Trying to understand removing +level from untrained proficiency


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Let me start off what will be a long thread with a note:

I think the folks working on developing PF2 are very smart and are dialing in a system that is being rigorously tested and that changes at this point in the system are very likely ones that we, as the paizo community of gamers are requesting.

That means that removing +level to proficiency to untrained skills only represents something we are asking for.

But forme this seems like a very confusing half measure with some strange implications that don’t “feel worth it” to me:

1. What is the value of having a +\- 35 point spread in bonuses between characters of the same level, doing the same task? I understand people want to be able to be bad at something but at this level of differential, the actual difference been being good at something, extremely good at something and bad at something begin to disappear into 5% probabilities if rolling a 1 or a 20. With +level removed from untrained and the spread of bonuses from proficiency increasing dramatically, it is difficult to argue that PF2 is going to have a better handle on “number bloat” than PF1. A position I used to advocate on this message board.

2. There is just as much weird stuff happening in terms of believable story telling as when untrained characters got +level, only now it effects characters in a life or death manner. Why should an untrained wizards AC drop by 20+ points when they put on armor at level 20 vs when they put that armor on at level 1? The same with picking up a sword or other weapon. Desperately grabbing for a weapon that you might not be trained with should not make you bumblingly incompetent at combat. By level 10, forcing a monk to wear a suit of padded armor into combat is essentially a death sentence. Should it be a little inconveniencing? Sure, should that level of inconveniencing grow exponentially by level? No. It is much easier for GMs to arbitrate what a character could not do with an untrained skill check that is numerically balanced to other proficiencies than to have to try to balance that on the fly when a character finds themself in a life or death situation, trying to understand why their bonus to attack while using a magical long sword is 15-20 points worse than using a broken dagger, or other weapon they are trained in.

3. This reinforces “untrained” as a check to never be tried. This makes character aspects that have to begin at trained have less room for diversity than profiencies that can start at untrained, and replaces letting characters become competent at everything, with massively punishing players who don’t know what aspects of the game to make sure they are competent at. This is why perception had to be removed from the skill list and seems like acrobatics and athletics now should be too, or else skill use in combat is in a wonkier place than it was in PF1.

Overall, this is just a change that doesn’t make sense to me, but I know it has made a lot of folks happy. I would love to hear why. I am left personally thinking I will remove +level across the board from my PF2 games to avoid these issues, which is ironic because I previously saw that system as an elegant way to make level meaningful and I find leveling up to be rather bland and insignificant at many levels and for many classes without it.


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As I see it, it won't really come up. By the time +1/level becomes really significant (level 4 or so), almost all things that people are going to actually roll on will be at least trained.

Perception, attack rolls, and AC are all automatically trained - it doesn't matter that a wizard gets a -15 to AC when wearing armour because she will never be wearing armour.

I find it interesting that whenever someone points out the weaknesses in the mathematics of Pathfinder - and the Playtest - they bring up skill modifiers. When what is at stake with an unreasonably high modifier is typically not particularly impactful in the big picture.

At least compared to combat modifiers of save DCs, attacks and AC. Which all appear to be always at least trained.

Effectively all this change achieves is aggressively trained-proficiency-gates all skill uses vs scaling DCs.


Unicore wrote:


1. What is the value of having a +\- 35 point spread in bonuses between characters of the same level, doing the same task? I understand people want to be able to be bad at something but at this level of differential, the actual difference been being good at something, extremely good at something and bad at something begin to disappear into 5% probabilities if rolling a 1 or a 20. With +level removed from untrained and the spread of bonuses from proficiency increasing dramatically, it is difficult to argue that PF2 is going to have a better handle on “number bloat” than PF1. A position I used to advocate on this message board.

With this much i can agree... But we don't know how tasks will be handled or how the DC table will work. I mean there were a few odd things before that are solved now(Even if i am not liking the idea for now, maybe it will work with the new table) a wizard that never climbed a mountain would roll 1d20+16(From proef alone) for climbing one. While a mountain climber level 5 peasant would get like 1d20+7.

Unicore wrote:


2. There is just as much weird stuff happening in terms of believable story telling as when untrained characters got +level, only now it effects characters in a life or death manner. Why should an untrained wizards AC drop by 20+ points when they put on armor at level 20 vs when they put that armor on at level 1? The same with picking up a sword or other weapon. Desperately grabbing for a weapon that you might not be trained with should not make you bumblingly incompetent at combat. By level 10, forcing a monk to wear a suit of padded armor into combat is essentially a death sentence. Should it be a little inconveniencing? Sure, should that level of inconveniencing grow exponentially by level? No. It is much easier for GMs to arbitrate what a character could not do with an untrained skill check that is numerically balanced to other proficiencies than...

I assume with the new rules, everyone will get at least 'trained' with weapons or that you can at least force some kind trained bonus every once in a while. Because i can agree, maggufin sword is the only way to hit bad guy! But wizard is holding the sword, and his bonus are... +2 from str, and he is level 14...


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Unicore wrote:

That means that removing +level to proficiency to untrained skills only represents something we are asking for.

But forme this seems like a very confusing half measure with some strange implications that don’t “feel worth it” to me:

Oddly, I don't have a dog in this fight (I'm fine with this either way), but because it's an interesting discussion...

Quote:
1. What is the value of having a +\- 35 point spread in bonuses between characters of the same level, doing the same task? I understand people want to be able to be bad at something but at this level of differential, the actual difference been being good at something, extremely good at something and bad at something begin to disappear into 5% probabilities if rolling a 1 or a 20. With +level removed from untrained and the spread of bonuses from proficiency increasing dramatically, it is difficult to argue that PF2 is going to have a better handle on “number bloat” than PF1. A position I used to advocate on this message board.

The "value" is to differentiate a true master at something from someone that has no idea what they're doing. When the spread between a level 5 Rogue who specializes in picking locks and a level 10 something-else-with-high-DEX that has never picked a lock is +1 in favor of the person who has never picked a lock... I dunno. That just doesn't sound right.

