Remove +Level Number inflation


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Please remove +level number inflation. Specifically from Attack Values and Defense Values.

The number inflation caused by this creates a needless problem with monsters and requires the world to in essence level up at the same rate as the Heroes.

5th edition dnd does an excellent job of this, slight progression in attack value as you level, essentially +1 after every 5th level, and no proficiency bonus to AC.

Removing this inflation make monsters work much better.

With inflation: at 1st lvl 4 adventures fight 3-5 1st lvl goblins. At 10th level 4 adventures fight 3-5 10th lvl goblins, (lucky those adventurers didn't encounter these badass goblins the first time their 1st lvl asses went exploring the cave.)

Without: at 1st lvl 4 adventures fight 3-5 1st lvl goblins. At 10th level 4 adventures fight 10-15 1st level goblins.

With the inflation: 10th level adventurers could fight 100 1st level goblins and they would never be able to hit.

Just remove +level from any combat math. Characters still get bigger numbers at higher level with item bonuses, higher attributes and bonuses granted by feats. And these bonus are the only ones that mean anything anyway, because the +level is added to monsters too it becomes a wash. It wont change the game a bit to remove except to allow DMs to utilize more of the Monsters throughout the game.


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Universal progression is super boring, just like it is in 5E. Though I wouldnt hold my breath on seeing it go away. Paizo team has indicated they are not going for a BA feeling with PF2.

Liberty's Edge

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Removing level as a bonus makes level matter an order of magnitude less. It creates a world where 1st level foes remain a threat to 20th level people, at least in sufficient numbers.

That's not inherently bad, but it's not inherently good either, it just creates a different world with distinctly different thematics. A world like that is what 5E is going for, it is distinctly not what PF2 is going for.

PF2 is going for a much more high powered/mythic/superheroic feel than 5E is in terms of what level means, and in order to do that, something like adding level is necessary.

As for the '10th level goblins' thing...that's a very rare situation in PF2. It can happen, but large numbers of 10th level goblins don't generally exist. You fight different and more impressive foes instead, at least mostly.


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Exactly. I don't want to fight goblins at every level. Certainly not just more of the same goblins. There's plenty of monsters out there. Use the variety.

And as I said after the other post along these lines, I want a handful of skilled adventurers to be a better solution than a few dozen militiamen.


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This is a fundamental misunderstanding of how this works. The world does not level up with you. You should not be fighting random Goblins at level 10 that have been levelled up to level 10, without some kind of narrative reason for why they're so strong. You should be fighting Giants or Demons instead. Those Goblins don't drop back to level 2 if a low level group of town guards shows up to fight them instead: they would slaughter those guards. That's why level 10 adventurers were called in.

The world largely stays the same. The range of things you can fight increases as you level. Similarly, swimming a river doesn't get harder because you levelled up. You can simply ignore easy rivers because you're better at swimming than you used to be. You can now attempt to get past harder ones that were certain death before.

It's working exactly as intended to create a strong progression where a level 10 character is far stronger than a level 5 character, which is not what 5e does at all (but 3.5 and PF1 did). Stylistically they're simply going for a different feel of game. One of them constrains power growth and the other one lets you go from "random guy" to "Superhero".

And hey, if you don't like that style of game, that's entirely legitimate. It's not for everyone. But if you don't like it because you think you need to rob the PCs of their progression by making every basic challenge they should be able to easily overcome just as powerful as they are, then you're using the system incorrectly.

Lantern Lodge

I honestly don’t think the superhero feel of PF1 is marketable anymore. Even during PF1 hey day, most campaigns only ran from levels 1-10 ish. In my own experience, which certainly does not speak for everyone, It seems a general consensus that play after those levels isn’t appealing. There is certainly a valid argument that it was because the system became too broken after that point, which I think PF2 fixes, but there was also the argument of verisimilitude and how ridiculous a world is where PCs become superheroes. So while PF2 fixes the balance issues, it exacerbates the problem of verisimilitude by having Higher level PCs and monsters be vastly more powerful than their low level counter parts. Also, the +10/-10 crit system requires precise math tweaking and the 3-action system requires excessive damage dice (through the use of
Magic weapons or arbitrary monster damage bumps) due to lack of extra attacks.

Prior to 5e, that’s all the mainstream in the d20 system (d&d and pathfinder) knew so it was just accepted. Sure there were fringe systems, like castles and crusaders, that somewhat achieved a more balanced d20 world, but they didn’t quite nail it. However, 5e finally created a world that could tell believable stories which fit closer to fantasy literature / films. A big part of its success involved removing number inflation.

Others have stated PF2 doesn’t want to compete directly with 5e. I just don’t think that’s a route they can take (unless of course there is some copyright law against removing number bloat). Telling a super hero story in a fantasy setting is such a niche market.


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People got level to Attack in PF1 (3.5, 3.0, 2e, AD&D, etc.), so I don't know why they shouldn't in PF2. I feel like that's a big change and I would not like it.

Lantern Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
People got level to Attack in PF1, so I don't know why they shouldn't in PF2. I feel like that's a big change and I would not like it.

Trained - legendary granting +2-+8 is already a big change. Before you could only get maybe a +2 from feats (weapon focus and greater) or +5 from class (weapon training) over your level to attack. And both those options were tied to a specific class and either one weapon or a narrow group of weapons. And I didn’t mention things like rage because those were not “always on” effects.


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kaisc006 wrote:
I honestly don’t think the superhero feel of PF1 is marketable anymore. Even during PF1 hey day, most campaigns only ran from levels 1-10 ish. In my own experience, which certainly does not speak for everyone, It seems a general consensus that play after those levels isn’t appealing.

The number of people I've seen discussing how awesome their characters' capabilities will be at high levels seems to run counter to the lack of appeal of playing at high levels.

The biggest barrier to high-level play is the ability to keep a group together for the amount of time required to get the characters to those levels. And any 20-level system will have that issue.

Once that barrier is removed, high level play becomes in much more demand. Take a look at the PFS forums to see how much people have demanded more high-level content.

While admittedly it is difficult to create content for higher levels due to the range of differing powerlevels on a per-group basis, I don't feel that this contributes to the lack of appeal.

kaisc006 wrote:

There is certainly a valid argument that it was because the system became too broken after that point, which I think PF2 fixes, but there was also the argument of verisimilitude and how ridiculous a world is where PCs become superheroes. So while PF2 fixes the balance issues, it exacerbates the problem of verisimilitude by having Higher level PCs and monsters be vastly more powerful than their low level counter parts. Also, the +10/-10 crit system requires precise math tweaking and the 3-action system requires excessive damage dice (through the use of

Magic weapons or arbitrary monster damage bumps) due to lack of extra attacks.

Prior to 5e, that’s all the mainstream in the d20 system (d&d and pathfinder) knew so it was just accepted. Sure there were fringe systems, like castles and crusaders, that somewhat achieved a more balanced d20 world, but they didn’t quite nail it. However, 5e finally created a world that could tell believable stories which fit closer to fantasy literature / films. A big part of its success involved removing number inflation.

