Trying to understand removing +level from untrained proficiency


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This argument that someone can't be genuinely bad at anything because Pathfinder is about superheroes doesn't hold water for multiple reasons.

First, I accept that Pathfinder at even early levels is basically a superhero game, and every character is capable of doing wildly unrealistic things. However, that doesn't mean all tethers to reality are severed.

Batman is a superhero. Basically all his friends fly around by flexing hard enough. He flies with technology. What would the fans think if Batman just randomly started flying without any in-world explanation?

It's the same with skills in Pathfinder. Some superheroes just roll right over some challenges naturally while others need help, and magic items, spells, potions, and team assistance are some of the ways that happens.

Second, it doesn't matter if everyone is a superhero doing amazing things if there's no baseline to compare against. How boring would a show be if literally every major character was Superman? Sure, they can save the random villagers all day, but without in-party points of comparison it's a snooze fest. "I can lift this tank with my pinky!" "Yeah, Greg, we all can do that."

Now, the game might require that in one way or another everyone should have a means of lifting the tank, but it matters how it gets done. Is it magic, skill, mighty thews, or technology? Often, the interesting moments in those stories are when those means fail, like Spiderman refilling his web slinger cartridge, or Batman falling out of his plane.

TL;DR: Being able to do superheroic things with every single skill without any thought or investment doesn't make you a superhero, it makes you a boring character.


BryonD wrote:


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.

Counterpoint: Level 20 Fighters can't dance naked around CR 1/3 greatsword wielding orcs even when they are in an anti-magic zone in PF1 because they're so reliant on their magic items.

Making a level 20 fighter able to do that will invariably allow a level 20 wizard to do the same.


MaxAstro wrote:

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.

Indeed. And I have to wonder, has Byron D ever actually played a Wizard going up naked and magicless against a bunch of low level orcs?

Because if he hasn't then this is really just digging for a narrative flaw to accuse a mechanic of to say it's a bad mechanic and that practice of drawing up an incredibly unlikely narrative scenario to discredit a basic mechanic is to say that all mechanics should be designed to account for any possible narrative. Which means that essentially no system can work.

Skills is a good example of why this mentality does not work. See the classic "Put all my ranks in and become a master of X" or "I got better at picking locks by killing Goblins" jabs at the PF1 skill system and even PF2 skill increases. The mechanic does not cover those odd cases but in general the system works well enough (Even if it still has problems) and to make it perfectly fit the narratives complained about it would require a majorly convoluted system and/or one that does not function mechanically well and/or disallows altogether different narratives to make the corner/odd cases work.

There's a point where you just need a well-functioning mechanic that works with most situations and the fact is the majorly corner narrative cases need to go sit in the corner.


gwynfrid wrote:
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.

What are the 'most obviously juicy spells'? Or does Fireball and Lightning bolt break the game? Oh wait no blasters are bad, so bad wizard. But if they are bad wizard, how's it rocket tag?

Now I'll admit, I haven't spent a lot of time at higher levels because RL tends to come in and disrupt the game. Or one person decided to min max and solo the encounters anyway(Hello Path of War Fighter/Caviler thing that one jerk played, you were a great way to be introduced to the splatbook).

I just take umbrage in the fact it's fully expected to always happen without fail. That as a Wizard, you are doomed to destroy the game. Or Shaman. Or Witch. Or Cleric, Druid, Arcanist.

gwynfrid wrote:
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.

I fully expect the community to because they can't help themselves. Anywhere from 5-10 years playing min max, top tier, characterless spreadsheets; why would you expect them to not try and crunch the numbers again.

Heck, I fully expect Wizard/Cleric/Sorcerer Dedication to be a top pick and expected. I would have said Alchemist but the Resonance got dropped.

Will there be clean cut tier winners? I don't know but that won't stop the community from putting class/dedication X on a pedestal.

gwynfrid wrote:
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.

I admit, at this point I'm basically "Old man yells at clouds" but at least it's interesting to read other people's thoughts on the subject. So I don't mind seeing people debate/discuss stuff.


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WatersLethe wrote:

This argument that someone can't be genuinely bad at anything because Pathfinder is about superheroes doesn't hold water for multiple reasons.

First, I accept that Pathfinder at even early levels is basically a superhero game, and every character is capable of doing wildly unrealistic things. However, that doesn't mean all tethers to reality are severed.

Batman is a superhero. Basically all his friends fly around by flexing hard enough. He flies with technology. What would the fans think if Batman just randomly started flying without any in-world explanation?

It's the same with skills in Pathfinder. Some superheroes just roll right over some challenges naturally while others need help, and magic items, spells, potions, and team assistance are some of the ways that happens.

Second, it doesn't matter if everyone is a superhero doing amazing things if there's no baseline to compare against. How boring would a show be if literally every major character was Superman? Sure, they can save the random villagers all day, but without in-party points of comparison it's a snooze fest. "I can lift this tank with my pinky!" "Yeah, Greg, we all can do that."

Now, the game might require that in one way or another everyone should have a means of lifting the tank, but it matters how it gets done. Is it magic, skill, mighty thews, or technology? Often, the interesting moments in those stories are when those means fail, like Spiderman refilling his web slinger cartridge, or Batman falling out of his plane.

TL;DR: Being able to do superheroic things with every single skill without any thought or investment doesn't make you a superhero, it makes you a boring character.

But we're not talking Batman flying or anything like that. We're talking characters being competent outside of their specialties, not stomping on the other characters abilities.

To stick with the superhero analogy, we're talking when we find that even stripped of his powers, Superman can still handle random mooks, even though he can't tackle the monsters he can with his full powerset.


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And to Byron, you've stated multiple times that if PF2 has Wizards getting +level to AC then the system is dead to you and you will go play something else that fits your tastes.

Fair enough. Your tastes are your tastes and you can play or not play anything you want.

Paizo has made it clear that everyone is going to have +level to unarmored defense. That is not departing. So maybe you could go play those other systems now? Sticking around here and hassling other people for thinking that Wizards work well with different narratives or for daring to suggest plausible narratives for Wizard level to AC that even work in AMF zones isn't getting you any closer to the system you want so really your time might be spent better elsewhere.

You have better things to do than argue against something that isn't changing and we have better things to do than defend a system to someone who has no intent to be swayed.


Raylyeh wrote:

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.

Honestly, I find PF and D&D pretty lousy matches for almost anything except "D&D genre". They don't really handle any kind of fantasy well except for stuff that's explicitly or implicitly based on them. It's surprisingly hard to think of genre fantasy that's a good match.

