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Skill Replacement Powers and Check Types


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

51 to 100 of 101 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

elcoderdude wrote:


I think, like an argument from analogy, nearly any position can be defended by an argument from theme. In your example: if there is a blessing that adds 2 dice to an Acrobatics check, why wouldn't it pertain? Couldn't the two deities collude, with both Shelyn and this blessing's deity aiding Varril?

Most certainly not! He will not pray for help to anyone other than The Eternal Rose. Varril's faith is unshakeable! Inquisitor! Burn this heretic in the name of Goddess of Love! :-P

elcoderdude wrote:
Also, I don't think the rulebook clearly states otherwise.

I think you're right on this one. Well, I got wrong on so many rules while playing PACG over these years so I take very literally every rule I know.

elcoderdude wrote:
Last point: there is an additional common way for a check to gain a trait. Some cards explicitly add a trait to a check (the item Amulet of Mighty Fists adds the Magic trait, for example). This isn't listed in the passage you cite, so we know that passage isn't comprehensive.

Are there any comprehensive rules for PACG? I think not. It's all mixture or different rulebooks, FAQs and message board posts. It is quite irritating.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
elcoderdude wrote:
Most people are going to assume that when I attempt an Acrobatics check, Acrobatics is one of the traits of my check.

I don't know about "most" people untill some kind of poll is held. For the record, I'm of the opposite persuasion (what you call the "Hawkmoon School" :) and for a time I never even considered adding the replaced skill as a trait to the check, let alone find it "intuitive" in any shape or form.

Just like SimonB, I thought that it is only Vic's post that obfuscates the matter, without any further arguments supporting it.

Regardless, the amount of confusion this causes makes it clear that official ruling is necessary, even if each of us is currently 'house-ruling' our respective games, in accordance what we perceive to be the "official intent".

Balance-wise, Varyl's (and similar) powers seem so ridiculously overpowered (from what I'm reading, I haven't actually played him) that I find it absurd he should on top of that be allowed to double-dip in cards boosting both Divine AND another skill on a check.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If Vic's post didn't exist, I'd be in the "Hawkmoon school" as well (as I stated on the first page of this thread), because by RAW that interpretation is the only really logical one. If you're replacing a thing, the original thing never happens. This is the case when you do things like recharge instead of banish. Why is it not the case when you use Divine instead of Dexterity?

Vic's post on WotR Kyra contradicts that line of logic, and attempting to reconcile what the rulebook says with that post is what is making this less clear than it should be.

I really don't think we'll be able to come to any sort of consensus until it's officially clarified (again) as to which is the correct intent as of now.

I still also stand by what I wrote previously that the "instead of" in Varril's power is only there to make the sentence work grammatically -- the power itself functions the same as every other "use your X skill" power in the game. Therefore, a ruling for Varril would also be a ruling for every Determine Which Skill You're Using power.


Reading more of the Kyra thread has made me realise some things.

There's two separate concepts for a check, the "type" of check, and the traits the check has. The "type"s a check has are a superset of the traits it has.

So, you see a monster, and you choose "combat" to defeat it. The check is now a combat check. The "type" of check is combat. But, the check does not (and never will) have the combat trait. You use a longbow "for your combat check" and choose dexterity. Using something "for" a combat check does not stop it from being a combat check. Thus it is still a combat check, and (equivalently) the "type" of check is still combat.

Thus you can ask:
"Is it a combat check?" Yes, it's a combat check because that's the type of check it is and nothing changed that.
"Is it a dexterity check?" Yes, because the skill you chose (dexterity) is added as a trait to the check, and a check with the X trait is an X check.
"Is it a ranged check?" Yes, because you used the longbow to determine the skill to use for the check and doing so added the longbow's traits, which include "ranged".
"Is it a strength check" No, because although you add your strength die, nothing added the strength trait.
"Does it have the combat trait?" No, because nothing added the combat trait, as SimonB has observed. But, fortunately, this has no effect on anything (at least that I can think of).

Further down that same thread Vic says:
"There are powers that explicitly replace the original skill, but Kyra's power (and standard weapon powers) don't do that."

That, to me, is as close as we need to a ruling on Varril. Vic is explicitly stating that some cards exist which don't work the way Kyra's power (and weapons) work. Specifically cards which replace the original skill, rather than using another skill "for" that skill. If such cards that work differently exist, Varril must surely be one of those cards.

Thus, you choose combat to defeat the monster, the type of check is currently "combat". You then use Varril's power to replace combat with divine. It is no longer a combat check, it is instead a divine check. It also has the divine trait but only because you're using the divine skill. A blessing of Shelyn could add 2 dice (assuming you use your "divine: wisdom +3).

And finally, the thing to look for to determine which is which is whether the card says something more like "Do X for Y", or "Do X instead of Y".

I'm not happy about it, because I think it would be much better if all the various skill replacement powers worked the same way. I also think the entire concept of "type" as separate from "traits" is unnecessary complication. The rules should just say that the skill which determines the difficulty is added as a trait to the check. If the rules said that, then "type" would no longer need to exist as a separate concept from traits, all replacement powers would work the same way, everything would be simpler, and nothing important would be lost.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

(Solely addressing Irgy's post, above, not the larger issue)

Irgy wrote:
Thus, you choose combat to defeat the monster, the type of check is currently "combat". You then use Varril's power to replace combat with divine. It is no longer a combat check, it is instead a divine check. It also has the divine trait but only because you're using the divine skill. A blessing of Shelyn could add 2 dice (assuming you use your "divine: wisdom +3).

I firmly disagree with the statement that the check is no longer a combat check once Varril uses his power to use the Divine skill instead of the listed skill.

I see the breakdown of a check by three elements:

  • The first is that it is either a COMBAT check or a NON-COMBAT check.
  • The second is the SKILL upon which the check is based (e.g., Strength, Melee, Divine, etc.).
  • The third is the TRAITS that the check invokes (e.g., Arcane, Divine, Ranged, Fire, etc.).
Note that there is some overlap there in that some skills are also traits (e.g., Divine, Ranged, etc.).

All Varril's power does is change the skill he is using, and add the Divine trait. It doesn't change a combat check into a non-combat check.

So if he's attempting a Dexterity/Ranged combat check and uses the Divine skill instead of Dexterity/Ranged, the check remains a combat check.

Page 12 of the [Mummy's Mask] rulebook describes an example of using the Arcane skill for a combat check, so there's no reason that the Divine skill couldn't be used in a combat check.


skizzerz wrote:

If Vic's post didn't exist, I'd be in the "Hawkmoon school" as well (as I stated on the first page of this thread), because by RAW that interpretation is the only really logical one. If you're replacing a thing, the original thing never happens. This is the case when you do things like recharge instead of banish. Why is it not the case when you use Divine instead of Dexterity?

Vic's post on WotR Kyra contradicts that line of logic, and attempting to reconcile what the rulebook says with that post is what is making this less clear than it should be.

So... Why does everyone refer to that one post by Vic, and not the one he made just a few posts lower in the same thread?

Vic Wertz wrote:
The context of the question I was replying to was "should [we] take Kyra's power as 'instead of'." So when I said "It's not changing the type of check," I meant that "the new skill is not replacing the required skill, it's adding to it." There are powers that explicitly replace the original skill, but Kyra's power (and standard weapon powers) don't do that. So when I said "So if it's a combat check, it's still a combat check—and it now also has the Divine, Wisdom, Attack, and Magic traits," that means it's a Combat check, a Divine check, a Wisdom check, an Attack check, and a Magic check.