Others have stated PF2 doesn’t want to compete directly with 5e. I just don’t think that’s a route they can take (unless of course there is some copyright law against removing number bloat). Telling a super hero story in a fantasy setting is such a niche market.

Explicit inflation (where everything explicitly increases as a result of level) such as what is found in PF2 and in D&D4e is one kind of "advancement". Not only does it break verisimilitude, but it can easily disempower players from making meaningful choices. This has been discussed at length.


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kaisc006 wrote:
Trained - legendary granting +2-+8 is already a big change.

Sure, but in PF1 a 13th level fighter (same level you can get legendary) gets +7 to hit from Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Training, and Gloves of Dueling so the numbers have hardly changed. Considering how a PF1 fighter's strength is likely higher than their PF2 counterpart we're already looking at smaller accuracy numbers in this edition at the high end, no need to make them lower.

As I see it, numbers from proficiency tiers are supposed to replace pure numerical enhancers like Weapon Training, Trapfinding, Skill Focus, etc. which are no longer part of the game.

Liberty's Edge

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kaisc006 wrote:
I honestly don’t think the superhero feel of PF1 is marketable anymore. Even during PF1 hey day, most campaigns only ran from levels 1-10 ish.

There are a couple of reasons for this, but it isn't because people don't like high powered characters. It's mostly because, as you note, high level play was plagued by mechanical issues in PF1, along with the fact that, as others mentioned, groups sometimes have trouble staying together through, say, a whole Adventure Path.

kaisc006 wrote:

In my own experience, which certainly does not speak for everyone, It seems a general consensus that play after those levels isn’t appealing. There is certainly a valid argument that it was because the system became too broken after that point, which I think PF2 fixes, but there was also the argument of verisimilitude and how ridiculous a world is where PCs become superheroes. So while PF2 fixes the balance issues, it exacerbates the problem of verisimilitude by having Higher level PCs and monsters be vastly more powerful than their low level counter parts. Also, the +10/-10 crit system requires precise math tweaking and the 3-action system requires excessive damage dice (through the use of

Magic weapons or arbitrary monster damage bumps) due to lack of extra attacks.

Generally, IME, people like games where they feel high powered and competent. There are exceptions (like Call of Cthulhu games), but generally speaking they are not remotely in the same genre as heroic fantasy, and certainly not the specific genre of heroic fantasy that both D&D and Pathfinder inhabit. People may argue about what that means or prefer different types of power, but being powerful is an important aspect of what makes the game fun for many people.

Also, I have yet to have anyone ever complain about higher numbers of dice on damage. People generally like big dice pools, they make them feel powerful which, as mentioned, generally makes them happy.

kaisc006 wrote:
Prior to 5e, that’s all the mainstream in the d20 system (d&d and pathfinder) knew so it was just accepted. Sure there were fringe systems, like castles and crusaders, that somewhat achieved a more balanced d20 world, but they didn’t quite nail it. However, 5e finally created a world that could tell believable stories which fit closer to fantasy literature / films. A big part of its success involved removing number inflation.

Bounded accuracy is certainly part of the appeal of 5E...but that doesn't mean everyone likes it. Indeed, the people who play Pathfinder in preference to 5E are perhaps the least likely people to find that sort of thing appealing (or they would have switched to 5E) and the most likely to prefer a higher power level as Levels rise. Following the preferences of people who prefer your product to that of other companies, as opposed to trying to steal away those who prefer other products at the expense of your own current customers, is usually a sound business strategy.

kaisc006 wrote:
Others have stated PF2 doesn’t want to compete directly with 5e. I just don’t think that’s a route they can take (unless of course there is some copyright law against removing number bloat).

People don't mean legally. They mean that trying to do the exact same thing as a well-done game with better name recognition (and D&D will always have better name recognition than Pathfinder) is a losing proposition. You're much better off doing something divergent enough to not compete directly.

kaisc006 wrote:
Telling a super hero story in a fantasy setting is such a niche market.

It really isn't. Maybe it was 25 years ago (though even then, AD&D 2E was a lot less bounded than 5E...it was a bit lower powered than Pathfinder, but high level creatures were certainly absolutely untouchable by low level enemies), but 3rd Edition D&D made it mainstream. People got used to it.

The genre of 'fantasy superheroes' encouraged by 3rd Ed. may have been small or niche before that game came out, but after nearly 20 years of being available, and quite popular throughout that time, that is simply no longer true. It's a well liked and supported genre among gamers...and the exact genre done well by PF1.


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Don't we have 2 or 3 other threads where someone posted that they don't like +1/level?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
Don't we have 2 or 3 other threads where someone posted that they don't like +1/level?

Almost feels like we're verily back on a treadmill here, yes, uh huh.


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You might as well remove the crit mechanic with it.
Level difference is what makes crit work.

Lantern Lodge

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Ediwir wrote:

You might as well remove the crit mechanic with it.

Level difference is what makes crit work.

Yea. Many of the mechanics are contrived to make the crit system and the 3-action economy work. Need to deal enough damage due to increased hp? Have monsters deal equivalent damage of magic weapons for no in game reason (since PC cannot do the same in game). Need to keep the math tight? Give +1 per level despite the narrative being designed for encounters within your level (making bloat pointless), with the new fix it makes untrained skills utterly useless (which was not their original intent), and breaks the immersion since everyone in the world becomes superheroes or for no apparent reason only certain ones the GM has chosen can (since monsters/NPC follow different rules than PC).

Honestly I’m not sure why people are for the crit system since many who like PF2 in its current state dislike min maxing from PF1. PF2 requires and rewards you for min maxing... Except there isn’t as much of a trade off to the min part at least ability score wise. This is due to the crit system and the added value of every +1 to your attacks / ac / skills. Before +1 attack just meant you could hit better. Now it’s + crit better + extra attack better + not crit miss better. For extra AC it used to be not get hit. Now it’s + not get crit + not get extra attacked. So you are encouraged to maximize as much as possible or you are punished. Heck even your character background imparts a mechanical benefit to your ability scores, potentially punishing you for choosing an odd background.


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kaisc006 wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

You might as well remove the crit mechanic with it.

Level difference is what makes crit work.

Yea. Many of the mechanics are contrived to make the crit system and the 3-action economy work. Need to deal enough damage due to increased hp? Have monsters deal equivalent damage of magic weapons for no in game reason (since PC cannot do the same in game). Need to keep the math tight? Give +1 per level despite the narrative being designed for encounters within your level (making bloat pointless), with the new fix it makes untrained skills utterly useless (which was not their original intent), and breaks the immersion since everyone in the world becomes superheroes or for no apparent reason only certain ones the GM has chosen can (since monsters/NPC follow different rules than PC).

