Learning Takes a Lifetime

Monday, June 04, 2018

While the kind of armor you wear, weapon you wield, and spells you know can be important measures of your character's power, your choice in skills is indicative of your character's depth. Is your character good at feats of acrobatics? Can they recall knowledge with scholastic effortlessness? Are they the sneakiest sneaker in the sneakerverse? Your skills may aid you in the thick of a fight, but they also enhance your effect on the world when the ringing of steel and the whizzing of spells subside.

The Pathfinder Playtest deals with skills a bit differently than the first edition did. First and foremost, we have cut down the skill list to 17 base skills (down from 35 base skills in Pathfinder First Edition). Now, I say "base skills" because the Lore skill can be split into numerous different lores, but for many purposes, like for this blog post, we can describe it as being a single skill.

Much of the reduction came from consolidation; for instance, we put the general functions of Use Magic Device into each of the various knowledge skills that focus on magical traditions, and we wrapped up a bunch of Strength-based skills into a general Athletics skill. In most cases, we coupled the consolidation with being a tad more generous in the number of skills you can be trained in (for instance, the fighter has 3 + Intelligence modifier trained skills in the playtest rather than 2 + Int in Pathfinder First Edition), making it easier to have a well-rounded character.

So what exactly are these 17 skills? They (and their key ability scores) are: Acrobatics (Dex), Arcana (Int), Athletics (Str), Crafting (Int), Deception (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidation (Cha), Lore (Int), Medicine (Wis), Nature (Wis), Occultism (Int), Performance (Cha), Religion (Wis), Society (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Thievery (Dex).

Skill Proficiency

Like many things in the Pathfinder Playtest, skills interact with the proficiency system. While a detailed description of the system can be found here, here's the nitty-gritty. Your character can be untrained, trained, an expert, a master, or legendary in a skill. Being untrained grants you a modifier of your level - 2, while being trained grants you a bonus equal to your level, expert a bonus equal to your level + 1, master a bonus equal to your level + 2, and legendary a bonus equal to your level + 3. Then, of course, you add your ability modifier in the key ability for that skill, and apply any other bonuses or penalties. But the new skill system is more than just the bonus you gain. Each level of proficiency unlocks skill uses that are either intrinsic to the skill itself or that are uses you select as your character advances.

Skill Uses

To give you an idea of what this means, let's take a quick look at the Medicine skill. Whether you are trained in Medicine or not, you can Administer First Aid.

[[A]] Administer First Aid

Manipulate

Requirements You must have healer's tools.

You perform first aid on an adjacent creature that is at 0 Hit Points in an attempt to stabilize or revive it. You can also perform first aid on an adjacent creature taking persistent bleed damage. The DC for either is 15. If a creature is both dying and bleeding, choose which one you're trying to end before you roll. You can Administer First Aid again to attempt to remedy the other.

Success The creature at 0 Hit Points gains 1 Hit Point, or you end the persistent bleed damage.

Critical Failure A creature with 0 Hit Points has its dying condition increased by 1. A creature with persistent bleed damage takes damage equal to the amount of its persistent bleed damage.

Basically, this skill use allows anyone who has a healing kit to treat another creature who is dying or suffering from bleed damage, which is super useful. Of course, being untrained reduces your chances to save your friend and increases your chances to hurt them accidentally, but it's worth trying in a pinch. If you are trained in the skill, not only do your chances to help a friend by Administering First Aid increase, but you also gain the ability to use the skill to Treat Disease and Treat Poison, something that someone untrained in the skill cannot do.

Skill Feats

These default uses are just the beginning. As you increase in level, you periodically gain skill feats, usually at even-numbered levels (unless you're a rogue—they gain skill feats every level instead). Skill feats are a subsection of general feats, which means that any character can take them as long as they meet the prerequisites. Moving forward with the example of the Medicine skill, as long as you are at least trained in Medicine, you can take the Battle Medic skill feat. This feat allows you to apply straight-up healing to an ally through nonmagical means, which is nice when your cleric is knocked to the ground or has run out of uses of channel energy.

