Everyone Has a Past

Friday, May 11, 2018

While we all live moment-by-moment, we are also shaped by our past. This is especially true for adventurers. After all, very few elves at the ripe age of 14 think to themselves, "Hey, I think I'm going to become a barbarian." There is a path that leads the character to their class. It might synergize obviously with the class's discipline, or at first blush it might seem a non sequitur, but the path is there.

In the Pathfinder Playtest, your ancestry talks a bit about your past, but it also speaks to your present and the promise of the future, by virtue of the fact that you continue to gain ancestry feats through the course of your adventuring career. But to help you dig deeper into your past, you'll choose a background.

Generally, backgrounds allow you to select a bit of backstory that mechanically affects the current state of your character. The first thing it does is grants you a pair of ability boosts (with some limitations on one of those ability boosts), and then it grants a skill feat tied to the theme of your background and proficiency in a Lore skill that also ties into the background. For instance, here is an old chestnut:

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Blacksmith (Background)

You were a blacksmith or a blacksmith's apprentice, and during countless hours toiling at the forge, you learned how to smith armor and weapons. Perhaps you worked hard each day and dreamed of adventure each night, or perhaps the adventuring life was thrust upon you by a pivotal event.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Specialty Crafting skill feat for blacksmithing, and you're trained in the Smithing Lore skill.

Sure, it's a bit cliche, but it's a fun cliche. Before becoming a fighter, you were a blacksmith's apprentice. Maybe you crafted your sword or suit of armor and decided to protect home and hearth from monsters. But take a closer look at the background. It's more flexible than that. It's also an excellent background for an alchemist or another character who wants to specialize in crafting. Since you can boost Intelligence via this background, and Intelligence is the key ability score for both Crafting skill and the alchemist class, you can refocus this background into that of an intelligent tinkerer who uses innovation rather than toil to create metal objects. And who knows? Maybe later on in your career, you can fuse your background with other skill feats to invent a new form of alchemical armor or some kind of metal construct.

Not all backgrounds have to do with gainful employment; others deal with the circumstances of your upbringing that you can parlay into useful skills. Here is another example of a classic fantasy trope:

Street Urchin (Background)

You eked out a living by picking pockets on the streets of a major city, never knowing where you'd find your next meal. While some folk adventure for the glory, you adventure as a means of survival.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Pickpocket skill feat, and you're trained in the Underworld Lore skill.

While a classic rogue background, this background also has enough flexibility to serve as a perfectly fine background for a wizard or alchemist, and that's only if you dwell on the limited ability boost. Remember, one of the ability boosts if free, so you can play against type and still make a perfectly reasonable character. Imagine a paladin with this background, which isn't so hard if you know anything about a certain iconic paladin...

Not all backgrounds are so all-encompassing, though. After all, your background not only deals with activity but also your personal focus. You may have been an apprentice blacksmith, even for a long while, but retained none of its benefits because you were too busy dreaming about being a Pathfinder.

Pathfinder Hopeful (Background)

You've long wanted to join the adventurous Pathfinder Society, a world-spanning organization of relic hunters. This aspiration has led you to take up the dangerous life of an adventurer eager to make a name for yourself and gain the attention of the Pathfinder Society.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Additional Lore feat, and you're trained in the Pathfinder Society Lore skill.

While the boosts are similar to that of the blacksmith background, the skill selection is, of course, different. I can easily picture this background as that of a young dreamer, toiling away when she must but finding whatever time she can to read various Pathfinder Chronicles (both real and forged) and honing her body and mind for the chance to join the Pathfinder Society.

Incidentally, this is not a background you will find in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook. While that weighty tome provides 19 backgrounds, you'll find six more backgrounds in the Pathfinder Playtest Adventure: Doomsday Dawn. Those six are tailor-made for the adventure, granting the opportunity for small, sometimes incidental perks during play for those who take them and allowing you to tailor your character to the story. This is one of the chief benefits of the background system—it can be used to make very general backgrounds or to tailor specific backgrounds to an adventure or a campaign.

And so there you have it; that's the skinny on backgrounds. What kind of backgrounds can you imagine?

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Silver Crusade

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The Unfortunate Pumpkin wrote:
I just hope there are enough backgrounds in the final version for me to write whatever backstory I want for my character and still be able to find a background that fits it. One of my favorite things about character creation is thinking out and writing my characters backstory, so I hope the backgrounds don't limit what I can create as a backstory.

