How are 2e player characters supposed to stack up to the skill modifiers of NPCs and monsters?


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sherlock1701 wrote:
It's very frustrating and boring that you can't specialize in a skill enough to guarantee being better at it than any equivalent-level or slightly higher creature you encounter throughout your career. It's a slap in the face as a player that you've invested in something as much as possible but you're still worse at it because the game is designed that way.

Skill feats are also quite important. How important is it that you run into some creature that is close to your Legendary Medicine modifier when you can end up healing 8 entire creatures without stopping, if they're stuck healing one creature with them then being unable to be treated again for like an hour?

It is that big a deal if your Athletics are comparable if you can grapple the largest creatures in the game and they can't? If you're so good, you get a swim speed whereas they have to roll regularly?


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Kasoh wrote:
Being perceptive is just something the game requires you to be, and arbitrarily some classes are better at it

Why is the cleric 'arbitrarily' being better at perception fine but fighters and rangers 'arbitrarily' being better at perception not okay in your book then?

Nevermind that I'm not sure arbitrary is the right word, being highly perceptive is a lot more thematic for a wilderness survivalist than a priest from an abbey.

Silver Crusade

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sherlock1701 wrote:
It's very frustrating and boring that you can't specialize in a skill enough to guarantee being better at it than any equivalent-level or slightly higher creature you encounter throughout your career. It's a slap in the face as a player that you've invested in something as much as possible but you're still worse at it because the game is designed that way.

Uh, you can be.

The Hamadryad is an extreme, not the norm.

Silver Crusade

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Kasoh wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Hmm, how is this any different than martials being better at combat than casters, or certain martials having different levels of attack bonus/damage?

Magic is a caster's thing, fighting is a martial thing. You pick a caster class based on the kind of spells you want to cast or the style of casting that appeals you and the same for martials. Style, theme etc. Nothing about any of those classes sells a theme or fantasy of 'being perceptive.' Being perceptive is just something the game requires you to be, and arbitrarily some classes are better at it, even though they're already good at things over other classes (Like Rangers hunting, or rogues and their extra skill increases)

I'm not a fan of Canny Acumen being the combination of 4 different feats so you have to pick a save or perception to increase, but whatever.

This is also an edition where tasks can be gated behind your level of proficiency and to date we haven't seen any of that for Perception, but I can't imagine its not going to happen.

You aren’t required to be good at Perception, though you’re encouraged, the same with everything else.

If everyone was exactly the same with it then there wouldn't be much need for it actually, disparity can be a good thing.


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Kasoh wrote:
Magic is a caster's thing, fighting is a martial thing. You pick a caster class based on the kind of spells you want to cast or the style of casting that appeals you and the same for martials. Style, theme etc. Nothing about any of those classes sells a theme or fantasy of 'being perceptive.' Being perceptive is just something the game requires you to be, and arbitrarily some classes are better at it, even though they're already good at things over other classes (Like Rangers hunting, or rogues and their extra skill increases)

I would argue that rogues and rangers are known for being perceptive, both in fiction and in previous editions of the game.


Rysky wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
It's very frustrating and boring that you can't specialize in a skill enough to guarantee being better at it than any equivalent-level or slightly higher creature you encounter throughout your career. It's a slap in the face as a player that you've invested in something as much as possible but you're still worse at it because the game is designed that way.

Uh, you can be.

The Hamadryad is an extreme, not the norm.

The existence of those extremes is the problem.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
It's very frustrating and boring that you can't specialize in a skill enough to guarantee being better at it than any equivalent-level or slightly higher creature you encounter throughout your career. It's a slap in the face as a player that you've invested in something as much as possible but you're still worse at it because the game is designed that way.

Uh, you can be.

The Hamadryad is an extreme, not the norm.

The existence of those extremes is the problem.

Why? I think it makes the game richer that an otherworldy being of near pure beauty can be more deceptive than a mortal. And being able to fail occasionally even when specialized actually keeps some spice to the rolls.


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I can see where sherlock is coming from. People say the hamadryad is a unique specialist, but so is a character who maximizes their investment in a certain skill too.

It can feel frustrating and very lame to build a character to be the best at one particular thing only for them to not only be outclassed, but potentially significantly so by an enemy that's ostensibly their equal given CR guidelines.


