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Masterwork tools: + 2 to any skill. How do you describe it?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

When you purchase masterwork tools, what do you describe it looking like?

I imagine a pair of spectacles for Perception, or soft insoles for your boots when dealing with Stealth.

Just a few examples but sometimes I get a bit stuck when trying to come up with an object that makes sense when giving a +2 to that certain skill.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Typically an expensive indexed reference book of some kind for knowledge skills and spellcraft, protective gear for joints for acrobatics, shaded glasses or goggles for bluff, bracelets with tiny irregularly placed blades for escape artist, sound-muffling gloves for sleight of hand, etc.

UMD is a tough one to come up with unless you get some help from your GM, in my experience, since it's kinda vague what you're actually doing when you use UMD.

Dark Archive Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game Subscriber

Well I would think spectacles would have to be special made for that person, but for things like shoes I would think that there would be a special layer of supple leather along the bottom to pad your foot falls, for theives tools they would be smaller then normal possibly more hooks and stronger tension levers.


I think the big one that's difficult to come up with is Perform: Sing.

I've always liked the idea of like a Masterwork Tuning Fork or something that lets them find just the right pitch.

Silver Crusade

Aratrok wrote:

Typically an expensive indexed reference book of some kind for knowledge skills and spellcraft, protective gear for joints for acrobatics, shaded glasses or goggles for bluff, bracelets with tiny irregularly placed blades for escape artist, sound-muffling gloves for sleight of hand, etc.

UMD is a tough one to come up with unless you get some help from your GM, in my experience, since it's kinda vague what you're actually doing when you use UMD.

I sometimes use a reference book for UMD that my character reads from time to time or even a diary that he's kept when watching other classes do what they do to try and imitate it.


Yeah... this whole thing.

I'm willing to grant that I'm completely reactionary and living in the past, but there are a whole raft of skills that cannot benefit from "Masterwork Tools" in my games. There is no tool that will give you a bonus to Diplomacy. Ditto Bluff. Etc., etc.

This is an idea that got way out of hand, imo. Obviously, YMMV, and I've seen little but enthusiasm for what I consider cheese of the most ridiculous sort. So I suppose it's a thing I'll just have to ignore, as the game goes on.

[NB: None of this post is meant to heap opprobrium on anybody here; I just disagree with the idea that there's a +2 bonus tool for EVERY skill.]


I dunno, I think as long as it makes some sort of sense it should be allowed.

There's already tools for "non-standard" skills to be enhanced (nice clothing for Diplomacy, for example) so the precedent is there that it's not something that necessarily makes you better, it can also be something that puts you "on top of your game" (tuning fork, extremely well made instrument, more stealthy clothing, etc.) as it were, or changes people's perceptions of you for social skills,like a book of local customs for Diplomacy (or even Bluff), scary face paint/masks for Intimidate, and so on.


Rynjin wrote:

I think the big one that's difficult to come up with is Perform: Sing.

I've always liked the idea of like a Masterwork Tuning Fork or something that lets them find just the right pitch.

Since the tuning fork wasn't invented until the 1700s, any tuning fork would be pretty special. That's a great idea.


I would judge that UMD is more or less a pseudo-psionic method, kind of like ki powers and the like. As such, going with the crystal theme should be appropriate. So, a circlet with a gem of some sort?

Liberty's Edge

I always preferred tools to add a bonus to craft or possibly profession checks for the most part, exceptions to the rule being items already presented such as the alchemist’s lab, climber’s kit ect... that use clearly defined tools in their function.

Not that I'm against the idea of objects granting a +2 to skills that can't be augmented by "tools" in the strict sense but I prefer the suggestion of making them specific to a certain set of circumstances as is suggested in Ultimate equipment. For example a necklace of goblin fangs that grants a +2 UMD when emulating being a goblin, or a rare flower favored by a local faith that grants a +2 to diplomacy with the faithful.


cheeseweasel, what about mw tools for situational modifiers? Is 55 gp for forged documents that help with bluff checks in a specific city for a month too much to ask? What about a book that helps with knowledge arcana checks about dragons? Or a pole that helps with acrobatics checks to balance?


Rynjin wrote:

I think the big one that's difficult to come up with is Perform: Sing.

I've always liked the idea of like a Masterwork Tuning Fork or something that lets them find just the right pitch.

Sing is a simple one. Mr. Microphone

UMD could be a reference book, with "common" styles and other typical things used in creating magic items.