Well, with 19 backgrounds in the Playtest book and 6 in the Playtest adventure, you're starting with 25 options. And I would expect that the eventual PF2 Core will have more than 19.

But more to the point—it should be pretty easy in this system to write a new background and just follow the same mechanical pattern of the published ones, or to flavor or reflavor a published background's mechanical package to fit the precise story you want to tell with your specific character. I mean, "urchin" or the "Pathfinder" background are both very, very broad and can be filled in with a lot of different stories as long as there's some loose connection to the theme.


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I'm curious if there will be backgrounds that give a choice from two physicals or two mentals, rather than all of them being a "choose from physical or mental" options. Or if there will be any with 3+ you can choose from. So many possibilities with this.

Silver Crusade

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@Captain Morgan, I know, but Alexander hit the nail on the head.

It’s supposed to be encompassing of crafting in general but has a specific craft as the name (Blasksmith). It’s the same if there was a Background that was called Painter, but it was supposed to cover all the Perform skills.


Guys I really love how ability scores are generated now and backgrounds are an awesome part of that aaaah why isn't it August yet


Nothing groundbreaking, I think this is pretty much what the forumites already had guessed, but it's nice reagardless. I like a lot the organic way of buying the abilities, and I think the floating +2 is great. This way you aren't "forced" to play the standard backrounds (like rogue-urchin, fighter-blacksmithing, etc). If you want to be a blacksmithing cleric, you are not punished, just spend your free +2 in Wisdom (probably Charisma in my home world...) and be done with it.

Silver Crusade

edduardco wrote:
Joe M. wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
You get your first ability boost, as well. Just like the 5th/10th/15th level boosts.

Yep, that would round it out. From the Leveling Up Blog:

Leveling Up Blog wrote:
You'll also amp up several of your ability scores every 5 levels. The process might be familiar to those of you who've been playing Starfinder for the last several months! There are, of course, a few tweaks, and we made all ability boosts work the same way instead of being different at 1st level. Learn it once, use it in perpetuity.
So if it's like Starfinder that's what, 4 free ability boosts?
You don't get ability boost at level 20? Why?

No, I would certainly expect a boost at 20th level. "Every 5 levels" per the blog, which would include 20th. I'm sure KingOfAnything just left out "/20th" inadvertently (I didn't notice that it wasn't included when I posted my previous message here).

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Apprentice Artisan (Background) could take the place of Blacksmith and would really open up crafting to any of a number of options for Apprenticeship.

It'd be a lot cleaner than calling out one art in specific, imo?

NOTE: This is VERY different from that circular class discussion that's been happening on and off and we do not need to go to that here please thank you!


Rysky wrote:

@Captain Morgan, I know, but Alexander hit the nail on the head.

It’s supposed to be encompassing of crafting in general but has a specific craft as the name (Blasksmith). It’s the same if there was a Background that was called Painter, but it was supposed to cover all the Perform skills.

Yeah, Joe M. also hit the nail on the head. It is super easy to make your own if one doesn't exist that does it for you. Literally just take Blacksmith and swap a new skill feat and lore on there.

I suppose a cynical outlook could be that this also makes for a really lazy way to publish new content-- you could crank out enough backgrounds to fill a splatbook in an afternoon. But I think keeping new backgrounds campaign or region focused will offset that, like they seem to be doing for Pathfinder Hopeful.

Silver Crusade

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Rysky wrote:

They only thing I don’t really care for is the outright stating of taking a Background for the ability boosts and ignoring the flavor.

There’s a big difference between blacksmith and tinkerer.

If I play a Wizard or Alchemist I’m not going to pick the Pickpocket Background for the Intelligence boost, I’m gonna pick it cause they were a pickpocket. If they weren’t, I’m not gonna pick it.

You play your way, I'll play mine. :-)

But also, these are pretty generic backgrounds and it seems appropriate for the blog to point out that one of the backgrounds could support a variety of stories. There's more than one way to have been a blacksmith or a pickpocket. For example, a very different take on "street urchin": a spoiled rich kid who's a terrible klepto and is banished from polite society for constantly stealing things—not really an 'urchin' but I'd argue that it would comfortably fit under that background (just add something to account for underworld lore—fencing the stolen items?—and you're good).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Joe M. wrote:
The Unfortunate Pumpkin wrote:
I just hope there are enough backgrounds in the final version for me to write whatever backstory I want for my character and still be able to find a background that fits it. One of my favorite things about character creation is thinking out and writing my characters backstory, so I hope the backgrounds don't limit what I can create as a backstory.

