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Useful skills in PFS?


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

I have played a few adventure paths now, and a few more modules, but this weekend will be my first PFS game. I was wondering if there are any skills that aren't used often in scenarios?

I figured that social, combat, and dungeon delving skills would have plenty of representation. But I was more curious about the knowledges (ones that do not relate to creatures), linguistics, appraise, disguise, etc.

I like to steer myself and other players away from skills that aren't used often in APs and modules, and I would like to try and do the same for scenarios. Thanks all.

Shadow Lodge ****

Knowledge History & Engineering both seem to come up reasonably often, despite not IDing creatures.

Knowing lots of languages is useful, as is linguistics (especially for Osirian faction missions, but occasionally for other things as well).

Disguise is useful if you want to be tricky and I could see a variety of uses to help gain surprise or help resolve social situations, but is probably never mentioned in the adventure. If you goal is to build an optimized party that just meets challenges with overwhelming force, which is trivial to accomplish if desired, skip it. Otherwise it can help facilitate a lot of cool RP moments.

Appraise is occasionally useful for faction missions and shows up occasionally but not too much.

All that said, you'll find a large variety of challenges in PFS (although beware of swarms at low levels).

Perception is still probably the "best" skill in the game, but others are what you make of them.

If you're going to take a profession I think sailor comes up somewhat often. Absalom being an island and all.

All in all I wouldn't worry about it too much though. Pick the skills that make sense for the characters.

*

The must have skills in PFS are Diplomacy and Perception. Someone at the table must have good skills on both or it could be painful.

The other highly useful skills are: Swim (one rank), Use Magic Device, Linguistics, and Acrobatics (for those balance checks).

Everything else is non-essential but nice to have, mostly for faction missions.

Knowledge skills imo aren't very useful (except for faction missions), I have yet see a GM give enough useful information (creature abilities, weaknesses) even when the check is in the 30-40s. 1 piece of information every 5 DC is meaningless when the creature has 20+ abilities. We, as mortal human beings know all the strengths and weaknesses of a vampire, and yet my character needs a modified roll of 149 to know everything they do (DC 10 + CR 4 + 27 bits of information). The creature ID portion of Knowledge is broken imo.

Honestly have never seen Disguise used (although it was an option in one scenario), imo it should be rolled into Bluff in PF version 2.0. Never seen Fly used either (although it's in one scenario). Although good skills, I've also never seen Handle Animal or Ride used either in a scenario. This is not a subtle suggestion asking for these skills to be used btw.

Qadira **** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Thorkull

Fly should be used whenever your character attempts a maneuver listed in the fly skill description, be it via wild shape or a spell. This should not need to be enumerated in any scenario. Useful for druids and any class with fly on their spell list

Handle Animal is a must have for Rangers or Druids who lose their animal companion and need to train a new one.

Ride is pretty important for cavaliers and paladins with bonded mounts, but they see limited use in PFS because many scenarios take place where bringing large-size mounts is problematic. Small-size characters with medium-size mounts have an easier time.

Silver Crusade **

Agreed that Perception and Diplomacy are the two most useful skills in the game.

I actually haven't gotten as much use as I expected out of Intimidate with my barbarian, although every sorcerer should throw a rank in it. Then you can demoralize enemies to leave them shaken (-2 on attack rolls) when you're out of useful combat spells at low levels. This is especially important when playing a bloodline that doesn't get a ranged blast attack as their first level bloodline power.

Knowledge skills come up a lot for faction missions, or for just knowing information about the area you're going to visit. Knowledge (local) is the big one for that, but I've seen all of them at some point or another.

As mentioned above, sailor is the only profession that ever really comes up. Craft (alchemy) comes up occasionally, as well, but I wouldn't bother with it unless you're playing a class that needs it.

Really, they've done a good job of incorporating just about all the skills into scenarios at some point, though some get more use than others.