Honestly I’m not sure why people are for the crit system since many who like PF2 in its current state dislike min maxing from PF1. PF2 requires and rewards you for min maxing... Except there isn’t as much of a trade off to the min part at least ability score wise. This is due to the crit system and the added value of every +1 to your attacks / ac / skills. Before +1 attack just meant you could hit better. Now it’s + crit better + extra attack better + not crit miss better. For extra AC it used to be not get hit. Now it’s + not get crit + not get extra attacked. So you are encouraged to maximize as much as possible or you are punished. Heck even your character background imparts a mechanical benefit to your ability scores, potentially punishing you for choosing an odd background.

The difference is that that maximizing is done IN battle. The optimization ceiling in PF2 is very easy to reach. In PF1 it was theoretically impossible to reach due to lack of real caps. So now your effectiveness in combat is more about how you actually are in combat, using positioning and buffs debuffs and such, because unlike in PF1 those things actually have more of an effect than your system mastery applied in building your character. You aren't doing better in combat because you read all the splatbooks and found the broken feat combos, you're better in combat because you fight better.

And on backgrounds, every background having one free boost and two choices for the other makes pretty much any background+class combo perfectly workable, and certainly none are truly punitive. One of the more genius bits of work in PF2. Same to race, if the penalty isn't in your primary score then the race is usable (I mean, it's usable with the penalty in primary but will lag a point at certain levels) due to the free boost. In PF1, for the most part if a race didn't have a bonus in your primary and no penalty in your secondaries then forget about it. And absolutely screw off with it if there was a penalty to your primary.


Small Upsetters wrote:

Please remove +level number inflation. Specifically from Attack Values and Defense Values.

The number inflation caused by this creates a needless problem with monsters and requires the world to in essence level up at the same rate as the Heroes.

5th edition dnd does an excellent job of this, slight progression in attack value as you level, essentially +1 after every 5th level, and no proficiency bonus to AC.

Removing this inflation make monsters work much better.

With inflation: at 1st lvl 4 adventures fight 3-5 1st lvl goblins. At 10th level 4 adventures fight 3-5 10th lvl goblins, (lucky those adventurers didn't encounter these badass goblins the first time their 1st lvl asses went exploring the cave.)

Without: at 1st lvl 4 adventures fight 3-5 1st lvl goblins. At 10th level 4 adventures fight 10-15 1st level goblins.

With the inflation: 10th level adventurers could fight 100 1st level goblins and they would never be able to hit.

Just remove +level from any combat math. Characters still get bigger numbers at higher level with item bonuses, higher attributes and bonuses granted by feats. And these bonus are the only ones that mean anything anyway, because the +level is added to monsters too it becomes a wash. It wont change the game a bit to remove except to allow DMs to utilize more of the Monsters throughout the game.

Well sure if you want 10th level characters to be threatened by a number of goblins then sure removing +level is the way to go. But Paizo would have to be straight up horrible game designers for them to not realize that this was the case. So it's pretty obvious that they weren't aiming for that approach, rather they actively want 10th level characters to walk all over the standard goblin warriors and instead face new different challenges.

So you can say you disagree with the core philosophy of the game design Paizo is going for, but what reason would Paizo have to suddenly change the very core of their philosophy to copy DnD5e?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
People got level to Attack in PF1 (3.5, 3.0, 2e, AD&D, etc.), so I don't know why they shouldn't in PF2. I feel like that's a big change and I would not like it.

So you want to keep it like PF1? you want martial to bet level to attacks, nobody gets +level to AC, non-martials get some fraction of level?

I'd like to something with some new cool ideas. But I have to agree with you that the 1E way sounds better than a flat +1 to everything.


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Ediwir wrote:

You might as well remove the crit mechanic with it.

Level difference is what makes crit work.

The critical system is very tied to the existing build.

A lot of thins will need to be rebuilt and this is a major one.

It is not a small challenge.


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BryonD wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
People got level to Attack in PF1 (3.5, 3.0, 2e, AD&D, etc.), so I don't know why they shouldn't in PF2. I feel like that's a big change and I would not like it.

So you want to keep it like PF1? you want martial to bet level to attacks, nobody gets +level to AC, non-martials get some fraction of level?

I'd like to something with some new cool ideas. But I have to agree with you that the 1E way sounds better than a flat +1 to everything.

Well, every frontliner in PF1 was expected to keep their AC above Level +17 (or something like that) and this was accomplished by managing like 5 different defensive oriented magic items, plus feats and stuff which helped. In my experience this was frequently a pain, so replacing it with automatic progression saves headache and we no longer need to print magic items like rings of protection or amulets of natural armor.

I mean, an 11th level PF2 fighter looks to have about 10+11+7+3+2 =33 AC, which would be on the low end for a PF1 fighter at that level, the PF2 fighter just doesn't have to spend like 60% of their resources on magic armor, rings, etc.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
BryonD wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
People got level to Attack in PF1 (3.5, 3.0, 2e, AD&D, etc.), so I don't know why they shouldn't in PF2. I feel like that's a big change and I would not like it.

So you want to keep it like PF1? you want martial to bet level to attacks, nobody gets +level to AC, non-martials get some fraction of level?

I'd like to something with some new cool ideas. But I have to agree with you that the 1E way sounds better than a flat +1 to everything.

Well, every frontliner in PF1 was expected to keep their AC above Level +17 (or something like that) and this was accomplished by managing like 5 different defensive oriented magic items, plus feats and stuff which helped. In my experience this was frequently a pain, so replacing it with automatic progression saves headache and we no longer need to print magic items like rings of protection or amulets of natural armor.

I mean, an 11th level PF2 fighter looks to have about 10+11+7+3+2 =33 AC, which would be on the low end for a PF1 fighter at that level, the PF2 fighter just doesn't have to spend like 60% of their resources on magic armor, rings, etc.

Right, cuz who really wants those narrative things like magic items, right? This isn't about telling a story. It is just a math exercise. As long as "the math works" who cares if it ties into what is happening, right? Oh, wait, a lot of people *DO* care.


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BryonD wrote:
Right, cuz who really wants those narrative things like magic items, right? This isn't about telling a story. It is just a math exercise. As long as "the math works" who cares if it ties into what is happening, right? Oh, wait, a lot of people *DO* care.

Rings of Protection, Amulets of Natural Armor, and Cloaks of Resistence were not interesting items at all. They're just gold/slot taxes everyone pays because the game expects you to have those stats or your get crushed.

I'm perfectly okay with being able to take an interesting cloak instead of the mandatory stat booster one, because the math was fixed to not require the mandatory stat booster one anymore.


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BryonD wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
BryonD wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
People got level to Attack in PF1 (3.5, 3.0, 2e, AD&D, etc.), so I don't know why they shouldn't in PF2. I feel like that's a big change and I would not like it.

So you want to keep it like PF1? you want martial to bet level to attacks, nobody gets +level to AC, non-martials get some fraction of level?