But they've been around long enough they've essentially become their own thing.


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Meraki wrote:
Those people, imo, should not be told they should go to another system

I can tell whatever I deem appropriate: if I think another system is better for YOU I will suggest that, and if that upsets you well that is your problem


"John Lynch 106 wrote:
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.

First off, this assumes all systems are the same "game". They're not. 1st edition D&D is not 3.X. That right there is an instant strawman debunk.

Second off, this also assumes that I'm arguing what players are allowed to enjoy. This is also false, because the statement was made as a response to a conceived perception of another individual's perspective in relation to what a class in a game can do. The fact that Wizard in PF2 means something different compared to all other systems further debunks the concept as per the first.

Third off, I don't really care what other people do and do not enjoy, simply because they have their own tastes and I have my own; the statement was never intended to be some sort of an objective observation that others universally agree upon. To ME, the concept is silly. To others, it's not, and that's fine. It just doesn't change my opinion that apparently wizards can't ever physically defend themselves because of some reason that I find preposterous.


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Okay I will also give Paizo credit for SF though my group hasn’t gotten around to trying it yet because we are a bit burnt out on sci fi. One of our game nights has been a long running D6 Star Wars campaign. Which, despite having its own problems, is way better than the D20 one... I’ve heard the new Star Wars system is good too and I’d like to give it a shot even if you need to buy a whole new set of dice for it.


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thejeff wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

This argument that someone can't be genuinely bad at anything because Pathfinder is about superheroes doesn't hold water for multiple reasons.

First, I accept that Pathfinder at even early levels is basically a superhero game, and every character is capable of doing wildly unrealistic things. However, that doesn't mean all tethers to reality are severed.

Batman is a superhero. Basically all his friends fly around by flexing hard enough. He flies with technology. What would the fans think if Batman just randomly started flying without any in-world explanation?

It's the same with skills in Pathfinder. Some superheroes just roll right over some challenges naturally while others need help, and magic items, spells, potions, and team assistance are some of the ways that happens.

Second, it doesn't matter if everyone is a superhero doing amazing things if there's no baseline to compare against. How boring would a show be if literally every major character was Superman? Sure, they can save the random villagers all day, but without in-party points of comparison it's a snooze fest. "I can lift this tank with my pinky!" "Yeah, Greg, we all can do that."

Now, the game might require that in one way or another everyone should have a means of lifting the tank, but it matters how it gets done. Is it magic, skill, mighty thews, or technology? Often, the interesting moments in those stories are when those means fail, like Spiderman refilling his web slinger cartridge, or Batman falling out of his plane.

TL;DR: Being able to do superheroic things with every single skill without any thought or investment doesn't make you a superhero, it makes you a boring character.

But we're not talking Batman flying or anything like that. We're talking characters being competent outside of their specialties, not stomping on the other characters abilities.

To stick with the superhero analogy, we're talking when we find that even stripped of his powers, Superman can still handle random mooks,...

To add to this, superhuman or superheroic isn't exactly the end of the line in achievement.

An Untrained character at 20th level has a 16+Stat mod to Untrained skills in the Playtest. So bare minimum 15, uninvested ability score is 16, bumped to 18 (i.e. a high score in the physical or mental area that applies to the skill) is 20, and a full 24 in the score is 23.

So score of 8, 10, 18, and 24 yields bonuses of 15, 16, 20, and 23.

A fully invested (In Legendary Proficiency and item bonus) character with those same ability scores has a bonus of 27, 28, 32, and 35.

That sounds like differentiation within a party to me.

It's worth noting that the difference in complete uninvestment and complete investment at 20th level is equivalent to the span of a d20 roll. So even with +level you can have tasks that are a borderline given for one player and borderline impossible for another. It's just much less common, and the floor is raised quite a bit.

But not even by that much. The difference between a level 1 specialist and a level 20 uninvested is about 10. AKA one degree of success. That's significant but not nearly the gap people make it out to be. For me it seems just about right. To me it's a superheroic level of general competence, but it is far from being able to do absolutely anything just because you are high level.

You might all be able to lift a tank (I mean not really, that isn't a skill check but I'm rolling with the metaphor), but only Bart the Brute can heft that tank and hurl it 300 meters onto that thief who is running away with the old lady's groceries.

For a more in-game metaphor, the whole party might be able to scale the DC 20 wall with good reliability, but only Ralph the Runner is going to be doing it unfailingly at his full movement speed while still throwing daggers with one hand. And if you come across a wall of ice with scant handholds (or something similar that we can call DC 30 or so) everyone might be able to make it up without a harmful fall, but Ralph is still clambering up at top speed and hurling daggers.

I do respect your take on this, and it's kind of moot with untrained +level gone, but this is my take. And I do think the actual degree of variance between characters is very often overlooked when discussing +level to untrained. There is a large field of variance (It's smaller at earlier levels but is still very much there, and as level becomes a larger factor the variance also widens) even at the same level. If there wasn't then I might have issues with +level but I'd also want something besides removing it from Untrained, as that only fixes one aspect of variance. But as it stands I feel we have a system that handles both general competency and variance very well.


D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Meraki wrote:
Those people, imo, should not be told they should go to another system
I can tell whatever I deem appropriate, if I think another system is better for YOU, I will suggest that, and if that upsets you well that is your problem

I'd suggest GURPS for a good number of people here then.

On topic; I play with Automatic Progression usually. So even as My Wizard levels, he's going to get better at dodging ax hits. Cause he gets Deflection and Toughing passively as he levels. Sure I might not be as good as the Fighter, Paladin, or Monk but around level 8 I'm going to have 12 AC before Armor and Stats.

So I don't know if +level to Untrained so go away but maybe be slowed? Unsure, just the rate at which you improve seems to grate on me a bit, having trouble putting into words why I like ABP but Proficiency just rubs me differently.


Raylyeh wrote:
Okay I will also give Paizo credit for SF though my group hasn’t gotten around to trying it yet because we are a bit burnt out on sci fi. One of our game nights has been a long running D6 Star Wars campaign.

Starfinder is alright if you’re a fan of item levels like in the playtest starfinder has that although if you don’t like a game full of guns it might not be your thing.


Tezmick wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
Okay I will also give Paizo credit for SF though my group hasn’t gotten around to trying it yet because we are a bit burnt out on sci fi. One of our game nights has been a long running D6 Star Wars campaign.
Starfinder is alright if you’re a fan of item levels like in the playtest starfinder has that although if you don’t like a game full of guns it might not be your thing.

