Feats of Skill

Friday, June 08, 2018

Now that Stephen has explained Pathfinder Second Edition's skills and how they work, it's time to look at the goodies you can earn as you level up: skill feats! Every character gets at least 10 skill feats, one at every even-numbered level, though rogues get 20, and you can always take a skill feat instead of a general feat. At their most basic level, skill feats allow you to customize how you use skills in the game, from combat tricks to social exploits, from risk-averse failure prevention to high-risk heroism. If you'd ever rather just have more trained skills than special techniques with the skills you already have, you can always take the Skill Training skill feat to do just that. Otherwise, you're in for a ride full of options, depending on your proficiency rank.

Assurance and Other Shared Feats

Some skill feats are shared across multiple skills. One that will stand out to risk-averse players is Assurance, which allows you to achieve a result of 10, 15, 20, or even 30, depending on your proficiency rank, without rolling. Are you taking a huge penalty or being forced to roll multiple times and use the lowest result? Doesn't matter—with Assurance, you always get the listed result. It's perfect for when you want to be able to automatically succeed at certain tasks, and the kinds of things you can achieve with an automatic 30 are pretty significant, worthy of legendary proficiency.

The other shared skill feats tend to be shared between Arcana, Nature, Occultism, Religion, and sometimes Society and Lore. This is because many of them are based on magic, like Trick Magic Item (allowing you to use an item not meant for you, like a fighter using a wand) and Quick Identification, which lets you identify magic items faster depending on your proficiency rank, eventually requiring only 3 rounds of glancing at an item. The rest of the shared skill feats are based on the Recall Knowledge action, including my favorite, Dubious Knowledge, which gives you information even on a failed check—except some of it is accurate, and some of it is wrong!

Scaling Feats

You might have noticed that Assurance scales based on your proficiency rank in the skill. In fact, many skill feats do, granting truly outstanding results at legendary. For instance, let's look at the Cat Fall skill feat of Acrobatics:

CAT FALL FEAT 1

Prerequisites trained in Acrobatics

Your catlike aerial acrobatics allow you to cushion your fall. Treat all falls as if you fell 10 fewer feet. If you're an expert in Acrobatics, treat falls as 25 feet shorter. If you're a master in Acrobatics, treat them as 50 feet shorter. If you're legendary in Acrobatics, you always land on your feet and don't take damage, regardless of the distance of the fall.

As you can see above, Cat Fall lets you treat all falls as 10 feet shorter, 25 feet shorter if you're an expert, or 50 feet shorter if you're a master. If you're legendary? Yeah, you can fall an unlimited distance and land on your feet, taking no damage. Similarly, a legendary performer can fascinate an unlimited number of people with a Fascinating Performance, scaling up from one person at the start. And these are just a few of the scaling skill feats.

Wondrous Crafters

Want to make a magic item? Great, take Magical Crafting and you can make any magic item—doesn't matter which kind.

MAGICAL CRAFTING FEAT 2

Prerequisites expert in Crafting

You can use the Craft activity to create magic items in addition to mundane ones. Many magic items have special crafting requirements, such as access to certain spells, as listed in the item entry in Chapter 11.

Similarly, there's a skill feat to make alchemical items, and even one to create quick-to-build improvised traps called snares!

Legendary!

Legendary characters can do all sorts of impressive things with their skills, not just using scaling skill feats but also using inherently legendary skill feats. If you're legendary, you can swim like a fish, survive indefinitely in the void of space, steal a suit of full plate off a guard (see Legendary Thief below), constantly sneak everywhere at full speed while performing other tasks (Legendary Sneak, from Monday's blog), give a speech that stops a war in the middle of the battlefield, remove an affliction or permanent condition with a medical miracle (Legendary Medic, also from Monday's blog), speak to any creature with a language instantly through an instinctual pidgin language, completely change your appearance and costume in seconds (see Legendary Impersonator below), squeeze through a hole the size of your head at your full walking speed, decipher codes with only a skim, and more!

[[A]][[A]][[A]]LEGENDARY IMPERSONATOR FEAT 15

Prerequisites legendary in Deception, Quick Disguise

You set up a full disguise with which you can Impersonate someone with incredible speed.

LEGENDARY THIEF FEAT 15

Prerequisites legendary in Thievery, Pickpocket

Your ability to steal items defies belief. You can attempt to Steal an Object that is actively wielded or that would be extremely noticeable or time-consuming to remove (like worn shoes or armor). You must do so slowly and carefully, spending at least 1 minute and significantly longer for items that are normally time-consuming to remove (like armor). Throughout this duration you must have some means of staying hidden, whether under cover of darkness or in a bustling crowd, for example. You take a -5 penalty to your Thievery check. Even if you succeed, if the item is extremely prominent, like a suit of full plate armor, onlookers will quickly notice it's gone after you steal it.

So what sorts of feats are you most excited to perform with your skills? Let me know in the comments section!

Mark Seifter
Designer

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I like what I see here. Legendary seems fine to me. Think about what Lvl 15+ represents. There's justy a handful of people in the whole world who can reach this level. They are basically superhuman and can do things "normals" cannot hope to mimic. As for the in game reason, they are just that good. Much like you rationalize the bearded guy with the tinfoil hat altering reality by snapping his fingers because he's read a book and burned some stuff you can rationalize someone so impossibly skilled that he's able to precisely dissipate the kinetic energy of any fall he takes without being injured. He's just that good, period. Think of legendary characters (Pcs and NPCs) as supernatural. You have no problems with having dragons in your games, right? Then you should have no problems with legendary characters being able to survive falling from any height.

