Avoiding ableism by consistently applying the rules of perception in PF2


Rules Discussion

1 to 50 of 112 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

10 people marked this as a favorite.

I started this thread to avoid derailing the thread about magic missile and concealment, and to hopefully help future pathfinder and paizo material avoid the double pitfall of making assumptions of sight as the default precise sense of all characters and creatures.

The good news is that rules already have everything in place to make this easy and clear. For targeting and effects: spells, feats and abilities should call out the need for a target to be observed, hidden, undetected or unnoticed. When and where specific senses are relevant to the specific feature, such as the spell invisibility or silence, then the specific senses should be called out with the terminology of sight (precise) or hearing (precise), rather than slip into colloquial usage of sensory words that often privileges sight, and can inadequately represent the other senses.

This originally rose to my attention looking at the targeting language of magic missile which unnecessarily specifies "you can see," instead of "a target that you observe."

It also manifests itself in using Line of sight as any kind of metric for targeting in the game, instead of "ability to observe" which can be paired with line of effect when necessary. Line of sight as a default category for "ability to observe" is problematic because not all senses require the same kind of direct paths. Instead of saying that a wall of force blocks line of effect, but not line of sight (and potentially only line of sight), it would be more accurate and clear to state that a wall of force blocks line of effect, and not ability to observe, unless it does block some particular sense, such as scent or hearing, in which case that should probably have been called out to begin with.

I personally take some responsibility for not having thought of this during the playtest and providing feed back on it in a manner before any books went to print, but I think it would be wise to consider staying consistent to the very fair rules of perception established within pathfinder 2nd edition and avoiding slipping into colloquial language around senses that can create unnecessary confusion and exclusion in future material.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I’m not sure I follow, how are line of sight and “ability to observe” different? If we’re talking about the same five senses, there’s only one I can think of that allows one to observe, and that is sight.


Daniel Yeatman wrote:
I’m not sure I follow, how are line of sight and “ability to observe” different? If we’re talking about the same five senses, there’s only one I can think of that allows one to observe, and that is sight.

That may vary for some creatures. See the "Detecting With Other Senses" sidebar on page 465 of the CRB. They specifically mention the possibility of having echolocation as a precise sense.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
I started this thread to avoid derailing the thread about magic missile and concealment, and to hopefully help future pathfinder and paizo material avoid the double pitfall of making assumptions of sight as the default precise sense of all characters and creatures.

The issue there is that sight IS the default precise sense for most creatures. That isn't a problem though, as creatures with a different precise sense should simply say that X sense is precise and is also treated as sight for that creature.

Unicore wrote:
The good news is that rules already have everything in place to make this easy and clear. For targeting and effects: spells, feats and abilities should call out the need for a target to be observed, hidden, undetected or unnoticed. When and where specific senses are relevant to the specific feature, such as the spell invisibility or silence, then the specific senses should be called out with the terminology of sight (precise) or hearing (precise), rather than slip into colloquial usage of sensory words that often privileges sight, and can inadequately represent the other senses.

Unfortunately, observed is defined as "You’re in the creature’s clear view", which implies sight as the default sense. This might also by why invisibility says "Cloaked in illusion, the target becomes invisible. This makes it undetected to all creatures". That makes it clear that even if a creature uses another precise sense, invisibility still makes the target undetectable.

This isn't really a problem though. By assuming sight to be the default precise sense for creatures, any creatures without sight simply need to list the specific differences that creature has related to it's precise sense, instead of making things more complicated by dealing with multiple senses as the default.

Unicore wrote:
This originally rose to my attention looking at the targeting language of magic missile which unnecessarily specifies "you can see," instead of "a target that you observe."

But observe is defined as "You’re in the creature’s clear view". This mean you must be able to see the creature, unless your special precise sense states otherwise. You can;t use it to hit creatures you know are there, but you can't see.

Unicore wrote:
It also manifests itself in using Line of sight as any kind of metric for targeting in the game, instead of "ability to observe" which can be paired with line of effect when necessary. Line of sight as a default category for "ability to observe" is problematic because not all senses require the same kind of direct paths. Instead of saying that a wall of force blocks line of effect, but not line of sight (and potentially only line of sight), it would be more accurate and clear to state that a wall of force blocks line of effect, and not ability to observe, unless it does block some particular sense, such as scent or hearing, in which case that should probably have been called out to begin with.

Using line of sight creates a standard ruling. Specific other creatures with other precise senses will tell you how to adjust line of sight for that creature. If wall of force blocks line of effect but not line of sight, and you are using another sense as your primary sense, then you simply substitute your rules when necessary.

Unicore wrote:
I personally take some responsibility for not having thought of this during the playtest and providing feed back on it in a manner before any books went to print, but I think it would be wise to consider staying consistent to the very fair rules of perception established within pathfinder 2nd edition and avoiding slipping into colloquial language around senses that can create unnecessary confusion and exclusion in future material.

I think the rules are very consistent. They use sight as the presumed primary sense, and any deviation from that describes it's rules alterations within it's own text.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

In the text under observed it says this:

CRB pg. 466 wrote:

In most circumstances, you can sense creatures without difficulty and target them normally. Creatures in this state are observed. Observing requires a precise sense, which for most creatures means sight, but see the Detecting with Other Senses sidebar (page 465) for advice regarding creatures that don’t use sight as their primary sense. If you can’t observe the creature, it’s either hidden, undetected,

or unnoticed, and you’ll need to factor in the targeting restrictions. Even if a creature is observed, it might still be concealed.

This is what I am calling clear language that doesn't assume sight as the only precise sense. Using this definition, "ability to observe" is clear and does not require special rules for every time sight might not be the sense in question.