That seems to pretty clearly state that Kyra's power and Varril's "instead of" power don't work the same way, and that "instead of" powers do in fact replace the required/ original skill.


Brother Tyler wrote:

(Solely addressing Irgy's post, above, not the larger issue)

Irgy wrote:
Thus, you choose combat to defeat the monster, the type of check is currently "combat". You then use Varril's power to replace combat with divine. It is no longer a combat check, it is instead a divine check. It also has the divine trait but only because you're using the divine skill. A blessing of Shelyn could add 2 dice (assuming you use your "divine: wisdom +3).

I firmly disagree with the statement that the check is no longer a combat check once Varril uses his power to use the Divine skill instead of the listed skill.

I see the breakdown of a check by three elements:

  • The first is that it is either a COMBAT check or a NON-COMBAT check.
  • The second is the SKILL upon which the check is based (e.g., Strength, Melee, Divine, etc.).
  • The third is the TRAITS that the check invokes (e.g., Arcane, Divine, Ranged, Fire, etc.).
Note that there is some overlap there in that some skills are also traits (e.g., Divine, Ranged, etc.).

All Varril's power does is change the skill he is using, and add the Divine trait. It doesn't change a combat check into a non-combat check.

So if he's attempting a Dexterity/Ranged combat check and uses the Divine skill instead of Dexterity/Ranged, the check remains a combat check.

Page 12 of the [Mummy's Mask] rulebook describes an example of using the Arcane skill for a combat check, so there's no reason that the Divine skill couldn't be used in a combat check.

It really feels like you're just stating the way you think it works as fact, without any evidence to support it, rather than addressing the arguments I gave.

As far as the reference you make to the rulebook goes, what's on page 12 is entirely consistent with what I've said. You can indeed use your arcane or divine skill on a combat check, by (for instance) playing a typical attack spell. But such spells use the wording "for your combat check", not the wording "instead". Thus according to the test I described, they work like weapons, and do not change the type of check. Everything else described in that paragraph still follows.

Your first assertion of combat/non-combat actually corresponds to my (actually Vic's) concept of "type". When someone chooses "combat" from the list of checks, determining the difficulty, they have determined the type of check to be "combat", which is what you're referring to. But the "type" concept is more general. WotR Kyra could fight a Satyr at Eagle Rock, choose "Dexterity" as the type of check, and use her divine skill for the dexterity check. In this case it would be a dexterity check the same way it would normally be a combat check despite having neither trait in both cases.

Skills and traits we kind of agree, except for a few quibbles. The check "has" those traits, it "invokes" those traits plus a whole bunch of others from the card you're encountering. All the skills are added as traits so it's not just "some overlap" but one is a subset of the other.

And then the issue at hand itself, you say it doesn't change a combat check to a non-combat check. I interpreted it that way myself originally. But my evidence as to why it does not work that way is, as I said, that:
* Varril says to use the skill "instead" of the listed skill, rather than the wording used on Kyra and weapons which is "for" the check.
* Vic has stated "There are powers that explicitly replace the original skill, but Kyra's power (and standard weapon powers) don't do that". Note that this was specifically with regards to whether a check is still a combat check.
* There are no better candidates than Varril to be one of the cards to which Vic refers when he says "there are powers that explicitly replace the original skill".
* If combat is entirely replaced by divine, then there is nothing anywhere in the rules that justifies calling the check a combat check. All reference to combat has been replaced, nowhere is there an explicit "determine whether combat or not" step described in the rules, nowhere is there a reason to associate it with the check in any way. It has already been quoted that "instead" means the original thing did not happen.


Irgy wrote:
* If combat is entirely replaced by divine, then there is nothing anywhere in the rules that justifies calling the check a combat check. All reference to combat has been replaced, nowhere is there an explicit "determine whether combat or not" step described in the rules, nowhere is there a reason to associate it with the check in any way. It has already been quoted that "instead" means the original thing did not happen.

Where did you read that combat checks are replaced by non-combat divine? Can you give us exact quotation? If there is such rule that your combat check might become non-combat check? Neither Kyra's nor Varril's character powers say that.


+1 to the idea that the combat/non-combat distinction is different from the traits of a check.

The RAW for this aren't airtight and seamless, perhaps, but I think we should all agree that a check that says "Combat" in the definition for its difficulty is always a combat check, and one that does not, is not. I don't think we have seen any powers in the game that modify a check from combat to non-combat or vice versa.


SimonB wrote:
Irgy wrote:
* If combat is entirely replaced by divine, then there is nothing anywhere in the rules that justifies calling the check a combat check. All reference to combat has been replaced, nowhere is there an explicit "determine whether combat or not" step described in the rules, nowhere is there a reason to associate it with the check in any way. It has already been quoted that "instead" means the original thing did not happen.
Where did you read that combat checks are replaced by non-combat divine? Can you give us exact quotation? If there is such rule that your combat check might become non-combat check? Neither Kyra's nor Varril's character powers say that.

My exact quotation is Varril's character power: "... use your Divine skill instead of any listed skill". The interpretation of this which I am proposing is that it is a replacement. Under this interpretation, if the "listed skill" is combat, and you replace the listed skill with divine, then you have replaced "combat" with "divine". Replacing X with Y means you now have Y and you do not have X. So you now do not have "combat", and you "instead" have "divine". That's what "replacing" means.

I think both you and Brother Tyler seem to think that "combat" has some special status that no other skill has. I ask you in turn, where is that special status declared in the rulebook? It's just a skill like any other, with a few unique characteristics*.

A check is a combat check if and only if it either has the combat trait or the (unreplaced) listed skill you have chosen is combat. Just like a check is an acrobatics check if and only if the check has the acrobatics trait or the (unreplaced) listed skill you have chosen is acrobatics. A "combat divine" check is just a check which is a divine check and is also a combat check. A "non-combat divine" check is just a check which is a divine check and which is also not a combat check.

Thus, if you have replaced combat with divine, and the check is consequently a divine check and not a combat check, then it is a non-combat divine check. If it was still a "combat divine" check, then it hasn't been replaced, Varril's power is no different to Kyra's, and Vic's statement that some powers work differently to Kyra's is very difficult to reconcile.

Incidentally this is exactly why I chose "combat" as my example, I knew it would be controversial...

* Specifically, that no character technically has the skill, that every character effectively has the skill via both strength and melee, that nothing exists which can add the combat trait, and that an inordinate number of cards care about its presence or absence.


elcoderdude wrote:

+1 to the idea that the combat/non-combat distinction is different from the traits of a check.

The RAW for this aren't airtight and seamless, perhaps, but I think we should all agree that a check that says "Combat" in the definition for its difficulty is always a combat check, and one that does not, is not. I don't think we have seen any powers in the game that modify a check from combat to non-combat or vice versa.

Where is this idea coming from? Everyone seems to have it, and yet it doesn't seem to be based on anything whatsoever


Shnik wrote:
So... Why does everyone refer to that one post by Vic, and not the one he made just a few posts lower in the same thread?

I did forget about that post, but what I noticed when I read it just now was:

Vic wrote:
Michael Klaus wrote:
The rules never say that the skill written on the card you encounter defines the type of the check.
You're somewhat correct there, in that there's no explicit statement of that fact, and you're right that there should be.