Others are more difficult, because what might help a Diplomacy check with Dwarves won't with Orcs... The same with other social skills. Although Psychic Paper just might work in most situations.

Marathon Voter 2013

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

With the power of Imagination and a predisposition to allow what the player wants because that's the point of the item is.

Grand Lodge

I use a book called 'How to win friends and influence People' as I open the conversation with periodic... "Ah - I am unfamiliar with this phrase, let me check a moment" for Diplomacy.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
cheeseweasel, what about mw tools for situational modifiers? Is 55 gp for forged documents that help with bluff checks in a specific city for a month too much to ask? What about a book that helps with knowledge arcana checks about dragons? Or a pole that helps with acrobatics checks to balance?

That doesn't bother me. Generic tools that add to any use of the skill seem silly to me. Especially when they're often better than the specific ones. Why buy a climber's kit that costs the same and weighs 8 lbs when you can just buy the lighter mw tool(climb)? Especially since you can fluff the latter any way you like and the description of the actual climber's kit suggests some limitations. "crampons, pitons, ropes, and tools" doesn't sound like something you can use quietly or at a moment's notice. You have to put the crampons on, rig the ropes, hammer in the pitons etc. Fine for a mountain climbing expedition, but not so good for getting over that 10' wall before the guard reaches you.

After a couple levels, 50gp is so cheap everyone will just have a permanent +2 to all skills they're interested in. Seems boring to me.

Grand Lodge

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

I dunno, I think as long as it makes some sort of sense it should be allowed.

The problem is that there simply skills in which that condition simply does not qualify. You can't get a masterwork throat, and you're not manipulating any other item when you're trying to UMD a magic item, but the best one is Diplomacy. There is simply no such thing as a masterwork tool for Diplomacy. There are certain things I'd say a situation would require if you did not want a negative, (Such as decent clothes for being at the Lord's court) but no gee biz wang mundane tool for making you more diplomatic (not that there isn't half a dozen ways to cheese that skill already))

RAW text is something to be handled with moderation, otherwise we'd just do away with Judges, and replace them with steam powered Difference Engines.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Helaman wrote:
I use a book called 'How to win friends and influence People' as I open the conversation with periodic... "Ah - I am unfamiliar with this phrase, let me check a moment" for Diplomacy.

Tell me something if someone did that in real life, would that really make him more persuasive? I'd say it'd be just the opposite. Fast talking depends much on being quick and smooth and looking up phrases in reference books is actually more of a staple of situational comedy.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Kindly realize that 'masterwork' does not mean 'easily transportable'.

I.e. masterwork tools for a Crafting profession, say, smithing, might include several dozen hammers, files, a forge, an anvil, tongs, molds, etc.

A masterwork set for stealth would probably be exactly what is used nowadays - camoflage clothing either unblack or patterned; lampblack facial paint or a hood; custom fit clothing (NOT ARMOR) with straps and tie downs and sheathes to keep things tight and minimize rubbing/knocking. I would probably have it not work while wearing any armor...time to play ninja, rogue-boy! (seriously, no real stealther would ever wear armor while trying to be a sneak).

A masterwork set does NOT have to work with armor, and doesn't even apply if the skill doesn't use tools (like say, Jumping). A tool to help jumping is called a Vaulting Pole or a teeter-totter with a helper for Aid Another, and it's 'masterwork' insofar as it takes some practice to use the bloody thing. A masterwork tool for swimming would likely be called a 'flotation vest', bouyancy belt, goggles and snorkel, and swim fins.

a masterwork tool for a knowledge check is also known as a 'library'. Masterwork does not need to be quick or convenient. The people who assume they can just carry around something for a +2 to a knowledge check on the spot just amuse me. "You delve into your private collection of carefully chosen tomes and lore for an hour of study. You get +2 on your Spellcraft check. Roll. Oh, you need it right now? Guess you're not using the tool."

Again, a masterwork tool does not have to be convenient. An Escape artist tool might require you to be almost nude and covered head to toe in fine, slippery oil. A +2 to Perception does not have to be a bonus IN COMBAT. It can be a microscope, a telescope, a chemical set to burn traces and enhance sets, shotgun microphones, etc.

===Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
cheeseweasel, what about mw tools for situational modifiers? Is 55 gp for forged documents that help with bluff checks in a specific city for a month too much to ask? What about a book that helps with knowledge arcana checks about dragons? Or a pole that helps with acrobatics checks to balance?