Number bloat is back now, but that could be adjusted by compressing the numbers back down (if it goes to 1/2 level and proficiency bonus is cut in half you shrink the numbers dramatically and reduce the bloat while still keeping a clear seperation between legendary and untrained). Although, I'm not sure "number bloat" is that bad a thing when you're not piling up lots of bonuses. If the bonus is always +28 and doesn't change, adding a d20 to 28 all the time isn't so bad. It only really got out of hand when I'd then apply five buff modifiers to it, and that's just not a thing now.

Some of this is just preference. Should a Cleric who has never tried to pick a lock in his life be able to pick a relatively easy lock after watching the Rogue do it for 12 levels? Maybe. Should that same Cleric be able to pick a lock that the Rogue himself can barely pick with only a slightly higher die roll needed? I don't think that makes much sense. So, do you enforce that with a bigger skill modifier spread or with skill gating and saying "you need to be Expert to even attempt this", bearing in mind that doing so means a higher level Trained character with magic gear who could easily meet the DC isn't even allowed to attempt it.

There is no right or wrong answer, it's just about the feel you want the game to have.

Quote:
2. There is just as much weird stuff happening in terms of believable story telling as when untrained characters got +level, only now it effects characters in a life or death manner. Why should an untrained wizards AC drop by 20+ points when they put on armor at level 20 vs when they put that armor on at level 1? The same with picking up a sword or other weapon. Desperately grabbing for a weapon that you might not be trained with should not make you bumblingly incompetent at combat. By level 10, forcing a monk to wear a suit of padded armor into combat is essentially a death sentence. Should it be a little inconveniencing? Sure, should that level of inconveniencing grow exponentially by level? No. It is much easier for GMs to arbitrate what a character could not do with an untrained skill check that is numerically balanced to other proficiencies than to have to try to balance that on the fly when a character finds themself in a life or death situation, trying to understand why their bonus to attack while using a magical long sword is 15-20 points worse than using a broken dagger, or other weapon they are trained in.

It could be argued that someone who spends 5 years training with a sword and has never seen a longbow shouldn't be able to simply pick up a longbow and be more competent with it than a career longbowman who just happens to be a few levels lower, as well.

The reason why you lose more at higher level relative to lower level is because you have more skill to be interfered with. A level 1 Monk isn't very good at timing movement to dodge blows, so they don't lose as much as a level 10 Monk, who is far better at it. If padded armor should erase all that or not is a question worth asking, but if you try to put in degrees and exceptions for specific items you start making the system much more complicated for IMO not much gain.

Simplicity is easier to run at the table and explain to new players, even if it has some odd edge cases.

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3. This reinforces “untrained” as a check to never be tried. This makes character aspects that have to begin at trained have less room for diversity than profiencies that can start at untrained, and replaces letting characters become competent at everything, with massively punishing players who don’t know what aspects of the game to make sure they are competent at. This is why perception had to be removed from the skill list and seems like acrobatics and athletics now should be too, or else skill use in combat is in a wonkier place than it was in PF1.

Critical failure effects were already doing that. Gathering information in the playtest was an exercise in "let the specialist do it because anybody untrained rolling has a good chance of getting misinformation". The only difference now is that it's obviously a bad idea rather than a trap disguised as something you maybe should do.

If you've never been trained in something, should you be trying it? The amount of computer problems I have to fix for friends and family that were caused by "I have no idea what I'm doing but I thought I'd..." is staggering. And that doesn't involve dangerous stabbing implements.

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Overall, this is just a change that doesn’t make sense to me, but I know it has made a lot of folks happy. I would love to hear why. I am left personally thinking I will remove +level across the board from my PF2 games to avoid these issues, which is ironic because I previously saw that system as an elegant way to make level meaningful and I find leveling up to be rather bland and insignificant at many levels and for many classes without it.

In your case, I think it's easier to just add +level back to untrained, or maybe +level-2. That puts it back to where it was relative to trained while keeping everything else about it.

For me, I see the pros and cons. Mostly what I wanted was a wider gap between legendary and untrained, as that didn't really live up to the name. The +2 instead of +1 per tier seems to have largely resolved that.

I do see the upside of the previous system's advancement, as in my current PF1 campaign I'm a level 18 Cleric with a Stealth of -4. It causes problems every time the group wants to sneak somewhere because I'm guaranteed to fail, so our DM uses a group stealth house rule to let us try it anyway (the alternative is we keep splitting the party so the stealthy people can stealth, which sucks for its own reasons). I'd be able to at least attempt it under the playtest rules and if it's a below level/easy check have some chance of success.

Liberty's Edge

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I also have some concerns about this change, but I think some of your points are slightly off.

1. 'Number bloat' is not primarily a problem between people who are utterly terrible at something and real experts (everyone tends to agree that the differential should be large there). It's primarily a problem between two people who are both 'good' at something. In PF1 it was eminently possible to have a 30+ point difference at 10th level in, say, Diplomacy between, say, a Bard who just invested a rank every level and a Summoner who invested every possible resource in Diplomacy. That being gone is pretty much not effected by this change.

The other issue with number bloat is that in PF1 there's not really an upper cap, which can have all sorts of negative effects when examined, and is not true in PF2 even with the change. The minimum being lower doesn't remove this benefit at all.

I'm worried about this change, but not because of number bloat.

2. Here, I agree with you entirely. There's some serious problems in this regard. That said...they're possible to fix if Armor and Weapon Proficiencies are just treated slightly differently than Skill Proficiencies. That introduces some unfortunate asymmetry, but it's by no means impossible.

Like the logic problems that come with adding level (+16 Athletics on 20th level Wizards and the like), it's also kind of a niche case and not gonna come up in most games. I'd very much still like to see something done about it, though.

3. Acrobatics and Athletics don't actually come up all that much...but yes, this is my main issue with this as well. The utter inability to achieve anything with untrained skills, while also found in PF1, was not super fun then, and seems to me rather un-fun now as well.

All that said, I think this works out a lot better if you're given significantly more Trained Skills over the course of the game, something that's been implied to quite possibly be the case.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Think of it this way. If you have never bothered to learn to swim (become trained) how can you have any chance at swimming across a river?
(swimming across a pool is different.)

