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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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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Liberty's Edge

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TheFinish wrote:
Ah, well, I had prepared a rather lengthy post, but in light of this there is no need. If the Earth in Rasputin must die! isn't our Earth, but an alternate Earth, then all bets are off.

It's clearly much more similar to our Earth (and lower level) than Golarion is, but no, it isn't quite the same.

Liberty's Edge

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BretI wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Really? Legendary Cat Fall means you can fall from a height of 1,000 feet and take literally no damage whatsoever? I don't know how I feel about that. While it would certainly take a lot of feats to accomplish this, it seems a bit cartoonish to me. I realize characters are superheroes, but zero damage from this sort of thing is bit much for me. At least this ability is behind a ton of feats costs. Will take some getting used to, if possible. Seems like "mythic" all over again.

In PF1, a 4th level rogue who took Minor Magic and Major Magic talent with the Feather Fall spell could allow a group of people do it. That or any Wizard or Sorcerer with that spell.

Getting a permanent ability at legendary skill that a 4th level core rogue could do multiple times in a single day for a group of people doesn’t sound that horrendous to me.

PF1 Ring of Feather Falling cost 2200 gp. Easily within reach of any 3rd-level character according to the WBL table

The heart of the matter is not the ability itself but the "no magic involved" bit

Liberty's Edge

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Here's another way to look at it:

A radioactive or high gravity environment has effects on the development of creatures who live in it. Over generations they will adapt to said environment, so that even though they may not exude a personal gravity field or be radioactive (indeed, in real life they will never do either of these things), they are nonetheless physiologically different from similar creatures that have not lived in such an environment for generations.

In the same way, a high magic environment could have certain effects on creatures that develop within it. Some, like Dragons, would gain the ability to actually actively use magic, but others would simply display certain physical differences to allow them to survive such an environment better. Humans on Golarion, despite not being magical in and of themselves, are thus the products of an environment in which they must be capable of achieving a degree of competence that human beings on Earth simply don't need to be capable of, making the heights humans on Golarion can achieve quite a bit higher as they must be able to compete with magic in order to survive.

A certain amount of magical eugenics is also very possible (I mean, the Azlanti were definitely the products of such a program, and after so long pretty much everyone is related to them by this point, and thefre could've easily been other such programs), and if the magic was used to effect people on the genetic level, might well leave lasting changes that do not require ongoing magic to have an effect.

These aren't the only possible explanations by any means, but if you want one, I think these follow fairly logically.

Silver Crusade

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Are the Ex and SU - tags gone in PF2e?


Franz Lunzer wrote:

Are the Ex and SU - tags gone in PF2e?

I suspect they are. Spell-Like Abilities are now just spells with different sources than "spell slots" so there's probably no purpose to maintaining those tags either.

My guess is that in Anti-Magic Fields you can't cast spells, and nothing that uses Resonance will function, but everything else is fair game.


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Like Deadman said magic not the only explanation, but its one of the easiest to justify for those who don't want to spend a lot of energy thinking of other reasons.

Honestly everyone having magic even if its just a trace amount undetectable by detect magic, explains so much about pathfinder. 1) Anyone can gain magical effects by virtue of leveling up/retraining 2) After lv5 everyone has an alignment aura (which is most definetly magical). 3) Magical traits can be taken by anyone at any time (additional traits feat) regardless of class.

Another explanation can be that Golarion humans aren't earth humans, and more a case of convergent evolution with coincidentally the same name (Ex: Im sure people in Star Wars aren't human, yet they look human)

The Raven Black-
You are right, the "no magic involved" seems to be causing the problem with a lot of people.


The Raven Black wrote:


PF1 Ring of Feather Falling cost 2200 gp. Easily within reach of any 3rd-level character according to the WBL table

The heart of the matter is not the ability itself but the "no magic involved" bit

Well you have the "Bots of the cat" for 1k GP.

If you have over 25 HP you virtually survive any fall. (As falling damage caps at 25d6) sooo... Legendary skill feat basically weights up to a 1k gp item and only gets a 25 hitpoint benefit from it.


Well that and it doesn't take up your boot slot and a resonance.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Well that and it doesn't take up your boot slot and a resonance.

Well what would you put in there instead? Boots of speed? Normally i rarely get to use my boot slot at all, so Boots of the cat is just a fun item to put there in PF1 at least.... though i got a feeling this resonance thing is going to be annoying to deal with if done wrong.


