How does PF 2E handle the power of high level casters


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Roswynn wrote:
Once I was reading a thread in which a gm was explaining he *did* have the players pay for the privilege of having adventures run by him. He said that the way he saw it, he was providing a service. The horror of every other thread participant was palpable.

I admit, it's crossed my mind on occasion when I'm not having any fun GMing and my players are being especially entitled about my free time.

Silver Crusade

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Kalindlara wrote:
Roswynn wrote:
Once I was reading a thread in which a gm was explaining he *did* have the players pay for the privilege of having adventures run by him. He said that the way he saw it, he was providing a service. The horror of every other thread participant was palpable.
I admit, it's crossed my mind on occasion when I'm not having any fun GMing and my players are being especially entitled about my free time.

That is the sign that it's time to change campaigns or groups. Or to take a break from GMing.

Burnout is, unfortunately, real.


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Kalindlara wrote:
Roswynn wrote:
Once I was reading a thread in which a gm was explaining he *did* have the players pay for the privilege of having adventures run by him. He said that the way he saw it, he was providing a service. The horror of every other thread participant was palpable.
I admit, it's crossed my mind on occasion when I'm not having any fun GMing and my players are being especially entitled about my free time.

It worked out well for the Caverns and Creatures crew.


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Many GMs should learn to give proper appreciation to their players’ tears and sense of anxiety.
To quote a good old song,
I do it all because I’m evil,
And I do it all for free,
Your tears are all the pay I’ll ever need.

Every time I hear JJ going on about how the lore was shaped by his love of horrors and little creepies I fall a bit more in love with Pathfinder. Or Lost Omens, I guess.

Nothing like a dwarf being swooped down by a flying wolf chasing his heart while screaming “I thought this campaign was about fairies!” to make your day.


Mark Seifter wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
I do hope casters are a bit more potent in actual play. It's why I love the 4 degrees of success, the best use of a spell I've done was a Gust of Wind Spell that not only extinguished the fire on an ally, but it blew a fire elemental into a pond. But I only got that from a nat 1 on the save and cant rely too much on that. I think unreliability is my biggest worry with spells-I personally as a spellcaster in PF1 try to pick spells that dont have saves and rely only on my ability to hit. Would be nice to see some other spells come into play hat work, so big fan of spells that still do damage on sucessful saves, needing a crit success to dodge completely.

Excuse me, this is a hero point thread, can you take this discussion to- oh, wait. Nevermind.

I agree, I'm a bit nervous about too much being stuck behind a crit fail. I *hope* that buffs to spells that they hinted at included making sure a regular success matters.

If they hit the balance just right, they can really go far with the 4 degrees of success. Potentially the whole "Oh, they saved? Guess my turn and spell slot was a complete waste, see you guys tomorrow." feeling can be significantly reduced.

Yep, the key isn't to make a regular failure a disaster, that'll just take us back to PF1 instawins, but instead to drill into the idea you mention here and one of the main reasons for the degrees of success in the first place: We need to make sure that success is still something useful for the caster. For a single target save or lose spell, if you cast it and the target saved, it's more likely a boss, so something like taking away one of the boss's actions is very useful (slowed 1 may be humble, but I can't count the number of times in my game that my foes were screwed by losing that third action, for instance by losing access to a three-action activity or because I couldn't move and use a two-action activity). And some reasonably lowish level spells do that on a success, like slow is a...

I'm glad that you're trying to implement a way for spells to not instantly win fights while still being effective. Having playing a couple of games already, it felt like it was one of the main reasons for rocket tag like issues, and it felt like fights were won based on who can pull those off first. That being said, I'm glad the durations are getting buffed for some spells too.


Lost In Limbo wrote:

I do want to mention for the sake of people worried about having to buy hero points with real money the actual text states;

PF2 Playtest wrote:
Your character starts each game session with 1 Hero Point. The GM can award Hero Points when PCs perform further heroic deeds or tasks, or when players do something special for the group. For the characters’ actions, this all comes from the story. A character needs to do something selfless or daring beyond normal expectations. Players add Hero Points by taking on at least one additional responsibility, such as bringing food for the group, keeping a map of a dungeon, or taking notes.

So first off, of the three possible hero points for a session only one is obtained from out of game actions.

Secondly, of the three examples of how to earn out of game points only one has any monetary cost. The general theme I see is that any player who does something to help run the game instead of making the GM do everything gets a point.