P.S.

Legendary skills as shown are actually pretty mild powerwise. They compare to low level spells at most. Yet some people feel like this is way out of line. If PF2 were to keep non casters (even high level ones) firmly anchored to "reality" while giving casters the usual pass ("Because magic!", "There's a spell for that!", "Non casters cannot do their job, better build a wizard!") PF2 would completely fail to fix one of PF1 most glaring problems imo.


Aramar wrote:
Assuming you're not opposed to a Legendary tier in general, what kind of abilities do you personally expect from such a tier for non-magical characters?

Good point, and I think (?) there has been dev posts indicating there will be range of ability concepts from "not supernatural" to "full wuxia". If you prefer to ban the latter, the game still works (in addition to point that one can just boost more skills intead of taking Legendary Feats). One can also take Legendary Rank for the bonus but not any Legendary Feats.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Do we have an estimate for "how many total legendary skills can one have by the end"?

Like I had a PF1 vigilante who by the end of their story would likely have been Legendary in Society, Deception, Stealth, and Diplomacy. Can I still do something like that?

Rogues can get 6 Legendary Skills. People without bonus skill ranks from Class can only get 3. This is pretty much confirmed by Mark Seifter.

Of course, in PF2 other 'skill classes' will almost certainly also get bonus skill ranks, and a Vigilante is probably best built as a Rogue in PF2.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
No, skill rank increases are what you use to increase your skill rank.

Is this going to be the sort of thing where we're going to need to read the actual playtest document in order to get a good understanding of?

Since right now I kinda wish I knew how many skill ranks I start with, how these advance, and how these are spent, and what intelligence actually does but I imagine it might not be something that can be done succinctly.

Since I feel kind of lost in this skill stuff since I don't really have a handle on "how many things can I be good at and how good can I be at them." I do foresee a lot of rogues in my future though.

I've gone through this a few times, but I think it's pretty simple really.

At character creation, you get one Lore Skill from your Background, and then X+Int Mod from Class. X for a Druid is 4, so a Druid with Int 12 gets 6 Trained Skills at 1st level (one of them a Lore skill selected by their Background).

At 2nd level, the Druid gets a Skill Feat. This can be used to get a Trained Skill, but not to raise an existing skill beyond the first rank. They get another one of these every even level.

At 3rd level, the Druid now gets a Skill Rank. This works exactly like a skill rank in PF1: You put it in a skill and the skill goes up a level (say, from Trained to Expert). You get another one of these every odd level hereafter, and may use them to raise skills as high as Master starting at 7th level, and as high as Legendary at 15th level.

That's really all there is to it.

Quoting for the people in the back.

Level 1: Start with X + Int Trained skills.
Even levels: Gain a Skill Feat (new uses/powers for the skills you have!) or get a new skill to Trained proficiency.
Odd levels: Gain a rank in a skill. Increase your proficiency in one skill by one level ( Untrained -> Trained -> Expert -> Master (lvl 7) -> Legendary (lvl 15) )


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I liked the stuff here. I think the legendary skill stuff is great.
The medical skill stuff sounds amazing! I can create a Rogue medic or something like that and be awesome!
I'm excited for what I'll see at the playtest ^^


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BTW, if the "Blog Whisperer" position at Paizo ever opens up, they need to hire Deadmanwalking,
he's just consistently the most helpful poster helping pull together all the threads for others to understand things.


magnuskn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

Assurance is unlikely to trivialize traps.

For magic items, the basic criterion for having a spell requirement is "Does this item cast this spell so it would be bizarre to not include the spell." If yes, then it has the spell as a requirement, like a wand or scroll. If no, then we don't add spells on there that are thematically similar.

Good to hear for traps. Rogues trivializing those encounters which are supposed to give equivalent XP to monster encounters always frustrated me.

As for magic crafting, I get that a maximum time of four days of crafting means that you can substitute spells requirements from consumables. But if a magic item requires a high level spell (7th-9th level), getting four scrolls alone might add another 25-50% to the item cost. I think it would be fair to spontaneous caster classes to allow spell substitution by increasing the crafting DC. Otherwise they are in danger of becoming second class citizens compared to prepared caster classes, at least in this part of the game.

I would really like for everybody to be able to replace requirements with DC increases just like in 1ed (albeit higher DCs maybe a good thing), except when it's spell trigger or spell completion items.

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BPorter wrote:
kaid wrote:
Varun Creed wrote:

If you wouldn't want a 'Legendary' style game, your campaigns wouldn't go above level 15 anyhow in Pathfinder 1.

In PF1 once people start slinging around wish and opening new dimensions and some of those crazy spells a thief who is really good at stealing pants does not seem to be that far fetched.

In PF1, one doesn't survive the vacuum of space without magic or a magical or technological item, i.e. an in-game explanation. Having access to reality altering magic as a high level spellcaster = an in-game explanation.

Surviving in a vacuum in PF2? "I'm just that skilled/good at Survival that the environmental effects of vacuum no longer apply." In other words, my knowledge and training is so good, the laws of the in-game universe cease to apply to me. WTF?

PF2 character - I can survive a fall from ANY height without being the offspring of a god, being a spellcaster, or possessing a magic item that provides that ability. "I'm just that skilled/good that gravity causes me to fall like any other object but momentum doesn't exist when I land." Again, WTF?

In game explanations of the fantastic I can get behind. It's one of the appealing facets of fantasy games. However, saying "I can now break the realities of the game solely on the basis of 'I leveled high enough'" is way past the line of internal consistency. I'd hate it in a video game and I sure as hell hate it in my tabletop RPGs.