Using sight as a presumed sense is bad game design, and it unnecessarily complicates having characters and creatures that do not rely on sight. It is even more problematic when spells like magic missile say "you can see the target" rather than deal with the specific categories set out in the rules for perception. Consistent usage of accurate language that does not exclude players or their imaginations is better than defaulting to assumptions that "to see" means "to sense."


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unfortunately, observed is defined as "You’re in the creature’s clear view", which implies sight as the default sense. This might also by why invisibility says "Cloaked in illusion, the target becomes invisible. This makes it undetected to all creatures". That makes it clear that even if a creature uses another precise sense, invisibility still makes the target undetectable.

But this is not true.

CRB page 467, Invisible wrote:
Precise senses other than sight ignore the invisible condition.


16 people marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
Using sight as a presumed sense is bad game design

You've said this a couple times, you've even loaded your post with barbed accusations of prejudice to try to add more weight to it, but I don't think you've done a good job explaining why.

The rules are built around the standard assumptions the vast majority of creatures play by and special exceptions in turn specify how they interact with those default rules.

Leaving the exception handling to the exceptions keeps the relevant rules more localized and reduces the need to exhaustively handle those exceptions in general use cases.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unfortunately, observed is defined as "You’re in the creature’s clear view", which implies sight as the default sense. This might also by why invisibility says "Cloaked in illusion, the target becomes invisible. This makes it undetected to all creatures". That makes it clear that even if a creature uses another precise sense, invisibility still makes the target undetectable.

But this is not true.

CRB page 467, Invisible wrote:
Precise senses other than sight ignore the invisible condition.

Ohh, I didn't know that, neat.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
swoosh wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Using sight as a presumed sense is bad game design

You've said this a couple times, you've even loaded your post with barbed accusations of prejudice to try to add more weight to it, but I don't think you've done a good job explaining why.

The rules are built around the standard assumptions the vast majority of creatures play by and special exceptions in turn specify how they interact with those default rules.

Leaving the exception handling to the exceptions keeps the relevant rules more localized and reduces the need to exhaustively handle those exceptions in general use cases.

It is bad game design because Paizo does not want to exclude players for whom sight might not qualify as a "precise" sense from feeling like they can be adequately represented at the table by characters that exist in a magical universe to accomplish all kinds of things, including precisely utilize other senses to perceive the world around them.

It is bad game design because it is inconsistent with the rules for perception which they define on page 466 which avoid engaging in this limiting language, and I honestly believe it was a mistake the developers would go back and fix on their own if they had thought of it before the book went to the publishers.

Consistency is good game design. The rules establish the ability to have consistent clarity around how senses work, but by sometimes using the word sight when they mean all senses, they are creating extra confusion.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:

In the text under observed it says this:

CRB pg. 466 wrote:
In most circumstances, you can sense creatures without difficulty and target them normally. Creatures in this state are observed. Observing requires a precise sense, which for most creatures means sight, but see the Detecting with Other Senses sidebar (page 465) for advice regarding creatures that don’t use sight as their primary sense. If you can’t observe the creature, it’s either hidden, undetected, or unnoticed, and you’ll need to factor in the targeting restrictions. Even if a creature is observed, it might still be concealed.
This is what I am calling clear language that doesn't assume sight as the only precise sense. Using this definition, "ability to observe" is clear and does not require special rules for every time sight might not be the sense in question.

But sight not being the sense in questing is a special rule. You could either dictate how every effect interacts with every possible precise sense, or you could use sight as the default and tell creatures with other senses how that effects them.

Unicore wrote:
Using sight as a presumed sense is bad game design, and it unnecessarily complicates having characters and creatures that do not rely on sight. It is even more problematic when spells like magic missile say "you can see the target" rather than deal with the specific categories set out in the rules for perception. Consistent usage of accurate language that does not exclude players or their imaginations is better than defaulting to assumptions that "to see" means "to sense."

I disagree. It creates a standard and streamlined baseline for most purposes. Any exceptions are going to be rare and it is easier to give those exceptions their own rules rather than making everything else more complicated. Nothing about having the baseline text be 'sight' excludes anyone, especially if specific rules are given for non sight based senses.


24 people marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:


It is bad game design because Paizo does not want to exclude players for whom sight might not qualify as a "precise" sense from feeling like they can be adequately represented at the table by characters that exist in a magical universe to accomplish all kinds of things, including precisely utilize other senses to perceive the world around them.

This seems like something that would only exclude players seeking a reason to feel excluded.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unicore wrote:

In the text under observed it says this:

CRB pg. 466 wrote:
In most circumstances, you can sense creatures without difficulty and target them normally. Creatures in this state are observed. Observing requires a precise sense, which for most creatures means sight, but see the Detecting with Other Senses sidebar (page 465) for advice regarding creatures that don’t use sight as their primary sense. If you can’t observe the creature, it’s either hidden, undetected, or unnoticed, and you’ll need to factor in the targeting restrictions. Even if a creature is observed, it might still be concealed.
This is what I am calling clear language that doesn't assume sight as the only precise sense. Using this definition, "ability to observe" is clear and does not require special rules for every time sight might not be the sense in question.

But sight not being the sense in questing is a special rule. You could either dictate how every effect interacts with every possible precise sense, or you could use sight as the default and tell creatures with other senses how that effects them.

Unicore wrote:
Using sight as a presumed sense is bad game design, and it unnecessarily complicates having characters and creatures that do not rely on sight. It is even more problematic when spells like magic missile say "you can see the target" rather than deal with the specific categories set out in the rules for perception. Consistent usage of accurate language that does not exclude players or their imaginations is better than defaulting to assumptions that "to see" means "to sense."
I disagree. It creates a standard and streamlined baseline for most purposes. Any exceptions are going to be rare and it is easier to give those exceptions their own rules rather than making everything else more complicated. Nothing about having the baseline text be 'sight' excludes anyone, especially if specific rules are given for non sight based senses.