As a GM, anything that encourages players to do some of my bookkeeping for me I'm down with.

Thank you for getting this out there, was getting ready to do so myself. XD


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Mark Seifter wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
I do hope casters are a bit more potent in actual play. It's why I love the 4 degrees of success, the best use of a spell I've done was a Gust of Wind Spell that not only extinguished the fire on an ally, but it blew a fire elemental into a pond. But I only got that from a nat 1 on the save and cant rely too much on that. I think unreliability is my biggest worry with spells-I personally as a spellcaster in PF1 try to pick spells that dont have saves and rely only on my ability to hit. Would be nice to see some other spells come into play hat work, so big fan of spells that still do damage on sucessful saves, needing a crit success to dodge completely.

Excuse me, this is a hero point thread, can you take this discussion to- oh, wait. Nevermind.

I agree, I'm a bit nervous about too much being stuck behind a crit fail. I *hope* that buffs to spells that they hinted at included making sure a regular success matters.

If they hit the balance just right, they can really go far with the 4 degrees of success. Potentially the whole "Oh, they saved? Guess my turn and spell slot was a complete waste, see you guys tomorrow." feeling can be significantly reduced.

Yep, the key isn't to make a regular failure a disaster, that'll just take us back to PF1 instawins, but instead to drill into the idea you mention here and one of the main reasons for the degrees of success in the first place: We need to make sure that success is still something useful for the caster. For a single target save or lose spell, if you cast it and the target saved, it's more likely a boss, so something like taking away one of the boss's actions is very useful (slowed 1 may be humble, but I can't count the number of times in my game that my foes were screwed by losing that third action, for instance by losing access to a three-action activity or because I couldn't move and use a two-action activity). And some reasonably lowish level spells do that on a success, like slow is a...

I had a lovely case of this in my group's Heroes of Undarin run. Demilich was one of the targets for a level 6 Slow, succeeded his save, on his next turn he let the Paladin out of his Maze because otherwise he wouldn't have been able to to cast that turn (and he needed to get off a spell much more than he needed to hold that Paladin). This was great for the Paladin because Perception vs. Spell DC on a meh-Wisdom class against a level+3 enemy is some nasty sauce, especially as he needed two successes to get out. He would not have been playing the game very much that fight if the DL hadn't gotten slowed for a round. Far from the only case like that we had in DD, but it's probably the most iconic one for my group.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have actually charged my players to run a campaign before, but it wasn't some kind of ongoing fee; instead it was "hey, can we split the cost of buying the APs for this one?" Everyone was cool with that.

On the other topic: Super awesome to hear Mark say... basically everything he said. Four degrees of success is one of my favorite features from the playtest, and I'm really glad to hear that the focus isn't just on "nerf the OP one-turn-win spells" but also very much on "reduce how often the caster feels like they wasted their turn".

I feel like the emphasis is on making casters most powerful when they work with their party every encounter, instead of the PF1e dynamic where some fights the caster would just win by themselves, and then the rest of the time they did basically nothing while the rest of the party carried. I'm very happy with that being the emphasis.


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MaxAstro wrote:
On the other topic: Super awesome to hear Mark say... basically everything he said. Four degrees of success is one of my favorite features from the playtest, and I'm really glad to hear that the focus isn't just on "nerf the OP one-turn-win spells" but also very much on "reduce how often the caster feels like they wasted their turn".

4 degrees of success for save-or-something spells was absolutely one of my favorite additions of playtest. Balance wasn't always where I wanted it but basic idea was very solid, and I hope it just got refined. 4 degrees of success in skills, on the other hand, should die a fiery death (critical failures on natural 1 especially).


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I hope that both crit failure on a natural 1 and crit success on a nat 20 go away. A level 1 goblin should not have a 5% chance of landing a crit on a level 20 fighter.

