Probabilities and dice rolls


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Design Manager

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Draco18s wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
The lich is a level 12 monster with +24 to hit (moderate accuracy) 18 damage (worse than low damage), and 31 AC (between moderate and low). It is exactly an example of a spellcaster who is worse than either of those combinations.

I must be thinking of a different monster. I know I ran across a spellcaster that was definitely "above the norm."

Let me see if I can dig it up.

Dryad Queen comes closer and is one I had remembered as having good accuracy. She has high attack at least (but she has moderate Strike damage) and she has good AC and saves like a PF1 nymph does but her HP are low considering her two weaknesses.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Dryad Queen comes closer and is one I had remembered as having good accuracy. She has high attack at least (but she has moderate Strike damage) and she has good AC and saves like a PF1 nymph does but her HP are low considering her two weaknesses.

That's the one that came up in another thread. I asked "which has higher ac, a giant f-ing armored worm or the dryad queen" and the retort was one that (appeard to) assume the dryad queen was a higher level.

She's got High AC and High attack, but High-Extreme for her save DCs, so being taken out of the fight that way is a distinct possibility (esp. Baleful Polymorph and Nymph’s Beauty).
(Moderate to High damage: large dice, low base, Moderate HP)

Also edited the earlier post.
Nilith and Ancient Red Dragon were the other two that have extreme ACs, can cast spells (and other save rolls) with high attack rates.

Design Manager

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Yeah, ancient red will have more stats closer to extreme via the section on extreme increases at higher levels, and it a magical striker since its spells aren't as big a part. The nilith is just legit a nasty customer. I can't really explain its extreme-ish AC by looking at its HP (which are about right for if it had high AC, not extreme given its resistance).


Mark Seifter wrote:
Yeah, ancient red will have more stats closer to extreme via the section on extreme increases at higher levels, and it a magical striker since its spells aren't as big a part. The nilith is just legit a nasty customer. I can't really explain its extreme-ish AC by looking at its HP (which are about right for if it had high AC, not extreme given its resistance).

It can also grab people and do 6d6 mental damage which falls close to the "moderate" bucket.

Design Manager

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Draco18s wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Yeah, ancient red will have more stats closer to extreme via the section on extreme increases at higher levels, and it a magical striker since its spells aren't as big a part. The nilith is just legit a nasty customer. I can't really explain its extreme-ish AC by looking at its HP (which are about right for if it had high AC, not extreme given its resistance).
It can also grab people and do 6d6 mental damage which falls close to the "moderate" bucket.

Yeah it basically looks like it's a constrict style, but the damage is a tiny bit higher than usual for constrict and the DC is actually higher than high, unlike most constricts. Nasty customer for sure, probably a touch nastier than it should be (though I haven't fought against one yet so I don't know if it plays out weaker or stronger than it looks).


Mark Seifter wrote:
Yeah it basically looks like it's a constrict style, but the damage is a tiny bit higher than usual for constrict and the DC is actually higher than high, unlike most constricts. Nasty customer for sure, probably a touch nastier than it should be (though I haven't fought against one yet so I don't know if it plays out weaker or stronger than it looks).

I haven't either, but my experiences with Plaguestone make me think it would come out similarly: i.e. a frustrating encounter where the enemy feels stronger than the book says it should be.*

(That is, if it was part of a Level+1 encounter, it would feel like a Level+2).

*Tangent:

Spoiler:
I went over a lot of the numbers for the encounters in Plaguestone, and while there's a lot more encounters of the "should be tough" variety, the numbers as presented at that difficulty looked very much on par with the suggestions in Chapter 10.

But OH MY GOD they didn't seem fair. The Sculptor and his Blood Ooze didn't feel like a Level+2 encounter, it felt like Level+3, and that was due to the fact that those two encounters were designed as separate encounters, but in practice they turn into one.

And at the time I'd estimated the ooze's stats to be level+3 (critter 4) but in checking the statblock after we finished I'm more comfortable with it being level+2 (critter 3), but maybe a little high, but not a whole level worth.

(The blood ooze did the first real damage on the Sculptor, because he failed his save against it, and up until that point we'd done all of 2 damage)


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Draco18s wrote:
Gargs454 wrote:
<stuff I can't adequately trim down to a concise point without inadvertently misrepresenting, but which boils down to "some bad luck, several times">

Yeah sorry about that. In part I was trying to be vague so as not to get too spoilery and in part I don't have all the stats (intentionally not looking things up after the fact since I am a player, not the GM). Some of the figures we were able to extract though as a result of playing on Roll 20.

