Pathfinder 2 - Levelling Up, Skills, Feats, Faux Leather, More!
  • Pathfinder 2 - Levelling Up, Skills, Feats, Faux Leather, More!


    Paizo is now at the GAMA trade show, demoing the new game there. See Jason Bulmahn's victory pose, below. Well, I need something to illustrate the wall of text with! Hop inside for information on Pathfinder 2nd Edition levelling, skills, feats, faux leather covers, and much more in today's daily update! All added, of course, to the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Compiled Info Page!






    • There's a new official Paizo blog entitled Levelling Up! It discusses how levels work in Pathfinder 2nd Edition.
      • It's 1,000 XP per level, every level.
      • Each level increases proficiencies, hit points, and things from the class advancement table.
      • Even if you multiclass you'll still only use one advancement table.
      • You get feats at every level, alternating class feats and skill feats.
      • Ability scores increase every 5 levels.
      • Retraining abilities is now in core.

    • Logan Bonner on slow/medium/fast progressions -- "There's only one progression in the Playtest Rulebook so people who playtest outside the adventure (which doesn't use XP due to its structure) have a stable baseline for when they give us feedback."
      • He goes on to say "It takes 1,000 XP to level, so you can just require 1,200 XP, 1,500 XP or whatever if you want it to be slower."
      • He notes that rather than "I have 12,500 CP, I'm halfway to level 13", its more "Okay, so I have 500 XP, so I'm halfway to level 13."
      • Mark Seifter comments "The best part for GMs like you is that you can much more easily give out XP for non-combat milestones without having to delve through math, and we give advice for how to do that in the playtest CRB. For instance, you could decide to give the PCs 100 XP each for a momentous RP social event and know that you've advanced them 1/10 of the way to the next level. This allows for rule-of-thumb numbers you can memorize, without need for a chart even."

    • On capstone abilities -- "The best part of that kind of capstone is that you get to choose your capstone! Not everyone was always well-served by the capstones in PF1 (for instance, omnikinesis, the ability to use any wild talent in the game, is a very powerful capstone, but it doesn't necessarily fit a fully focused kineticist, even though the class lets you build a fully effective single-element kineticist up to that point)." (Seifter)
    • Some notes on skills --
      • Total possible skill ranks -- "I believe that a character who was hellbent on increasing their skills as many times as possible and sunk all possible resources into it could increase their skills a hypothetical ~50 times (aside from the fact that you might run out of useful skills to raise with some of the options before then, so more realistically more like 40 times). That is a lot of times." (Seifter)
      • On getting fewer skill ranks than PF1 -- "That's true; a PF1 rogue with the hypothetical 10 skill ranks per level gets 200 ranks over 20 levels, but each of those individual ranks is going to be far less meaningful to your character in terms of maxing out your skill and gaining special benefits than each rank is in PF2 (stay tuned for Friday's blog)." (Seifter)

    • Some notes on feats --
      • All feats, including General, are listed in the class chart. "General feats are also listed in the class advancement chart for your ease of reference just so you don't have to flip back and forth between two places."... "I meant they, in addition to class feats, are in the class chart. Not that they are in the class chart in addition to somewhere else. Ah ambiguities of language! (Seifter)
      • How feats are sorted -- "We have some ideas about how to order things. My absolute favorite for ease of building was Jason's idea to put the class feats by level instead of alphabetically (with a sidebar giving them all alphabetically). That way you can directly compare the newest feats at your new level (not that you can't go back and take a lower-level one if you like) and that single change more than tripled the speed at which I can choose my class feats." (Seifter)
      • Could ancestral feats be resigned for PF1? "Some of them are riffs or more powerful versions of alternate race abilities already in PF1 (Advanced Race Guide and elsewhere), so I bet you could mod them and call them "Improved XX" or make up a name when they share a name. The awesome poison one our dwarf had probably would take some work due to poison not working the same way in PF1, but it shouldn't be too hard to get similar functionality." (Seifter)