I'd prefer natural 1 and natural 20 to change the result by 1 degree instead. So if you'd normally succeed on a 1, it's a regular failure instead; if you'd normally crit fail even on a 20, a 20 is a regular failure instead.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
For a single target save or lose spell, if you cast it and the target saved, it's more likely a boss

Except that witin the playtest materials we have seen this isnt really true. Unless the math has changed significantly it was exceptionally common for equal level monsters to save against spells. Frankly, the only time spells seemed to contribute with much significance at all was on a critical fail and they generally only hppened on a natural 1 or encounters with lots of enemies significantly lower level than the party where you ddnt really need spells to mop them up in any event as they could barely hit any party member.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
andreww wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
For a single target save or lose spell, if you cast it and the target saved, it's more likely a boss
Except that witin the playtest materials we have seen this isnt really true. Unless the math has changed significantly it was exceptionally common for equal level monsters to save against spells. Frankly, the only time spells seemed to contribute with much significance at all was on a critical fail and they generally only hppened on a natural 1 or encounters with lots of enemies significantly lower level than the party where you ddnt really need spells to mop them up in any event as they could barely hit any party member.

One of the things they very quickly stated was that Monster stats, notably Skills and Saves were across the board too high. It would be difficult to envision one of the first acknowledged problems, one of raw maths, would not be solved.


MaxAstro wrote:

I hope that both crit failure on a natural 1 and crit success on a nat 20 go away. A level 1 goblin should not have a 5% chance of landing a crit on a level 20 fighter.

I'd prefer natural 1 and natural 20 to change the result by 1 degree instead. So if you'd normally succeed on a 1, it's a regular failure instead; if you'd normally crit fail even on a 20, a 20 is a regular failure instead.

I could have sworn the nat 20, if it wouldn't hit the target otherwise was treated as only a hit/success and not a crit success.

I don't remember if the nat 1 rules had something similar.


MaxAstro wrote:

I hope that both crit failure on a natural 1 and crit success on a nat 20 go away. A level 1 goblin should not have a 5% chance of landing a crit on a level 20 fighter.

I'd prefer natural 1 and natural 20 to change the result by 1 degree instead. So if you'd normally succeed on a 1, it's a regular failure instead; if you'd normally crit fail even on a 20, a 20 is a regular failure instead.

I am already using that :P


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
I hope that both crit failure on a natural 1 and crit success on a nat 20 go away. A level 1 goblin should not have a 5% chance of landing a crit on a level 20 fighter.

I don't see this as being a big deal. So the goblin does ten points of damage instead of five (or none) to a fighter with hundreds of hit points? A complete non-issue in my book.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The bigger issue comes with skills and saves, like Necromental mentioned. If you have a 95% chance of success, the other 5% being critical failure instead of failure kinda feels bad.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
I hope that both crit failure on a natural 1 and crit success on a nat 20 go away. A level 1 goblin should not have a 5% chance of landing a crit on a level 20 fighter.

This wasn't how it worked in the playtest. If 20 + bonus wasn't enough to hit the DC, then it wasn't a crit, just a regular success. Conversely, if 1 + bonus would have been a crit, then it's just a regular failure. I'd be stunned if they walked that part back.

MaxAstro wrote:
I'd prefer natural 1 and natural 20 to change the result by 1 degree instead. So if you'd normally succeed on a 1, it's a regular failure instead; if you'd normally crit fail even on a 20, a 20 is a regular failure instead.

According to Mark Seifter, that was true in one of the pre-playtest drafts, but their in-house testing suggested it was more complicated than it was worth in terms of how much people enjoyed it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hm, interesting to know I misread the playtest.

That said, upon further thought, I'd actually prefer nat 1/nat 20 to just kinda go away and not really be anything special. But I understand I'm fighting a sacred cow, there. :)


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

The two version people are talking about:
A) Nat 1/Nat 20 being a fail/success automatically, and being a crit variant if it was already a fail/success (playtest rules)
B) Nat 1/Nat 20 shifting degree of success one step relative to the numbers (often mentioned)

are effectively identical for all places you _should_ be rolling dice. The diverge in the case where a natural one (with no special rules), would be a Crit Success or a natural 20 would be a critical failure.

Under rule A) you still fail on the natural 1, under rule B your critical success becomes a regular success.

But honestly, if you only need a one for a critical success in the first place, I don't understand why we're wasting time rolling dice. So I'd just pick between A and B as whichever is easier to explain at your table. Personally I find B easier to explain and I'll use it in my home games.


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MaxAstro wrote:

I hope that both crit failure on a natural 1 and crit success on a nat 20 go away. A level 1 goblin should not have a 5% chance of landing a crit on a level 20 fighter.

I'd prefer natural 1 and natural 20 to change the result by 1 degree instead. So if you'd normally succeed on a 1, it's a regular failure instead; if you'd normally crit fail even on a 20, a 20 is a regular failure instead.

