Rules Reveals from the Oblivion Oath Twitch game! (was sleepy sea cat)


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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numbat1 wrote:
Jason just confirmed, no more ability drain or damage.

Bummed me out just a little bit. Maybe cause I’m just a sadist of a GM? All jokes aside I did enjoy the occasional ability drain. Do we know yet if there is still LVL drain.


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Telebuddy wrote:
numbat1 wrote:
Jason just confirmed, no more ability drain or damage.
Bummed me out just a little bit. Maybe cause I’m just a sadist of a GM? All jokes aside I did enjoy the occasional ability drain. Do we know yet if there is still LVL drain.

I doubt we have level drain per se, but like ability drain we have status effects that basically do the same thing, unless they changed drastically from the Playtest on that.


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Telebuddy wrote:
numbat1 wrote:
Jason just confirmed, no more ability drain or damage.
Bummed me out just a little bit. Maybe cause I’m just a sadist of a GM? All jokes aside I did enjoy the occasional ability drain. Do we know yet if there is still LVL drain.

The Enervated condition reduces your effective level for the purpose of proficiency, spells or feats - which means, for example, that an Enervated 2 Fighter who is level 5 cannot use his lv4 feats.

It however does not kill you.

That honour goes to the Doomed condition.

Also, ability damage is now tied to Enfeebled, Stupefied and Sluggish. Rather than affecting your stats, they’re conditions that give you varying penalties.


Has anyone heard about the monster statistics in the core rulebook? I wish to know whether the monsters in Second Edition have statistics more like PCs or different from PCs.

Silver Crusade

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Different.

This has been confirmed for awhile.


Sigh. Do monsters have ability scores now, or just ability modifiers?

Silver Crusade

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I think it's the latter but i'd be happy to be wrong.


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Is there any practical difference between ability scores and modifiers?


I wonder, do other RPGs have monster statistics which are vastly different from those of PCs? At first I thought D&D 4th first used monster statistics which are clearly different from those of PCs, but now I'm not sure. For example, in RPGs like Chronicles of Darkness(aka New World of Darkness), GURPS, Savage Worlds, or Call of Cthulhu, are monster statistics and PC statistics vastly different from each other?


Aenigma wrote:
I wonder, do other RPGs have monster statistics which are vastly different from those of PCs? At first I thought D&D 4th first used monster statistics which are clearly different from those of PCs, but now I'm not sure. For example, in RPGs like Chronicles of Darkness(aka New World of Darkness), GURPS, Savage Worlds, or Call of Cthulhu, are monster statistics and PC statistics vastly different from each other?

I'm not too familiar with various systems but I know DnD 5e monster stats are NOTHING like player stats, at least in some examples I've seen.

But yeah, monster stats are determined in a different way than player stats in PF2, just like (as Mark Seifter has gone over before) they were in PF1.


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I guess it depends on what you mean.

Cthulhu uses the same basic stat block, for example, but handwaves all the skills instead of basing them on Knowledge and Intelligence as PCs do. Does that count? In practical terms, the same goes for NPCs - assign them appropriate skills, rather than calculate out what they theoretically should have.

Silver Crusade

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thejeff wrote:

Is there any practical difference between ability scores and modifiers?

There are when odd numbered ability scores show up.


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Aenigma wrote:
I wonder, do other RPGs have monster statistics which are vastly different from those of PCs? At first I thought D&D 4th first used monster statistics which are clearly different from those of PCs, but now I'm not sure. For example, in RPGs like Chronicles of Darkness(aka New World of Darkness), GURPS, Savage Worlds, or Call of Cthulhu, are monster statistics and PC statistics vastly different from each other?

Dungeon World has extremely different monsters, and so do most 2d6 systems I imagine. Monsters also don't usually make checks or attacks in those systems, per se. Usually something happens and the players have to respond to it, usually by a defy danger roll.


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Rysky wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Is there any practical difference between ability scores and modifiers?

There are when odd numbered ability scores show up.

This is true, except is there a single situation in PF2 where it will matter whether a monster has an odd or even score? The only time it mattered in PF1 was feat prereqs and ability damage, but feats seem to only use even numbered stat prereqs now and ability damage as such is gone.