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Rysky wrote:

You aren’t required to be good at Perception, though you’re encouraged, the same with everything else.

If everyone was exactly the same with it then there wouldn't be much need for it actually, disparity can be a good thing.

I'm sure in play it makes little to no difference. It just bothers me that you can't spend the resources on it if that's what you wanted your character to be able to do. Anyway, the system is what it is and I don't have to like it, just play it as it lies.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
I would argue that rogues and rangers are known for being perceptive, both in fiction and in previous editions of the game.

So are clerics, wizards, and druids.


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Kasoh wrote:
So are clerics, wizards, and druids.

Are they though? I can't think of many pieces of fiction where the priest or wizard are known for the naturally heightened senses. I read a story once about a priest who was also a detective but that was more an exception than the assumed norm.

Granted, in D&D Clerics get really good perception essentially for free because they're already incentivized in investing in wisdom... but that's still true in PF2. Again, it seems like in that particular case you're okay with one class having an arbitrary advantage.

Given that, rogues, fighters and rangers getting a proficiency bump is really just helping them play catch-up to the Cleric and chances are pretty good the Cleric might still come out ahead anyways.

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sherlock1701 wrote:
It's very frustrating and boring that you can't specialize in a skill enough to guarantee being better at it than any equivalent-level or slightly higher creature you encounter throughout your career. It's a slap in the face as a player that you've invested in something as much as possible but you're still worse at it because the game is designed that way.

I honestly get where you're coming from here. That said, I disagree with your conclusion. A true specialist should outclass the vast majority of same level threats, and be able to, with effort, equal even the best.

Now, that said, I'm not at all sure they can't. I think, and we should look at the book to examine, that with the right spells, you probably can equal the Hamadryad Queen...and I think requiring spells to equal the few true specialists in an area is reasonable enough.


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Malk_Content wrote:
And being able to fail occasionally even when specialized actually keeps some spice to the rolls.

Being able to fail occasionally is fine. Heck, if two hyper specialized characters are competing with each other it should probably be pretty neck and neck.

But according to some of the math on the first page, this is a dedicated specialist failing at their specialized task nearly three quarters of the time against an equivalent CR challenge.

That's a big step up from 'it's okay to fail occasionally.'


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sherlock1701 wrote:
It's very frustrating and boring that you can't specialize in a skill enough to guarantee being better at it than any equivalent-level or slightly higher creature you encounter throughout your career. It's a slap in the face as a player that you've invested in something as much as possible but you're still worse at it because the game is designed that way.

I consider this a feature and I hope it never changes. There are different things in the world, mysteries that you will never fully know, if even that - a fantasy world, if you will.


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Squiggit wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
And being able to fail occasionally even when specialized actually keeps some spice to the rolls.

Being able to fail occasionally is fine. Heck, if two hyper specialized characters are competing with each other it should probably be pretty neck and neck.

But according to some of the math on the first page, this is a dedicated specialist failing at their specialized task nearly three quarters of the time against an equivalent CR challenge.

That's a big step up from 'it's okay to fail occasionally.'

I mean if your adventure is "dissolve the tangled web of lies perpetuated by 50 dryad queens" then it won't be occasional. But ONE monster that you may have a social encounter with is far closer to "rare" than it is "occasional."


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And lets face it, eventually you will be able to beat that Dryad Queen, but PF2 has currently less than a month of content to build with.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
It's very frustrating and boring that you can't specialize in a skill enough to guarantee being better at it than any equivalent-level or slightly higher creature you encounter throughout your career. It's a slap in the face as a player that you've invested in something as much as possible but you're still worse at it because the game is designed that way.

I honestly get where you're coming from here. That said, I disagree with your conclusion. A true specialist should outclass the vast majority of same level threats, and be able to, with effort, equal even the best.

Now, that said, I'm not at all sure they can't. I think, and we should look at the book to examine, that with the right spells, you probably can equal the Hamadryad Queen...and I think requiring spells to equal the few true specialists in an area is reasonable enough.