I'd like to something with some new cool ideas. But I have to agree with you that the 1E way sounds better than a flat +1 to everything.

Well, every frontliner in PF1 was expected to keep their AC above Level +17 (or something like that) and this was accomplished by managing like 5 different defensive oriented magic items, plus feats and stuff which helped. In my experience this was frequently a pain, so replacing it with automatic progression saves headache and we no longer need to print magic items like rings of protection or amulets of natural armor.

I mean, an 11th level PF2 fighter looks to have about 10+11+7+3+2 =33 AC, which would be on the low end for a PF1 fighter at that level, the PF2 fighter just doesn't have to spend like 60% of their resources on magic armor, rings, etc.

Right, cuz who really wants those narrative things like magic items, right? This isn't about telling a story. It is just a math exercise. As long as "the math works" who cares if it ties into what is happening, right? Oh, wait, a lot of people *DO* care.

The problem isn’t treating the narrative like a middle man and now we’re cutting him out. If a player in pf1e is expected to raise AC with lvl by design, then that forces what items they’re expected to grab. Which sounds like a forced narrative some people won’t like. +lvl to hit seems fine; +lvl to AC feels odd but works well in practice.

For a different system, there are other systems out there. If Paizo goes out in left field for the sake of ‘innovation’ they risk alienating both current players and even new ones.


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Tridus wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Right, cuz who really wants those narrative things like magic items, right? This isn't about telling a story. It is just a math exercise. As long as "the math works" who cares if it ties into what is happening, right? Oh, wait, a lot of people *DO* care.

Rings of Protection, Amulets of Natural Armor, and Cloaks of Resistence were not interesting items at all. They're just gold/slot taxes everyone pays because the game expects you to have those stats or your get crushed.

I'm perfectly okay with being able to take an interesting cloak instead of the mandatory stat booster one, because the math was fixed to not require the mandatory stat booster one anymore.

Also, this exacerbates the Martial vs. Caster problem, since people who aren't asked to spend most of their resources on "you need this to stay alive if you are going to stab dragons" will have much more cash to spend on fun, useful, or plot driving items and will be fine if they stay safely away from dragon-stabbing range. I mean, we saw a lot of specific archetype or builds in PF1 which were valued *because* you got to save your money because you didn't need a sword (black blade magi, phantom blade spiritualists, etc.), Cloak (Occultists with abjuration), Belt (Occultists with transmutation), etc.

I mean, it should not be a big ask that magic rings feel *magical* instead of "necessary math enhancers".


BryonD wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

You might as well remove the crit mechanic with it.

Level difference is what makes crit work.

The critical system is very tied to the existing build.

A lot of thins will need to be rebuilt and this is a major one.

It is not a small challenge.

What I meant was more along the line of "this idea is a train wreck, because it affects a whole lots of systems that are core to the game and to the challenge difficulty - if you want to make level meaningless you might as well remove crits and 4-success spells, as they are not going to happen more or less frequently than 5% anymore".

But sure, read that as an invitation.


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Tridus wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Right, cuz who really wants those narrative things like magic items, right? This isn't about telling a story. It is just a math exercise. As long as "the math works" who cares if it ties into what is happening, right? Oh, wait, a lot of people *DO* care.

Rings of Protection, Amulets of Natural Armor, and Cloaks of Resistence were not interesting items at all. They're just gold/slot taxes everyone pays because the game expects you to have those stats or your get crushed.

I'm perfectly okay with being able to take an interesting cloak instead of the mandatory stat booster one, because the math was fixed to not require the mandatory stat booster one anymore.

Indeed. I'll add that while mandatory items are still a thing, they are way more exciting. Getting a thousand incremental items that you need to double check for stacking is less thrilling than one super item. Transferring runes mean a high end weapon or armor is still exciting to find even if it doesn't align with your equipment of choice. And property runes not counting against enhancement anymore makes a +1 flaming flail awesome even if you're already on a +2 weapon.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Tridus wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Right, cuz who really wants those narrative things like magic items, right? This isn't about telling a story. It is just a math exercise. As long as "the math works" who cares if it ties into what is happening, right? Oh, wait, a lot of people *DO* care.

Rings of Protection, Amulets of Natural Armor, and Cloaks of Resistence were not interesting items at all. They're just gold/slot taxes everyone pays because the game expects you to have those stats or your get crushed.

I'm perfectly okay with being able to take an interesting cloak instead of the mandatory stat booster one, because the math was fixed to not require the mandatory stat booster one anymore.

Indeed. I'll add that while mandatory items are still a thing, they are way more exciting. Getting a thousand incremental items that you need to double check for stacking is less thrilling than one super item. Transferring runes mean a high end weapon or armor is still exciting to find even if it doesn't align with your equipment of choice. And property runes not counting against enhancement anymore makes a +1 flaming flail awesome even if you're already on a +2 weapon.

Much agreed. Making property runes no longer have to compete directly with their +bonus equivalent is one of my favorite changes in PF2.

There's no more "Is this thing really worth giving up +2 accuracy and damage? Probably not" that I had happen a lot.

I do think we could use some more cool armor property runes though. I've still got the little issue where most weapon runes seem much cooler than armor.

I'd be down for something like tweaking energy resistance runes so that they hit attackers with some kind of elemental backlash on a crit fail attack or something, akin to how elemental weapon runes have cool crit effects now instead of "Which flavor of 1d6 do you want? The one that's resisted the most, the one that's resisted the least, or one of the two in the middle?".

Paizo Employee

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
The genre of 'fantasy superheroes' encouraged by 3rd Ed. may have been small or niche before that game came out, but after nearly 20 years of being available, and quite popular throughout that time, that is simply no longer true. It's a well liked and supported genre among gamers...and the exact genre done well by PF1.

It's also a theme that's been advertised and supported by a lot of extremely popular franchises that have their roots in D&D, like Final Fantasy or any of the dozens (hundreds?) of fantasy themed anime that are out there. A lot of modern fantasy by popular authors like Brent Weeks, Brandon Sanderson, and Jim Butcher also lean into the "fantasy superhero" niche. Even the power curve in the Harry Potter franchise involves much flashier and over-the-top displays of power than you might see in an older fantasy franchise like Lord of the Rings.

Honestly, high-powered fantasy that might be referred to as "superhero fantasy" is probably the most prevalent brand of fantasy on the market today, with planeswalkers, ninjas, dragonfolk, and tons of other options that are far outside of the LotR mold appearing in far more products and franchises than hobbits or characters subject to "realistic" mortal frailties. Even the characters from grittier franchises like Game of Thrones who have survived up to this point have displayed capabilities like running faster than a real-world human could possibly emulate or fighting unceasingly across multiple days while slaying hordes of undead and surviving implausibly lethal situations.