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Monsters and PCs are generated differently in Pathfinder.
First Edition tried to apply the same rules but then fudged the stats to reach the target numbers anyways, or added racial modifiers to get where it needed to be.
It’s never been the same system.


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Edge93 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Is there any practical difference between ability scores and modifiers?

There are when odd numbered ability scores show up.
This is true, except is there a single situation in PF2 where it will matter whether a monster has an odd or even score? The only time it mattered in PF1 was feat prereqs and ability damage, but feats seem to only use even numbered stat prereqs now and ability damage as such is gone.

Even with PCs, it seemed like those prereqs were just there either as a holdover or a justification for having the odd numbers.

Made a little more sense back in 3.x where you could still get odd boosters.
Mostly it's just a holdover from rolling dice to generate stats, that's been gradually dropping in importance.


Do gods have domains and subdomains in Second Edition, or do they have domains only?


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Edge93 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Is there any practical difference between ability scores and modifiers?

There are when odd numbered ability scores show up.
This is true, except is there a single situation in PF2 where it will matter whether a monster has an odd or even score? The only time it mattered in PF1 was feat prereqs and ability damage, but feats seem to only use even numbered stat prereqs now and ability damage as such is gone.

It doesn't change much, but it counted for ability drain only, while ability damage ignored the actual score.

In PF2 the only situation we have with an odd score is when you increase a stat over 18, and the odd score has no effect.
So, having ability modifiers for monsters is only a little convenience; you can still calculate the ability scores using that modifier with a possible, irrelevant error of -1.

Aenigma wrote:
Do gods have domains and subdomains in Second Edition, or do they have domains only?

Subdomains will probably come later, as they did in PF1.


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Aenigma wrote:
I wonder, do other RPGs have monster statistics which are vastly different from those of PCs? At first I thought D&D 4th first used monster statistics which are clearly different from those of PCs, but now I'm not sure. For example, in RPGs like Chronicles of Darkness(aka New World of Darkness), GURPS, Savage Worlds, or Call of Cthulhu, are monster statistics and PC statistics vastly different from each other?

In Chronicles of Darkness, "monsters" (AKA unplayable creatures like ghosts, hell hounds, spirits, zombies, etc) have different stats (they only have 3 stats instead of 9, no skills, and generic "Numen" powers instead of disciplines/spells/etc. Humanoid NPCs usually have full stats, but there are ways to do simplified versions for unimportant ones.

The Cypher system (Numenera, the Strange) have only one or two numbers for NPCs, and the DM never roll a dice. PCs attack? They roll attack. The NPC attack? Player roll defense. Usually minions will have only one number defining them, setting the difficulty of all rolls to that number. If they are specialized in one or two other things, they have a special number for that, like a lvl 3 ninja could be diff 3 for everything, but diff 6 for stealth.


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Fundamentally "non-spotlight NPCs just get fewer numbers to track" is just modern RPG design. If the tailor's job is to "make clothes" an "lie about the vampires in the basement" he doesn't really need more than a craft modifier and a deception modifier- if the PCs want to kill him, he's not going to put up a fight. PF1 had the kludge for run of the mill NPCs where, unless the tradesperson was a named NPC, we just referred to some stat block in a NPC codex- implying that most blacksmiths were exactly the same everywhere.

But it's easiest for the GM, in terms of respecting their time, to just limit most NPCs to "write down the numbers which are relevant to their role in the story". All you lose is the illusion that the game mechanics are a perfect simulation of a fantasy world everywhere all at once, but that was never really the case anyway. We see this with thing like the "troop" subtype in PF1.

For meaningful NPCs, we will probably eventually get tool to stat up the Hobgoblin General or the Grand Vizier who is secretly a Urgathoa cultist, etc. as PCs. It's just that their underlings who serve the role of "popcorn" don't require much written down.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Fundamentally "non-spotlight NPCs just get fewer numbers to track" is just modern RPG design. If the tailor's job is to "make clothes" an "lie about the vampires in the basement" he doesn't really need more than a craft modifier and a deception modifier- if the PCs want to kill him, he's not going to put up a fight. PF1 had the kludge for run of the mill NPCs where, unless the tradesperson was a named NPC, we just referred to some stat block in a NPC codex- implying that most blacksmiths were exactly the same everywhere.