As you say, you can build a level 13 character with Perception that can outwit even the faerie queen's honeyed words, among the pinnacles of high skills for its level (I doubt any creature ever has higher in any skill at level 13), but to do so, it'll take more effort, as you say. Some combination of items, magic, assistance or other circumstances can get you there. But you don't need all of that to outmatch most creatures. That plus creatures are very unlikely to have feat support for their skills for complexity and word count reasons like characters do; a character that has +20 Acrobatics but counts successes to Balance as critical successes is much more likely to win a balance beam race than one with +21 Acrobatics.


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Squiggit wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
So are clerics, wizards, and druids.

Are they though? I can't think of many pieces of fiction where the priest or wizard are known for the naturally heightened senses. I read a story once about a priest who was also a detective but that was more an exception than the assumed norm.

Granted, in D&D Clerics get really good perception essentially for free because they're already incentivized in investing in wisdom... but that's still true in PF2. Again, it seems like in that particular case you're okay with one class having an arbitrary advantage.

Given that, rogues, fighters and rangers getting a proficiency bump is really just helping them play catch-up to the Cleric and chances are pretty good the Cleric might still come out ahead anyways.

Wizened sage is an archetype filled by clerics and wizards and well documented. Combat veterans are often troped as being more aware of their surroundings and fighters aren’t one of the chosen few. With the wide variety of fiction to draw upon you can find examples for and against all day if the need arose. I don’t like using fiction as a base, because we wouldn’t be able to agree on what level Aragorn is.

Admittedly, if sense motive had still been a separate skill, I might not care as much, but since it was rolled into perception the score has to do more.

Maybe it is just the name Legendary. Legendary is something special: but never for you, no matter how hard you try you are just less.

Silver Crusade

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I think, and we should look at the book to examine, that with the right spells, you probably can equal the Hamadryad Queen...and I think requiring spells to equal the few true specialists in an area is reasonable enough.

Except when you're facing a deceiver you often won't know to buff with the appropriate spells ahead of time.

Assuming those buff spells are still relatively short lasting, of course.


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Quote:


Admittedly, if sense motive had still been a separate skill, I might not care as much, but since it was rolled into perception the score has to do more.

I think this is a big part of it. Your average priest may not be portrayed as capable of hearing a deer drinking 100m away or noticing the brief passing of an assassin's shadow, but often is portrayed as having insight into the human condition and a good read of people. Rolling together sense motive and perception completely precludes that, and your average Joe Stickyfingers winds up being better at both.


pauljathome wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I think, and we should look at the book to examine, that with the right spells, you probably can equal the Hamadryad Queen...and I think requiring spells to equal the few true specialists in an area is reasonable enough.

Except when you're facing a deceiver you often won't know to buff with the appropriate spells ahead of time.

Assuming those buff spells are still relatively short lasting, of course.

Yeah, it's not like you can cast a spell during a conversation without the other party noticing, and most people are going to shut the talks down until the spell effect is gone or even more long-term. You cast the barter buff before you walk in the shop, not in front of the shopkeeper.

Plus it's not like the dryad queen has any buff spells up to hit that number.


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That's a strange argument to me because, just to pick a random example, no 18th level character is going to ever equal or even approach the crimson worm's 410 hit points no matter how much they focus their character on having as many hit points as possible.

The idea that inhuman monsters can be inhumanly good at specific things in a way no human can hope to match is pretty well embedded in the tropes and has always been true of previous editions. As long as monsters aren't outclassing PCs at everything, I don't think it's an issue.

To quote a wise man, "there's always a bigger fish".

Plus, on the flip side, no monster is ever going to equal the versatility of a PC. Even if a monster can do one thing better than you, it can't do as many different things as you can, because PCs are huge bundles of versatility.

To quote another wise man, "the computer beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing".


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MaxAstro wrote:
That's a strange argument to me because, just to pick a random example, no 18th level character is going to ever equal or even approach the crimson worm's 410 hit points no matter how much they focus their character on having as many hit points as possible.

Can you give me an example of when you'd roll a hit point check against a monster's HP?

Quote:
To quote a wise man, "there's always a bigger fish".

Isn't that literally what the CR system is designed to represent?

I don't think sherlock would have a problem with a stronger enemy being better than a PC. The issue here is that the hamadryad isn't a bigger fish, according to the game's own guidelines on encounters.

I wonder if the hamadryad would be as celebrated for its supposed uniqueness if it was, instead, its AC that was so high even an optimized character would have trouble hitting it.