Depends on what I'm playing I like boots of springing and striding myself. Speed is good too. Boots of the winter (the ones that give you cold resistance not sure on name) or something like that can be good in the right campaign.

I don't think slots are going to be as big a thing but I don't think your going to be able to wear multiple sets of boots still.

Liberty's Edge

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TheFinish wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
BPorter wrote:
However, to make the argument that Golarion "operates by different rules" while excluding magic or another explanation is somewhat disingenuous. Because according to Paizo, Golarion inhabits the same reality as Earth. There are AP installments that interact with Earth. Yes, it is a game representation/alternate reality of Earth but things like breathing, gravity, etc. are assumed to be equivalent within the representation of the game. PCs traveling to Earth didn't "de-level" because they moved to a world operating by different rules. Earth NPCs had class levels and hit points. The emulation provided by the game was consistent.

This is both sort of true and deeply misleading.

Firstly, it's not in the same Earth as the one we live on. It's one where the Cthulu Mythos and a variety of other magical and fantastical things. There's a wealth of proof for that.

Secondly, elite commandos on Earth are demonstrably 6th level Fighters, and it's strongly implied (and stated by the author of Rasputin Must Die) that them even being that high in level is the result of the odd and magical area the PCs encounter them in making them more powerful. Which means that out in the world they'd be lower level.

So high level people don't de-level, but there's a lot of evidence that high level people also simply don't exist on Earth without interference from elsewhere. Indeed, there's some evidence that you need a magical environment to level beyond a certain point.

First of all, the earth in Rasputin Must Die! is supposed to be our Earth. No ifs or buts. The foreword goes into detail about it at length.

More importantly, I wanted to write something that
could really have happened from our real-world historical
perspective. I didn’t want a single glitch. From the timing
of Rasputin’s and Anastasia’s resurrection, to the inclusion
of Tesla’s strange technology, I wanted to assure the
audience that they would find no
...

Use spoler tags!

As soon as the GM is again available I will be playing that adventure!


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Well that and it doesn't take up your boot slot and a resonance.

But it does use up one of your few options for a legendary skill feat. I think that "No damage" from falling will not come into play enough for the feat to be horribly useful. I like to take feats that get used regularly.


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Toblakai wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Well that and it doesn't take up your boot slot and a resonance.

But it does use up one of your few options for a legendary skill feat. I think that "No damage" from falling will not come into play enough for the feat to be horribly useful. I like to take feats that get used regularly.

Except it doesn't take up one of your legendary skill feat slots, you can take it as early as one, it just scales in effect with your proficiency. However I agree that it isn't likely to be an oft used feat.


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Toblakai wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Well that and it doesn't take up your boot slot and a resonance.

But it does use up one of your few options for a legendary skill feat. I think that "No damage" from falling will not come into play enough for the feat to be horribly useful. I like to take feats that get used regularly.

I for one see myself actively utilizing it when I've got it. Things like jumping off the cliff rather than going slowly down it when chased. Or grappling enemies and walking off the sides of towers with them in hand etc.


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willuwontu wrote:
Toblakai wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Well that and it doesn't take up your boot slot and a resonance.

But it does use up one of your few options for a legendary skill feat. I think that "No damage" from falling will not come into play enough for the feat to be horribly useful. I like to take feats that get used regularly.

Except it doesn't take up one of your legendary skill feat slots, you can take it as early as one, it just scales in effect with your proficiency. However I agree that it isn't likely to be an oft used feat.

Actually, this is an interesting point. While the number of legendary skills will be fairly limited, legendary feats (even ones that we don't get through scaling, just straight up legendary prerequisites) may not be. Depends how retraining works.

Liberty's Edge

Captain Morgan wrote:
Actually, this is an interesting point. While the number of legendary skills will be fairly limited, legendary feats (even ones that we don't get through scaling, just straight up legendary prerequisites) may not be. Depends how retraining works.

I suspect retraining will not allow this. But even if it does, almost all the listed Legendary Skill Feats have at least one prerequisite Skill Feat, so I'd be honestly surprised if you could load up all that much just due to that.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Actually, this is an interesting point. While the number of legendary skills will be fairly limited, legendary feats (even ones that we don't get through scaling, just straight up legendary prerequisites) may not be. Depends how retraining works.
I suspect retraining will not allow this. But even if it does, almost all the listed Legendary Skill Feats have at least one prerequisite Skill Feat, so I'd be honestly surprised if you could load up all that much just due to that.