But it's easiest for the GM, in terms of respecting their time, to just limit most NPCs to "write down the numbers which are relevant to their role in the story". All you lose is the illusion that the game mechanics are a perfect simulation of a fantasy world everywhere all at once, but that was never really the case anyway. We see this with thing like the "troop" subtype in PF1.

For meaningful NPCs, we will probably eventually get tool to stat up the Hobgoblin General or the Grand Vizier who is secretly a Urgathoa cultist, etc. as PCs. It's just that their underlings who serve the role of "popcorn" don't require much written down.

Two different issues I think.

It sounds to me like PF2 NPC enemy design is fundamentally, mechanically distinct from PC design - much like it is in Starfinder. That's different from "just handwave appropriate numbers". The numbers you want are different from PC numbers. (I could be wrong about this, not knowing how the NPC generation rules work yet.)

That did remind me of a bunch of minor Cthulhu NPC villains whose stats were limited to "HP 14 Shotgun(40%)"
What else do you need?

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Aenigma wrote:
I wonder, do other RPGs have monster statistics which are vastly different from those of PCs? At first I thought D&D 4th first used monster statistics which are clearly different from those of PCs, but now I'm not sure. For example, in RPGs like Chronicles of Darkness(aka New World of Darkness), GURPS, Savage Worlds, or Call of Cthulhu, are monster statistics and PC statistics vastly different from each other?

Most modern RPGs (5E, Cypher system, FFG Star Wars, Powered by the Apocalypse games, Tales from the Loop, Cypher system games, FATE, Gumshoe) etc. have asymmetrical PC/NPC design. It's pretty much standard these days, since symmetrical design produces tons of useless stats and makes balancing encounters difficult due to inherent action economy advantage of PCs.

Liberty's Edge

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Time for a new thread for the NPC design discussion, maybe?


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I prefer simplified npc stat blocks. I dont need all the detailed nonsense when im trying to dm. Even 5e could be more simplified, imho. I think 13A has the best enemy stat blocks since it even has npc ai built in AND the stat blocks are fairly simple.

I remember an interview that Kevin Crawford, the author of Stars Without Number, did with Adam Koebel. Crawford said it perfectly when he said that his job as a designer was to make the job of the dm as easy as possible since without DMs you dont have players. Thats exactly right. If a game is a pain to gm for, I pass.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
I wonder, do other RPGs have monster statistics which are vastly different from those of PCs? At first I thought D&D 4th first used monster statistics which are clearly different from those of PCs, but now I'm not sure. For example, in RPGs like Chronicles of Darkness(aka New World of Darkness), GURPS, Savage Worlds, or Call of Cthulhu, are monster statistics and PC statistics vastly different from each other?

Most modern RPGs (5E, Cypher system, FFG Star Wars, Powered by the Apocalypse games, Tales from the Loop, Cypher system games, FATE, Gumshoe) etc. have asymmetrical PC/NPC design. It's pretty much standard these days, since symmetrical design produces tons of useless stats and makes balancing encounters difficult due to inherent action economy advantage of PCs.

Also classic games, like, say D&D and AD&D before the advent of Third Edition.


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Aenigma wrote:
Do gods have domains and subdomains in Second Edition, or do they have domains only?

The domains were simplified and it's easy to create new ones. There are no longer domain spells as additional spells to the divine list, as those are now granted directly by the deities in addition to domains [Nethys be praised].

"One of the earliest and coolest innovations to domains in Pathfinder appeared in the Advanced Player's Guide, where subdomains altered domains to add nuance. In the playtest, we're bringing in that sort of flexibility right away! Each domain has a basic power and an advanced power, and because domain powers work as spells, creating a new domain that's perfect for your world is as simple as adding two spells. This allowed us to include significantly more domains in the game and will allow us to expand to even more domains with ease." - by Mark Seifter

However, instead of creating the new redundant domains (Air, Cloud, Wind), it would be interesting/economical if they could simple expand the options of powers granted by an existing domain. A new domain should be created only if it would bring a completely new line of powers (concept-wise)


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Thanks to edge 93 and ediwir for answering my question.


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Sort of OT from the rules reveals, but the focus of the game on Razmiran has started me wondering about a few things.
In PF1, spellcasters among Razmir's priesthood were mostly sorcerer's with a special archetype and the feat that let them use a holy symbol to cast. Did they actually understand this is what they were doing? Did these false priests all know they weren't getting casting from Razmir? Were they all in on it being a scam? Or how did they reconcile Razmir being a real god, but still having to fake having priests?

