Jason on Know Direction (Jan 16th)


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Gloom wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
This is such a nonstarter it baffles me that people keep repeating it. If ignoring the rules works for your table, that's great. It doesn't work at many other tables though.

If it's such a non-starter for you to forego rolls and it has strong narrative importance that your character is "bad" at certain things, you can always choose another option.

Talk to your DM. Let them know that you want to play a character that can't swim, is frail and can't climb or jump well, or can't read. Ask them if you can give yourself a penalty to some sort of roll that represents your character's disadvantages.

That way you can attempt it all you want and almost never succeed.

Just don't expect the DM to give you anything for it.

None of that works on a PFS table which means it isn’t available to many tables.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gloom wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
This is such a nonstarter it baffles me that people keep repeating it. If ignoring the rules works for your table, that's great. It doesn't work at many other tables though.

If it's such a non-starter for you to forego rolls and it has strong narrative importance that your character is "bad" at certain things, you can always choose another option.

Talk to your DM. Let them know that you want to play a character that can't swim, is frail and can't climb or jump well, or can't read. Ask them if you can give yourself a penalty to some sort of roll that represents your character's disadvantages.

That way you can attempt it all you want and almost never succeed.

Just don't expect the DM to give you anything for it.

None of that works on a PFS table which means it isn’t available to many tables.

In PFS you play members of the Pathfinder Society, a guild of adventurers with certain goals (which include, for example, writing up a report on your adventures). If your character is designed to fail at such basic adventuring tasks like swimming, climbing a hill that's less steep than a stair or even READING, chances are they don't even qualify to be a member of the Pathfinder Society. As such, characters like that have no business in PFS gaming in the first place.


Zaister wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gloom wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
This is such a nonstarter it baffles me that people keep repeating it. If ignoring the rules works for your table, that's great. It doesn't work at many other tables though.

If it's such a non-starter for you to forego rolls and it has strong narrative importance that your character is "bad" at certain things, you can always choose another option.

Talk to your DM. Let them know that you want to play a character that can't swim, is frail and can't climb or jump well, or can't read. Ask them if you can give yourself a penalty to some sort of roll that represents your character's disadvantages.

That way you can attempt it all you want and almost never succeed.

Just don't expect the DM to give you anything for it.

None of that works on a PFS table which means it isn’t available to many tables.
In PFS you play members of the Pathfinder Society, a guild of adventurers with certain goals (which include, for example, writing up a report on your adventures). If your character is designed to fail at such basic adventuring tasks like swimming, climbing a hill that's less steep than a stair or even READING, chances are they don't even qualify to be a member of the Pathfinder Society. As such, characters like that have no business in PFS gaming in the first place.

Huh, that's an interesting point.

Lantern Lodge

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I agree PF1 had the same problems with the superhero narrative / PCs growing too strong for any sense of structure in the world... but that’s a problem I figured PF2 would fix. Instead the crit system and 3-action damage scaling make that even worse. Yes the top numbers are smaller but the crit system paired with scaling AC/saves changes the math significantly.

And there is a reason the superhero genre doesn’t work in a d20 system, especially one that tries to emulate a butcher becoming a god for wandering into the world and fighting monsters. It’s because high number inflation devalues the d20 roll. So much that you need a scaling world to challenge them. This story could work if the PCs are the only of such heroes in the world but golarion is a place where everyone can do that.

And no legendary armor proficiency was precisely due to math. It’s because the devs are having trouble balancing armor with the +1 per level AC. Coupled with the ridiculous four ability bumps, they know if they allow legendary it will be super easy to get more AC and negate the purpose of medium and heavy armor. To make matters worse they also locked armor types into class progression (along with weapon style abilities). A big no no.

