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Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:


Oh, you think? Hmm. I was just thinking because it's so open, with the system where the GM simply applies a DC to everything, and you roll 3 times the number on your d20.

I can only speculate on the OP, like the other posters. It seems one of two things might be true. Either
1) RPGs aren't for you. Or
2) You might just be against premade scenarios. So maybe try an open ended campaign. Maybe it's more your style?

The characters end up locked into a very narrow pathway from creation and gameplay is more about how you play than what you build. This seems anathema to what the OP is looking for without GM intervention, which they also listed as a negative.

I personally wouldn't recommend anything that wasn't classless to them, i considered gods of the fallen as that seems to appeal to their power fantasy desires. But being limited conceptually to limited content if they are discontent with GM created/tweaked characters has me write that off as well.

Conan2d20 and Symbaroum are likely too crunchy and low fantasy from what I can tell. If they were happy giving up the idea of instantly being influential and powerful conan might scratch a sword and sorcery itch...

Hmmmm mutant year zerp could work well, I think forbidden lands will feel too restrictive given their complaints but year zero could work.


Darksyde wrote:
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
I recommend Cypher System by Monte Cook Games.
will be too restrictive for the OP imo.

I can only speculate on the OP, like the other posters. It seems one of two things might be true. Either

1) RPGs aren't for you. Or
2) You might just be against pre-made scenarios. So maybe try an open ended campaign. Maybe it's more your style?

It's a tough post to reply to. I wish I could form as articulate response as the poster wrote but as you read, there seem to be a lot of contradictions that make it tricky to make suggestions. As you stated it may be the issue of pre-made adventures, but at the same time they called out that they don't have time to do up home made scenarios.

It is an interesting read and I wish there was more I could chip in to help them get in to the Table Top RPG hobby but most things they call out as 'problems' with Pathfinder weren't pathfinder specific. They are elements found in just about all rpg's.

It's not that tough, actually. If OP is a player, then the problem is just the people he's playing with. If he's the GM, then he just needs to weight if it's worth the effort in crafting the experience he wants out of the game. Create your own world, this way you can focus on making it as consistent as you think it should be.


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Maybe a game like Hero System by Hero Games or The Dark Eye by Ulysses might better support the style of play you are after. They both do away with the class and level structure that you find limiting and are not focused on balanced gameplay. TDE in particular takes get care to fit the rules to the game world.


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Quote:
Just an example what can a 18 strength char do, what a char with 16 can't?

Starting out, a Strength increase from 16 to 18 represents, in the worst-case, approximately +20% average melee damage.

Explanation: Most enemies tend to have AC that puts you somewhere around a 50% chance to hit. With a +2 Strength, you'll have a 5% reduced chance to miss, and a 5% increased chance to crit, which comes out to 10% overall. The +1 damage, if you're using a Greatsword, is worth approximately +10% damage. Combined, it comes out to +21.6% damage.

Quote:
No GM could explain what the short cut “hit points” represents in the game world. Why can a char fall down from 300 feet, survive with 1 HP, and then go on and run a marathon in record time.

“It is quite unreasonable to assume that as a character gains levels of ability in his or her class that a corresponding gain in actual ability to sustain physical damage takes place. It is preposterous to state such an assumption, for if we are to assume that a man is killed by a sword thrust which does 4 hit points of damage, we must similarly assume that a hero could, on the average, withstand five such thrusts before being slain! Why then the increase in hit points? Because these reflect both the actual physical ability of the character to withstand damage – as indicated by constitution bonuses- and a commensurate increase in such areas as skill in combat and similar life-or-death situations, the “sixth sense” which warns the individual of some otherwise unforeseen events, sheer luck, and the fantastic provisions of magical protections and/or divine protection.”

-Gary Gygax, D&D 1st edition.

Quote:
Similar is the short cut “experience points”. Why can a char go in a cave, shank some goblins, and come out speaking and writing perfect Japanese and guzzling down a vial of poison he would have died to before, just because he “leveled up” and his HP pool increased.