And how will this all change in PF2? Are the whole fake priest mechanics still needed, with divine sorcerers now a thing? Some at least should be able to cast divine spells, though they might still need a False Focus.

Silver Crusade

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thejeff wrote:

Sort of OT from the rules reveals, but the focus of the game on Razmiran has started me wondering about a few things.

In PF1, spellcasters among Razmir's priesthood were mostly sorcerer's with a special archetype and the feat that let them use a holy symbol to cast. Did they actually understand this is what they were doing? Did these false priests all know they weren't getting casting from Razmir? Were they all in on it being a scam? Or how did they reconcile Razmir being a real god, but still having to fake having priests?

James Jacobs once stated that the in world view of the Razmiran religion is very similar to that of Scientology in our world.

I think that makes sense. So, probably as many Rasmiran high priests believe that Razmir is a God as high ranking Scientologists believe in Scientology. (Note, I'm making absolutely NO statement about Scientology here. It is no secret that Scientology is considered controversial. That is ALL that I am saying, the relgion of Razmir is analogously controversial).


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I think most Razmirans, most of all in the higher echelons, know it's all a scam and don't harbor any doubt in their minds regarding the possible divinity of Razmir - it's all very clear, and the higher you go in the hierarchy the more the priest knows how the scam is supposed to work.

But as with any faiths, I'm sure many people do believe sincerely, and that imo even includes some priests. They're not getting their spells from Razmir, but they don't necessarily know that - what they do to memorize their spells, be it meditating, studying, centering oneself, tuning up their instruments - they see it as a form of communion with the divine, i.e. with Razmir. Why other clerics do it differently and have different powers? Because they don't follow Razmir. Razmir is special. Within a religious framework it's quite surprising what some people will be willing to rationalize.

And we do know they're wrong and Razmir's just a powerful mage, not a true deity, but if that wasn't clearly stated in all the products we've read, we would be in their same position.

Also, maybe some do know he's not a god, but see him as some sort of enlightened mortal closer to mortal problems than alien, uncaring, cold gods, and prefer to worship him.


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Roswynn wrote:
But as with any faiths, I'm sure many people do believe sincerely, and that imo even includes some priests. They're not getting their spells from Razmir, but they don't necessarily know that - what they do to memorize their spells, be it meditating, studying, centering oneself, tuning up their instruments - they see it as a form of communion with the divine, i.e. with Razmir. Why other clerics do it differently and have different powers? Because they don't follow Razmir. Razmir is special. Within a religious framework it's quite surprising what some people will be willing to rationalize.

That's probably especially true on Golarion, where there's actual precedent for mortals rising to divinity (Irori, Nethys, Aroden). Even those of Razmir's priests who know the truth might well believe that, even if he isn't a full deity yet, he's on his way there, and they want to get in on the ground floor, as it were.

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Roswynn wrote:

I think most Razmirans, most of all in the higher echelons, know it's all a scam and don't harbor any doubt in their minds regarding the possible divinity of Razmir - it's all very clear, and the higher you go in the hierarchy the more the priest knows how the scam is supposed to work.

But as with any faiths, I'm sure many people do believe sincerely, and that imo even includes some priests. They're not getting their spells from Razmir, but they don't necessarily know that - what they do to memorize their spells, be it meditating, studying, centering oneself, tuning up their instruments - they see it as a form of communion with the divine, i.e. with Razmir. Why other clerics do it differently and have different powers? Because they don't follow Razmir. Razmir is special. Within a religious framework it's quite surprising what some people will be willing to rationalize.

And we do know they're wrong and Razmir's just a powerful mage, not a true deity, but if that wasn't clearly stated in all the products we've read, we would be in their same position.

Also, maybe some do know he's not a god, but see him as some sort of enlightened mortal closer to mortal problems than alien, uncaring, cold gods, and prefer to worship him.

There’s even a specific undead created by the death of the legitimately faithful, the shock that it was all a lie and theres no Razmiran specific afterlife for them turns them into a type of wraith.

They're not a happy lot.