Even the superhero genre and its associated RPGs require that a fantastic power has a source/in-world explanation. That has not be presented or even hinted at with respect to PF2's Legendary tier.

or be a level 1 mystic in starfinder :P


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
Do the Trained Skills automatically become Expert Skills and then Master Skills (and finally Legendary), meaning that a Level 18 character would, in this scenario, have six Legendary skills?
No. At 3rd level, you get a Skill Rank. You can spend it to make one of those 6 skills Expert, then at 5th you could make a different one Expert. At 7th, you could take one of those two to Master or pick a third to make Expert, and so on and so forth, upping one skill every two levels.

We get Skill Ranks every level. We get Skill Feats every Even level. We get Class Feats every odd level. And there's Ancestry and General Feats mixed in there as well but I think it's every five levels? Without the actual rules before me, I'm going off of what blogs mentioned in passing weeks ago so I'm not 100% sure on that.

So what's this about another form of Skill Ranks? I do not remember reading about them.


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Let's look at PF1E:

At 15th level you are one of the best at what you do in all of the world. There aren't many on par with you. You fight devils and demons on their own turf. You could take down regional governments if you put your mind to it. You can recruit a standing army of over 130 including some decent strength commanders. You are the monster that evil warlords tell their children about to scare them. You kill unimaginable nightmares without even thinking. You can sneak into guarded fortresses without anyone being the wiser to steal their treasures.

Your clerics can summon earthquakes and elder elementals. Your wizards can trap souls, turn into dragons the size of a three story house, and make clones of themselves to cheat death. Your druid can turn into a huge fire elemental and no longer visibly ages. Your monk is immune to all poisons and moves so fast he literally warps from place to place. Your paladin can touch someone and remove curses, blindness, poisons, and make the paralyzed walk again without the use of a spell.
_________________

And people are cranky about what are essentially existing rogue talents which anyone can get?

To the average commoner in a small town, you are essentially a demigod. And you may even be choosing that as your retirement.

Liberty's Edge

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Quandary wrote:

BTW, if the "Blog Whisperer" position at Paizo ever opens up, they need to hire Deadmanwalking,

he's just consistently the most helpful poster helping pull together all the threads for others to understand things.

Thanks, man. I do try to be helpful and it's nice that people are noticing.


Tangent101 wrote:


We get Skill Ranks every level. We get Skill Feats every Even level. We get Class Feats every odd level. And there's Ancestry and General Feats mixed in there as well but I think it's every five levels? Without the actual rules before me, I'm going off of what blogs mentioned in passing weeks ago so I'm not 100% sure on that.

So what's this about another form of Skill Ranks? I do not remember reading about them.

We get skill ranks every odd level, not every level.

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Tangent101 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
Do the Trained Skills automatically become Expert Skills and then Master Skills (and finally Legendary), meaning that a Level 18 character would, in this scenario, have six Legendary skills?
No. At 3rd level, you get a Skill Rank. You can spend it to make one of those 6 skills Expert, then at 5th you could make a different one Expert. At 7th, you could take one of those two to Master or pick a third to make Expert, and so on and so forth, upping one skill every two levels.

We get Skill Ranks every level. We get Skill Feats every Even level. We get Class Feats every odd level. And there's Ancestry and General Feats mixed in there as well but I think it's every five levels? Without the actual rules before me, I'm going off of what blogs mentioned in passing weeks ago so I'm not 100% sure on that.

So what's this about another form of Skill Ranks? I do not remember reading about them.

Are you Proficient?

Blog wrote:

Gaining Proficiency

For most of your statistics, your starting proficiencies are determined by your class, though for skills, you can assign your ranks as you choose among any of the skills in the game. When it comes to leveling up, all classes gain skill rank increases at every odd-numbered level (or more often for the rogue!). Your other proficiencies increase based on your class and feat choices.

Liberty's Edge

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Tangent101 wrote:
We get Skill Ranks every level.

No you don't. You get Skill Ranks at odd levels, starting at 3rd.

Tangent101 wrote:
We get Skill Feats every Even level.

This is correct.

Tangent101 wrote:
We get Class Feats every odd level.

Class Feats are every even Level.

Tangent101 wrote:
And there's Ancestry and General Feats mixed in there as well but I think it's every five levels?

No, you get one of the two every odd level.

Tangent101 wrote:
Without the actual rules before me, I'm going off of what blogs mentioned in passing weeks ago so I'm not 100% sure on that.

Okay, you're clearly a bit confused here. Let me do a chart.

Tangent101 wrote:
So what's this about another form of Skill Ranks? I do not remember reading about them.

Check the leveling Blog again for citation.

Anyway, here's a chart:

1st: Background granted Skill Feat, Ancestry Feat, Class Feat, starting Skills.
2nd: Skill Feat, Class Feat,
3rd: Skill Rank, General Feat,
4th: Skill Feat, Class Feat,
5th: Skill Rank, Ancestry Feat, Ability Scores Raise
6th: Skill Feat, Class Feat,
7th: Skill Rank, General Feat,
8th: Skill Feat, Class Feat,
9th: Skill Rank, Ancestry Feat,
10th: Skill Feat, Class Feat, Ability Scores Raise
11th: Skill Rank, General Feat,
12th: Skill Feat, Class Feat,
13th: Skill Rank, Ancestry Feat,
14th: Skill Feat, Class Feat,
15th: Skill Rank, General Feat, Ability Scores Raise
16th: Skill Feat, Class Feat,
17th: Skill Rank, Ancestry Feat,
18th: Skill Feat, Class Feat,
19th: Skill Rank, General Feat,
20th: Skill Feat, Class Feat, Ability Scores Raise

Some Classes mess with the Class Feat part of this a bit (Clerics don't get one at 12th or 16th), and most get Class Features at odd levels, but that's the chart, more or less.