Or if you have never played an instrument, why should you play almost as good as someone who has spent years practicing?

Or if you come from a backward tribe of barbarians who view ALL magic as evil, and practitioners should be quickly killed. Why should you have any knowledge of how magic works?

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We have too little context to really know how the change will shake out.

It does seem that the final game will place more emphasis on innate skill versus bonuses granted by equipment, which is a positive to me.


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Tim Statler wrote:

Think of it this way. If you have never bothered to learn to swim (become trained) how can you have any chance at swimming across a river?

(swimming across a pool is different.)

Or if you have never played an instrument, why should you play almost as good as someone who has spent years practicing?

Or if you come from a backward tribe of barbarians who view ALL magic as evil, and practitioners should be quickly killed. Why should you have any knowledge of how magic works?

In the last case, at least, the high level barbarian should be more likely to recognize furtively cast magic and realize that the guy most of his tribe thinks is harmless should in fact be killed. He would not, of course, be able to identify exactly what sort of magic he is casting.

Still, removing level from the bonus for untrained skills would require considerable reworking of the skill rules from the playtest. There are a couple of items that I trust will be covered:

1) Alternative checks that can be made for forced checks by an untrained character (for example, a choice between an Acrobatics skill check and a Reflex save).

2) More ways to gain at least +level to a given skill, either through more skill increases to the trained level or at least ways to gain "familiarity" as a proficiency tier between completely untrained and fully trained.


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Well, if you spent your whole life in the desert being thirsty you might still have strong limbs and a strong desire to keep breathing, so sheer orneriness can get you across the river.

A barbarian who hates magic by the time their level is enough to give them a meaningful bonus overcoming the -4, has probably fought and killed a great number of magic things in gaining those levels and might have been paying attention and noticed some patterns and useful things along the way.

I grant that performance is an odd one, but honestly I don't think Performance should be a skill (or make it "Cha-based Lore".)

I honestly find it much weirder that level 16 characters (who have been through a lot in getting to level 16) aren't at least kinda good at lots and lots of things. Now, no matter how many undead you kill you won't be able to identify them without buying religion training, no matter how much time you spend on a boat you won't be able to tie a knot without buying sailing lore, etc. Probably my least favorite part of this change is that now players are pressured to spend skill increases to represent what happened or to buy basic adventuring skills rather than simply expressing their vision for their character.


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As above, many more trained skills would pretty well make up this change for me, otherwise I will almost certainly rule this change out.

Really skill gating as a concept did basically everything for me that removing +level seems to be trying to do but with none of the downsides.

I didn't have a problem with the level 16 Wizard being a better mountain climber than the level 5 hiker, I figure the literal superhuman genius probably knows all the physics and stuff behind climbing to make up for his average strength and lac of formal training, and TBH even if your Str is 10 I feel like 16 levels of adventuring will have potentially provided at least basic conditioning.

I had similar reasonable explanations in mind for why just the general advancement of level would boost someone up in the basic uses of skills, and skill gating could handle the rest, as well as provide differentiation between the other training tiers. For me, lacking +level to untrained is more unbelievable than having it. But many people's mileage will vary.

I'm just hoping that Paizo will make it all work in the end. Admittedly the changes from that stream have really kinda taken the wind out of my sails on these forums. Which is probably fine, as I've been putting in too much time here anyway.

I still eagerly await what Paizo will do with PF2, I'm just not so interested in sticking around so closely until then.

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There are a ton of ways to make the lack of bonus to untrained skills work.

More chances to improve skills - this could allow people to choose between whether they want to be specialized in a few things or broadly good at a lot of things in a more effective manner than most other systems I've seen.

Defenses based on saves rather than skills (or an option between saves and skills) - keeps unathletic characters from getting killed by grabs.

Giving all classes automatic training in Acrobatics or Athletics - because those are the only two skills that I think you absolutely need one of.

Offering more magic items that grant proficiency - the cloak of elvenkind that grants a +5 in Stealth is useless to a high-level untrained character, but if the cloak grants Master proficiency in Stealth, it's quite great. Then skil-boosting magic items become useful but not a replacement for high-level training.

This is off the top of my head - I expect that a team of folks who have access to the rules in context and thousands of surveys worth of data can do better. I can see how the change could go poorly, but also numerous ways it can be made to work.

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Edge93 wrote:
Really skill gating as a concept did basically everything for me that removing +level seems to be trying to do but with none of the downsides.

I like skill gating (and suspect that it still exists to a degree), but it's possible that the concept failed to fit into the goal of making the game easier to teach. I've seen experienced players here not grasp the concept, so it's likely that newbies could get tripped up by the fact that a +15 untrained bonus is often worse than a +10 expert bonus.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been arguing in favor of removing +lvl to untrained for some time now, so I'll chime in to give my perspective.

Skill DCs should not arbitrarily scale with level, and high level parties should encounter low DC skill checks to give them a sense of their progression. Here's an example of a high level party coming across a low level challenge, a DC 10 rough masonry wall.

* High level wizard uses a climb spell to become trained and run up the wall easy peasy.

* Fighter was trained in athletics and climbs up in a flash, no check even necessary.

* Cleric was not trained, and has PTSD flashbacks to the wall he climbed back at level 1. He attempts, rolls low, and looks to the rogue for help.

* Rogue is a master in athletics and not only climbs effortlessly, but easily points out handholds for the cleric who becomes trained for the task and also makes the climb.

Without the rogue, maybe the cleric would have used a magic item of flight, or got another spell from the Wizard, or had to wait for the Fighter to drop a rope. You can see with different spreads of proficiency the approaches would be different. If everyone gets +lvl to untrained, every party would approach the problem in exactly the same way, by just climbing it. That's boring.

A. Low DCs should be sprinkled throughout the level range, and no +lvl to untrained makes those checks relevant. DCs shouldn't scale arbitrarily with level.

B. Parties should be distinct from one another. A party of city slickers shouldn't approach wilderness survival in the same manner as a party of rough neck rangers and druids. Letting people leave things at untrained makes that possible.

C. Many skill checks that can be made untrained should exist in the 1-20 DC range, which makes the d20 relevant for success in untrained attempts, so +lvl to untrained skill checks isn't as necessary as people think.