I think the bottom line is that we certainly ran into a combination of bad luck and bad tactics, but also, there's certainly a fairly high chance of PC fatality. The water mephit example, the average roll on the acid arrow would leave the bard at .5 HP as a result of being an elf and a bard (even with spending a boost on Con) then would have persistent damage coming on top of that. The "problem" there is that "tactics" can't really avoid that. But throw bad tactics into the equation as players learn the system and you get more problems.

That said, I think the more poignant question you raise is "How difficult should the game be?" Personally, I do think that a realistic chance of PC death is a good thing for the game. One of the things I disliked about 4ed for instance was that it was near impossible for a PC to die. 3.x/PF1 on the other hand made it so that PC death became quite a bit more likely at higher levels by virtue of PCs on low hit points being very susceptible to one hit taking them straight to dead. That was mitigated by fairly easy access to resurrection effects after the first few levels.

As for PF2, even though our group has struggled early on, I actually feel like it may end up ok in the long run. Bad luck will happen regardless, and few systems can entirely eliminate it. But, with proper tactics PF2 does feel like it can bring a nice blend. Low hit points do not necessarily imperil you anymore. However, the wounded mechanic does make it so you still have to be careful and you can't play the unconscious yo-yo that 5ed sees. The key for all groups will be figuring out the right tactics for their group.


At first, I agreed with Claxon, but upon further thinking, I think the descriptions are fine as is.

The baseline for "High" "Moderate" "Low" etc, should be relative to the average of the thing in question. If the context is monster AC, then "Moderate" AC should be roughly equivalent to the average monster AC, and player characters shouldn't be the point of comparison. One of the advertised differences between PF2e and PF1e was that in PF2e, monsters and PCs are built with different assumptions. A GM looking to make a new monster doesn't have to do math or count feats or any of the extra work that had to happen in PF1e because in PF2e, monsters are monsters and have their own build rules. If monsters and player characters are built differently, a table describing "average monster AC" should likewise not use terminology relative to PC values.

However, a realization I had is that the "average monster" is a sort of a myth. What does average monster mean anyway? Is it the average of all Bestiary 1 monsters grouped by level? Is it the average of all monsters a player faces in their given campaign? What if new monsters are added to the pool used to compute averages? What if Bestiary 1 has an over-representation of fighter-type monsters? What if, in a given campaign, a GM uses mostly a combination of humanoid enemies and only uses a specific subset of the Bestiary?

Possibly a more useful way of viewing these "High" "Moderate" "Low" labels is a way to give scores to monsters during monster creation. If the monster damage is based on the monster making strikes (i.e. fighter type monster), then having "High" attack, damage, and AC is reasonable. It's possible that the average monster in Bestiary 1 has high AC, but that may be a representation problem of Bestiary 1 then a problem with the monster creation table. After all, the "average" monster AC will change as new Bestiarys are added and new campaigns featuring different kinds of enemies are started.


thenobledrake wrote:
Claxon wrote:


Using the word high is inherently misleading when talking about "this is the most common/default/average value that monsters of this CR will have".

So if I say "Barbarians typically have high strength" I am inherently misleading you about what to expect of a strength score for a barbarian?

Because yes, "words have meaning" - and those meanings are determined by context.

No, but you're also not providing an array of numbers to look at either. However you are letting the listener choose their context, which might not be the same frame of reference as you, so you could have very different ideas about what "high" means, which is bad in my opinion.

Saying any creature has high strength isn't very meaningful if you don't have the proper context for what that means.

Does a level 1 barbarian have high strength compared to a thief rogue? Probably. Does a level 1 barbarian have high strength compared to a ancient red dragon? No.

How I imagine explaining this to someone in my head wrote:


Person A: So what is high higher than?
Person B: Well moderate
Person A: Oh so moderate is the average?
Person B: No, high is the average.
Person A: So moderate is below average?
Person B: Yes
Person A:(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

So with context of "I have high scores, low score, moderate scores, and extreme score" when I read that I expect moderate to be the average because it's the one that sounds the most like being average. But it's actually below average, because high us supposed to be the average.

And to me to that's misleading.

I get how it's supposed to work now, but just think it would have been better off if the column that's supposed to be the most common value were labeled in a way the reflects that such as standard, average, or default.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I find myself giving the side eye Claxon's argument style here (saying "I shouldn't have to read the book to understand what the book is talking about" is a little out there, and saying "I will not change my mind on this" outright sort of means there's no point in engaging with you further.)

BUT

I do think the GMG guidance could be clearer. For example, the roadmaps tell us to typically use the moderate values for stats not explicitly listed. But most don't list AC. So that seems a bit at odds with High being the norm, and means I've probably been shortchanging my monster's AC a bit. And the strikes section mentions that most combat monsters use high attack and high damage, but most of the examples given on the "base roadmaps" section still qualify as combat monsters.