To me this means the listed skill is added as a trait to the check. Most people I've played with (in person, if not online) assume this. We call something a "Dexterity check" if the difficulty is listed as Dexterity N, and we assume it has the Dexterity trait.

It's feeling mighty lonely in the "elcoderdude school" on this thread (I was going to call it the "skizzerz school" until he mostly abandoned me). But I won't back down: I think the listed skill is added as a trait to the check, and I think Varril's power changes the skill he uses for the check, not the definition of the check. (I won't rehash all the argument above.)

The two alternatives I can see for a straightforward ruling on this are:
(1) A ruling that a check's listed skill is not added as a trait to the check. This resolves the dilemna. The skill used by Varril, WotR Kyra, and Zelhara is added as trait, but the originally listed skill is not.
or
(2) A ruling that a check's listed skill is added as a trait to the check. Also, a change in the language used for powers like Varril's, removing the word "instead" (since people disagree about exactly what is being replaced). For example, Varril's power could be written, "You may discard (□ or recharge) a card to use your Divine skill when you attempt any check."


elcoderdude wrote:

The two alternatives I can see for a straightforward ruling on this are:

(1) A ruling that a check's listed skill is not added as a trait to the check. This resolves the dilemna. The skill used by Varril, WotR Kyra, and Zelhara is added as trait, but the originally listed skill is not.
or
(2) A ruling that a check's listed skill is added as a trait to the check. Also, a change in the language used for powers like Varril's, removing the word "instead" (since people disagree about exactly what is being replaced). For example, Varril's power could be written, "You may discard (□ or recharge) a card to use your Divine skill when you attempt any check."

(3) The listed skill determines the type of check (but is not added as a trait).

(3A) The skill can be replaced but the type cannot ever be replaced.
(3B) The type can be replaced (and Varril and Mattock for that matter do replace it).

Just to be clear, I honestly think (3) sucks. What I want is (2). But, I genuinely believe that (3) is what Vic has consistently described the whole time.

Also, (1) will break everything unless you also declare that combat works differently to everything else.

To answer my own question above, the reason why everyone is so confused about combat is this. The whole "type" concept isn't described in the rules anywhere. It exists in Vic's head as something which is in the category of being self-apparent based on what words mean. Every time Vic (and the rulebook for that matter) talk about the type of check, and the fact that it's impervious to being replaced by skills of the form "use X for your Y check", it's been with regards to combat. Thus we've all (correctly) learned that if it's a combat check, it's still a combat check when you use your bow etc. But, that's not because combat is special. It's because of this allegedly self-evident and thus unexplained concept of the "type" of check.

But, I've seen no evidence so far of anyone even remotely getting what I'm trying to say here, so I obviously suck at explaining it, and plan to give up for now.


elcoderdude wrote:

The two alternatives I can see for a straightforward ruling on this are:

(1) A ruling that a check's listed skill is not added as a trait to the check. This resolves the dilemna. The skill used by Varril, WotR Kyra, and Zelhara is added as trait, but the originally listed skill is not.
or
(2) A ruling that a check's listed skill is added as a trait to the check. Also, a change in the language used for powers like Varril's, removing the word "instead" (since people disagree about exactly what is being replaced). For example, Varril's power could be written, "You may discard (□ or recharge) a card to use your Divine skill when you attempt any check."

ٍI notice (1) means we could no longer use "a Dexterity check" to mean a check whose definition lists the skill Dexterity. In the rulespace, "a Dexterity check" is a check that has the trait Dexterity, but according to option #1 you wouldn't know if a check has that trait until you know what skill a character is using for it.

This isn't a great situation in a game where word count is at a premium ("check whose difficulty lists Dexterity as a skill" vs "Dexterity check").
But maybe this doesn't result in any significant game effect.

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I look forward to this being resolved so ya'all can stop fighting about it. Lol


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Shnik wrote:
skizzerz wrote:

If Vic's post didn't exist, I'd be in the "Hawkmoon school" as well (as I stated on the first page of this thread), because by RAW that interpretation is the only really logical one. If you're replacing a thing, the original thing never happens. This is the case when you do things like recharge instead of banish. Why is it not the case when you use Divine instead of Dexterity?

Vic's post on WotR Kyra contradicts that line of logic, and attempting to reconcile what the rulebook says with that post is what is making this less clear than it should be.

So... Why does everyone refer to that one post by Vic, and not the one he made just a few posts lower in the same thread?

Vic Wertz wrote:
The context of the question I was replying to was "should [we] take Kyra's power as 'instead of'." So when I said "It's not changing the type of check," I meant that "the new skill is not replacing the required skill, it's adding to it." There are powers that explicitly replace the original skill, but Kyra's power (and standard weapon powers) don't do that. So when I said "So if it's a combat check, it's still a combat check—and it now also has the Divine, Wisdom, Attack, and Magic traits," that means it's a Combat check, a Divine check, a Wisdom check, an Attack check, and a Magic check.
That seems to pretty clearly state that Kyra's power and Varril's "instead of" power don't work the same way, and that "instead of" powers do in fact replace the required/ original skill.

I missed that / didn’t remember that. I personally believe that is an overly-fine hair to split. If I wanted exceptions to exceptions to exceptions I’d be playing the RPG (which I do, and I like me some crunch, but keep it to there). The ACG should shine on simplification and abstraction, and I see no benefit to having two classes of powers here but lots of gotchas for new players to learn the ropes.

In any case, the rulebook itself has no notion of type of check, all we have is Vic’s posts. It seems clear that maintaining a type of check separate of what skill is being used is the intent, so that should 1) be made explicit in the rulebook, 2) work the same for all classes of Determine Which Skill You’re Using powers, and 3) as a consequence, it would mean we no longer have to add a special case for combat, because if 1 and 2 are true then the combat or non-combat state of a check can never be changed anyway just by following RAW.

Simple, clear, and with no additional exceptions or caveats. If we can’t have 2, we can’t have 3, which means more exceptions and corner cases, and therefore more uncertainty and need for future errata. (Or, we could have 3 without having 2, it just means Varril and similar powers can then turn combat checks into non-combat checks, which is also fine by me — I’m just opposed to saying “you can replace what is listed on the card in its entirety, unless that thing is combat in which case you can’t replace it but still proceed with using the power anyway.” Saying can never replace combat precludes use of Varril’s power, so there would have to be some lingual loopholes to jump through in order to say the power can still be used as an outright replacement but combat sticks around; complexity that this game doesn’t need more of)

@elcoderdude: I didn’t abandon you! I still rule that the type of a check (i.e. what is on the card) matters and should matter. I’ve been largely ignoring the second Vic post (forgot that it existed), although since I find it makes the game worse as a whole in my opinion, I’m going to keep ignoring it until an FAQ or new rulebook makes it explicit.


Irgy wrote:


I think both you and Brother Tyler seem to think that "combat" has some special status that no other skill has. I ask you in turn, where is that special status declared in the rulebook? It's just a skill like any other, with a few unique characteristics*.

I don't *think* that combat is a special skill because i *know* there is no such think in Pathfinder ACG such thing as combat *skill*. There is only a combat check. Don't believe me? search for a card that boost your combat skill, scan it and send me. I can assure you - there is no such card. You cannot replace combat check with divine skill because there are completely separate things and now you are just making up your own rules.

Irgy wrote:
A check is a combat check if and only if it either has the combat trait or the (unreplaced) listed skill you have chosen is combat.