"Superhero fantasy" also far outdates pre-modern fantasy like Lord of the Rings. Greek and Celtic mythology are both rife with characters whose capabilities are positively absurd when compared to Gimli's orc-hewing capabilities, and even legends of the American Old West could hammer their way through mountains and lasso tornadoes. Gary Gygax himself wrote, ran, and published adventures with balor PCs, immortal aliens, and wizards the gods thought better left alone.


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Tridus wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Right, cuz who really wants those narrative things like magic items, right? This isn't about telling a story. It is just a math exercise. As long as "the math works" who cares if it ties into what is happening, right? Oh, wait, a lot of people *DO* care.

Rings of Protection, Amulets of Natural Armor, and Cloaks of Resistence were not interesting items at all. They're just gold/slot taxes everyone pays because the game expects you to have those stats or your get crushed.

I'm perfectly okay with being able to take an interesting cloak instead of the mandatory stat booster one, because the math was fixed to not require the mandatory stat booster one anymore.

It gets old repeating things...

I am 100% onboard with a *BETTER* solution. But it is a complete non sequitur to jump from "there must be a narrative REASON for the math" to "the items we have are boring". Fine. Give me a better solution.

Right now I have a GREAT game that certainly has areas where improvement is called for an would be welcome. But the same 'ole same 'ole logically fallacy keep coming around that just because *SOME* change is welcome it must be true that *ANY* change is an improvement.

+1 Rings are boring. They are a boring thing in a great game. Number pointlessly dropping out of the air are a bad game. That is WAY worse than a great game with some boring blips.

Lets work on actual improvement.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

The problem isn’t treating the narrative like a middle man and now we’re cutting him out. If a player in pf1e is expected to raise AC with lvl by design, then that forces what items they’re expected to grab. Which sounds like a forced narrative some people won’t like. +lvl to hit seems fine; +lvl to AC feels odd but works well in practice.

For a different system, there are other systems out there. If Paizo goes out in left field for the sake of ‘innovation’ they risk alienating both current players and even new ones.

I am WELL aware that there is a subset of players within the gaming community for whom number out of nowhere is still a perfectly valid narrative concept. I don't relate to that, but my opinion is neither here nor there.

But the point remains that there is an objective difference between "I get my AC from the narrative concept of this list of things" and "hey, the numbers come out the same".

And there is also strong evidence that trying to tell the ENTIRE fanbase that the new game is going to cater only to one small subset is a major way to crash your sales.


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BryonD wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

The problem isn’t treating the narrative like a middle man and now we’re cutting him out. If a player in pf1e is expected to raise AC with lvl by design, then that forces what items they’re expected to grab. Which sounds like a forced narrative some people won’t like. +lvl to hit seems fine; +lvl to AC feels odd but works well in practice.

For a different system, there are other systems out there. If Paizo goes out in left field for the sake of ‘innovation’ they risk alienating both current players and even new ones.

I am WELL aware that there is a subset of players within the gaming community for whom number out of nowhere is still a perfectly valid narrative concept. I don't relate to that, but my opinion is neither here nor there.

But the point remains that there is an objective difference between "I get my AC from the narrative concept of this list of things" and "hey, the numbers come out the same".

And there is also strong evidence that trying to tell the ENTIRE fanbase that the new game is going to cater only to one small subset is a major way to crash your sales.

I'm not sure why "I get harder to hit with more experience" is fundamentally any more difficult to accept than "I get better at hitting with more experience" or "I get tougher with more experience" or, as pointed out not long ago, "learning to climb helps me swim".

Or for that matter, "I spent a week in a dungeon killing orcs, so I've learned new spells" or "gotten better at picking locks".


BryonD wrote:
Tridus wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Right, cuz who really wants those narrative things like magic items, right? This isn't about telling a story. It is just a math exercise. As long as "the math works" who cares if it ties into what is happening, right? Oh, wait, a lot of people *DO* care.

Rings of Protection, Amulets of Natural Armor, and Cloaks of Resistence were not interesting items at all. They're just gold/slot taxes everyone pays because the game expects you to have those stats or your get crushed.

I'm perfectly okay with being able to take an interesting cloak instead of the mandatory stat booster one, because the math was fixed to not require the mandatory stat booster one anymore.

It gets old repeating things...

When I want a math exercise, I analyze the Laplacian matrix of graphs or learn a new programming language or perform a detailed analysis of PF2 probabilities. We retired mathematicians need our hobbies. The arithmetic of optimizing characters is too easy. :-)

BryonD wrote:

I am 100% onboard with a *BETTER* solution. But it is a complete non sequitur to jump from "there must be a narrative REASON for the math" to "the items we have are boring". Fine. Give me a better solution.

Right now I have a GREAT game that certainly has areas where improvement is called for an would be welcome. But the same 'ole same 'ole logically fallacy keep coming around that just because *SOME* change is welcome it must be true that *ANY* change is an improvement.

+1 Rings are boring. They are a boring thing in a great game. Number pointlessly dropping out of the air are a bad game. That is WAY worse than a great game with some boring blips.

Lets work on actual improvement.

I confess that I feel it my duty to invent that better solution, because I have the skills to do so. However, I am not a Paizo designer, so I have no input besides persuasion.

The first step is to analyze the old solutions. The narrative-based numerical bonuses, such as a +1 Ring of Protection giving a +1 deflection bonus to AC, had two flaws:
1) A +1 is boring. It invisiblely changes the AC number, so the character puts on the ring, the player changes the AC number, and then it is forgotten. That is convenient of NPC design, where a GM wants a character that can be played easily after a quick review of the stat block, but not as fun for a PC.
2) Multiple +1s from different sources that stack with each other can lead to extremely high bonuses that unbalance level-appropriate challenges.

In Pathfinder 2nd Edition, Paizo decided to move most of the numerical bonuses to the proficiency system that gained +1 per level. The boring bonus was handled automatically. Single source meant no stacking of multiple sources. The two main problems are apparently solved.

Nevertheless, numerical bonuses dropping in from level alone (not quite "dropping out of the air" but level is an abstract concept thinner than air) are even more boring than a numerical bonus from magic items. It leaves room for magic items giving more interesting effects than +1s, except that since the game is balanced around the +1 bonuses, the more interesting effects have to be sufficiently insignificant that they won't affect the balance. And insignificant effects are boring, too. The same insignificance holds for feats, too.

Okay, we do have one significant effect on PF2 magic items: extra damage dice. The automatic +1 per level did not handle the increasing hit points on monsters, so magic items were given the job.

That gives an idea for significant feats and magic items: they correct the problems that +1 per level cannot handle, such as ghost-touch weapons for dealing with incorporeal creatures and boots of flying for dealing with flying creatures. The monsters develop fantastic new abilities with level, and the magic items and special feats give countermeasures.

That leaves the problem that +1 per level is boring. As PossibleCabbage pointed out, in PF1 we have +1 per level for full BAB. Why is that interesting?
1) It has meaning. It means that the full BAB classes are masters of martial combat. The 3/4 BAB classes need crutches to manage combat, such as +2 from a Divine Favor spell or extra Strength from an Alchemist's mutagen.
2) It opens up tactics. With a high BAB, the fighter can regularly use Power Attack. A ranger can afford the -2 penalty for Two-Weapon Fighting or Rapid Shot.