Or just get rid of the natural 1/20 altogether and do nothing else. The +10 -10 mechanism is simple and elegant. I really don't see the point of making the exception for naturals anymore.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

To the extent there's a reason to keep either one, I'd say the most persuasive use case would be the low-level PCs facing a target that's absurdly out of their range - an enemy with AC 40 being attacked by a 1st level fighter can never result in anything other than a crit fail without the benefit of a nat 20 rule. Obviously being outclassed is a huge issue either way, but at least this way your PCs aren't mathematically excluded from ever being a threat to someone.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
Obviously being outclassed is a huge issue either way, but at least this way your PCs aren't mathematically excluded from ever being a threat to someone.

That's a key issue for me right there. I don't ever want one of my players to feel like they cannot contribute to a battle. Of course, attacks aren't the only thing that can be contributed, but why take tools out of their toolbox? They are supposed to be heroes, after all.


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Fumarole wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Obviously being outclassed is a huge issue either way, but at least this way your PCs aren't mathematically excluded from ever being a threat to someone.
That's a key issue for me right there. I don't ever want one of my players to feel like they cannot contribute to a battle. Of course, attacks aren't the only thing that can be contributed, but why take tools out of their toolbox? They are supposed to be heroes, after all.

So I don't actually mind how 1s and 20s worked in the playtest, but I'm a little confused by this idea. Your 1st level party shouldn't be fighting enemies with 40 AC in the first place. Something has gone horribly wrong if that happens and they are boned regardless of whether you give them a 5% to land a hit.

This is just a natural consequence of how much level matters. You're players are heroes, but they are still level 1.


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I don’t understand why people talk about lv1s and lv20s or even lv40.

I’m prepping a lv4 fight with a lv5 monster. Barbarian has +10 to hit, monster has AC22. She’ll only crit on a 20. I’d rather have that 5% crit than saying there’s no crits.


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Ediwir wrote:

I don’t understand why people talk about lv1s and lv20s or even lv40.

I’m prepping a lv4 fight with a lv5 monster. Barbarian has +10 to hit, monster has AC22. She’ll only crit on a 20. I’d rather have that 5% crit than saying there’s no crits.

Flanking plus a single -1 condition (Frightened 1 is easy to pull off) makes that 10%, get to work on those conditions and team work.

Liberty's Edge

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Xenocrat wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

I don’t understand why people talk about lv1s and lv20s or even lv40.

I’m prepping a lv4 fight with a lv5 monster. Barbarian has +10 to hit, monster has AC22. She’ll only crit on a 20. I’d rather have that 5% crit than saying there’s no crits.

Flanking plus a single -1 condition (Frightened 1 is easy to pull off) makes that 10%, get to work on those conditions and team work.

His point is that there should be some chance of a crit even without such measures, that a crit vs. an opponent a single level higher in a straight fight with no tricks should not be impossible. Which, if you eliminate the effects of Natural 20s, they become.

I am inclined to agree with Ediwir in this regard.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

I don’t understand why people talk about lv1s and lv20s or even lv40.

I’m prepping a lv4 fight with a lv5 monster. Barbarian has +10 to hit, monster has AC22. She’ll only crit on a 20. I’d rather have that 5% crit than saying there’s no crits.

Flanking plus a single -1 condition (Frightened 1 is easy to pull off) makes that 10%, get to work on those conditions and team work.

His point is that there should be some chance of a crit even without such measures, that a crit vs. an opponent a single level higher in a straight fight with no tricks should not be impossible. Which, if you eliminate the effects of Natural 20s, they become.

I am inclined to agree with Ediwir in this regard.

tips fedora

Thank you, good sir. Exactly my point.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Not sure I agree; its a little unsatisfying IMO to to have a 90% miss rate, 5% hit rate, and a 5% crit rate. Or even the 95% miss, 5% crit. with no chance of a normal hit. (This is in spite of my liking most of the +/- 10 system, degrees of success, and the nat 1/20 interactions from the playtest... )

However, we're getting pretty far off this threads topic.

Liberty's Edge

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NielsenE wrote:

Not sure I agree; its a little unsatisfying IMO to to have a 90% miss rate, 5% hit rate, and a 5% crit rate. Or even the 95% miss, 5% crit. with no chance of a normal hit. (This is in spite of my liking most of the +/- 10 system, degrees of success, and the nat 1/20 interactions from the playtest... )

However, we're getting pretty far off this threads topic.