Not true again. A check is only a combat check when "check to defeat/check to acquire" box lists combat. They are just called combat checks, not "checks with combat trait". Is there any card with printed "combat" word on the left upper part of the card ? I doubt it.

Irgy wrote:
Just like a check is an acrobatics check if and only if the check has the acrobatics trait

Not true again! Man, you really should read the rulebook carefully.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
SimonB wrote:
I don't *think* that combat is a special skill because i *know* there is no such think in Pathfinder ACG such thing as combat *skill*.

I'm really rooting for this in the resolution. I'd be mighty peeved if all of a sudden 'combat' is declared to be some kind of special and unique "skill", while any other form of resolution seem, in my head, to be much more intuitive and practical.


Longshot11 wrote:
SimonB wrote:
I don't *think* that combat is a special skill because i *know* there is no such think in Pathfinder ACG such thing as combat *skill*.
I'm really rooting for this in the resolution. I'd be mighty peeved if all of a sudden 'combat' is declared to be some kind of special and unique "skill", while any other form of resolution seem, in my head, to be much more intuitive and practical.

Well, the rulebook does state that combat checks are an exception, and they have their own way of determining the skill you use (which isn't "combat"):

MM rulebook, p.11 wrote:
Most monsters and some barriers call for a combat check. Weapons and many other cards that can be used during combat generally tell you what skill to use when you attempt a combat check; if you aren’t playing one of those cards, you must use your Strength or Melee skill.

So, for Varril, he'd have a combat check -> not using a card? Use your Strength skill, which he can replace by his Divine skill with his power. Still a combat check, since that isn't a skill that got replaced, no matter how you read it. (Whether it's still a Strength check is up in the air...)


SimonB wrote:
Irgy wrote:


I think both you and Brother Tyler seem to think that "combat" has some special status that no other skill has. I ask you in turn, where is that special status declared in the rulebook? It's just a skill like any other, with a few unique characteristics*.

I don't *think* that combat is a special skill because i *know* there is no such think in Pathfinder ACG such thing as combat *skill*. There is only a combat check. Don't believe me? search for a card that boost your combat skill, scan it and send me. I can assure you - there is no such card. You cannot replace combat check with divine skill because there are completely separate things and now you are just making up your own rules.

Irgy wrote:
A check is a combat check if and only if it either has the combat trait or the (unreplaced) listed skill you have chosen is combat.

Not true again. A check is only a combat check when "check to defeat/check to acquire" box lists combat. They are just called combat checks, not "checks with combat trait". Is there any card with printed "combat" word on the left upper part of the card ? I doubt it.

Irgy wrote:
Just like a check is an acrobatics check if and only if the check has the acrobatics trait
Not true again! Man, you really should read the rulebook carefully.

EDIT: I'd written a bunch of other stuff, but then I dug up this thread.

Ok, see this thread

Vic: "We're now talking about explicitly making it NOT a skill."

Which you could read two (similar) ways:
It's a skill, but they're thinking of changing that
It's not a skill, but this isn't explicit

Either way, don't go telling me you "know" it's not a skill when the designers themselves have, at the very least, said this is not explicit. Don't go telling me to read the rulebook when the rulebook says things like:
"Cards that require a check specify the skill or skills you can use to attempt the check" <- No mention of non-skills also being listed.

I think I'm back to just saying this:
Can the designers of this game please decide how the rules work, and then tell us?

My suggestion:
* Combat is a skill.
* The listed skill you choose is added as a trait to the check.

That's it. This is overwhelmingly simpler than any alternative. No special cases. All the examples in the rulebook would still work. Everything that we currently agree on would still work the way we agree on, albeit for technically different (simpler) reasons in some cases.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Combat is neither a skill nor a trait, nor should it be (in my opinion). No character anywhere has either Combat or Non-Combat as skills. And no banes or boons anywhere (that I can recall) have either Combat or Non-Combat as traits.

Combat is simply one of the two types of check, with non-combat being the other type. No, neither is defined as a "type" in any rulebook, but checks are undeniably and unequivocally either combat or non-combat. Water is wet and fire is hot. This is where the "explicitly" verbiage comes into play (granted, that's my interpretation).

A Combat check merely identifies that you can use a number of different skills depending on your boons and/or powers - weapons using the Strength, Dexterity, Melee, and Ranged skills, and spells using the Arcane or Divine skills are the most common (though there are some exceptions here and there) - and specific skills/powers aren't defined beyond the rubric of "combat" (and this is specified by the verbiage of "for your combat check..." on the power or card). Meanwhile, Non-combat checks are more specific in regard to which skills may be used. But a Melee or Ranged check can be non-combat (e.g., a Ranged check to acquire a Longbow). Similarly, a Divine check might be combat (using Steal Soul, for example) or non-combat (acquiring most blessings). So in the example of Varril's power, simply using the Divine skill in place of the Dexterity/Ranged skill for a combat check wouldn't implicitly change a combat check to a non-combat check because the power doesn't say that this happens (i.e., cards do what they say, and cards don't do what they don't say).

Bringing combat and non-combat into the discussion is a red herring, distracting from and masking the actual topic of this discussion - the question about whether or not the use of the replacement skill affects the traits of the check. The question started (I think) with Varril, but the stable of characters to which the question applies has grown (Mavaro, others). If I've read the discussion correctly, we are left with three possibilities:

  • The check changes to the replacement skill (e.g., becoming Wisdom/Divine instead of Dexterity/Ranged in my example)
  • The check adds the replacement skill to the original skill (e.g., remaining a Dexterity/Ranged check while also becoming a Wisdom/Divine check)
  • The check simply remains the original skill (e.g., the check remains a Dexterity/Ranged check, though the character is using Wisdom/Divine).
Valid arguments could be (and have been) made for any of the possibilities. Truth be told, each argument is valid under certain conditions, and making rules for all of those conditions would create a level of complexity that might not be necessary. We're just looking to the designers to give us the official ruling.

The simplest outcome (in my admittedly simple mind) is that the replacement skill is added as a trait, with the original skill remaining valid. This would mean that, in the case of Varril, the hypothetical combat Ranged/Dexterity check remains a combat check with the Ranged and Dexterity traits, but additionally has the Wisdom and Divine traits (the former because Varril's Divine skill is tied to his Wisdom). Similarly, all those times that Mavaro uses his Intelligence skill for some check, he would add the Intelligence trait to the trait of the skill that he is replacing (and any other traits invoked by the check).

Any "lack of realism" from the solution would fall into the same camp as Harsk shooting his crossbow from some underground location into some above ground location, or a bell falling on Lem in the woods (i.e., allow for abstractions).

Irgy's initial response in this discussion sums that up nicely. ;)

We've all made this way more complicated than it really is in the ensuing discussion.


Brother Tyler wrote:
  • The check changes to the replacement skill (e.g., becoming Wisdom/Divine instead of Dexterity/Ranged in my example)
  • The check adds the replacement skill to the original skill (e.g., remaining a Dexterity/Ranged check while also becoming a Wisdom/Divine check)
  • The check simply remains the original skill (e.g., the check remains a Dexterity/Ranged check, though the character is using Wisdom/Divine.

At the risk of exasperating our good Venture Captain cartmanbeck by extending the discussion, this glosses over a point in contention: the rules never say the original listed skill is added as a trait to the check, and some people are arguing that it isn't. We need a ruling on that.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

True enough.