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Squiggit wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
That's a strange argument to me because, just to pick a random example, no 18th level character is going to ever equal or even approach the crimson worm's 410 hit points no matter how much they focus their character on having as many hit points as possible.

Can you give me an example of when you'd roll a hit point check against a monster's HP?

Quote:
To quote a wise man, "there's always a bigger fish".

Isn't that literally what the CR system is designed to represent?

I don't think sherlock would have a problem with a stronger enemy being better than a PC. The issue here is that the hamadryad isn't a bigger fish, according to the game's own guidelines on encounters.

I wonder if the hamadryad would be as celebrated for its supposed uniqueness if it was, instead, its AC that was so high even an optimized character would have trouble hitting it.

I mean, sure. The encounter would be interesting as it's suddenly about bringing it down with non-conventional means, targeting its abstract defenses instead of landing direct blows. The Martials use combat maneuvers and Demoralize and any save-targeting powers they have to hinder the foe while casters go for the damage or additional debuffs. Or maybe you focus on using flanking, buffs, and debuffs to tip the math as far as possible and bring it down with sheer number of attacks.

Not something I'd want on just any monster, but I'd happily take it occasionally. Especially if it's weaker in other areas like the Dryad Queen.


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Elorebaen wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
It's very frustrating and boring that you can't specialize in a skill enough to guarantee being better at it than any equivalent-level or slightly higher creature you encounter throughout your career. It's a slap in the face as a player that you've invested in something as much as possible but you're still worse at it because the game is designed that way.
I consider this a feature and I hope it never changes. There are different things in the world, mysteries that you will never fully know, if even that - a fantasy world, if you will.

It's very frustrating and boring when specializing in a skill to the best of your abilities means you'll never come across any threats around or even a bit above your level that can provide a notable roadblock to your skills. AKA pretty much my #1 gripe with PF1.

That said I understand the frustration, if you want that roadblock you can use higher foes, but that's a slippery slope and as mentioned it becomes a matter of using your versatility and options to overcome a rare case of a mathematical barricade to a full specialist. As has been gone over plenty by those more eloquent than I, it's good to have a few cases like these to avoid monotony in on-level skill challenges IMO.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Edge93 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
That's a strange argument to me because, just to pick a random example, no 18th level character is going to ever equal or even approach the crimson worm's 410 hit points no matter how much they focus their character on having as many hit points as possible.

Can you give me an example of when you'd roll a hit point check against a monster's HP?

Quote:
To quote a wise man, "there's always a bigger fish".

Isn't that literally what the CR system is designed to represent?

I don't think sherlock would have a problem with a stronger enemy being better than a PC. The issue here is that the hamadryad isn't a bigger fish, according to the game's own guidelines on encounters.

I wonder if the hamadryad would be as celebrated for its supposed uniqueness if it was, instead, its AC that was so high even an optimized character would have trouble hitting it.

I mean, sure. The encounter would be interesting as it's suddenly about bringing it down with non-conventional means, targeting its abstract defenses instead of landing direct blows. The Martials use combat maneuvers and Demoralize and any save-targeting powers they have to hinder the foe while casters go for the damage or additional debuffs. Or maybe you focus on using flanking, buffs, and debuffs to tip the math as far as possible and bring it down with sheer number of attacks.

Not something I'd want on just any monster, but I'd happily take it occasionally. Especially if it's weaker in other areas like the Dryad Queen.

Oozes are a good example of the flipside of this. They have absurdly more Hit Points than anything else of their level and are immune to critical hits, but their AC is incredibly incredibly terrible. That means suddenly new (or in this case perhaps old, as it's more like PF1) tactics of making lots of attacks at -10 MAP are really effective, and it's much more likely to land powerful press abilities on the ooze since you can hit despite the MAP.

Plus for some reason it's just really satisfying to beat down and hit on four or five attacks against an ooze; like squeezing a stress ball I guess. :D


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And I don't think same level means they can't have any stats higher than what a PC can get in that stat. That's a little silly. Being fully invested in something doesn't mean you're entitled to have to same or higher number on that thing as literally any other creature of that level ever. Especially when you make the logical extension that that thought school would apply to things like HP, Resistance, etc. Why can't I have fire immunity like a Fiend if I want to specialize in fire protection? (/Sarcasm)
Not saying the notion is unreasonable, but it really only sound good on the surface. When you dig a little you realize it's a fast track to design problems (Overpowered PCs because they can't be matched in their specializations numerically and still have versatility on their side too, overly complex monsters if you give them the full versatility of PCs to make an even match, and/or boring design because everyone specialized in x looks like y because we can't risk anyone specializing being better than another specialist in some way).