SO the implication should be that a caster requires precise sight to be able to use magic missile? Why? What value does that add to the game other than excluding characters who rely on other precise senses?

Especially when "line of effect and ability to observe" is clear AND inclusive.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:

SO the implication should be that a caster requires precise sight to be able to use magic missile? Why? What value does that add to the game other than excluding characters who rely on other precise senses?

Especially when "line of effect and ability to observe" is clear AND inclusive.

Yes.

Unless you have a piece of rules text that let's you use another sense as a precise sense, then that piece of text will tell you how to use your sense in place of sight for effects that require sight.

If you have that, then there is no problem. If you don't have that, then you are currently in a situation where you don't have an applicable precise sense (within magical darkness for example) and you can't cast the spell.

Being able to see the target is specific, quick to understand, and rock strong. No min-maxing or rules bending here. "line of effect and ability to observe" can be twisted and bent in unintended ways.

No one is being excluded here. Everyone know exactly what the spell does, what the spells means, and how it works for their character.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Also from page 8:

CRB page 8 wrote:
Pathfinder is a game for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other identities and life experiences. It is the responsibility of all of the players, not just the GM, to make sure the table is fun and welcoming to all.

Using inclusive language is a stated goal of PF2 game design.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unicore wrote:

SO the implication should be that a caster requires precise sight to be able to use magic missile? Why? What value does that add to the game other than excluding characters who rely on other precise senses?

Especially when "line of effect and ability to observe" is clear AND inclusive.

Yes.

Unless you have a piece of rules text that let's you use another sense as a precise sense, then that piece of text will tell you how to use your sense in place of sight for effects that require sight.

If you have that, then there is no problem. If you don't have that, then you are currently in a situation where you don't have an applicable precise sense (within magical darkness for example) and you can't cast the spell.

Being able to see the target is specific, quick to understand, and rock strong. No min-maxing or rules bending here. "line of effect and ability to observe" can be twisted and bent in unintended ways.

No one is being excluded here. Everyone know exactly what the spell does, what the spells means, and how it works for their character.

Except for the fact that the rules for being observed do not interact as well with the language of a target "you can see," as if the specific sensory condition "observed," or "observed and not concealed" was called out in the text. Which is why there is actual confusion about how the spell interacts with concealment. In a game as complex as Pathfinder 2, consistent use of language related to perception and targeting should be a priority.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
Except for the fact that the rules for being observed do not interact as well with the language of a target "you can see," as if the specific sensory condition "observed," or "observed and not concealed" was called out in the text. Which is why there is actual confusion about how the spell interacts with concealment. In a game as complex as Pathfinder 2, consistent use of language related to perception and targeting should be a priority.

This text should clear up any problems.

CRB page 304 wrote:
Some spells allow you to directly target a creature, an object, or something that fits a more specific category. The target must be within the spell’s range, and you must be able to see it (or otherwise perceive it with a precise sense) to target it normally. At the GM’s discretion, you can attempt to target a creature you can’t see, as described in Detecting Creatures on pages 465–467. If you fail to target a particular creature, this doesn’t change how the spell affects any other targets the spell might have.

Further, page 467 tells you how to deal with concealment.

CRB page 467 wrote:
This condition protects a creature if it’s in mist, within dim light, or amid something else that obscures sight but does not provide a physical barrier to effects. An effect or type of terrain that describes an area of concealment makes all creatures within it concealed. When you target a creature that’s concealed from you, you must attempt a DC 5 flat check before you roll to determine your effect. If you fail, you don’t affect the target. The concealed condition doesn’t change which of the main categories of detection apply to the creature. A creature in a light fog bank is still observed even though it’s concealed.

A concealed creature is still seen. You can still target it with magic missile. This is completely consistent (and inclusive) language.


Question:

If a creature has a precise sense, other than sight, and we assume that "see" for Magic Missile is intended to be replaced with any precise sense (say, tremor-sense, echolocation, magical thaum-"sight"), then:

Does smoke (fog, invisibility), which conceals a creature only visually, affect the above caster?

Can you site a rule one way or the other?


Draco18s wrote:

Question:

If a creature has a precise sense, other than sight, and we assume that "see" for Magic Missile is intended to be replaced with any precise sense (say, tremor-sense, echolocation, magical thaum-"sight"), then:

Does smoke (fog, invisibility), which conceals a creature only visually, affect the above caster?

Can you site a rule one way or the other?

No, but that rule should be covered by whatever rules gives you a different precise sense. It might say "X and Y give creatures concealment from you, but not A or B."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

Question:

If a creature has a precise sense, other than sight, and we assume that "see" for Magic Missile is intended to be replaced with any precise sense (say, tremor-sense, echolocation, magical thaum-"sight"), then:

Does smoke (fog, invisibility), which conceals a creature only visually, affect the above caster?

Can you site a rule one way or the other?

No, but that rule should be covered by whatever rules gives you a different precise sense. It might say "X and Y give creatures concealment from you, but not A or B."

Alternatively, the rules for observing can not assume sight, can cover all senses generally when that makes sense and make exceptions when necessary, which is what should be happening anyway, rather than always assuming sight and having to deal with every possible exception for things that might obstruct tremor sense in the description of the ability that grants it.

