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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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

At first Legendary Disguise annoyed me cause it looked like it did nothing, then I looked at the top left hand corner. Three Actions to make a disguise. That's solid, amazing even.


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Legendary Catfall. "Hero landing! She's going to do a hero landing!"


Please talk about Tracking.


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John Ryan 783 wrote:
At first Legendary Disguise annoyed me cause it looked like it did nothing, then I looked at the top left hand corner. Three Actions to make a disguise. That's solid, amazing even.

I had the same reaction.


Yeah, this is the part of the game I have not been so thrilled with about the last 18-years, bring on the armour, weapons, and monster blogs.


I was kind of hoping that the stealing armor/weapons thing could be used in combat...


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I like the assurance feat.


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SilverliteSword wrote:

I was kind of hoping that the stealing armor/weapons thing could be used in combat...

Maybe there's another skill feat that reduces the time it takes to steal something, so between the two you might be able to do it. Especially if your bard is distracting them so they don't notice you.

Exo-Guardians

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I've already seen some nat 20 crap with stealing armor in PF1, surprised it is actually a feat now, just glad the party rogue can't steal it in combat.


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It's a lot more interesting than +3/+6 Skill check bonuses, that's for sure.

Liberty's Edge

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I like all the Skill Feats listed. All sound useful and interesting.

Personally, I'm hoping for some 'legendary feat of strength' stuff ala Hercules under Athletics, and some 'We are now friends.' stuff under Diplomacy. I'm also interested if there are any perception related skill Feats, and if so what skill they fall under (since Perception isn't a Skill).


"Many magic items have special crafting requirements, such as access to certain spells, as listed in the item entry in Chapter 11." So... you can't actually be an item crafter unless you're a spellcaster. :/

Liberty's Edge

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Arachnofiend wrote:
"Many magic items have special crafting requirements, such as access to certain spells, as listed in the item entry in Chapter 11." So... you can't actually be an item crafter unless you're a spellcaster. :/

From previous comments, it sounds like this is mostly restricted to things like Wands that actually allow you to cast spells (ie: spell trigger and spell completion items). A Fighter could make magic weapons and armor, as well as many other things, just fine.

Contributor

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So feats that use actions will list the number of actions needed in the header? Interesting.


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Hm. Was hoping to see how you get from Trained to Expert, and was especially hoping to see more about how to get past Expert, especially in the wake of the revelation that only Signature Skills like from your class can go to Master or beyond.

I still feel that Assurance shouldn't be a feat. It should be baked into skill proficiency levels of Expert and beyond.

I would have hoped quick magic item identification was just a function of rolling a critical on your identification check. Hopefully that's actually a thing, and Quick Identification is just on top of that.

I'm glad that a lot of the feats scale. Cat Fall for example looks fine, as long as it is on top of being able to roll a check to reduce a fall. If the feat replaced being able to roll for that at all, I'd be disappointed, much like noted above.

Successfully predicted that various bard abilities would become skill feats. I'm now even more confident that the Bard will be a full 10 level caster focused on psychic ("occult") magic, with skill feats picking up a lot of their other abilities, and probably using either spell point abilities or "Advanced Learning" dipping other spell lists to do the non-psychic "sonic" spell effects.

Very glad to see the number of crafting feats have been reigned in!

I still think Disguise should actually be a Craft, not a part of the Deception skill. When a studio or acting troupe makes a movie or puts on a play, the actors don't make their own costumes. Someone makes the costumes for them, and how good (or bad) the costume is affects their performance. But I'll be okay if Deception does allow this, and so one person good at Deception can be the "disguise crafter" for the whole group.

Legendary Thief is, well, okay, but it'd be better if you could pull it off faster. It is definitely never going to be useful in combat as printed, but at least it can be useful out of combat.

I'm still very positive about the skill feat system as a whole, especially in everyone getting dedicated skill feats so you don't have to choose between those and combat feats. But I remain concerned that things which a trained character should just be able to do might get locked behind feats. I really hope that doesn't happen, and the skills can still do everything you expect without it being pieced out into feats you have to take. The feats should be for extras and extraordinary things, not the basics. :)

Liberty's Edge

Arachnofiend wrote:
"Many magic items have special crafting requirements, such as access to certain spells, as listed in the item entry in Chapter 11." So... you can't actually be an item crafter unless you're a spellcaster. :/

There might be a feat that let's you overcome that.


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There could also be a way to bypass spell requirements like PF1e had. Or team up with the Wizard and coop-craft it.


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A more serious moment...

I like that rogues aren't just "the ones with the most skills" but now "the ones with the most tricks." Even though skill feats seem basically like rogue talents that everyone gets, rogues are still the best at them and that sits well with me.

A question, though. I've become confused as to when proficiency rank increases hit. The proficiency blog says that they are granted at odd levels, but does that mean they are automatically gained or are they skill feats you have to select? If they ARE automatically gained is there still a skill feats for that if you just want more of them?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"I'm going to steal his pants!" *shakes head* I sooooo can see *so* many people wanting to try this.