Same level means they are an equivalent challenge in an overall sense, and you could reasonably say many monsters should be an equivalent challenge in the realm of combat and in the realm out of combat. This doesn't mean you're 50-50 with them on a Deception contest, it means you have a similar shot at each other in a general sense.

So the Dryad Queen can lie the pants off of you, cool. What's her Will DC compared to optimized Diplomacy? Because it's quite possible you could chat her up a bit and get on her good side to where she doesn't really want to lie to you. Or if you want to be less Diplomatic, Coerce some truth out of her.

What's her Perception DC? Maybe you can weave your own web of lies too.

And I'm sure there are other options too.


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Quote:
Especially when you make the logical extension

I don't think that really is a logical extension, because those aren't things you roll checks for. You're never going to be in a situation where you roll your HP against someone else's HP. Monster HP and Player HP have entirely different assumptions about what they're going to be required to soak.

Skill checks and DCs don't and will be compared directly against each other, however.


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Squiggit wrote:
Quote:
Especially when you make the logical extension

I don't think that really is a logical extension, because those aren't things you roll checks for. You're never going to be in a situation where you roll your HP against someone else's HP. Monster HP and Player HP have entirely different assumptions about what they're going to be required to soak.

Skill checks and DCs don't and will be compared directly against each other, however.

The first part of this is wrong, though. Because a 13th level player is supposed to be an equal challenge to a 13th level monster, a monster's HP is assumed to be soaking the exact same things that a player's HP is.

If that weren't true (see for example Starfinder) you wouldn't be able to use PCs as enemies.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:
Yeah, it's not like you can cast a spell during a conversation without the other party noticing, and most people are going to shut the talks down until the spell effect is gone or even more long-term. You cast the barter buff before you walk in the shop, not in front of the shopkeeper.

Do all your social encounters occur by surprise? I'm pretty sure most meetings with a Queen of the Fey are the sort of thing there's some lead up to, actually. And if there's lead up, you can probably buff.

Also, a situation like this where you can't pre-buff is exactly what Concealed Spell is for, and that's a Feat available to Sorcerers and thus every spell list.

sherlock1701 wrote:
Plus it's not like the dryad queen has any buff spells up to hit that number.

No she doesn't, but it's very possible she doesn't have access to such buffs at all, while PCs may. She's a Primal caster and I doubt Primal is good at social buffs. Would you rather she had the text ala PF1 'always has this random non-list spell up' to give a social buff? Because avoiding that kind of cross checking complexity is a design goal of PF2, and the result is the same 99% of the time.

Edge93 wrote:
What's her Perception DC? Maybe you can weave your own web of lies too.

Her Perception is +25. Very respectable, but PCs can manage to beat it even sans buffs. Her Will Save is +24, and even more easily opposed.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Quote:
Especially when you make the logical extension

I don't think that really is a logical extension, because those aren't things you roll checks for. You're never going to be in a situation where you roll your HP against someone else's HP. Monster HP and Player HP have entirely different assumptions about what they're going to be required to soak.

Skill checks and DCs don't and will be compared directly against each other, however.

The first part of this is wrong, though. Because a 13th level player is supposed to be an equal challenge to a 13th level monster, a monster's HP is assumed to be soaking the exact same things that a player's HP is.

If that weren't true (see for example Starfinder) you wouldn't be able to use PCs as enemies.

This. Saying that specialization should make you the best, but only for things you roll for, is even less logical. And restricting the measure of how good you are at something to your modifier/DC is a very narrow and shallow way to measure ability and, again, results in all kinds of design issues.

And heck, even to play to the argument, you don't roll your Deception directly against someone's Deception either. You roll it against their Perception. There are few, if any, cases where you roll a skill against someone's DC for the same skill. So by that logic theres no problem since you're not in a situation where you roll your x against a monster's x.