For identifying beasties, Knowledge (Planes) seems to be the most important of the bunch, because outsiders are the types of monsters that are most likely to have resistances, DR, etc where you need to know the right tools to take them down. Knowledge (Nature) might tell you what type of animal something is, but most of them are pretty easy to just poke with a sharp stick.

Oh, and my barbarian had to make a fly check the other day. Potion of Fly when fighting a dragon FTW!!!

****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A better Sense Motive would have saved us from a TPK last session...

I'd also recommend taking a skill like Profession (event just the one rank for flavour and day job rolls).

Basically if you are filling a role in the party, make sure you cover the bases if you can; So a Cleric might take knowledge Religion etc... (look at you class skills as others may not get the chance to be as effective as you).

You don't have to take every skill, focus on the ones the helpful souls have pointed out in the thread and consdier what's a good fit for your PC.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

I've found Knowledge Nobility to be exceptionally useless. It was followed closely by Appraise, Craft, Disguise, Knowledge Geography, Perform, Profession, and Survival.

With that said, if you do decide to train a profession skill, go with sailor. It comes up on a LOT of scenarios.

Grand Lodge ****

Having initially taken Linguistics for flavor reasons one one character I've found it much more useful than expected. It's especially handy if you can get the Gnome or Tengu traits that grant two languages per rank rather than one.

You never know when speaking Tien or Vudrani or Hallit will make or break a scenario.

Shadow Lodge ***

havent found much use for stealth yet. Heres hoping though

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Be able to swim. PCs who can't swim die.

*

Jonathan Cary wrote:
Fly should be used whenever your character attempts a maneuver listed in the fly skill description, be it via wild shape or a spell. This should not need to be enumerated in any scenario. Useful for druids and any class with fly on their spell list

30+ sessions I haven't seen a druid and I certainly have never seen any GM ask for a Fly check (or make one for Harpies or Dragons). He asked about representation. You bring up a good point though, there probably should be the odd Fly check when hovering (DC 15) which is common, although the Fly spell give +4 (good maneuver) and +1/2 caster level in bonuses.

Jonathan Cary wrote:


Handle Animal is a must have for Rangers or Druids who lose their animal companion and need to train a new one.

Ride is pretty important for cavaliers and paladins with bonded mounts, but they see limited use in PFS because many scenarios take place where bringing large-size mounts is problematic. Small-size characters with medium-size mounts have an easier time.

I think Xen wanted to know which skills are generally useful in PFS, not which skills are useful to certain classes. When you have that class, it's obvious you need the skill.

I still haven't seen a scenario where either Handle Animal or Ride was relevant except for class abilities. I think Handle Animal was in 1 faction mission. /shrug.

I agree about Sense Motive, definitely useful also.

Silver Crusade **

Will Johnson wrote:

I've found Knowledge Nobility to be exceptionally useless. It was followed closely by Appraise, Craft, Disguise, Knowledge Geography, Perform, Profession, and Survival.

With that said, if you do decide to train a profession skill, go with sailor. It comes up on a LOT of scenarios.

Completely disagree about Survival. There are several scenarios where you're wandering outside and it's a key skill to have. Knowing how to survive the elements can prevent a major sunburn or frostbite in extreme weather conditions.

I agree that most of the others you named hardly ever come up, but I've seen each of them at least once. Yes, even Perform, and not just for bard abilities.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Yeah, Survival is not a useless skill. I've run one scenario where you have to navigate in the woods, and each time you fail a Survival check (you need two consecutive successes to get through) you encounter a trap. If everyone sucks at Survival, you could literally wander in the woods forever, hitting trap after trap after trap.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Jiggy wrote:
Yeah, Survival is not a useless skill. I've run one scenario where you have to navigate in the woods, and each time you fail a Survival check (you need two consecutive successes to get through) you encounter a trap. If everyone sucks at Survival, you could literally wander in the woods forever, hitting trap after trap after trap.

Yeah, that's a fun scenario, I'm running it next weekend. :)

As for skills, our group has found the top two skills to be Perception (duh) and Knowledge Local. Used in the newer scenarios for learning things (about the far off place you're visiting) after the briefing as well as learning things about the humanoids you're encountering.