I do own the SF CRB so I’m aware and honestly fine with that, it is sci fi after all. It’d be a nice change. I’ve played a lot of melee characters recently including said Star Wars game. I play a Gand martial artist who uses an excessive amount of grenades to help close with the enemy. He is a lot of fun though.


MerlinCross wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
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.

What are the 'most obviously juicy spells'? Or does Fireball and Lightning bolt break the game? Oh wait no blasters are bad, so bad wizard. But if they are bad wizard, how's it rocket tag?

Heh, I always find "Blasters are bad" funny because it hasn't been my experience with PF1. As GM I have a tendency to make bosses and tough enemies with rather high saves for the most part in one way or another, and if they do have a bad save more often than not it's Reflex. Similar to the typical "Bosses have status effect resistance/immunity" deal. So save and suck is actually usually bad in my games beause the foes you care about save or sucking are most likely to make their save (This is exacerbated by the fact that bosses and tough foes tend to be notable higher level than them because PF1 parties can easily be OP in general making CR woefully unreliable. So this has a problem where their high level augments their saves as a by product of augmenting other stuff, but spell DC is one of the harder things to scale to oblivion to save or suck falls behind other options.).

As such blast spells and damage touch spells are pretty valuable for their almost guaranteed damage, which is often augmented with metamagic or Sorcerer jank. For tough foes you aren't landing that debuff, and for weaker foes you probably want AoE anyway because there's a lot of them. And they get even better at high levels when you can get off more damage and more metamagic. Metamagic rods are broken IME BTW.

All that said, I realize this isn't the best of habits though it was born from the desire to avoid having bosses ended by one status effect basically.

So in my most recent non-mythic campaign I've taken to building several bosses not in a way so that they won't fail saves but with the expectation that at some point they will get hit with a crippling effect, so I make them to where they are a threat even if majorly debuffed. So now the party actually NEEDS to hit them with hefty effects or risk a dang rough fight.

A great example was this big Troll Berserker guy I used. He had HP and accuracy and damage to be more than a match for the party, but I made his saves reasonable so he did get blinded early on. The defensive penalties made him more assailable but he had a blind fight-type effect to mitigate his miss chances.

That was actually a favorite fight for my group and myself because it was one of the to closest boss fights we have ever had. Just before the end of the fight he started getting some severe hits in (Not that he had previously been weak) and he took down 3 or 4 of our 5 party members (No deaths) before we finished him off. It was agreed around the table that we would have lost in one or two more rounds. XD

Of course this is my mandatory spot to plug PF2 tight math, as I feel able to get nearly that same kind of effect when I want after a few months of experience (Or even earlier than that really) where it took me 3 years of PF1 to even have one boss hit that epic balance point.

This being largely due to minor debuffs on successful spell saves, major debuffs on failure, and crippling debuff only on crit fail. It makes me feel like I can have boss saves be assailable while making it much less likely to end an encounter with one bad roll. (It still happens, hello Crit Enervation vs. Shemhazian, but less often. Even that didn't just axe the fight anticlimactically, it weakened a foe for a triumphant finish.)


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
First off, this assumes all systems are the same "game". They're not. 1st edition D&D is not 3.X. That right there is an instant strawman debunk.

They're actually not as different as you think. The biggest difference between AD&D 2e and 3.0 was the in-universe explanation for how saving throws work. Everything else has it's roots in AD&D 2e (BAB is just THAC0 inverted which was the attack table matrix given a formula. Feats were just weapon proficiencies and some non-weapon proficiencies given a simpler explanation. Skills were just thief skills converted to a d20 mechanic with the other non-weapon proficiencies placed in the same mechanic)

But sure. If you want to say they're different systems and call anything that disagrees with that a strawman that is your prerogative.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Second off, this also assumes that I'm arguing what players are allowed to enjoy. This is also false

I didn't actually say that. But I'm glad you agree that you weren't trying to do that.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Third off, I don't really care what other people do and do not enjoy, simply because they have their own tastes and I have my own; the statement was never intended to be some sort of an objective observation that others universally agree upon. To ME, the concept is silly. To others, it's not, and that's fine. It just doesn't change my opinion that apparently wizards can't ever physically defend themselves because of some reason that I find preposterous.

I saw the sentiment expressed a number of times (by different people) in the thread with what certainly seemed like an intent to convince people that the rules were silly. My apologies if you weren't trying to convince anyone and were simply stating an opinion and/or if you feel like I unfairly singled you out.


Tezmick wrote:
Starfinder is alright if you’re a fan of item levels like in the playtest starfinder has that although if you don’t like a game full of guns it might not be your thing.

Item levels with an in-game effect I don't mind in Starfinder. Item levels in fantasy I do not enjoy (except as a hint for the GM). You'd be surprised what a simple setting change can do to people's appetites for certain rules.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Tezmick wrote:
Starfinder is alright if you’re a fan of item levels like in the playtest starfinder has that although if you don’t like a game full of guns it might not be your thing.
Item levels with an in-game effect I don't mind in Starfinder. Item levels in fantasy I do not enjoy (except as a hint for the GM). You'd be surprised what a simple setting change can do to people's appetites for certain rules.

In fairness, all they do in PF2 is limit what items a PC can make and serve as a GM hint. There are no other effects.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Tezmick wrote:
Starfinder is alright if you’re a fan of item levels like in the playtest starfinder has that although if you don’t like a game full of guns it might not be your thing.
Item levels with an in-game effect I don't mind in Starfinder. Item levels in fantasy I do not enjoy (except as a hint for the GM). You'd be surprised what a simple setting change can do to people's appetites for certain rules.
In fairness, all they do in PF2 is limit what items a PC can make and serve as a GM hint. There are no other effects.

I realise this is mostly true*. I wasn't speaking specifically about PF2's system being bad (and even mentioned in brackets that I didn't mind how PF2 is implementing it), but more observing how different settings can elicit drastically reactions without the rules changing one bit.

*Pretty much guaranteed that Pathfinder Society will prohibit items based on level and rarity.


John Lynch 106 wrote:

I realise this is mostly true*. I wasn't speaking specifically about PF2's system being bad (and even mentioned in brackets that I didn't mind how PF2 is implementing it), but more observing how different settings can elicit drastically reactions without the rules changing one bit.

*Pretty much guaranteed that Pathfinder Society will prohibit items based on level and rarity.

