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RPG Superstar 2015

Is there a specific way "Knowledge" skills are supposed to be used according to RAW?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Silver Crusade

The title says it all. I have read through the "Knowledge" skills section and it seems like it was left a bit vague on purpose but of course I could be wrong. I tend to look at "Knowledge" as something that's used by the PC at moments during the game and not moments when the player thinks of something "out of game" and he wants to transfer that knowledge via a Knowledge roll.

Discuss.


shallowsoul wrote:
The title says it all.

Can you clarify your question?

I don't think a character decides to use a Knowledge skill, he just either knows something or he doesn't.

Silver Crusade

Grick wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
The title says it all.

Can you clarify your question?

I don't think a character decides to use a Knowledge skill, he just either knows something or he doesn't.

Okay, I will use the druid as an example.

Ever have someone play a Druid and the player comes across some new animals that he like in the new bestiary so he decides that he wants to roll his Knowledge Nature check to see if his character knows about them so he could possibly turn into one using Wild Shape, even though the party has never seen those animals yet nor has any mention of them been said during the game. It's not just this but there are other examples of players pretty much meta gaming and giving outside Knowledge to his PC even though his PC had never heard of it before.

I had a guy tell me once that the lowest he could have on Knowledge Nature was X so all creatures below CR Y was known to him.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

The knowledge skills are for when the player wants to determine whether or not the PC knows something.


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shallowsoul: If the PC succeeded on his knowledge check, that means the PC had heard of the creature before. Even if the player didn't know until now that the PC knew, the PC always knew that he knew.

Sczarni

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shallowsoul, whoever told you that was pretty much correct.

It might be he spent years studying, or years listening to trappers, or is just very knowledgeable and intuitive about nature, but he pretty much knows it all to a certain point with a certain rank.

It's not metagaming, it's simply what the skill represents.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
shallowsoul wrote:
Ever have someone play a Druid and the player comes across some new animals that he like in the new bestiary

Ahh, this thread again.


shallowsoul wrote:

Okay, I will use the druid as an example.

Ever have someone play a Druid and the player comes across some new animals that he like in the new bestiary so he decides that he wants to roll his Knowledge Nature check to see if his character knows about them so he could possibly turn into one using Wild Shape, even though the party has never seen those animals yet nor has any mention of them been said during the game. It's not just this but there are other examples of players pretty much meta gaming and giving outside Knowledge to his PC even though his PC had never heard of it before.

I had a guy tell me once that the lowest he could have on Knowledge Nature was X so all creatures below CR Y was known to him.

Yep, that's pretty much how Knowledge checks work. Your Druid player is correct.


Note: You can of course give circumstance bonuses or penalties, in cases where it's impossible or near-impossible that the PC could possibly have heard of the subject in question.

(For instance, if some ancient archmage has used some sort of artifact-level magical ritual to erase all knowledge of himself from the world, then the PC wouldn't know of his existence regardless of his knowledge roll. That would be a pretty cheap way to hinder knowledge skills though.)

Marathon Voter 2013

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Now that the thread has been answered in less than 10 posts, lets see how long it drags on by people refusing to accept the answer.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Are wrote:

Note: You can of course give circumstance bonuses or penalties, in cases where it's impossible or near-impossible that the PC could possibly have heard of the subject in question.

In the case of monsters, this is handled by setting the base DC to 15, and is suitable for creatures about as rare, or more so, as the tarrasque. When the poster child of DC 15 + CR creatures is a creature that there is only one of, it is not to be used lightly.


Cheapy wrote:
Now that the thread has been answered in less than 10 posts, lets see how long it drags on by people refusing to accept the answer.

And by people you mean shallowsoul. Particularly disingenuous to start this thread as he did, making it seem like he's just read through the rules and was curious, when we've had this debate before, with his opinion being very much the minority one.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

Folks,

If people who literally believe that bible is the word of God agree it shouldn't be taken completely literally like slavery, why oh why do some people seek RAW as superior to common sense and seeking RAI?