For a higher-level example, Robust Recovery is a Medicine skill feat you can take after becoming an expert in that skill, and increases the bonus to saving throws against poison and diseases when you treat creatures with those trained skill uses. When you become legendary in Medicine, you can gain this skill feat:

Legendary Medic Feat 15

General, Skill

Prerequisites legendary in Medicine

You've invented new medical procedures or discovered ancient techniques that can achieve nearly miraculous results. Once per day for each target, you can spend 1 hour treating the target and attempt a Medicine check to remove a disease or the blinded, deafened, drained, or enervated condition. Use the DC of the disease or of the spell or effect that created the condition. If the effect's source is an artifact, a creature above 20th level, or other similarly powerful source, increase the DC by 5.

The more powerful or useful the skill feat, the higher the proficiency required to take it. Legendary Medic grants you the ability to perform amazing feats of healing through skill and experience rather than magic, but you must gain that skill and experience first. Of course, the Medicine skill is just the tip of the iceberg. This structure is replicated with every skill, including nearly every rogue's favorite—Stealth.

Stealth is a bit of an outlier in that all of its initial uses can be attempted untrained, but training and later proficiency in the skill yields some very subversive results. The Quiet Allies skill feat allows you to use your expertise in Stealth to reduce those pesky armor check penalties on allies' skill checks, while Swift Sneak allows a master in Stealth to move at their full speed when they Sneak. Upon becoming legendary, you further enhance your skill by no longer needing to specifically declare the sneaking exploration tactic when you are in exploration mode, allowing you to sneak everywhere. You're just that good.

But this is all just the start. Mark will take up more aspects of what you can do with skill feats this Friday!

Constant Progress

Like many aspects of the Pathfinder Playtest, the goal of skills is not only to gain the greatest bonus, but also for you to expand outward and create a unique character who uses skills the way you want them to be used. Much like how ancestry feats allow you to choose the type of human, dwarf, elf, or whatever you want to play, the proficiency and skill feat system will enable you to determine what kind of knowledgeable, athletic, or sneaky character you want to play. Over time, this system gives us the opportunity to add more skill uses by way of skill feats, which will allow the game to become more dynamic as we add options. This also allows you to continue to grow your skills in new and surprising ways without us having to pull out the wires of the underlying skill, which is something we are always loath to do. In this way, as the game progresses, we can expand skill options in an open-ended way, without invalidating the gateway mechanics.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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Mark the playtest is going to provide a list of what things can be attempted at each proficiency level? How detailed is? Just reading the examples you have posted I have the feeling that is not going to be possible to cover all situations or worse is just going to be some vague guidelines for the GM.

Designer

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Vorsk, Follower or Erastil wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Legendary Medic also has another really powerful advantage that would likely require in-depth analysis of the playtest document to undercover but I can tell you right off: The chances for say, a 16th-level legendary Medicine user to remove a 17th+ level affliction with this feat are substantially better than any other 16th-level character's odds. This advantages dissipates a bit at level 17 for a caster willing to use a 9th-level spell slot on affliction-removal (though that's quite an expensive resource), and evaporates compared to a level 20 cleric who takes 10th-level spells and then prepares a remove curse or the like in that slot (which seems quite unlikely when you could prepare miracle or avatar, and even then, the Legendary Medic can keep going with it and the cleric has one of those a day).
This info i find very interesting. Level based afflictions. This makes me think we will see poisons, diseases, and curses have a level assigned to them much like items. Sure, your 3rd level casting of Remove Disease will get rid of a disease that is lv 5 or lower, but if you want to get ride of a lv 7 disease you need to heighten it to a level 4 spell. At least that is the feeling i am getting. Which if true opens up many interesting scenarios for why kings may not just have a bottle of neutralize poison whenever they eat food and fear being poisoned, or how a town may be hit with a powerful disease that no one can find a cure for and lower level clerics can't seem to cure. The latter would allow for the pcs to need to find a plot mcguffin that can cure it and other interesting adventure ideas.

You can try to remove something powerful with the lower-level removals (to a point, anyway, you can't remove a 10th level curse placed on you by Baba Yaga with a minimum level remove curse), but you're facing an uphill battle...unless you are a Legendary Medic, that is.