For example, is a creature on the other side of a wall of fire observed, concealed, hidden, undetected, or unnoticed by precise sight? precise sent? hearing? tremor sense? It is much easier and more clear if the spell can just say undetected or hidden or concealed (if that is the intention) except for tremor sense if tremor sense should have a better level of observation. Or say for invisibility, just specified that it made the target undetected by precise sight, than to say unobserved in the spell text and then have to include an aside in a different part of the book talking about senses that it only applies to sight. It also makes it easier to have heightened forms of perception or stealth altering spells that call out different senses in interesting ways without having to include all the rules that might go along with them.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Evilgm wrote:
Unicore wrote:


It is bad game design because Paizo does not want to exclude players for whom sight might not qualify as a "precise" sense from feeling like they can be adequately represented at the table by characters that exist in a magical universe to accomplish all kinds of things, including precisely utilize other senses to perceive the world around them.
This seems like something that would only exclude players seeking a reason to feel excluded.

Being excluded is usually the reason people feel excluded.

But, but, you say, nobody is excluding anybody.

You don't need to go any further than you PgUp button to see actual exclusion - everyone who posted "why should we rewrite the rules for a small minority?" is actively excluding.

Paizo stated they wanted to include everybody. Maybe you disagree with that goal; that's okay. But you can't argue that Paizo's language doesn't seem to match Paizo's intent.


Unicore wrote:

Alternatively, the rules for observing can not assume sight, can cover all senses generally when that makes sense and make exceptions when necessary, which is what should be happening anyway, rather than always assuming sight and having to deal with every possible exception for things that might obstruct tremor sense in the description of the ability that grants it.

For example, is a creature on the other side of a wall of fire observed, concealed, hidden, undetected, or unnoticed by precise sight? precise sent? hearing? tremor sense? It is much easier and more clear if the spell can just say undetected or hidden or concealed (if that is the intention) except for tremor sense if tremor sense should have a better level of observation. Or say for invisibility, just specified that it made the target undetected by precise sight, than to say unobserved in the spell text and then have to include an aside in a different part of the book talking about senses that it only applies to sight. It also makes it easier to have heightened forms of perception or stealth altering spells that call out different senses in interesting ways without having to include all the rules that might go along with them.

That takes up so much more space and necessitates constant and frequent updates. Every spell having to indicate which senses apply to it would make spells much more complicated, and then they would need to be updated any time a new type of precise sense is added.

Using sight as a baseline let's everyone know how something works, and then anything with an abnormal precise sense will have a little blurb telling it the things that are different for it, which is much more useful for a vast majority of cases.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Watery Soup wrote:

Being excluded is usually the reason people feel excluded.

But, but, you say, nobody is excluding anybody.

You don't need to go any further than you PgUp button to see actual exclusion - everyone who posted "why should we rewrite the rules for a small minority?" is actively excluding.

Paizo stated they wanted to include everybody. Maybe you disagree with that goal; that's okay. But you can't argue that Paizo's language doesn't seem to match Paizo's intent.

That is not being exclusive. There is a place in the rules text for the edge case that is non standard senses. Not wanting to require a massive chunk of rules in a less effective way is not exclusion.

I can argue that they are being inclusive, several sections make mentions of non standard primary senses and their alternatives. Everyone is being included in the most effective way. The most common cases are standard, edge cases explain the changes they provide. It's just a solid system for making readable rules.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unicore wrote:

Alternatively, the rules for observing can not assume sight, can cover all senses generally when that makes sense and make exceptions when necessary, which is what should be happening anyway, rather than always assuming sight and having to deal with every possible exception for things that might obstruct tremor sense in the description of the ability that grants it.

For example, is a creature on the other side of a wall of fire observed, concealed, hidden, undetected, or unnoticed by precise sight? precise sent? hearing? tremor sense? It is much easier and more clear if the spell can just say undetected or hidden or concealed (if that is the intention) except for tremor sense if tremor sense should have a better level of observation. Or say for invisibility, just specified that it made the target undetected by precise sight, than to say unobserved in the spell text and then have to include an aside in a different part of the book talking about senses that it only applies to sight. It also makes it easier to have heightened forms of perception or stealth altering spells that call out different senses in interesting ways without having to include all the rules that might go along with them.

That takes up so much more space and necessitates constant and frequent updates. Every spell having to indicate which senses apply to it would make spells much more complicated, and then they would need to be updated any time a new type of precise sense is added.

Using sight as a baseline let's everyone know how something works, and then anything with an abnormal precise sense will have a little blurb telling it the things that are different for it, which is much more useful for a vast majority of cases.

Not if the general assumption is that spells, feats and abilities generally do affect senses in similar manners. Then you only have to include an exception when the situation calls for it, which is something that would be useful to players and GMs anyway, because the spell invisibility should not say it leaves the target unobserved if it literally is only meant to block the precise sense of sight. That is something that should be called out in the spell, while using the language of sight to talk about spell targeting, when that targeting should not be dependent on sight, like magic missile, is making the exact opposite mistake.

Assuming precise sight as a default sense for all things actually causes more confusion than it clears up when there are easily ways for characters to have other precise senses in the game.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unicore wrote:

Alternatively, the rules for observing can not assume sight, can cover all senses generally when that makes sense and make exceptions when necessary, which is what should be happening anyway, rather than always assuming sight and having to deal with every possible exception for things that might obstruct tremor sense in the description of the ability that grants it.

For example, is a creature on the other side of a wall of fire observed, concealed, hidden, undetected, or unnoticed by precise sight? precise sent? hearing? tremor sense? It is much easier and more clear if the spell can just say undetected or hidden or concealed (if that is the intention) except for tremor sense if tremor sense should have a better level of observation. Or say for invisibility, just specified that it made the target undetected by precise sight, than to say unobserved in the spell text and then have to include an aside in a different part of the book talking about senses that it only applies to sight. It also makes it easier to have heightened forms of perception or stealth altering spells that call out different senses in interesting ways without having to include all the rules that might go along with them.