D. Expert and higher skill users should be able to provide temporary training to those in their party, so that they feel better about investing deeply into a skill.

E. Untrained at Level - 4 is incredibly punishing at low levels in a way that simply removing level is not.


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The whole playtest, I've been a strong advocate of "trust Paizo".

I'm certainly not going to change that mindset now. Paizo has a lot of banked faith with me, personally, and I very much trust them to deliver a system I want to play (and more importantly, Adventure Paths I want to run).

That said, these recent changes from the stream definitely take away things that I personally enjoyed in the playtest. I liked Resonance, I liked the tight math, and I liked +level to untrained skills, all for reasons that have been discussed to death and I won't bring up again. :)

But I truly don't think Paizo would drastically course-shift like this without a solution to address the issues that prompted the original course in the first place, and I'm excited to see what that solution looks like.

One thing I've seen mentioned on the boards a couple times is an ability that allows Masters to "cover" for untrained characters and let them roll as if trained. I think that would be amazing and a great way to compromise between the two rule sets.


I agree that a lot of these points can be worked with, though the idea of choosing to be specialized in a few things or broadly good at a lot of things is a very tricky balancing act to avoid falling back into PF1's "Specialization is king, why the frick would you try to be a generalist" territory.

The Exchange

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Come on folks! This has been hashed around many times!

The reason for this change must be connected to playtest feedback. I am guessing that many others expressed alarm at the paradigm of a PC being just plain amazing at everything because ‘level’.

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

The fact is that electing to become trained means you swiftly became one of worlds greatest exponents of a skill - and there are plenty of opportunities to do this is - is still rather too much in the wrong direction for me. I do applaud the idea that at least some choices must be made and a balance struck.

W

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Edge93 wrote:
I agree that a lot of these points can be worked with, though the idea of choosing to be specialized in a few things or broadly good at a lot of things is a very tricky balancing act to avoid falling back into PF1's "Specialization is king, why the frick would you try to be a generalist" territory.

I think being a generalist might be more effective this time around.

In 1st edition, generalizing vs specializing basically meant being ineffective at high-level tasks.

If specialists have a 90% chance of success in 2nd edition, somebody who is only trained might be 6-10 points behind, depending on ability bonuses and such. So your jack of all trades might have a 50% or higher chance at overcoming on-level challenges, which is pretty decent.


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I think part of my issue is that I had to be sold on +level to proficiency as representative of automatic progression, in the first place, and without consistent application, arguments in its favor grow much weaker. The proficiency system starts look weird to me when untrained is essentially outside of proficiency entirely. It weakens the principle that level is a universal representation of character growth, unless by level 10, characters have the opportunity to be trained in most adventuring skills without significantly sacrificing resources. For that to work, higher level proficiencies would need to cost more than basic ones, which is not how the playtest made things look at all. If getting trained in survival is going to come at the cost of getting master proficiency in a skill I use all the time, it will be nearly impossible to justify taking, even though my character has been traveling in the wilderness for weeks/months/years. Untrained almost has to be a category only for skills that otherwise have no application that cannot be done without training. Ie skill gated.


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I wonder if we can't mitigate some of the "people are untrained in a skill despite doing it extensively for a good portion of their careers΅ simply by awarding training in skills from the GM. Like if the party survives a sequence where they are marooned on a deserted island and have to fend for themselves for a time, give everyone survival training. If you burn down the Necromancer's Bone Castle and all of the bony terrors within, perhaps you hand out training in religion. Climb a mountain and get athletics training, get press-ganged for the duration of an trans-oceanic voyage and get training in sailing lore, etc.

"PCs getting things outside of the normal leveling progression" was a thing PF1 was playing with a lot in latter day APs (e.g. you got like 6 extra feats if you did all the Militia stuff in Hell's Rebels), and I don't see a problem with codifying it in the base rules.


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

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

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

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

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


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It is a huge change to the core mechanics. So I still think there is more we don't know at this point that what we do know.

So it limits the value of guessing.

But, to your points:
1) By the time you get a +35 difference, the character with the very high numbers is capable of doing things a first level character could still roll a 20 and miss by 10 or more. So these are things which are inconceivable to a common person. Someone untrained in something should have no complaints that they can't do something "inconceivable".

2) You are very right here. And I think it is a mistake to fixate on this changes impacting skills. It is a big deal with skills. But the combat system takes a much bigger revision. We don't know the answer. I can't imagine that they are not working on lots of changes. Because, yeah, as-is, it would be a huge mess. +Level to everything was completely a dealbreaker to me. But all I have now is hope. (And, to be clear, I'm not demanding they expand or clarify. I'm happy to have my hope and I'll wait and see.)
But if a wizard is untrained in unarmored combat (assuming they are until given reason to change) then a 10th level wizard can still dance around naked avoiding orc greatswords with ease, even in a complete absence of magic. That is a mechanic that will fail to create the kind of playspace that I am looking for. The necessity to remove +level includes removing odd loopholes such as "everyone is trained in unarmored". And that add to your valid point that adding armor shouldn't cause the AC to collapse.

so, the bottom line is, don't even sweat this. We can't judge until we have more information. They have taken a huge task. Time will be needed.

3)I don't agree at all the untrained will never be tried. In my level 14 1E game just a few sessions ago a fight occurred around a stereotypical tower. The party monk decided to go to the top. I looked at his skills and didn't even call for a roll. Another player chimed in, with a big grin: "You parkour up". The fighter (archer) wanted to join him and (with the help of some unfriendly dice) gave up after three tries and got help. Everyone had a lot of fun, including the monk (who got to be extra awesome for 15 seconds), the fighter (who was amused at how the dice dictated his fate), and the others who didn't even try to climb (and ultimately were helped up, with ropes, by the guy who's talents helped the whole group).

A wide range of mundane to superheroic events and obstacles appear all the time. That mix contributes to the fun for all, and the sense of accomplishment for all.


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

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

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

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

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

And, as you described, was also a problem in the +level version of 2E.

You can have a super high bonus in medicine, but you can't try surgery. If you become trained your bonus on goes up a little, but suddenly the surgery checks you were banned from trying at all yesterday are trivial today.


