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Knowledge Skills, Magic Item Creation and Metagame: How I handle it.


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

One thing that I would like to touch base on is Knowledge Skills, Magic Item Creation and Metagaming. As you can tell from my posts, I very much dislike metagaming and I try and eliminate it as much as possible.

Knowledge Skills: Now I'm not 100% certain of the RAI with regards to Knowledge Skills but the way I handle those, and other skills in general, is they are to be used in "in game" interaction. I do not allow player's to come up with information and then transfer it to their character with a simple Knowledge Check. Now if you interact with something during the game then you are entitled to certain checks but other than that I don't allow it. I like to keep my games to happen "in game" as much as possible. Knowledge Skills can become very broken if they are used incorrectly because not all player's are going to rely on "in game" knowledge to solve things or find out information. Flipping through books and then having your character roll knowledge checks to see if they know that info is, in my opinion, not the way they are supposed to be used. Since the DC's are so low for most things, a character would only be limited, in his knowledge, by checks that he may fail and the player himself and I don't go for that in my games.

Magic Item Creation: Now this is an area that I felt like I needed to really put my foot down about. As soon as a character gets a certain craft magic item feat I do not allow them to automatically start flipping through the DM section of the book and start picking out items they want to create that they can afford. Certain items like +1 though +5 swords, armor, shields etc... I have not problem with. Now properties become a different story all together. If someone gets the Craft Arms and Armor feat and they tell me they want to create a Holy Avenger then they better have an "in game" reason as to how they have the Knowledge of a Holy Avenger. Now if they have come across one then of course they can make one but if they have never heard of one "in game" then I do not allow them to be made. What I do is I make certain knowledge about creating items as part of treasure at times or I allow the PC's to research if they have heard rumors about certain items. At first my players were a bit iffy on it but they eventually came around and said that my way actually makes the game more enjoyable and more of a role playing game instead of a numbers game. Sure it may create a little more work for me when I create campaigns but sometimes that's what being a DM is all about. If I am wanting to employ some things in my games then I am willing to do the extra work.


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Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

It's your game, but you're crippling the item creation feats by doing this.

Osirion

I agree that it would be annoying for a character to simply page through a rulebook making Knowledge checks to see what they know. I also dislike when players ask for a Knowledge check (unless they state they are actually referencing something in game). The only exception to this is "have I heard of this monster before?"

I usually reserve knowledge checks as a DM initiated action, based on the characters. For example, if the party has an aristocrat-type character and they bump into another noble, I will call for an automatic Knowledge (nobility) check to see if the character can recognize the noble.

As for the magic item thing, I do kind of like the idea of characters having to acquire the knowledge of items, but with Pathfinder the limits of caster level is a built-in check against such extravagance. I suppose if you really wanted to limit knowledge, you could rule a character cannot even attempt an item without a Knowledge (arcana) check equal to 15 + (item caster level + 3).

I should mention that my houserule for item creation is that the Spellcraft DC is 10 + caster level (+5 for omitted requirements). A failure by 5 or more, or a natural 1, always results in a cursed item. A natural 20 will result in an enhanced item. A character cannot take 10 on this check.

I've been satisfied with this rule, as it has discouraged the players from pursuing items beyond their level, and has actually resulted in a few key moments when a cursed item let down the character and changed the course of a battle. The DC 5+ rule makes item creation a joke for any caster worth his salt.


When you say "player initiated knowledge checks" what do you mean? Is a player solving a puzzle by looking up some facet of the setting? That's kinda the point on knowledge skills... A person with +10 knows everything there is to know about a given topic. Isn't it a good thing that your players are looking for interesting solutions?

In regard to magic items: I don't see it as a crafter making a "+1 flaming weapon." She is just making a sword and enchanting it with fire. Its the same reason every wizard independently invents colour spray :)

I think the way you do it, it will push everyone even more to the +X items instead of the quirky ones like pipes of the sewer.


I hve no idea what you are talking about with knowledge skills.

In our group, we come across an unknown beastie and:
ask what knowledge skill is required.
Folks who want to roll roll for it (on their turns usually) and we figure out what we figure out from there.

I've never heard of someone flipping through the bestiary when they meet something (a troll for example?) and then rolling line by line to see what they know. That would seem odd to me, and if you are trying to stop that then cudos to you. I'd just say "Put the bestiaries away during combat folks, thanks" and be done with it.

Your magical item rules.. well, they also seem peculiar.
If you are avoiding the WBL bonus to the rule, the only real point is being able to craft what they need rather than waiting for you to give it to them. If you are making them wait for you to fork it over before they can craft it then.. well.. you are pretty much negating the feat.

If I was a crafter at your table then everytime we hit up a city I'd go window shopping to see what ever anyone had for sale of any type. And I'd keep a list of things I'd ever seen. While some of the abilities would be somewhat obscure (like a holy avenger or something) any of the elemental line or pure damage types or even bane weapons would be pretty much intuitive. "Gee I want to know hwo to make a weapon that does extra damage against dragons" isn't exactly rocket science- its what he took the feat for.

I guess what you and your players like, is good for your group, but it just seems like an unnecessary thing that just tends to waste time that could be better spent on other things. at least, imo.