As for voluntarily not making skill rolls or lowering your stats... aren’t you guys tired of playing a system that punishes you for roleplaying? PF1 did this all the time by requiring you give up the static bonuses provided by traits or feats to gain something you considered roleplaying material for your character. Or not being able to perform some interesting maneuver in combat because you didn’t have x,y, z feat that allowed you to perform a highly situational maneuver. And PF2 will get worse with skill feats. I speculate that future splat books will keep adding all sorts of Skill feats that effectively gate you out of using the skill unless you have that feat.


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I don't agree with that at all. The 'superhero' (at least, the Hercules style demigod narrative) is part of the point of D&D/PF, and eventually trivializing mundane tasks is the system working as intended.

The world doesn't need to scale, just the challenges. And yes that means the PCs can get to the point that they can knock over a small town whenever they feel like it. But trivial fights can be handwaved with more focus on competitors/rivals/extraplanar threats/whatever.

Honestly, I don't see a 'punishes you for roleplaying.' As much as 'being hopelessly incompetent = roleplaying' is being played up in this thread, it isn't something I've ever seen in the real world, or in people playing the game. Most adults make some effort to fix their inadequacies, especially when big stakes or life and death are on the line.

---
On the other hand, I definitely agree about armor types being locked into class progression. That is immensely frustrating, and I can't fathom the logic for it. I'd love to see armor and weapon training bumped out of classes and into general feats, not a But Thou Must commandment about how every single paladin, rogue, etc must dress (World of Warcraft style).


So while I grant that sometimes failing checks can be "failing forwards" whereby the result leads to something interesting or fun happening. What I really don't understand is people who really want to fail checks or be bad at things in situations where character death is the likely consequence.

Like

"My wizard is not good at fighting, I want the orcs to be able to score critical hits on her with every swing if they get close enough"

"My character cannot swim, so if he falls off the boat he'll just drown, no need to roll"

"Or, my character is clumsy, no way they would grab the handhold to keep from falling into the lava pit."

are not things I consider to be realistic in terms of "how people play their characters"... at the very least I've never seen anything like that. People always want their characters to succeed at the life and death stuff- there was nothing fun about having bad saves in PF1.


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Quote:
As for voluntarily not making skill rolls or lowering your stats... aren’t you guys tired of playing a system that punishes you for roleplaying? PF1 did this all the time by requiring you give up the static bonuses provided by traits or feats to gain something you considered roleplaying material for your character. Or not being able to perform some interesting maneuver in combat because you didn’t have x,y, z feat that allowed you to perform a highly situational maneuver. And PF2 will get worse with skill feats. I speculate that future splat books will keep adding all sorts of Skill feats that effectively gate you out of using the skill unless you have that feat.

This 1000x.

Real people have flaws. Anyone trying to RP a "realistic" character would have flaws, and for a game that at least claims to focus on RP, you should reward these players for taking mechanical flaws with mechanical benefits.

Granted, these "flaws" should be meaningful. You don't get to dump CHA to 5 for more STR and never participate in social encounters. (Too bad Resonance is gone...)

Lantern Lodge Customer Service & Community Manager

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Removed a bunch of posts that are dogpiling on a particular person, unhelpful, and derailing to the thread as well as replies. Get back on topic.


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I am genuinely sad that people didn't come around to resonance.

A lot of this stuff sounds super promising, though! I am glad that success rates will be higher in and out of combat. Though if accuracy has been generally increased, I hope that some accuracy bonuses/penalties get a bit of a little bit of a nerf so the game still runs well at its extreme value.


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Here's the thing though- real people have flaws, but real people aren't rewarded in other things for having flaws (Daredevil having super senses that are as good as sight because he's blind is not exactly how it works.) What stat dumping effectively accomplishes in PF1 is less "I want to be bad at this thing" and more "I want to be really good at this other thing, what unimportant things can I sacrifice for it." It might just be me but "flaws make you better at other things" is kind of a gross message.

I mean, I have a PF1 character now who is literally blind. What did I get for "choosing to be blind"? At the cost of a trait (Blind Zeal) I get blind fight. I didn't do this because "oh hey, blind fight is strong for a trait" I did it because I wanted to play Zatoichi. I mean, I did spend the next 5 feat choices towards able to fight like a sighted person...