Unicore wrote:
1. What is the value of having a +\- 35 point spread in bonuses between characters of the same level, doing the same task? I understand people want to be able to be bad at something but at this level of differential, the actual difference been being good at something, extremely good at something and bad at something begin to disappear into 5% probabilities if rolling a 1 or a 20. With +level removed from untrained and the spread of bonuses from proficiency increasing dramatically, it is difficult to argue that PF2 is going to have a better handle on “number bloat” than PF1. A position I used to advocate on this message board.

I can agree that a +/-35 difference is too much, but my solution would be to add 1/2 level instead of full level, while still withholding 1/2 level from untrained. (I'd probably also increase the difference between proficiency tiers to 3.) As it stands, +level still dwarfs your proficiency bonus, which is my main issue with it. Your training should matter just as much as your experience.

The other side to it is that it just isn't acceptable from a common sense standpoint that the difference between someone who has never sought out any training or practiced at all is only 35% worse than someone who is so good at a given task, that their exploits are considered "legendary".

In my opinion, if "legendary" is used to describe your level of skill in a particular area, and there is a chance you could fail a given check, an untrained guy should stand absolutely no chance.

Likewise, if the given skill check is something that an untrained person could accomplish without insane amounts of luck (nat 20), then the legendary individual shouldn't even need to roll.

Quote:
2. There is just as much weird stuff happening in terms of believable story telling as when untrained characters got +level, only now it effects characters in a life or death manner. Why should an untrained wizards AC drop by 20+ points when they put on armor at level 20 vs when they put that armor on at level 1?

Yeah, I don't like +level to AC. Given how the system works, I don't really have a good solution, but the idea that a sleeping level 20 wizard in his long johns is harder to hit than a sleeping level 1 wizard in his long johns breaks my immersion. At least the wizard isn't forced to wear armor, reducing his AC by his level.

Quote:
The same with picking up a sword or other weapon. Desperately grabbing for a weapon that you might not be trained with should not make you bumblingly incompetent at combat. By level 10, forcing a monk to wear a suit of padded armor into combat is essentially a death sentence. Should it be a little inconveniencing? Sure, should that level of inconveniencing grow exponentially by level? No. It is much easier for GMs to arbitrate what a character could not do with an untrained skill check that is numerically balanced to other proficiencies than to have to try to balance that on the fly when a character finds themself in a life or death situation, trying to understand why their bonus to attack while using a magical long sword is 15-20 points worse than using a broken dagger, or other weapon they are trained in.

While I agree with you that a sudden -20 is jarring, there is also the problem that someone who has never touched a sword in their life is only 35% worse than a guy that is considered a "legendary swordsman". If these two were to get into a fight, the untrained guy should stand no chance.

At this point, it sounds like removing a level bonus of any kind makes more sense.

Quote:
3. This reinforces “untrained” as a check to never be tried. This makes character aspects that have to begin at trained have less room for diversity than profiencies that can start at untrained, and replaces letting characters become competent at everything, with massively punishing players who don’t know what aspects of the game to make sure they are competent at. This is why perception had to be removed from the skill list and seems like acrobatics and athletics now should be too, or else skill use in combat is in a wonkier place than it was in PF1.

Being unable to contribute because you never devoted a single skill boost to a given skill is MUCH better than the resident expert being outdone by a handful of idiots because one of them will likely roll better than him. I absolutely HATE this in DnD 5e.

This is, however, contingent on the possibility of becoming trained in all of these problem skills. If that isn't possible for all characters, then this is a problem for the system.

Based on the old PF2 system, the probability of 3 untrained characters beating a Legendary character on a given skill check is near 50%. That isn't acceptable to me.

To be fair, I also have personal expectations of what each proficiency tier means:

Untrained: You have never sought out training or devoted time to practice this skill. If ever forced to use this skill, you are limited to common sense, educated guesses, and luck as to how to complete your task.

Trained: You have either sought out training or practiced this skill enough that you know what your doing. For most common applications of the skill, your are good enough to get the job done with a bit of luck. People aren't generally willing to pay you for use of this skill, unless they are really desperate.

Expert: You are so good at this skill that, when a problem arises, and you are around, people ask for your help. You could make a profitable business out of using this skill.

Master: You are the best at this skill as people could reasonably imagine. You could make good money teaching this skill at a trade school or college. Your skills are in such high demand that only nobles could reasonably afford your work.

Legendary: You are better than plausibly possible. People don't readily believe your exploits with this skill, because such exploits are considered impossible. You are a household name. Only the wealthiest of patrons could possibly buy your work, if it is even for sale.

Quote:
Overall, this is just a change that doesn’t make sense to me, but I know it has made a lot of folks happy. I would love to hear why. I am left personally thinking I will remove +level across the board from my PF2 games to avoid these issues, which is ironic because I previously saw that system as an elegant way to make level meaningful and I find leveling up to be rather bland and insignificant at many levels and for many classes without it.

Honestly, that is probably the best solution. While +level is an elegant solution, it causes WAY too many issues in practice.

I think using 1/2 level may solve some of these issues, or at least mitigate them to the point that they aren't as noticeable.


Considering how aware of the problems that the skill gap would cause, I don't think they did this without something in place to combat that problem. I think we need to wait until the new edition drops and see the whole picture before we can really speak on this.


BryonD wrote:

It is a huge change to the core mechanics. So I still think there is more we don't know at this point that what we do know.

So it limits the value of guessing.

Agreed.

BryonD wrote:
2) You are very right here. And I think it is a mistake to fixate on this changes impacting skills. It is a big deal with skills. But the combat system takes a much bigger revision. We don't know the answer. I can't imagine that they are not working on lots of changes. Because, yeah, as-is, it would be a huge mess. +Level to everything was completely a dealbreaker to me. But all I have now is hope. (And, to be clear, I'm not demanding they expand or clarify. I'm happy to have my hope and I'll wait and see.)

Agreed. +Level was fine by me, this is a big change, but I'm still confident it can be made to work.