Personally, I think in terms of mortal concerns, whether he is Deity or not is really unimportant.
Whether he is one or not really has no importance to outsiders' view of his church/state's brigandism.
And it's not like there isn't other groups which are 'secular religions' without being gonzo Evil about it.
(Callistocracy, Laws of Man, Oracular Court of Emperor, probably more I can't remember)

Silver Crusade

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Rysky wrote:
Roswynn wrote:

I think most Razmirans, most of all in the higher echelons, know it's all a scam and don't harbor any doubt in their minds regarding the possible divinity of Razmir - it's all very clear, and the higher you go in the hierarchy the more the priest knows how the scam is supposed to work.

But as with any faiths, I'm sure many people do believe sincerely, and that imo even includes some priests. They're not getting their spells from Razmir, but they don't necessarily know that - what they do to memorize their spells, be it meditating, studying, centering oneself, tuning up their instruments - they see it as a form of communion with the divine, i.e. with Razmir. Why other clerics do it differently and have different powers? Because they don't follow Razmir. Razmir is special. Within a religious framework it's quite surprising what some people will be willing to rationalize.

And we do know they're wrong and Razmir's just a powerful mage, not a true deity, but if that wasn't clearly stated in all the products we've read, we would be in their same position.

Also, maybe some do know he's not a god, but see him as some sort of enlightened mortal closer to mortal problems than alien, uncaring, cold gods, and prefer to worship him.

There’s even a specific undead created by the death of the legitimately faithful, the shock that it was all a lie and theres no Razmiran specific afterlife for them turns them into a type of wraith.

They're not a happy lot.

Ooooh what book is this in?


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Cori Marie wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Roswynn wrote:

I think most Razmirans, most of all in the higher echelons, know it's all a scam and don't harbor any doubt in their minds regarding the possible divinity of Razmir - it's all very clear, and the higher you go in the hierarchy the more the priest knows how the scam is supposed to work.

But as with any faiths, I'm sure many people do believe sincerely, and that imo even includes some priests. They're not getting their spells from Razmir, but they don't necessarily know that - what they do to memorize their spells, be it meditating, studying, centering oneself, tuning up their instruments - they see it as a form of communion with the divine, i.e. with Razmir. Why other clerics do it differently and have different powers? Because they don't follow Razmir. Razmir is special. Within a religious framework it's quite surprising what some people will be willing to rationalize.

And we do know they're wrong and Razmir's just a powerful mage, not a true deity, but if that wasn't clearly stated in all the products we've read, we would be in their same position.

Also, maybe some do know he's not a god, but see him as some sort of enlightened mortal closer to mortal problems than alien, uncaring, cold gods, and prefer to worship him.

There’s even a specific undead created by the death of the legitimately faithful, the shock that it was all a lie and theres no Razmiran specific afterlife for them turns them into a type of wraith.

They're not a happy lot.

Ooooh what book is this in?

Apostasy Wraith. Inner Sea Bestiary.


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In fairness he is also a level 19 Wizard. He can do some pretty miraculous-seeming stuff - including mass targeting mind-bending spells. I wouldn't be at all surprised if many people in the city believed; remember many people would have grown up in Razmir, and wouldn't have been taught reasoned questioning, logic, etc...

Instead they'd have been taught that those on top bully and extort those underneath them, under a veneer of politeness, and that that is how life works. They'd likely expect Razmir to do the same — because that's how everyone in power acts.

In the real world, the states like that that have lasted the longest have done so by placing tight control over who can come in and out, or interact with the general populace. The simple fact that visitors are allowed to talk to common folk unsupervised in Oblivion Oath suggests to me that Razmir won't last all that long.


Ediwir wrote:

Monsters and PCs are generated differently in Pathfinder.

First Edition tried to apply the same rules but then fudged the stats to reach the target numbers anyways, or added racial modifiers to get where it needed to be.
It’s never been the same system.

Given how superior PF2nd edition is going to be to PF1st edition, why are we still repeating misinformation?

NPCs are built using the same rules as PCs in PF1st edition. I don’t think anyone has ever thought dragons and PCs were built using the same rules. But if you have a post where someone in good faith honestly thought they did please link it to me.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Monsters and PCs are generated differently in Pathfinder.

First Edition tried to apply the same rules but then fudged the stats to reach the target numbers anyways, or added racial modifiers to get where it needed to be.
It’s never been the same system.