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NetoD20 wrote:
Frosty Ace wrote:
BPorter wrote:
kaid wrote:
Varun Creed wrote:

If you wouldn't want a 'Legendary' style game, your campaigns wouldn't go above level 15 anyhow in Pathfinder 1.

In PF1 once people start slinging around wish and opening new dimensions and some of those crazy spells a thief who is really good at stealing pants does not seem to be that far fetched.

In PF1, one doesn't survive the vacuum of space without magic or a magical or technological item, i.e. an in-game explanation. Having access to reality altering magic as a high level spellcaster = an in-game explanation.

Surviving in a vacuum in PF2? "I'm just that skilled/good at Survival that the environmental effects of vacuum no longer apply." In other words, my knowledge and training is so good, the laws of the in-game universe cease to apply to me. WTF?

PF2 character - I can survive a fall from ANY height without being the offspring of a god, being a spellcaster, or possessing a magic item that provides that ability. "I'm just that skilled/good that gravity causes me to fall like any other object but momentum doesn't exist when I land." Again, WTF?

In game explanations of the fantastic I can get behind. It's one of the appealing facets of fantasy games. However, saying "I can now break the realities of the game solely on the basis of 'I leveled high enough'" is way past the line of internal consistency. I'd hate it in a video game and I sure as hell hate it in my tabletop RPGs.

Even the superhero genre and its associated RPGs require that a fantastic power has a source/in-world explanation. That has not be presented or even hinted at with respect to PF2's Legendary tier.

The reason isn't level. The reason is growing your skills from untrained to legendary with seemingly countless hours of training, near endless trial and error, and the inevitable success and gained "proficiency" that follows the aforementioned regiment. The reason is literally practice and
...

in many fantasy and super hero settings having a high enough skill is basically magic/superpowers.

Liberty's Edge

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Crayon wrote:
How badly would omitting these affect system cohesiveness?

you would make non casters less interesting and useful

but it would still be playable


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Quandary wrote:

BTW, Dubious Knowledge sounds fun, although IMHO something like this should be rolled into normal Knowledge checks (although a feat then enhancing it is fine). Like "you think this is a dragon of some kind" (except it's not).

Relatedly, hope there is better treatment of recognizing general classes of things, like "OK this is probably Undead, but some kind you're not familiar with". Skeletons of a T-Rex being unidentifiable while Skeletons of a Halfling being recognized to the Nth degree is silly, maybe you can't ID the T-Rex origin but you should still recognize a skeleton for a skeleton.

"You see an animated [animal, humanoid, etc.] skeleton moving toward you. You think it's undead..." (but it could be an aberration*, a construct, or even a plant**)

*- basically "wearing" the skeleton like a hermit crab
**- similar to a yellow musk zombie

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MusicAddict wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
MusicAddict wrote:
NetoD20 wrote:

Although I like the "superhero landing" feat, all the other legendary skills seem too ridiculous to me. Robbing someone of their full-plate is something that I can only imagine Loki doing (mythology Loki, not Tom Hiddleston), and it seems it could be totally abused. I'm glad it can be easily removed from the game, but that still doesn't seem like the ideal solution, I would like at least an in-world explanation like mythic has. Mundane skills should not equal magic.

I would also like some clarification, how do I progress my skills from Trained to Expert and so? Does it happen automatically at set levels for all the skills I took at first level? Is trading skill feats for the Skill Training feat the only way to get extra skills after first level? Whether or not that last question is true, when I get the Skill Training feat with a new skill, does it progress to Expert, Master, and Legendary in the same way as the skills I selected at first level? If the answer to that is yes, then when I get Skill Training at a sufficiently high enough level, does it automatically become Expert or Master?

Last, but not least: so Ancestry Feats, Background Feats, and Skill Feats all come from different "pools" of feats that you get at different progressions? That would be great, it would be lovely not to have to choose between a type of feat over another like in 1st ed. Also, do class feats and general feats also come from different pools?

On the clothes stealing thing, it's a case of reality being unrealistic, as stealing people's clothes off their back is surprisingly doable and I've even helped someone do it for a practical joke once( I played the distraction so the one with deft hands could actually pull it off).

I'm actually really curious as to how? Like, I see no way you can steal someone's shirt/pants without them noticing. Shoes/socks maybe, if they're sitting down, but if they're standing I just don't see it.

The

...

button shirts are easy as long as you can keep there eyes on yours, or at least used to be when i was younger, my fingers are far less dexterous in my old age


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Take 10 is meant to help the group skip uneventful or unimportant rolls bogging down the game and focus on the important or interesting stuff, but in practice, it meant that it was impossible to have a skill check in the game with a greater than 50% but not 100% chance of success, which left you with the unfun situation of "The only things you don't autosucceed at you probably fail."

It is for exactly that reason I house-ruled it to be "Take-5" in the games I run, as it makes it a choice between a guaranteed below-average result, or an uncertain but probably higher roll. We've found it still gets used, but generally only for easy or unimportant rolls, which I am happy with.