But then again, it does highlight how the creation rules are an art, not a science. Maybe I ought to tune into some of those Arcane Mark build a monster workshops and see a little bit more of the thought process in action.


Captain Morgan wrote:

I find myself giving the side eye Claxon's argument style here (saying "I shouldn't have to read the book to understand what the book is talking about" is a little out there, and saying "I will not change my mind on this" outright sort of means there's no point in engaging with you further.)

BUT

I do think the GMG guidance could be clearer. For example, the roadmaps tell us to typically use the moderate values for stats not explicitly listed. But most don't list AC. So that seems a bit at odds with High being the norm, and means I've probably been shortchanging my monster's AC a bit. And the strikes section mentions that most combat monsters use high attack and high damage, but most of the examples given on the "base roadmaps" section still qualify as combat monsters.

But then again, it does highlight how the creation rules are an art, not a science. Maybe I ought to tune into some of those Arcane Mark build a monster workshops and see a little bit more of the thought process in action.

I don't think I was arguing that I shouldn't read the book to understand the rules. I gleaned a misunderstanding because I didn't read the GMG section which pertains to GMing for 2E games, which I'm not doing. I did infer incorrectly about what the average was supposed to be, I freely admit that. If I've given the impression that I'm saying you shouldn't read the rule book then I apologize.

However I disagree with their nomenclature and will continue to say it's misleading, when they could have used more clear nomenclature to reflect what the most common value is.

The reason I made it clear that I wont change my opinion is because I don't want people to waste their time or mine trying to change my opinion about the nomenclature, which I consider to be bad.

The statement was made that it was decided to call that column high because it felt "high". But if that's the value that they want as the default assignment to creatures that just doesn't make sense to me. I call that average.

It might be high compared to a PC, but when you're creating monsters as a GM you shouldn't really be concerned what the PCs stas are. In fact that's the whole reason to have a table with guidelines for monster building, so the GM can say "I want this monster to above average at attack and damage, average in defense, bad at reflex saves, but surprisingly good will saves and fort saves".


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Claxon wrote:
It might be high compared to a PC, but when you're creating monsters as a GM you shouldn't really be concerned what the PCs stas are.

I strongly disagree with this - especially since 2e has the option of using PC-style characters as NPCs/enemies.


MaxAstro wrote:
Claxon wrote:
It might be high compared to a PC, but when you're creating monsters as a GM you shouldn't really be concerned what the PCs stas are.
I strongly disagree with this - especially since 2e has the option of using PC-style characters as NPCs/enemies.

But the tables exist, so it doesn't really matter. You build it like a PC or you build it from the tables, the results should be basically the same.


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You guys realize you have taken a thread entitled "Probabilities and dice rolls" and somehow made it nittier and more pedantic than the nitty, pedantic thread I was expecting based on the title?

I expected high pedantry, but this is above average!


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Watery Soup wrote:

You guys realize you have taken a thread entitled "Probabilities and dice rolls" and somehow made it nittier and more pedantic than the nitty, pedantic thread I was expecting based on the title?

I expected high pedantry, but this is above average!

But is "above average" moderate or high or extreme? ;)


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

XD


Gargs454 wrote:
Watery Soup wrote:

You guys realize you have taken a thread entitled "Probabilities and dice rolls" and somehow made it nittier and more pedantic than the nitty, pedantic thread I was expecting based on the title?

I expected high pedantry, but this is above average!

But is "above average" moderate or high or extreme? ;)

EXACTLY!


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Claxon wrote:
Gargs454 wrote:
Watery Soup wrote:

You guys realize you have taken a thread entitled "Probabilities and dice rolls" and somehow made it nittier and more pedantic than the nitty, pedantic thread I was expecting based on the title?

I expected high pedantry, but this is above average!

But is "above average" moderate or high or extreme? ;)
EXACTLY!

PF2 is high fantasy, not moderate.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Gargs454 wrote:
Watery Soup wrote:

You guys realize you have taken a thread entitled "Probabilities and dice rolls" and somehow made it nittier and more pedantic than the nitty, pedantic thread I was expecting based on the title?

I expected high pedantry, but this is above average!

But is "above average" moderate or high or extreme? ;)
EXACTLY!
PF2 is high fantasy, not moderate.

Real talk, I feel PF2 is less fantastical than PF1 but still more than say Lord of the Rings. I feel PF2 is less magical than Starfinder.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Considering the "science" in Starfinder is so buttery you could use it as a spread for your morning toast, I don't disagree with that. XD

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