I haven't played pathfinder society myself, but I think that seems like a positive. Maybe go with the rules of SF to allow you to purchase items a level above your own. And all uncommon items shouldn't be banned, rather they should be readily assessable in different scenarios. This could lead to some cool "reward" in meeting new players that allows you to gain knowledge of uncommon or rare item formulas/spells.


WatersLethe wrote:
TL;DR: Being able to do superheroic things with every single skill without any thought or investment doesn't make you a superhero, it makes you a boring character.

Of course, but no one is proposing anything like this. Especially not PF2, where superheroic stuff comes from skill feats, not big skill numbers.

MerlinCross wrote:

What are the 'most obviously juicy spells'? Or does Fireball and Lightning bolt break the game? Oh wait no blasters are bad, so bad wizard. But if they are bad wizard, how's it rocket tag?

Now I'll admit, I haven't spent a lot of time at higher levels because RL tends to come in and disrupt the game.

Come on, even if you haven't played a lot at high levels, surely you know that there are spells that end fights if you're targeting the right saving throw, and that Fireball isn't one of them.

MerlinCross wrote:
I just take umbrage in the fact it's fully expected to always happen without fail. That as a Wizard, you are doomed to destroy the game. Or Shaman. Or Witch. Or Cleric, Druid, Arcanist.

It's cool that I never said that, then. Nobody is doomed to destroy anything if they don't want to or if the GM doesn't want them to. It just takes a bit of restraint and cooperation (on the player's side), and, missing that, some work (on the GM's side). As I said, I simply prefer a game where this is a non-issue.

MerlinCross wrote:
I fully expect the community to because they can't help themselves. Anywhere from 5-10 years playing min max, top tier, characterless spreadsheets; why would you expect them to not try and crunch the numbers again.

Of course the number crunchers will try to find the One Killer Build. I'm just hoping they fail. Or, at least, that the outcome of that discussion is "well, it depends on a few things".


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Raylyeh wrote:
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 agree with your suggestion to explore other RPGs to find the one that best suits the kind of game you want.

However it seems to me that, more than other systems, there are many who are stuck with D&D because that's what their group wants to play (or PF/3.5 or whatever). My experience is that D&D/PF players tend to get very comfortable in playing their game (even if some people might be willing to shift, there's half a dozen people at the table to consider) - people who are willing to play the less popular games may not fully appreciate that "just try something else" is not as easy as it sounds for many groups.


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gwynfrid wrote:

Of course, but no one is proposing anything like this. Especially not PF2, where superheroic stuff comes from skill feats, not big skill numbers.

There is wiggle room in the definition of "superheroic" . But many of the statements made regarding +level have been proposing exactly that.

People complain to no end that their clanky dwarf can't sneak past the guards. +Level does NOTHING for the clanky guard other than wave hands in the air and proclaim a much bigger skill number. This does nothing to change the narrative concept of the clanky dwarf. And yet somehow it is an achievement to sneak past the guards.

Literally, ignoring the recent change to untrained, the initial version of 2E simply gave clanky dwarves and everyone else a big skill number bump. That is the difference between 1E and 2E. The big clanky dwarf doesn't have any skill feat or unlocks. The big clanky dwarf has a big non-clanky skill number for stealth.

You can make this same case for every single skill.

And, it is obvious on its face. If it had nothing to do with bigger numbers then there would be not a single person complaining about the removal of +level from untrained. There was more than a single person.

Yes, there are skill feats and unlocks (though even the pro +level folks tend to agree that the unlocks were underwhelming). But the presence of those items don't remotely remove the "I have a big number, watch me high-five myself now" issue.

The Exchange

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Ssalarn wrote:
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.

Here we have it folks. For many people out there this is makes self evident sense. For others like myself it is complete and utter nonsense.

If you are a 7th level character in traditional D&D you don’t get free mastery of parkour just by getting better at your profession. If you want that you use limited resources and thus don’t get better at something else.

7th level is a term used exclusively out of character and is a player side game term.

The desire that the 90% of Golarions population without any class levels should point at the PCs and reflect if only I had become a paladin for a few months I would be soo much better at camel herding than my 20 years of herding camels has allowed me to be. That and I could tightrope walk real good too, better than my twin, Barbara the street acrobat....

There are loads more problems & on these Fira we’ve all been around and around this.

I used the term pulp superhero with it’s echos of Doc Savage or old school Batman who just happened to be experts in everything. That is a perfectly good idea for a particular sub type of RPG. Not sure it is going to pass muster as the latest and greatest iteration of the worlds oldest one though.

So if I can accept you get your bell rung by being able to say to the GM, my Ezren style wizzie runs the army training course in a fraction of the time the trainees can, because I am 7th level. Can you accept that is when Hooke’s law kicks in regards of the suspension of disbelief for myself and others?

W


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BryonD wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:

Of course, but no one is proposing anything like this. Especially not PF2, where superheroic stuff comes from skill feats, not big skill numbers.

There is wiggle room in the definition of "superheroic" . But many of the statements made regarding +level have been proposing exactly that.

People complain to no end that their clanky dwarf can't sneak past the guards. +Level does NOTHING for the clanky guard other than wave hands in the air and proclaim a much bigger skill number. This does nothing to change the narrative concept of the clanky dwarf. And yet somehow it is an achievement to sneak past the guards.

I fail to see in what way sneaking past the guards is superheroic. All the clanky dwarf is doing is beating the guards' perception DC. It's just a number. The dwarf is skilled, not superheroic.

I also don't quite see "wiggle room". Superheroic = accomplishes things beyond the reach of human capability, without resorting to magic. Does this definition need to be more complicated?


heretic wrote:
So if I can accept you get your bell rung by being able to say to the GM, my Ezren style wizzie runs the army training course in a fraction of the time the trainees can, because I am 7th level. Can you accept that is when Hooke’s law kicks in regards of the suspension of disbelief for myself and others?

The wizard's +3 vs their +4 isn't really that much, especially once you consider that the wizard has a mountain of practical experience over these new recruits. The wizard has stepped over the bodies of at least a hundred new recruits (at the very least) to get where he is, and has the metaphorical scars to prove it. He's run through dungeons, dodged monsters that would clean their clocks (can you imagine them fighting a manticore?), and overall has seen far more field duty.

And even after that, he still can't even match one of them in an obstacle course.


gwynfrid wrote:
Come on, even if you haven't played a lot at high levels, surely you know that there are spells that end fights if you're targeting the right saving throw, and that Fireball isn't one of them.

So Save or Suck, could have just said those spells. And given how poorly they function all around, I'm always surprised everyone is expected to use them.