Assurance is another way of approaching the same problem. Detaching the guaranteed result from the character's actual skill bonus is a bit counter-intuitive, but does provide a useful tool for allowing lower level characters to stand out in certain skills. Speaking as a GM, I can see this being particularly useful in NPC design, as it permits the local NPC experts to auto-succeed at DC15 checks without having to rely on piling on levels, ability score modifiers or item bonuses - and the same with a "master" of a trade within a major city, where the only requirement is the requisite levels to master the skill.

Which leads to another topic I am looking forward to seeing (hopefully they'll be in the playtest): NPC Classes. I am curious as to how they'll look in PF2.


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What they are doing with legendary it's a quite common trope. Charles Atlas Superpower:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CharlesAtlasSuperpower
This has nothing to do with magic :P
Plus, I guess a reasonable explanation for "fall from stratosphere" case is leaving a crater behind.


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I am really looking forward to this. I just hope there's at least a couple more legendary skill feats per class aside from the one listed and the assurance. I love Charles-Atlas Super Powers, and it makes sense for a high level martial to have them. I mean, after lvl 10, with the stuff you can do, player characters shouldn't be considered human anymore, since you can do stuff like being able to survive gunfire and swings from angry giant, or getting fire breathed on, especially as a barbarian.

I really like how rogue is the one who can benefit from these unlocks the most, since they can get. I can't wait to try the rogue in 2e


jimthegray wrote:
Crayon wrote:
How badly would omitting these affect system cohesiveness?

you would make non casters less interesting and useful

but it would still be playable

Disagree emphatically, but ultimately the 'playable' part is what I care about so it sounds like an excellent trade-off


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

For people concerned about legendary abilities, don't think of them as magical. Think of them as cinematic action and spy movie heroes. It's not so much breaking reality as breaking human limits. What they do may not be strictly possible in our world without technological assistance, they just have to seem /plausible/ for an exceptional individual to be able to pull off.

In other words: Master is what a real world person in the top few percent for skill could actually do on their own. Legendary is what that same person could do in real life with technological assistance or a few specialized sidekicks helping them, but they're just /so good/ they don't even need the help.

No, see, that isn't what they are. They're strictly superpowers. Forest boy goes from climbing trees and hunting to breathing vacuum and falling infinite distances, and squeezing through less than 1 foot diameter holes at all, let alone a walk. That doesn't fall under 'spy/action movies'. That's straight up Superman or Plasticman tier powers, they aren't even vaguely plausible for anyone, in many cases not even Ancient Greek demigods.

That its presented without any sort of rationale just makes it worse. If a ranger lives in the Old Forest for twenty years hunting and surviving like a master, suddenly... He can breath vacuum because he got the last level-up is just pants-on-head crazy. If he spent 10 levels as a horizon walker exploring the planes and forming connections with exotic places and beings, I could buy it. But if he stayed in his log cabin stopping Orc invasions every summer for 20 years, I've got questions that need answers.

Grand Lodge

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BPorter wrote:

For the "you could do it PF1 crowd", Irori is the exception not the rule. As was Iomedae and Cayden.

So, now we no longer need to pass the Test of the Starstone to achieve godhood, we just have to advance to legendary. Got it.

As noted previously, I also haven't read a Pathfinder Tales that emulated scenarios closer to Beowulf than Conan.

And I think I've discovered the reason for the Gap in Starfinder. PF2 enabled all high-level adventurers to become demigods without an in-universe explanation and the resulting campaign-breaking paradox required Golarion to be retconned out of existence.

Booyah!

Additionally, there are other games out there that have non-nerfed spellcasters interacting with heroic, but mortal martials. I sometimes play those games, but PF is my preference, it has more content, and is easier to find players to game with. So, the "take your ball and go home stuff" isn't really convincing or compelling.

Seriously, if anyone is gaga about Legendary stuff, good on ya. Just because some of us aren't, doesn't make us "wrong" and you "right".

You might wanna check your lore there.

Irori never took the test of the Starstone. He legit just became a god through determination and rigorous training. The exact things which allow you to eventually achieve legendary skill uses near the end of your adventuring career.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Raynulf wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Take 10 is meant to help the group skip uneventful or unimportant rolls bogging down the game and focus on the important or interesting stuff, but in practice, it meant that it was impossible to have a skill check in the game with a greater than 50% but not 100% chance of success, which left you with the unfun situation of "The only things you don't autosucceed at you probably fail."

It is for exactly that reason I house-ruled it to be "Take-5" in the games I run, as it makes it a choice between a guaranteed below-average result, or an uncertain but probably higher roll. We've found it still gets used, but generally only for easy or unimportant rolls, which I am happy with.

Assurance is another way of approaching the same problem. Detaching the guaranteed result from the character's actual skill bonus is a bit counter-intuitive, but does provide a useful tool for allowing lower level characters to stand out in certain skills. Speaking as a GM, I can see this being particularly useful in NPC design, as it permits the local NPC experts to auto-succeed at DC15 checks without having to rely on piling on levels, ability score modifiers or item bonuses - and the same with a "master" of a trade within a major city, where the only requirement is the requisite levels to master the skill.

Which leads to another topic I am looking forward to seeing (hopefully they'll be in the playtest): NPC Classes. I am curious as to how they'll look in PF2.

Yep, you have hit upon some of the strengths of Assurance in that regard. It's also very useful when you don't want to stat up the NPC at all. "Yeah, if you find the master sage and pay for a consultation, you'll get this DC 20 fact guaranteed."

Sczarni

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There is any legendary feat that Batman never performed in a comic book ?