Given how superior PF2nd edition is going to be to PF1st edition, why are we still repeating misinformation?

NPCs are built using the same rules as PCs in PF1st edition. I don’t think anyone has ever thought dragons and PCs were built using the same rules. But if you have a post where someone in good faith honestly thought they did please link it to me.

It's buried in a locked thread on the Playtest forums but I might try to find it later. There was very vocal argument to that effect for QUITE a while until Mark Seifter shut it down pretty effectively.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Monsters and PCs are generated differently in Pathfinder.

First Edition tried to apply the same rules but then fudged the stats to reach the target numbers anyways, or added racial modifiers to get where it needed to be.
It’s never been the same system.

Given how superior PF2nd edition is going to be to PF1st edition, why are we still repeating misinformation?

NPCs are built using the same rules as PCs in PF1st edition. I don’t think anyone has ever thought dragons and PCs were built using the same rules. But if you have a post where someone in good faith honestly thought they did please link it to me.

NPCs are. Monsters aren't really expected to be, but some of the fudge factors seem to violate even those expectations. Like massive natural armor bonuses with little justification except 'AC needs to be in this range for a monster at this CR'.


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I definitely saw a number of people in the playtest either confused or upset that monsters didn't have PC-like stat blocks.


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What bothers me most in games is when humanoid NPCs function completely differently than the PCs. I remember the first time I played 5e I panicked when we started fighting a group of Redbrand Ruffians because they could attack twice in a round.

I knew as a fighter that my character couldn't do that until level 5 so I assumed that the four of us lvl 2 characters were fighting four lvl 5 opponents and were screwed. Turned out not to be the case and it was actually a balanced encounter but it broke verisimilitude for me.

Maybe that is a bit metagamey but I think a character judging someone vs their own abilities is reasonable. However if NPCs and PCs function on completely different metrics than it doesn't work.


Bardarok wrote:

What bothers me most in games is when humanoid NPCs function completely differently than the PCs. I remember the first time I played 5e I panicked when we started fighting a group of Redbrand Ruffians because they could attack twice in a round.

I knew as a fighter that my character couldn't do that until level 5 so I assumed that the four of us lvl 2 characters were fighting four lvl 5 opponents and were screwed. Turned out not to be the case and it was actually a balanced encounter but it broke verisimilitude for me.

Maybe that is a bit metagamey but I think a character judging someone vs their own abilities is reasonable. However if NPCs and PCs function on completely different metrics than it doesn't work.

Your character can make some assumptions, but it does seem a bit metagamey. Your character knows their own abilities, but wouldn't know the full possible range of abilities. You've got feats and class features that other characters don't. Wouldn't the reasonable guess be that they had some feature your character didn't know about?

For a slightly different example, if they'd been using bows and getting more attacks (in PF1) would you assume high level or Rapid Shot?

Classed NPCs are hard, because there's no in game mechanical way for PCs to judge strength. With monsters you can get clues from Knowledge skills (or the equivalent). With NPCs it's up to metagame clues and GM presentation and that's a thing I don't think most GMs get across well.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Unlike Starfinder, where opposition have a numerical phase shift so building like a PC would lead to a flurry of misses on both sides, in PF2 building NPCs like a PC is an accepted form of creating NPCs, and is one of the standard forms to do so. We just happen to have a method (newly designed) to build NPCs quickly and easily that look roughly like PCs (with intentionally fewer overall feats and abilities to make them easier to run), and it's a method we think many GMs will want to use all the time, and those who prefer the PC method will enjoy having up your sleeves when you need an NPC quickly because the PCs do something you didn't expect.


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I'm pretty sure the difference between NPCs built as NPCs and PCs aren't on the level of "function differently"- everybody is built on the 3 action system, it's just that the numbers you add to roles are not derived from statistics, and that NPCs can have actions not available to PCs. If it's something like "special bandit kung fu" then presumably options to let a PC get that can be printed, but if it's something like "a Medusa's gaze attack" there is no need.

I mean, if we did print an ancestry for PC Medusas it would almost certainly be tamer than bestiary medusas- like how PC Cecaelias in PF1 don't get grab with their tentacle attacks, but all NPC Cecaelias have that.


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Another difference is that enemies of the PCs do not need to keep track of resources expended outside of their single encounter with the PCs -- which means that allied NPCs in some cases need to be treated differently from enemy NPCs.