Grand Lodge

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The amount of flexibility and choice touched on in the previews, even with the base classes and one book, appears amazing. That's what's impressing me the most about the playtest so far. Not great for those that have analysis paralysis with character creation and levelling, then pathfinder has never been the game for those players.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Alright, two things:

- I hope that Assurance doesn't trivialize traps in PF2E, like Skill Mastery for rogues already does in the current edition.

- Magical Crafting does not talk about substituting knowledge of spell requirements for a higher DC. I hope that doesn't mean that classes are now locked to only being able to craft magic items for which they have the spell at their disposal. This would make, for example, sorcerers terrible at magic item crafting.

Now, hopefully the next preview blog is the sorcerer preview. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Stone Dog wrote:
A question, though. I've become confused as to when proficiency rank increases hit. The proficiency blog says that they are granted at odd levels, but does that mean they are automatically gained or are they skill feats you have to select? If they ARE automatically gained is there still a skill feats for that if you just want more of them?

So, how this works is:

At 2nd level, and every even level thereafter you get a Skill Feat. You may (but not must) spend this at getting a new skill to Trained.

At 3rd level and every odd level thereafter, you gain one skill rank. You may only spend this to increase an existing skill one level, or to buy a new skill at Trained.

If you are a Rogue, you get both of these things every level starting at 2nd instead of alternating them (and get a bonus Skill Feat at 1st as well).

Additionally, whenever you get a General Feat (3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th level) you may spend it on a Skill Feat (including getting anew skill at Trained) if you want.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have to wonder what Bards will have to have them stand out now. I mean, Bards were the Other Skill Monkey besides the Rogue (fewer skill points but abilities that eventually allowed them to use their Performance skill for upward of eight distinct skills meaning they essentially had far more skill points than a Rogue did). Hopefully we'll see the Bard discussed in the near future (seeing the Blog doesn't give any hints that I notice on the topic of discussion for Monday's blog...)

Liberty's Edge

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Tangent101 wrote:
I have to wonder what Bards will have to have them stand out now. I mean, Bards were the Other Skill Monkey besides the Rogue (fewer skill points but abilities that eventually allowed them to use their Performance skill for upward of eight distinct skills meaning they essentially had far more skill points than a Rogue did). Hopefully we'll see the Bard discussed in the near future (seeing the Blog doesn't give any hints that I notice on the topic of discussion for Monday's blog...)

Well, nothing stops them from giving the Bard additional Skill Ranks and Skill Feats just like the Rogue. Presumably less of them, but they could still hand them out.

The same is also true of the Ranger to a slightly lesser degree.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay, here's a question: Do you need to spend a Skill Feat to move a Skill from Trained to Expert or Master (or Legendary)? Or do you automatically have those start scaling up once you initially Train in the skill? Because if it's the former then you will basically have to decide whether you want to specialize with your skills, or become a master in them. But if it's the latter... then wouldn't that mean someone could become Legendary in a dozen skills just by leveling up?

Liberty's Edge

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magnuskn wrote:
- I hope that Assurance doesn't trivialize traps in PF2E, like Skill Mastery for rogues already does in the current edition.

Well, given that your bonus to disarm traps can be +15 by the time you can get a flat 20, and +25 by the time you can get a flat 30, I doubt level appropriate traps are gonna be that low DC to disarm.

Tangent101 wrote:
Okay, here's a question: Do you need to spend a Skill Feat to move a Skill from Trained to Expert or Master (or Legendary)? Or do you automatically have those start scaling up once you initially Train in the skill? Because if it's the former then you will basically have to decide whether you want to specialize with your skills, or become a master in them. But if it's the latter... then wouldn't that mean someone could become Legendary in a dozen skills just by leveling up?

I went into this above. Basically:

Not only is this not required, you actually can't spend Skill Feats on upgrading Proficiency. You get Skill Ranks to do that with automatically as you level.

Grand Lodge

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I'm really hoping that Assurance isn't replacing take 10/20.

If so, it'll essentially be a feat tax as who isn't going to take it? You'd otherwise risk failing at things your character should be perfectly adept at.


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Is Assurance replacing Take 10 or something?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

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Tangent101 wrote:
"I'm going to steal his pants!" *shakes head* I sooooo can see *so* many people wanting to try this.

Can't wait!


Thank you, Deadman! That is what I had been assuming for a when, but for some reason this blog gave me a doubt.


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Yeah, Legendary is officially getting hit with the ban-hammer in any PF2 campaigns I would run. I really hope the ability to customize is in the CRB. If Legendary can't be easily excised from the game without breaking other systems, I may have to skip PF2 despite being very optimistic about everything else.

Thus far, Legendary isn't High Fantasy, it's Mythic on steroids but without the in-world explanation. This blog unfortunately shifts me out of the "very excited" column to "on the fence", with respect to PF2 which sucks.

Note: if Legendary floats your boat, good for you. It kills enthusiasm for me, however, so I really don't need the "then you must of have been playing PF1 wrong" crap.

I know Paizo can't please everyone. I'm a diehard Paizo and PF1 fan. My excitement for PF2 had been steadily building. Now, much less so. YMMV


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I have this image of the legendary cat fall skill feat on a full plate fighter, dropping from the heavens into the middle of a battle, his halfling rogue ally saying, "Standby for Titanfall!"