I would have such things possibly be smaller, but not cheaper.

==Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

Kindly realize that 'masterwork' does not mean 'easily transportable'.

I.e. masterwork tools for a Crafting profession, say, smithing, might include several dozen hammers, files, a forge, an anvil, tongs, molds, etc.

A masterwork set for stealth would probably be exactly what is used nowadays - camoflage clothing either unblack or patterned; lampblack facial paint or a hood; custom fit clothing (NOT ARMOR) with straps and tie downs and sheathes to keep things tight and minimize rubbing/knocking. I would probably have it not work while wearing any armor...time to play ninja, rogue-boy! (seriously, no real stealther would ever wear armor while trying to be a sneak).

A masterwork set does NOT have to work with armor, and doesn't even apply if the skill doesn't use tools (like say, Jumping). A tool to help jumping is called a Vaulting Pole or a teeter-totter with a helper for Aid Another, and it's 'masterwork' insofar as it takes some practice to use the bloody thing. A masterwork tool for swimming would likely be called a 'flotation vest', bouyancy belt, goggles and snorkel, and swim fins.

a masterwork tool for a knowledge check is also known as a 'library'. Masterwork does not need to be quick or convenient. The people who assume they can just carry around something for a +2 to a knowledge check on the spot just amuse me. "You delve into your private collection of carefully chosen tomes and lore for an hour of study. You get +2 on your Spellcraft check. Roll. Oh, you need it right now? Guess you're not using the tool."

Again, a masterwork tool does not have to be convenient. An Escape artist tool might require you to be almost nude and covered head to toe in fine, slippery oil. A +2 to Perception does not have to be a bonus IN COMBAT. It can be a microscope, a telescope, a chemical set to burn traces and enhance sets, shotgun microphones, etc.

===Aelryinth

I would agree. Your take on it makes a lot of sense.

Unfortunately, by RAW you can buy a masterwork tool that costs 50gp and weighs 1 lb for any skill you choose.

Silver Crusade

''Hold on, Spot! Let me just check my Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu!''

(+2 to hit, FTW!!!)

BTW, how does a monk get such a cool familiar as Spot?


LazarX wrote:
The problem is that there simply skills in which that condition simply does not qualify. You can't get a masterwork throat, and you're not manipulating any other item when you're trying to UMD a magic item, but the best one is Diplomacy. There is simply no such thing as a masterwork tool for Diplomacy. There are certain things I'd say a situation would require if you did not want a negative, (Such as decent clothes for being at the Lord's court) but no gee biz wang mundane tool for making you more diplomatic (not that there isn't half a dozen ways to cheese that skill already))

Gotta love that perfume that doesn't exist, yep.

LazarX wrote:


RAW text is something to be handled with moderation, otherwise we'd just do away with Judges, and replace them with steam powered Difference Engines.

Just because you can't think of something for each slot doesn't mean not everyone can. Like I said, it has to make sense, but there's no reason to say "No, you can't do that because I don't like it" every time somebody ants a Masterwork tool for some skill you don't want them to be able to boost.

Grand Lodge

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

So your point is I should agree to every thing a player wants just because they want it?

I'm of the opinion that a masterwork tool has to make sense not just mechanically but in versimilitude as well. Looking up words in a phrasebook isn't going to make your arguments more presentable, in fact it generally does the opposite.

The only requirement I put down for a masterwork tool is that it has to make sense. And that's my call as a DM.


I'm saying you should actually weigh how much sense the idea makes versus the sense the rest of this game makes and if they match you should allow it.

I'm also saying you shouldn't disallow things that are in the game just because you don't like them. That should be reserved for things that are truly ludicrous or unbalanced.

Grand Lodge

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

I'm saying you should actually weigh how much sense the idea makes versus the sense the rest of this game makes and if they match you should allow it.

I'm also saying you shouldn't disallow things that are in the game just because you don't like them. That should be reserved for things that are truly ludicrous or unbalanced.

If I dislike something there's usually a good reason for it. It's something that's either unbalanced, in bad taste, has insufficient logic behind it, or simply does not fit in the world I'm operating in.


Rynjin wrote:
LazarX wrote:
The problem is that there simply skills in which that condition simply does not qualify. You can't get a masterwork throat, and you're not manipulating any other item when you're trying to UMD a magic item, but the best one is Diplomacy. There is simply no such thing as a masterwork tool for Diplomacy. There are certain things I'd say a situation would require if you did not want a negative, (Such as decent clothes for being at the Lord's court) but no gee biz wang mundane tool for making you more diplomatic (not that there isn't half a dozen ways to cheese that skill already))
Gotta love that perfume that doesn't exist, yep.