BryonD wrote:
But if a wizard is untrained in unarmored combat (assuming they are until given reason to change) then a 10th level wizard can still dance around naked avoiding orc greatswords with ease, even in a complete absence of magic. That is a mechanic that will fail to create the kind of playspace that I am looking for. The necessity to remove +level includes removing odd loopholes such as "everyone is trained in unarmored". And that add to your valid point that adding armor shouldn't cause the AC to collapse.

This is where I have a problem: If the wizard is not trained in unarmored combat, then at level 10+, any level-appropriate monster will auto-hit, and crit more often than not. The solution could be to buff spell defense, but in that case we end up with unbalanced high level play juste like in PF1. For me, this is a much bigger potential problem than the wizard being too well-defended against orcs, a situation that's a lot more rare.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BryonD wrote:

And, as you described, was also a problem in the +level version of 2E.

You can have a super high bonus in medicine, but you can't try surgery. If you become trained your bonus on goes up a little, but suddenly the surgery checks you were banned from trying at all yesterday are trivial today.

This doesn't hurt my verisimilitude at all.

I have years of programming experience, but I've never used Delphi and wouldn't know where to start if it was handed to me.

But if for some reason (probably involving serious head trauma) I decided to learn Delphi, I would not be starting from scratch - my experience with other languages would give me a significant advantage over someone who had never programmed anything before in their life.


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thflame wrote:

To be fair, I also have personal expectations of what each proficiency tier means:

Untrained: You have never sought out training or devoted time to practice this skill. If ever forced to use this skill, you are limited to common sense, educated guesses, and luck as to how to complete your task.

Trained: You have either sought out training or practiced this skill enough that you know what your doing. For most common applications of the skill, your are good enough to get the job done with a bit of luck. People aren't generally willing to pay you for use of this skill, unless they are really desperate.

Expert: You are so good at this skill that, when a problem arises, and you are around, people ask for your help. You could make a profitable business out of using this skill.

Master: You are the best at this skill as people could reasonably imagine. You could make good money teaching this skill at a trade school or college. Your skills are in such high demand that only nobles could reasonably afford your work.

Legendary: You are better than plausibly possible. People don't readily believe your exploits with this skill, because such exploits are considered impossible. You are a household name. Only the wealthiest of patrons could possibly buy your work, if it is even for sale.

I suspect a large part of the problem is that those personal expectations don't match the game's use of the terms. Which is at least partly a problem with the game's naming convention, since they aren't unreasonable expectations, but the game combines level and tier in way you don't seem to be.

Wonder if just thinking about them as "tiers 1 to 5" with no names attached would alter your expectations.


thejeff wrote:
thflame wrote:

To be fair, I also have personal expectations of what each proficiency tier means:

Untrained: You have never sought out training or devoted time to practice this skill. If ever forced to use this skill, you are limited to common sense, educated guesses, and luck as to how to complete your task.

Trained: You have either sought out training or practiced this skill enough that you know what your doing. For most common applications of the skill, your are good enough to get the job done with a bit of luck. People aren't generally willing to pay you for use of this skill, unless they are really desperate.

Expert: You are so good at this skill that, when a problem arises, and you are around, people ask for your help. You could make a profitable business out of using this skill.

Master: You are the best at this skill as people could reasonably imagine. You could make good money teaching this skill at a trade school or college. Your skills are in such high demand that only nobles could reasonably afford your work.

Legendary: You are better than plausibly possible. People don't readily believe your exploits with this skill, because such exploits are considered impossible. You are a household name. Only the wealthiest of patrons could possibly buy your work, if it is even for sale.

I suspect a large part of the problem is that those personal expectations don't match the game's use of the terms. Which is at least partly a problem with the game's naming convention, since they aren't unreasonable expectations, but the game combines level and tier in way you don't seem to be.

Wonder if just thinking about them as "tiers 1 to 5" with no names attached would alter your expectations.

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


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MaxAstro wrote:
BryonD wrote:

And, as you described, was also a problem in the +level version of 2E.

You can have a super high bonus in medicine, but you can't try surgery. If you become trained your bonus on goes up a little, but suddenly the surgery checks you were banned from trying at all yesterday are trivial today.

This doesn't hurt my verisimilitude at all.

I have years of programming experience, but I've never used Delphi and wouldn't know where to start if it was handed to me.

But if for some reason (probably involving serious head trauma) I decided to learn Delphi, I would not be starting from scratch - my experience with other languages would give me a significant advantage over someone who had never programmed anything before in their life.

Noted.

The point being made was huge jumps.

I'm note sure that you have provided a valid analogy to surgery. But that is not really here nor there.

The bottom line is that all systems allow for sudden giant leaps in capability.

IMO, the one easiest to resolve is 1E because a simple house rule throttling skill point dumping gets it done. But, again, my house rule or what incongruity you proclaim you will or won't swallow are both beside the point.


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gwynfrid wrote:
This is where I have a problem: If the wizard is not trained in unarmored combat, then at level 10+, any level-appropriate monster will auto-hit, and crit more often than not. The solution could be to buff spell defense, but in that case we end up with unbalanced high level play juste like in PF1. For me, this is a much bigger potential problem than the wizard being too well-defended against orcs, a situation that's a lot more rare.

Did you play 1E?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah, the analogy is not perfect. I appreciate you recognizing my point, though.

I agree that any system is going to have weird edges cases. My takeaway from that is "since it's impossible to remove verisimilitude-breaking things entirely, it's best to go with whatever provides the most consistent gameplay".

I liked the gameplay provided by knowing that my PCs would always be within a certain range of each other at a given level; it made designing skill challenges much easier.

Obviously my opinion is not the borne out by the survey data. :) I know certain immersion-breaks are generally more acceptable than others - people are fine with falling damage being nonsensical or dragons making 180-degree turns on a dime while flying 100 miles per hour, but apparently 18th level barbarians being able to sing is a dealbreaker. :P

It's fine, though, I'm pretty used to being odd-one-out on my preferences; I felt like the only person who like Resonance, too. :)


MaxAstro wrote:
It's fine, though, I'm pretty used to being odd-one-out on my preferences; I felt like the only person who like Resonance, too. :)

Hear, hear. XD


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MaxAstro wrote:
I know certain immersion-breaks are generally more acceptable than others - people are fine with falling damage being nonsensical

FWIW, for many years I've used a house rule in which you rolled the standard XD6 for falling, but all "1"s counted as 1 point of CON damage instead of HP. Now heros *can* fall a long way and survive, but the scary element is there.