Well, with 19 backgrounds in the Playtest book and 6 in the Playtest adventure, you're starting with 25 options. And I would expect that the eventual PF2 Core will have more than 19.

But more to the point—it should be pretty easy in this system to write a new background and just follow the same mechanical pattern of the published ones, or to flavor or reflavor a published background's mechanical package to fit the precise story you want to tell with your specific character. I mean, "urchin" or the "Pathfinder" background are both very, very broad and can be filled in with a lot of different stories as long as there's some loose connection to the theme.

yeah I guess you're right, however I'm very lazy so I'd rather just have that stuff already available for me rather than having to spend time actually making something for a very specific purpose.


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As long as I'm free to make up my own backgrounds, this is fine.

Dark Archive

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Captain Morgan wrote:


Yeah, Joe M. also hit the nail on the head. It is super easy to make your own if one doesn't exist that does it for you. Literally just take Blacksmith and swap a new skill feat and lore on there.

The problem is that if say, Organized Play requires 'As Written' then the artisanal crafting cannot be reflavored to a different craft. This is not a good design feature for a flexible and expandable system.

Addressing the concern ahead of time will mitigate the concern.


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Still not really fond of it.
That said, it can be bypassed outside of society (and the playtest) by houseruling two ability boosts, a feat, and a lore proficiency to be chosen by the player. That flexibility obviously isn't going to fly in official play, but it should be fine at a closed table.


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Sounds good. I am still of mixed emotions about the release, but it is really seeming good.


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While I like this definition of backgrounds, they appear a bit inflexible to me to start with just 19 of them.

The solution is probably simple - keep the names a bit more generic and provide a list of skill feats to choose from instead of only one.

I wouldn't want to have every character with a criminal background to have skills in pickpocketing.


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Cool. I like the pre-storied backgrounds for the feats, always helps a player build their char/direction as well as not just being "+4 initiative because [no reason, you choose one]"

Ie:
Improved initiative: +4 init. As a child you had to get out of bed early enough for breakfast and the toilet.

Silver Crusade

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Leyren wrote:
I wouldn't want to have every character with a criminal background to have skills in pickpocketing.

Oh, that one's easy:

Jenny was a blacksmith's apprentice who lost her job—and so, her livelihood—when the blacksmith caught her embezzling funds for the fifth time. She's now a bit desperate and setting out on an adventuring career as a way to make ends meet. Class: Fighter.

Criminal background, no pickpocketing.


Joe M. wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Joe M. wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
You get your first ability boost, as well. Just like the 5th/10th/15th level boosts.

Yep, that would round it out. From the Leveling Up Blog:

Leveling Up Blog wrote:
You'll also amp up several of your ability scores every 5 levels. The process might be familiar to those of you who've been playing Starfinder for the last several months! There are, of course, a few tweaks, and we made all ability boosts work the same way instead of being different at 1st level. Learn it once, use it in perpetuity.
So if it's like Starfinder that's what, 4 free ability boosts?
You don't get ability boost at level 20? Why?
No, I would certainly expect a boost at 20th level. "Every 5 levels" per the blog, which would include 20th. I'm sure KingOfAnything just left out "/20th" inadvertently (I didn't notice that it wasn't included when I posted my previous message here).

Thanks Joe, I didn't know about the 1st level boost, that would certainly improves differentiation.


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The Unfortunate Pumpkin wrote:
Joe M. wrote:
The Unfortunate Pumpkin wrote:
I just hope there are enough backgrounds in the final version for me to write whatever backstory I want for my character and still be able to find a background that fits it. One of my favorite things about character creation is thinking out and writing my characters backstory, so I hope the backgrounds don't limit what I can create as a backstory.

Well, with 19 backgrounds in the Playtest book and 6 in the Playtest adventure, you're starting with 25 options. And I would expect that the eventual PF2 Core will have more than 19.