That takes up so much more space and necessitates constant and frequent updates. Every spell having to indicate which senses apply to it would make spells much more complicated, and then they would need to be updated any time a new type of precise sense is added.

Using sight as a baseline let's everyone know how something works, and then anything with an abnormal precise sense will have a little blurb telling it the things that are different for it, which is much more useful for a vast majority of cases.

Not if the general assumption is that spells, feats and abilities generally do affect senses in similar manners. Then you only have to include an exception when the situation calls for it, which is something that would be useful to players and GMs...

We have a fundamental disagreement here. Your solution vastly overcomplicates a system that works really well. Standard<Diversion creates solid groundwork, allows for specific exceptions, and creates a universally understood play expierence. The current rules are not ableist at all, and there is a constant effort for inclusiveness.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

Question:

If a creature has a precise sense, other than sight, and we assume that "see" for Magic Missile is intended to be replaced with any precise sense (say, tremor-sense, echolocation, magical thaum-"sight"), then:

Does smoke (fog, invisibility), which conceals a creature only visually, affect the above caster?

Can you site a rule one way or the other?

No, but that rule should be covered by whatever rules gives you a different precise sense. It might say "X and Y give creatures concealment from you, but not A or B."

Ah, but you're wrong, because it isn't in the description of the precise sense. We already know that invisibility doesn't work on precise senses other than sight because of the rules written into that of invisibility! And all other precise senses that do exist do not specify such things and it is left to GM discretion.

Does tremor-sense work through walls? Who knows!


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Watery Soup wrote:

You don't need to go any further than you PgUp button to see actual exclusion - everyone who posted "why should we rewrite the rules for a small minority?" is actively excluding.

Paizo stated they wanted to include everybody. Maybe you disagree with that goal; that's okay. But you can't argue that Paizo's language doesn't seem to match Paizo's intent.

Man how gross is it to try to bully and scare people into shutting up with tactics like this on an RPG forum of all places?

Having a baseline standard for rules is not excluding people. To suggest it is patently absurd at best and deeply manipulative at worst.


I'm new to the game, so I'm not really seeing the easily accessible ways to make your characters primary sense not-sight, at least not at chargen and then a bunch of levels further. I don't think the game is conductive to playing a character with physical disability until at least you get a chance to aquire some magical items that make such concept workable adventurer.


Draco18s wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

Question:

If a creature has a precise sense, other than sight, and we assume that "see" for Magic Missile is intended to be replaced with any precise sense (say, tremor-sense, echolocation, magical thaum-"sight"), then:

Does smoke (fog, invisibility), which conceals a creature only visually, affect the above caster?

Can you site a rule one way or the other?

No, but that rule should be covered by whatever rules gives you a different precise sense. It might say "X and Y give creatures concealment from you, but not A or B."

Ah, but you're wrong, because it isn't in the description of the precise sense. We already know that invisibility doesn't work on precise senses other than sight because of the rules written into that of invisibility! And all other precise senses that do exist do not specify such things and it is left to GM discretion.

Does tremor-sense work through walls? Who knows!

The description for tremor-sense should tell you! That's where it should be.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
WHW wrote:

I'm new to the game, so I'm not really seeing the easily accessible ways to make your characters primary sense not-sight, at least not at chargen and then a bunch of levels further. I don't think the game is conductive to playing a character with physical disability until at least you get a chance to aquire some magical items that make such concept workable adventurer.

Congratulations to finding PF2! It is overall, a very great game with a great set of rules.

You are correct that characters with primary senses other than sight are not yet available to create at character generation. But the possibility that a future ancestry or player option might allow for it are very close to being worked out within the system for perception laid out in the core rulebook. In fact, it looks like some effort was undertaken to divorce sight from the default primary sense in the general language of perception, observed, hidden, undetected, etc.

It just wasn't done consistently, and that is unfortunate because the PF2 system was very close to making this easy and not requiring magical items or high level feats for this to be an easy option for characters to choose. Helping them develop that further and avoid ruling it out by making assumptions about default senses that are unnecessary for game play is the point of this thread.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
We have a fundamental disagreement here. Your solution vastly overcomplicates a system that works really well. Standard<Diversion creates solid groundwork, allows for specific exceptions, and creates a universally understood play expierence. The current rules are not ableist at all, and there is a constant effort for inclusiveness.

I agree. It does appear that we have a fundamental disagreement here. My solution is to use the rules already developed in the section under perception on page consistently throughout the book in feats and spells so that there is no need to assume a "standard" that isn't standard for all people or characters. The current rules in this section are much less problematic than any RPG I have seen before. They are also not consistently applied. And if they were, it would result in a more inclusive and clearly defined gaming system.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

To be honest, while I understand trying to be inclusive, I also don't see the problem with atypical setup being exactly that - atypical and not the default. Not being default is OK - rules still are constructed in a way that allows you to get other primary sense, you just need to switch your perspective accordingly. I do not expect to see a game about, say, competetive biking to have core rules built around people who lack their lower limbs.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:
The description for tremor-sense should tell you! That's where it should be.

Lets look, shall we?

CRB p464: Precise Senses wrote:

You can usually detect a creature

automatically with a precise sense unless that creature is
hiding or obscured by the environment
CRB p465 wrote:

Tremorsense

Tremorsense allows a creature to feel the vibrations
through a solid surface caused by movement. It is usually
an imprecise sense with a limited range (listed in the ability).
Tremorsense functions only if the detecting creature is on
the same surface as the subject, and only if the subject is
moving along (or burrowing through) the surface.

No current creatures have tremorsense as a precise sense.