Perfume makes you more persuasive in every situation you use it in?

A dab of perfume before you try to talk the Orc chief into letting you pass without a fight is going to help so much.

Yeah, if you want to buy the tool, flavor it as something and then only have it apply to situations where that makes sense, I'd be fine with that.


Cheeseweasel wrote:

Yeah... this whole thing.

I'm willing to grant that I'm completely reactionary and living in the past, but there are a whole raft of skills that cannot benefit from "Masterwork Tools" in my games. There is no tool that will give you a bonus to Diplomacy. Ditto Bluff. Etc., etc.

This is an idea that got way out of hand, imo. Obviously, YMMV, and I've seen little but enthusiasm for what I consider cheese of the most ridiculous sort. So I suppose it's a thing I'll just have to ignore, as the game goes on.

[NB: None of this post is meant to heap opprobrium on anybody here; I just disagree with the idea that there's a +2 bonus tool for EVERY skill.]

The skills are all balanced assuming you can get a +2 for 50gp. It's part of the game.

If the descriptions bother you, then allow the players to buy training in a skill for 50gp that gives them a +2 or something. Don't deny them a bonus they're designed to be able to acquire.


LazarX wrote:
If I dislike something there's usually a good reason for it. It's something that's either unbalanced, in bad taste, has insufficient logic behind it, or simply does not fit in the world I'm operating in.

And what I'm saying is that these tools that you don't like are not necessarily any of those things. Yes, you should keep an eye out for the "Magical Joke Book of +2 Diplomacy" or something silly, but I've given a few examples of fairly multi-purpose examples for Diplomacy boosting things and I'm sure others could do better.


Masterwork tools for performance, diplomacy, intimidate and a lot of similar skills honestly are usually clothing.
Superbly tailored clothing really does make a huge difference in a lot of these things.


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mplindustries wrote:

The skills are all balanced assuming you can get a +2 for 50gp. It's part of the game.

If the descriptions bother you, then allow the players to buy training in a skill for 50gp that gives them a +2 or something. Don't deny them a bonus they're designed to be able to acquire.

So is climbing balanced for a 50gp, 1lb always on tool or a 80gp, 8lb tool with limitations? Why would anyone ever use a climbing kit?


EWHM wrote:

Masterwork tools for performance, diplomacy, intimidate and a lot of similar skills honestly are usually clothing.

Superbly tailored clothing really does make a huge difference in a lot of these things.

But it's not a one tool fits all thing. Superbly tailored clothing helps with court appearances and merchants and things like that. Though at some level a mere 50gp suit isn't superbly tailored but cheap and common. Or are the actual nobles getting +6 for their 1000gp robes.

Even more, just like with the perfume, the orc chief doesn't care about your fancy clothes. They make you look like a fool. A weak fool with money.

Grand Lodge

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

Masterwork tools for performance, diplomacy, intimidate and a lot of similar skills honestly are usually clothing.

Superbly tailored clothing really does make a huge difference in a lot of these things.

Superbly tailored clothing is not a masterwork tool.

It is more the "required tool" when dealing with personages of importance, the lack of which gives you an appropriate minus. Such clothing however tends to give you a negative effect when trying diplomacy in dives and with street gangs.

I have absolutely no problems with appropriate tools for appropriate situations. However you have yet to prove that there can be a single one widget does all in all situations for diplomacy.

Quite honestly, if you're looking for the answer you want, you'll find lots of other people who've tried to argue this in a bunch of other threads that have been done on this topic. Since I'm already at the point of repetition in this topic, I don't think that I can give you a response that you'll be happy with.

Silver Crusade

mplindustries wrote:
Cheeseweasel wrote:

Yeah... this whole thing.

I'm willing to grant that I'm completely reactionary and living in the past, but there are a whole raft of skills that cannot benefit from "Masterwork Tools" in my games. There is no tool that will give you a bonus to Diplomacy. Ditto Bluff. Etc., etc.

This is an idea that got way out of hand, imo. Obviously, YMMV, and I've seen little but enthusiasm for what I consider cheese of the most ridiculous sort. So I suppose it's a thing I'll just have to ignore, as the game goes on.