How many arguments are we going to have that start "I don't think this is true, and no one does this, but RAW..."

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

ciretose wrote:
How many arguments are we going to have that start "I don't think this is true, and no one does this, but RAW..."

I don't recall seeing anyone do this in this thread.


Cheapy wrote:
Are wrote:

Note: You can of course give circumstance bonuses or penalties, in cases where it's impossible or near-impossible that the PC could possibly have heard of the subject in question.

In the case of monsters, this is handled by setting the base DC to 15, and is suitable for creatures about as rare, or more so, as the tarrasque. When the poster child of DC 15 + CR creatures is a creature that there is only one of, it is not to be used lightly.
Knowledge wrote:
For particularly rare monsters, such as the tarrasque, the DC of this check equals 15 + the monster’s CR or more.

OTOH, there's that "or more" in there. And the tarrasque, while unique, is also legendary. Meaning it's quite possible to have heard of it and even know quite a bit about it from the last time it awoke.

Some things could be even more obscure, even if there are more of them.
Time traveling. Going to other planets or planes. Lost continents or islands. Etc. Etc.

I can also image some crazed wizard cross-breeding or otherwise creating a new species of monster and announcing his results at the local Mad Wizard's Society meeting and the scholar in the back row making his Know roll (CR5+15) and going "Oh yeah, I've heard of those."


when a new bestiary comes out does that mean that all of those creatures did not exist in the pathfinder world before the book came out? no. so i don't think it's ridiculous to assume a character with a very high knowledge:nature may have heard some things about them.

and knowledge:nature is technically how druids know about ANY animal they can turn into, not just new ones. roll a 1 on that check to know about large cats? sucks to be you :)

Silver Crusade

lantzkev wrote:

shallowsoul, whoever told you that was pretty much correct.

It might be he spent years studying, or years listening to trappers, or is just very knowledgeable and intuitive about nature, but he pretty much knows it all to a certain point with a certain rank.

It's not metagaming, it's simply what the skill represents.

So basically you allow your players to have their PC make a Knowledge check every time they, the player, reads something in a book or thinks of something outside the game and they want their PC to know about it?


shallowsoul wrote:
lantzkev wrote:

shallowsoul, whoever told you that was pretty much correct.

It might be he spent years studying, or years listening to trappers, or is just very knowledgeable and intuitive about nature, but he pretty much knows it all to a certain point with a certain rank.

It's not metagaming, it's simply what the skill represents.

So basically you allow your players to have their PC make a Knowledge check every time they, the player, reads something in a book or thinks of something outside the game and they want their PC to know about it?

Yes, and in other situations as well. I don't understand your objection--that is literally how Knowledges work.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

Jiggy wrote:
ciretose wrote:
How many arguments are we going to have that start "I don't think this is true, and no one does this, but RAW..."
I don't recall seeing anyone do this in this thread.

You are correct, misplaced venom based on the title. Now placing venom elsewhere in a more appropriate thread.

Thanks, and fair point.

Silver Crusade

Cheapy wrote:
Now that the thread has been answered in less than 10 posts, lets see how long it drags on by people refusing to accept the answer.

You don't get to decide when the question has been answered. You might want to step down from that high horse before you fall and hurt yourself.

I don't see anyone's answer so far as "the right and true" answer.


shallowsoul wrote:


I don't see anyone's answer so far as "the right and true" answer.

Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't correct.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

shallowsoul wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Now that the thread has been answered in less than 10 posts, lets see how long it drags on by people refusing to accept the answer.

You don't get to decide when the question has been answered. You might want to step down from that high horse before you fall and hurt yourself.

I don't see anyone's answer so far as "the right and true" answer.

There can be only one!

Silver Crusade

mplindustries wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
lantzkev wrote:

shallowsoul, whoever told you that was pretty much correct.