Only giant bats and vampire bat swarms have a "precise" sense other than vision, here's what's listed.
Bestiary p39 wrote:

echolocation (precise)

...
Echolocation A bat swarm can use its hearing as a precise sense at the listed range

That's it. Who knows what forms of concealment work against it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yo, can we drop the "looking to be excluded" nonsense? Really not productive and it's a meaningless accusation. Talk about it in terms of mechanics, not in terms of whether you think some other group "deserves" to feel excluded or not.

For line-of-sight, for abilities like Magic Missile it's hard to avoid because it's a balance restriction. Magic Missile without the line of sight restriction is just stronger, going around things like solid walls changes the spell in a significant way. It's less about how the creature has observed their target and more about how the spell gets to that target - sorta like how arrows from a bow still generally need a line of sight unless some fancy feats are getting involved for trick shots.

I can get the desire to not overspecify a particular sense, especially in a game where RAW certain creatures are going to have very different precision senses, but we want to avoid making particular spells or abilities stronger or cheesier purely because you have a different precise sense. Using sound to locate enemies seems fine, but something like Magic Missile would probably still need line of sight because that's how the missiles themselves operate.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

So PF2 had a Deaf Oracle curse which provided a pretty significant advantage: it cast all spells silently. A popular combo was to mix it with the Wolf Scarred curse, which deformed you and gave you a bite attack and a 25% chance of spell failure when verbal components were in the play. Using Deaf Dual Cursed meant no downside to your spell casting from the wolf jaws.

I have a hearing impaired friend who games with me for a while. He never wanted to play such a character. And when he heard about someone who did, he got pretty mad about it. He did not like the idea of someone using his real life hardships as a way to reap mechanical advantage.

That's the risk Paizo runs when they introduce mechanics to emulate disabilities. Very few people are interested in taking a mechanical handicap without trading it for a mechanical benefit. Which itself opens up a whole new can of ableist worms. You're downplaying the real life hardships so that people can minmax.

My one friend? He'd rather use his escapism to play a character who just doesn't have to deal with such problems at all.

For Paizo, I imagine it feels kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't. As such writing the book assuming the standard array of senses and then giving people a sidebar on talking to your GM about seeing if you can arrange something that people are comfortable with seems like the best move. And once you've gone that far you can figure out how to tweak the language on things like magic Missile to suit your table.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Anyway, I don't think that rules making an assumption that primary precise sense of humans and human-like ancestries will be the default sense for majority of typical cases is ableist or excluding. It does not prevent blind people from playing the game, it does not deny existence of blind people. It also does not handwave nor fetishizes their struggle by making it a trivial road bump that then can be turned into a cute gimmick.

What can be argued to possibly be excluding disabled people in general is the fact that the main "course" of the game - adventuring - is very disability-unfriendly, basically being a game about either magically empowered individuals or individuals in top-notch physical condition overcoming physical and magical obstacles with skill and power. It is a very ufriendly occupation to people who are not equipped in one of above, and extra ufriendly to those actively struggling with the physical part of the equation. Pretty much the only way for such character to function is a) find magical way to substitute, or b) find magical way to functionally remove their disability, which has its own risks, including the afromentioned fetishization and trivialization.

To be honest? I do not think that PF2, being pretty much a light-hearted beer and pretzel dungeoncrawl, is equipped to deal with respectable representation of struggles disabled groups have to live with. The best at this point the system has to offer is dodging the issue by offering the blind (or crippled, or...) character a way to be such only in name, and playing out the game as if they werent.

And yes, pretending that disability is not a life-changing disability can be offensive, doubly so when it is fetishized into a superpower.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm leaving alone the problems with exclusionary language (I have my own problems with feeling excluded by the gaming community at large)

But the people who are arguing against what Unicore initially suggests are obviously not software developers. We all know that it is better design to define something once and then reference it everywhere else. That is just good design practice that allows for modifying things in a predictable and easy way.

So there is no point in creating an 'observed' status and then not using it in rules like the targeting step of Magic Missile. It should absolutely say

Quote:
You send a dart of force streaking toward a creature that you can see are observing.

There is absolutely zero reason to not do that.


breithauptclan wrote:

I'm leaving alone the problems with exclusionary language (I have my own problems with feeling excluded by the gaming community at large)

But the people who are arguing against what Unicore initially suggests are obviously not software developers. We all know that it is better design to define something once and then reference it everywhere else. That is just good design practice that allows for modifying things in a predictable and easy way.

So there is no point in creating an 'observed' status and then not using it in rules like the targeting step of Magic Missile. It should absolutely say

Quote:
You send a dart of force streaking toward a creature that you can see are observing.
There is absolutely zero reason to not do that.

Well as mentioned that wording would allow someone with, say, precise tremorsense to curve missiles around corners. You could add a line about needing line of effect I suppose.


Yes.

Unicore wrote:


It also manifests itself in using Line of sight as any kind of metric for targeting in the game, instead of "ability to observe" which can be paired with line of effect when necessary.

Which was also part of the original proposal.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
breithauptclan wrote:


There is absolutely zero reason to not do that.

Because you want the text in your rulebook to flow naturally when people read it, and not have potential players turned off because your game reads like the owners manual for a Honda Accord?

(and no, your one example in isolation will not ruin the way the CRB reads, but following it to its logical conclusion and doing it everywhere will)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
vagabond_666 wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:


There is absolutely zero reason to not do that.

Because you want the text in your rulebook to flow naturally when people read it, and not have potential players turned off because your game reads like the owners manual for a Honda Accord?

(and no, your one example in isolation will not ruin the way the CRB reads, but following it to its logical conclusion and doing it everywhere will)

So it is better to have explicit rules and rules vocabulary tucked away in a less read chapter of perception, and have many spells and abilities reference that language, but not do it consistently?