Its amazing sometimes how much easier a scenario can be if someone can make Knowledge checks in the group.

Qadira ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Normally I would not chime in on this other than to say - you need to right skill, whichever one the judge wants you to have.

much of which skills those are are judge dependant.

That said, I have played PFS for a lot of different judges.

I'm not going to address Faction Missions - as they require some odd skills sometimes, and often it's Faction Dependant.

Perception is a given - most characters should max this out, unless they have a reason (perhaps RP reason) to mostly be clueless.

Diplomacy - Someone at the table should have SOME social skills. In most games there is some social interaction, and it's kind of silly to see the Barbarian Intimadate some passing townsman trying to find the morgue ("Where do you keep you dead?!!!"). That said, you often don't need more than one person (everyone else roll to assist!). This skill can also be used to gather information.

Knowledge Skills to ID monsters - Know what to ask for when you get your question.

some suggested questions:

Weaknesses? - Always ask this if the monster is named "XXXX Golem" (Flesh, Stone, Jello, whatever).
Special Attacks? - always nice to know if the monster can engulf you.
DR? or Special Defenses? - Knowing that the monster has "DR20 - wood" means I'll beat it up with a tree branch when the barbarian with the +3 Greatsword is not hurting it.
Or just ask the judge "what's the most important thing I should know about this beast?" Somethings this works - if it's just hungry, maybe you can "buy it off" with enough trail rations, or the dead beast from the last encounter.

Perception - yep, plainly so you'll know what's goin on.

Knowledge Skills for other things. Where are we going? Is it cold there? Hot? What's the people like there? Do they hate us? How far away is it? Who's the guy in that painting on the wall? So many questions, and you wont get the clues if you don't have the skill to see it. (even a little will give you a roll, and maybe you can assist someone else). YMMV.

Fly (at high level) - I have played for a judge who prided himself on the fly rules - so you better have ranks in fly when you try it around him (we got around it with Airwalk - which is walking not flying). it is kind of silly to see the Big Barbarian with a fly potion who can't get a full attack on the monster, because the Judge just cuts inside his turn radius and outflys him.

Perception - worth mentioning again.

Swim? - this appears on a lot of persons list... I have not every needed it in 70+ PFS scenarios. One day it will kill one of my PCs. I think I've been lucky so far.

Disable Device - some one in the party should be able to open locks - and take 20 can be done to pick a lock (skill rank+MW tool+Dex+T20= DC25 of a good lock).

Survival - like Disable Device and Diplomacy, you need to have someone who has some. otherwise you may be lost in the woods a long time (or die in the snow). If you have one in the party, often the judge just handwaves you past the challange. If not?...

did I mention Perception? can't have enough.

Stealth - sometimes it helps to sneak. Some judges actually let you surprise the monsters if you're good at sneaking (some do not though, YMMV).

Climb - try to ensure that your PC can make a DC 5 check. Ranks in this might NOT be needed - just ensure that you can climb.

Perception - yeah, that important.

Qadira ****

oh! and I almost forgot to mention:
Perception - I miss that one sometimes.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

nosig wrote:
Perception is a given - most characters should max this out, unless they have a reason (perhaps RP reason) to mostly be clueless.

My diviner is too busy looking at the future to watch the present. Perception +0, baby! ;)

Qadira ****

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Jiggy wrote:
nosig wrote:
Perception is a given - most characters should max this out, unless they have a reason (perhaps RP reason) to mostly be clueless.
My diviner is too busy looking at the future to watch the present. Perception +0, baby! ;)

yeah, my paladin has a -1... and I still take 10.

it's funny to watch the expression when one of the other players realizes I'm taking 10 on perception with a -1 (getting a nine.) It's even funnier when they notice my PC beat thiers at the skill check.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

A useful skill in PFS is being a good GM

Qadira ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragnmoon wrote:
A useful skill in PFS is being a good GM

but you only need one player at the table with that skill... and it appears to be a skill someone can attempt untrained...