So if we're going to have "Flaws with mechanical benefits" the benefits should be specific and appropriate to the flaws, not "what can I dump to be good at something unrelated."


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
thflame wrote:
Quote:
As for voluntarily not making skill rolls or lowering your stats... aren’t you guys tired of playing a system that punishes you for roleplaying? PF1 did this all the time by requiring you give up the static bonuses provided by traits or feats to gain something you considered roleplaying material for your character. Or not being able to perform some interesting maneuver in combat because you didn’t have x,y, z feat that allowed you to perform a highly situational maneuver. And PF2 will get worse with skill feats. I speculate that future splat books will keep adding all sorts of Skill feats that effectively gate you out of using the skill unless you have that feat.

This 1000x.

Real people have flaws. Anyone trying to RP a "realistic" character would have flaws, and for a game that at least claims to focus on RP, you should reward these players for taking mechanical flaws with mechanical benefits.

Granted, these "flaws" should be meaningful. You don't get to dump CHA to 5 for more STR and never participate in social encounters. (Too bad Resonance is gone...)

I beg to differ. First, it's questionable that taking a mechanical flaw is RP. It might be, if the flaw comes up frequently (PF1's oracle curses come to mind) and comes to define the character's interaction with the world. But it might well not happen, and in that case it's not RP, it's just a character build tool (a.k.a. a minmaxing tool).

Second, RP ideally is its own reward, particularly when it encourages others at the table to do the same and thus enriches the experience for all. A GM may encourage RP by giving mechanical rewards, but those should be temporary, not built into character sheets. The is the only way the reward is an incentive to do more.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Here's the thing though- real people have flaws, but real people aren't rewarded for other things for having flaws (Daredevil having super senses that are as good as sight because he's blind is not exactly how it works.) What stat dumping effectively accomplishes in PF1 is less "I want to be bad at this thing" and more "I want to be really good at this other thing, what unimportant things can I sacrifice for it." It might just be me but "flaws make you better at other things" is kind of a gross message.

I mean, I have a PF1 character now who is literally blind. What did I get for "choosing to be blind"? At the cost of a trait (Blind Zeal) I get blind fight. I didn't do this because "oh hey, blind fight is strong for a trait" I did it because I wanted to play Zatoichi. I mean, I did spend the next 5 feat choices towards able to fight like a sighted person...

So if we're going to have "Flaws with mechanical benefits" the benefits should be specific and appropriate to the flaws, not "what can I dump to be good at something unrelated."

The problem here is that you are attributing motive when you actively do not know why every individual person makes these choices.

I have 2 characters that have "dumped" stats for other higher Stats.

Grimm the Unpleasant had a 22 STR at level 1 in exchange for a 6 in INT, WIS, and CHA(he's an Orc). He get's ONE Skill Point per level thanks to his favored class bonus (the first was spent so he could actually speak Common), pretty much auto fails any Will Save, and is an active hindrance to the party in social situations, of which I ACTIVELY seek to roleplay. (Grimm is a very friendly Orc who wants to initiate every conversation with a big, sweaty, stinky bear hug. It doesn't go over well with NPCs often. Imagine a 4 year old that has rolled in "dear god, what's that smell!?!" but this 4 year old is 7 feet tall and casually carries around a sword that you're pretty sure he ripped off of a large statue.)

My other character is Coravellion. He's a Elven swashbuckler with 20 DEX and 6 CON at level 1. I also refuse to grab any feat, magic item, etc. that will increase my Fort Save or my HP. (He get's 4 HP per level, as per average HP rules at my table.) The idea was to play a character that was REALLY hard to hit, but dropped like a sack of potatoes if (when) he was hit.

Both of these characters are well loved by everyone who has had the pleasure of playing with them. Nobody has ever felt like these characters were "too powerful" or game breaking.