-S

Osirion

If anything, the Knowledge skill should serve the DM as an aid to resolve situations where players are having trouble distinguising player vs. character knowledge.


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So you're taking more player options away from the players and putting them under DM control? If that's fun for you and your group, more power to you guys.

The knowledge skills are extremely important to the game, and there is really nothing wrong with players initiating the checks. For example, if I role play a character who studies religion...and yet I haven't read everything about the Gods of Golarion....I'm going to be asking for a lot of knowledge checks. It'd be the same thing if I roleplayed a Professor of Psychology (hint: I'm not a professor of psychology)...I'd need to use knowledge rolls frequently to see the difference between what my character knows and what I know as a player. Of course this involves the meta-game, but it HAS to. We're not medieval fantasy characters who have spent their lives devoted to things that...well...don't exist in our world. We have to use the knowledge checks to figure out what we know and what we don't. To simply take that away or only use it when you feel like it as a DM just seems wrong.

And if you have a huge issue with item creation, just ban it. The feats themselves represent your character's ability to figure out how to make the items in question, especially in conjunction with spells involved and whatnot. It's why there is a spellcraft check involved...it represents your ability to figure it out and make it work. Someone who is pretty well trained in carpentry can probably figure out how to build a nice back-porch, even if they've never done it or seen one before. If they try to get fancy, it's a higher check and demands more aptitude on their part...same with item crafting.

Silver Crusade

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Jal Dorak wrote:
I also dislike when players ask for a Knowledge check

Either I'm not understanding you or I disagree 100%

As a player, I'll often ask for knowledge checks to see if the character knows something. Sometimes I (the player) already know the information, sometimes I don't.

For example, last session a NPC was claiming that what he had done wasn't illegal. So a Player asked to roll his Knowledge - Local in order to know if the specific action was in fact illegal.

As another example, in a dungeon we ran into a beastie. As a player I knew darned well what it was just from the description (I've GM'ed a lot so I recognize many monsters). But I asked for a knowledge check to determine what the character knew. And when I failed I tried as hard as I could to not metagame using the knowledge that the player had.

Silver Crusade

pauljathome wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
I also dislike when players ask for a Knowledge check

Either I'm not understanding you or I disagree 100%

As a player, I'll often ask for knowledge checks to see if the character knows something. Sometimes I (the player) already know the information, sometimes I don't.

For example, last session a NPC was claiming that what he had done wasn't illegal. So a Player asked to roll his Knowledge - Local in order to know if the specific action was in fact illegal.

As another example, in a dungeon we ran into a beastie. As a player I knew darned well what it was just from the description (I've GM'ed a lot so I recognize many monsters). But I asked for a knowledge check to determine what the character knew. And when I failed I tried as hard as I could to not metagame using the knowledge that the player had.

Your example is how Knowledge skills are supposed to be used. Knowledge skills are supposed to be used,in my opinion, using "in game" knowledge and interaction.

Silver Crusade

Sylvanite wrote:
So you're taking more player options away from the players and putting them under DM control?

I want to touch on this for a moment.

How can I take away what's not even there?

Magic Item Creation is under DM control already so I can't assume control over something that I already have control over. If you look at the Item Creation feats, no where does it say you automatically have the knowledge of all magic items. What you have done here is give yourself options, the game hasn't given you these options, and then say that I am limiting your options because I don't use your playstyle.

I'm not using Rule 0 here, I am using the mechanics how they are written and that is DM judgement. The same thing goes for Wizards Spells, Favored Enemy, Wild Shape etc... That line above is not a good argument because the term is too broad and too easily used.

Let's say you are a Ranger and you have Favored Enemy. In Bob's game, he has every creature your party faces be your Favored Enemy. Now you come and play in my game and I don't do this, you could then tell me that I am limiting your options. The same goes with a Wizard buying spells. There is nothing in the book that says I must set up my campaign to where I have to give you full access to any and all spells through magic shops or other mages. There are rules for copying spells to your book but "I" decide whether that mage is going to be there to sell you those spells, or those magic shops be present etc...

To make a long story short, you can't claim I take away something you never had.

Now feats would be a different story. If the game gives you feats XYZ and I tell you that you are able to take feats X and Z then yes you could say that I am limiting your options.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Again, you're free to do this at your table, but it weakens the feats. In any case, I hope you tell your players this before they decide what kind of character to make.


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Edit: Bleh...nevermind. I hope your group enjoys your houserules.

Silver Crusade

Sylvanite wrote:
Edit: Bleh...nevermind. I hope your group enjoys your houserules.

It's not houserules I'm afraid.

Silver Crusade

blahpers wrote:
Again, you're free to do this at your table, but it weakens the feats. In any case, I hope you tell your players this before they decide what kind of character to make.

How does it weaken the feats? Where is this preconceived notion that you automatically have the knowledge of all specific items come from? Please point to me in the book where it says this.

Again, just like Wild Shape, the rules have been left open because not all items in the back of the book are present in people's campaigns.

Why should I have to let people know about it ahead of time? Nothing written in the rules leads people to believe that the moment they take certain item creation feats that they suddenly become aware of specific items and properties. I'm smelling a lot of assumptions that are mistaken for rules.


shallowsoul wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:
Edit: Bleh...nevermind. I hope your group enjoys your houserules.
It's not houserules I'm afraid.