If you say that rolling Deception against Perception qualifies even though it isn't your x vs. their x, that's no different than the fact that you roll your damage against a monster's HP and vice versa. A monster's damage roll against your HP shouldn't ever be better than your damage roll against their HP if you specialize in HP, right?


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Edge93 wrote:
This. Saying that specialization should make you the best, but only for things you roll for, is even less logical.

How so? The things you roll are literally the things you're comparing against the enemy. They are the only way in which you directly compare yourself against the enemy. You roll something, you check it against their DC or vice versa. Your checks are how you interact with the rest of the world.

Look, if you're okay with monsters being much stronger than PCs, that's fine, but an argument like "You should be okay failing 70% of the time because you don't have as much HP as the monster either" is non-sequitur and feels disrespectful to sherlock's position.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Oh also anyone can get +2 against the Dryad Queen's Deception with Fey Fellowship.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


Do all your social encounters occur by surprise? I'm pretty sure most meetings with a Queen of the Fey are the sort of thing there's some lead up to, actually. And if there's lead up, you can probably buff.

Also, a situation like this where you can't pre-buff is exactly what Concealed Spell is for, and that's a Feat available to Sorcerers and thus every spell list.

I can't imagine any sort of royal or noble court that wouldn't have a guy with detect magic and good magic-identifying skills to watch for things like this. That's the one spell people would want up in a fair conversation (that or antimagic field).

Now if you could cover up the spell aura after casting, that would make sense.


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Edge93 wrote:
Elorebaen wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
It's very frustrating and boring that you can't specialize in a skill enough to guarantee being better at it than any equivalent-level or slightly higher creature you encounter throughout your career. It's a slap in the face as a player that you've invested in something as much as possible but you're still worse at it because the game is designed that way.
I consider this a feature and I hope it never changes. There are different things in the world, mysteries that you will never fully know, if even that - a fantasy world, if you will.

It's very frustrating and boring when specializing in a skill to the best of your abilities means you'll never come across any threats around or even a bit above your level that can provide a notable roadblock to your skills. AKA pretty much my #1 gripe with PF1.

That said I understand the frustration, if you want that roadblock you can use higher foes, but that's a slippery slope and as mentioned it becomes a matter of using your versatility and options to overcome a rare case of a mathematical barricade to a full specialist. As has been gone over plenty by those more eloquent than I, it's good to have a few cases like these to avoid monotony in on-level skill challenges IMO.

That's one of the things I love about PF1. You can determine the outcome of any particular roll in advance with your character build, if you choose to specialize in it, or at least get very close to doing so. Relying on random chance for something you are supposed to be the best at isn't fun (also why I objected to variable damage modifiers instead of static bonuses - +35 is always more fun than +10d6, because you can count on that number). I prefer sure things.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Elorebaen wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
It's very frustrating and boring that you can't specialize in a skill enough to guarantee being better at it than any equivalent-level or slightly higher creature you encounter throughout your career. It's a slap in the face as a player that you've invested in something as much as possible but you're still worse at it because the game is designed that way.
I consider this a feature and I hope it never changes. There are different things in the world, mysteries that you will never fully know, if even that - a fantasy world, if you will.

It's very frustrating and boring when specializing in a skill to the best of your abilities means you'll never come across any threats around or even a bit above your level that can provide a notable roadblock to your skills. AKA pretty much my #1 gripe with PF1.

That said I understand the frustration, if you want that roadblock you can use higher foes, but that's a slippery slope and as mentioned it becomes a matter of using your versatility and options to overcome a rare case of a mathematical barricade to a full specialist. As has been gone over plenty by those more eloquent than I, it's good to have a few cases like these to avoid monotony in on-level skill challenges IMO.

That's one of the things I love about PF1. You can determine the outcome of any particular roll in advance with your character build, if you choose to specialize in it, or at least get very close to doing so. Relying on random chance for something you are supposed to be the best at isn't fun (also why I objected to variable damage modifiers instead of static bonuses - +35 is always more fun than +10d6, because you can count on that number). I prefer sure things.

The ability to take '1' on a check was something I hated about PF1.

There's things you're good at, there's things that are challenges, and there are things you can't fail.

The PF2 paradigm is that things you can't fail at are lower level challenges, and you shouldn't bother rolling against them. A challenge to the average party member should still have a chance of failure to the specialist. It should be a much lower chance, but it should exist.