Because he's been studying and training in those areas, and has completed that study and training.

Quote:

I don't want to make fun out of the game design. My point is -as a new player- I have to constantly reverse engineer what the game wants to tell me and it doesn't help that the game terminology is contradictory or confusing. For example HP -according to GMs- should be a short cut for the “combat functionality” including luck, ability to reduce a fatal blow to a miss, stamina and the ability to take some bruising hits. According to GMs - HP has nothing to do with wounds or injuries and a loss of HP means nothing until explicitly caused by an attack ability (for example bleeding). Also an increase of HP does not mean that the character can tank now several fatal hits. The first fatal hit is when you go to negative HP.

Given that, why are we rolling -to hit- and than -damage-? Implying a player hits and gets hit and takes damage. Why does a cleric uses spells like -cure critical wounds- or -heal- to reload the HP bar. When according to the explanation my char is not wounded or needs healing. How do -temporary HPs- fit into all of it? Is my character in game aware of his current HP pool status?

Attacks deal "damage", and spells "heal" HP because your character has been taking minor wounds and bruises from being knocked around, but hasn't taken any serious injuries unless he's reduced to 0 HP.


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+1 STR is only an increase in 20% damage if you roll the dice an infinite number of times. The d20 variance is also important, therefore, if you're making a 16 STR char, rather than 18, then you probably are gaining a benefit in another area that is not as straight-forward to evaluate.

I think you can survive not having the main stat at 18 just fine, specially if you just want to make a nice character with an interesting concept, rather than an optimized bag of hp with sole purpose of engaging in combat (even though it's way less impactful than in PF1e).


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Lightning Raven wrote:

+1 STR is only an increase in 20% damage if you roll the dice an infinite number of times. The d20 variance is also important, therefore, if you're making a 16 STR char, rather than 18, then you probably are gaining a benefit in another area that is not as straight-forward to evaluate.

I think you can survive not having the main stat at 18 just fine, specially if you just want to make a nice character with an interesting concept, rather than an optimized bag of hp with sole purpose of engaging in combat (even though it's way less impactful than in PF1e).

Sure, but no one argued that.

The post you are referring to was an answer to the OP, who feels like that the difference between 16 and 18 STR is too small.


My post supports that the difference is too small. Since you don't roll an infinite number of times, then you need to take into account dice variance, which makes the +1 not relevant, therefore the difference between 16 and 18 STR is small enough that you can afford to leave it at 16, but it's also rewarding if you want your character to be fully optimized because there will be other bonuses focused on accuracy that will also make this +1 overcome the variance and make it straight better.

The answer, at least for me, is that if you don't want to invest everything in your character for the sake of maximum optimization, you can safely leave your main stat at 16 and there will be no significant impact over the course of the campaign, the luck of the dice will be prevalent for your 16 and for the other build's 18, making only edge cases of very good luck where one is straight up better than the other.

+1 is not an 20% increase in damage because nobody rolls the dice enough times to allow us ignore the luck of the dice.


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trischai wrote:


My friends and I are hardcore strategy board gamer, as a matter of fact we learned from the Pathfinder RPG because we played the Pathfinder adventure card game.

I don´t understand (and i am a hardcore strategy board gamer (specially in the coop games department, and i have all 4 of the Pathfinder Card Games before the new edition) is how you liked tje Pathfinder Card Game (i supose right?) and don´t like the RPG.

Since the card game as tons of limitations and also one must sometimes fight in keeping something possible of happening (the old bell in the woods trap).


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Lightning Raven wrote:

My post supports that the difference is too small. Since you don't roll an infinite number of times, then you need to take into account dice variance, which makes the +1 not relevant, therefore the difference between 16 and 18 STR is small enough that you can afford to leave it at 16, but it's also rewarding if you want your character to be fully optimized because there will be other bonuses focused on accuracy that will also make this +1 overcome the variance and make it straight better.