Now, CAN someone min-max or power-game the system to create a broken pile of stats that ruins the fun for everyone else? Yes, if you let it happen. Is that a good enough reason to outright prevent anyone from playing such a character? No.

Silver Crusade

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Jason's latest:

Jason wrote:

My HYPE for the next few months continues to grow... I can barely hold it... and I STILL can't talk about any of it!

[gif of some excited guy]

So the question is ... when can he talk about it?

Liberty's Edge

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kaisc006 wrote:
I agree PF1 had the same problems with the superhero narrative / PCs growing too strong for any sense of structure in the world... but that’s a problem I figured PF2 would fix.

This is not a narrative problem. You can argue it's a mechanical one, but it's a narrative choice. The choice to make the game fantasy superheroes. It's a choice they'd already made in PF1, and not one that should be changed if you want a game that feels at all similar.

kaisc006 wrote:
Instead the crit system and 3-action damage scaling make that even worse. Yes the top numbers are smaller but the crit system paired with scaling AC/saves changes the math significantly.

It absolutely changes the math...but weren't you the one talking narrative? It actually reinforces the established narrative choices of Golarion pretty strongly.

kaisc006 wrote:
And there is a reason the superhero genre doesn’t work in a d20 system, especially one that tries to emulate a butcher becoming a god for wandering into the world and fighting monsters. It’s because high number inflation devalues the d20 roll. So much that you need a scaling world to challenge them. This story could work if the PCs are the only of such heroes in the world but golarion is a place where everyone can do that.

Uh...Mutants and Masterminds is a very popular and successful D20 superhero game. So are D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder, in most ways. D20 games make excellent superhero games by most objective measures.

And you certainly need to scale challenges, but you don't need to scale the world. There's actually a fair amount of demographic information that can be roughly divined from published locations and NPCs...and 15th level characters are about 1 in 45,000 people...and tend to cluster in larger cities. That makes them rare but not unheard of. Most rulers of regions are around 15th level, some even higher. You don't need to scale the world, just the scale PCs are operating on...by the time they're 15th level or so they're playing in the same leagues as kings and queens.

kaisc006 wrote:
And no legendary armor proficiency was precisely due to math. It’s because the devs are having trouble balancing armor with the +1 per level AC. Coupled with the ridiculous four ability bumps, they know if they allow legendary it will be super easy to get more AC and negate the purpose of medium and heavy armor.

It utterly fails to achieve any such thing. Might adding level have inspired the idea? Sure. So might other things. It doesn't actually solve this 'problem' and should simply be removed.

But the core thing isn't actually an inherent issue. Heavy armor giving the same AC as light armor plus high Dex is totally reasonable. Not needing to raise Dex is a solid advantage. The restrictions of heavy armor could use some toning down, but at its heart it's not super necessary.

kaisc006 wrote:
To make matters worse they also locked armor types into class progression (along with weapon style abilities). A big no no.

Eh. Weapons and Armor have always been somewhat Class locked. Archetypes will probably also exist to fix this.

This is also completely unrelated to the tight math.

kaisc006 wrote:
As for voluntarily not making skill rolls or lowering your stats... aren’t you guys tired of playing a system that punishes you for roleplaying? PF1 did this all the time by requiring you give up the static bonuses provided by traits or feats to gain something you considered roleplaying material for your character. Or not being able to perform some interesting maneuver in combat because you didn’t have x,y, z feat that allowed you to perform a highly situational maneuver.

PF1 actually did this very rarely outside of combat. It added non-combat skill uses via Feats, but if you actually read them basically none were things you could do with the basic rules. People complained of this, but only because they didn't actually read what the Feats said.

kaisc006 wrote:
And PF2 will get worse with skill feats. I speculate that future splat books will keep adding all sorts of Skill feats that effectively gate you out of using the skill unless you have that feat.

There's precious little evidence of this. Skill Feats mostly add legitimately new things rather than doing things like this. Will this happen sometime? Probably. Is it gonna be most of the time? Evidence points to it being quite rare, actually.