If they don't work you've wasted a slot and your turn. If it does work... hooray? Battle Ended? Your GM instantly moves on and the other players don't do anything.

PF2 killing Save or Suck is probably one of the few things I like. I just dislike every spell seems to be semi save or suck thanks to Crit.

gwynfrid wrote:
It's cool that I never said that, then. Nobody is doomed to destroy anything if they don't want to or if the GM doesn't want them to. It just takes a bit of restraint and cooperation (on the player's side), and, missing that, some work (on the GM's side). As I said, I simply prefer a game where this is a non-issue.

If the 'juicy' spells are the default exception of every spellcaster then of course they are doomed to break the game.

I'm sorry, I find this to be a weird feedback loop. You're expected to break the game and if you don't break the game you're a bad spellcaster, but breaking the game with spells is also a failure on the game system?

How about I pick the spells I want and we go from there rather than everyone expecting that every tier 1 class is going to be played to max optimization or is that not how other people play?

gwynfrid wrote:
Of course the number crunchers will try to find the One Killer Build. I'm just hoping they fail. Or, at least, that the outcome of that discussion is "well, it depends on a few things".

Oh I'm hoping they fail, it's the biggest issue I have with Pathfinder is how fully number crunched it is to the point you are "Playing it wrong" if you don't. Seriously, been told that on the forums and in PFS that I was "Doing it wrong" and then told how to min max.

But I don't think we'll get to 'depends on a few things'. I think people will slide back into making the same builds, following the guides, and pushing for every advantage they can. So again, I fully expect Caster Dedication on all martials if that's shown to be strong.

I give it a year. Depends on how fast they do splats and erratas.

Liberty's Edge

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One of the big advantages of PF2 over PF1 is that the gap between absolutely optimal builds (the kind you get from scouring the forums and following Guides like gospel) and 'common sense' optimization builds (ie: putting an 18 in your main stat and taking things you think will be good after eyeballing them) looks to be vastly narrower.

It's not a nonexistent gap, but if 'common sense' builds were a 3/10 in power level compared to the 9/10 of more optimal builds in PF1, they're more like 6 /10 or so compared to an 8/10 for optimal builds in PF2.

There are certain baseline requirements (the aforementioned 18, or at least a 16, in your main stat is a really good plan, for example), and some difference based on scouring the forums for the best build possible is inevitable, and will always exist, but it being a vastly narrower gap makes optimization a lot less necessary simply to 'keep up' with those doing it religiously. Which is a very positive step.

The most important thing, in terms of optimization, has always been for the whole party to be at around the same level of optimization (whatever that level might be), rather than any one level (from least optimized possible to most optimized possible) being bad in and of itself, and this change just makes different levels of optimization play so much better together.


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MerlinCross wrote:

So Save or Suck, could have just said those spells. And given how poorly they function all around, I'm always surprised everyone is expected to use them.

If they don't work you've wasted a slot and your turn. If it does work... hooray? Battle Ended? Your GM instantly moves on and the other players don't do anything.

Well, if your GM instantly moves on and the other players don't do anything, then that's the textbook case for how the glass cannon makes the game boring. Now if the opponent makes the save, you just throw another spell, quickened this time. Or you do a no-save spell, there are enough of those. But beyond the matter of save or suck, the bigger problem is how easy it is to become invulnerable. With flight and greater invisibility (and maybe a couple of other things depending on the situation) you can even finish the fight with blasting spells, if you like to take your time. Either way, combat becomes suspense-free.

MerlinCross wrote:
PF2 killing Save or Suck is probably one of the few things I like. I just dislike every spell seems to be semi save or suck thanks to Crit.

I'm glad we agree on something. Also, I'm fine with "semi save or suck". Combined with the tight math, the relegation of the worst effects to critically failed saves solves the issue, because it's impossible for the caster to increase the DC to the point of predictable outcome (unless the opposition is much, much lower level, which is fine).

MerlinCross wrote:

If the 'juicy' spells are the default exception of every spellcaster then of course they are doomed to break the game.

I'm sorry, I find this to be a weird feedback loop. You're expected to break the game and if you don't break the game you're a bad spellcaster, but breaking the game with spells is also a failure on the game system?

They're not the default exception, every table is different. They're just an easy, natural, unimaginative way to break the high-level game. So, the GM and players need to fight the game system to keep things interesting. That doesn't make the system broken, but it certainly makes it flawed.

MerlinCross wrote:
Oh I'm hoping they fail, it's the biggest issue I have with Pathfinder is how fully number crunched it is to the point you are "Playing it wrong" if you don't. Seriously, been told that on the forums and in PFS that I was "Doing it wrong" and then told how to min max.

That makes it two points we agree on. It is my hope that PF2 solves this. No more "tier 1" classes, no more trap options, and no more "doing it wrong". There will be optimizations, but less optimized characters will not be "wrong". The playtest already removed PF1's worst offenders (the glass cannon wizard and others). The key mechanics to do that are +level, +10/-10, and the tight math. That's why I'm quite confident PF2 will be an improved system from that perspective.

Also: What DMW said.

Lantern Lodge

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Actually PF2 encourages min max even more. Sure the spread will be smaller but there is more value to every +1 due to the +10/-10 crit system and penalty for extra attacks. Practically any option that gives a +x bonus will be superior to others.

Also, with critical misses activating monster effects you can bet people will be upset if you show up at the table with an unoptimized character. Before you’re character was just
mechanically bad but now you could hurt the party.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kaisc006 wrote:

Actually PF2 encourages min max even more. Sure the spread will be smaller but there is more value to every +1 due to the +10/-10 crit system and penalty for extra attacks. Practically any option that gives a +x bonus will be superior to others.

Also, with critical misses activating monster effects you can bet people will be upset if you show up at the table with an unoptimized character. Before you’re character was just
mechanically bad but now you could hurt the party.

I don't agree with this at all. First of all show me the flat +x bonuses you can get in the playtest. Items and proficiency are basically the only way. They are moving away from feats that just give flat bonuses for good reason. Second of all there's a very small percentage of monsters in the bestiary that actually have effects that activate on a crit fail. Finally I guarantee you that the difference in optimization will not equal a +-10 unless it's a wizard attacking with a great sword that they are not trained with vs an optimized fighter.

Optimization will not be game breaking like it is in PF1. Everything points to the exact opposite.

Exo-Guardians

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Dire Ursus wrote:
kaisc006 wrote:

Actually PF2 encourages min max even more. Sure the spread will be smaller but there is more value to every +1 due to the +10/-10 crit system and penalty for extra attacks. Practically any option that gives a +x bonus will be superior to others.