The answer, at least for me, is that if you don't want to invest everything in your character for the sake of maximum optimization, you can safely leave your main stat at 16 and there will be no significant impact over the course of the campaign, the luck of the dice will be prevalent for your 16 and for the other build's 18, making only edge cases of very good luck where one is straight up better than the other.

+1 is not an 20% increase in damage because nobody rolls the dice enough times to allow us ignore the luck of the dice.

You don't calculate whether someone will get lucky, you calculate what their odds are. When someone says "a 20% increase in damage" in a context like this, that's 20% of EXPECTED damage (probability of hitting multiplied by average damage and probability of critting multiplied by average critical damage).

It is true that the percentage there will change as you bring in weapons or attacks that do multiple dice of damage. It is not true that a calculated probability is not a useful way of comparing things, because people could get lucky or unlucky.

While you are absolutely not required to start with an 18 in anything and can have very good reasons for spreading your stats around more, the benefit of having that 18 STR is also significant, and math showing it is valid.


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Lightning Raven wrote:
My post supports that the difference is too small. Since you don't roll an infinite number of times, then you need to take into account dice variance, which makes the +1 not relevant

Someone want to do the math to determine how many d20 rolls it would take for a 95% chance of more damage with an 18 Str compared to a 16 Str? I'm sure it isn't infinite.


Sapient wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
My post supports that the difference is too small. Since you don't roll an infinite number of times, then you need to take into account dice variance, which makes the +1 not relevant
Someone want to do the math to determine how many d20 rolls it would take for a 95% chance of more damage with an 18 Str compared to a 16 Str? I'm sure it isn't infinite.

Just to clarify, it was as an exaggeration saying that the +1 is not relevant. It is. But your character can easily be done without it and not feeling like you're doing less than you should.

All I'm saying is that it is a great thing the fact that you can build a 16 STR damage-oriented character and not feel like you're falling far behind. You'll have a +1 in other area that will compensate, like higher AC, HP, perception/initiative/will, etc.

Also, the number of rolls is not infinite, but is far beyond what you normally roll in a character life span. So you're not exactly calculating luck, but rightfully taking into account because the dice vary wildly and assuming that they don't is nothing but ignoring a very important factor. Regardless of that, though, if your character building mindset is to get every bonus possible towards a single goal, then it changes nothing, get your bonus and optimize your character. Just keep in mind that rolling will also cause a big effect on the outcome of your build, after all the math is much tighter and you can't trivialize your specialization like in PF1e even though you will still have higher chance than a non-optimized character.

A Thread that goes into further discussion, is quite big and spawned another thread: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42s5x?The-new-whiteboarding-why-DPR-as-a-metri c-is#1

One guy made us, at least made me, give more thought about the nature of average DPR and how it is calculated and taken into account, how it is not accurate as people are used to think it is and how it disregards a big factor in the tabletop experience, the dice variance that should be factored in. In the end, it just shows that you can go ahead and pass on that +1 and choose other things, if your intention is not being fully optimized then you can rest assured that you'll be performing well despite this choice. Which is a good thing since it allows more freedom without making dysfunctional characters.


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Sapient wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
My post supports that the difference is too small. Since you don't roll an infinite number of times, then you need to take into account dice variance, which makes the +1 not relevant
Someone want to do the math to determine how many d20 rolls it would take for a 95% chance of more damage with an 18 Str compared to a 16 Str? I'm sure it isn't infinite.

Assuming that there is a meaningful difference between a success and critical success and that the str 18 char would critical succeed on a 19 at worst, 29 str related rolls for a 95% chance of at least one result being different between the two characters.

Just in combat, assuming a char makes 2 attacks per round, 4 round combats, that's 4 combats to have a 95% chance that str 18 char did at least one attack noticeably better (obviously not counting damage rolls, and that could be a crit on a target with 1 hp left which isn'tactually meaningful).