How can we add meaning to the level-based increase in proficiency? How can we add new tactics from those numbers when PF2 keeps PC proficiency balanced against enemy proficiency?

I am still thinking about it.


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I think the Fighter feats are a good place to look for how we can have martial classes take up tactical advantage and abilities over other classes. Their various combat tricks are a lot of fun and really make the class for me in PF2.


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I feel like "people who have a lot of combat experience getting better at avoiding getting hit" probably makes more sense to me than "people who have a lot of combat experience get better at hitting" in all honesty. In basically all media our heroes are better at "avoiding the thing that's trying to hurt them" than "absorbing damage".

So we've had "your accuracy gets better as you level" and "your HP gets better as you level" for some time, and each of those makes less sense to me than "your AC gets better as you level."


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Mathmuse wrote:

How can we add meaning to the level-based increase in proficiency? How can we add new tactics from those numbers when PF2 keeps PC proficiency balanced against enemy proficiency?

I am still thinking about it.

I had to think backward from my goal and sideways to find elements that fit together, but I have an idea. The new proficiency ranks system, +0 without level for untrained, level+2 for trained, level+4 for expert, level+6 for master, and level+8 for legendary, opens up new possiblilites.

Currently, skill feats are gated behind level and proficiency rank. For example, One-Handed Climber, Feat 2, requires level 2 and expert proficiency in Athletics. What if we combined the two requirements into a single requirement? Since expert proficiency is level+4, we make the requiremnt "Athletics proficiency +6." Thus, a 2nd level expert character (if such a thing existed) would qualify and so would a 4th level trained character. The meaning it would give is that an expert in Athletics could master One-Handed Climbing by 2nd level, but a trainee in Athletics would require longer to learn it and wouldn't succeed until 4th level. Meanwhile, a ignoramus (untrained) in Athletics would never manage the technique, because level is not added to untrained proficiency.

If Paizo changes the skill gating from proficiency rank to proficiency bonus, then it opens up the skill to trained characters by level if they don't have the skill increases to reach the higher rank. With an increasingly deep penalty for untrained, many characters will choose to spend their skill increases on trained proficiency in many skills rather than expert or higher proficiency in a few skills.

We might even extend this to some non-skill feats, too. Imagine a general feat that said, "Martial proficiency +7," where martial proficiency is defined as the lowest proficiency among all martial weapon proficiencies (high proficiency on one martial weapon does not count). A 3rd-level fighter with expert martial proficiency would qualify, a 5th-level paladin with trained martial proficiency would qualify, but a cleric of any level, trained only in simple weapons, would not qualify. It would be an effective way to limit certain combat feats to martial classes without making the feats class feats.

This system has precedent in Pathfinder 1st Edition, with feats such as Great Cleave requiring BAB +4.


Huh, this is actually a really clever idea.

Though I would consider tweaking it so the martial proficiency mentioned could key off of your martial weapon proficiency for a single weapon group if you have higher proficiency in all martial weapons of an entire weapon group.

This would allow other classes to get access to such things by spending at least a couple feats on Fighter Multiclass at 12th level or later, which I think is fair. If a class is giving up multiple feats to get some nice things from another class I think they count as close enough to that class to get some martial-only things.

Although this does have a corner case where Elves and Halflings could get this effect by their racial feats regardless of class or multiclass. Their feats do not explicitly grant them Expert proficiency with all martial weapons in the Bow group (Elves) or all martial weapons in the Sling group (Halflings), but they do grant expert proficiency with specific weapons that simply happen to be all of the martial weapons in that specific group

Other ancestries do not get expert with all weapons in any group via their racial feats as the groups they draw from have more weapons in them generally.


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Edge93 wrote:
Though I would consider tweaking it so the martial proficiency mentioned could key off of your martial weapon proficiency for a single weapon group if you have higher proficiency in all martial weapons of an entire weapon group.

New ideas almost always require tweaking. Thus, the requirement becomes, "Martial proficiency +7 in one weapon group," and the feat would say, "For all weapon groups in which you have martial proficiency +7, ..."


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BryonD wrote:

I am 100% onboard with a *BETTER* solution. But it is a complete non sequitur to jump from "there must be a narrative REASON for the math" to "the items we have are boring". Fine. Give me a better solution.

Right now I have a GREAT game that certainly has areas where improvement is called for an would be welcome. But the same 'ole same 'ole logically fallacy keep coming around that just because *SOME* change is welcome it must be true that *ANY* change is an improvement.

+1 Rings are boring. They are a boring thing in a great game. Number pointlessly dropping out of the air are a bad game. That is WAY worse than a great game with some boring blips.

Lets work on actual improvement.

"You level up, so in addition to the other stuff you spontaneously already get better at, you now also get better at dodging" seems like an improvement to me?

That's how everything else already worked, and it eliminates the need for the AC boosting rings and such entirely.


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@mathmuse’s proposal for gating around bonus instead of level and proficiency:

I like how creatively you approach issues and see how this idea could work, but I think it almost obliterates the value of proficiency existing beyond a get that gives a +2 to one thing. I agree that a lot of players are struggling to separate number bonus from what you can do with a skill, and this is an idea to fundamentally fuse those two together, but to the detriment of what proficiency exists to do. I think a system where expert proficiency in X is just weapon focus or spell focus or skill focus is going to make characters feel very very “same-ish.” The game, removed from profiency as meaningful beyond numbers,” is just too flat. The places the playtest feels flattest are where proficiency only feels like numbers. Making everything feel that way would be a step in the wrong direction for me.

Lantern Lodge

Unicore wrote:
I agree that a lot of players are struggling to separate number bonus from what you can do with a skill.

I don’t think people are struggling to separate it. We just don’t think it works well in a d20 system and a binary solution such as trained/untrained or proficient/non-proficient makes more sense.

But I definitely agree with you that mathmuse’s suggestion would defeat the purpose of naming expert/master/legendary reducing it to just a number.


Unicore wrote:

@mathmuse’s proposal for gating around bonus instead of level and proficiency:

I like how creatively you approach issues and see how this idea could work, but I think it almost obliterates the value of proficiency existing beyond a get that gives a +2 to one thing. I agree that a lot of players are struggling to separate number bonus from what you can do with a skill, and this is an idea to fundamentally fuse those two together, but to the detriment of what proficiency exists to do. I think a system where expert proficiency in X is just weapon focus or spell focus or skill focus is going to make characters feel very very “same-ish.” The game, removed from profiency as meaningful beyond numbers,” is just too flat. The places the playtest feels flattest are where proficiency only feels like numbers. Making everything feel that way would be a step in the wrong direction for me.