Quote:

or dragons making 180-degree turns on a dime while flying 100 miles per hour, but apparently 18th level barbarians being able to sing is a dealbreaker. :P

It's fine, though, I'm pretty used to being odd-one-out on my preferences; I felt like the only person who like Resonance, too. :)

But, that said, yes, *ALL* Barbarians singing is a deal breaker. Singing is a thing that for some few characters is a big deal and it is meaningful to be good at it. At the same time, the is no archetypal expectations of barbarians singing.

So taking away from the specialist while trampling all over "getting the story right". There are awesome games out there that allow me to get the story right. I have the freedom to draw a line in the sand and say that I won't play a game that asks me to give that up.

But it is worth noting that dragons turning on a dime (which I don't think they can do in 1E, I know they can't in 3X, but that doesn't change the larger point ) is only an issue against the real world. I like the game to have some contact with an expected set of cause and effect events based on reality, but that is entirely second to the narrative concepts, archetypes, stereotypes, and expectations.

What I DON'T want trumping "realism" is "the math". I've literally been told that I shouldn't care about 10th level naked wizards because in 1E they have rings and amulets, so the same number are there. But that makes *ALL* the difference. I'm 100% on board if you want to come up with a better way to get away from the expectation of fixed magic items. I'm not defending that as a trope. But I will defend it as better than anything else I have seen so far. Your AC is high "because you have these magical effects" is true to narrative. "Hey, the math works" just sucks at being true to story. Agile turning dragons don't necessarily ruin narrative because the core concept of all-powerful dragons isn't undermined. All barbarians sing does undermine both the bard and the barbarian.
and if agile dragons *does* bother someone, then I would expect nothing less than for them to either houserule or play a different game.


MaxAstro wrote:
One thing I've seen mentioned on the boards a couple times is an ability that allows Masters to "cover" for untrained characters and let them roll as if trained. I think that would be amazing and a great way to compromise between the two rule sets.

Yeah I really hope this makes it in to help cover the "we need to do this but the untrained guy will hold us back" situation.

MaxAstro wrote:


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

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

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

The problem with this is that it now requires remembering for each skill, which things are gated by which training level. You then wind up with someone with +15 Medicine who isn't allowed to roll at all on a DC 15 Medicine check at all, unless people forget that this is one of the restricted usages.

It can work, but it's a point of complexity and "stuff to remember" that doesn't exist otherwise. If they do that, I'd hope they would make an easy reference table on the back of the new DM screen for it, because I'd need to reference it frequently.

(Not that one level worth of training increasing your check by +15 makes a lot of sense either...)


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BryonD wrote:
Solid points

AFAIK the rules on changing direction while flying in PF1e specify that they only apply during your movement. So a dragon can take an 800ft fly action in one direction (little short of 100mph) and then the next round fly 800ft in the opposite direction with no issue.

But obviously that's neither here nor there.

We are never really going to agree because I'm coming from the opposite direction - I find tweaking a system to suit my verisimilitude (I avoid the word "realism" because it's objectively inaccurate) is easier than tweaking a system to fix broken math. So I will take a system with broken immersion and incredibly solid math every time.

Again, obviously I'm probably in the minority. :)

Of course, I do feel that awesome flavor trumps both those things, which is why I run Exalted. Exalted has probably the most broken math and lacking immersion of any system ever (seriously, nothing in the mechanics in any way supports the Usurpation being physically possible by any stretch of imagination, and that's a core tenant of the setting's backstory), but the setting is just so darn cool it's fun to run anyway. :P


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BryonD wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
This is where I have a problem: If the wizard is not trained in unarmored combat, then at level 10+, any level-appropriate monster will auto-hit, and crit more often than not. The solution could be to buff spell defense, but in that case we end up with unbalanced high level play juste like in PF1. For me, this is a much bigger potential problem than the wizard being too well-defended against orcs, a situation that's a lot more rare.
Did you play 1E?

For the past 10 years or so, yes. 3.5e for another decade before that.

Now, I may not have made myself clear. What I meant is:
- Under the parameters we currently see (+0 untrained and +level+2 trained), if the wizard is untrained with no armour, then, barring major magic items or major defensive spells, he will be hit 95% of the time at level 10 or so.
- This was also the case in PF1, but then the high level wizard had lots of ways to make his AC moot in the majority of fights. Refer to any discussion of martial/caster disparity. I do not wish to see this again in PF2.
- In my view the high level wizard vs bunch of level 1 orcs, while real, is a less severe problem because it occurs rarely in high level play, much more rarely than fights with level appropriate monsters. Anyway, if we refer to PF1, a bunch of level 1 orcs aren’t a challenge to a level 10 caster there, either.

Of course it could be interesting to make low level orcs a relevant challenge at any character level. I understand the answer to that is not PF1 or PfF2, but 5e ( which I haven’t tried).


MaxAstro wrote:

We are never really going to agree because I'm coming from the opposite direction - I find tweaking a system to suit my verisimilitude (I avoid the word "realism" because it's objectively inaccurate) is easier than tweaking a system to fix broken math. So I will take a system with broken immersion and incredibly solid math every time.

Again, obviously I'm probably in the minority. :)

I don't know if its the minority or not, but it's definitely a good point that what people are willing to trade off is different. I'm the opposite of you as well: I've been dealing with "broken" (for whatever that word means) with PF1 and 3.5 for what, nearly 20 years? At this point, we're pretty good at it and we have plenty of fun playing despite it.

But we're there to tell a story and play a game. We don't tend to do super optimal characters in the first place (I mean, I'm playing a PF1 character focused on healing, and no CharOp guide will ever recommend THAT). Math is stuff we can work around.