I don’t see the logic here. A core rulebook is a manual. It should use consistent language when referencing rules, especially when the language choice of observed was a deliberate choice.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
vagabond_666 wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:


There is absolutely zero reason to not do that.

Because you want the text in your rulebook to flow naturally when people read it, and not have potential players turned off because your game reads like the owners manual for a Honda Accord?

(and no, your one example in isolation will not ruin the way the CRB reads, but following it to its logical conclusion and doing it everywhere will)

I don't think it will. Using the defined game terms for states of awareness isn't going to make the spell descriptions, skill feats, combat abilities, etc. harder to read. The condition names were specifically chosen to fit into sentences fairly naturally (at least as long as all of the various conjugations of the words are considered to be equivalent: observed, observing, and other such).

On the contrary, it will cut down on the amount of rules-lawyering that people can try and pull.


Unicore wrote:
vagabond_666 wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:


There is absolutely zero reason to not do that.

Because you want the text in your rulebook to flow naturally when people read it, and not have potential players turned off because your game reads like the owners manual for a Honda Accord?

(and no, your one example in isolation will not ruin the way the CRB reads, but following it to its logical conclusion and doing it everywhere will)

So it is better to have explicit rules and rules vocabulary tucked away in a less read chapter of perception, and have many spells and abilities reference that language, but not do it consistently?

I don’t see the logic here. A core rulebook is a manual. It should use consistent language when referencing rules, especially when the language choice of observed was a deliberate choice.

He actually has a point.

Recently MTG stopped using the wording "T: Add G to your mana pool." they instead moved to simply saying "T: add G.". This is a smaller simpler and more applicable version of the previous text. The full rules are in the rule book (or the sections on perception in this case) but they are generally referred to only when needed, as the simple wording will work in a vast majority of cases, saves space, and looks nicer.


Part of the problem is that some things require a specific sense.
I have a very acute nose. Walking around in public can be a real strain for me sometimes. Body odor is like a smack in the face, even 5.. 10.. 15 feet off sometimes. Heavy smokers are even worse. A candle store can affect me 100.. 200 feet away and I can't even get close to a Bath and Body works with out getting a migraine. Etc.

But even with an acute sense of smell, I couldn't SHOOT the target just sniffing. I could tell you which side of the room the stinking party is, but I couldn't aim and shoot them.

You can hear people moving in a pitch black room but if you try and shoot them, you're not likely to hit them and if you do it's going to be shooting wild and pretty much by accident.

The sense of smell or hearing even acute is not the same thing as sight. Now that seems like a no brainer "Yes we know sight and smell are different'

But as others above have pointed out, unless very specifically pointed out, you can't just substitute one for another. Shy of finding someone with your tongue, you're not going to 'taste' where your enemy is to be able to shoot them. Nor is the person's scent going to travel 10s or 100s of feet, and be precise to allow you to shoot them. Could you smell someone over there with a hyper acute sense? Sure, but can you "SMELL" precise enough to shoot someone dozens or 100s of feet away? NO.

Now something such as echolocation could allow you to do it, but that's a precise sense, specifically evolved for that exact purpose. And there are specific rules for such.

Someone above pointed out, much of the above would be fetishising disability and turning it into a superpower. You're acting like anyone that can't see is suddenly Daredevil and can do 100% what others can do, just differently(Or better).

This isn't avoiding abilism. It's not turning someone's disability into a superpower and acting like it doesn't exist, or even worse is some how a boon, giving mechanical benefit. "Well Character X doesn't have to see his target to hit with his magic. He can just listen real hard and blow them away. Mighty nice in pitch black caverns huh!?"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree that the Magic Missile text would be clearer ruleswise as "target has to be observed and needs line of effect".
This is "seen" but with a rules terms approach and not natural language. Sounds clunkier but Magic Missile has other open questions too so a general overhaul of its text wouldn't hurt.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Also adding official clarifications to how sightless characters now magically perceive the world with hearing takes additional text space because you have to explain the ways in which it would be different in a way that's more involved than a monster ability because you as the GM have to reframe the PCS experience of the entire game.
Then to cover deaf and blind characters you have to do magical touch.
Then to cover deaf, blind and numb characters you have to do magical smell.
Then to cover deaf, blind, numb and anosimic characters you have to do magical taste.
Then to cover deaf, blind, numb, anosimic and ageusic characters you have to do navigation via a magical vestibular system at which point its better off just saying

"If you as a player want to play a character with specific disability(s) that's ignored by a fictional magical ability, talk to your GM who may assign a cost in ancestry to access that ability"

Not covering every situation that a person might exist in is not bigotry, its a fact of word count and evidence of the diversity of the human condition.


Ok, let’s all take a step back for a minute. I never claimed every character without sight as a precise sense would have some extra ordinary sense. I said that there was no reason to assume that a wizard required sight to cast a magic missile.

Especially after going to great lengths to establish rules language about perception that would make for clear and consistent perception and targeting rules, deciding not to use it feels like a mistake.

I strongly agree that senses can be different. I am not sure that anyone, naturally, on planet earth could be capable of having scent be a precise sense. But on Golarion I am willing to accept that there could be ways for that to happen, and I wouldn’t want such a character to be forced into thinking of that sense as “exactly like sight, except when it wasn’t.”

Why is it better to say wall of force does not block line of sight, but it does block line of effect, than to say wall of force blocks line of effect, but doesn’t interfere with perception, or ability to observe?
If the intention is that the spell would block x senses but not sight where should that information go? If it goes in with a description of the sense, then that description has to account for every possible feat, spell and ability that might yet exist. Whereas, establishing a set of expected senses characters might have in a core rulebook (something already done) and then expecting spells, feats and abilities to reference them is much more intelligent and future proofing design.