I don't think it's that the skills are invoked as traits, though. It's more that the check is (going back to my example) Dexterity/Ranged and then Varril uses Wisdom/Divine instead; and we're left figuring out if it the check is now Dexterity/Ranged/Wisdom/Divine or Wisdom/Divine or if it just remains Dexterity/Ranged.

This really comes down to whether or not other powers and cards, such as blessings, can affect the role (i.e., would a Blessing of Shelyn add 1 die or 2 dice to a Dexterity/Ranged check for which Varril is using his Divine skill?).

To me, this comes down to the last paragraph of Play Cards and Use Powers That Affect Your Check (Optional) on page 12 of the Mummy's Mask rulebook. A paragraph needs to be added after that paragraph to cover replacement skills. I'm using Varril in the following examples, but each AP rulebook would have to use some character/boon that is found within that AP. It could look like any of the following:

replacement skill adds wrote:
Some cards allow you to replace a specific skill with a different one. For example, Varril has a power that allows him to use Divine instead of a listed skill on a check. In these instances, the check counts as both the original and replacement skills.
replacement skill isn't added wrote:
Some cards allow you to replace a specific skill with a different one. For example, Varril has a power that allows him to use Divine instead of a listed skill on a check. In these instances, the check only counts as the original skill.
replacement skill replaces original wrote:
Some cards allow you to replace a specific skill with a different one. For example, Varril has a power that allows him to use Divine instead of a listed skill on a check. In these instances, the check no longer counts as the original skill and becomes the replacement skill, instead.

Okay, those (well, whichever one it is that becomes the official outcome) can be tightened up a bit, but that's the gist of the potential outcomes. So it's not that the skill is added as a trait to the check (clumsy wording on my part previously), but what skill(s) the check is counted as.

And is this within cartmanbeck's sphere of authority? Or does it fall to the Paizo/Lone Shark crew? This is more of a FAQ thing (in my mind), not online/organized play specific.

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Unfortunately I do not have the authority to make a ruling on this in a blanket-y way.

I THINK I would be allowed to make a ruling for "my region" until it's clarified, which would affect online games only, but I will refrain from doing that at the moment until I verify that with Tonya in the hopes that there will be something more official before then.

With that said, the following is my personal opinion of how this all works, and should not be considered official anything:
I feel that the CORRECT answer (though not necessarily the one I personally would like to see as the ruling) is that the check keeps the original skills as its base in all these cases, and does not add the new skills to the check. I'll use Mavaro as my main example, with evidence of this being that during our playtesting of Mavaro, Keith told me that it worked this way:

Mavaro:
Mavaro is encountering a spell with a check to acquire of Wisdom/Divine 12. He does not have the Divine skill normally, but he can display a Cure spell from his hand to gain Wisdom and Divine equal to his Intelligence until the end of the turn.

Mavaro powers wrote:


You may display a card to gain all skills listed on the check to acquire for that card equal to your Intelligence until the end of the turn. (□ You may also add any of that card’s traits to your checks during this turn.) At the end of the turn, recharge the displayed cards.

This means he can make a Divine check using his Intelligence skill, but he CANNOT use the following power from his Acquisitor role because it's not an Intelligence check:

Mavaro Acquisitor wrote:


□ On your Intelligence check, after the roll, you may bury (□ or discard) a weapon, an armor, or an item to add or subtract 3.

Varill:

Now, the wording of Varill's power, I agree, makes the scenario more complicated to interpret, but I believe the true answer is that it works exactly the same way as Mavaro's power.

So, let's say Varill runs into a monster with the following skills to defeat: Combat 14 OR Dexterity/Disable 11.
Note that Combat is not a skill, and the rulebook tells you what skills you can use for Combat (Strength or Melee) unless you have a power that lets you use a different skill for Combat.
Let's also assume that Varill happens to have a mace in hand. He could reveal that Mace to use his Strength skill + 1d6. Then he activates this power:

Varill powers wrote:


When you attempt any check, you may discard (□ or recharge) a card to use your Divine skill instead of any listed skill.

This lets him use his Divine skill instead of his Strength skill, giving him his Divine skill + 1d6. BUT, this is still a Strength check, so he can't use a power that would add to a Wisdom or Divine check.

Let's say instead that he didn't have that mace in hand. He could instead go up against the Dexterity/Disable check, and could activate the same power to use his Divine skill instead, but it would still not be a Wisdom or Divine check.

Zelhara:
Her power is worded essentially the same way that Varill's is, so let's use the following scenario:
Zelhara runs into a monster with Combat 14 difficulty. In her hand, she has a Hangman's Noose, which has both the Chain and Finesse traits and will let her use Strength or Melee + 2d4+1 on reveal. So she activates this power:

Zelhara powers wrote:


On your check that invokes the Chain, Finesse, or Knife trait, you may use Divine instead of the listed skill.

So, she's now using her Divine skill + 2d4+1, but it's still a Strength or Melee check.

Now, once again, I'm interpreting things this way because I was told that Mavaro works that way... that doesn't mean I'm right. LOL


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I'm with Irgy on what my ideal solution would be. It's simple and easy to just call Combat a skill, while retaining the rule that unless you play a card or use a power that lets you do something for combat checks, you must use your Strength or Melee skill for it.

1. Call Combat a skill. Right now, the rulebook implies that combat is not a skill due to the number of times it uses wording like on p25: "Check to Defeat: This is the skill check or combat check needed to defeat the bane." If we call it a skill and implement the other suggestion in this post, nothing changes in terms of how cards work, but we can remove a lot of words from the rulebook and simplify the game.

2. Make the initial skill called for in a check (the original type of the check) always added as a trait. Note that the type of a check is already defined in the rulebook, so we are not adding any new game terms. This means that even if Varril or someone else replaces Combat with Divine, the check is still a combat check. It keeps the status quo, does not introduce any new terms, and could be accomplished with a couple of additional words in Determine Which Skill You're Using (blue = added): "The listed skill you chose for the check, the skill you’re using for the check, and any skill referenced by that skill, are added as traits to the check." (previously in the same section, there is the content "Each check to defeat or acquire a card lists one or more skills; you may choose any of the listed skills for your check." that defines the term "listed skill" and makes it clear what is being referred to here).

Then, a combat check is simply a check with the Combat trait. A non-combat check is a check that lacks the Combat trait. The same applies for any other type of check. We don't need a magical "combat" status which lives above and beyond the trait system, rather we simply get that as a consequence of making these simplifications.

All existing cards are compatible with these changes. Skill replacement powers can still be distinct from more typical "use your X skill" powers if desired, although additional language will be needed to highlight that for combat checks, it is replacing the Strength or Melee skill being used, and not the overall Combat skill. I find this extra nuance not really all that interesting of a design space, and would personally prefer if skill replacement powers worked exactly the same as typical skill use powers.


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cartmanbeck wrote:
Mavaro powers wrote:


You may display a card to gain all skills listed on the check to acquire for that card equal to your Intelligence until the end of the turn. (□ You may also add any of that card’s traits to your checks during this turn.) At the end of the turn, recharge the displayed cards.
This means he can make a Divine check using his Intelligence skill,...

I think it best we don't drag Mavaro into the discussion lest we obfuscate the matter further. I, for one, have a completely different understanding of how he works , i.e. with the above power you're in no way, shape or form USING his Intelligence! You're just 'bumping' your natural die in another skill (say, an 'untrained' d4) to a higher value - you only refer to Intelligence to see how much you bump it (by default, you bump it to Int's d10 + 0 modifiers)

cartmanbeck wrote:


Varill:
He could reveal that Mace to use his Strength skill + 1d6. Then he activates this power: ...