Mark Seifter wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:

^DeadManWalking

Thank you for pointing that out. That relieves most of my concerns. : )

So . . . assuming 17 different Skills in the game (only taking 1 Performance and 1 Lore) with 5 Proficiency ranks each, we would need 85 skill ranks at least to max out every Skill in the game (more needed to grab extra Performances and Lores).

So a Rogue that could somehow manage to learn 4.25+ skill ranks per level, they could be the ultimate Legendary Skill Master by Level 20?

*Begins planning this Pinnacle of Skilldom*
I really hope there are Rogue Feats for extra Skill Ranks~. >:3

As best I can tell, a single-classed rogue who desperately desired skill, spent every option and took every advantage, could manage to gain at least 63 skill rank increases, but 34 of those would all be only for untrained to trained, so...lots of Lores!

So you can have Lore in anything? How broad the scope can be? Is going to to be another GM call?

Designer

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edduardco wrote:
Mark the playtest is going to provide a list of what things can be attempted at each proficiency level? How detailed is? Just reading the examples you have posted I have the feeling that is not going to be possible to cover all situations or worse is just going to be some vague guidelines for the GM.

Every example I have posted in the thread as being impossible is directly listed in the playtest, with the exception of it doesn't list out every kind of Knowledge that could be classified under the various ranks (but the monster knowledge vs deep liturgical analysis is directly parallel to a textual example of a high-level untrained barbarian knowing about the dragons she fights but not arcane theorems, so it's not much of an extrapolation).


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FedoraFerret wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Joana wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
Not gonna lie, unless Remove Blindness/Deafness and Cure Disease have been turned into much higher level spells I'm not super impressed by that legendary Heal feat.
The main benefit I see is that it opens up condition removal to classes other than cleric/paladin, making non-standard party composition more viable.
Only at high levels. If it required Expert or possibly Master, I could see the point, but this might just be adding rogue to that list.
This. Legendary Heal feats should be along the lines of Raise Dead/Breath of Life, or completely restoring someone to full hit points instantly. Things that are beyond the bounds of the physically possible.

I completely disagree, the legendary feat is indeed legendary by mundane standards, and I find it very good. I think it is crazy that people want mundane means that are not even high-end tech to be able to compete with magic. A lot of people are gonna want to metaphorically beat me up (I'm kidding, we're all better than that, I know), but to me nothing that isn't magical should be able to go beyond the bounds of the physically possible. Unless you tell me that that legendary physician is using some sort of mystical ritual or arcane secret, I don't think that he should be able to go as far as raising the dead. Some stuff I'm okay with it, like a legendary warrior performing herculean acts of strength. Like, I can accept that the guy gradually beaome a demi-god in his progress from 1st to 17-19th level, and that through that course he was granted the favor of the gods, or of Fate, and/or was so suffused by the magic he was exposed to that now he's capable of leaping very very high or breaking a big stone door with a punch. But raising the dead using mundane means? NO. Not to me unless a magical explanation is given. Mundane means should not be able to compete with magic, ever. And the problem goes even further to me if you make magic less powerful, I loath that. Like making Discern Lies only give you a +4 to detect lies. Come on! If people choose to play non-magical characters they should be aware that a brute brandishing a piece of steel doesn't alter reality. Magic alters reality. You should be able to be incredible playing a non-magic character, you can be. But you shouldn't expect to be magical just because of balance. You chose to be a muggle then know how to have fun being a muggle, it's not hard. Either that or just make every class a magic-user to a greater or lesser degree.


Mark Seifter wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Mark the playtest is going to provide a list of what things can be attempted at each proficiency level? How detailed is? Just reading the examples you have posted I have the feeling that is not going to be possible to cover all situations or worse is just going to be some vague guidelines for the GM.
Every example I have posted in the thread as being impossible is directly listed in the playtest, with the exception of it doesn't list out every kind of Knowledge that could be classified under the various ranks (but the monster knowledge vs deep liturgical analysis is directly parallel to a textual example of a high-level untrained barbarian knowing about the dragons she fights but not arcane theorems, so it's not much of an extrapolation).

Thanks for answering, sadly I did not understand that example, I guess I will need to wait for the playtest to read the full text in order to get a better grasp.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
NetoD20 wrote:
Either that or just make every class a magic-user to a greater or lesser degree.