Ranishe wrote:


Assuming that there is a meaningful difference between a success and critical success and that the str 18 char would critical succeed on a 19 at worst, 29 str related rolls for a 95% chance of at least one result being different between the two characters.

Just in combat, assuming a char makes 2 attacks per round, 4 round combats, that's 4 combats to have a 95% chance that str 18 char did at least one attack noticeably better (obviously not counting damage rolls, and that could be a crit on a target with 1 hp left which isn'tactually meaningful).

Thanks! So across a campaign, it is extremely likely that a 18 Str fighter is going to do significantlu more damage than a 16 Str character.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

That was me that did the level of encounters battle simulations. I did a new thread that simulated % player kill possibility that considered attribute tradeoffs that nobody commented on if you want to discuss this more (as I think that is way off topic for the OP thread).

Simulated Encounter Risk to Kill Players

But for my own edification I did do a simulation that there was no difference trading off +1 STR for +1 DEX (for finesse melee). While less strength gives you a weaker damage and if considered in isolation you will more likely die ... you cannot consider that change in isolation - you have to ask what did you buff instead.

With more dex you are less likely to go down from higher AC which means you still win the encounter, and you are more likely to win the stealth initiative which means you are more likely to focus fire win first.

Trading of STR (damage) for WIS (initiative and heals) was more dangerous, but that is because I did not simulate any in combat treat wounds- I only did after encounter treat wounds.


Sapient wrote:
Ranishe wrote:


Assuming that there is a meaningful difference between a success and critical success and that the str 18 char would critical succeed on a 19 at worst, 29 str related rolls for a 95% chance of at least one result being different between the two characters.

Just in combat, assuming a char makes 2 attacks per round, 4 round combats, that's 4 combats to have a 95% chance that str 18 char did at least one attack noticeably better (obviously not counting damage rolls, and that could be a crit on a target with 1 hp left which isn'tactually meaningful).

Thanks! So across a campaign, it is extremely likely that a 18 Str fighter is going to do significantlu more damage than a 16 Str character.

Nope. It's the other way around. In a campaign, you don't roll enough to make the +1 STR strictly better all the time. There will be a lot of overlap between 16STR and 18STR and if you're in a unlucky streak, you will not even feel the difference.

Of course, 18 STR is just one step for the ultimate optimization and if you want to pick everything to optimize for damage, then 18STR is a must. IF you're creating a character that doesn't need to be 100% optimized, you can get away with 16STR easily.

You know one thing that DPR can't account for? Surviving one more round because you have more HP or higher AC and dealing 2-3 more attacks over someone that deals more damage but is downed the round earlier.

The only take away you need to take from my words is (I noticed that you're looking for someone to validate what you think) that if you want to fully optimize for damage (or whatever you main stat provides), having 18STR is a must have, but if you DON'T want to, you CAN get away with 16STR and deal good damage as well with other hidden benefits that DPR will never show.


krazmuze wrote:

That was me that did the level of encounters battle simulations. I did a new thread that simulated % player kill possibility that considered attribute tradeoffs that nobody commented on if you want to discuss this more (as I think that is way off topic for the OP thread).

Simulated Encounter Risk to Kill Players

But for my own edification I did do a simulation that there was no difference trading off +1 STR for +1 DEX (for finesse melee). While less strength gives you a weaker damage and if considered in isolation you will more likely die ... you cannot consider that change in isolation - you have to ask what did you buff instead.

With more dex you are less likely to go down from higher AC which means you still win the encounter, and you are more likely to win the stealth initiative which means you are more likely to focus fire win first.

Trading of STR (damage) for WIS (initiative and heals) was more dangerous, but that is because I did not simulate any in combat treat wounds- I only did after encounter treat wounds.

Hey! Nice to see you here.

The things you said in the other thread really made me evaluate how I viewed the data people uses here. In fact, I've been noticing for a while now that the guides that I use to help me make some of my chars miss a lot of the marks regarding some abilities and other stuff simply because they're thought in a different environment (PFS, other tables, etc) or are outright pure theorycraft with zero playtest.