If the game rules break the story? We're having problems.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I tend to draw inspiration from the game rules, and often find myself telling a story around them. Different strokes and all that. :)

...Also I'm pretty sure a Vitalist guide would tell you to focus on healing. The one time I had a campaign broken because of healing magic, it was an optimized Vitalist that basically made the party completely immune to damage and most debuffs until she ran out of power points. XD


MaxAstro wrote:
I tend to draw inspiration from the game rules, and often find myself telling a story around them. Different strokes and all that. :)

:)

Quote:
...Also I'm pretty sure a Vitalist guide would tell you to focus on healing. The one time I had a campaign broken because of healing magic, it was an optimized Vitalist that basically made the party completely immune to damage and most debuffs until she ran out of power points. XD

That's cool. I'm just playing a Cleric, where it's pretty unusual to see that. But I'm having fun, and everybody else in the group certainly doesn't mind having me there. :D (Originally did that because I was joining a group where I didn't know most of the players, they had lost their primary divine caster, and thus I knew I would be filling a useful role by doing that. I also happen to love playing support roles, so it was a happy result.)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

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


I don't get the examples of the wizard and the monk. All characters are trained in unarmored. So they actually gained +2.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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MaxAstro wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Solid points
AFAIK the rules on changing direction while flying in PF1e specify that they only apply during your movement. So a dragon can take an 800ft fly action in one direction (little short of 100mph) and then the next round fly 800ft in the opposite direction with no issue.

Yeah, made me curious. I don't use the fly skill and generally just try to be reasonable :)

By RAW it costs 10 ft and a DC20 check (-8 for Colossal size). I think dragons are generally going to be able to make whatever check they have. I think the old manuever classes was much better. But yeah, whatever.

Quote:


We are never really going to agree because I'm coming from the opposite direction - I find tweaking a system to suit my verisimilitude (I avoid the word "realism" because it's objectively inaccurate) is easier than tweaking a system to fix broken math. So I will take a system with broken immersion and incredibly solid math every time.

You have put a buzzword in there of "broken" math. I accept that the high level issues with 1E are well discussed and widely acknowledged. I have desire to try to deny them. But, cleric being incapable of climbing a surface which the rogue can do blindfolded is not "broken", it is simply a form of model.

I tweak systems all the time. Note the falling rule I already spoke of.
I tried 5E for a while. I liked it, but switched back to 1E because I like it more. One of my long term players said he didn't care because "it was all just Bryon D20 anyway". And he meant that as a positive. But his point was that I make each system my own and he recognizes my style more than the system.

But when you take it to something like this example (+level) then the entire core engine becomes built around that concept. I could rebuild it, but why? I have great games already. I will only play games which are as good or better. If I need to rebuild the game to its root, then it isn't going to be as good as either itself unmodified or my other options.

Point being, it is not at all about being concerned with hacking the system. It is about the grain of the system must be aligned with narrative first.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That does sound awesome! I had a Warpriest player once who did that kind of thing, except of course they'd step up and be fighting on the front lines too all at the same time. :)


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

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

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

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

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

Paizo Employee

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thflame wrote:


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

Because you're not just "existing" you are actively leveling up. And it has pretty much always been a conceit of the game that higher level creatures are better in almost every way than lower level creatures. You don't become level 5 by sitting around waiting to level up, you do it by actively performing tasks until you get there. The successful completion of those tasks makes you an objectively better being than the version of you that sat around existing, and successfully completing new and greater challenges will allow you to become an objectively better being than the person who you were before.

Do people complain that wizards get more hit points every time they level up? What if the wizard never got injured a single time during that entire level? My experience is that someone who has never been in a fight before is way more likely to go down at the first punch, regardless of their starting physicality. It's harder for me to believe that someone could essentially make it all the way through basic training in the Army (lets say for the sake of argument that that's the difference between level 1 and level 2, or maybe the difference between a human without a class and a human with their first class level) and not have picked up a bunch of things they weren't specifically trained in. You'll be better at intimidation, because you've seen other people doing it a lot, you'll be better at picking up accents and have accumulated a significant amount of knowledge through your interactions with a new and diverse group of people, and you'll likely be significantly better at all physical tasks (even the ones that don't involve push-ups, sit-ups, or running). Heck, I even picked up a few chords and learned to play the guitar a bit (Perform) by watching one of my roommates play.

The sum totality of experience is represented by a level. A proficiency rank just represents the extra spice of proper training or specialization. I'm less fond of, and believe that there is less thematic consistency in, a world where a wizard can battle their way through goblins, orcs, ogres, trolls, dragons, and demons only to be tripped up by a 20-foot escarpment at the end of it because they're out of fly spells. Or where a 26 Strength giant-sized barbarian can't Intimidate a CR 1 bookkeeper because no one taught him how to be scary.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, relatively easy to make a rule to handle armor proficiency. Such as armor being universally calculated as: level + dex mod + armor bonus


gwynfrid wrote:

For the past 10 years or so, yes. 3.5e for another decade before that.

Now, I may not have made myself clear. What I meant is:
- Under the parameters we currently see (+0 untrained and +level+2 trained), if the wizard is untrained with no armour, then, barring major magic items or major defensive spells, he will be hit 95% of the time at level 10 or so.
- This was also the case in PF1, but then the high level wizard had lots of ways to make his AC moot in the majority of fights. Refer to any discussion of martial/caster disparity. I do not wish to see this again in PF2.
- In my view the high level wizard vs bunch of level 1 orcs, while real, is a less severe problem because it occurs rarely in high level play, much more rarely than fights with level appropriate monsters. Anyway, if we refer to PF1, a bunch of level 1 orcs aren’t a challenge to a level 10 caster there, either.

Of course it could be interesting to make low level orcs a relevant challenge at any character level. I understand the answer to that is not PF1 or PfF2, but 5e ( which I haven’t tried).

A couple things. First, I think we are largely in agreement.

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

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


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WatersLethe wrote:
Also, relatively easy to make a rule to handle armor proficiency. Such as armor being universally calculated as: level + dex mod + armor bonus

Which means that all classes are trained in all armors. Which makes no sense for narrative. But, it is also very odd as a practical solution. They just removed +level from untrained. Removing "untrained" would fly in the face of the change they made.

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