I assumed that between Rituals, Resonance, and Legendary skill feats that, for example, let you literally scare someone to death, that was exactly what was happening.


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We've already seen some examples of the impossible in skill abilities/feats like being able to jump over 20 feet in the air, or using Acrobatics and basically holding yourself in place in the air.

Things that will give martial characters especially the ability to deal with some issues that would formally leave them stuck hoping the Wizard could help them.

Which I say is a good thing, let the Martials have some options where they aren't stuck depending upon a flight spell or waiting for an enemy to be 5 feet off the ground or less.


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Meh. This just makes me tired.

So skill proficiencies are just a trivial numeric bonus and unlock permission for taking skill feats.

And the skill squish... I don't understand these choices.
Athletics and Acrobatics ate related skills, but Diplomacy, Intimidate and Deception are separate and indivisible things because... ?

Lore is still a multi-headed abomination, but Arcana is still separate, something called Occultism exists that isn't Arcana, Lore *or* Religion (somehow), and Society is its own thing that isn't a Lore because...?

Profession is gone, but Craft and Performance still exist. Craft has a downtime use, but what is Performance even for [either in the case of playing a bard- does it affect your class abilities, or not playing a bard- what reason do you have to care about this skill taking up page count?]

Just looks like a muddled mess.

Also terminology problems: 'healer's tools' just sounds ridiculous. What tools are people whipping out to bandage wounds, prevent death, repair eyes, remove leeches and cutting out cysts? Not to mention midwifery, setting bones, curing poisons, treating diseases, etc, etc, etc.

Designer

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AnimatedPaper wrote:
NetoD20 wrote:
Either that or just make every class a magic-user to a greater or lesser degree.
I assumed that between Rituals, Resonance, and Legendary skill feats that, for example, let you literally scare someone to death, that was exactly what was happening.

We're not saying it comes directly from magic. If you just want to be "that good," you can. Master-level abilities might go beyond Olympic records but usually don't shatter disbelief unless you know those records (for instance, jumping 5 feet straight up without a running start, consistently and automatically, would mean you essentially tie the all-time Olympic world record without trying, but it doesn't seem really out there). But the ability to spend an hour with someone and remove their terminal cancer, leprosy, a curse from the gods, etc just because you're that awesome of a doctor is pretty out there and more like something a character out of a legend would do, same for literally scaring people to death. So they aren't necessarily magic, but they're definitely superhuman, and hopefully in a way that really matches the way we think of legendarily skillful characters rather than mages.

Designer

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Voss wrote:
Diplomacy, Intimidate and Deception are separate and indivisible things because... ?

This is an excellent question. At one point we had it combined one step further, to Influence and Deception, but it just didn't work. Characters needed to be able to be one of diplomatic/intimidating without being the other, and they then couldn't without serious kludging of constantly saying "+X Influence but only for Intimidation" (for instance, one that stuck out to me was that a troll would be great at being diplomatic in our early draft). So we split 'em back out.


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Voss wrote:

Meh. This just makes me tired.

So skill proficiencies are just a trivial numeric bonus and unlock permission for taking skill feats.

And the skill squish... I don't understand these choices.
Athletics and Acrobatics ate related skills, but Diplomacy, Intimidate and Deception are separate and indivisible things because... ?

Lore is still a multi-headed abomination, but Arcana is still separate, something called Occultism exists that isn't Arcana, Lore *or* Religion (somehow), and Society is its own thing that isn't a Lore because...?

Profession is gone, but Craft and Performance still exist. Craft has a downtime use, but what is Performance even for [either in the case of playing a bard- does it affect your class abilities, or not playing a bard- what reason do you have to care about this skill taking up page count?]

Just looks like a muddled mess.

Also terminology problems: 'healer's tools' just sounds ridiculous. What tools are people whipping out to bandage wounds, prevent death, repair eyes, remove leeches and cutting out cysts? Not to mention midwifery, setting bones, curing poisons, treating diseases, etc, etc, etc.

Bonuses still matter because of DCs, though how proficient you are still matters greatly.

It's massively different to convince someone to do something via either passion or rational reasoning, to scare someone with threats/attitude/appearance/expression, or to get what you want by telling a bold-faced lie. Not that surprising that they're different.