The Rhetoric of accessibility is about recognizing that we should use the clearest words we can, especially when establishing rules or conventions that are supposed to apply to everyone, and not rely on colloquialisms that don’t say what they mean, and might exclude possibilities that the rules are suppose to allow for. Paizo has clearly made leaps and bounds to apply this principle to the core rule book. They also could still do better.

The point of this thread was to help them do something they have already stated as a design goal. The use of the rules of perception and it’s subcategories in the game are inconsistent. This impedes their effective usage now, and it makes for awkward and unnecessary difficulties in incorporating future material, because every ability that grants a precise sense other than sight has to interact with all the rules about how it interacts with perception, and all the situational colloquial usage of sight as the default sense tucked uncomfortably into specific spells and abilities, rather than just how it interacts with the rules of perception.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
colloquial usage of sight as the default sense

It's used that way, because sight is the default precise sense.

Wording things so that they are capable of being interpreted as also working for magical senses, or the level of hearing possessed by bats or whatever, will just make the CRB even more clunky and annoying to read than it already is.

I fail to see what is wrong with their "assume sight is the default, and in the rare case a monster has a sense that is as good as sight or better, reinterpret things as required". If that is ableist against bats and their superior hearing ability, then so be it, and I should hope that Paizo will decide to continue to make their books as readable as possible to their existing audience, even if it does mean on missing out on whatever sales they might have made from the disgruntled Chiropteran demographic that now refuses to buy their product.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In all of this thread, I have seen only two examples where the description used is actually problematic in my opinion, and neither are because they are ableist, but rather because their rules are incomplete:

The Magic Missile example appears to have been ceded by pretty much everyone. Yes, another precise sense should work as well. Case closed.

The tremorsense example is an issue with the description of tremorsense - it should specify what blocks it and what does not, which it does not do.

Other than that, what I see from Univore is almost exclusively an overreliance on rules in place of basic common sense. The game never tells you that you can hear around corners, or that sight requires light reflecting off the object in question to reach your eye or other appropriate organ. It does this not out of prejudice against sighted people, but because these are basic assumptions on the physics of the world which are understood by everyone. My question is: why should other senses, whose workings are completely clear, be handled differently?

As an example, I have seen the wording of Wall of Force being touted as exclusionary. Let me cite the relevant parts of it:
"The wall blocks physical effects from passing through it, and because it's made of force, it blocks incorporeal and ethereal creatures as well. Teleportation effects can pass through the barrier, as can visual effects (since the wall is invisible)."
So you are telling me that this does not cover the other senses? Let's have a look, shall we? First off, tremorsense is not up to debate here - I ceded that it has issues. But what about other senses? Does a Wall of Force block hearing? Yes, obviously - because waves of pressure in air are quite clearly a physical effect. The spell does not need to tell you this, nor does it then need to specify that actually, hearing is only blocked if there is no way for the waves to travel *around* the wall, because all of this is already clear - the rules do not start from an empty universe, but from the assumption that basic physics work the same as in our world. Does a Wall of Force block scent? Yes, obviously - because diffusion of particles in air is quite clearly a physical effect. And so on. None of this is unclear. None of this is ableist. It's really not that complicated.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I thought it might interest some of you to know that humans can echolocate, but it's not usually something you magically get by being blind, it's a skill that takes a lot of practice. So probably best represented as a feat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
painted_green wrote:

In all of this thread, I have seen only two examples where the description used is actually problematic in my opinion, and neither are because they are ableist, but rather because their rules are incomplete:

The Magic Missile example appears to have been ceded by pretty much everyone. Yes, another precise sense should work as well. Case closed.

The tremorsense example is an issue with the description of tremorsense - it should specify what blocks it and what does not, which it does not do.

Other than that, what I see from Univore is almost exclusively an overreliance on rules in place of basic common sense. The game never tells you that you can hear around corners, or that sight requires light reflecting off the object in question to reach your eye or other appropriate organ. It does this not out of prejudice against sighted people, but because these are basic assumptions on the physics of the world which are understood by everyone. My question is: why should other senses, whose workings are completely clear, be handled differently?

As an example, I have seen the wording of Wall of Force being touted as exclusionary. Let me cite the relevant parts of it:
"The wall blocks physical effects from passing through it, and because it's made of force, it blocks incorporeal and ethereal creatures as well. Teleportation effects can pass through the barrier, as can visual effects (since the wall is invisible)."
So you are telling me that this does not cover the other senses? Let's have a look, shall we? First off, tremorsense is not up to debate here - I ceded that it has issues. But what about other senses? Does a Wall of Force block hearing? Yes, obviously - because waves of pressure in air are quite clearly a physical effect. The spell does not need to tell you this, nor does it then need to specify that actually, hearing is only blocked if there is no way for the waves to travel *around* the wall, because all of this is already clear - the rules do not start from an empty universe, but from the...

Trying to apply advanced physics to magical effects as an assumption of common sense is going to result in a lot of problematic bickering. Assuming that it is common sense that a wall of force would stop sound or scent is far from a common consensus of opinions. Can I bang on the wall to make sound on the other side? What if the wall does not enclose the target? sound very easily travels through physical objects and around corners as can smells. The details of this do not need to be spelled out in every instance if the general idea is that a magical effect does or does not generally impact perception, only if it is intentionally meant to impact specific kinds of perception.

The rules already do some of this. It would be better if they did it consistently and that would be best done by not setting one as default, but by setting a generic "perception" as default, and then allowing specific senses to call out their variation. Again, the frame work and intention for this is already there. It just wasn't exicuted as well as it could have been and being aware of this moving forward can lead to clearer and more consistent language in the future.

1 to 50 of 112 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Avoiding ableism by consistently applying the rules of perception in PF2 All Messageboards