Morning:

I am confused. Are you suggesting your viewpoint is RAW?

Silver Crusade

Franko a wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:
Edit: Bleh...nevermind. I hope your group enjoys your houserules.
It's not houserules I'm afraid.

Morning:

I am confused. Are you suggesting your viewpoint is RAW?

There is no RAW way. You can only houserule something that is RAW. The only thing that is RAW with the feat Craft Wondrous Items, for example, is the item creation mechanics. It doesn't say anything in the RAW that you automatically gain the knowledge of a Headband of Intellect or Goggles of Minute Seeing for example.


?


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By taking the feat, a crafter also gains knowledge about things that he can make. If he didn't then... the crafting feats would be useless, because he wouldn't know what he can do with them. That's kinda stupid. :/

Silver Crusade

ImperatorK wrote:
By taking the feat, a crafter also gains knowledge about things that he can make. If he didn't then... the crafting feats would be useless, because he wouldn't know what he can do with them. That's kinda stupid. :/

Please show me in the books where is states this.

Silver Crusade

Franko a wrote:

?

Per RAW, the feat is left open for DM's to handle the way they want to handle it.

What exactly are you not understanding?

If I am a mechanic and I have never seen a Ferrari engine, I don't suddenly know how to fix one. Fixing the engine on a Toyota Yaris and fixing one on a Ferrari are completely different.

So the moment you take Craft Arms and Armor you suddenly know the existence of a Holy Avenger or a Sunblade even though you have never seen or even heard of one?


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Shallow,

I would like to jump in and ask a question if I may.

I thought it might be a good idea to do it early before this thread turned like so many of your others.

Are you asking a question?

In other words, What are you looking for here?

This is quickly going to turn into...

You: "Uh-huh"

Everyone else: "Nuh-uh"

I am honestly curious.

I am sure that by this point you know that most posters here do not share your playstyle.

So I am really curious what the point of this one is.


shallowsoul wrote:
Franko a wrote:

?

Per RAW, the feat is left open for DM's to handle the way they want to handle it.

What exactly are you not understanding?

If I am a mechanic and I have never seen a Ferrari engine, I don't suddenly know how to fix one. Fixing the engine on a Toyota Yaris and fixing one on a Ferrari are completely different.

So the moment you take Craft Arms and Armor you suddenly know the existence of a Holy Avenger or a Sunblade even though you have never seen or even heard of one?

I am at work, i am not a rules laywer, and I am not in your game.

But given that.
It seems that you are limiting how people play. It looks like you want to control them, and not let them play what they want to play.

Silver Crusade

Thefurmonger wrote:

Shallow,

I would like to jump in and ask a question if I may.

I thought it might be a good idea to do it early before this thread turned like so many of your others.

Are you asking a question?

In other words, What are you looking for here?

This is quickly going to turn into...

You: "Uh-huh"

Everyone else: "Nuh-uh"

I am honestly curious.

I am sure that by this point you know that most posters here do not share your playstyle.

So I am really curious what the point of this one is.

I'm not asking. I'm actually pointing something out.

"So you're taking more player options away from the players and putting them under DM control? If that's fun for you and your group, more power to you guys."

Syl made the above comment about putting it more under DM control like the way I was doing it is wrong. I am simply pointing out that I am not enacting Rule 0 and that the options he claims are being taken away were never there to start with. He is arguing playstyles but I'm not. The Item Creation feats have always been in the hands of the DM anyway and he is trying to say that they have not.

Now if your DM says you automatically know the existence of all items then that's fine because the feats are left open but you can't sit there and tell someone else they are limiting the options of players because of their particular playstyle. Also I am trying to point out the fact that the RAW doesn't say you automatically know how to create specific items. How would your character even know about a Holy Avenger if he has never even read about one or even seen one? The feat says nothing about granting you an inherit knowledge of the existence of these types of items.

Silver Crusade

Franko a wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Franko a wrote:

?

Per RAW, the feat is left open for DM's to handle the way they want to handle it.

What exactly are you not understanding?

If I am a mechanic and I have never seen a Ferrari engine, I don't suddenly know how to fix one. Fixing the engine on a Toyota Yaris and fixing one on a Ferrari are completely different.

So the moment you take Craft Arms and Armor you suddenly know the existence of a Holy Avenger or a Sunblade even though you have never seen or even heard of one?

I am at work, i am not a rules laywer, and I am not in your game.

But given that.
[b]It seems that you are limiting how people play. It looks like you want to control them, and not let them play what they want to play.[\b]

It's not about controlling anyone. That is a poor excuse to use when you, in general, don't get to do whatever you want to do.

Are you going to say I want to control you and I am limiting your options if I don't provide a magic shop in every town you go to or run into mages all over the place so your Wizard buy any and all spells he wishes?

If you are used to a playstyle and then you move over to another and then claim that DM is limiting you and trying to control you because he doesn't use the same playstyle as your previous DM is not a valid argument. Now you are entitled to leave that game and not play but you aren't entitled to say that person is wrong.

There are certain aspects of the game that are left open on purpose and these feats are one of them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Okay, so you'l like to point out that you are doing things differently from other GMs, claiming that these are not house rules, but perfectly within RAW.