On a different note, this is yet another instance I see that people assume they can play a weapon, and THEN apply Varyl's power. Doesn't this contradict the rule below, or am I missing something?

Rulebook wrote:
Some cards allow you to use a particular skill for a specific type of check, or to use one skill instead of another. You may play only 1 such card or use only 1 such power to determine which skill you’re using.

(Granted, this will never be an issue with my understanding of Varyl's power - he would always default to bare-handed Strength/Melee for his combat, then CHANGE that to Divine.

However, if his power said "You may use Divine for your Dexterity check" - he would not be able to play a Bow, and then the power on his combat check)

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Longshot11 wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
Mavaro powers wrote:


You may display a card to gain all skills listed on the check to acquire for that card equal to your Intelligence until the end of the turn. (□ You may also add any of that card’s traits to your checks during this turn.) At the end of the turn, recharge the displayed cards.
This means he can make a Divine check using his Intelligence skill,...

I think it best we don't drag Mavaro into the discussion lest we obfuscate the matter further. I, for one, have a completely different understanding of how he works , i.e. with the above power you're in no way, shape or form USING his Intelligence! You're just 'bumping' your natural die in another skill (say, an 'untrained' d4) to a higher value - you only refer to Intelligence to see how much you bump it (by default, you bump it to Int's d10 + 0 modifiers)

You're correct, I mis-typed there. I should have said "This means he can make a Divine check using the same die and bonuses he would get by rolling his Intelligence skill, but it is NOT an Intelligence check."

Longshot11 wrote:


cartmanbeck wrote:


Varill:
He could reveal that Mace to use his Strength skill + 1d6. Then he activates this power: ...

On a different note, this is yet another instance I see that people assume they can play a weapon, and THEN apply Varyl's power. Doesn't this contradict the rule below, or am I missing something?

Rulebook wrote:
Some cards allow you to use a particular skill for a specific type of check, or to use one skill instead of another. You may play only 1 such card or use only 1 such power to determine which skill you’re using.

(Granted, this will never be an issue with my understanding of Varyl's power - he would always default to bare-handed Strength/Melee for his combat, then CHANGE that to Divine.

However, if his power said "You may use Divine for your Dexterity check" - he would not be able to play a Bow, and then the power on his combat check)

I don't think this is actually a contradiction, because you're setting the skill needed for the check by playing the weapon (Strength or Melee), and then you use his power to use his Divine skill in place of THAT skill (which is now the "listed" skill, as far as I can tell from previous clarifications), but the important part is that no matter the order you use the powers in, you can use a weapon with this power for a combat check.

That was probably confusing, so let me clarify with an example that would hopefully never happen: a character that can situationally replace his skills in sequence.

Let's say you have a character that has these two powers:

hypothetical ridiculous character wrote:


When you play a weapon with the Finesse trait, you gain the skill Melee: Dexterity +1.
On your combat check that invokes the Fire trait, you may use your Wisdom skill instead of Dexterity.

So let's say you have a Finesse weapon in hand that adds 1d6, and you are fighting a monster with the Fire trait. You'd do this sequence:

ridiculous character's combat sequence wrote:


Play your weapon, gaining the skill Melee: Dexterity +1. The skill determined for the check is now officially Dexterity/Melee because of the weapon's "For your combat check..." power.

Use your second power, which lets you use Wisdom in place of Dexterity. [In Varill's case, replace the word "Dexterity" with "listed skill" and it works exactly the same way]. The skill is still a Dexterity/Melee check, but you're rolling Wisdom + 1 + 1d6.

You only played one power that determined the skill for the check... you made it a Dexterity/Melee check. Then you played a power that substituted your Wisdom skill for your Dexterity... in my opinion, this doesn't change the skill you're using.... you're using Dexterity. It just happens to be replaced with the stuff you'd normally roll for Divine.

Again, this is how I believe it works because this is how Mavaro works, and no character should work better than Mavaro. Ever. :-P

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I'd like to formally rescind both of the posts I made above. I've gotten it clarified to me that when Varill activates his power to use his Divine skill in place of another skill, it becomes a Divine check.

What hasn't been fully clarified is whether it is still a check of the other type. So if he uses Divine in place of Strength, it's still not clear if it's just a Divine check or if it's a Divine check AND a Strength check.

Should have known better than to stick my toes in this water. LOL


I just, because I can't help myself, want to emphasize just how much less complicated the world could be with combat as a skill and the listed skill added as a trait. Here's what you would need to understand for that:
Combat as a skill:
* Cards list the skills required to acquire or defeat.
* The skill you select is added as a trait.
* Replacement powers let you use a different skill instead, under the given conditions. Cards with replacement powers add their traits to the check.
* The skills you use (including their dependencies) are added as traits.
* A check is an X check if and only if it has the X trait, and a non-X check if it does not have the X trait.
* Every character has the skills "Combat: Melee" and "Combat: Strength" (though feel free to not change the way this is described already since that also still works)
* Every replacement power is the same, they just replace one skill with another.

Current approach:
* Cards list the either the skills required to acquire or defeat or the type of non-skill check required to acquire or defeat (or a mix of both).
* The skill you select determines whether the check is combat or non-combat. If it's non-combat it also determines which skill you use for the check.
* Replacement powers either let you determine which skill to use in the first place (under the given conditions), or replace the listed skill with a different skill instead (under the givenconditions). Cards with replacement powers add their traits to the check. They can't change whether or not it is a combat check no matter how they're worded. If it's a different type of check, e.g. a dexterity check, they may or may not change whether or not it's a dexterity check depending on the wording of the power and depending on rulings we don't have yet.
* The skills you use (including their dependencies) are added as traits.
* A check is a combat check if you selected combat from the list, regardless of what you did afterwards, and a non-combat check otherwise. A check is an X (for X ≠ combat) check if it has the X trait, or the skill you selected was X and hasn't been replaced (maybe, this isn't entirely clear), and a non-X check otherwise.
* You can use your melee or strength skill for a combat check.
* Some powers use a skill for a particular type of check or under certain conditions without replacing the type of check. Some replace the skill if it's not combat, but effectively don't replace it if it is combat. Varril's power may or may not be able to be used against a typical monster at all, since it replaces a skill and combat is not a skill, but it depends how you read the power ("instead of the chosen skill" vs "instead of choosing a skill at all"), and also on whether combat is enough like a skill that you should be able to treat it like one when it's convenient even though it isn't actually a skill.

And yet, the final result at the end of all that is almost identical either way. The difference being cases that are either poorly understood, unresolved, or simply not that critical.

Longshot11 wrote:
On a different note, this is yet another instance I see that people assume they can play a weapon, and THEN apply Varyl's power. Doesn't this contradict the rule below, or am I missing something?

Mavaro's power isn't determining the skill you use for the check. The skill you use for the check is still "Strength". Mavaro's power gives him the skill "Strength: d10 + X". This is not the same as gaining "Strength: Intelligence + 0", and the difference is it says the skill is "equal to" his intelligence, rather than that it "is" his intelligence. "Equal to" means something is a distinct entity but has the same value. It's also not the same as using his Intelligence for a Strength check, like Varril's power does. The rule you're quoting does stop Varril from revealing a weapon and then using his power to replace the Strength skill.