I don't necessarily agree with this, depending on how it's handled. I think being able to get things a couple levels earlier by having higher proficiency can still be good, as long as you are consistently having things to get early. That is to say at any given level the Master has some toy the Expert can't. By the time the Expert gets that, the Master has something new now.

And it also allows proficiency-gated top-level feats by requiring a proficiency above 20.

But that said you do raise a good point and there's certainly merit to either. I know I'm a fan of the idea of higher proficiency tiers automatically granting you new things you can do (Likely folding some skill feats into that) similar to how going from Untrained to Trained already gives you new abilities.

(Which I actually think is an important bit of perspective. People complain that you can't even attempt x if you're untrained, like that takes away you're ability to try. But I think it's better to look at it as abilities you gain for being trained, not ones you lose for being untrained. To me it's no different than saying it's bad that you can't even try to cast a divine spell because you aren't a Cleric/Cleric multiclass. There are things you have to do something to gain, and no lucky roll should make them happen regardless of that.)


Unicore and kaisc006 are correct that my first idea dilutes the impact of the proficiency ranks. It takes the meaning of the ranks and tries to stretch it to cover the +level part of proficiency, too.

Thus, I make a second attempt, named Centrality. This second idea is not as elegant as the first. Centrality adds complexity to the game by introducing a new concept. Except that Centrality is covertly reintroducing a concept from the Playtest Rulebook, Signature Skills, under a new name and in a slightly different place.

All proficiencies have two parts, Rank and Centrality. Rank represents the formal training that the character learned toward the proficiency, and the ranks are untrained, trained, expert, master, and legendary. Centrality represents how much daily practice the character puts toward the proficiency, and the centralities are core, active, and neglected. A core proficiency is one that is foundation of the character's skills, practiced daily in a disciple on which all other skills and proficiencies are built. An active proficiency is one that the character actively uses and supports, but is not central to the character's routine. A neglected proficiency is one that the character does not care about.

The rank portion of the proficiency modifier is +0 for untrained, +2 for trained, +4 for expert, +6 for master, and +8 for legendary. The centrality portion of the proficiency modifier is +0 for neglected, +0 at 1st level and +level-2 for higher levels for active, and +level for core. The proficiency modifier is the sum of the rank portion and the centrality portion. This means that an untrained neglected proficiency grants a +0 proficiency modifer, a trained active proficiency grants a +level modifier, an expert active proficiency grants a +level+2 modifier, and a trained core proficiency grants a +level+2 modifier, and a legendary core proficiency grants a +level+10 modifier.

Core centrality is granted by background and class. In addition, all core centralities granted trained rank if they would otherwise be untrained. Active centrality is granted by training: any noncore proficiency that is trained or higher in rank is also active. Neglected centraility is granted by lack of training: any untrained noncore proficiency is also neglected.

Core proficiencies are granted by backgrounds as follows.
Acolyte Core Proficiencies: Will and Your Choice of Deity Lore
Acrobat Core Proficiencies: Acrobatics and Sports Lore
Animal Whisperer Core Proficiencies: Nature and Animal Lore
Barkeep Core Proficiencies: Unarmored Defense and Alcohol Lore
Blacksmith Core Proficiencies: Crafting and Smithing Lore
CriminalCore Proficiencies: Deception and Underworld Lore
Entertainer Core Proficiencies: Performance and Entertainmment Lore
Farmhand Core Proficiencies: Athletics and Farming Lore
Gladiator Core Proficiencies: Intimidation and Sports Lore
Hunter Core Proficiencies: Perception and Animal Lore
Laborer Core Proficiencies: Fortitude and Labor Lore
Merchant Core Proficiencies: Diplomacy and Mercantile Lore
Noble Core Proficiencies: Society and Nobility Lore
Nomad Core Proficiencies: Medicine and Your Choice of Terrain Lore
Sailor Core Proficiencies: Reflex and Sailing Lore
Scholar Core Proficiencies: Academia Lore and Your Choice of Arcana, Nature, Occultism, or Religion
Scout Core Proficiencies: Stealth and Scouting Lore
Street Urchin Core Proficiencies: Thievery and Underworld Lore
Warrior Core Proficiencies: Your Choice of One Weapon Group and Warfare Lore

Core proficiencies are granted by classes as follows. If a background and class overlap on a core proficiency, such as a warrior paladin's favored weapon being in the core weapon group from warrior background, then the character gains the alternative core proficiency, too.
Alchemist Core Proficiencies: Fortitude, Crafting; Alternative Arcana
Barbarian Core Proficiencies: Perception, Athletics; Alternative Fortitude
Bard Core Proficiencies: Occultism, Performance; Alternative Deception
Cleric Core Proficiencies: Religion, Will; Alternative: One Skill Determined by Diety (Abadar Society, Asmodeus Deception, Calistria Deception, Cayden Cailean Athletics, Desna Acrobatics, Erastil Survival, Gorum Athletics, Gozreh Survival, Iomedae Intimidation, Irori Athletics, Lamashtu Survival, Nethys Arcana, Norgober Stealth, Pharasma Occultism, Rovagug Athletics, Sarenrae Survival, Shelyn Crafting, Torag Crafting, Urgathoa Intimidation, Zon-Kuthon Intimidation)
Druid Core Proficiencies: Nature, One Skill Determined by Order; Alternative Primal spell rolls and DCs (Animal Athletics, Leaf Diplomacy, Storm Acrobatics, Wild Intimidation)
Fighter Core Proficiencies: All Weapons including Unarmed, All Armor; Alternative Athletics
Monk Core Proficiencies: Unarmed, Unarmored Defense; Alternative Acrobatics
Paladin Core Proficiencies: Diety's Favored Weapon, Religion; Alternative One Skill Determined by Choice of Diety (see cleric)
Ranger Core Proficiencies: Your Choice of One Weapon Group, Survival; Alternative Perception
Rogue Core Proficiencies: Stealth, Thievery; Alternative Reflex
Sorcerer Core Proficiencies: Two Skills Determined by Bloodline; Alternative Spell Rolls and DC Determined by Bloodline (Aberrant is occult and grants Intimidation and Occultism, Angelic is divine and grants Diplomacy and Religion, Demonic is divine and grants Intimidation and Religion, Draconic is arcane and grants Arcana and Intimidation, Fey is primal and grants Deception and Nature, Imperial is arcane grants Arcana and Society)
Wizard Core Proficiencies: Arcana, Arcane Spell Rolls and DCs; Alternative Will

I tried to give every background a different proficiency for its core. Medicine did not fit any background, so I gave it to Nomad background, which has Wisdom as a possible ability boost. Perception, Fortitude, Reflex, Will, Weapons, Unarmed, Armors, Unarmored Defense, and Spell Rolls are all proficiencies and I fit all of them into the backgrounds except Armors and Spell Rolls. The core proficiencies for classes are usually the trained skills in the Rulebook Updates that replaced signature skills, but some substitutions, such as Weapons being a core proficiency for fighters, were obvious. Granting Rangers a core proficiency in one weapon group of their choice is my nod to the PF1 ranger combat style.