But more to the point—it should be pretty easy in this system to write a new background and just follow the same mechanical pattern of the published ones, or to flavor or reflavor a published background's mechanical package to fit the precise story you want to tell with your specific character. I mean, "urchin" or the "Pathfinder" background are both very, very broad and can be filled in with a lot of different stories as long as there's some loose connection to the theme.

yeah I guess you're right, however I'm very lazy so I'd rather just have that stuff already available for me rather than having to spend time actually making something for a very specific purpose.

I like these backgrounds a lot. I agree with you guys - off the top of my head I thought 'we want 20 of these for the playtest & 40 for the eventual CRB' - 5e backgrounds were cool but there were so few it was stupid. I hope PF2 sprays them about like champagne - Over later books & expansions I wouldn't even mind ones that repeated the same bonuses but with different flavour.


im not rly more smart then before. it just is the new race boost with additional skil lboost.

will there be a rule to craft ur own backgrounds??
im not sure if i like these determened things....

and also. wtf is pf society skill?


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This is very nice and clean. It provides some simple mechanics to tie character creation and background. It subsumes traits - but now you don't have to browse through hundreds of them to find something consistent with the background you wrote as well as mechanically interesting.

It also makes it very easy to invent new backgrounds: Just define 2 ability boosts, one of them free, and one a choice between two, then add one feat and one skill. Make sure all of this is consistent with the backstory, done.

So it's a simple, flexible system for flavorful character creation.

EDIT - I forgot to mention, it looks like the AP Player Guides will no give us campaign traits. Instead, they'll probably offer a bunch of campaign-relevant backgrounds.

Sovereign Court

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Lore skills give you information about a specific topic. Like, more specialized knowledge skills.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


Yeah, Joe M. also hit the nail on the head. It is super easy to make your own if one doesn't exist that does it for you. Literally just take Blacksmith and swap a new skill feat and lore on there.

The problem is that if say, Organized Play requires 'As Written' then the artisanal crafting cannot be reflavored to a different craft. This is not a good design feature for a flexible and expandable system.

Addressing the concern ahead of time will mitigate the concern.

It's a fair point. TBH I don't consider PFS much for role-play decisions. Things like your backstory are seem so unlikely to actually come up in play there, so I would just write the mechanics I want on the sheet but know in my heart of hearts I was a clock maker, not a blacksmith or whatever. No one is gonna call you on it.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

This all seems fine....i just hope there are robust options.

I feel very straitjacketed in Starfinder and even this is a bit restrictive. I hope there is at least a generic chassis option for outside the box ideas. Being forced to round hole every square peg ideas runs counter to the open ended nature of the game.

The Exchange

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And yes I do think blacksmith should ve genericed up a bit. It seems silly that you would need to make an entirely new background to have a background as a tanner or a bookbinder or paper maker or Clockmaker etc.

Especially since the benefits are so generic (nothing like being a blacksmith makes you better at swords)


It's been confirmed that you could build a cleric with 10 wisdom if you tried hard enough(though I can't see how in the core rulebook).

The best way to look at it is
Race: +2,+2, -2 or +2, and +2 floating from pb that doesn't stack
Background: +2 to one of 2 stats, +2 floating
Class:+2 to your classes main stat
And having seen some pregenerated character stats, there's clearly a stage where you "buy" additional stats at the end.

At first I thought the 10 points for ability scores were lackluster compared to the P1E but if the Background and class boosts are +2 that brings it to 16 already. So if you want 14, 14, 14, 14, 10, 10 (not counting ancestry) to start. 1E and 2E are equal as it took 20 points to have four 14s in 1E.

So over all a mechanically stronger character ability wise to start.

Dark Archive

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Captain Morgan wrote:


It's a fair point. TBH I don't consider PFS much for role-play decisions. Things like your backstory are seem so unlikely to actually come up in play there, so I would just write the mechanics I want on the sheet but know in my heart of hearts I was a clock maker, not a blacksmith or whatever. No one is gonna call you on it.

Until the point you're using your 'Clockmaker' skill in Six Seconds Past Midnight when there shouldn't be anyone with that skill, for example?


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Dominik D wrote:

im not rly more smart then before. it just is the new race boost with additional skil lboost.

will there be a rule to craft ur own backgrounds??
im not sure if i like these determened things....

and also. wtf is pf society skill?

Lore: Pathfinder Society means that you know stuff about the Pathfinder Society. It's a campaign background for the AP so it's fine for it to be setting specific.