Also, with critical misses activating monster effects you can bet people will be upset if you show up at the table with an unoptimized character. Before you’re character was just
mechanically bad but now you could hurt the party.

I don't agree with this at all. First of all show me the flat +x bonuses you can get in the playtest. Items and proficiency are basically the only way. They are moving away from feats that just give flat bonuses for good reason. Second of all there's a very small percentage of monsters in the bestiary that actually have effects that activate on a crit fail. Finally I guarantee you that the difference in optimization will not equal a +-10 unless it's a wizard attacking with a great sword that they are not trained with vs an optimized fighter.

Optimization will not be game breaking like it is in PF1. Everything points to the exact opposite.

Note that PF2 optimizations won’t actually be skewed towards character creation, rather towards your in game action economy,. Someone with system mastery will understand how to best use their limited actions to get an advantage while a more casual approach will either be neutral to slightly disadvantaged.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Raylyeh wrote:

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.

Well, you're not talking to a wall, I promise.

There are other genres different systems are better for, but I don't think focusing a game more on role-playing elements makes it a different genre or requires an entirely different system. There are certainly types of games I'd use other systems for, but my group would emphasize role-play regardless of the system used. As Mathmuse said, we view it as a role-playing game with the underpinnings dependent on the system used.

I'm not saying this to knock other systems or saying people shouldn't try them! I've tried other systems and like many of them. But Pathfinder's consistent AP production is tough to beat; I don't have as much time to write full campaigns as I used to.

Anyway, back on the topic:

I didn't hate +1/level for skills, but I do prefer untrained not adding level. I don't mind a character having meaningful strengths and weaknesses, and there's a feat to add trained skills if you feel like you don't have enough. (One of the issues in PF1 with skills, I think, was that certain classes were a bit skill-point-starved.)

I think decreasing the optimization gap is a positive thing, although it did feel in the playtest like characters had to be pretty optimized to be successful, particularly with skills. But they've said they're adjusting the monster math and taking another look at items like the skill items, so I'm not too worried about it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Meraki wrote:
Those people, imo, should not be told they should go to another system
I can tell whatever I deem appropriate: if I think another system is better for YOU I will suggest that, and if that upsets you well that is your problem

Phrase it as a suggestion and not a demand, and I doubt anyone would have a problem with it. Most people react fine to "have you considered X?"


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MER-c wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
kaisc006 wrote:

Actually PF2 encourages min max even more. Sure the spread will be smaller but there is more value to every +1 due to the +10/-10 crit system and penalty for extra attacks. Practically any option that gives a +x bonus will be superior to others.

Also, with critical misses activating monster effects you can bet people will be upset if you show up at the table with an unoptimized character. Before you’re character was just
mechanically bad but now you could hurt the party.

I don't agree with this at all. First of all show me the flat +x bonuses you can get in the playtest. Items and proficiency are basically the only way. They are moving away from feats that just give flat bonuses for good reason. Second of all there's a very small percentage of monsters in the bestiary that actually have effects that activate on a crit fail. Finally I guarantee you that the difference in optimization will not equal a +-10 unless it's a wizard attacking with a great sword that they are not trained with vs an optimized fighter.

Optimization will not be game breaking like it is in PF1. Everything points to the exact opposite.

Note that PF2 optimizations won’t actually be skewed towards character creation, rather towards your in game action economy,. Someone with system mastery will understand how to best use their limited actions to get an advantage while a more casual approach will either be neutral to slightly disadvantaged.

In that same vein, numbers will also be influenced more by in the moment modifiers (Buffs, debuffs, flanking) than by the differences in optimization. Which again makes out-of-character optimization differences much lesser, meaning as DMW said that different levels of optimization will coexist far better together. It's more about how the group altogether plays at the table than how each individual player did or didn't optimize.

As mentioned, excepting for obvious things like a 14 in your key stat and similar common-sense mistakes.


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Did paizo state they will change their publish pattern for PF?

Maybe people are hanging on something that might last them at best an year.

PF1, with just the core, didnt also have such a huge gap from a player trying to do a good PC, aka maximizing using logic, and one who visited forums.

It is when more and more and more books come with tons of options and combinations that forum/guides made the gap grows. One person can read the entire feat section of PF1 core book and make decent calls there, try reading every single feat in the system on the other hand.

Saying that PF2 right now, has a small gap, doesnt meant in an year or 2 the gap wont already be there all over again when there are tons of sources all over again.

This has little to do with PF1 or 2 and all to do with a game that simply has to create tons and tons of choices, choices btw, that people expect to me meaningful.


Nox Aeterna wrote:

Did paizo state they will change their publish pattern for PF?

Maybe people are hanging on something that might last them at best an year.

PF1, with just the core, didnt also have such a huge gap from a player trying to do a good PC, aka maximizing using logic, and one who visited forums.

It is when more and more and more books come with tons of options and combinations that forum/guides made the gap grows. One person can read the entire feat section of PF1 core book and make decent calls there, try reading every single feat in the system on the other hand.

Saying that PF2 right now, has a small gap, doesnt meant in an year or 2 the gap wont already be there all over again when there are tons of sources all over again.

This has little to do with PF1 or 2 and all to do with a game that simply has to create tons and tons of choices, choices btw, that people expect to me meaningful.

That is true to a point, but at its core PF2 is showing itself to be straying away from the various stacking up of small numerical bonuses that was a prime cause of PF1 optimization difference than even PF1 core, let alone any supplement.

It's a base difference, not just a content difference. The lower number of bonus types plus nearly nonexistent untyped bonuses means that barring drastic change in splatbooks the main area of min-maxing is inherently very limited.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:


PF1, with just the core, didnt also have such a huge gap from a player trying to do a good PC, aka maximizing using logic, and one who visited forums.

That's not really true. The core rulebook has some of the least balanced stuff the system ever had. Core rogues and core monks were wildly reviled. Core fighters could be built to do DPR very well if you two handed with power attack or had a lot of system mastery to build their complex feat chains, but only did comparable damage to barbarians, paladins, and rangers while falling severely behind in versatility. And many of the most narrative bending spells are right out of core.

And of course there are systematic things that lead to more variance, like point buys or the old WBL system.

Meanwhile many of the 6th level casters published later are widely regarded as much better balanced and some of the better brand's best work.

Which is not to say more options doesn't make the system harder to balance, but PF2 core is definitely off to a better start than PF1 was.