Silver Crusade Contributor

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
So if we're going to have "Flaws with mechanical benefits" the benefits should be specific and appropriate to the flaws, not "what can I dump to be good at something unrelated."

I support this approach, for the record.

The only trouble is being able to access enough of them to fit peoples' needs. How long did it take us to get a drawback like Lonely, or the Blind Zeal trait? (Which, the latter being religion locked is really constrictive to character concepts.) How long will it take to get anything at all like that, let alone something for everyone?

Not hostile, just noting the largest drawback to the philosophy. ^_^


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Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
thflame wrote:

The problem here is that you are attributing motive when you actively do not know why every individual person makes these choices.

I have 2 characters that have "dumped" stats for other higher Stats.

Grimm the Unpleasant had a 22 STR at level 1 in exchange for a 6 in INT, WIS, and CHA(he's an Orc). He get's ONE Skill Point per level thanks to his favored class bonus (the first was spent so he could actually speak Common), pretty much auto fails any Will Save, and is an active hindrance to the party in social situations, of which I ACTIVELY seek to roleplay. (Grimm is a very friendly Orc who wants to initiate every conversation with a big, sweaty, stinky bear hug. It doesn't go over well with NPCs often. Imagine a 4 year old that has rolled in "dear god, what's that smell!?!" but this 4 year old is 7 feet tall and casually carries around a sword that you're pretty sure he ripped off of a large statue.)

My other character is Coravellion. He's a Elven swashbuckler with 20 DEX and 6 CON at level 1. I also refuse to grab any feat, magic item, etc. that will increase my Fort Save or my HP. (He get's 4 HP per level, as per average HP rules at my table.) The idea was to play a character that was REALLY hard to hit, but dropped like a sack of potatoes if (when) he was hit.

Both of these characters are well loved by everyone who has had the pleasure of playing with them. Nobody has ever felt like these characters were "too powerful" or game breaking.

Now, CAN someone min-max or power-game the system to create a broken pile of stats that ruins the fun for everyone else? Yes, if you let it happen. Is that a good enough reason to outright prevent anyone from playing such a character? No.

These are cool characters, but they would be equally cool if their maxed out ability was something like 19 or 20, rather than 22.

That said - as GM I would totally welcome those characters and make room for them via house rules if necessary (in PF1 it isn't necessary, in PF2 it might be). I remember playing a character like this many years ago (D&D 2ed rules, with rolled abilities) and it was hilarious. He was pretty short-lived, though, as I suspect yours will be. Note the hilarious part came mostly from his flaw rather than his crazy-high abilities.


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I guess some of "being slow to add flaws with mechanical benefits" in PF1 was because "being able to do this" was baked into the system from the get-go. So people had a way to do something like this was not as much of a priority. Insofar as it's not feasible to have one character voluntarily limiting themselves in a a party the rest of which is doing this at all, there's probably more of a push to do it.

A solution I like? In the first big expansion to the rules (the analogue of the advanced player's guide) bring back traits but make them different. So instead of a trait being entirely positive, give each trait an upside and a downside which are of commensurate impact and are thematically related (something like the trait system in the 3 good Fallout games). We could have traits with major drawbacks like "blind" which give major benefits (blind fight is like a 6th level feat now, could we give that out?), and some traits with really minor drawbacks that give similarly minor bonuses. Perhaps we could weight them so "benefit > drawback" by a standard amount so we could have traits with that big of a bonus and no drawback.

One of the things I'm going to miss most from PF1 is traits, but I did always think it was weird that like "growing up in the witchmarket" or "being a Keleshite fearing detection in Taldor which is not fond of your people" did have any negative effects on you in addition to what you learned from it. I mean, realistically a lot of people's problems are tied intimately to their prior circumstances.


Also, it should be noted that this is gonna be one book. It won't be able to encapsulate every possible character you want to play. They can only fit so much in there. Luckily, we will get a lot of books in the future, as Paizo is prone to do. Just because something isn't possible in core doesn't mean it will never be possible.