Lore seems to be about specific subjects (Sailing, Blacksmithing, etc), while stuff like Arcana, Religion, etc seem to be more broad subjects.

Performance also has a downtime use and was mentioned in the downtime blog. You can use it to make money during your downtime.


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I still have reservations about how skill ranks will work, but I actually like the look of the feats. One thing to remember is that, unlike spells, the feats will be always available. There should be a delay in accessing unlimited uses of (or at the very least, many uses) of an equivalent to a spell.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Voss wrote:
Diplomacy, Intimidate and Deception are separate and indivisible things because... ?
This is an excellent question. At one point we had it combined one step further, to Influence and Deception, but it just didn't work. Characters needed to be able to be one of diplomatic/intimidating without being the other, and they then couldn't without serious kludging of constantly saying "+X Influence but only for Intimidation" (for instance, one that stuck out to me was that a troll would be great at being diplomatic in our early draft). So we split 'em back out.

I don't understand. Why not just have Influence and not bother with a bunch of piecemeal bonuses? [like +X but only for Intimidation]. Just... don't write stuff like that.

You're clearly trying to keep the numbers in the same ballpark [level +/- 2 + stat mod], so why start the exploit spiral with situational modifiers at all?

It seemed to me it was really common in 3.x and 3.PF that special bonuses to specific skills, spells schools, perception by smell or hearing or certain skills and so on were usually just forgotten and ignored, except when someone was going full-tilt to break the RNG.

And given how many feats you folks will be writing for this system (with race/class/skill/whatever feats, it seems inherently inclined to garbage trucks full of feats packing every book), the +X for {specific use} seems inherently exploitable and VERY troublesome to accurately curate over the long term.


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Mewzard wrote:
Voss wrote:

Meh. This just makes me tired.

So skill proficiencies are just a trivial numeric bonus and unlock permission for taking skill feats.

And the skill squish... I don't understand these choices.
Athletics and Acrobatics ate related skills, but Diplomacy, Intimidate and Deception are separate and indivisible things because... ?

Lore is still a multi-headed abomination, but Arcana is still separate, something called Occultism exists that isn't Arcana, Lore *or* Religion (somehow), and Society is its own thing that isn't a Lore because...?

Profession is gone, but Craft and Performance still exist. Craft has a downtime use, but what is Performance even for [either in the case of playing a bard- does it affect your class abilities, or not playing a bard- what reason do you have to care about this skill taking up page count?]

Just looks like a muddled mess.

Also terminology problems: 'healer's tools' just sounds ridiculous. What tools are people whipping out to bandage wounds, prevent death, repair eyes, remove leeches and cutting out cysts? Not to mention midwifery, setting bones, curing poisons, treating diseases, etc, etc, etc.

Bonuses still matter because of DCs, though how proficient you are still matters greatly.

It's massively different to convince someone to do something via either passion or rational reasoning, to scare someone with threats/attitude/appearance/expression, or to get what you want by telling a bold-faced lie. Not that surprising that they're different.

Lore seems to be about specific subjects (Sailing, Blacksmithing, etc), while stuff like Arcana, Religion, etc seem to be more broad subjects.

Performance also has a downtime use and was mentioned in the downtime blog. You can use it to make money during your downtime.

I also expect that Occult is the last spell list so each spell list gets an associated knowledge skill for dealing with spells/items/rituals from that spell list. Basically combining a knowledge skill with spellcraft and use magic device as applied to items with that flavor of magic.

Arcane -> Arcana
Divine -> Religion
Primal -> Nature
Occult -> Occultism


Hm. Well, I'll wait and see what Friday adds to this.