Very well. We noticed that before. Your point being?

Osirion

pauljathome wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
I also dislike when players ask for a Knowledge check

Either I'm not understanding you or I disagree 100%

As a player, I'll often ask for knowledge checks to see if the character knows something. Sometimes I (the player) already know the information, sometimes I don't.

For example, last session a NPC was claiming that what he had done wasn't illegal. So a Player asked to roll his Knowledge - Local in order to know if the specific action was in fact illegal.

As another example, in a dungeon we ran into a beastie. As a player I knew darned well what it was just from the description (I've GM'ed a lot so I recognize many monsters). But I asked for a knowledge check to determine what the character knew. And when I failed I tried as hard as I could to not metagame using the knowledge that the player had.

I'll clarify: I dislike when players ask for a Knowledge check about a general topic. Your examples are okay, because the character has confronted a specific incident in game and is using the Knowledge check to understand things from a character perspective.

What is off-putting is if a character wanders into a town and says "I make a Knowledge (local) check. What do I know about this place?" It's kind of similar to "I make a Profession (Adventurer) check to clear out the dungeon. How much gold do I make?" Also the same reason I ask for specifics when a player says "I search the room."

Another reason I usually ask for the check as DM is because it avoids the "lets try every Knowledge skill and hope we learn something" game.

As a side note, my houserule for monster identification is that if you can get DC 10 (Intelligence check) you know the type (and thus the appropriate Knowledge skill if you used the wrong one). (Like I said, monsters are an exception to my normal procedures).

Osirion

shallowsoul wrote:


Syl made the above comment about putting it more under DM control like the way I was doing it is wrong. I am simply pointing out that I am not enacting Rule 0 and that the options he claims are being taken away were never there to start with. He is arguing playstyles but I'm not. The Item Creation feats have always been in the hands of the DM anyway and he is trying to say that they have not.

Now if your DM says you automatically know the existence of all items then that's fine because the feats are left open but you can't sit there and tell someone else they are limiting the options of players because of their particular playstyle. Also I am trying to point out the fact that the RAW doesn't say you automatically know how to create specific items. How would your character even know about a Holy Avenger if he has never even read about one or even seen one? The feat says nothing about granting you an inherit knowledge of the existence of these types of items.

I do appreciate that as a DM you want to create some flavor and a sense of discovery in your games - I'm all for this.

I have to emphatically disagree that the RAW doesn't cover this. Each item creation feat specifically states you can create any [type of item] whose prerequisites you meet. Since the prerequisites don't list anything about obtaining a recipe/whatnot, that means everything.

It would certainly be interesting and admirable to add a prerequisite about "item plans", making everything nice and tidy. I'd see this working a bit like the spell system in Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed, with three "rarities" of items. In fact, I'm thinking about doing this right now!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Jal Dorak wrote:
What is off-putting is if a character wanders into a town and says "I make a Knowledge (local) check. What do I know about this place?"

Depends. For example, I am perfectly fine when my player asks me, upon entering a town, "Hmm... so we're in Cheliax now. What specific rules and customs should I remember?" (to which I secretly roll a Knowledge check)

Jal Dorak wrote:
As a side note, my houserule for monster identification is that if you can get DC 10 (Intelligence check) you know the type (and thus the appropriate Knowledge skill if you used the wrong one). (Like I said, monsters are an exception to my normal procedures).

Once again, I'd make this largely dependent on the obscurity of the monster. Identifying a huge red Dragon as, well, a Dragon (especially if the party has been hunting it), is pretty much a no-brainer for me. However, correctly identifying even the creature type of an incorporeal ooze might be a tad higher than DC10, at my table.

Silver Crusade

Jal Dorak wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


Syl made the above comment about putting it more under DM control like the way I was doing it is wrong. I am simply pointing out that I am not enacting Rule 0 and that the options he claims are being taken away were never there to start with. He is arguing playstyles but I'm not. The Item Creation feats have always been in the hands of the DM anyway and he is trying to say that they have not.

Now if your DM says you automatically know the existence of all items then that's fine because the feats are left open but you can't sit there and tell someone else they are limiting the options of players because of their particular playstyle. Also I am trying to point out the fact that the RAW doesn't say you automatically know how to create specific items. How would your character even know about a Holy Avenger if he has never even read about one or even seen one? The feat says nothing about granting you an inherit knowledge of the existence of these types of items.

I do appreciate that as a DM you want to create some flavor and a sense of discovery in your games - I'm all for this.

I have to emphatically disagree that the RAW doesn't cover this. Each item creation feat specifically states you can create any [type of item] whose prerequisites you meet. Since the prerequisites don't list anything about obtaining a recipe/whatnot, that means everything.

It would certainly be interesting and admirable to add a prerequisite about "item plans", making everything nice and tidy. I'd see this working a bit like the spell system in Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed, with three "rarities" of items. In fact, I'm thinking about doing this right now!

I have to disagree and say that the RAW does support the open aspect of the Item Creation Feats. There is nothing RAW that supports "You some how know how to create a Holy Avenger" or my way. The RAW supports the first way "and" my way.

I didn't say anything about needing a recipe or certain materials.