It might be he spent years studying, or years listening to trappers, or is just very knowledgeable and intuitive about nature, but he pretty much knows it all to a certain point with a certain rank.

It's not metagaming, it's simply what the skill represents.

So basically you allow your players to have their PC make a Knowledge check every time they, the player, reads something in a book or thinks of something outside the game and they want their PC to know about it?
Yes, and in other situations as well. I don't understand your objection--that is literally how Knowledges work.

You roll Knowledge checks when presented with certain "situations" in game. If you see a certain type of monster then you roll a Knowledge check to see if you know it. If you pass then it's assumed that you have prior knowledge of the creature, if you fail it then it's assumed you don't.

Knowledge checks are not supposed to be used to see how much knowledge your PC can rack up because your player decided that after the game he was going to read some new books that just came out.

New book comes out: Oh hey DM, I'm going to roll my Knowledge Nature check real quick to see if he knows about this new monster that just came out, just wanted to check and see if my PC knows about it for future use.

DM: But you haven't even met that particular monster, I haven't even mentioned that monster, and I don't even know yet if that monster is going to exist in my world so how do you know about it before I do?


shallowsoul wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Now that the thread has been answered in less than 10 posts, lets see how long it drags on by people refusing to accept the answer.

You don't get to decide when the question has been answered. You might want to step down from that high horse before you fall and hurt yourself.

I don't see anyone's answer so far as "the right and true" answer.

So...the answer to cheapy's question is "a long time."

Every answer you've gotten so far has been the same and is fully supported by the rules. You don't like the answer, but that doesn't make it not "right and true." There are a lot of things I don't like that are still true--you have to learn to live with it.


shallowsoul wrote:
I don't see anyone's answer so far as "the right and true" answer.

It's right here.

mplindustries wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
So basically you allow your players to have their PC make a Knowledge check every time they, the player, reads something in a book or thinks of something outside the game and they want their PC to know about it?
Yes, and in other situations as well. I don't understand your objection--that is literally how Knowledges work.


shallowsoul wrote:

New book comes out: Oh hey DM, I'm going to roll my Knowledge Nature check real quick to see if he knows about this new monster that just came out, just wanted to check and see if my PC knows about it for future use.

DM: But you haven't even met that particular monster, I haven't even mentioned that monster, and I don't even know yet if that monster is going to exist in my world so how do you know about it before I do?

If the creature doesn't exist in your world, you have the right to say so. If it does exist, he has the right to know about it with a Knowledge check. It's very simple.


shallowsoul wrote:


You roll Knowledge checks when presented with certain "situations" in game. If you see a certain type of monster then you roll a Knowledge check to see if you know it. If you pass then it's assumed that you have prior knowledge of the creature, if you fail it then it's assumed you don't.

Knowledge checks are not supposed to be used to see how much knowledge your PC can rack up because your player decided that after the game he was going to read some new books that just came out.

New book comes out: Oh hey DM, I'm going to roll my Knowledge Nature check real quick to see if he knows about this new monster that just came out, just wanted to check and see if my PC knows about it for future use.

DM: But you haven't even met that particular monster, I haven't even mentioned that monster, and I don't even know yet if that monster is going to exist in my world so how do you know about it before I do?

Your player is right, you are wrong, accept it. You are assuming as a DM you know every detail of the character's backstory, which you don't. Not even the PLAYER knows every detail of the character's backstory. That's literally the only reason to have knowledge checks. You say "you haven't even met that particular monster", by which I assume you mean during the sessions you've played you haven't met it. Well guess what, these PCs were alive for decades before they even got their first level. Yes, it's very likely that they HAVE met, read about, or heard of the exact monster you put on the game map.

asthryil is right, when Paizo publishes a new book it doesn't mean that a new hoard of monsters suddenly shows up in Golarion. Those monsters have always been there, and there's absolutely no reason the player should be prohibited from having any chance at knowing what they are (except in the extenuating circumstances some people have mentioned above.)