    • Making a functional Magus with playtest materials? "There's at least a small amount of feat support for the build too." The question referred to attacking and casting in the same round. (Seifter)
    • Vic Wertz commented on Hero Lab -- "Their license is ongoing. What they choose to implement (and when and how) is largely up to them, and any announcements they make will be on their own timeline. (This goes for all of our digital game aid partners.)"
    • Some info on poisons from Mark Seifter -- "The basic poison rules are streamlined to be easier to use, deadlier to the poisoner's foes, but also less math-intensive and hit-or-miss in their mechanic, which leads to abstractions (perhaps not less unrealistic than before though, you'll have to let us know when you check out the book)."
    • ​How much to expect from the playtest document -- "The playtest document doesn't have everything that will be in the 2nd edition CRB (it's important that people know that and don't worry too much if something particular isn't in the playtest yet), so I can't speak beyond the playtest doc. As to mimicking a 3.5 WotC PrC with a big subsystem of grafts and implants, obviously you won't be able to do this directly. That said, I can easily dream up a character that fits that theme of aberrant weird stuff and raging using the playtest CRB." (Seifter)
    • On Hit Points --
      • Mark Seifter does more math! This time about how many more HP you're getting -- "...let's consider a level 11 wizard with 18 Constitution. In PF1, that wizard would have 6 at level 1 + 35 from 10d6 on average (assuming you didn't give half rounded up) + 40 from Con to make 81 HP on average (86 for half rounded up). In PF2, you also get some at level 1 from ancestry, let's say 8 for this example, so you'd have 6 per level (66) + 8 ancestry + 40 from Con 114 HP on average. Double would have been 162 (or 172 if you use half rounded up)."
      • Why is HP increasing by 40%? "In general it will help you perform awesome feats and avoid rocket tag situations where the bad guys one-shot you with regular attacks (especially if your character couldn't afford to pump Con). I still strongly recommend raising your Con, but the less you do, the more this is going to help you survive and flourish (for instance, at 10 Con, it basically does double your HP, but the higher you go, the less of a percentage more this gives you). Ask anyone about the stats for Reiko, the iconic ninja, and the first thing you usually hear is "I wish she didn't have 10 Con." The way the math worked, those first few points in Con had an outsizedly big impact (raising your HP by nearly ~30% for going from 10 up to 12 on a low HD class). And it was sort of a secret hidden feature that many newbies learned at the end of a killing blow before making their second character (before someone mentions, yes, in PF1 you can focus on various defenses heavily enough to try to avoid taking HP damage in the first place and survive just fine on 10 Con, but you have to be experienced enough to get that up and running)." (Seifter)
      • Regarding a query about potential inflated hit point numbers causing lengthy combats, Logan Bonner replied that "It is on our radar. We're already considering some changes to monsters based on our playtests. (They're kind of the last thing scheduled to get done since the document doesn't need to be printed.) We'll also be closely monitoring people's satisfaction with combat speed and complexity during the playtest."

    • A bit on the playtest books themselves --
      • On the playtest book cover being a nod to tradition -- "That is in fact the correct explanation for putting Seoni and Valeros on the cover. And the goblin alchemist is there to show you that this is something new. The white dragon is there to show you that this is also something old." (Wertz)
      • Why does Valeros now have a shield? "Longsword/shortsword is actually pretty solid now, or at least, I've seen that build putting out good damage. The switch to have Valeros also carry a shield, as I've heard it explained, is more to allow the iconic character to have access to the iconic sword and board style. But he still has his short sword, and there's no reason you couldn't build for two-weapon fighting with longsword and shield and then switch in a short sword for better damage and lower defense on occasion."
      • What will the deluxe faux-leather special edition playtest book look like? "It will be much like the Limited-Edition versions of the Starfinder Core Rulebook or Curse of the Crimson Throne. We'll release a mock-up image before we begin taking preorders." (Wertz)







    Another playtest report, this time from EN World member exile --
    "I played in one of Buhlman's playtest games as well (second from the left in the group that raised $370-- and a lot of credit for that amount goes to observers and passers-by; also, I wish I looked better in photographs). Anyway, I would mostly echo a lot of what the original poster had to say.

    I played Valeros. I also liked the new shield mechanics, but they will take some getting used to. When not using my shield, I often dual-wielded. The main advantage from this (that I could see; and without having a special feat for it) was that I could take my primary attack with my longsword, then take my second and third attacks with dagger or shortsword at -4 and -8. If I had continued just using my longsword, those penalties would ha e been -5 and -10. Weapons that can be used at these reduced penalties are called 'agile.'

    Skills were indeed condensed, and I did not see a spellcraft skill. There was a lore (arcana) that Eaten had, but he also had a skill called occultism (or something like that; not a lore). When I asked about the relationship between these two skills, Jason was kind of elusive. I personally hope that occultism, spellcraft, and lore (arcana) all get condensed I to a single spell. Valeros had lore (warfare) and lore (farming) among several other skills.

    When sickened/nauseated, a character could spend an action vomiting to make another fort save in an effort to clear the condition.

    The economy was different. All of the characters had been equipped with 15 gold. That bought Valeros a longsword, dagger, shortbow, and breast plate.

    That is most of what I recall for now. I am vacationing in Chicago for the next week. When I finally get home, I will again have access to my notes (and a real keyboard, not just my phone). I might have more to add then. Until then, I am happy to try to answer any questions you might have.