Silver Crusade **

Good list, Nosig, but I was unclear on one point. Do you think perception is important?

I'm surprised you've never had to swim. It doesn't come up often, but I've used it once or twice. My cleric in medium armor and buckler almost drowned at level 1, before I could afford the mithral upgrade.

Swim and climb are the reasons I'm reluctant to dump strength all the way down to 7, even for a sorcerer. I did it, but I was reluctant about it.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

This is an interesting discussion. As an author it gives me an insight into what skills the other authors are calling for in their scenarios.

By the end of this month, I'll have written 4 scenarios. Speaking strictly in terms of faction missions...

...and again, I'm emphasizing faction missions....

..besides the obvious Diplomacy, I almost always have options that allow the use of Intimidate, Sleight of Hand, Linguistics, a range of Knowledge skills, and Bluff.

Sometimes Sense Motive.

Though I won't kid you, Diplomacy probably the most, followed by Bluff, Intimidate, and surprisingly- Sleight of Hand.

Need to preserve a crumbling book or document? Remember something at a glance? Repair or reproduce a wax seal that you broken open - Linguistics. Coupled with other options like a mending cantrip, or Int check at a harder DC.
.
Not speaking of faction missions, but if you need to do some forensics on a murder victim? Heal check.

Now this is just speaking for myself. I guess a lot depends on how the individual author is willing to stretch the skills in order to find diverse and useful applications for them.

Also, out of four scenarios only two have been made available with the other two in the hopper. The more scenarios I write the more creative and diverse I get.. all with the goal of less sucky faction missions.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I kid you not, I have as a GM dragged a sorcerer through a storm on a rope, dangling from the side of a ship.

I've also had a comrade go into a coma while underwater and the rest of us had to make swim checks to drag him out before he drowned - while being chased by creatures with swim speeds.

I've had to dive into the water and pull chained prisoners out before they drowned.

Nosig, you've been lucky so far. But you can't dodge the swim-bullet forever, so take a rank or two. ;)

Qadira ****

Fromper wrote:

Good list, Nosig, but I was unclear on one point. Do you think perception is important?

I'm surprised you've never had to swim. It doesn't come up often, but I've used it once or twice. My cleric in medium armor and buckler almost drowned at level 1, before I could afford the mithral upgrade.

Swim and climb are the reasons I'm reluctant to dump strength all the way down to 7, even for a sorcerer. I did it, but I was reluctant about it.

yeah, I know I'm living a charmed live on the swim thing. Several of my characters have "live savers" (he-he) in the form of Waterbreathing (wands, potions etc) and I've started buying potions of Airbubble - but I've not needed them yet.

My heavy armor clerics tells the other PCs "I'm taking a 'pony' keg and tying a rope around it, and around my belt. I put this in the top of my pack... if anyone walks by and sees a keg floating on the water, pull me out ok?". It's worth a good laugh, but I've not needed it yet. Someday? maybe.


Diplomacy and Perception are obviously important, and usually there's someone at the table who's pretty good at one or both of them.

However, I've rarely had anyone at my table who has Disable Device and Sleight of Hand, and those have come up irritatingly often in faction missions (at least Taldor faction missions). If your GM is sympathetic, he might allow a sensible substitute (e.g. use invisibility instead of Sleight of Hand, or bringing back a whole object rather than using Disable Device to detach a part), but you can't count on that, in my experience.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

hogarth wrote:
If your GM is sympathetic, he might allow a sensible substitute (e.g. use invisibility instead of Sleight of Hand, or bringing back a whole object rather than using Disable Device to detach a part), but you can't count on that, in my experience.

To that point I have started explicitly writing that intelligent uses of magic like invisibility for Sleight of Hand situations is okay. Or pointing out that use of Bluff to create a distraction can provide a generous bonus to making such a check.

