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Pathfinder 2E Pathfinder 2 and the two dichotomies

kenada

Legend
Supporter
With regard to the level DCs, my understanding is that it’s still environmentally based. So that wall that was a DC 15 to climb, will always be DC 15 to climb. Another wall ( an abyssal wall of spikes, flames and grease) would have a higher DC because you need to be higher level to even survive that environment and it would be a lot harder.
This is what DM David was discussing. A standard wall is always the same DC, but the kinds of walls the PCs encounter scale up with them (via increased fluff to their descriptions). The mechanical effect is you start at a baseline percentage chance of success and only creep a little bit over twenty levels when taking on level-appropriate challenges.

Saying this is environmentally based is just cover for the treadmill. Sometimes the devs slip. There was a blog post a few months back that described a navigational challenge through a maze. They advise scaling the to the level of the PCs. No fluff!
 

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payn

Hero
I kind of understand why PF2 focused on level-appropriate challenges, but Paizo entirely forgot why and how players get the warm fuzzy feeling that their characters are awesome: because they become awesome at doing stuff.

It would have been very interesting to see an alternate universe where Pathfinder 2 didn't go the treadmill route - where, say, a wall remained DC 15 to climb no matter the level of the heroes.

Your Athletics bonus of +36 feels much less awesome if every wall you encounter in practical play is DC 45 or whatever. In fact, the awesomeness is dispelled entirely when you realize you are no better against your current challenges than you were at level 1 (with your Athletics of +6) at your then-current challenges. And I think Paizo underestimated that.
I remember having these complaints during the playtest. A common answer was something around proficiency gating. Is that called out in the CRB at all? For example, if you are legendary in a skill you shouldn't even have to roll to do cool things? A level 10 barbarian isnt better at skills than a level 3 rogue because the Barb doesn't have the proficiencies. Is that ever explained in the GMG or anywhere else? I am asking becasue I always heard this was the answer to my problems with the skill and +1/lvl system but never seen it in action.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
Okay.

I still reserve the right to review a game from a home game usage, unless the game is clearly billed as a tournament game first and foremost.
While I think it’s possible to do PFS at home, point taken. I’ve done PFS a few times at conventions and felt bad for those who only did PFS. You’re missing out on a lot without being able to tinker with the system or even just being able to exercise agency as a player. I’d still rate my experience higher the AL though (but I digress).
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
I remember having these complaints during the playtest. A common answer was something around proficiency gating. Is that called out in the CRB at all? For example, if you are legendary in a skill you shouldn't even have to roll to do cool things? A level 10 barbarian isnt better at skills than a level 3 rogue because the Barb doesn't have the proficiencies. Is that ever explained in the GMG or anywhere else? I am asking becasue I always heard this was the answer to my problems with the skill and +1/lvl system but never seen it in action.
They have the later kind (that limits participation) but not the former as far as I can recall. It’s particularly common with hazards.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Proficiency gating is thing, but mostly just for Hazards, Locks and Recall Knowledge.
Also magic items, in particular Talismans.

I don't understand it.

Maybe for locks and other actions you can basically just repeat until successful (meaning that the task resolution is just (mis)used to answer "how long does it take?" rather than "can you do it?"), but definitely not for hazards and other activities where the cost in actions is a real cost.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
I feel like if you need to consider multiple axes (proficiency rank and DC), your skill system is flawed. However, that may just be my dislike of “modern” skill systems speaking.
 

Campbell

Legend
I'm personally not really much of a fan of Proficiency gating anything except access to feats. It's largely there to solve a theoretical problem that I don't really view as a problem (High level Barbarians disarming traps or knowing stuff). It's anti-Conan. I'm pro-Conan.
 

payn

Hero
I'm personally not really much of a fan of Proficiency gating anything except access to feats. It's largely there to solve a theoretical problem that I don't really view as a problem (High level Barbarians disarming traps or knowing stuff). It's anti-Conan. I'm pro-Conan.
The problem for me is it was universal. You just get better at everything because you leveled. Even better than characters of lower level who actually invested in things, which just feels wrong to me.
 

I feel like if you need to consider multiple axes (proficiency rank and DC), your skill system is flawed. However, that may just be my dislike of “modern” skill systems speaking.
It does have the effect of forcing players into pigeonholes. An adventuring party should be able to make due without a Rogue, but that’s hard, even if another character takes Thievery, because Rogues are virtually the only class that get a bunch of free skill advances.
 


Zapp I think the problem is, what you discuss as PF2e's 'objective' flaws are big parts of why I like it. For instance I enjoy magic items more here for the same reason I like them in 4e, and tried to overhaul that system in 5e.

In 5e, Magic Items are very 'buyer-beware' for the GM, where you have to be stingy with them or damage the integrity of your game. It doesn't just support games with low magic item counts, it usually feels like it demands them to some degree and punishes you for playing otherwise. It sucks enough that I was looking at a system that heavily nerfed magic items to make them a freer resource, which is also the most common community response on places like r/dndnext, to reward players with fun but useless magic items. We eventually didnt, and banned GWM/SS instead, but made Magic Items buyable via the XGTE point system, it was still broken as all get out, all this after I couldnt get a handle on a good pace to reward them.

In Pathfinder 2e, the fundamental bonuses are easily dispensed, bought, or houseruled away, and the system doesn't try and punish you for giving out lots of magic items. Strong magic items still feel fun and rewarding to use (after all, the +1 may be required, the extra fire damage or whatever in it is not) but you feel less like a mother trying to limit your child's candy intake. Because while magic items are fun in PF2e, the system RIMs them to keep them from being mechanically unhealthy, so you can be generous.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
This is one of those “that’s the point” moments I described back on page 2 (regarding my experience with OSE). I don’t think there is a solution that will make all audiences happy. Their preferences are not just divergent but incompatible.
 

This is one of those “that’s the point” moments I described back on page 2 (regarding my experience with OSE). I don’t think there is a solution that will make all audiences happy. Their preferences are not just divergent but incompatible.
Yup, I'm glad there are systems that work differently, but I'm also glad we finally got something like PF2e for people like me.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Just making the point that ABP not only needlessly exposes you to manually calculating the bonus by still rolling the dice, and also that ABP negates most of the fun bonuses magic items currently provide, only leaving the cleaned-out carcass of the Treasure chapter behind.
I’ve read your updated response. Yeah, absolutely I can see your point with your problems with ABP.

So I’d ask (for the benefit of others who might feel the same way?) could you think of a simple hack to make either option (official or variant ) work for your group or would that involve too much?
For the Automatic Bonus Progression variant, replace...

Devastating Attacks
Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 196
At 4th level, your weapon and unarmed Strikes deal two damage dice instead of one. This increases to three at 12th level and to four at 19th level.

...with

Damage potency: Starting at 4th level, you gain a +4 potency bonus to damage rolls with all weapons and unarmed attacks. This increases to +8 at 12th level, and +12 at 19th level.


Then remove Skill Potency, Saving Throw Potency and Ability Apex entirely, leaving only Attack Potency, Damage Potency (as above), Defense Potency and Perception Potency. Ignore the following passage:
Remove all potency runes, striking runes, and resilient runes. Items that normally grant an item bonus to statistics or damage dice no longer do, other than the base item bonus to AC from armor. Apex items do not increase ability scores.
Meaning that items that grant item bonuses still do.

This way you can keep many items (skill bonus items in particular). You just don't need to hand out any magic weapons, meaning that when you still do they come across more like rewards than obligations. Even a humble Striking Longsword retains its usefulness far up the levels, since it adds damage above and beyond the baseline you get from damage potency.
 

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