Just use your head. The fact that these creatures have a knowledge DC means that anyone in Golarion has a chance of knowing about them, if they've acquired enough of the right type of knowledge. The inhabitants of Golarion don't say, "Huh, I've never seen that monster before, its book must have just been published."


shallowsoul wrote:
DM: But you haven't even met that particular monster

How can the DM know this? Is the DM now writing the characters' backstories for them? Of course not.

The DM has no way of confidently stating what you have them stating here. Instead, they should just make the roll whose entire purpose for existing is to determine the answer to exactly that question.


shallowsoul wrote:

You roll Knowledge checks when presented with certain "situations" in game. If you see a certain type of monster then you roll a Knowledge check to see if you know it. If you pass then it's assumed that you have prior knowledge of the creature, if you fail it then it's assumed you don't.

Knowledge checks are not supposed to be used to see how much knowledge your PC can rack up because your player decided that after the game he was going to read some new books that just came out.

New book comes out: Oh hey DM, I'm going to roll my Knowledge Nature check real quick to see if he knows about this new monster that just came out, just wanted to check and see if my PC knows about it for future use.

DM: But you haven't even met that particular monster, I haven't even mentioned that monster, and I don't even know yet if that monster is going to exist in my world so how do you know about it before I do?

soooo.....by your reasoning they only get to know about an animal, at all, ever, until they actually encounter it? and suddenly they know about it even though this is their first experience with it?

you cannot think to yourself, wrack your brain to remember back in druid school from animal biology 101 and remember what they taught about lions until one comes up and claws you in the face?

how can you possibly make sense of not knowing about something at all until you encounter it or a reference to it, but when you actually encounter it you suddenly know all of this stuff about it?

Silver Crusade

claymade wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
DM: But you haven't even met that particular monster

How can the DM know this? Is the DM now writing the characters' backstories for them? Of course not.

The DM has no way of confidently stating what you have them stating here. Instead, they should just make the roll whose entire purpose for existing is to determine the answer to exactly that question.

So we are talking about that PC with the ever expanding introduction background?


Do you make your players write out everything the characters could possibly have come into contact with as part of their backstory?

Knowledge of creatures could be as simple as having once heard a bard sing "The great poem of Bergalum the Red Dragon", or chanced to overhear someone talking about "that one time we fought a lich". It doesn't need to be something the character has read or personally experienced.

Edit: I won't be posting in this thread anymore. Reading the post below mine made me realize that all the same arguments will be made here as in the previous thread on the same subject, and noone will persuade anyone on anything.

Silver Crusade

asthyril wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

You roll Knowledge checks when presented with certain "situations" in game. If you see a certain type of monster then you roll a Knowledge check to see if you know it. If you pass then it's assumed that you have prior knowledge of the creature, if you fail it then it's assumed you don't.

Knowledge checks are not supposed to be used to see how much knowledge your PC can rack up because your player decided that after the game he was going to read some new books that just came out.

New book comes out: Oh hey DM, I'm going to roll my Knowledge Nature check real quick to see if he knows about this new monster that just came out, just wanted to check and see if my PC knows about it for future use.

DM: But you haven't even met that particular monster, I haven't even mentioned that monster, and I don't even know yet if that monster is going to exist in my world so how do you know about it before I do?

soooo.....by your reasoning they only get to know about an animal, at all, ever, until they actually encounter it? and suddenly they know about it even though this is their first experience with it?

you cannot think to yourself, wrack your brain to remember back in druid school from animal biology 101 and remember what they taught about lions until one comes up and claws you in the face?

how can you possibly make sense of not knowing about something at all until you encounter it or a reference to it, but when you actually encounter it you suddenly know all of this stuff about it?

Soooooooo then by your reasoning Knowledge skills shouldn't exist. If a player makes the DC then it's assumed he had this knowledge to begin with but if that's the case then the Knowledge check wasn't necessary because he already knew it.