Garretmander wrote:

The ability to take '1' on a check was something I hated about PF1.

There's things you're good at, there's things that are challenges, and there are things you can't fail.

The PF2 paradigm is that things you can't fail at are lower level challenges, and you shouldn't bother rolling against them. A challenge to the average party member should still have a chance of failure to the specialist. It should be a much lower chance, but it should exist.

The playtest DC table set the point at which you don't bother rolling by level, not by bonus. So either both the specialist and the other party member are rolling (and have a chance to fail) or neither are.


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Kasoh wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Maaan I'm so happy to see Fighters and Rogues be straight up better than other classes at things that are universally desirable. Weak attempts at niche protection are OUT.
I hate that things that are universally desirable are niched out to certain classes. Why can't I have a cleric (or sorcerer or alchemist) with Legendary Perception? Its only the most important (non-skill, but really should be) skill in the game. Trapfinding isn't even locked behind the rogue anymore.

I'm okay with some of it, but Perception is an issue for me, too. Monks, for example, are often noted for their keen insight, and their ability to see things that others cannot. I want my Monk to be able to have Legendary Perception. Heightened senses and keen perception in general are, to me, one of the most important abilities to have. One of my favorites. Is there no way for my Monk to ever have Legendary Perception?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

A character with a ring of lies would find getting to a +30 Deception a snap.


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lordcirth wrote:


The playtest DC table set the point at which you don't bother rolling by level, not by bonus. So either both the specialist and the other party member are rolling (and have a chance to fail) or neither are.

The playtest and that table are irrelevant now. It was based on different expectations where even untrained people got level to proficiency.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:

I can't imagine any sort of royal or noble court that wouldn't have a guy with detect magic and good magic-identifying skills to watch for things like this. That's the one spell people would want up in a fair conversation (that or antimagic field).

Now if you could cover up the spell aura after casting, that would make sense.

Antimagic Field is, I believe, Rare, and thus not gonna show up almost ever. And yes, there's probably someone checking for spells. But there's a difference between checking and doing something about it. Some spells would probably provoke a response, but I can't imagine Discern Lies being on that list (if only because of what it implies to forbid such a spell in your presence), and other spells granting skill bonuses probably wouldn't be either.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:

I can't imagine any sort of royal or noble court that wouldn't have a guy with detect magic and good magic-identifying skills to watch for things like this. That's the one spell people would want up in a fair conversation (that or antimagic field).

Now if you could cover up the spell aura after casting, that would make sense.

Antimagic Field is, I believe, Rare, and thus not gonna show up almost ever. And yes, there's probably someone checking for spells. But there's a difference between checking and doing something about it. Some spells would probably provoke a response, but I can't imagine Discern Lies being on that list (if only because of what it implies to forbid such a spell in your presence), and other spells granting skill bonuses probably wouldn't be either.

Rarity is a blight on this game and I have no intention of ever using it or playing with anyone who does.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:

I can't imagine any sort of royal or noble court that wouldn't have a guy with detect magic and good magic-identifying skills to watch for things like this. That's the one spell people would want up in a fair conversation (that or antimagic field).

Now if you could cover up the spell aura after casting, that would make sense.

Antimagic Field is, I believe, Rare, and thus not gonna show up almost ever. And yes, there's probably someone checking for spells. But there's a difference between checking and doing something about it. Some spells would probably provoke a response, but I can't imagine Discern Lies being on that list (if only because of what it implies to forbid such a spell in your presence), and other spells granting skill bonuses probably wouldn't be either.
Rarity is a blight on this game and I have no intention of ever using it or playing with anyone who does.

Seems like a terrible loss to the community. Thankfully you're welcome to use whatever house rules you like. If you're so willing to ignore sections of the rules, perhaps you should just ignore the Dryad's skill total.


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sherlock1701 wrote:


Rarity is a blight on this game and I have no intention of ever using it or playing with anyone who does.

I disagree. It's a pretty decent way to codify restricted access to certain abilities that aren't meant to really be tossed around.

Like how Blood Money was kind of designed to be a special thing used by a certain character and became an optimization tool of choice.

I feel like that spell in particular is like, 80% of the reason spells have rarity at all.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:
Rarity is a blight on this game and I have no intention of ever using it or playing with anyone who does.