I didn't take your post personally because there are far too many scenarios for me to assume that. I just wanted to add that I see the need to give GMs more options and more permission to apply common sense and creative problem solving. The missions are supposed to be challenging, not a strict coin toss.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jim Groves wrote:
I see the need to give GMs ... permission to apply common sense

-_-'

Shadow Lodge ***

between disable device and knowledge nature i think my druid should be billing the head of the orisoni faction directly.

Hiding faction missions from your own party is just a pita. with a +18 perception i need to be asked to leave the room for the slights of hand to work. Most groups i've been in just pointedly all need to hit the head at the same time when someone has one of those missions.

This goes doub;e for skills that are otherwise useless like slight of hand

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Jiggy wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:
I see the need to give GMs ... permission to apply common sense
-_-'

My apologies Jiggy, that came out wrong.

I should have said something like "present options and ideas." I didn't mean to be condescending. My regrets.


Jiggy wrote:
Yeah, Survival is not a useless skill. I've run one scenario where you have to navigate in the woods, and each time you fail a Survival check (you need two consecutive successes to get through) you encounter a trap. If everyone sucks at Survival, you could literally wander in the woods forever, hitting trap after trap after trap.

Agreed. One scenario requires SO many survival checks, and each one that's failed can lead to a trap or encounter or resource loss. I probably should have mentioned I had a pretty good Survival skill and everyone else was assisting.

In addition, Diplomacy or Knowledge Local is pretty nice at the beginning for gaining more info.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jim Groves wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:
I see the need to give GMs ... permission to apply common sense
-_-'

My apologies Jiggy, that came out wrong.

I should have said something like "present options and ideas." I didn't mean to be condescending. My regrets.

...Actually I was biting my tongue to keep from vocally agreeing with you.

Spoiler:
Or would it be "biting my fingers"?

Silver Crusade **

Yeah, my barbarian in the Shadow Lodge took a couple of ranks of Sleight of Hand cross-class, after running into a faction mission that required picking someone's pocket when I didn't have it trained. Luckily, I wasn't the only Shadow Lodge member on that mission, and the GM let us be creative to let me try it untrained as long as the other player provided a big enough distraction.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Hiding faction missions from your own party is just a pita.

Moving forward from Hinojai I have abandoned "secret faction missions" as the feedback is clearly that they're nothing but a source of irritation and frustration.

In my mind though, I don't think the Faction Leaders appreciate the dissemination of information on their goals. Mark and Mike have said there are end of season consequences in Season 4 for the number of successful faction missions, and I take them at their word.

Within the scenario (post-Hinojai) I suggest the GM remind players that they're helping other factions achieve their goals, which may oppose their own faction.

But in practice, I don't do any more secret missions so that each player can make that decision for themselves.

When you make a mission a secret, you're deciding on behalf of the player. Plus I imagine they are bloody hard if you don't have just the precise skill.

Silver Crusade ***

As a GM, I often find uses for skills that aren't found the scenario description. Probably the ones I've used most often are Appraise, Knowledge, Climb, Sense Motive and (obviously) Perception. I've even allowed a PC to do something useful with Profession: Exorcist.

Shadow Lodge ***

Jim Groves wrote:


Moving forward from Hinojai I have abandoned "secret faction missions" as the feedback is clearly that they're nothing but a source of irritation and frustration.

Yay!

Quote:
In my mind though, I don't think the Faction Leaders appreciate the dissemination of information on their goals.

its very hard to work as a group (party) without telling everyone what you're doing. Greyhawking the bodies shouldn't require an initiative role ir a battle mat to figure out who's where. Since people dont always know when their faction mission is coming up, people seem to get paranoid about it after every encounter and detail.

Quote:
Mark and Mike have said there are end of season consequences in Season 4 for the number of successful faction missions, and I take them at their word.

Dun du DuuuuUUUUUUUuuuun

Quote:
When you make a mission a secret, you're deciding on behalf of the player. Plus I imagine they are bloody hard if you don't have just the precise skill.

right, theres really only so many skills you can maintain with the ability to really hit a dc 20 ir even 25 check.

Cheliax ****

having needed to get something off an NPC (slight of hand) - I was able to point out to the Judge that if my PC could get them out of their clothing and "distracted"...