[NB: None of this post is meant to heap opprobrium on anybody here; I just disagree with the idea that there's a +2 bonus tool for EVERY skill.]

The skills are all balanced assuming you can get a +2 for 50gp. It's part of the game.

If the descriptions bother you, then allow the players to buy training in a skill for 50gp that gives them a +2 or something. Don't deny them a bonus they're designed to be able to acquire.

I like that idea!

One time cost of 50gp per skill will grant a +2.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Ultimate Equipment, Masterwork Tool:

Spoiler:
This tool is perfect for its intended job. It grants a +2 circumstance bonus on a related skill check (if any). The bonuses provided by multiple masterwork items do not stack.
Several common items already count as masterwork tools for particular skills. These are the alchemist’s lab, climber’s kit, disguise kit, healer’s kit, masterwork musical instrument, and masterwork thieves’ tools. Therefore, there is no masterwork climber’s kit, masterwork healer’s kit, and so on—those items are already the best available for general checks with the relevant skill.
Some skills have no appropriate tool or masterwork tool— no nonmagical item exists that grants a bonus for all uses of that skill. For example, just because a certain perfume is favored by local nobles (granting a +2 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy checks to influence them) doesn’t mean that perfume has the same effect on a member of the thieves’ guild, a foreign berserker, or a medusa. Likewise, just because a fake beard woven by dwarves out of the beards of famous dwarves may grant a +2 circumstance bonus on Use Magic Device checks to emulate the dwarven race doesn’t mean the beard has any effect on using that skill to activate elven items or paladin items, or to decipher a written spell.
Individual GMs may want to allow masterwork tools for other skills at the listed cost. The circumstance bonus for such a tool should never be more than +2. The tool should either have a limited number of uses (such as the disguise and healer’s kits) or only apply to certain aspects of the skill (such as the balancing pole’s bonus on Acrobatics checks to traverse a narrow surface or the magnifying glass’s bonus on Appraise checks for detailed items).


Matt Goodall wrote:

Ultimate Equipment, Masterwork Tool:

** spoiler omitted **

IOW, the full description of the item shows that it's not intended as a flat +2 to all uses of a skill for 50gp. It's intended to be partial and situational. Which is all anyone has been saying.


I would say it is no great stretch to acquire something for 50 gp that would improve an expected skill check by +2, more or less whatever the skill involved.

Scarab Sages

mplindustries wrote:

The skills are all balanced assuming you can get a +2 for 50gp.

If this were the case, cracked ioun stones granting skill bonuses would be priced differently.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:
I would say it is no great stretch to acquire something for 50 gp that would improve an expected skill check by +2, more or less whatever the skill involved.

Putting the word "situational" in a description sort of implies that there are going to be times when that's simply not the case. You either accept that conclusion or you don't. There's really not much more to discuss beyond that.


I said "more or less". It means there are situations where that is not possible.


Sissyl wrote:
I would say it is no great stretch to acquire something for 50 gp that would improve an expected skill check by +2, more or less whatever the skill involved.

That's probably true. But the key is acquire for an expected check. For almost any situation you can come up with some item that will help and for simplicity's sake we can set a generic price of 50gp.

But that's different from saying that a one-time investment of 50gp gets you the +2 on all checks using a given skill. First, you obviously have to pay more if you need different items for different situations. Second, if you didn't expect this particular use of the skill, you won't have already procured an item to help with it.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
cheeseweasel, what about mw tools for situational modifiers? Is 55 gp for forged documents that help with bluff checks in a specific city for a month too much to ask? What about a book that helps with knowledge arcana checks about dragons? Or a pole that helps with acrobatics checks to balance?

Sometimes, yes; there are many situational circumstances that could be used, with a "tool" of sorts to leverage a +2 skill bonus. My particular objection is the generic mw tool that applies a blanket +2 on all uses of the skill(s) in question.

*the documents above, +2 Bluff for the specific Bluff pertinent to the forgeries, i.e., you're tax assessors, or Guardsmen, or an agent of a Guild, etc. I still wouldn't let you wave mundane papers to get a +2 on ANY bluff check, but given the work involved in getting/making forgeries, I have no problem with a circumstance bonus for the specific Bluff they support.

*reference materials, +2 Knowledge/Whatever (the whole subject of the knowledge skill in question)... I tend to make these bulky in my games, and also more expensive, linked to the DC of Knowledge checks involved (up to DC 10, sure, mw tool price is ok. Up to DC 20, add 100 gp, DC 30+, add 1,000 gp) to show the ongoing collection of a library. Hard but not impossible (with extradimensional storage) to use outside of a library/lab context.