Silver Crusade

Midnight_Angel wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
What is off-putting is if a character wanders into a town and says "I make a Knowledge (local) check. What do I know about this place?"

Depends. For example, I am perfectly fine when my player asks me, upon entering a town, "Hmm... so we're in Cheliax now. What specific rules and customs should I remember?" (to which I secretly roll a Knowledge check)

I think that's what Jal is talking about. It actually tells you in the book what Knowledge Local gives you in the way of Knowledge. The player should specifically tell you what they are looking for but again the rules are open for DM's to decide how to handle it.

Silver Crusade

Jal

I want to give you a real life example of something I had a player try and tell me what you think.

I had someone in my group just purchase the Bestiary 3. After the game the player asked me if we could sit down together while he rolls his Knowledge checks against each creature in the book to see if he can learn something ahead of time, say that his character read up on those creatures and write each thing down he finds out about each creature.

What would you do in this situation? Mind you he has never even been up against or even heard of these creatures until be bought and read the book.

Grand Lodge

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I agree that when you're talking about creating a specific, named magic item (eg Holy Avenger) that has a suite of powers, it may be reasonable to ask a PC how he knows about such an item.

For everything else, I look at it differently. The PC looking through the book and telling me the specific item he wants is what is occurring in the real world. In-game, the character is deciding, "I want an item that can do x and y." Having items in the book already, and having rules on how those items are constructed, saves me the time of having to figure that out for every item every character makes.

For instance, let's say I have a player who wants to make a +1 flaming, defending long sword. Obviously the player looks at the book and says, "I want a sword with flaming and defending." In-world, the character is thinking, "I want a sword that can catch fire at will and can help protect me in combat when I want it to."

This doesn't mean the character has any knowledge of a flaming defending sword. In my mind, magical item creation is as much a thing of invention as recreating something you've seen before. To require a character to have to have seen an item he wants to create seems rather debilitating and goes outside the spirit of the rules, IMO. If you want to control and micromanage the players' items to such a degree, why not just disallow item creation feats? Then you can hand out exactly what you want them to have.

If, on the other hand, the player wants to create a specific named item, then you're on stronger ground to say he can only do so if he's encountered such an item (I personally wouldn't do this). If I were to do this, I wouldn't disallow the item entirely, rather I'd have the player make some changes to it to make it something more of his character's invention.

I hope you make these changes to the magic item creation clear to the players before they buy the feats. In my mind, it's gimping those feats a lot, to the point that if I were playing under such a system, I'd be spending my precious feats on something else.

Ultimately, the logic of requiring a character to have seen an item before to create it breaks down. If I have to have seen a ring of protection to craft one, how was the first ring of protection made? How do you explain rings of protection existing all over the game world? If such a requirement were real, items would be regionalized. Ultimately, this is just a device to control the players/game, with a thinly veiled veneer of rationalization/justification. Your players will see through it. There is already a system in place that limits the items a character can craft by skills and level, not to mention monetary cost. If your WBL is in line, then you shouldn't have to worry about what your characters are cooking up in the lab.


shallowsoul wrote:
Franko a wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Franko a wrote:

?

Per RAW, the feat is left open for DM's to handle the way they want to handle it.

What exactly are you not understanding?

If I am a mechanic and I have never seen a Ferrari engine, I don't suddenly know how to fix one. Fixing the engine on a Toyota Yaris and fixing one on a Ferrari are completely different.

So the moment you take Craft Arms and Armor you suddenly know the existence of a Holy Avenger or a Sunblade even though you have never seen or even heard of one?

I am at work, i am not a rules laywer, and I am not in your game.

But given that.
[b]It seems that you are limiting how people play. It looks like you want to control them, and not let them play what they want to play.[\b]

[b]It's not about controlling anyone. That is a poor excuse to use when you, in general, don't get to do whatever you want to do. [\b]

Are you going to say I want to control you and I am limiting your options if I don't provide a magic shop in every town you go to or run into mages all over the place so your Wizard buy any and all spells he wishes?

If you are used to a playstyle and then you move over to another and then claim that DM is limiting you and trying to control you because he doesn't use the same playstyle as your previous DM is not a valid argument. Now you are entitled to leave that game and not play but you aren't entitled to say that person is wrong.

There are certain aspects of the game that are left open on purpose and these feats are one of them.

Please....

The game is supposed to be cooperative.
Characters are limited by what they can do by wealth and time.
And.... so what if they have a sword of doom, cannot the DM use that in a role playing oppurtunity?


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shallowsoul wrote:
Franko a wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:
Edit: Bleh...nevermind. I hope your group enjoys your houserules.
It's not houserules I'm afraid.

Morning:

I am confused. Are you suggesting your viewpoint is RAW?
There is no RAW way. You can only houserule something that is RAW. The only thing that is RAW with the feat Craft Wondrous Items, for example, is the item creation mechanics. It doesn't say anything in the RAW that you automatically gain the knowledge of a Headband of Intellect or Goggles of Minute Seeing for example.

Yes. It does. It states that making any item that requires a spell you don't know increases the DC. And that when making magic items, you must cast the appropriate spells listed on the magic item, which can be cast from scrolls.