One of my bigger surprises about the PF1 retraining rules is you don't have to replace low level feats with stuff you qualified for at low levels, you just need to meet all the prerequisites now.

If the legendary feats have prerequisites it probably won't be a huge issue. Also, even if you can get multiple legendary feats, you can only do it for 2 or 3 legendary skills you have... I feel like being able to take a suite of legendary Medicine feats probably isn't too bad if you can't mix and match the best legendary feats across 10 other skills.

Liberty's Edge

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Actually, this is an interesting point. While the number of legendary skills will be fairly limited, legendary feats (even ones that we don't get through scaling, just straight up legendary prerequisites) may not be. Depends how retraining works.
I suspect retraining will not allow this. But even if it does, almost all the listed Legendary Skill Feats have at least one prerequisite Skill Feat, so I'd be honestly surprised if you could load up all that much just due to that.

Depend on what other abilities you get for simply raising the "base" acrobatic skill to legendary.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:
I’m pretty sure all abilities point will be in twos. So if you are starting a stat at 18 you can raise it to 20 at lvl20. There’s no signs so far there will be any odd-number ability scores, especially since ability drain and damage are gone.
Strong indications have been made that you can somehow get odd scores, and the math works out pretty much only if the cap on 20th level characters' stats is 22 before magic items. The two together combined with the commentary mentioning Starfinder's Ability Increases is pretty compelling evidence that it's only +1 if you're increasing a stat that's already 18+.

Logan just posted today in the Monk thread that a character that starts with a 18 & 16 could have 19 & 18 at 5th level and 20 & 19 at 10th which makes you absolutely correct.


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So, it's only the dreaded 19 and 21, noooooooooo!

I kid, I'm fine with it, I like that they have reined in ability scores a bit, all your scores may be rather high on average, but not 28 Str high.

Liberty's Edge

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Weather Report wrote:

So, it's only the dreaded 19 and 21, noooooooooo!

I kid, I'm fine with it, I like that they have reined in ability scores a bit, all your scores may be rather high on average, but not 28 Str high.

Hey I liked the feeling of "DnD on steroids" that I had with my STR32 DEX30 CON24 1st-level PC with the Palladium games ;-D


Malk_Content wrote:
Toblakai wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Well that and it doesn't take up your boot slot and a resonance.

But it does use up one of your few options for a legendary skill feat. I think that "No damage" from falling will not come into play enough for the feat to be horribly useful. I like to take feats that get used regularly.

I for one see myself actively utilizing it when I've got it. Things like jumping off the cliff rather than going slowly down it when chased. Or grappling enemies and walking off the sides of towers with them in hand etc.

I posit that any game where I can turnbuckle powerbomb an enemy from the side of a parapet is a game worth my time.


Weather Report wrote:

So, it's only the dreaded 19 and 21, noooooooooo!

I kid, I'm fine with it, I like that they have reined in ability scores a bit, all your scores may be rather high on average, but not 28 Str high.

I mean, using the Starfinder stat generation makes starting with 3 16s (possible for all the +2/+2/+2/-2 ancestries) really appealing.

Like if your Dwarf Monk has 16 Dex/Con/Wis at level 1 (12 Str, 10 Int, 8 Cha), having 18s in all of those (and expert saves in all categories) at level 6 is going to be nice. Starfinder did not let you start with 3 16s.

Silver Crusade

Aratrok wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
Is Assurance replacing Take 10 or something?
I'd say it's a worse take 10, because it's not "as if you had 10 on you dice", but "as if your TOTAL was 10". But at the same time, at low level, if you had a negative modifier even you were trained because of armor, it would end up better than you average roll, but probably only low level.
I know it's worse. My question is if it's taking the same place, mechanically.

Pathfinder is not 4thed d+d or 5th ed D+D if you want to play those game play those games they suck IMO that's why I play pathfinder. Don't try to bring their rules or mechanics into Pathfinder.

Silver Crusade

I like the idea of a Legendary Dwarven armor maker or weapons smith or a Rogue that is legendary in thievery who could sneak past a dragon. GM's just have to be intelligent on what they allow a Rogue to steal in combat it has to be reasonable. Stealing armor off a PC or NPC is not Reasonable
but cutting armor straps of a piece of plate mail to hamper the armors ac or hinder movement is reasonable. Stealing a idol off a pedestal and getting out of the way of a trap before it goes off is.

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