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thejeff wrote:
Bardarok wrote:

...

Maybe that is a bit metagamey but I think a character judging someone vs their own abilities is reasonable. However if NPCs and PCs function on completely different metrics than it doesn't work.

Your character can make some assumptions, but it does seem a bit metagamey. Your character knows their own abilities, but wouldn't know the full possible range of abilities. You've got feats and class features that other characters don't. Wouldn't the reasonable guess be that they had some feature your character didn't know about?

No. Not for a random thug. If they have some ability that the character doesn't even comprehend as being possible by someone of a low skill level than it would be reasonable to assume they are special. Which is the assumption I made.

thejeff wrote:

For a slightly different example, if they'd been using bows and getting more attacks (in PF1) would you assume high level or Rapid Shot?

Either. I would assume that a character would know about the rapid shot technique even if they didn't know it themselves.

I think I make fundamentally different assumptions than you in that I assume that PCs have probably heard about most of the core options in the players handbook even if they can't do them themselves. They can in fiction take feats to qualify for later feats so have some concept of what they can do and will be able to do in the future.

If your assumptions are those made by the devs for PF2 than asymmetric PC/NPC design would be less of a problem.

EDIT: I think more specifically and probably where my assumptions come from: I tell my players to fully read their race and class entry and at least skim the rest so I assume that's about the level of knowledge a character in the world would have about their own abilities and other peoples.


Bardarok wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Bardarok wrote:

...

Maybe that is a bit metagamey but I think a character judging someone vs their own abilities is reasonable. However if NPCs and PCs function on completely different metrics than it doesn't work.

Your character can make some assumptions, but it does seem a bit metagamey. Your character knows their own abilities, but wouldn't know the full possible range of abilities. You've got feats and class features that other characters don't. Wouldn't the reasonable guess be that they had some feature your character didn't know about?

No. Not for a random thug. If they have some ability that the character doesn't even comprehend as being possible by someone of a low skill level than it would be reasonable to assume they are special. Which is the assumption I made.

thejeff wrote:

For a slightly different example, if they'd been using bows and getting more attacks (in PF1) would you assume high level or Rapid Shot?

Either. I would assume that a character would know about the rapid shot technique even if they didn't know it themselves.

I think I make fundamentally different assumptions than you in that I assume that PCs have probably heard about most of the core options in the players handbook even if they can't do them themselves. They can in fiction take feats to qualify for later feats so have some concept of what they can do and will be able to do in the future.

If your assumptions are those made by the devs for PF2 than asymmetric PC/NPC design would be less of a problem.

EDIT: I think more specifically and probably where my assumptions come from: I tell my players to fully read their race and class entry and at least skim the rest so I assume that's about the level of knowledge a character in the world would have about their own abilities and other peoples.

Your character might well know the common core options, but wouldn't necessarily know about rarer options. Sure, they'd know about rapid shot, but would they know there wasn't some similar feat or archetype that gave a similar ability for melee? (Wouldn't even really be unbalanced. Just overlaps too much with TWF, I suspect.)

Less likely than the random thugs being levels higher?

Of course, as I suggested, there's no real way to know anything about what level NPCs are. Other than how bad they beat on you.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Edge93 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Monsters and PCs are generated differently in Pathfinder.

First Edition tried to apply the same rules but then fudged the stats to reach the target numbers anyways, or added racial modifiers to get where it needed to be.
It’s never been the same system.

Given how superior PF2nd edition is going to be to PF1st edition, why are we still repeating misinformation?

NPCs are built using the same rules as PCs in PF1st edition. I don’t think anyone has ever thought dragons and PCs were built using the same rules. But if you have a post where someone in good faith honestly thought they did please link it to me.

It's buried in a locked thread on the Playtest forums but I might try to find it later. There was very vocal argument to that effect for QUITE a while until Mark Seifter shut it down pretty effectively.