Yes, you are houseruling, as there ARE item creation mechanics that deal with extra abilities added to magic weapons.


shallowsoul wrote:

Jal

I want to give you a real life example of something I had a player try and tell me what you think.

I had someone in my group just purchase the Bestiary 3. After the game the player asked me if we could sit down together while he rolls his Knowledge checks against each creature in the book to see if he can learn something ahead of time, say that his character read up on those creatures and write each thing down he finds out about each creature.

What would you do in this situation? Mind you he has never even been up against or even heard of these creatures until be bought and read the book.

Seriously? The player actually asked to do that? I'd be tempted to knock him over the head with the book..

There's no way I'd spend a good amount of my time in order to have a player roll lots of unnecessary dice and write down information he'd likely never get a use for.


shallowsoul wrote:

I had someone in my group just purchase the Bestiary 3. After the game the player asked me if we could sit down together while he rolls his Knowledge checks against each creature in the book to see if he can learn something ahead of time, say that his character read up on those creatures and write each thing down he finds out about each creature.

What would you do in this situation?

I would ask him whether he wants it to be you or him who leaves the group. You can't solve a clash of playstyles like this in-game, and all your posts suggest that's exactly what you keep trying to do.

Osirion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
shallowsoul wrote:

Jal

I want to give you a real life example of something I had a player try and tell me what you think.

I had someone in my group just purchase the Bestiary 3. After the game the player asked me if we could sit down together while he rolls his Knowledge checks against each creature in the book to see if he can learn something ahead of time, say that his character read up on those creatures and write each thing down he finds out about each creature.

What would you do in this situation? Mind you he has never even been up against or even heard of these creatures until be bought and read the book.

I'd politely tell the player that it is extreme meta-gaming. If he wants his character to have an encyclopedic knowledge of monsters, he should start by writing his own about each monster he encounters. If he wants to add monsters from research, he can find out about 1 monster with 1 day of research (in an appropriate library or setting) and a Knowledge check (bonus for using materials, same DC) to see if he understands or even finds the information.

I've actually done this as a player, and it's very rewarding. Once I'm done, my character will attempt to publish his work or sell it to the PFS.


So can the player ask for a knowledge check to see if he knows about a holy avenger?

I kid.

I can definitely see making the specific items requires some source of knowledge about said item and I think that's what you are getting at, and I'm cool playing in that game so long as I know that ahead of time. It seem to me that in your system for handling creation that simple things like flaming, good, or bane would be common knowledge or am I misunderstanding? As far as the reading the bestiary say the player spends some time in the city library studding tomes about monsters, what does the player want? Tell him he learns that it can be useful to have weapons made of silver, cold iron, and adamantine as well as weapons aligned with the power of good, law, or chaos simple. You could even throw him a +2 to his knowledge checks for "studying"


shallowsoul wrote:
ImperatorK wrote:
By taking the feat, a crafter also gains knowledge about things that he can make. If he didn't then... the crafting feats would be useless, because he wouldn't know what he can do with them. That's kinda stupid. :/
Please show me in the books where is states this.

Please show me in the books where it's stated that you need anything other than the feat (and meeting the requirements of the item you want to make).


Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jal Dorak wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Jal

I want to give you a real life example of something I had a player try and tell me what you think.

I had someone in my group just purchase the Bestiary 3. After the game the player asked me if we could sit down together while he rolls his Knowledge checks against each creature in the book to see if he can learn something ahead of time, say that his character read up on those creatures and write each thing down he finds out about each creature.

What would you do in this situation? Mind you he has never even been up against or even heard of these creatures until be bought and read the book.

I'd politely tell the player that it is extreme meta-gaming. If he wants his character to have an encyclopedic knowledge of monsters, he should start by writing his own about each monster he encounters. If he wants to add monsters from research, he can find out about 1 monster with 1 day of research (in an appropriate library or setting) and a Knowledge check (bonus for using materials, same DC) to see if he understands or even finds the information.

I've actually done this as a player, and it's very rewarding. Once I'm done, my character will attempt to publish his work or sell it to the PFS.

I think it’s pretty poor on how the player handled asking for the knowledge of monsters (in sitting down the DM and pour through the bestiaries), but I think it’s a legitimate request to know the strengths and weaknesses of a monster through the appropriate knowledge check.

In our campaigns, I have played characters with usually several knowledges and our DM has allowed me to make a knowledge check on the abilities of monsters we go up against. First, I would need to identify the monster, then I would get a check on what abilities it has. How high I roll depends on how many strengths/weaknesses I know it has.

Again, it has to be the appropriate knowledge. If we are fighting a large plant creature, I can’t use my Knowledge: Arcana (constructs, dragons, magical beasts) to find out the abilities of the plant, it would fall under Knowledge: Nature.


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ImperatorK wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
ImperatorK wrote:
By taking the feat, a crafter also gains knowledge about things that he can make. If he didn't then... the crafting feats would be useless, because he wouldn't know what he can do with them. That's kinda stupid. :/
Please show me in the books where is states this.
Please show me in the books where it's stated that you need anything other than the feat (and meeting the requirements of the item you want to make).

Bolded areas to make my point.

Quote:


Construction: With the exception of artifacts, most magic items can be built by a spellcaster with the appropriate feats and prerequisites. This section describes those prerequisites.