Grand Lodge

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BPorter wrote:
Combat Monster wrote:

I keep seeing complaints that some don't want martials to have cool powers. That is fine. Don't use them at your tables.

Some of us would prefer to be more Thor than Conan or Aragorn. I'm all for more stuff. I'd appreciate it if you quit trying to dissuade Paizo from including stuff you don't like when the simple answer is to not use it if you and your table don't want it.

So, you'd appreciate it if your likes are met and mine are discarded? So you're opinion is more valid/valuable than mine? Got it.

While I disagree with BPorter on most of the things said in this thread, I'm with them here. This is absolutely not the place to be telling each other not to notify the developers when we have an issue.

I happen to have liked most everything in this playtest, and so have many others, but that doesn't mean that those with problems should be shushed down.

I completely understand the urge to protect what many feel is a good addition to the game, but the developers are good enough at their jobs to get a feel for the community's opinion, so long as everyone in that community feels comfortable actually sharing what they think about the new system.

The best way in my opinion would be to have Legendary included by default but easy to detach if need be. Going by what Mark said, that seems to be what they're trying to do with this. As I said before... I really want to be able to play Beowulf, but I'd also really like for other people to be able to play Conan if they want to as well.

This could be a system that works for a bunch of different playstyles, which would be a nice continuation of Pathfinder 1's versatility with hopefully a little more core-support.


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Crayon wrote:
jimthegray wrote:
Crayon wrote:
How badly would omitting these affect system cohesiveness?

you would make non casters less interesting and useful

but it would still be playable
Disagree emphatically, but ultimately the 'playable' part is what I care about so it sounds like an excellent trade-off

Seriously look at what casters can do at 15th level fully geared up. The legendary stuff isn't all that legendary compared to it (based on level it is obtained) versus what they can do.

Additionally, a lot of it can already be accomplished with pretty low level magical items (feather-fall rings, hat of disguise, etc) and all this does is remove the need for those items. A few things are a little more extreme, but surviving in the void is a mixture of a ring of sustenance and a daily casting of Life Bubble (a 4th level Druid spell that would last 30 hours if cast at 15th).

At that level these things are not that big of an extreme. The Cat Fall one only becomes as good as a ring of feather fall once you reach Legendary in Acrobatics. We're not talking about a level 1 doing these things.


Draco Bahamut wrote:
There is any legendary feat that Batman never performed in a comic book ?

Quite a few, yeah. They're reserved for the real supers.

But the fact that the discussion is coming around to 'which tier of superheroes do these fit' is a pretty good sign of a complete genre mismatch.


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I'm a bit torn. I do think the master/caster disparity was a real issue that needed to be solved. But I would have preferred an overall lower power setting that isn't quite so super-heroic. On the third hand (!), I understand that marketing PF2 has to be about "look at all these awesome things your character can do!" I'll definitely stick with it because I love Paizo and its APs, but I do wonder if I should give some low-magic, grittier RPGs a try as well--does anyone have some good suggestions?


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Legendary feats are powered by the same magic that lets giants stand and dragons fly. It’s unnamed and functions in a AMF.


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Maybe the real magic was the skill feats we learned along the way.

Sczarni

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Voss wrote:
Draco Bahamut wrote:
There is any legendary feat that Batman never performed in a comic book ?

Quite a few, yeah. They're reserved for the real supers.

But the fact that the discussion is coming around to 'which tier of superheroes do these fit' is a pretty good sign of a complete genre mismatch.

This means my Pathfinderball Z campaing is wrong ?

Liberty's Edge

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Voss wrote:
That's straight up Superman or Plasticman tier powers, they aren't even vaguely plausible for anyone, in many cases not even Ancient Greek demigods.

Uh...ancient Greek demigods did things like pull rivers into new courses and hold up the sky. Falling long distances is well within their remit.

Voss wrote:
If he spent 10 levels as a horizon walker exploring the planes and forming connections with exotic places and beings, I could buy it. But if he stayed in his log cabin stopping Orc invasions every summer for 20 years, I've got questions that need answers.

This is an issue with people purchasing thematically inappropriate abilities for the stuff they've been through, not with the power level of Legendary stuff.

And trust me, it was already a problem in PF1. A 15th level Fighter who'd never been good at social stuff, or even made a single social roll, can suddenly get +18 in Diplomacy and Sense Motive with a single Feat. That's every bit as odd.

Voss wrote:
Draco Bahamut wrote:
There is any legendary feat that Batman never performed in a comic book ?

Quite a few, yeah. They're reserved for the real supers.

But the fact that the discussion is coming around to 'which tier of superheroes do these fit' is a pretty good sign of a complete genre mismatch.

Pathfinder is a game where an 8th level Fighter can casually out wrestle a rhinoceros. It's been a supers game for some time now. So no, there is no genre mismatch.

And sure, Batman wouldn't have Legendary in everything, but Legendary Stealth, Deception, Intimidate, Acrobatics, and Society? That seems very plausible.

Liberty's Edge

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Draco Bahamut wrote:
There is any legendary feat that Batman never performed in a comic book ?

this makes me thing of one of my fav batman moments :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55zpDpTbAiw


I'm pretty happy with these feats. I like the level of "epicness" available in these feats. They don't sound like magic reflavoured to be non-magical. The "can fall any distance" feat at first glance is a bit "really? Players will just jump rather than climb", however it's just slowfall reflavoured and boosted to actually be worth a feat (and in fact I'd recommend changing the feat name to slowfall as a callback to PF1e assuming there isn't a separate slowfall ability). If you don't want your fighter having slowfall, just don't take the feat. Problem solved.