A lot of people really did think that, even though just as John mentions in the post you quoted, dragons were definitely not built the same way. I would say that the extent to which some people believed it tells me one thing: the fact that the illusion was so effective that so many people who really wanted it to be true were able to not have the reality of the differences break their suspension of disbelief was a legitimate strength of the system. It might seem strange to say that if you're reading this and don't understand the thought process behind suspending that disbelief, but I do. I remember the first time Sean, in a PaizoCon random discussion in the hallway when I was attending as a fan, was talking about this and I didn't fully believe him at the time because in my home games, I never used those kinds of tweaks when I built monsters; they were just sometimes ridiculously overpowered compared to baselines but so were my PCs. Turns out you can't just do that when publishing professionally, though. You need monsters that don't just wipe everyone by accident because they're so much stronger than other opponents of the same CR/level.


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Bardarok wrote:

What bothers me most in games is when humanoid NPCs function completely differently than the PCs. I remember the first time I played 5e I panicked when we started fighting a group of Redbrand Ruffians because they could attack twice in a round.

I knew as a fighter that my character couldn't do that until level 5 so I assumed that the four of us lvl 2 characters were fighting four lvl 5 opponents and were screwed. Turned out not to be the case and it was actually a balanced encounter but it broke verisimilitude for me.

Maybe that is a bit metagamey but I think a character judging someone vs their own abilities is reasonable. However if NPCs and PCs function on completely different metrics than it doesn't work.

This perfectly sums up my feelings on this matter in a nutshell. In addition, I was not only miffed because martial humanoid NPCs getting 2 weapon swings at a lower HD, but that their Proficiency bonus depends on another floating value (CR) instead of a static one (HD) like the PCs, crushing my verisimilitude like a poor ant...

Mark Seifter wrote:
Unlike Starfinder, where opposition have a numerical phase shift so building like a PC would lead to a flurry of misses on both sides, in PF2 building NPCs like a PC is an accepted form of creating NPCs, and is one of the standard forms to do so. We just happen to have a method (newly designed) to build NPCs quickly and easily that look roughly like PCs (with intentionally fewer overall feats and abilities to make them easier to run), and it's a method we think many GMs will want to use all the time, and those who prefer the PC method will enjoy having up your sleeves when you need an NPC quickly because the PCs do something you didn't expect.

Yeah, the official method that both types co-exist in-universe is very barely acceptable for me (I compromised, realistically). The tipping point is when I see unexplained bonuses that don't add up for the express generated ones, like a Str +4 Level 2 enemy having a +9 to hit with its proficient melee attack instead of the +8 it's supposed to have (totally acceptable for other non-playables if reason is noted if simply in the stat block as a passing line, though). Also...

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm pretty sure the difference between NPCs built as NPCs and PCs aren't on the level of "function differently"- everybody is built on the 3 action system, it's just that the numbers you add to roles are not derived from statistics, and that NPCs can have actions not available to PCs. If it's something like "special bandit kung fu" then presumably options to let a PC get that can be printed, but if it's something like "a Medusa's gaze attack" there is no need.

I mean, if we did print an ancestry for PC Medusas it would almost certainly be tamer than bestiary medusas- like how PC Cecaelias in PF1 don't get grab with their tentacle attacks, but all NPC Cecaelias have that.

David knott 242 wrote:
Another difference is that enemies of the PCs do not need to keep track of resources expended outside of their single encounter with the PCs -- which means that allied NPCs in some cases need to be treated differently from enemy NPCs.

Such instances are like making me make an oath at gunpoint there are three gravitational constants applied in our universe, and personally that's nauseating...

Liberty's Edge

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Lucas Yew wrote:
Yeah, the official method that both types co-exist in-universe is very barely acceptable for me (I compromised, realistically). The tipping point is when I see unexplained bonuses that don't add up for the express generated ones, like Str +4 Level 2 enemy having a +9 to hit with its proficient melee attack instead of the +8 it's supposed to have (totally acceptable for other non-playables if reason is noted if simply in the stat block as a passing line, though).

Utterly arbitrary bonuses like this existed in PF1, they were just listed as 'Racial Bonuses' or 'this creature arbitrarily uses another stat for attacks'. The only difference is that this edition doesn't list them.

If it makes you feel better (and it made me), think of the NPC rules as the equivalent of NPC Classes in PF1, only adjusted with raw math improvements to make them equal out since Level now definitionally equals CR. A 2nd level Warrior in PF1 (the kind that has the same CR as a 1st level Fighter) has an attack bonus one better and more hit dice and thus HP. The math based bonuses a level 1 NPC has over a 1st level Fighter in PF2 are the same as that in many ways.

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