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NetoD20 wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Joana wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
Not gonna lie, unless Remove Blindness/Deafness and Cure Disease have been turned into much higher level spells I'm not super impressed by that legendary Heal feat.
The main benefit I see is that it opens up condition removal to classes other than cleric/paladin, making non-standard party composition more viable.
Only at high levels. If it required Expert or possibly Master, I could see the point, but this might just be adding rogue to that list.
This. Legendary Heal feats should be along the lines of Raise Dead/Breath of Life, or completely restoring someone to full hit points instantly. Things that are beyond the bounds of the physically possible.
I completely disagree, the legendary feat is indeed legendary by mundane standards, and I find it very good. I think it is crazy that people want mundane means that are not even high-end tech to be able to compete with magic. A lot of people are gonna want to metaphorically beat me up (I'm kidding, we're all better than that, I know), but to me nothing that isn't magical should be able to go beyond the bounds of the physically possible. Unless you tell me that that legendary physician is using some sort of mystical ritual or arcane secret, I don't think that he should be able to go as far as raising the dead. Some stuff I'm okay with it, like a legendary warrior performing herculean acts of strength. Like, I can accept that the guy gradually beaome a demi-god in his progress from 1st to 17-19th level, and that through that course he was granted the favor of the gods, or of Fate, and/or was so suffused by the magic he was exposed to that now he's capable of leaping very very high or breaking a big stone door with a punch. But raising the dead using mundane means? NO. Not to me unless a magical explanation is given. Mundane means should not be able to compete with magic, ever. And the problem goes even further to me if you make magic...

This in spades!

I can't like this more than once, so I had to voice my support.

I don't want mundane skills to be equal to magic.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Voss wrote:
Diplomacy, Intimidate and Deception are separate and indivisible things because... ?
This is an excellent question. At one point we had it combined one step further, to Influence and Deception, but it just didn't work. Characters needed to be able to be one of diplomatic/intimidating without being the other, and they then couldn't without serious kludging of constantly saying "+X Influence but only for Intimidation" (for instance, one that stuck out to me was that a troll would be great at being diplomatic in our early draft). So we split 'em back out.
I don't understand.

Clearly.

Cute, cuddly paragons of Diplomacy probably shouldn’t also be able to scare you to death.


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Arcana = knowledge regarding Arcane Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Religion = knowledge regarding Divine Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Nature = knowledge regarding Primal Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Occultism = knowledge regarding Occult Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

Calling it now . . .

Society = knowledge regarding Social Spells, Monsters, and Rituals!

(Joking. But would be somewhat fitting for a Bard.)


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What is a signature skill?


Lots of good stuff here, mostly from Mark's responses in the thread. I'm mostly curious to see how it will all be organized in the book and on the character sheet. How we note our proficiency level in a skill, how we know which uses of the skills are based on which proficiency level, how we know at what level we can advance a skill to it's next proficiency rank (if at all).
Also, Legendary Medic is listed as Feat 15; is that also a requirement in addition to the items listed under 'prerequisites', that the character be at least 15th level?
Also would like to chime in on clarification of signature skills.
Also also would like to know where Ride went.

Grand Lodge

What is the rationale for giving the Rogue so many more skill feats than everyone else? Prior experience to me suggests that having a class be the Skills Guy is a bad idea. One of two things tends to happen:

1. The Skills Guy pays for their extra skills in combat proficiency and sits in the shadows while the combat characters do the fighting. Some might like it but it's not a great model in my view.
2. The Skills Guy doesn't pay for their extra skills in combat proficiency and we start wondering why he gets extra skills.

Designer

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KingOfAnything wrote:
Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Voss wrote:
Diplomacy, Intimidate and Deception are separate and indivisible things because... ?
This is an excellent question. At one point we had it combined one step further, to Influence and Deception, but it just didn't work. Characters needed to be able to be one of diplomatic/intimidating without being the other, and they then couldn't without serious kludging of constantly saying "+X Influence but only for Intimidation" (for instance, one that stuck out to me was that a troll would be great at being diplomatic in our early draft). So we split 'em back out.
I don't understand.

Clearly.

Cute, cuddly paragons of Diplomacy probably shouldn’t also be able to scare you to death.

Conversely, in the king's ball, if a troll and the party's 3rd-level paladin were both trying to impress Lord Lordington with their diplomacy and grace, the troll probably shouldn't be better.


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SilverliteSword wrote:
-2 is still a pretty harsh penalty. The goal here is to make the math tighter so that you don't have one character in the party rolling at +50 more than the other one.

I'm a fan of having tighter math. I'm not a fan of having the narrative of characters forced into a narrative that is not what we had in PF1e. I'm happy for Paizo to broaden the narratives that can be told and include narratives that weren't possible in PF1e, but at the moment they're simply removing one narrative and replacing it for another. Not a fan.