People seem to also be seeing "problems" with PF2 that also existed in PF1 by any reasonable metric. The super hero thing is especially silly considering the amount of power given to high level PCs in the first edition. High level driids can literally cause earthquakes and reduce towns to rubble. The "super hero" nature of heroes is by design. They want to emulate Beowulf and Guts at high levels.


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I can see why Jason dumped these forums to maximise his podcasting.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
A solution I like? In the first big expansion to the rules (the analogue of the advanced player's guide) bring back traits but make them different. So instead of a trait being entirely positive, give each trait an upside and a downside which are of commensurate impact and are thematically related (something like the trait system in the 3 good Fallout games). We could have traits with major drawbacks like "blind" which give major benefits (blind fight is like a 6th level feat now, could we give that out?), and some traits with really minor drawbacks that give similarly minor bonuses.

I'm personally hoping for something like this. I especially like the thought of combining traits and flaws into inseparable packages.

With regard to the level of feats... I'm hoping many level restrictions are removed in the final game, so perhaps blindfight won't be too far out there.


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Albatoonoe wrote:

Also, it should be noted that this is gonna be one book. It won't be able to encapsulate every possible character you want to play. They can only fit so much in there. Luckily, we will get a lot of books in the future, as Paizo is prone to do. Just because something isn't possible in core doesn't mean it will never be possible.

People seem to also be seeing "problems" with PF2 that also existed in PF1 by any reasonable metric. The super hero thing is especially silly considering the amount of power given to high level PCs in the first edition. High level driids can literally cause earthquakes and reduce towns to rubble. The "super hero" nature of heroes is by design. They want to emulate Beowulf and Guts at high levels.

If people are talking about problems with a new edition they are naturally going to view the continuance of things they saw as a problem in first edition as also a problem in second edition. Why is this odd in the slightest, whatever the individual complaint might be?


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Zaister wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gloom wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
This is such a nonstarter it baffles me that people keep repeating it. If ignoring the rules works for your table, that's great. It doesn't work at many other tables though.

If it's such a non-starter for you to forego rolls and it has strong narrative importance that your character is "bad" at certain things, you can always choose another option.

Talk to your DM. Let them know that you want to play a character that can't swim, is frail and can't climb or jump well, or can't read. Ask them if you can give yourself a penalty to some sort of roll that represents your character's disadvantages.

That way you can attempt it all you want and almost never succeed.

Just don't expect the DM to give you anything for it.

None of that works on a PFS table which means it isn’t available to many tables.
In PFS you play members of the Pathfinder Society, a guild of adventurers with certain goals (which include, for example, writing up a report on your adventures). If your character is designed to fail at such basic adventuring tasks like swimming, climbing a hill that's less steep than a stair or even READING, chances are they don't even qualify to be a member of the Pathfinder Society. As such, characters like that have no business in PFS gaming in the first place.

Thats a strange narrative to try to force onto a Campaign that’s 10 years old now. But whatever floats your boat. I’ve had plenty of characters who wouldn’t qualify under your narrative and have even had one become a venture captain.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

To be fair, though, John, the narrative - such as it is - of Pathfinder Society falls apart under basically any reasonably close inspection. It clearly exists to enable the gameplay, not the other way around.


An organisation that exists to plunder ancient ruins for long lost relics (allegedly to protect the world from their misuse) with guild halls throughout a variety of lands seems more than plausible in a D&D fantasy world. But I understand how being dismissive of it can help justify radical rule changes.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

No, I mean the part where people who, in a reasonably rational world, would not be trusted with those responsibilities are because they are player characters and those are the rules of the game world.

Also the part where Pathfinder Society takes place in a massively parallel universe where events in different universes have some vaguely defined effect on the multiverse as a whole and individuals erratically pop into and out of existence between universes.