The game is predicated on certain things, including Rarity in some cases. If you're gonna make Antimagic Field more widely available, you probably need to do several things to account for that (primarily, defining how much of monster's bonuses in general are magic), or the game will start having some issues.


(How is defining a creature's stats for AMF any different then adding the Ex, Su, and Sp tags/flags? But I admit, it would mean more space used to write what ability is giving what bonus, which may means harder to read stats.)


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
lordcirth wrote:
The playtest DC table set the point at which you don't bother rolling by level, not by bonus. So either both the specialist and the other party member are rolling (and have a chance to fail) or neither are.
The playtest and that table are irrelevant now. It was based on different expectations where even untrained people got level to proficiency.

So what's the published game's equivalent of the DC table? Is there something saying, "a level 10 challenging climb is DC x"? Or does it give fixed DCs like, "climbing a smooth vertical wall of ice is DC 30"?

Sovereign Court

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Matthew Downie wrote:
So what's the published game's equivalent of the DC table? Is there something saying, "a level 10 challenging climb is DC x"? Or does it give fixed DCs like, "climbing a smooth vertical wall of ice is DC 30"?

Almost a hundred posts in and someone asks the key question.

The take on DCs is notably different from the playtest. Gone is the table with 5 DCs per level based on how hard something is supposed to be. Instead you get a more varied approach. For those who want to read the whole thing, go to page 503.

In short, first you check if there's a predefined DC for whatever the player is doing. If not, then you can use either the Simple DC or the DC by Level.

Simple DCs are:
Untrained 10
Trained 15
Expert 20
Master 30
Legendary 40

If you think "this sounds like a job for an Expert", you look at that list and pick the Expert DC. You can then tweak it with another table to make it harder or easier. Making it easier is usually a -2 DC, a -5 DC if it's really easy, and -10 if it's incredibly easy. Harder follows the same pattern. So an "easy job for an Expert" would be DC 18. Given that you're probably no less than level 3 by the time you become Expert in a skill and you have a +3 ability score, that would mean you have a (3+4) proficiency and +3 ability = +10, so you need to roll an 8 to succeed. That does indeed look like it's on the easy side.

Simple DCs are good for "objective" DCs, like doing a task that's the same regardless of who tries.

"Subjective" DCs such as when you're using a skill against someone, work better with the level-based DCs. That's a table giving DCs that start at DC 14 for a level 0 challenge, and go up to 50 for a level 25 challenge. So DCs go up by 1.44 per level in a fairly even curve. Over 25 levels to stay even you'd need to collect a +11 apart from your just your level to keep up. This seems to match going up either to Legendary (+8) and increasing your ability score by +3 (doable with an item and 5th level increases), or you'd need to obtain some items that give a bonus.

That's the 0 to 25 view however, I suspect that in actual play (say, levels 1-15) if you take the occasional skill increase you'll actually be getting ahead of the curve. The book says:

"Note that PCs who invest in a skill become more likely
to succeed at a DC of their level as they increase in level,
and the listed DCs eventually become very easy for them."

And later on, describing the modifiers for easy/hard tasks:

"The adjustments’ names don’t translate to how hard a
task actually is for a PC or group of PCs, and adjustments
aren’t meant to balance out or replace PCs’ bonuses and
penalties. PCs who invest in a skill will become better and
better at that skill as they increase in level. For example, even
the best 1st-level PC has grim odds against an incredibly
hard 1st-level DC, with a huge chance of critical failure, but
by 20th level, an optimized character with a modicum of
magic or assistance can take down incredibly hard 20th-
level DCs over half the time, critically failing only on a 1. At
higher levels, many groups will find that the very hard DC is
more like standard for them; keep that in mind if you need
a check that presents a true challenge to a high level group."

This seems like a real shift from the playtest DC table which seemed to be built more to keep DCs challenging for the specialists while leaving everyone else behind.

Liberty's Edge

Temperans wrote:
(How is defining a creature's stats for AMF any different then adding the Ex, Su, and Sp tags/flags? But I admit, it would mean more space used to write what ability is giving what bonus, which may means harder to read stats.)

It isn't. This is just something that PF2 doesn't bother with, so you have to add it back in if AMF is gonna be common and you want to maintain balance between PCs and monsters.

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