    Finally, some community news -- Mottokrosh of Mottokrosh's Eldritch Online Character Sheet says "Iím thinking about a new version of the app, which might support both 2E and 1E, but I need some feedback. Iíve put up a survey on my blog and would love for it to be spread among as many Pathfinder fans as possible". So if you have a moment, head on over and take his survey!



    "Stephen Radney-Macfarlane is bringing the pain, running the new version of Pathfinder" - Jason Bulmahn
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    Comments 26 Comments
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      As a GM who swore off PF when 5e came out - actually, I'd dumped the system before that - because of how crunchy it had gotten and how much rules-creep had taken place (and has continued at what seems like a quickened pace since), I must admit that all these changes are really intriguing and I will definitely download the playtest, and will try to find a game of it to play - not to run...I do that too much already...but to play.

      A rising tide floats all boats. This is good for RP gaming in general.
    1. Jacob Lewis's Avatar
      Jacob Lewis -
      That image of Jason Bulmahn pretty much sums up my reactions lately whenever I read something new about this system. "Yes!"
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Me too. I can't wait for August!
    1. Brodie's Avatar
      Brodie -
      I'll give it look as well. Everything seems interesting so far, though the hit point thing still bugs me.

      D20 hit points in general bug me. "You can roll and possibly get a bunch of hit points or you can take this standard amount, which is just shy of half of what you COULD get." When I run a d20 game, I always tell my players to take the max amount. However... The very first time I did that, they became worried that I was going to be throwing a lot of damage at them. When I did homebrew rules for a d20 western and a d20 space game, i just baked that in. My stance on d20 hit points is probably another reason I enjoy Shadow of the Demon Lord so much.

      Who knows? I may actually end up liking PF2 as much as Shadow of the Demon Lord.
    1. jmucchiello's Avatar
      jmucchiello -
      Okay, so let's think about "All the feats are in the class table." This means when new feats are released in the Excellent Player's Guide, all the core class feat lists need to be updated. And when new classes are created in the Amazing Player's Guide, they have to include feats from the CBR and the EPG. And then when the Incredible Player's Guide comes out, it has to include all the class tables from CBR, APG, and EPG and those lists must include all the feats from CBR, APG, EPG, and IPG or else you need to reference all those books when you level up your wizard to make sure you aren't ignoring feats on your class list. And then what happens when you add the ORG and the URG and sometimes the YRG?
    1. Ronald Cruz's Avatar
      Ronald Cruz -
      "perhaps not less unrealistic than before though"
      Mr. Seifter, there are 3 negatives plus "maybe" and "though" in that phrase. I can't understand it, hurts my brain
    1. Stacie GmrGrl's Avatar
      Stacie GmrGrl -
      This has me more excited.
    1. vpuigdoller's Avatar
      vpuigdoller -
      I'm excited as well cant wait till August.
    1. 3catcircus -
      Quote Originally Posted by jmucchiello View Post
      Okay, so let's think about "All the feats are in the class table." This means when new feats are released in the Excellent Player's Guide, all the core class feat lists need to be updated. And when new classes are created in the Amazing Player's Guide, they have to include feats from the CBR and the EPG. And then when the Incredible Player's Guide comes out, it has to include all the class tables from CBR, APG, and EPG and those lists must include all the feats from CBR, APG, EPG, and IPG or else you need to reference all those books when you level up your wizard to make sure you aren't ignoring feats on your class list. And then what happens when you add the ORG and the URG and sometimes the YRG?
      Or, you could just only allow official paizo feats. Better yet, ditch feats for both PCs and NPCs altogether and see how it works.
    1. Staffan's Avatar
      Staffan -
      Quote Originally Posted by jmucchiello View Post
      Okay, so let's think about "All the feats are in the class table." This means when new feats are released in the Excellent Player's Guide, all the core class feat lists need to be updated. And when new classes are created in the Amazing Player's Guide, they have to include feats from the CBR and the EPG. And then when the Incredible Player's Guide comes out, it has to include all the class tables from CBR, APG, and EPG and those lists must include all the feats from CBR, APG, EPG, and IPG or else you need to reference all those books when you level up your wizard to make sure you aren't ignoring feats on your class list. And then what happens when you add the ORG and the URG and sometimes the YRG?
      I think you misunderstand what they mean.

      In PF1, there's a general advancement table which lists, among other things, feats at every odd level. There is also, for example, the fighter class advancement table which lists a bonus feat at level 1 and then every even level.