I'm not meaning to be dismissive of PFS - I think PFS is great! - but clearly PFS functions as a game system first, and a consistent narrative a distant second.


Edge93 wrote:
What does it do in 5e over PF besides the almost-never-used Charisma saves?

Not a lot, other than the fact that many classes use it, and a one-level dip in Hexblade Warlock lets you use CHA to-hit and damage for one-handed weapons (three levels extends the ability to any weapon type).


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gwynfrid wrote:
The problem in PF1 isn't about number inflation, it's about inflation of the gaps between characters. That gap becomes so large eventually that it makes the die roll pointless: Given any check of whatever DC, either the specialists can't fail it, or the non-specialists can't pass. The playtest gets the d20 back to the center of the action, where it belongs.

I doubt there's any long-term benefit to discussion on this now, but things here seem civil so I figure it's safe to participate.

I hear you, but I disagree. I think the model where the gap performs as you describe is a feature, not a bug. There are gymnasts who can perform balancing or tumble moves reliably a hundred times out of a hundred that I - a non-gymnast - will never execute. There are locks that a trained locksmith can open without fail that I - who have never picked a lock - will never randomly get lucky on and open.

This is how expertise works.

There really are skills and actions that people who aren't good at them can't comprehend what proficiency even looks like. Quantum physics... is not a layperson topic. Landing a jumbo jet isn't something a layperson will ever get lucky at without some prior knowledge/training or serious guidance. Take a thousand person who doesn't know anything about rocketry or math and give them Kerbal Space Program and ask them to plot a moon landing in two tries.... won't happen, while those who do the math for satellite launches etc will (probably) nail it every time.

A system that doesn't allow that gap, where automatic success exists, and hopeless failures exist fails to model the reality we live in and experience every single day.

Yes, I know that impacts narratives where a party of four try to Stealth into an encampment because anyone untrained is going to screw it up. In my opinion the fix for that isn't to tighten the math... it's to provide ways for a determined party to compensate for wide math. From magic to mundane, there should be ways for a prepared group of players to invent a method for their plan to work. And that... is an interesting narrative to me... the story of how Ungar The Unceasing Splitter of Eardrums was snuck into the enemy camp by means of X, Y, and Z.

So while I respect your right to your opinion and I'm happy you're probably getting a game that satisfies it, I disagree for the above reasons.


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Anguish wrote:

There are gymnasts who can perform balancing or tumble moves reliably a hundred times out of a hundred that I - a non-gymnast - will never execute. There are locks that a trained locksmith can open without fail that I - who have never picked a lock - will never randomly get lucky on and open.

This is how expertise works.

There really are skills and actions that people who aren't good at them can't comprehend what proficiency even looks like. Quantum physics... is not a layperson topic. Landing a jumbo jet isn't something a layperson will ever get lucky at without some prior knowledge/training or serious guidance. Take a thousand person who doesn't know anything about rocketry or math and give them Kerbal Space Program and ask them to plot a moon landing in two tries.... won't happen, while those who do the math for satellite launches etc will (probably) nail it every time.

Personally, I believe that "proficiency gates" are a much, much better way to model this sort of thing than "the expert has a huge number, the layperson has a small number."

Like if you make "an Olympic quality floor routine" require mastery in acrobatics or landing a jet require expertise in aviation lore, etc. it doesn't matter how big or small the gap in numbers is between "people who have the requisite proficiency" and "people who don't" because the latter can't even attempt the task not knowing where to start.

Where "huge gaps" are a problem is when there are straightforward everyday tasks where we can't set a DC where the layperson has a chance but the expert can fail. I mean, "boiling water" is about as simple as a cooking tasks gets, but nonetheless great chefs will occasionally overcook the pasta.


I apologise if I missed something.

P2E is removing +level from Untrained, so the scenarios that Anguish has described, a layperson having no chance, will be supported by the system.

Proficiency gates also exist to emulate "amateurs will not pull this off".