I am digging on this. I continue to like the Shadows of the Demon Lord-like attribute generation system. How many sources of attribute boosts are there gonna be at level one? Will your max starting attribute be like 16 or 18?

I also really want to know how many feats a player will get to choose at first level.


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1of1 wrote:

Still not really fond of it.

That said, it can be bypassed outside of society (and the playtest) by houseruling two ability boosts, a feat, and a lore proficiency to be chosen by the player. That flexibility obviously isn't going to fly in official play, but it should be fine at a closed table.

True.

I'm not a fan either and I hope there are ways to work out your own background if the ones that are there don't fit. This sort of system reminds me of generating random characters in the old days.


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Joe M. wrote:
Leyren wrote:
I wouldn't want to have every character with a criminal background to have skills in pickpocketing.

Oh, that one's easy:

Jenny was a blacksmith's apprentice who lost her job—and so, her livelihood—when the blacksmith caught her embezzling funds for the fifth time. She's now a bit desperate and setting out on an adventuring career as a way to make ends meet. Class: Fighter.

Criminal background, no pickpocketing.

Nice. But what I meant specifically was to offer a selection of skill feats that fit the criminal theme, maybe for escape artist, stealth or disable device instead of only pickpocket.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kaid wrote:
The Unfortunate Pumpkin wrote:
I just hope there are enough backgrounds in the final version for me to write whatever backstory I want for my character and still be able to find a background that fits it. One of my favorite things about character creation is thinking out and writing my characters backstory, so I hope the backgrounds don't limit what I can create as a backstory.
In starfinder they had a themeless theme so I am imagining they will have something like that as the my background does not fit any of the listed ones well so here is a generic one that I can use for whatever.

That would be acceptable, as long as it's actually just as good an option as the other backgrounds to pick from and not a downgrade mechanically.


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It would be fun to have a 5-10 question system that spits out your background at the end. I dont know guess I was hoping for something more than the simplest traits combined with a stat boost...


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I found it strange that it is not specifically said that both ability score increases need to be in different abilities, maybe you can double up with this increase

Liberty's Edge

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I like it. The free Skill Feat is particularly nice, and makes for some neat options.

Joe M. wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
You get your first ability boost, as well. Just like the 5th/10th/15th level boosts.

Yep, that would round it out. From the Leveling Up Blog:

Leveling Up Blog wrote:
You'll also amp up several of your ability scores every 5 levels. The process might be familiar to those of you who've been playing Starfinder for the last several months! There are, of course, a few tweaks, and we made all ability boosts work the same way instead of being different at 1st level. Learn it once, use it in perpetuity.
So if it's like Starfinder that's what, 4 free ability boosts?

Adding +2 to 4 stats on top of Ancestry, Background, and Class would neatly map to the 18 points Kyra has been demonstrated to have (Str 14, Dex 12, Wis 18, Cha 14), so that's almost certainly how that works.

Sovereign Court

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ChaiGuy wrote:
I found it strange that it is not specifically said that both ability score increases need to be in different abilities, maybe you can double up with this increase

That would probably be outlined in the general character rules rather than repeated on each entry.

Silver Crusade

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ChaiGuy wrote:
I found it strange that it is not specifically said that both ability score increases need to be in different abilities, maybe you can double up with this increase

From the Halfings & Gnomes Blog:

Quote:
At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10. In later parts of character creation, you'll get more ability boosts, which we'll cover in later blogs! (And if you want to roll your ability scores randomly, we have an option for that in the playtest so you can see how that might work, though we prefer for characters used in the playtest to be generated in the standard way.)

I expect that there's a general background rule regarding ability boosts like, "apply to any score other than a score that is modified by another ability boost in the same step."

That would achieve consistency across every time you gain a set of ability boosts, whether from Ancestry or leveling up (where we know they work like that) or Background.

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Adding +2 to 4 stats on top of Ancestry, Background, and Class would neatly map to the 18 points Kyra has been demonstrated to have (Str 14, Dex 12, Wis 18, Cha 14), so that's almost certainly how that works.

Great, then we know the full system, and the min-maxed array comes to:

18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8

Contributor

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Rysky wrote:

@Captain Morgan, I know, but Alexander hit the nail on the head.