Overall I'm pretty happy with this blog post.


BPorter wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
There is another way around that, BPorter. Just end leveling before it hits Legendary levels.
That is my hope but I have a sneaking suspicion that the rogue and potentially other mechanisms may introduce Legendary at earlier levels. Capping a campaign at Level 15, no problem (save for closing off later AP installments), having to cap a campaign at level 10 or sooner, the math starts to shift towards "not worth the trouble".

The Fighter get access to Legendary at level 13 for one group of weapons. It is likely that is going to be the hard floor for legendary in core. Most do not get access to legendary until level 15. So legendary does not kick in until one level after PFS play ends, if they do not change that.


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Voss wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

For people concerned about legendary abilities, don't think of them as magical. Think of them as cinematic action and spy movie heroes. It's not so much breaking reality as breaking human limits. What they do may not be strictly possible in our world without technological assistance, they just have to seem /plausible/ for an exceptional individual to be able to pull off.

In other words: Master is what a real world person in the top few percent for skill could actually do on their own. Legendary is what that same person could do in real life with technological assistance or a few specialized sidekicks helping them, but they're just /so good/ they don't even need the help.

No, see, that isn't what they are. They're strictly superpowers. Forest boy goes from climbing trees and hunting to breathing vacuum and falling infinite distances, and squeezing through less than 1 foot diameter holes at all, let alone a walk. That doesn't fall under 'spy/action movies'. That's straight up Superman or Plasticman tier powers, they aren't even vaguely plausible for anyone, in many cases not even Ancient Greek demigods.

And yet none of it breaks physics... just unassisted human capability. There are organisms that can survive indefinite exposure to hard vacuum, and even a human, properly prepared, can make it almost 2 minutes in outer space without even being injured. There is a yogi in Korea who escaped from prison through a 6x15 inch hole, and it only took him about 30 seconds to do it. Sure, that's not hours in the void, that's not moving through the tiny hole at walking speed, but that's the difference between Master (limit of human ability) and Legend (past human ability, or limits of human ability pushed past human limits of speed or duration). It doesn't actually break /physics/.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:
BPorter wrote:

For the "you could do it PF1 crowd", Irori is the exception not the rule. As was Iomedae and Cayden.

So, now we no longer need to pass the Test of the Starstone to achieve godhood, we just have to advance to legendary. Got it.

As noted previously, I also haven't read a Pathfinder Tales that emulated scenarios closer to Beowulf than Conan.

And I think I've discovered the reason for the Gap in Starfinder. PF2 enabled all high-level adventurers to become demigods without an in-universe explanation and the resulting campaign-breaking paradox required Golarion to be retconned out of existence.

Booyah!

Additionally, there are other games out there that have non-nerfed spellcasters interacting with heroic, but mortal martials. I sometimes play those games, but PF is my preference, it has more content, and is easier to find players to game with. So, the "take your ball and go home stuff" isn't really convincing or compelling.

Seriously, if anyone is gaga about Legendary stuff, good on ya. Just because some of us aren't, doesn't make us "wrong" and you "right".

You might wanna check your lore there.

Irori never took the test of the Starstone. He legit just became a god through determination and rigorous training. The exact things which allow you to eventually achieve legendary skill uses near the end of your adventuring career.

I never said he did. I said he was the exception, not the rule. He's also a monk, who has supernatural abilities. The Test of the Starstone was one of the few, extremely rare, ways of achieving godhood. It's also an in-game/setting means of doing so. Lore intact.

"I'm level 15 and so good at survival I no longer need food, water, air or atmospheric pressure"....not so Golarion-lore friendly.

Grand Lodge

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BPorter wrote:


I never said he did. I said he was the exception, not the rule.

Good thing the PC's are exceptions to the normal populace of lvl 1-5 commoners right?


Tangent101 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
Do the Trained Skills automatically become Expert Skills and then Master Skills (and finally Legendary), meaning that a Level 18 character would, in this scenario, have six Legendary skills?
No. At 3rd level, you get a Skill Rank. You can spend it to make one of those 6 skills Expert, then at 5th you could make a different one Expert. At 7th, you could take one of those two to Master or pick a third to make Expert, and so on and so forth, upping one skill every two levels.

We get Skill Ranks every level. We get Skill Feats every Even level. We get Class Feats every odd level. And there's Ancestry and General Feats mixed in there as well but I think it's every five levels? Without the actual rules before me, I'm going off of what blogs mentioned in passing weeks ago so I'm not 100% sure on that.

So what's this about another form of Skill Ranks? I do not remember reading about them.

I think I see where the confusion is coming from. You are thinking of “adding your level” to every check to mean you put a skill rank every level. Your skill rank is Untrained (-2), Trained (0), Expert (+1), Master (+2) & Legandary (+3). You get skill rank increases to one skill every odd level starting level 3.

When making a skill check you then use your rank + level + mod.


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
BPorter wrote:


I never said he did. I said he was the exception, not the rule.
Good thing the PC's are exceptions to the normal populace of lvl 1-5 commoners right?

Good thing they can eliminate the speed bump that was the Test of the Starstone, right?

Liberty's Edge

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BPorter wrote:
As noted previously, I also haven't read a Pathfinder Tales that emulated scenarios closer to Beowulf than Conan.

You also haven't seen anyone casting Wish in most of them. Though Salim in 'Death's Heretic' does some pretty epic stuff, if you pay attention.

This is because the characters in the Pathfinder Tales novels tend toward low to mid levels, not the level 15+ required to have even a single Legendary Skill.