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is there a Flag option for "Keeps starting the same thread"?

Why not use one of your old threads on the same subject here or here if you want to keep having the same argument? Every answer you've gotten here you've already gotten an infinite number of times in those threads.


Someone make a Knowledge(Rhetoric) check STAT!


Players don't know everything that their character knows, they don't actually live in the fantasy world like the character does. Because the character actually lives in the world they are going to know things that are impossible for a player to ever know. This is because we as players are running an abstract simulation not living in the fantasy world. Part of this abstract simulation is the transference of knowledge between the player and the character.

This transference is handled by the rules. One such series of rules is the knowledge skill rules which allow a player to determine what out of the vast sea of creatures in Pathfinder their character has ever heard of or could research knowledge of. By trying to limit knowledge skills to things that you as a player encounter while playing the game you create serious immersion issues.

The only two possible ways a player has of learning what creatures exist within the game world are to encounter them as part of an adventure or look in the Bestiary and use the Knowledge skill rules to see if their character has heard of them. Both of these are valid ways for a player to learn what creatures their character knows of. If you remove one of these paths you are creating dissonance within your game because seeing something with your own eyes is not the only way to learn of something and both common sense and the rules support this.

This is not meta-gaming in the traditional sense of the word. Meta-gaming is the GM just made me roll Perception that means something must be there for me to find otherwise I wouldn't have failed so I will keep searching. Asking if their character has ever heard of an animal that is in a just released Bestiary using the characters Knowledge (Nature) is not meta-gaming. If the same character failed their Knowledge (Nature) check and then avoided attacking a creature in melee that causes a negative effect when attacked in melee due to some power it has would be meta-gaming.

You of course have every right to say that the creature doesn't exist in your setting and in that case when the character makes a successful Knowledge (Nature) check you can tell them that. The player has every reason to expect to be able to point to a monster in the Bestiary and ask as a player has my character ever heard of this creature. The Knowledge rules exist to do just this.


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Listen shallowsoul, I think I might be able to save you a lot of trouble.

You don't like the way this rule works. I'm hip. There are some rules I hate. In my home games, they work the way I want them to work. And because I play PFS, there are some things where I come on the boards and complain about them because I want to generate conversation and maybe even get the ruling changed.

You don't seem to be doing that. You seem to be wanting people to agree with you. I don't think that's probably going to happen. It's just not going to end in a satisfying way. So maybe you should consider a new thread about how to make Knowledge work "better," for values of better defined as the way you want it to work. You might even find some people who agree with you! Instead, you're just telling everyone that they're wrong, when this is in fact one of the few places where the rules aren't really hard to interpret at all. Even if someone agrees that your way is how it should work, they're probably not going to jump in here, because it's pretty obvious that your way isn't how it does work in the rules.

Or, hey, maybe you're just trolling. In which case you win at Internet. Congratulations. I hope it gives your life meaning.

Silver Crusade

Are wrote:

Do you make your players write out everything the player could possibly have come into contact with as part of his backstory?

PC's are still limited to what they know, period. Meta game knowledge is supposed to be controlled using Knowledge checks because it keeps your PC's from knowing what "you" the player knows.

If I am running a game and I have an NPC mention a Realm far to the east called Glensdown then your PC has every right to make a Knowledge check to see if he knows anything about that place because it was brought up "in game".

Now if you were reading in a book about this great feat that can only be gained from having Knowledge about Glensdown and you decide you want to see if your PC has that knowledge so you roll a check against a DC in the book in order to gain that feat is wrong.

"Sorry DM, I just want to add some more to my beginning background in order to have such and such Knowledge so I can have access to such and such ability".

Silver Crusade

Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:

Listen shallowsoul, I think I might be able to save you a lot of trouble.

You don't like the way this rule works. I'm hip. There are some rules I hate. In my home games, they work the way I want them to work. And because I play PFS, there are some things where I come on the boards and complain about them because I want to generate conversation and maybe even get the ruling changed.