The judge still required me to make the "Slight of Hand" roll, though my Courtesan (Profession) gave me a bonus...

Silver Crusade **

Speaking of sleight of hand, does it come up a lot for Scarzni faction missions?

I'm making a new Scarzni sorcerer character and considering taking the Vagabond Child trait just to get sleight of hand as a class skill with a +1. But there are other traits I'd like to take, so I'm weighing the importance of each to decide which to get.

Or I could just use sorcerer sleight of hand - cast a Sleep spell and take what you want.

***

Equally you could stick with Barbarian slight of hand, which is when you ignore casting the sleep spell and just take what you want.

Works much like barbbarian open locks, gets a few shocked expressions and occasionally opposed strength checks, but usually gets the job done

Silver Crusade **

Michael Foster 989 wrote:

Equally you could stick with Barbarian slight of hand, which is when you ignore casting the sleep spell and just take what you want.

Works much like barbbarian open locks, gets a few shocked expressions and occasionally opposed strength checks, but usually gets the job done

Ironically, my Shadow Lodge barbarian actually does have sleight of hand trained, because I've needed it once or twice for faction missions. I think I put 3 or 4 ranks into it, on top of my +2 dex bonus and -1 AC penalty. Since it's not a class skill, that pretty much sucks now that I'm 9th level, but it worked once around level 4 or 5.

***

Bluff may not be the most useful skill, but the exasperated sighs around my table are priceless when ever I try to spin another whopper and try to sell it off as fact.

Silver Crusade **

I think those sighs have more to do with timing than the lies being told. You're supposed to lie to people to get them to do what we want, not on NPCs we've already convinced (through diplomacy) to trust us.

***

I guess I have a unique take on my version of "fun" that nobody else at the table cares for then. I should be more concerned about meeting those DCs and less concerned with having fun with my character. You do have a point- I often don't "leave well enough alone" as it were.

EDIT- To clarify... my statement about being more concerned about meeting those DCs wasn't meant in a passive aggressive tone (I just realized it could be taken that way)... I realize that the group is trying to accomplish something and if I am undermining those efforts to have my own "fun" as it were, then I should re-think that behavior. I don't think I stated it very well in my initial posting.

Cheliax ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Tampa aka Dominick

I am with Whiskey Jack, Bluff is a great skill, it can be used to identify creatures for your party!

Rolls D20 add bluff, tell judge.

"Flesh Golems are susceptible to lightning bolt! Do EEEEEEEEETTTTTT!"

Silver Crusade

I like any design that coerces more players into second guessing not taking a skill feat with a character once in awhile. Perhaps there shouldn't be skill checks that completely prevent the group from finishing the scenario, but rather grant access to the best rewards.

We have dungeon crawls with heavy combat. I would love to play in more skill based adventures if it can be done well. hopefully they're out there. Actually, does anyone know of a list that rates the scenarios on combat/RP/skills?

On topic:
Perception, hands down.
Diplomacy.
knowledge nature.
Spellcraft seems to come around a lot.
Acrobatics. I don't know why but I've fallen from so many jumps lately.

Shadow Lodge ***

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Tier 1: Perception and diplomacy. These together will be more than half your skill checks. Perception lets you avoid traps and surprise rounds, which keeps you alive. Diplomacy lets you gather info to know what you're getting into and then is often required for the mission.

Use magic device probably ranks in here if you can pull it off. Given the high level of magicmart in PFS the versatility UMD provides is amazing.

tier 2: Come up occasionally in an important fashion.

Disable device
Survival
Bluff
stealth
Heal (for doing CSI)
Knowledge Arcana, Planes, religion (for undead, outsiders and weird critters)
Climb- ranks here at low levels, drops quickly.
Linguistics: Even with comp. languages sometimes you need to decipher something or you need a nuance from the text that comp languages doesn't pick up. Also you can't diplomance things you can't talk to.

Tier 3: I think i've seen it matter...