Requirements: Certain requirements must be met in order for a character to create a magic item. These include feats, spells, and miscellaneous requirements such as level, alignment, and race or kind. The prerequisites for creation of an item are given immediately following the item's caster level.

A spell prerequisite may be provided by a character who has prepared the spell (or who knows the spell, in the case of a sorcerer or bard), or through the use of a spell completion or spell trigger magic item or a spell-like ability that produces the desired spell effect.

No where in there does it say prior knowledge of a similiar item, or a knowledge check. What you propose is fine and dandy. Its your game. But its definatly a house rule.

How you use your Knowledge checks... definatly a house rule. Again fine if you want, but trying to convince us its anything other then a houserule is just silly.

And you are limiting both knowledge checks and crafting feats with your interpretation. But again its your game. I personally disagree with it. My characters are all past DMs and have played for years. They can probably stat out most of the monsters without looking at the books. Knowledge Checks allow us to determine what thier character knows in game. We use Knowledge checks to help stop Metagaming... not to encourage it.


Like I said...houserules. And for the record, your bit about magic shops and not providing them.....also a houserule. Settlements have rules for what items can be found in them, including when to roll and what for. Also, your whole thing about wizards and spells is covered by these same rules of what can/can't be found in settlements. So as I said earlier, and people have kindly illuminated since, enjoy the houserules....seriously, it's cool if it's fun for your group. Just don't come on here and confuse your houserules with RAW and possibly confuse others.


Quote:
And for the record, your bit about magic shops and not providing them.....also a houserule. Settlements have rules for what items can be found in them, including when to roll and what for. Also, your whole thing about wizards and spells is covered by these same rules of what can/can't be found in settlements.

Actually those aren't rules, but guidelines, Sylvanite.


Fair 'nuff. Though, if you're not going to be following the guidelines you may want to warn players that you're playing the game totally different than it's intended, which will mess with average wealth per level and thus the CR system as a whole, not to mention people's builds and character ideas that presume they will be able to obtain certain items.

But notice that there are guidelines in place that your average player would assume something similar to. When you start completely ignoring those, while it may be GM discretion, your venturing off into "homebrew" territory in general, and should probably warn your players that this will be the case.


Players shouldn't assume too much. It can lead to disappointment.

Silver Crusade

Jal Dorak wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Jal

I want to give you a real life example of something I had a player try and tell me what you think.

I had someone in my group just purchase the Bestiary 3. After the game the player asked me if we could sit down together while he rolls his Knowledge checks against each creature in the book to see if he can learn something ahead of time, say that his character read up on those creatures and write each thing down he finds out about each creature.

What would you do in this situation? Mind you he has never even been up against or even heard of these creatures until be bought and read the book.

I'd politely tell the player that it is extreme meta-gaming. If he wants his character to have an encyclopedic knowledge of monsters, he should start by writing his own about each monster he encounters. If he wants to add monsters from research, he can find out about 1 monster with 1 day of research (in an appropriate library or setting) and a Knowledge check (bonus for using materials, same DC) to see if he understands or even finds the information.

I've actually done this as a player, and it's very rewarding. Once I'm done, my character will attempt to publish his work or sell it to the PFS.

Take that same logic, which I agree with 100%, and apply it to magic items.

Silver Crusade

BlueAria wrote:

So can the player ask for a knowledge check to see if he knows about a holy avenger?

I kid.

I can definitely see making the specific items requires some source of knowledge about said item and I think that's what you are getting at, and I'm cool playing in that game so long as I know that ahead of time. It seem to me that in your system for handling creation that simple things like flaming, good, or bane would be common knowledge or am I misunderstanding? As far as the reading the bestiary say the player spends some time in the city library studding tomes about monsters, what does the player want? Tell him he learns that it can be useful to have weapons made of silver, cold iron, and adamantine as well as weapons aligned with the power of good, law, or chaos simple. You could even throw him a +2 to his knowledge checks for "studying"

I don't mind if a PC actually does the research "in game" because I can actually control what books the PC may come across.

Common properties I don't really mind but properties that may come from somewhere in the depths of hell, where you have never been or even read about, I regulate.

I think one thing that people need to understand is the fact that Item Creation feats are not like other feats, they are really powerful.

The thing I am trying to get at is that the description for the feats don't say anything about giving you the specific knowledge of specific items.

Silver Crusade

Dragonamedrake wrote:
ImperatorK wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
ImperatorK wrote:
By taking the feat, a crafter also gains knowledge about things that he can make. If he didn't then... the crafting feats would be useless, because he wouldn't know what he can do with them. That's kinda stupid. :/
Please show me in the books where is states this.
Please show me in the books where it's stated that you need anything other than the feat (and meeting the requirements of the item you want to make).

Bolded areas to make my point.

Quote:


Construction: With the exception of artifacts, most magic items can be built by a spellcaster with the appropriate feats and prerequisites. This section describes those prerequisites.

Requirements: Certain requirements must be met in order for a character to create a magic item. These include feats, spells, and miscellaneous requirements such as level, alignment, and race or kind. The prerequisites for creation of an item are given immediately following the item's caster level.