Performing static acts like executing some specific tumble or picking a particular lock are represented by static DCs. Assuming some relative of Assurance or Take 10 will be in there, experienced experts can unfailingly perform these actions by always passing these DCs.

So what's not being covered here?


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I sure hope Assurance is useful in the final version of the game.

Of all the things in the playtest, Assurance had the widest gap between "how good of an idea it is" and "how useful it is in practice".


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
Anguish wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
The problem in PF1 isn't about number inflation, it's about inflation of the gaps between characters. That gap becomes so large eventually that it makes the die roll pointless: Given any check of whatever DC, either the specialists can't fail it, or the non-specialists can't pass. The playtest gets the d20 back to the center of the action, where it belongs.

I doubt there's any long-term benefit to discussion on this now, but things here seem civil so I figure it's safe to participate.

I hear you, but I disagree. I think the model where the gap performs as you describe is a feature, not a bug. There are gymnasts who can perform balancing or tumble moves reliably a hundred times out of a hundred that I - a non-gymnast - will never execute. There are locks that a trained locksmith can open without fail that I - who have never picked a lock - will never randomly get lucky on and open.

This is how expertise works.

There really are skills and actions that people who aren't good at them can't comprehend what proficiency even looks like. Quantum physics... is not a layperson topic. Landing a jumbo jet isn't something a layperson will ever get lucky at without some prior knowledge/training or serious guidance. Take a thousand person who doesn't know anything about rocketry or math and give them Kerbal Space Program and ask them to plot a moon landing in two tries.... won't happen, while those who do the math for satellite launches etc will (probably) nail it every time.

A system that doesn't allow that gap, where automatic success exists, and hopeless failures exist fails to model the reality we live in and experience every single day.

Yes, I know that impacts narratives where a party of four try to Stealth into an encampment because anyone untrained is going to screw it up. In my opinion the fix for that isn't to tighten the math... it's to provide ways for a determined party to compensate for wide math. From magic to mundane, there should be ways for a...

I understand and respect your viewpoint. However, I think I have already answered to your objection in the response I wrote to BryonD on Tuesday. Allow me to quote myself, since I don't think I have more to add:

gwynfrid wrote:

This is a compelling point. However:

1) Your example narrative equally works in PF2, where the gap between the monk and the rest of the group would be something like 10. The group needs help and good rolls to get on top of the tower, while, with the same rolls, the monk critically succeeds and climbs much faster (this is narratively superior to what the PF1 rule allows for, by the way). For the much more difficult wall later, the monk goes for it, while the rest of the group wisely stays behind, because a critical fail would mean a nasty fall.

2) Your narrative works well with out of combat skill checks. Because there are many times more combat rolls than out of combat rolls, such a large gap doesn't work at all in combat situations, and in particular it doesn't work for attacks or for saves. If somebody can't succeed on attacks, things get tiresome very fast. If somebody can't fail saves, then the GM must either put up with that or increase DCs. If they increase DCs, then the rest of the group can't succeed and this results in unavoidable TPKs. Either way, this is not satisfying.

By the way, I agree with you that this debate isn't going to change anything, since the devs are busy writing the final rules, not watching us discuss them. Its value is mostly academic at this point. As you say, since it's civil, why not have it. We're learning things about other players and playstyles, there is value in that.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The other problem with the size of the gaps was also the massive variability in the maximum between different skills. For all people talk about set DCs making a believable world and once you've experienced them enough you can intuit DCs for new situations kinda goes wonky when for skill A DC 40 would be considered very challenging for an invested level X character, but for skill B that same DC is an auto success for an invested character.

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The topic of this thread is the Know Direction Podcast interview with Jason from January 16th.

I have removed additional posts from this thread which is reiterating a repeating circular argument which does not foster discussion on the subject of the thread. The participants in this discussion have already been warned about this behavior.

We’d prefer to leave the thread open so our community can discuss the Know Direction episode, so further off topic posts that continue to engage in this argument will be removed without notice and those who continue this argument may receive temporary suspensions.

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