You don't seem to be doing that. You seem to be wanting people to agree with you. I don't think that's probably going to happen. It's just not going to end in a satisfying way. So maybe you should consider a new thread about how to make Knowledge work "better," for values of better defined as the way you want it to work. You might even find some people who agree with you! Instead, you're just telling everyone that they're wrong, when this is in fact one of the few places where the rules aren't really hard to interpret at all. Even if someone agrees that your way is how it should work, they're probably not going to jump in here, because it's pretty obvious that your way isn't how it does work in the rules.

Or, hey, maybe you're just trolling. In which case you win at Internet. Congratulations. I hope it gives your life meaning.

So show me the that magical rule then.

You are educated in a f ield of study and can answer both
simple and complex questions. Like the Craft, Perform,
and Profession skills, Knowledge actually encompasses
a number of different specialties. Below are listed typical
fields of study.
• Arcana (ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane
symbols, constructs, dragons, magical beasts)
• Dungeoneering (aberrations, caverns, oozes, spelunking)
• Engineering (buildings, aqueducts, bridges, fortifications)
• Geography (lands, terrain, climate, people)
• History (wars, colonies, migrations, founding of cities)
• Local (legends, personalities, inhabitants, laws,
customs, traditions, humanoids)
• Nature (animals, fey, monstrous humanoids, plants,
seasons and cycles, weather, vermin)
• Nobility (lineages, heraldry, personalities, royalty)
• Planes (the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, the Astral
Plane, the Ethereal Plane, outsiders, planar magic)
• Religion (gods and goddesses, mythic history, ecclesiastic
tradition, holy symbols, undead)
Check: Answering a question within your field of study
has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic
questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).
You can use this skill to identify monsters and their
special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of
such a check equals 10 + the monster’s CR. For common
monsters, such as goblins, the DC of this check equals 5
+ the monster’s CR. For particularly rare monsters, such
as the tarrasque, the DC of this check equals 15 + the
monster’s CR, or more. A successful check allows you to
remember a bit of useful information about that monster.
For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the
DC, you recall another piece of useful information. Many
of the Knowledge skills have specific uses as noted on
Table 4–6.
Action: Usually none. In most cases, a Knowledge check
doesn’t take an action (but see “Untrained,” below).
Try Again: No. The check represents what you know,
and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you
know something that you never learned in the first place.
Untrained: You cannot make an untrained Knowledge
check with a DC higher than 10. If you have access to an
extensive library that covers a specific skill, this limit
is removed. The time to make checks using a library,
however, increases to 1d4 hours. Particularly complete
libraries might even grant a bonus on Knowledge checks in
the fields that they cover.

I've posted the Knowledge skill so now show me where you are right and I'm wrong.


"You can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster’s CR. For common monsters, such as goblins, the DC of this check equals 5 + the monster’s CR. For particularly rare monsters, such as the tarrasque, the DC of this check equals 15 + the monster’s CR, or more. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about
that monster. For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information." From the Pathfinder CRB pg 100.

It is pretty straight forward unless you try to make it otherwise. Nothing here limits the skill use to only things that you encounter in play because it is intended to represents what your character knows not just what they know about what they encounter. If you as a player can never look in a book to make decisions about your character or what they do then how do you have a character at all? How do you select feats? How do you put skill ranks in a skill? Meta-game is part of the game don't confuse that with abusing meta-game information as I outlined in my previous post.

PS: If there is something that you don't want the characters to know you are within your rights to set the DC of the Knowledge check higher then the rules above outline, the rules say in general and you as GM are within your rights to determine when things fall outside the norm.

Assistant Software Developer , Star Voter 2014

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I removed some posts. Let's all act like adults here.

Also, I'd like to remind everyone that some posters thrive on attention, negative or otherwise. Attempting to prove that they are incorrect, or calling them out on their behavior, only bumps the thread and encourages them to continue.