SilverliteSword wrote:
The primary goal is to keep the game fun.

I've played games where +scaling bonus on skills existed (in that game it was +1/2 level with a flat +5 trained bonus). I didn't have fun with them. Therefore assuming the experience transfers over (and I see no factors that would not cause the experience to transfer over) Paizo have failed to meet this primary goal for me and my group.

Also:

Mark Seifter wrote:
If there is a DC 30 task that only legends can succeed at, then neither of these two characters can succeed, as neither is legendary.

Throw in enough circumstances like this and you'll have entire swathes of the party being told "don't bother trying".

SilverliteSword wrote:
It doesn't matter how 'realistic' the game is if it isn't fun.

I've had fun with PF1e. Buffs to skills can be a problem. But the skill ranks weren't the cause for the biggest problems. The only way this makes a game more fun is for people who didn't find PF1e's skill system fun.

Kiln Norn wrote:
This is so painfully wrong that it's insane. You are thinking of Pathfinder 1e again and you need to stop.

I need to stop wanting Pathfinder to be recongisable to a game I enjoy instead of being reminiscent of a game I dislike? That's not going to happen.

Kiln Norn wrote:
In Pathfinder 2e if you fail by 10 it's a critical fail no matter what you are doing. If you succeed by 10 you critically succeed no matter what you are doing.

So we have a new rule that's causing a problem. There's 2 solutions: Change the rule that doesn't work or change the narrative of the game. I'd prefer to change the rule. If you think a "everyone gets +level to everything" is a good fix, then that's good for you. To me it's a cludge fix that changes the very nature of the story I'm telling.


ElSilverWind wrote:

Arcana = knowledge regarding Arcane Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

Religion = knowledge regarding Divine Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Nature = knowledge regarding Primal Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Occultism = knowledge regarding Occult Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

Calling it now . . .

Society = knowledge regarding Social Spells, Monsters, and Rituals!

(Joking. But would be somewhat fitting for a Bard.)

Yeah... no. ;)

Knowledge Local and Nobility with a dash of Geography tossed in for flavor.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
ElSilverWind wrote:

Arcana = knowledge regarding Arcane Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

Religion = knowledge regarding Divine Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Nature = knowledge regarding Primal Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Occultism = knowledge regarding Occult Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

Calling it now . . .

Society = knowledge regarding Social Spells, Monsters, and Rituals!

(Joking. But would be somewhat fitting for a Bard.)

I wish, but bards are likely occult casters. Which I'm weirdly against. I'd be just fine if bards wound up being psychic casters, but for some reason occult annoys me.

I'm sure it'll make sense in context.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
kwiqsilver wrote:

I don't think I like the idea that a 10th level fighter who has never touched a piano before is going to be a better pianist than a low level bard with training.

It also seems like the difference between untrained and legendary (5 points) is low enough that it'll be stuck in the shadow of the large die roll variation at lower levels or of the large level bonus at higher level.

The 10th level untrained fighter would potentially be able to do something impressive involving that piano for a quick little trick (I can imagine maybe playing Mary Had a Little Lamb with one hand while bench pressing the piano with the other hand), but is completely incapable of Staging a Performance of Sonnorae's Sonata #53 (the Betrayal Sonata).

This is my fundamental issue with the skill system using proficiencies as it is presented for Pathfinder 2E. Let's ignore the minor percentage difference granted between trained and legendary (+3) for the time, I have a hard time with suspension of disbelief that somehow heroes get better at all skills at a fixed rate. I totally understand the proficiency system as it relates to saves, attack rolls, and the like. Every adventurer uses these on a regular basis. Every adventurer is not playing a piano randomly, or studying religion...

I think *some* of this could be remedied by clever use of "trained only", but the examples given here are misleading. They're comparing an expert with magical items and master tools to a non-expert without these things... The tools shouldn't matter. Give those tools over to the non-expert and their bonus is going to be far too similar to the expert, and level overshadows all of this.

I understand locking some abilities behind levels of mastery, but I also feel some of this is compensating for a skill system that's just fundamentally lacking in realism.

