Proficiency System

This change may fly under the radar, but as someone who often introduces new players to tabletop RPGs, the more the mechanics feel intuitive then the easier they are to learn.  For this reason, the new proficiency system creates a more streamlined process for ability checks that applies universally across the system. In Pathfinder 2nd Edition, anytime you are performing a check to see how well you complete.. or screw up a given task, you will roll a d20 and add the below modifiers:

 

Number on the die + Ability Modifier + Proficiency Bonus = Result

 

Most RPG players familiar with the d20 system will recognize this formula. The new change comes when we take a closer look at the proficiency bonus. In past systems you would have a base attack bonus, then a grapple bonus, then yet another skill bonus, etc.. and these were all different numbers found spread across your character sheet. In this new system, all checks use the above formula, and the only question for proficiency, is what is your rank in that given still. The game provides five ranks (seen below) that will apply to everything from making an attack to seducing a vampire (Don’t act like you haven’t tried it).


This system speeds up combat as everyone soon learns what each rank means and that a master with swords gets a +6 to attack rolls. The variability will come more a player’s core stats, therefore, adding a bit more weight to things like Dexterity and Intelligence. I also get a sense that this will help curve the power gain and bloated numbers we see in systems like D&D 3rd Edition and the original Pathfinder. This is a welcome change for any DM trying to balance a high level game.

Dwarf Fighter by Wayne Reynolds for Pathfinder 2nd Edition

 

Overall, I love the simple design here. It will be easy for new players to pick up, balance the math at high ends, and leaves room for expansion in future books. Knowing that the Pathfinder team loves the Mythic Adventures book from 1st edition, I can easily seen a 6th rank of Mythic that adds a +10 in a future book.

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