I don't think it's bad to bring Mavaro into this, because it's all the one big mess and any suggested solutions or interpretations both affect and are affected by Mavaro. Making combat a skill for instance mean Mavaro can now gain it as a skill, which is one of the few things that would actually change. Though I see this impact as being very minimal (since he can already more easily gain Strength or Melee instead).


Longshot11 wrote:

On a different note, this is yet another instance I see that people assume they can play a weapon, and THEN apply Varril's power. Doesn't this contradict the rule below, or am I missing something?

Rulebook wrote:
Some cards allow you to use a particular skill for a specific type of check, or to use one skill instead of another. You may play only 1 such card or use only 1 such power to determine which skill you’re using.

(Granted, this will never be an issue with my understanding of Varril's power - he would always default to bare-handed Strength/Melee for his combat, then CHANGE that to Divine.

However, if his power said "You may use Divine for your Dexterity check" - he would not be able to play a Bow, and then the power on his combat check)

We covered that in this thread, which references this post by Vic.

Basically, Vic wants to finesse the replace-Combat-with-skill language to make it clear that powers like Varril's can be used after you choose Strength or Melee for your barehanded Combat check, as well as after you choose a weapon for your Combat check.


Irgy wrote:
I just, because I can't help myself, want to emphasize just how much less complicated the world could be with combat as a skill and the listed skill added as a trait.

I'm used to treating combat/non-combat as a special thing that is unlike any other use of skills, but I agree Irgy's proposal is very clean and straightforward.

+1 to explicitly stating that the listed skill defining the difficulty of your check is added as a trait to your check.


elcoderdude wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:

On a different note, this is yet another instance I see that people assume they can play a weapon, and THEN apply Varril's power. Doesn't this contradict the rule below, or am I missing something?

Rulebook wrote:
Some cards allow you to use a particular skill for a specific type of check, or to use one skill instead of another. You may play only 1 such card or use only 1 such power to determine which skill you’re using.

(Granted, this will never be an issue with my understanding of Varril's power - he would always default to bare-handed Strength/Melee for his combat, then CHANGE that to Divine.

However, if his power said "You may use Divine for your Dexterity check" - he would not be able to play a Bow, and then the power on his combat check)

We covered that in this thread, which references this post by Vic.

Basically, Vic wants to finesse the replace-Combat-with-skill language to make it clear that powers like Varril's can be used after you choose Strength or Melee for your barehanded Combat check, as well as after you choose a weapon for your Combat check.

Yeah, no, I'm still not buying that.

That Varril can use his power after selecting Strength or Melee for his combat check, sure, absolutely. However, this part of your sentence: "as well as after you choose a weapon for your Combat check", is not supported or even hinted at in anything Vic wrote, as well as going directly against the rules:

MM Rulebook p.11 wrote:
Some cards allow you to use a particular skill for a specific type of check, or to use one skill instead of another. (These cards generally say things like “For your combat check, use your Strength or Melee skill,” or “Use your Strength skill instead of your Diplomacy skill.”) You may play only 1 such card or use only 1 such power to determine which skill you’re using.

Which part of Varril's power makes you think that it allows you to circumvent the part in bold?


Shnik wrote:
Basically, Vic wants to finesse the replace-Combat-with-skill language to make it clear that powers like Varril's can be used after you choose Strength or Melee for your barehanded Combat check, as well as after you choose a weapon for your Combat check.

Yeah, no, I'm still not buying that.

That Varril can use his power after selecting Strength or Melee for his combat check, sure, absolutely. However, this part of your sentence: "as well as after you choose a weapon for your Combat check", is not supported or even hinted at in anything Vic wrote, as well as going directly against the rules:

MM Rulebook p.11 wrote:
Some cards allow you to use a particular skill for a specific type of check, or to use one skill instead of another. (These cards generally say things like “For your combat check, use your Strength or Melee skill,” or “Use your Strength skill instead of your Diplomacy skill.”) You may play only 1 such card
...

If you read further down that thread, there's an example with Noxious Bomb, and about it Vic says:

"I'm pretty sure that we want "listed" to mean what I said above, which excludes Craft in this example, but I'll check."

Which is implying (by omission) that the "dexterity" part of the check would be considered to be the listed skill once you use the nox-bomb

But I agree that whether it counts as the listed skill or not, you shouldn't be able to apply both powers, because they both determine the skill you use and as the rule you quote says you can only use one. And heck, Varril seems to me totally overpowered already, combat is the only thing he's kind-of bad at (though he can still just use a divine attack spell). Being able to also use any sort of weapon he likes with d8 + 3 + [0-4] as his base skill would be even further over the top.


Shnik wrote:
elcoderdude wrote:
Basically, Vic wants to finesse the replace-Combat-with-skill language to make it clear that powers like Varril's can be used after you choose Strength or Melee for your barehanded Combat check, as well as after you choose a weapon for your Combat check.

Yeah, no, I'm still not buying that.

That Varril can use his power after selecting Strength or Melee for his combat check, sure, absolutely. However, this part of your sentence: "as well as after you choose a weapon for your Combat check", is not supported or even hinted at in anything Vic wrote, as well as going directly against the rules...

Um... not supported or even hinted at?

cited Vic quote wrote:
Anything that refers to "listed skills" for a check includes the skills specified by the card itself and, if the card specifies Combat, the skill that you're using for combat.

If Varril makes a Combat check using a dagger, the skill he is using for Combat is Dexterity. Vic says "the skill you're using for combat" is a listed skill. So Dexterity is the listed skill.

In that thread Eliandra states this exact example -- Varril using a dagger, and so using his Dexterity, and using his power to use Divine instead. skizzerz agrees yes, it works that way, and then Vic responds to skizzerz without disputing that. So, Vic endorsed the view. QED.

On reflection, though, this seems to be a proposed ruling. Hate to say it, but we could use official confirmation, if it hasn't already been made.


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The Varril thing is tangential to the point of this thread, can we maybe take it somewhere else if it really needs additional discussion? There is a very major issue that this thread is seeking to resolve and further discussion on Varril only serves to distract from that.

EDIT: I made a thread along with a summary of what I believe the actual issue/disagreement is, discuss your thoughts there.


Quote:
I just, because I can't help myself, want to emphasize just how much less complicated the world could be with combat as a skill and the listed skill added as a trait.

I don't see any complication in current ruling ( I mean, of course strict by-the-rulebook ruling). I also don't see any benefit of changing combat to a skill, only confusion that it will cause. I also don't find that approach intuitive at all.

If you make such fundamental change after 4 years of game's initial release, you have to carefully read every single card that exist in the game and predict every game-breaking combination, or you will open can of worms. The very first "combat-is-a-skill" problem I see, is that every unarmed character should roll d4 for his combat check, as none of characters have "combat" skill and any card can boost your combat, instead of generic way of throwing blessings. Of course, you can still leave in the manual that combat check is the only check in game that does not require you to have skill that corresponds with said check and leave default strength/melee. But it just cancels benefits of proposed change.


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SimonB wrote:
Quote:
I just, because I can't help myself, want to emphasize just how much less complicated the world could be with combat as a skill and the listed skill added as a trait.

I don't see any complication in current ruling ( I mean, of course strict by-the-rulebook ruling). I also don't see any benefit of changing combat to a skill, only confusion that it will cause. I also don't find that approach intuitive at all.