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Certainly it gets complex. An 18 Str character is probably going to be in full plate, so moving towards Dex isn't going to increase AC.

Of course there are many, many viable builds. But the original claim that player choices don't matter is obviously false.


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Op starts off telling us how smart they are as if that validates his following complaints.

Constant contradictions in his post. You'd think someone with a PhD wouldn't pull that quite so consistently through his entire Post.

Proceeds to say what he expected wich is either not what 2e is. Or in fact is what 2e is but his subjective opinion states otherwise.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber
Lightning Raven wrote:

Hey! Nice to see you here.

The things you said in the other thread really made me evaluate how I viewed the data people uses here. In fact, I've been noticing for a while now that the guides that I use to help me make some of my chars miss a lot of the marks regarding some abilities and other stuff simply because they're thought in a different environment (PFS, other tables, etc) or are outright pure theorycraft with zero playtest.

Winning the encounter is about not dying, which is not just about doing damage!


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It sounds like you need a narrative system. I would recommend either FATE or OpenLegend RPG. You can build any of the characters you've described in either of those systems without worrying about breaking the game.

OpenLegend RPG

FATE


trischai wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:


The only limit is your own imagination.

Just to give this a little context. I have a family and work 1.5 jobs. I don't have the time to make my own world.

Also me friends and I don't have a shortage on imagination. Like I wrote "the anything goes" is the main point why we would try RPGs.

But my experience is you don't have much freedom. Just look at the feat choices and how limited they are.

Just to give a few examples of character ideas I wanted to play but are not possible or the gm said no.

1. Pure lighting based fighter aka everything is lightning.
2. Dwarven fighter who can summon his "ancestor spirits" to form a shield wall
3. Sorcerer with 100% his own spells.
4. Wizard with a kind of random spell book. He would still prepare spells but every one with a slight and most of the time comedic effect. Because every day his spell book would be in a different size and language and he would make therefore just tiny mistakes.
5. "Time wizard" on a quest to lay the seeds to nudge the future in the right direction. For example giving the apple pie recipe to "old hanna" when she is still 20. But with no regard to the main plot because that was only a foot note in history.

Only way you get this is with a GM that is catering only to you or is very open to allowing free form character design and good at balancing alternate rules. Pathfinder is a group game. The rules and framework are designed for group play within a framework built wide and controlled by a GM.

RPGs are built for creative play, but not out of the box. Out of the box they provide a very generic fantasy world of wide, simple options to run generic fantasy. If the player wants something else, they have to find a willing DM that wants to create rules and adventures for the concepts you want to play.

And this is also the core iteration of the game. PF1 had a much larger amount of options that won't be there for PF2 until they complete it.

More options will come and will allow for greater character diversity. It will take a while just like it did in PF1.


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trischai wrote:
Wall of Text

Is this a troll post? Also, for someone with a PhD you make a lot of spelling/grammar/vocabulary errors.

As other posters have already mentioned, your expectations are incoherent. Much of, if not most of, your points are self contradictory.


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I’d give the OP the benefit of doubt, I don’t think they are trolling. The expectations may seem contradictory to someone who is familiar with how RPGs are played, but it’s pretty different beast from board games and video games. I’ve seen plenty of new players bring a lot of preconceived notions from other media (most frequently videogames) that hamper their ability to play RPGs initially.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Lightning Raven wrote:
Nope. It's the other way around. In a campaign, you don't roll enough to make the +1 STR strictly better all the time. There will be a lot of overlap between 16STR and 18STR and if you're in a unlucky streak, you will not even feel the difference.

I don't think this is right. Rolling more doesn't make an 18 Str character more or less better than a 16 Str character. It just reduces the variance.

Think of a one-roll case. A 1st level fighter (attack +7 or +6) attacks a skeleton guard (AC 16, 4hp so a hit with either 16 Str or 18 Str will destroy it).