Your odds will basically never be this bad in actual play. I mean, your odds of a crit will, but not of hitting.

In the playtest a Mutilation Demon is a level 16 foe and has an AC of 38, while a 12th level PC likely has a +3 weapon, a stat of 20, and is, if a primarily martial character, a Master in their weapon, making for a +22 total to hit, without counting flanking (which you will almost certainly have...there are four PCs vs. one of it). That's a 16+ to hit for relatively unexceptional PC warriors (Generic Paladin or Barbarian), and 14+ with flanking.

And that's very definitely as hard an enemy as you should ever have to fight.

And all that's in the playtest. They've specified that PC odds of success are going up, and specifically noted that this includes things like the odds of a Fighter hitting with their attacks...so those odds have probably gone up a tad.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Yes, I agree that odds listed are unlikely to occur -- even more so in 2e from what we've heard than in the playtest.

That doesn't mean I agree that _should they occur_ a crit should be a possibility.

But I misread the post that started this disgression, was thinking they were in this extreme odds range, where people wanted to either miss or crit....


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Even in the playtest, when you roll a 20 and would regularly fail, you only succeed. You need to hit the DC to crit with a 20.

Mark hinted in another thread that the language might be simplified to "A 20 improves the success by one step and a 1 degrades it by one step."


I'll point out that the only time you tend to get a 5% chance to hit or a 10% chance to hit and 5% chance to crit or whatever in actual play is when you introduce multiple attack penalties. And I think swinging for that 20 on a -10 MAP is worth that chance to crit, since you're expected DPR for that action is so low anyway.


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masda_gib wrote:

Even in the playtest, when you roll a 20 and would regularly fail, you only succeed. You need to hit the DC to crit with a 20.

Mark hinted in another thread that the language might be simplified to "A 20 improves the success by one step and a 1 degrades it by one step."

I think I'm really fine with that, it's a lot easier to remember.

It also does mean that a level 20 fighter is literally never going to miss a level 1 threat, which...I'm fine with. Conversely, if your attack bonus is 30 less than their AC, you really should not be fighting them in the first place, or are completely untrained with it vs a high-level threat.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Cyouni wrote:
masda_gib wrote:

Even in the playtest, when you roll a 20 and would regularly fail, you only succeed. You need to hit the DC to crit with a 20.

Mark hinted in another thread that the language might be simplified to "A 20 improves the success by one step and a 1 degrades it by one step."

I think I'm really fine with that, it's a lot easier to remember.

It also does mean that a level 20 fighter is literally never going to miss a level 1 threat, which...I'm fine with. Conversely, if your attack bonus is 30 less than their AC, you really should not be fighting them in the first place, or are completely untrained with it vs a high-level threat.

Since most of these situations are in the realm of worldbuilding hypothetical rather than gameplay, another good one is it explains a big monster beating an army of 10,000 1st level soldiers with bows. In PF1, they would hit 500 times (25 of them crits even) and kill the monster unless it had problematic DR.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

In PF2 they'd still hit 500 times, right? just no crits.

Paizo Employee Designer

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NielsenE wrote:
In PF2 they'd still hit 500 times, right? just no crits.

In Cyouni's proposal they wouldn't hit at all, which is kind of better, though again, not that this is a real gameplay situation we should design around. Armies are not best run using normal encounter mode.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Ah yes, like I wrote upstream, if a natural 1 (without special rules) is a crit success, or a 20 a crit fail, you shouldn't be rolling dice at all. Its the "what's the DC to jump to the moon, oh doesn't matter I rolled a 20" thing again.


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Yeah, changing it to a 1 is one degree worse and a 20 is one degree better does nip the jumping to the moon problem in the bud. I mean, the playtest told you not to bother rolling in those situations anyway, but it is better to have it codified for folks that missed or ignored rhay


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Captain Morgan wrote:

Yeah, changing it to a 1 is one degree worse and a 20 is one degree better does nip the jumping to the moon problem in the bud. I mean, the playtest told you not to bother rolling in those situations anyway, but it is better to have it codified for folks that missed or ignored rhay

It also helps when the GM just didn't realize it was a "jump to the moon" situation to begin with or allowed a persistent player to roll to move things along quicker than explaining the philosophy behind disallowing rolls for "jump to the moon" stuff.