Only a fighter has core armor proficiency, and only monks and barkeeps hae core unarmored defence proficiency. This means that characters with core weapon proficiencies--background warrior and classes fighter, monk, paladin, and ranger--have a +2 core advantage over most opponents' defenses, so the chance of hitting will be closer to what people were accustomed to in PF1. Barbarian's rage can be modified to give it that +2 advantage, too.


Silly me, I was so busy writing up the rules for Centrality, I forgot to explain why I thought it would add meaning to +1 to everything per level.

It adds meaning by linking the full +level to the core proficiencies of each class, with more choice added by background. A fighter is best at weapons and armor. A cleric is best at religion and will saves. A rogue is best at stealth and thievery. The players can see that these classes deserve +1 per level in these proficiencies. The places where they don't deserve full +level instead gain +level-2, which is close to +level put far enough below to feel symbolically weaker.

It does not add any tactics via feats. I could not squeeze that in thematically without making centrality too complex. But I was able to give the martial classes a higher BAB than the non-martial classes, which most people liked in PF1. The 3/4 and 1/2 BAB are replaced by full-minus-2 BAB.


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So the above sounds like an interesting concept and all that, but it just reminded me of one of my few legit gripes with the Playtest:

Why the frick is Legendary proficiency in Will saves (And its version of improved evasion) put to Bard instead of Cleric? Will has always been the Cleric's thing I feel. But maybe that's just me.

Also it just occurred to me that it is impossible to get a +35 to Fort or Will, as the legendary proficiencies are on classes that cannot get a 24 in the applicable stat. All the more reason to give Clerics legendary Will and Barbarians Con as a key ability score option. XD


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Tridus wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Right, cuz who really wants those narrative things like magic items, right? This isn't about telling a story. It is just a math exercise. As long as "the math works" who cares if it ties into what is happening, right? Oh, wait, a lot of people *DO* care.
Rings of Protection, Amulets of Natural Armor, and Cloaks of Resistence were not interesting items at all. They're just gold/slot taxes everyone pays because the game expects you to have those stats or your get

I would argue that NOT everyone takes any or all of these. I've seen lots of variation, particular in regards to ring and neck slots. This is one of those bits of "conventional wisdom" that doesn't appear to be supported by the empirical evidence available to me.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Also, this exacerbates the Martial vs. Caster ...

I'm probably boring people here as I've tried to make this point numerous times, but I think the so-called "Martial vs. Caster" gap/problem/etc. is ...

1) A false binary as most of the characters that I see people playing have both caster and martial elements. I don't see a tremendous number of pure caster or pure martials.

2) If this "gap" were significant, I'd expect to see many more "casters" than "martials," but I actually see very few pure casters in the games that I GM and play.

To the degree that this alleged "Master vs. Caster" issue drives design decisions, I think there is the possibility for poorly informed game design decisions.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
pjrogers wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Also, this exacerbates the Martial vs. Caster ...

I'm probably boring people here as I've tried to make this point numerous times, but I think the so-called "Martial vs. Caster" gap/problem/etc. is ...

1) A false binary as most of the characters that I see people playing have both caster and martial elements. I don't see a tremendous number of pure caster or pure martials.

2) If this "gap" were significant, I'd expect to see many more "casters" than "martials," but I actually see very few pure casters in the games that I GM and play.

To the degree that this alleged "Master vs. Caster" issue drives design decisions, I think there is the possibility for poorly informed game design decisions.

I believe that Paizo has access to a much better bird's eye of view of what people see as problems with the ruleset than you and your immediate surroundings.


pjrogers wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Also, this exacerbates the Martial vs. Caster ...

I'm probably boring people here as I've tried to make this point numerous times, but I think the so-called "Martial vs. Caster" gap/problem/etc. is ...

1) A false binary as most of the characters that I see people playing have both caster and martial elements. I don't see a tremendous number of pure caster or pure martials.

2) If this "gap" were significant, I'd expect to see many more "casters" than "martials," but I actually see very few pure casters in the games that I GM and play.

To the degree that this alleged "Master vs. Caster" issue drives design decisions, I think there is the possibility for poorly informed game design decisions.

I play fighters most often because I love the idea of fighters. Monks are often a popular choice too. I've had all manner of classes that, when they were brought to the table, failed to do anything really impactful or otherwise broke the game itself.

People don't necessarily pick classes based on raw strength, they want a particular skillset and play style. That's all the more reason to want balance in the game, as a class being bad won't stop people from wanting to play it. They'll just get frustrated by the class's limitations.


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Helmic wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Also, this exacerbates the Martial vs. Caster ...

I'm probably boring people here as I've tried to make this point numerous times, but I think the so-called "Martial vs. Caster" gap/problem/etc. is ...

1) A false binary as most of the characters that I see people playing have both caster and martial elements. I don't see a tremendous number of pure caster or pure martials.

2) If this "gap" were significant, I'd expect to see many more "casters" than "martials," but I actually see very few pure casters in the games that I GM and play.

To the degree that this alleged "Master vs. Caster" issue drives design decisions, I think there is the possibility for poorly informed game design decisions.

I play fighters most often because I love the idea of fighters. Monks are often a popular choice too. I've had all manner of classes that, when they were brought to the table, failed to do anything really impactful or otherwise broke the game itself.

People don't necessarily pick classes based on raw strength, they want a particular skillset and play style. That's all the more reason to want balance in the game, as a class being bad won't stop people from wanting to play it. They'll just get frustrated by the class's limitations.

That's exactly my experience. I've always loved the idea and flavor of martials, especially the concept of a nimble fighter, so I loved Rogues, Swashbucklers and TWF Fighters and Rangers. But as time grew on I played them less and less.

In 3.5/PF1 they became progressively more useless to the group as time went on. Eventually it felt like I could just sit down and let casters do their casty stuff and it would make no diffefence. Full attacking all day wasn't really engaging, also.

Then 5e came and... Lessened the first issue, it didn't solve it, but it's less severe. The second one though got worse, because they still do the same thing every turn forever, but even build variety is almost nonexistant.

In PF2 I'm having such a blast with Fighters and Rogues, even for the few games I've been able to play, not GM. When reading their class stuff I thought about a lot of different builds and how they actually played differently, and with caster not being literal gods after level 9 or so, combined with that, I could finally have fun with them again.


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Gorbacz wrote:
I believe that Paizo has access to a much better bird's eye of view of what people see as problems with the ruleset than you and your immediate surroundings.

Check out the signups for Siege of the Diamond City at the upcoming PBP Retrocon.

There are lots of hybrid, multiclass, etc. characters that are a mix of martial and caster. There are some pure casters but not the overwhelming number that one would expect if the "Martial vs. Caster" gap existed in the manner which folks claim.

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