Instead, simply pretend the post isn't there. If it violates our messageboard rules, please flag it. Don't call them out. Don't tell them you're going to ignore them.

Thank you for making the Paizo messageboards a more friendly and civil place.

EDIT: I've moved this thread from Rules Questions to General Discussion, because when you end your question with "Discuss," you're not so much asking people to answer your question, but to argue with you/each other for your own amusement.

Assistant Software Developer , Star Voter 2014

I removed another post. Keep it civil please.


shallowsoul wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
lantzkev wrote:

shallowsoul, whoever told you that was pretty much correct.

It might be he spent years studying, or years listening to trappers, or is just very knowledgeable and intuitive about nature, but he pretty much knows it all to a certain point with a certain rank.

It's not metagaming, it's simply what the skill represents.

So basically you allow your players to have their PC make a Knowledge check every time they, the player, reads something in a book or thinks of something outside the game and they want their PC to know about it?
Yes, and in other situations as well. I don't understand your objection--that is literally how Knowledges work.

You roll Knowledge checks when presented with certain "situations" in game. If you see a certain type of monster then you roll a Knowledge check to see if you know it. If you pass then it's assumed that you have prior knowledge of the creature, if you fail it then it's assumed you don't.

That is not what the book says.

Quote:
You can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster's CR. For common monsters, such as goblins, the DC of this check equals 5 + the monster's CR. For particularly rare monsters, such as the tarrasque, the DC of this check equals 15 + the monster's CR, or more. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster. For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information. Many of the Knowledge skills have specific uses as noted on Table: Knowledge Skill DCs.

Nothing says the monster has to be in front of you, nor that you had to hear of it from another source first. It would be quiet silly if the monster did not exist in the character's mind until he saw it. Either he knows what it is or he does not.


shallowsoul wrote:


New book comes out: Oh hey DM, I'm going to roll my Knowledge Nature check real quick to see if he knows about this new monster that just came out, just wanted to check and see if my PC knows about it for future use.

DM: But you haven't even met that particular monster, I haven't even mentioned that monster, and I don't even know yet if that monster is going to exist in my world so how do you know about it before I do?

That doesn't really make sense.

If the monster exists in the world, even if the PC has never seen it before, then the PC might know about it. If they exist, then there are probably books that discuss them somewhere, there are people who have seen them, there are other wizards and loremasters you might have talked to that know about it, and so on.

"That book just came out" is pure metagaming and is nonsense from the character's point of view; in THAT UNIVERSE, that monster had always been in the world. Obviously if it doesn't exist, then the character can't have any knowledge of it. But if there are flying three-headed zombie monkey dragons in the world, then a character with a high knowledge skill probably knew about them before the player did, even if the character never personally ran into them before. I mean, I know a fair amount about sharks and swordfish and pandas in our world, and I've never encountered any of them personally.

Now, the DM can just decide "that monster doesn't exist in my world" and then you don't have any knowledge of it; but if the DM does that, then he can't use that monster later.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As an example:

Squirrel may not have been written up in a book yet.

Lets say that in Bestiary 4 they include Squirrels.

A druid wants to transform into a tiny critter with a climb speed and chooses squirrel.

Would you tell him "NO, you are metagaming to know about Squirrels. You have not ever encoutered one."

Or would you tell him "Squirrels are common and Cr 1/3 So make a CR 6 Knowledge Nature check (I am rounding up) and you can do so."

If the latter is what you would choose you are merely haggling over the DC on other monsters.

Now with that said. If you decide dinosaurs do not exist and never existed in your world then even with a DC 100 he could not shape shift into something that does not exist.

Star Voter 2013

Hey didn't we do this about how a wizard can't know about fireball till he sees fireball or hits level 5 and suddenly magically figures out fireball?

Seriously if you can't know if you know about something until you see it how do know that you even know about it.

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