A spell prerequisite may be provided by a character who has prepared the spell (or who knows the spell, in the case of a sorcerer or bard), or through the use of a spell completion or spell trigger magic item or a spell-like ability that produces the desired spell effect.

No where in there does it say prior knowledge of a similiar item, or a knowledge check. What you propose is fine and dandy. Its your game. But its definatly a house rule.

How you use your Knowledge checks... definatly a house rule. Again fine if you want, but trying to convince us its anything other then a houserule is just silly.

And you are limiting both knowledge checks and crafting feats with your interpretation. But again its your game. I personally disagree with it. My characters are all past DMs and have played for years. They can probably stat out most of the monsters without looking at the books. Knowledge Checks allow us to determine what thier character knows in game. We...

I get what you are saying and you are pointing out the actual mechanics of creating the item. There are mechanics for how Favored Enemy works but there is no rules that say each thing you come up against is going to be your favored enemy, that part is up to the DM.

Knowledge is to be used for "in game" and not used to metagame.

If "you", the player, comes across something in a book and you want to transfer that knowledge to your character and use the "well I want to make a Knowledge check to see if he knows that" is not acceptable if it doesn't come up in game.

Making a Knowledge check "in game" can actually determine what you know and do not know.

If you make a successful Knowledge check to identify a vampire, you suddenly have Knowledge of vampires and if you failed it then you don't. See how easily a Knowledge can be gained?

Osirion

shallowsoul wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:


I'd politely tell the player that it is extreme meta-gaming. If he wants his character to have an encyclopedic knowledge of monsters, he should start by writing his own about each monster he encounters. If he wants to add monsters from research, he can find out about 1 monster with 1 day of research (in an appropriate library or setting) and a Knowledge check (bonus for using materials, same DC) to see if he understands or even finds the information.

I've actually done this as a player, and it's very rewarding. Once I'm done, my character will attempt to publish his work or sell it to the PFS.

Take that same logic, which I agree with 100%, and apply it to magic items.

I concur that this is a nice way to handle magic items. It's not so much a problem in the core rules, but when you are using splatbooks it becomes more and more an issue, and its an elegant way to solve the problem (I'd go so far as to apply the same thinking to spells).

However, the part I disagree with you on is that there is no rule either way. Again, in the core rules the feats say you can create any item of that category. It's the same as saying a fighter is "proficient with all martial weapons". If you have a splatbook with extra martial weapons, the fighter knows how to wield them (unless you houserule the item is Exotic). It's one of those "handwaive" situations. How does the character know? They meet the caster level, which means somewhere along the line they read about or studied the item (the same way a +17 Knowledge (religion) check would allow a cleric to know about vampires without having to specify they want to study vampires).

By the RAW, if an item is in the DMG, a player with the relevant creation feat can craft the item (if they meet the prerequisites). Saying anything otherwise is a houserule .

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

OK, so on the item creation front, say I am a cleric and I take the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat.

I then state that I want to create a cold iron sword with a +2 enchantment that becomes empowered in the hands of a paladin, granting a +5 modifier, spell resistance of 5 + the paladin's level and use a general area greater dispel magic once per round as a standard action. Would you allow me to craft the weapon?

While I have described the effects of a Holy Avenger, I have not named the specific weapon, only the effects I want to be able to imbue onto the weapon.

As far as Craft feats go, all the listed magic items are, for all intents and purposes, merely pregenerated templates of magic items. It gives folks a basis to use as comparison for crafting items that are not listed, using the rules as given.

As far as wanting a RAW source, how about:

Core Rules, pp. 548-549 wrote:

To create magic items, spellcasters use special feats which allow them to invest time and money in an item’s creation. At the end of this process, the spellcaster must make a single skill check (usually Spellcraft, but sometimes another skill) to finish the item. If an item type has multiple possible skills, you choose which skill to make the check with. The DC to create a magic item is 5 + the caster level for the item. Failing this check means that the item does not function and the materials and time are wasted. Failing this check by 5 or more results in a cursed item (see Cursed Items for more information).

Note that all items have prerequisites in their descriptions. These prerequisites must be met for the item to be created. Most of the time, they take the form of spells that must be known by the item’s creator (although access through another magic item or spellcaster is allowed). The DC to create a magic item increases by +5 for each prerequisite the caster does not meet. The only exception to this is the requisite item creation feat, which is mandatory. In addition, you cannot create spelltrigger and spell-completion magic items without meeting their spell prerequisites.

So, by RAW, each item has its prerequisites listed in their descriptions, and the only required prerequisites are the requisite item creation feat and any spells prerequisites if it has a spelltrigger or is a spell completion magic item. Lacking any other listed prerequisites do not keep one from attempting to make the item, but it does make it harder to succeed.

Additionally, the CL for an item (which is not a requirement to create the item but does affect the difficulty of creating it) makes many items statistically impossible until the intended creator is of significant level.

Bottom line, IMO, your requirement of having a PC research how to create an item is indeed against both RAW and RAI. There is already a mechanic in place to keep folks from going craft-happy (they can try, but the more they fail the lower their ROI is going to be and there is always the potential for a cursed item being created by accident as well).

That said, it is your game, so if both you and your players are fine with it, go for it. But don't claim that to run with the rules as written is not RAW.

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