Haha!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is another way around that, BPorter. Just end leveling before it hits Legendary levels.


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BPorter wrote:

Yeah, Legendary is officially getting hit with the ban-hammer in any PF2 campaigns I would run. I really hope the ability to customize is in the CRB. If Legendary can't be easily excised from the game without breaking other systems, I may have to skip PF2 despite being very optimistic about everything else.

Thus far, Legendary isn't High Fantasy, it's Mythic on steroids but without the in-world explanation. This blog unfortunately shifts me out of the "very excited" column to "on the fence", with respect to PF2 which sucks.

Note: if Legendary floats your boat, good for you. It kills enthusiasm for me, however, so I really don't need the "then you must of have been playing PF1 wrong" crap.

I know Paizo can't please everyone. I'm a diehard Paizo and PF1 fan. My excitement for PF2 had been steadily building. Now, much less so. YMMV

Just house rule out legendary feat. I would just tell my players all feats that have "legendary" as prerequisites are off-limits.


[[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.

It's Roger from American Dad. :D


Funny thing about my groups, in all the time I've played D20 games, the only time I can remember people wanting g to take ten is after a bad roll. Nobody ever did it proactively. "Could I take ten?" You could have, but you didn't. My last mythic game a character even had that power that let's you take ten and twenty all the time and she still never did.

I hope the option is still there for everybody, but Assurance seems like an upgrade. You don't have to be concerned with situation or time involved, you are just ... Well, assured.


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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.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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I am still extremely opposed to replacing skill points with a basic formula like 4th Edition.

Hopefully skill feats will make up for the loss of agency in determining how my characters' skills will grow.


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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 Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My guess is that, if you want to keep Legendary material out of a PF2 game, you would most likely just have to end the game somewhere before 20th level. I guess when we get the playtest rules we should have some idea of the level at which a high level PC no longer has meaningful pre-Legendary options.


Anyone else read these blogs in the voice and inflection of David from Camp Camp?

That Legendary Disguise Feat is absolutely perfect for my Rogue! I think I’ve played him while disguised more than I’ve played him not-disguised!


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John Ryan 783 wrote:
At first Legendary Disguise annoyed me cause it looked like it did nothing, then I looked at the top left hand corner. Three Actions to make a disguise. That's solid, amazing even.

One turn to make a disguise? That is some mission impossible or scooby doo villain level disguise work.


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Stone Dog wrote:

Funny thing about my groups, in all the time I've played D20 games, the only time I can remember people wanting g to take ten is after a bad roll. Nobody ever did it proactively. "Could I take ten?" You could have, but you didn't. My last mythic game a character even had that power that let's you take ten and twenty all the time and she still never did.

I hope the option is still there for everybody, but Assurance seems like an upgrade. You don't have to be concerned with situation or time involved, you are just ... Well, assured.

Taking 10 happens all the time in my group. Almost any time we can use it at that.


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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".


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What's the design philosophy behind separating skill rank increase from skill feats?

Wouldn't it be simpler to give all characters a skill feat every level, except for rogues, who get two? And make Proficiency Training a skill feat that allows you to choose 1 skill to increase its proficiency rank by 1?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Even though perception isn't a skill I hope there will be similar feats for it.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
"Many magic items have special crafting requirements, such as access to certain spells, as listed in the item entry in Chapter 11." So... you can't actually be an item crafter unless you're a spellcaster. :/
From previous comments, it sounds like this is mostly restricted to things like Wands that actually allow you to cast spells (ie: spell trigger and spell completion items). A Fighter could make magic weapons and armor, as well as many other things, just fine.

Correct. It means "Many items have prerequisites. Access to a spell is one example of a prerequisite." Not "Many items have prerequisites of access to a spell." I do see how it could give that impression though now that Arachnofiend mentions it.


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Shinigami02 wrote:
Stone Dog wrote:

Funny thing about my groups, in all the time I've played D20 games, the only time I can remember people wanting g to take ten is after a bad roll. Nobody ever did it proactively. "Could I take ten?" You could have, but you didn't. My last mythic game a character even had that power that let's you take ten and twenty all the time and she still never did.

I hope the option is still there for everybody, but Assurance seems like an upgrade. You don't have to be concerned with situation or time involved, you are just ... Well, assured.

Taking 10 happens all the time in my group. Almost any time we can use it at that.

I know my people are weird. I don't understand it either. I have to prompt them.


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Samurai Sheepdog wrote:

[[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.

It's Roger from American Dad. :D

To me it was more like the guy from the Hitman games. Takes you 5 seconds to dress'up as the guy you just killed/knocked out and do it multiple times per mission.

Paizo Employee Designer

9 people marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:

Alright, two things:

- I hope that Assurance doesn't trivialize traps in PF2E, like Skill Mastery for rogues already does in the current edition.

- Magical Crafting does not talk about substituting knowledge of spell requirements for a higher DC. I hope that doesn't mean that classes are now locked to only being able to craft magic items for which they have the spell at their disposal. This would make, for example, sorcerers terrible at magic item crafting.

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.

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