A specific subsection of Knowledge/Arcana, like "Dragons?" Yeah, I'd probably let you get a +2 for the mw tool cost on Dragon-specific questions...

*Pole for balancing? I wouldn't even charge you the mw tool price. Go hack down a sapling and trim it, voila, balancing pole, have a +2 for balancing with it. If it's sturdy and springy, I'd probably let you get the +2 for jumping.

There is so much variance that is, well, situational, that a generic mw tool fails to cover the possibilities, in addition to often being nonsensical. It was a nice try, but it doesn't work for me.

PS: For a blanket +2 in social (non-feinting) Bluffs, get an Illusory Script cast with the Suggestion implanted being "This document is exactly what the person who showed it to you said it is." Magic, yes, but sometimes the mundane doesn't cut it... and it's reasonably cheap.


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Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Acrobatics : Specially designed weights, built for your body, that strap on in various locations (wrists, waist, neck, ankles) that provide a more correct 'center balance' to your body, for those who have bodies that aren't perfectly proportioned (arms longer than normal, legs longer than normal, etc). Or, MW staff for balance, etc.

Appraise : A small book with up to date notes on the current market values of various types of objects, and cheat sheats on how to appraise various types of materials.

Bluff : Makeup designed to hide tell-tale marks of lieing, colored lens glasses to hide the eyes to make it harder to tell where one is looking, special clothes that hide one's breath rate through bulkyness.

Climb : Attachments on the hands and shoes that give claws for gripping, a belt attachment that can be wrapped around trees for extra purchase, hammers pitons and ropes for rock climbing.

Craft : MW Tools, anvils, hammers, saws, chisels, scissors, awls, etc.

Diplomacy : Extra fancy clothes, body scents that induce calm and reason in those around you, pheremone extracts, makeup.

Disable Device : Masterwork lockpicks, spoons, stethescopes.

Disguise : High grade appliques, fake mustaches, wigs, fake breasts, fake belly's, makeup.

Escape Artist : Rigid plates next to your skin to help with keeping your chest expanded, metal bracelets around your wrists that have oil capsules inside that can be broken with the right twisting of the wrists, special wax for coating armor to make it extra slippery.

Fly : Small attachments at wrists, arms, and back that provide planing surfaces that make it easier to control one's movement (Ala Greatest American Hero).

Handle Animal : A small treat bag that contains preserved treats for various types of animals. A special pheremone extract that is pleasing to most animals.

Heal : A healing kit.

Intimidate : False teeth and makeup, warpaint, dismembered body parts strung around armor, armor appliques showing scary things.

Knowledge : Books, Cheat Sheets strapped inside of sheilds or on bracers.

Linguistics : Books, Cheat Sheets, MW Engraving tools, MW Writing Tools (for forgery).

Perception : Special glasses that polarize light, making it easier to notice motion, detail.

Perform : Masterwork Props, Clothes.

Profession : MW Tools, Jeweler's loupe, abbacus.

Ride : MW straps or reins, MW saddle, MW spurs or Whip.

Sense Motive : Special glasses that polarize light and make it easier to see beads of sweat, or pulsing veins.

Sleight of Hand : Silk Gloves that make it easier to slip in and out of people's pockets unseen, special weights that help balance the wrists for juggling.

Spellcraft : Special glasses that polarize light and make ti easier to see fine motions of a caster's hands, or read his lips at range to identify the spell. A book about magic items for using when Identifying.

Stealth : Special soft soled shoes, clothes designed to blend in to an area.

Survival : MW fishwire, fishing hooks, twine, flint and steel, a book on what is and is not edible in an area.

Swim : Cork inserts for clothes that make one more bouyant, web fingered gloves, fins, snorkles.

Use Magic Device : A small book with common activation phrases, a cheat sheet strapped to the inside of a shield or on a bracer with same.

Scarab Sages

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

When you purchase masterwork tools, what do you describe it looking like?

I imagine a pair of spectacles for Perception, or soft insoles for your boots when dealing with Stealth.

Just a few examples but sometimes I get a bit stuck when trying to come up with an object that makes sense when giving a +2 to that certain skill.

I have used both of these as Masterwork 'Tools' for Diplomacy...