On a roll of 10-20 (55%), both hit. No difference there.
On a roll of 1-8 (40%), both miss. No difference there.
On a roll of 9 (5%), the Str 18 fighter hits and the Str 16 fighter misses.

So, 95% of the time (in this very simple example), the difference doesn't matter: the Str 18 fighter doesn't do 20% more damage, they do 0% more damage. But 5% of the time--not a huge percentage, but a real one--it's the difference between the creature being destroyed and the creature being totally uninjured and the action wasted. Variance. That doesn't require playing for a long period of time; it requires rolling an attack roll exactly once and getting a particular result (and a 5% probability is low but not that low).

Over time, we can expect we'll get some of each kind of roll. So the 2-point difference in Str will make a moderate difference, overall, rather than a huge difference (destroying vs. not destroying the enemy) or no difference. This probably doesn't require that much playtime--we're not dealing with very small probabilities. But the difference is still there even in the span of a single action, it's just that it manifests more rarely but also potentially more decisively.

Scarab Sages

Orithilaen wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Nope. It's the other way around. In a campaign, you don't roll enough to make the +1 STR strictly better all the time. There will be a lot of overlap between 16STR and 18STR and if you're in a unlucky streak, you will not even feel the difference.

I don't think this is right. Rolling more doesn't make an 18 Str character more or less better than a 16 Str character. It just reduces the variance.

Think of a one-roll case. A 1st level fighter (attack +7 or +6) attacks a skeleton guard (AC 16, 4hp so a hit with either 16 Str or 18 Str will destroy it).

On a roll of 10-20 (55%), both hit. No difference there.
On a roll of 1-8 (40%), both miss. No difference there.
On a roll of 9 (5%), the Str 18 fighter hits and the Str 16 fighter misses.

So, 95% of the time (in this very simple example), the difference doesn't matter: the Str 18 fighter doesn't do 20% more damage, they do 0% more damage. But 5% of the time--not a huge percentage, but a real one--it's the difference between the creature being destroyed and the creature being totally uninjured and the action wasted. Variance. That doesn't require playing for a long period of time; it requires rolling an attack roll exactly once and getting a particular result (and a 5% probability is low but not that low).

You missed the 5% increase on chance to crit.

Remember, from level 1 you can do multiple attacks.
its an increase for all attacks made during combat.

1st attack is 9 vs a 10 minimum roll to hit
2nd is 14 vs 15
3rd 19 vs 20

so if you miss your first swing you have a better chance of taking the guy out on the next one and if you hit and kill with the first swing, you have a better chance of hitting another enemy and taking them down.


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Orithilaen wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Nope. It's the other way around. In a campaign, you don't roll enough to make the +1 STR strictly better all the time. There will be a lot of overlap between 16STR and 18STR and if you're in a unlucky streak, you will not even feel the difference.
I don't think this is right....

That was kinda my point. The +1 you get from having 18 STR over 16 IS a benefit. But the math allows to pick 16 and still be doing fine. This is good for the game. You can specialize in everything and get that specific benefit (that sometimes will make difference, some times it will not) while someone that opt to leave STR at 16 will still feel fine in combat while also having an extra benefit in another area (more will saving throws, another skill, extra HP, AC, etc).

The point I was trying to make is that people overestimate the optimization saying it's always strictly better and start calculating averages and whatnot, which consider a much higher number of rolls made than in a real game. Variance would be reduced, yes, but the difference is small enough that you're not gimping your character by choosing a 16, while someone that invested everything will manage to pile on enough boosts over the course of the levels that the difference will eventually be consistent enough.

Basically, if you want to invest in 18STR you're getting a benefit and if your sole intent is optimize for combat, then it's the first step towards that road but doesn't mean this first bonus will be inherently superior (strictly better in all situations) to someone that choose to leave it at 16. This is good because it doesn't punish those that don't want to solely invest in a single attribute and rewards those that will make the investment in that area every step of the away.