Knowledge nature: While you do run into a fair number of animals very little information you get about them is relevant. You know that the thing with the big sharp pointy teeth bites you.

Profession sailor

Swim: takes a long time to drown.

knowledge engineering

Tier 4: You have what skill?

Knowledge nobility, history, local. (local is kind of useless only because diplomacy covers the same thing and so much more)
Perform

Knowledge Geography: used it once.

Knowledge history

Cheliax ***

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Also, keep in mind that skills like Disable Device, Sleight of Hand and Linguistics are "trained only". I've started putting at least one point into each skill like those. That way, I at least have a chance at a skill roll, rather than auto-failure. Plus, you can make "aid another" checks to help fellow Pathfinders.

Otherwise I agree on the Perception/Diplomacy bit. Just a warning, there are some "surprise" skill checks in a few modules, requiring things like...

Surprises:
Craft (cartography) and Craft (origami)

...which aren't even on the standard list. Fortunately, they always give you other options when those show up - it's more of a bonus to anyone who chose skills so esoteric.

(Also, glad to see "Greyhawking the bodies" is still a phrase people use. Brings back fun memories.)


Knowledge arcana, spellcraft, diplomacy, perception are tier 1

Religion, planes, dungeoneering, nature are tier 2, easily.

Everything else is mostly situational / useless, climb and swim are negated by magic.

One profession that comes up a lot is profession sailor, it must be 6-10 that I remember a check on it.

Andoran **

Knowledge Local will save your bacon! I suggest maxing it out, and adding the Mossy Green Disk Ioun stone for the extra +5.

Actually, I suggest getting one for all the Know skills, 25k over a career to always know what's up with any random thing is very useful IMO (more so since this bonus can be lent out as needed). In fact ask to roll all your Know skills at the start of the mod to see what your character knows about the place/object/person the mod involves.

Perception should be maxed out unless you don't mind the ambush this mod (AKA every mod).

Bluff/Diplomancy/Sense Motive are great for the talky bits if you're the face. Otherwise get Sense Motive to a decent score to keep the BBEG from selling you girl scout cookies (laced with custom auto-kill poison).

Acrobatics/Climb/Swim are crucial in certain situations, getting your bonus (by any means after ACP) to 10 *should* cover your rear. Note: I suggest adding the Comfort quality to any medium/heavy armor as it drops ACP by 1, and you never need to take it off (even if that whore Calistria tells you). Of the three I only max Acrobatics on 'spry' characters.

Craft/Profession/Perform are mostly useful as dayjobs, extra money is nice, especially when you want to get those alchemical items low level. Note: Pro Sailor comes up more than a few times. Bards get free skills by tossing ranks into Perform skills (bah!) so free money/skills for the king of skill monkeys.

Linguistics should have at least a rank if you've got an Int bonus.

Survival doesn't get used as much as I think it should, but, I suppose that's a personal opinion. As long as someone has a +5 bonus in the party you never have to worry.

UMD Only if you're Cha based caster. The DCs are so ridiculous otherwise it's a waste of skill points.

Disable Device/SoH May as well be removed from the game for all they do for you. DD is almost always in traps that a CLW wand will take care of it's effects (and I've seen DM fiat that the trap coudln't be disabled till it was triggered more than once) and SoH is just sad quite possibly never being used in PFS (to my knowledge anyway).

Grand Lodge ****

Jason S wrote:

Knowledge skills imo aren't very useful (except for faction missions), I have yet see a GM give enough useful information (creature abilities, weaknesses) even when the check is in the 30-40s.

I have seen this vary wildly from GM to GM. Some give more information per question than others. The book says "A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster."

The granularity of that bit is up to the GM I guess.

I love watching GMs roll their eyes when I tell them that my mindchemist's lowest knowledge is nobility at +28 and his highest is +31 (at level 8).

Thats when they start getting stingy with the size of the "bit".

Grand Lodge ***

I recently saw Craft (clockwork) come into play...

A few weeks ago the group avoided a TPK with Perform (keyboard).

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