      In PF2, the fighter advancement table will instead list a general and a fighter feat at level 1, a fighter feat at level 2, a general feat at level 3, and so on. Well, assuming they keep the same progression which they probably won't, but you get the idea. The point is that you only look at the class advancement table when leveling up, not in two different places.
    1. jmucchiello's Avatar
      jmucchiello -
      Quote Originally Posted by 3catcircus View Post
      Or, you could just only allow official paizo feats. Better yet, ditch feats for both PCs and NPCs altogether and see how it works.
      All those added books I was talking about were the future expansion Paizo will eventually release. The Gunslinger will be back in a book by Paizo.
    1. jmucchiello's Avatar
      jmucchiello -
      Quote Originally Posted by Staffan View Post
      I think you misunderstand what they mean.

      In PF1, there's a general advancement table which lists, among other things, feats at every odd level. There is also, for example, the fighter class advancement table which lists a bonus feat at level 1 and then every even level.

      In PF2, the fighter advancement table will instead list a general and a fighter feat at level 1, a fighter feat at level 2, a general feat at level 3, and so on. Well, assuming they keep the same progression which they probably won't, but you get the idea. The point is that you only look at the class advancement table when leveling up, not in two different places.
      That is plausible but that's not what I thought they were talking about AT ALL. But I have to say "So what?" It is a minuscule detail that doesn't really affect play. Changes to actions in combat is interesting. Location of level up information, less so. You have far more combats than level ups.
    1. Jacob Lewis's Avatar
      Jacob Lewis -
      Quote Originally Posted by jmucchiello View Post
      Okay, so let's think about "All the feats are in the class table." This means when new feats are released in the Excellent Player's Guide, all the core class feat lists need to be updated. And when new classes are created in the Amazing Player's Guide, they have to include feats from the CBR and the EPG. And then when the Incredible Player's Guide comes out, it has to include all the class tables from CBR, APG, and EPG and those lists must include all the feats from CBR, APG, EPG, and IPG or else you need to reference all those books when you level up your wizard to make sure you aren't ignoring feats on your class list. And then what happens when you add the ORG and the URG and sometimes the YRG?
      Don't forget the BBC, the OMG, the WTF, and the LOL!
    1. 3catcircus -
      Quote Originally Posted by jmucchiello View Post
      All those added books I was talking about were the future expansion Paizo will eventually release. The Gunslinger will be back in a book by Paizo.
      Ah, ok. The 2nd of my statements still stands. The game would play much smoother if combat feats like power attack, cleave, rapidshot, etc. Were *actions* that anyone could do instead of feats.

      Power attack? 2 actions. Great Cleave? 3 actions. Rapid shot? 2 action. Likewise, an item creation feat could became unlocked by crafting proficiency rather than character level.
    1. mach1.9pants's Avatar
      mach1.9pants -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
      I'll give it look as well. Everything seems interesting so far, though the hit point thing still bugs me.

      D20 hit points in general bug me. "You can roll and possibly get a bunch of hit points or you can take this standard amount, which is just shy of half of what you COULD get." When I run a d20 game, I always tell my players to take the max amount. However... The very first time I did that, they became worried that I was going to be throwing a lot of damage at them. When I did homebrew rules for a d20 western and a d20 space game, i just baked that in. My stance on d20 hit points is probably another reason I enjoy Shadow of the Demon Lord so much.

      Who knows? I may actually end up liking PF2 as much as Shadow of the Demon Lord.
      You've misunderstood PF2 hitpoints. They are fixed and that amount is equivalent to PF1 max. Fighters get 10, wizards 6, etc every level
    1. EthanSental's Avatar
      EthanSental -
      I think the point jmucchiello is trying to make is this game has the possibility of feat tree explosion like in PF1 where the games has over 2000 feats. Some like this amount of feats in the name of character options. Some dislike itmcause it a barrier to play after the 3 HB expansion or monthly companion series that have feats in them. I came to dislike PF (liked it for the first 2 years) for this feat list growing like a festering sore on a hill giants back and feel like it's going to be worse with PF2 from the explanations so far.
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Cruz View Post
      "perhaps not less unrealistic than before though"
      Mr. Seifter, there are 3 negatives plus "maybe" and "though" in that phrase. I can't understand it, hurts my brain
      Read, ďStill just as unrealistic.Ē
    1. Jhaelen -
      Quote Originally Posted by mach1.9pants View Post
      You've misunderstood PF2 hitpoints. They are fixed and that amount is equivalent to PF1 max. Fighters get 10, wizards 6, etc every level
      A welcome change. I cannot help to notice, it's something that 4e did, as well...
    1. CubicsRube's Avatar
      CubicsRube -
      I like the sound of a lot of the changes, but honestly, more hitpoints? I would have thought theyd go in the opposite direction.
    1. Aldarc's Avatar
      Aldarc -
      Quote Originally Posted by CubicsRube View Post
      I like the sound of a lot of the changes, but honestly, more hitpoints? I would have thought theyd go in the opposite direction.
      But it also sounds like there will be more damage, especially if there will be more criting due to no more confirming crits, etc.
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