paizo has all the feedback its willing to consider and is going to make whatever game they think will sell the best.

That's true, and I'm not trying to influence Paizo's decisions by posting here. They've told us our part in that in over. But that doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't share our differing viewpoints - even if the debate is mostly academic at this stage, I find it interesting in its own right. I'm sure people will come here to debate the merits of PF1 vs PF2 forever, and as long as it remains civil, I don't see a problem with that.

Sharing viewpoints in a civil manner is one thing. Telling people the game they enjoy is silly seems to me to be another. Coming to a forum where Pathfinder 1e was the primary discussion for the majority of the forum and acting surprised that people enjoy Pathfinder 1e seems disingenuous at best.

I have long since given up on discussing how things SHOULD be. I have shared my thoughts on why people enjoy the rules or game elements that they do enjoy and why they dislike the game elements and rules they don't enjoy.

By the way I have both passionately argued against the +level to everything, I've also explored the ramifications of +level to everything and I have defended the +level to everything (this last one may have only been among the players of my home group who I was trying to convince to give PF2e a real honest chance). I have certainly seen and argued all sides of this discussion.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:


This was an argument made in response to people saying Wizards shouldn't be able to defend themselves well in combat physically.

But hey, if you like strawmen, by all means keep making them.

And that is exactly true for all editions of D&D (a lineage pathfinder 1e proudly considered itself to be a part of) except 4e. So going back to my point: telling people the game they've enjoyed all this time is silly seems like a wasted effort.

That the game has silly aspects doesn't mean the whole game is silly.

That certain aspects have been in the game for a long time doesn't make them untouchable.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
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

It's a silly that has survived since the game was originally created in 1974, with the exception of D&D 4th edition (which Pathfinder was created in response to many players rejecting). Most reasonable people who have problems with these sorts of things, probably stopped playing Dungeons & Dragons and certainly wouldn't have stuck around playing Pathfinder. There are lots of alternatives that avoid such silliness after all. GURPS is one example.

Trying to convince people, many of whom have played with the current rules for 15 years+, that the game they've enjoyed for years, if not decades, is silly seems like a fruitless exercise.

This was an argument made in response to people saying Wizards shouldn't be able to defend themselves well in combat physically.

But hey, if you like strawmen, by all means keep making them.

Interesting that you call that a strawman, while in your tiny little post you misrepresent the position you oppose despite having it already clarified for you.

There is a massive difference between
(A) Wizards shouldn't be able to defend themselves in combat
(B) Wizards should typically rely on magic resources (gear/spells/tattoos/ whatever) for defense
(C) Wizards may or may not choose to learn to have some defensive martial prowess (or other non-magical combat skills)
(D) The system decrees that all wizards everywhere quickly achieve the ability to dance naked around greatsword wielding orcs even when they are in an anti-magic zone

One of those is the relevant point.

You should not drop a strawman argument in your complaint against strawman arguments.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Can you add to D the fairly critical "greatsword wielding orcs of significantly lower level"? Otherwise D is still pretty straw-adorned.

Also worth mentioning that the chance that wizards (or anyone) are untrained in unarmored is basically zero, because the devs have said that one of the important goals of the new system is not to have wide disparities in defense vs offence, and I believe explicitly said alongside the new proficiency rules that you would never be defending yourself with an untrained score.

I would in fact be willing to make a substantial bet on that. The Playtest had everyone trained in unarmored(in fact trained was the minimum for any defense, now that I think of it), and smart money is that won't change in the final version. Especially since wizards apparently eventually reach Expert with crossbows, I don't think there's any chance at all they will be untrained in unarmored.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Meraki, I know at this point I’m talking to the wall. But let me try one last time to get my point (and maybe some of my frustrations) across.

What I was trying to get at, admitted poorly, was for people I see who try to fit PF into every mold that they don’t have to. PF and D&D were never made to be universal systems. There are characters, plots and genres that it will not be good for. And that instead of trying to force the mold or hacking the system to pieces to try and make it fit there are plenty of other systems out there and chances are at least one of them is better for that type of game. Now that I’ve thought about it, yes, I kinda was being condescending but I’m not going to apologize because I’m not going to lie. I personally think people are being condescending to the dozens of companies and game developers who have in many cases made very good systems for kinds of role play the big D20 doesn’t cover despite and often because they are pinned under the shadow of D&D and PF by ignoring them. And PF, if we’re going to be honest, just capitalized on D&Ds screw up by using D&D’s own previous system with a fresh paint job. Until PF2 comes out the only thing I’m really going to give Paizo credit for is the Golarion setting and a handful of classes.

Back on point, I think many people who haven’t should broaden their horizons a bit. They may be surprised at what they find out there. But I know people are often passionate about things with brand recognition... That’s all folks.

251 to 300 of 444 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Trying to understand removing +level from untrained proficiency All Messageboards