If you make such fundamental change after 4 years of game's initial release, you have to carefully read every single card that exist in the game and predict every game-breaking combination, or you will open can of worms. The very first "combat-is-a-skill" problem I see, is that every unarmed character should roll d4 for his combat check, as none of characters have "combat" skill and any card can boost your combat, instead of generic way of throwing blessings. Of course, you can still leave in the manual that combat check is the only check in game that does not require you to have skill that corresponds with said check and leave default strength/melee. But it just cancels benefits of proposed change.

The current ruling requires exceptions layered on exceptions in order to receive the desired effect. What Irgy and I are proposing achieves the same end result (i.e. no actual changes to how things work, just clearer and more straightforward rules to get there). It's simplification without losing any expressiveness or power in terms of what can be accomplished, and is fully backwards-compatible with every existing card because it keeps the status quo exactly the same.

The rule that you must use your Strength or Melee skill should you not use any other card or power on Combat checks would remain as-is, so you cannot suddenly roll a d4 for unarmed combat when you could not previously -- you're still locked into Strength/Melee. That rule would not even need revised wording, it works as-is even if you treat Combat as a skill.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Here's what we want: If the card you're making a check against requires an [X] check, and you use a power that lets you use the skill [Y] for it, the check gets both the X and Y traits.

Also, you always determine which skill you’re using during the Determine Which Skill You’re Using action, and the rule "You may play only 1 such card or use only 1 such power to determine which skill you’re using" needs to be followed (unless something specifically overrides it Golden Rule–style). We are definitely going to need to do an override for Zelhara, but I suspect we will not do it for Varril (meaning if Varill uses his power, he can't also use a weapon).

We want all of this to be consistent for all character powers, and we recognize that this may mean rewording some of them.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

To be clear, does this intent also apply to powers which replace X with Y (as in, you require an X check, you have a power that replaces X with Y as opposed to the more common "use your Y skill" wording)? If the intent applies to skill replacement powers, is there any mechanical difference between such wording and the more common "use your skill" wording (if so, I can't think of any cases)? For the second question, let's assume that the power in question does not contain a clause that lets it be played alongside a weapon/spell/whatever, i.e. it's your one Determine Which Skill You're Using power.

Are you taking suggestions for how to reword rules/powers or would that not be helpful?


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I'm of two minds wrt Varril not being able to use a weapon with his power, having played him:

-He's got very few spells in his deck compared to most other casters, so it's hard for him to spellcaster main - he has to use a weapon with a d6 DEX up to +3 (probably do that over a d6 +1 STR).
-On the other hand, rolling d8+2d4+15/+17 combat checks with only a single recharge was a little ridiculous. (AD6 Melted Blade + Divine/Wisdom +7 + Invoke power +2/+4 - that being said, you do give up a lot for being that good at combat)
-Contrast Zadim who gets 2d8+2d4+18/+20 on the same weapon (with his recharge power, +20 is with the Executioner role) - except that Zadim isn't also good at every other skill check. (Of course, the extra d8 on the combat makes things a lot more reliable)

If Varril doesn't get errata'd (and I'm leaning towards no as well), it wouldn't be the end of the world - he'd be a little costly in terms of requiring blessing support and less effective combat wise, but he does take care of barriers fairly well.


I'm glad to get some clarity on these issues, which the community is clearly divided about.

The Inquisitor deck requires you to mainly fight with weapons. This ruling nerfs Varril quite considerably. OTOH, using his replacement skill with a weapon makes the character OP, since he smashes every non-Combat check, so I understand the tradeoff.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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skizzerz wrote:
To be clear, does this intent also apply to powers which replace X with Y (as in, you require an X check, you have a power that replaces X with Y as opposed to the more common "use your Y skill" wording)?

Assume the things I said apply to *all* powers that let you use one skill when the card you're attempting the check against specified another, be it a character power, a weapon, an Attack spell, an item like Mattock, whatever. The only exception we're looking at right now is Zelhara's power, "On your check that invokes the Chain, Finesse, or Knife trait, you may use Divine instead of the listed skill."

skizzerz wrote:
Are you taking suggestions for how to reword rules/powers or would that not be helpful?

No need for that, but what would be helpful is if you can think of any such powers that (like Zelhara's) are not actually useful if they can't be combined with another [weapon, Attack spell, item like Mattock, whatever], or (again like Zelhara's) don't seem to belong in the Determine Which Skill You’re Using action.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Weapon Master Valeros's "Melee instead of Ranged" seems like it might be in that area.


I might also suggest adding Mother Myrtle's "You may use your Wisdom skill for your Arcane (or Divine) check", because without it she literally has no way to engage in combat without having a d4 for the base skill (d4 str, d4 dex, no melee, no ranged, no arcane, no divine).


Vic Wertz wrote:

Here's what we want: If the card you're making a check against requires an [X] check, and you use a power that lets you use the skill [Y] for it, the check gets both the X and Y traits.

Also, you always determine which skill you’re using during the Determine Which Skill You’re Using action, and the rule "You may play only 1 such card or use only 1 such power to determine which skill you’re using" needs to be followed (unless something specifically overrides it Golden Rule–style). We are definitely going to need to do an override for Zelhara, but I suspect we will not do it for Varril (meaning if Varill uses his power, he can't also use a weapon).

We want all of this to be consistent for all character powers, and we recognize that this may mean rewording some of them.

Will this affect Mavaro?


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Dan Bongiorno wrote:
Will this affect Mavaro?

Mavaro is another matter entirely. He doesn't "replace skill" or "use X instead of Y" - he GAINS skills (or, for all intents and purposes beside recharging spells - he 'bumps' his untrained d4s in skills up to his INT's d10). So, the above doesn't really apply to him at all.

Example: For your combat with Mavaro, you reveal a Bow and you say "I'm using my untrained d4 Ranged" - this happens in the "Determine Your Skill" step. THEN, in the "Modify Your Check" step, you play Mavaro's power and say "I DISPLAY this same Bow for may power, to gain the skill Ranged: Inteeligence + 0"


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Heh... I would not maind a whole article about skill replasement power and some full examples how They work with different characters in different situations.
It is one of those my mind hurts and I am still not sure if this special case will count.

A really good candidate to Paizo blogs!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Well, it's been stated by Vic that how these powers work will be changed and/or getting clarifications, so making a blog about it now seems a bit premature :)

Once the next set comes out, I've been considering making a tutorial series of threads which step through concepts in more detail and hopefully make clear how things work. However, it's a lot of effort to write those; each topic would probably take me around 4-6 hours to draft and proofread, and that's just on my end. If this ended up in a blog instead of just me posting a forum thread then there's also the time spent by Vic or someone else to pass through it making sure I didn't say something wrong. If I wanted to add diagrams to visually explain things, add even more time to draw those. Given the time investment involved, it's not something I want to promise.


Longshot11 wrote:
"I DISPLAY this same Bow for may power, to gain the skill Ranged: Inteeligence + 0"

He gains "Ranged: d10 + 0" not "Ranged: Intelligence + 0".


Just to clarify, because at first I misunderstood Irgy's post:

If Mavaro's current Intelligence skill is d10+2, and he displays a bow to gain Ranged equal to Intelligence, he gains the skill "Ranged: d10 + 2".
(The check is not an Intelligence check, but the gained skill is equal to Mavaro's Intelligence skill, not his die.)

Vic comment further down the same thread

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