16 or 18 for your attacking stat tends to be fine, but that has nothing to do with variance. Rather, a 5%-10% decrease in attack effectiveness is simply not the end of the world, especially when the stat increase is used in another important location.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

I already proved that point using combat simulations, but the thread got zero comments because it complete refutes the DPR optimizers and they do not want their way of min/maxing the game shattered. Of course for a melee char not having any STR will get you killed. But +3 vs +4 does not matter.

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42sx8?Simulated-encounter-risk-to-kill-players #1

Silver Crusade

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I heartily recommend Dungeon World and similar games, your observations regarding Pathfinder are spot on. I still have a shine for the system and Golarion’s lore, but only because of the fun I’ve had with my friends throughout the years. Observing Pathfinder as a system, it’s just not what I’m looking for in an RPG, as the mechanics far too often suppress player choice and role play, yet don’t yield enough benefits to justify this sacrifice.


krazmuze wrote:

I already proved that point using combat simulations, but the thread got zero comments because it complete refutes the DPR optimizers and they do not want their way of min/maxing the game shattered. Of course for a melee char not having any STR will get you killed. But +3 vs +4 does not matter.

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42sx8?Simulated-encounter-risk-to-kill-players #1

Your analysis is very interesting, though it doesn’t appear to me that it proves one should definitely go for a +3 to their attack stat. Very few adventuring days consist of a single moderate encounter after all.


Diego Hopkins wrote:
It sounds like you need a narrative system. I would recommend either FATE or OpenLegend RPG. You can build any of the characters you've described in either of those systems without worrying about breaking the game.

I concur, but even then you need the players and the GM to all be on the same page to tell the kinds of stories you're aiming for.

At their basic core, most RPGs are about a small group of 3-6 heroes having adventures.

Pathfinder is a sub-category - heroes having adventures in a high fantasy world, fighting monsters, and getting treasure. You can play grand international politics with it, but the system itself lends little support to it.

There are systems where you can create a time wizard whose goal is to ensure Old Hanna learns her famous pie recipe, and a character made of lightning who wants to kill people with lightning. (Fate is a very rules-light option, Mutants and Masterminds is a very rules heavy option). Even then, what does the PC group do with each other? What do Lightning Man and Time Wizard have in common that keeps them in the same story? You need a very clear understanding with the GM on what the characters want to achieve and the kind of game it's going to be before you start if you want broad options like this.

Pathfinder assumes some basic structures to it's game - the adventurers want to save the world or become famous and are prepared to kill monsters to do it. There's plenty of PCs you can make who fit into that group. But fitting a reality shaper, a lightning elemental, and a time wizard obsessed with pies together is going to need a very specific kind of story.


Henro wrote:
krazmuze wrote:

I already proved that point using combat simulations, but the thread got zero comments because it complete refutes the DPR optimizers and they do not want their way of min/maxing the game shattered. Of course for a melee char not having any STR will get you killed. But +3 vs +4 does not matter.

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42sx8?Simulated-encounter-risk-to-kill-players #1

Your analysis is very interesting, though it doesn’t appear to me that it proves one should definitely go for a +3 to their attack stat. Very few adventuring days consist of a single moderate encounter after all.

It's because that's not the point. The point is that variance is a thing that should be taken into account and because of that the difference between +3 and +4 will be decided by the dice variance anyway. Which means that you CAN make the choice between both and NOT be punished for it. You can pick 16 or 18 on the stat, it comes down to preference. 18 is the first step to optimization, while you can get away with 16.

The point is to prove that each choice has it's benefits, not that one is strictly better than the other.


I feel like you’ve missed the point. It seems like you’ve made an attempt to dissect a lot of the games crunch, but instead you probably should have spent more time in the forward. It just sounds like you guys are doing it wrong. The system is there just to facilitate the simulation - it’s not perfect, it doesn’t have to be. What this is really about is a group of friends gathering together to collaborate on a story and have fun in a shared fantasy setting. The rules give us a common set of mechanics, but it’s not the heart of pen and paper RPGs. It sounds like you guys are attempting to play a pen and paper version of an MMO, or a boardless strategy game on a grid map.