1. Masterwork Courtier's/Court Clothing
2. Notebook with extensive notes on court attendees...

Silver Crusade

I've got a gnome Prankster bard who uses Perform (Comedy) with Versatile Performance for his intimidate checks to demoralize enemies. What would be an appropriate masterwork tool for this?

I know the juggler's kit in Ultimate Equipment gives a +1 on Perform (Comedy), but I'd assume that's only when giving a performance. So that will help with my day job checks in Pathfinder Society, but not with Versatile Performance to replace bluff and intimidate.

Any suggestions?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Unseelie wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

When you purchase masterwork tools, what do you describe it looking like?

I imagine a pair of spectacles for Perception, or soft insoles for your boots when dealing with Stealth.

Just a few examples but sometimes I get a bit stuck when trying to come up with an object that makes sense when giving a +2 to that certain skill.

I have used both of these as Masterwork 'Tools' for Diplomacy...

1. Masterwork Courtier's/Court Clothing
2. Notebook with extensive notes on court attendees...

1. The first is the minimum tool for Diplomacy at court and that's actually subsumed by Courtier's gear at 200 gold, so no you can't cheese it at 50.

2. The second would be more appropriate for a Knowledge Nobility skill roll rather than diplomacy.


...and any "notebook" kind of tool is great for a check you know is coming (trying to get a noble to support/oppose a particular law) but is completely inappropriate to try to apply "on the fly" (getting a noble to introduce you a surprise attendee at a party) because I promise you no one is impressed by somebody hurriedly looking stuff up while trying to have a suave, sophisticated conversation.

+1 to the clothing note, LazarX


shallowsoul wrote:

When you purchase masterwork tools, what do you describe it looking like?

I imagine a pair of spectacles for Perception, or soft insoles for your boots when dealing with Stealth.

Just a few examples but sometimes I get a bit stuck when trying to come up with an object that makes sense when giving a +2 to that certain skill.

Books for knowledges and spellcraft. Perfums/jewelry/clothing for diplomacy or bluff vs certain social classes. I've used as DM a veil for intimidate (a veil used by mercenaries in the campaign world, similar to the Aiel in Wheel of Time). I've used both dark cloaks and soft soils for stealth, grease for escape artist, etc


LazarX wrote:
I have absolutely no problems with appropriate tools for appropriate situations. However you have yet to prove that there can be a single one widget does all in all situations for diplomacy.

In most cases, that's true for all widgets and skills. A soft soil gives you bonus to stealth when you try to stalk or move silently, but won't if you are stayin still. Spectacles can give you bonus to spot and search things, but won't work when you are trying to hear if there's somebody inside the closed room. This is explicitly said in the "masterwork tool" section of Ultimate equipment.

For diplomacy, a parfum can work and give you a bonus vs opposite sex. A military medal or commendation can give you a bonus vs military personnel. The letter of mark of a king can give you bonus towards that king's vassals, etc.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Unseelie wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

When you purchase masterwork tools, what do you describe it looking like?

I imagine a pair of spectacles for Perception, or soft insoles for your boots when dealing with Stealth.

Just a few examples but sometimes I get a bit stuck when trying to come up with an object that makes sense when giving a +2 to that certain skill.

I have used both of these as Masterwork 'Tools' for Diplomacy...

1. Masterwork Courtier's/Court Clothing
2. Notebook with extensive notes on court attendees...

1. The first is the minimum tool for Diplomacy at court and that's actually subsumed by Courtier's gear at 200 gold, so no you can't cheese it at 50.

2. The second would be more appropriate for a Knowledge Nobility skill roll rather than diplomacy.

Certainly not at 50, no. In this case, the outfits were in the 500+ range. And it's a -2 without it, this was above and beyond the normal cost of courtier's outfit, hence my calling it 'Masterwork', so therefore +2. It's the equivalent of No tools/tools/masterwork tools.

Edit: And yes, it's still somewhat situational. A sharp outfit will help you in court... not necessarily in talking your way out of having your face punched in at the local dive.

As for the second, I could see allowing either. I allowed diplomacy rather than forcing two rolls so that K:Nobility could comp the +2 to Diplomacy.

Grand Lodge

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


As for the second, I could see allowing either. I allowed diplomacy rather than forcing two rolls so that K:Nobility could comp the +2 to Diplomacy.

Knowledge Nobility doesn't complement Diplomacy in Pathfinder. Quite frankly I never saw that rule as making sense in 3.5.

"So you know my name, peasant. Now begone!"

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