I'd also like to take a moment to point out Norman's The Design of Everyday Things applies to rules as well, and rules that require you to place a sign that says "you cannot roll to jump to the moon" are going to be inferior to rules whose design inherently implies that. It's just natural, you can read how crits work and understand that some actions are just literally impossible even if you didn't read or remember the section on jumping to the moon.


Helmic wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Yeah, changing it to a 1 is one degree worse and a 20 is one degree better does nip the jumping to the moon problem in the bud. I mean, the playtest told you not to bother rolling in those situations anyway, but it is better to have it codified for folks that missed or ignored rhay

It also helps when the GM just didn't realize it was a "jump to the moon" situation to begin with or allowed a persistent player to roll to move things along quicker than explaining the philosophy behind disallowing rolls for "jump to the moon" stuff.

I'd also like to take a moment to point out Norman's The Design of Everyday Things applies to rules as well, and rules that require you to place a sign that says "you cannot roll to jump to the moon" are going to be inferior to rules whose design inherently implies that. It's just natural, you can read how crits work and understand that some actions are just literally impossible even if you didn't read or remember the section on jumping to the moon.

Just to make sure I'm not misreading your comment, are you saying that implying something is somehow a better form of communication than outright saying it when it comes to the rules?


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That’s not entirely wrong.
If something just doesn’t work that way, you don’t need a “warning: this doesn’t work” label.

Plus people ignore warning labels all the time.


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"When I say jump, you roll how high!"

GMs who know the rules will be able to say, "You crit succeed and jump an amazing seven feet towards the moon."


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QuidEst wrote:

"When I say jump, you roll how high!"

GMs who know the rules will be able to say, "You crit succeed and jump an amazing seven feet towards the moon."

This works for the skills that have clear consistent methods to determine what a given result represents uch as jumping. But keep in mind most skills actually LOST this from PF1. For example, we don't know the specifics of how Climbing DCs are calculated.

For a silly example, the DC to see what's happening in Castrovel from Golarion could be a "level 500 task" with DC800 or something. Anything the PCs can roll would be a Critical Failure normally. In one of the cases, a nat20 would convert it to a regular failure, in the other it'd technically make it a success. Silly example that probably will never come up, but as others said "one less rule to memorize": that ridiculous tasks are impossible even though the core mechanic technically allows a success.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

"When I say jump, you roll how high!"

GMs who know the rules will be able to say, "You crit succeed and jump an amazing seven feet towards the moon."

This works for the skills that have clear consistent methods to determine what a given result represents uch as jumping. But keep in mind most skills actually LOST this from PF1. For example, we don't know the specifics of how Climbing DCs are calculated.

For a silly example, the DC to see what's happening in Castrovel from Golarion could be a "level 500 task" with DC800 or something. Anything the PCs can roll would be a Critical Failure normally. In one of the cases, a nat20 would convert it to a regular failure, in the other it'd technically make it a success. Silly example that probably will never come up, but as others said "one less rule to memorize": that ridiculous tasks are impossible even though the core mechanic technically allows a success.

That actually made me wonder about something. There is precedent for "ability that turns Critical Failures into just Failures." If I have that for say Perception, roll a 20 does my Crit Fail go to Fail from Feat and then Success from 20 or does it work the other way round?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Malk_Content wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

"When I say jump, you roll how high!"

GMs who know the rules will be able to say, "You crit succeed and jump an amazing seven feet towards the moon."

This works for the skills that have clear consistent methods to determine what a given result represents uch as jumping. But keep in mind most skills actually LOST this from PF1. For example, we don't know the specifics of how Climbing DCs are calculated.

For a silly example, the DC to see what's happening in Castrovel from Golarion could be a "level 500 task" with DC800 or something. Anything the PCs can roll would be a Critical Failure normally. In one of the cases, a nat20 would convert it to a regular failure, in the other it'd technically make it a success. Silly example that probably will never come up, but as others said "one less rule to memorize": that ridiculous tasks are impossible even though the core mechanic technically allows a success.

That actually made me wonder about something. There is precedent for "ability that turns Critical Failures into just Failures." If I have that for say Perception, roll a 20 does my Crit Fail go to Fail from Feat and then Success from 20 or does it work the other way round?

I asked a question in the same vein a while back. I ruled similar effects wouldn't stack but it seems like it could be a table variation thing if it doesn't end up codified in the rules.

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