It’s supposed to be encompassing of crafting in general but has a specific craft as the name (Blasksmith). It’s the same if there was a Background that was called Painter, but it was supposed to cover all the Perform skills.

I am an unarmed strikes fighter with a +1 nail bane rune.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Does the ability score boost that's to any score from background have a restriction that you can't place it in the score which is limited to two abilities? Or could you pick blacksmith, choose Str, and then put your free score in Str also?

Or is there a generic rule that regardless of the source of ability boosts, you can never put more than one in the same ability score from the same source?


Joe M. wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Adding +2 to 4 stats on top of Ancestry, Background, and Class would neatly map to the 18 points Kyra has been demonstrated to have (Str 14, Dex 12, Wis 18, Cha 14), so that's almost certainly how that works.
Great, then we know the full system.

Fun musings: If you want low power? No free boosts at lvl1. If you want high power play? 2 free boosts!

That could replace the 15/20/25 pts buy.
PS: Yeah I know it doesn't map well to the 15 and 25 pts buy, but it's simple and easy.


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Can't say I'm a fan of bundling mechanics with background - it always seems to result in clumsy mechanics and cookie-cutter backgrounds. This is, probably one of the better implementations I've seen, but I do have a question - since all the Backgrounds shown thus far share a similar template, what's the intent behind having the individual Backgrounds?


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The blog post should also probably be tagged with "Pathfinder Playtest" at some point.


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This is giving me flashbacks to my brief attempt to play 5e.


Joe M. wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Adding +2 to 4 stats on top of Ancestry, Background, and Class would neatly map to the 18 points Kyra has been demonstrated to have (Str 14, Dex 12, Wis 18, Cha 14), so that's almost certainly how that works.
Great, then we know the full system.

I've gotta say, I like this system for stat generation a lot better than "How low can I get away with dumping my Wisdom?" or getting screwed over by rolling. (Rolling stats has caused minor drama in the past for me. The players requested that we roll for stats, and then were upset... because the characters ended up with disparate stat arrays...) Seems like fun to combine all the facets of your character into an ability score array.

Backgrounds seem fairly uncontroversial. Basically a replacement for Traits, which is good, because there were way too many Traits in PF1, and they vary wildly in utility. Backgrounds look like they'll be a lot easier to balance and homebrew.

I think 5e only provided 13(?) backgrounds in the CRB, so we're already ahead there, too. (Which is good, because there were not enough in 5e.)

Silver Crusade

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Crayon wrote:
Can't say I'm a fan of bundling mechanics with background - it always seems to result in clumsy mechanics and cookie-cutter backgrounds. This is, probably one of the better implementations I've seen, but I do have a question - since all the Backgrounds shown thus far share a similar template, what's the intent behind having the individual Backgrounds?

Not speculating about the designers' specific thoughts here but one major advantage of this system is that it's intuitive for new players to pick up and build their character, both in terms of helping them craft a quick story and in terms of mechanics.

Imagine the alternative completely free system and I can see that as too much of a burden of choice-anxiety on new players.

Dark Archive

Am I the only one bothered that Pathfinder Society Lore is a skill?


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Crayon wrote:
Can't say I'm a fan of bundling mechanics with background - it always seems to result in clumsy mechanics and cookie-cutter backgrounds. This is, probably one of the better implementations I've seen, but I do have a question - since all the Backgrounds shown thus far share a similar template, what's the intent behind having the individual Backgrounds?

I imagine that just like Themes in Starfinder, this background system will give them space to, in the future make more specific backgrounds for different products. Much like the variety of Int-based themes in Pact Worlds are similar-ish mechanically (especially pre-6th level), but they each tell a different story about the character and where they are from.


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Ectar wrote:
Am I the only one bothered that Pathfinder Society Lore is a skill?

It's a bit weird, and it kind of makes me worried that lore skills are just kind of made up as you go along and rely on GM interpretation to do anything.

"I don't know, let me check."

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Since it seems to be getting conflated, let me state that I absolutely adore the Background system of what we’ve seen so far. I can’t wait to see how it all clicks and crank out my own (cause I will muahahahaha).

The system.

These specific Backgrounds that they are selling to us, however, I take issue with how they are presented. Something specific that isn’t actually supposed to be?

And as a certain bird pointed out this will be an issue in PFS and play with stringent Storytellers that aren’t comfortable with reflavouring.

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