Edge93 wrote:

That is true to a point, but at its core PF2 is showing itself to be straying away from the various stacking up of small numerical bonuses that was a prime cause of PF1 optimization difference than even PF1 core, let alone any supplement.

It's a base difference, not just a content difference. The lower number of bonus types plus nearly nonexistent untyped bonuses means that barring drastic change in splatbooks the main area of min-maxing is inherently very limited.

This remains to be seen.

Just because the options arent about numbers, dont mean options that work 99% of the time wont be called out plain better than situational ones and so on.

As more and more options appear, all of which people want to be "meaningful choices", some will emerge stronger and some will go to the bottom. System mastery and going to forums and guides will most likely still result in a vast gap from player to player.

To add to this, nothing is to say that in 2E numerical stronger and stronger options wont appear here and there, which funny enough might actually make system mastery even worse, since those who know those few but awesome options will get even further ahead than those who dont.

Captain Morgan wrote:

That's not really true. The core rulebook has some of the least balanced stuff the system ever had. Core rogues and core monks were wildly reviled. Core fighters could be built to do DPR very well if you two handed with power attack or had a lot of system mastery to build their complex feat chains, but only did comparable damage to barbarians, paladins, and rangers while falling severely behind in versatility. And many of the most narrative bending spells are right out of core.

And of course there are systematic things that lead to more variance, like point buys or the old WBL system.

Meanwhile many of the 6th level casters published later are widely regarded as much better balanced and some of the better brand's best work.

Which is not to say more options doesn't make the system harder to balance, but PF2 core is definitely off to a better start than PF1 was.

That has nothing to do with what im saying. You are trying to bring this about balance among classes, like some people do cause they care, moot point to me, since i couldnt care less about it myself.

The issue here is if PF2 has what it takes to publish books every single month, often multiple books a month, which is what PF1 does and what many expect of PF2, if you check many posts are about waiting a few years till PF2 bloat and thus be worth getting into, all the while adding more and more options at the same time it keeps up with what some here seem to expect, which is dimished system mastery to the point where vising forums and checking guides wont result in major power gaps.

Personally i doubt it, but only time will tell for sure i guess.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:


Captain Morgan wrote:

That's not really true. The core rulebook has some of the least balanced stuff the system ever had. Core rogues and core monks were wildly reviled. Core fighters could be built to do DPR very well if you two handed with power attack or had a lot of system mastery to build their complex feat chains, but only did comparable damage to barbarians, paladins, and rangers while falling severely behind in versatility. And many of the most narrative bending spells are right out of core.

And of course there are systematic things that lead to more variance, like point buys or the old WBL system.

Meanwhile many of the 6th level casters published later are widely regarded as much better balanced and some of the better brand's best work.

Which is not to say more options...

That has nothing to do with what im saying.

Actually, it really does. You were saying in PF1 core there wasn't a huge gap between optimizing and not optimizing. Captain Morgan was pointing out how there very much was such a gap, from overpowered spells to knowing to take certain feat chains being a big factor in effectiveness, to entire classes being underpowered choices.

Which is definitely very much referring back to what you said about there not being a big mastery gap in PF1 core.

Exo-Guardians

I suspect Paizo will use the Starfinder release schedule for PF2, right now SF has about five major books, two of which amount to bestiaries, in the other three we have a maximum of eight classes, with three more being added later this year, each new core book has given extra class options or in the case of the one setting book a bunch of archetypes which any class can take. Armory added loads of new items which admittedly is very SF specific since it’s more gear centric.


Edge93 wrote:

Actually, it really does. You were saying in PF1 core there wasn't a huge gap between optimizing and not optimizing. Captain Morgan was pointing out how there very much was such a gap, from overpowered spells to knowing to take certain feat chains being a big factor in effectiveness, to entire classes being underpowered choices.

Which is definitely very much referring back to what you said about there not being a big mastery gap in PF1 core.

Again, no this isnt being discussed at all.

There is no "non optimizing". Everyone is trying their best to optimize AND both sides understand the system, there no new player that cant tell what the hell they are doing in this discussion.

Class balance also being irrelevant in said discussion, which is more about fighter vs fighter, then fighter vs wizard. Not that again, this has ever being an issue to me anyway.

The difference is simply how far said system mastery goes.

Again i say that, if both players understand the system, the you can perfectly well play a PF1 game with only core and it will be similar to 2E where following guides/forums wont lead to much variation at all. A person can read the entire core book and remember the options and thus optimize by themselves just fine.

Which means, this is just a false perception from the simple lack of books when it comes to 2E.

MER-c wrote:
I suspect Paizo will use the Starfinder release schedule for PF2, right now SF has about five major books, two of which amount to bestiaries, in the other three we have a maximum of eight classes, with three more being added later this year, each new core book has given extra class options or in the case of the one setting book a bunch of archetypes which any class can take. Armory added loads of new items which admittedly is very SF specific since it’s more gear centric.

That remains to be seen, but i guess that if they want balance over even options, then this will be a must.

Which ofc works great for me, since it is bound to drive even more players to remain in PF1.


Nox Aeterna wrote:
Edge93 wrote:

That is true to a point, but at its core PF2 is showing itself to be straying away from the various stacking up of small numerical bonuses that was a prime cause of PF1 optimization difference than even PF1 core, let alone any supplement.

It's a base difference, not just a content difference. The lower number of bonus types plus nearly nonexistent untyped bonuses means that barring drastic change in splatbooks the main area of min-maxing is inherently very limited.

This remains to be seen.

Just because the options arent about numbers, dont mean options that work 99% of the time wont be called out plain better than situational ones and so on.

As more and more options appear, all of which people want to be "meaningful choices", some will emerge stronger and some will go to the bottom. System mastery and going to forums and guides will most likely still result in a vast gap from player to player.

To add to this, nothing is to say that in 2E numerical stronger and stronger options wont appear here and there, which funny enough might actually make system mastery even worse, since those who know those few but awesome options will get even further ahead than those who dont.

Well, we can speculate that the game balance will degrade with new books in the future. But we really can't predict that one way or the other, so I prefer speculating that future books will carefully preserve math tightness. As Captain Morgan noted, on the basis of the playtest vs the PF1 CRB, we are at least sure that PF2 starts off from a much better baseline.


This has probably been said, but I figure I'll toss it in there. Much of the issues with training can be resolved by providing training feats towards things beyond just skills, such as "armor training" and "weapon training" with level gates that allow you to spend class/general/skill feats (whichever makes the most sense) to improve those despite your class not giving them to you automatically.