Grand Lodge

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BPorter wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
BPorter wrote:


I never said he did. I said he was the exception, not the rule.
Good thing the PC's are exceptions to the normal populace of lvl 1-5 commoners right?
Good thing they can eliminate the speed bump that was the Test of the Starstone, right?

Once again, you can do extraordinary things that don't make sense in our reality without needing the test of the starstone.

Also, if you have an issue with these legendary skill unlocks, you must've really hated rage powers in PF1. You know, the things that let you resist energy damage or even swallow people whole without using magic.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
BPorter wrote:
As noted previously, I also haven't read a Pathfinder Tales that emulated scenarios closer to Beowulf than Conan.

You also haven't seen anyone casting Wish in most of them. Though Salim in 'Death's Heretic' does some pretty epic stuff, if you pay attention.

This is because the characters in the Pathfinder Tales novels tend toward low to mid levels, not the level 15+ required to have even a single Legendary Skill.

Dave Gross has said Radovan and Varian are level 6-7 and instead of gaining levels they just do class re-training every book to adapt a little to the adventure.


ElSilverWind wrote:
Quandary wrote:
I hope the book has a reinforced corner to handle the amount of times players will need to be beat over the head in order to re-learn what "skill rank" refers to. ;-)

Don’t worry. We know that the book should be roughly as thick as the PF1 CRB. My players can attest that the hardback version of that book has held up for years worth beatings! :D

You softback owners may be out of luck though.

My PF1 core hard back had to have duck tape add to hold it to gather, the same for one of my friends copy.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:
BPorter wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
BPorter wrote:


I never said he did. I said he was the exception, not the rule.
Good thing the PC's are exceptions to the normal populace of lvl 1-5 commoners right?
Good thing they can eliminate the speed bump that was the Test of the Starstone, right?

Once again, you can do extraordinary things that don't make sense in our reality without needing the test of the starstone.

Also, if you have an issue with these legendary skill unlocks, you must've really hated rage powers in PF1. You know, the things that let you resist energy damage or even swallow people whole without using magic.

Weren’t some Su abilities? They used magic.

Grand Lodge

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Xenocrat wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
BPorter wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
BPorter wrote:


I never said he did. I said he was the exception, not the rule.
Good thing the PC's are exceptions to the normal populace of lvl 1-5 commoners right?
Good thing they can eliminate the speed bump that was the Test of the Starstone, right?

Once again, you can do extraordinary things that don't make sense in our reality without needing the test of the starstone.

Also, if you have an issue with these legendary skill unlocks, you must've really hated rage powers in PF1. You know, the things that let you resist energy damage or even swallow people whole without using magic.

Weren’t some Su abilities? They used magic.

The two I mentioned are Ex. Completely mundane.


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Gregg Reece wrote:
Crayon wrote:
jimthegray wrote:
Crayon wrote:
How badly would omitting these affect system cohesiveness?

you would make non casters less interesting and useful

but it would still be playable
Disagree emphatically, but ultimately the 'playable' part is what I care about so it sounds like an excellent trade-off

Seriously look at what casters can do at 15th level fully geared up. The legendary stuff isn't all that legendary compared to it (based on level it is obtained) versus what they can do.

Additionally, a lot of it can already be accomplished with pretty low level magical items (feather-fall rings, hat of disguise, etc) and all this does is remove the need for those items. A few things are a little more extreme, but surviving in the void is a mixture of a ring of sustenance and a daily casting of Life Bubble (a 4th level Druid spell that would last 30 hours if cast at 15th).

At that level these things are not that big of an extreme. The Cat Fall one only becomes as good as a ring of feather fall once you reach Legendary in Acrobatics. We're not talking about a level 1 doing these things.

None of these are really relevant to my concerns. To be clear, I'm not really opposed to Legendary Skill Feats per se (I probably would be, but I play under a Level 10 Cap so it's not relevant), but rather the concept of Skill Feats themselves. Mostly because I feel they'll make the game much harder for me to run without any corresponding increase in enjoyment from myself or the players. And frankly, when the rules start to get in the way of the fun they need to be jettisoned. I already know we'll probably be dropping Background, for example, and I'm just curious whether Skill Feats will be as easy to excise from the game.

Specifically, in PF1 all you had to really know was whether a Skill could be made Untrained or not and whether the PC could make the DC. In PF2, it sounds like we'll also need to know whether the proposed application is appropriate to their UTEML rank and keep track of these Skill Feats. While there will, supposedly, be fewer modifiers under the new system, I'm not really convinced the new system will be easier in play and even if it were, our dislike of fiddly conditional mechanics would probably predispose toward the old system anyway.

In addition to the aforementioned Level Cap, our homebrew setting has very few magical items, restricted spell availability, and while there's no actual rule, players generally favour Feats that have passive effects and that provide exemption from conditional rules over those that add new action types or confer situational modifiers. In short, we would like PF2 to be more streamlined and player-friendly than PF1 something Paizo cites as a design consideration, but don't seem to have provided many examples of yet.

Liberty's Edge

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Crayon wrote:
Specifically, in PF1 all you had to really know was whether a Skill could be made Untrained or not and whether the PC could make the DC. In PF2, it sounds like we'll also need to know whether the proposed application is appropriate to their UTEML rank and keep track of these Skill Feats.

We actually have zero evidence of non-Skill Feat skill uses that require a rank higher than Trained.

Skill Feats are an addition, sure enough, but having played many systems where there were things like them, IME they stick in your mind and are not difficult to keep track of.

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