Honestly some people like all that crunch and analysis and that’s fine and all but I’d just say don’t lose sight of what’s really important - experiencing a shared story and having fun. If a player thinks attack/attack/move is boring and repetitive, then maybe he should take actions that seem daring, fun or interesting not because of a mathematical advantage, but because you like fun and interesting gameplay. Maybe instead of focusing on how the difference between an 18 and a 16 offer no significant statistical difference, you should have been contemplating your characters goals and motivations, his relationships with gods and kingdoms, his past trials and tribulations - the lessons he’s learned to put him on a path to adventure, and consider how in game triumphs and defeat could alter his perceptions of what is right or unjust, valiant or foolish and how that develops your character instead of trying to plot out what his stats and feats at level 5 are gonna be...

Now it is possible PF2 is not for you - then you might want to try another system. They’re all different. Picking up the 600 page Core behemoth may not have been the best intro for your group.


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Henro wrote:
Your analysis is very interesting, though it doesn’t appear to me that it proves one should definitely go for a +3 to their attack stat. Very few adventuring days consist of a single moderate encounter after all.

I did not simulate single moderate encounters per day, there is no point to that simulation because sleeping sucks for healing damage. I simulated a bakers dozen moderate encounters on thousands of tables with 10m-60m healing breaks between encounters, I had to do that because if you do not take breaks PK is assured. I did not simulate lows or trivials because nobody dies there if you allow breaks, and none of the adventures have any levels done like that.

If I simulated Extreme or Severe it is not survivable because I put a time limit on healing, there is a reason these are designated as level and campaign bosses - they are supposed to be fights with high cost that you cannot continue on from. Does not matter if you survive 30% vs 35% because of a stat - that just means you last 3 vs. 3.5 encounters an had to make several characters to get thru the level.

And you cannot look at stats in isolation, I also did a stat tradeoff study (+1 STR vs. +1 DEX for an flurry ranger) and the death odds precision was within a percent of each other.

Doing the simulations basically confirmed to me that the encounter difficulties are what they say they are on the label, and the designers came up with system math that allows you to make stat tradeoffs and not just focus on DPR. Yes do not dump your key stats, that is stupid as the +0 STR fighter shows you will not survive your opening fights. But if you want to go MAD there is a lot of utility in doing so, MAD is viable.

These charts do not show the variant death rates of the tables, these charts was the average table. I did not show variances because the charts became unreadable with the area charts overlapping washing out any useful informations. The +3 to +4 strength on average table was 80 to 90% alive difference, a bakers dozen encounters was nowhere near enough to overcome the much larger variances. The min/max death rate was literally 0% to 100% with deviations something like 30%. There is not point in simulation precision when the table experience is not that accurate. This is not a gaussian dice pool wargame where this type of analysis is useful, as this game is founded on a uniform die deciding your fate.

The simulation detailed analysis was if the boss wins initiative and crits with a followup hit, you are eventually going to die because I did not allow healing to full - if that happens when you are wounded and not fully healed - you are dead.

The most important reason to not continue with that line of research? Hero Points makes PK analysis meaningless and it was pointless to simulate them. Dying is easy in this game, it is designed to make that happen often. But actual death really only happens if the GM is being truly evil attacking the just recovered hero point, using metagame knowledge that the attack will finally kill the player because they have no hero point and the odds of recovering from wounds is slim. You cannot simulate that behavior.


@Liegence role-playing your character and using numbers crunch to poke at the system and think about it are not mutually exclusive. In fact many to most people only play every week or two, so playing with numbers crunch is a way you can still engage with the game you like when not at the table. Many people, like me, who crunch numbers do it to make sure everyone at the table is having fun and have good expectations for what their character can and can't do.

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