This way if you want to have a gishy wizard you can beyond multiclassing (at the cost of class features or some other benefit). This would also increase customization options.

I really don't see a problem that a 20th level monk who's never worn armor and has trained his whole life without it would have issue with putting something on as restricting as armor. Armor will limit your mobility in ways that someone not used to it would need to adapt to and thus justifies the +level being dropped entirely.

I also see the same as true for any kind of weapon beyond simple weapons. Martial and by extension Exotic/Rare weapons should always require devoted training to be competent with. It takes years of training to be good with swords, specialized polearms, bows and even axes. So yeah, a Wizard watching the Fighter hit things for 20 levels shouldn't magically make him better at swords any more than me watching HEMA duels would make me better at using a sword in an actual fight.


Meraki wrote:
D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Meraki wrote:
Those people, imo, should not be told they should go to another system
I can tell whatever I deem appropriate: if I think another system is better for YOU I will suggest that, and if that upsets you well that is your problem
Phrase it as a suggestion and not a demand, and I doubt anyone would have a problem with it. Most people react fine to "have you considered X?"

Agreed.

Exo-Guardians

Emn1ty wrote:

This has probably been said, but I figure I'll toss it in there. Much of the issues with training can be resolved by providing training feats towards things beyond just skills, such as "armor training" and "weapon training" with level gates that allow you to spend class/general/skill feats (whichever makes the most sense) to improve those despite your class not giving them to you automatically.

This way if you want to have a gishy wizard you can beyond multiclassing (at the cost of class features or some other benefit). This would also increase customization options.

I really don't see a problem that a 20th level monk who's never worn armor and has trained his whole life without it would have issue with putting something on as restricting as armor. Armor will limit your mobility in ways that someone not used to it would need to adapt to and thus justifies the +level being dropped entirely.

I also see the same as true for any kind of weapon beyond simple weapons. Martial and by extension Exotic/Rare weapons should always require devoted training to be competent with. It takes years of training to be good with swords, specialized polearms, bows and even axes. So yeah, a Wizard watching the Fighter hit things for 20 levels shouldn't magically make him better at swords any more than me watching HEMA duels would make me better at using a sword in an actual fight.

I disagree, a lot of human learning is simply observing, training involves both observing and then attempting, to the point where you become competent. Since any critically thinking human can glean useful information from observing and experiencing then I see no reason why any PC is not able to at least imitate trained people after years of observing trained people. Thus I prefer adding levels to untrained checks because experience counts for something granted I do it at -4 or if that’s still not a large enough gap -5.

Liberty's Edge

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kaisc006 wrote:
Actually PF2 encourages min max even more. Sure the spread will be smaller but there is more value to every +1 due to the +10/-10 crit system and penalty for extra attacks. Practically any option that gives a +x bonus will be superior to others.

It's absolutely true that numerical bonuses are much better in PF2. Which is why, as others note, they mostly don't exist. But my point wasn't directly about whether the system encouraged optimization (all systems do that), it was that the difference between really optimized and slightly optimized characters was much smaller.

kaisc006 wrote:
Also, with critical misses activating monster effects you can bet people will be upset if you show up at the table with an unoptimized character. Before you’re character was just mechanically bad but now you could hurt the party.

Critical misses basically never activate any monster effect that hits more than the person who rolled it. There might be an ability or two that works this way (I haven't looked through every Bestiary creature), but they sure aren't common. This is basically a non-issue.

Nox Aeterna wrote:
PF1, with just the core, didnt also have such a huge gap from a player trying to do a good PC, aka maximizing using logic, and one who visited forums.

As someone who has seen both a Dex 20 Rogue and an Int 20 Wizard played, the first with only the corebook out, and the second using only corebook Feats...yes it did.

Nox Aeterna wrote:

Saying that PF2 right now, has a small gap, doesnt meant in an year or 2 the gap wont already be there all over again when there are tons of sources all over again.

This has little to do with PF1 or 2 and all to do with a game that simply has to create tons and tons of choices, choices btw, that people expect to me meaningful.

Options can absolutely expand gaps like this, but honestly, they don't tend to do so nearly as much as you're implying if the designers are careful, and the much better starting place will help greatly with the issue even if it does become a slightly larger gap over time. I mean, expanding from a 6/10 vs. 8/10 gap to a 6/10 vs. 9/10 gap is certainly an expansion, but still way better than the 3/10 vs. 9/10 gap there is in PF1.


what if "not competenet" was an optional training rank, that gives +1 to another skill at the cost of never getting the +level bonus to that "not competent skill; You can do it with a number of skills and never get the +1 to the same one.

+ it would be optional
+ it would allow for the trope of "a character with strengths and weaknesses" that is much cherished
+ it would reward min-maxing (good for those who like it)

- it would incentivize min-maxing (bad for those who don't)


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Nox Aeterna wrote:

Again, no this isnt being discussed at all.

It is literally the meaning of the words you wrote. At this point, you aren't so much as arguing with someone else as you are arguing with your own past self. Because 6 hours, 28 minutes ago past Nox Aeterna said:

"PF1, with just the core, didnt also have such a huge gap from a player trying to do a good PC, aka maximizing using logic, and one who visited forums."

My response, as backed up by 3 other posters in this very thread, is basically: Nope, that's wrong. This isn't me going off on some tangent, this is a direct statement refuting the words you wrote.

Also, within the same post I'm quoting now, you seem to get into an argument with what was at the time future Nox.

Again i say that, if both players understand the system, the you can perfectly well play a PF1 game with only core and it will be similar to 2E where following guides/forums wont lead to much variation at all. A person can read the entire core book and remember the options and thus optimize by themselves just fine.

These are your own words.


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MER-c wrote:
I disagree, a lot of human learning is simply observing, training involves both observing and then attempting, to the point where you become competent. Since any critically thinking human can glean useful information from observing and experiencing then I see no reason why any PC is not able to at least imitate trained people after years of observing trained people. Thus I prefer adding levels to untrained checks because experience counts for something granted I do it at -4 or if that’s still not a large enough gap -5.

Can you provide ONE example of a real person who got better at being stealthy simply by watching someone else be stealthy?

Can you provide ONE example of someone who got better at climbing simply by watching others climb?

And they have to be seriously meaningfully better.

I'd note the irony of how you try to make -4 (or even minus 5!!!!!) sound like this serious give, when you casually embrace +20 over 20 levels as no big deal. But the core statement is so divorced from reality (and you are the one claiming to invoke how things really work) that this really doesn't matter.

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