EDIT: Note that I use the term "realism" loosely here to mean "fantasy realism." We've all have our notions of what a fantasy world looks like: the average goblin can't stand up to the average dragon, mages hurl fireballs, good clerics heal. For me, the 18th level fighter isn't better at sneaking around than the 13th level rogue.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Voss wrote:
Diplomacy, Intimidate and Deception are separate and indivisible things because... ?
This is an excellent question. At one point we had it combined one step further, to Influence and Deception, but it just didn't work. Characters needed to be able to be one of diplomatic/intimidating without being the other, and they then couldn't without serious kludging of constantly saying "+X Influence but only for Intimidation" (for instance, one that stuck out to me was that a troll would be great at being diplomatic in our early draft). So we split 'em back out.
I don't understand.

Clearly.

Cute, cuddly paragons of Diplomacy probably shouldn’t also be able to scare you to death.

Conversely, in the king's ball, if a troll and the party's 3rd-level paladin were both trying to impress Lord Lordington with their diplomacy and grace, the troll probably shouldn't be better.

Oh, I don't know. I can see Intimidate being the untrained application of the Influence skill, while the various states of diplomacy requiring ever higher levels of skill mastery, and possibly Society training as well. After all, "Run away or I kill you" doesn't even need a common language to be conveyed, but finding the right way to approach everyone from the goblin on the street to a noble in his castle isn't something just anyone can do.

But, you tried it, it didn't work. Fair enough.

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ElSilverWind wrote:

Arcana = knowledge regarding Arcane Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

Religion = knowledge regarding Divine Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Nature = knowledge regarding Primal Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
Occultism = knowledge regarding Occult Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

Calling it now . . .

Society = knowledge regarding Social Spells, Monsters, and Rituals!

(Joking. But would be somewhat fitting for a Bard.)

Mark (and Logan & Stephen) —

Help me suss this out:

  • Where is Sense Motive? Is it automatic, much like Perception? Or does it lie under the Deception skill (the way Bards learn to lie and sense motive at the same time through versatile performance in PF1)? Sense Motive is one of my favorite skills in both Pathfinder and Starfinder. Help me know how to do it, please!

  • Is ‘Society’ an amalgamation of Knowledge Local, Knowledge Nobility, & Linguistics? In other words, does Society work like Culture in Starfinder?

  • Is Survival also Ride and Handle Animal? Actually, I think I remember this one being mentioned in a prior blog, but I want to double-check this. As for the difference between Survival and Nature, I’m betting that ElSilverWind is on the right track here.

  • Is Profession wrapped up in your background? In Starfinder, Perform disappeared into the Profession skill, which in a way was cool because there were so many ways to have a Profession. PF2 has a separate Perform skill (yay!) and a Craft skill (which will make many happy) but no Profession skill. So if I want to run a Tea Shop & Bakery in my downtime, do I sort of do that automatically? Are Professions just an assumed thing as part of your background or downtime? How do they work?

    Never Mind: Just reread the Downtime blog. ‘Lore’ is in part our new Profession skill. So I need to do ‘Lore (Baking)’ to be a great baker. Okay, makes sense.

    Please, help us map these a bit!

    Hmm

  • Grand Lodge

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    HWalsh wrote:
    NetoD20 wrote:
    FedoraFerret wrote:
    The Sideromancer wrote:
    Joana wrote:
    FedoraFerret wrote:
    Not gonna lie, unless Remove Blindness/Deafness and Cure Disease have been turned into much higher level spells I'm not super impressed by that legendary Heal feat.
    The main benefit I see is that it opens up condition removal to classes other than cleric/paladin, making non-standard party composition more viable.
    Only at high levels. If it required Expert or possibly Master, I could see the point, but this might just be adding rogue to that list.
    This. Legendary Heal feats should be along the lines of Raise Dead/Breath of Life, or completely restoring someone to full hit points instantly. Things that are beyond the bounds of the physically possible.
    I completely disagree, the legendary feat is indeed legendary by mundane standards, and I find it very good. I think it is crazy that people want mundane means that are not even high-end tech to be able to compete with magic...

    This in spades!

    I can't like this more than once, so I had to voice my support.

    I don't want mundane skills to be equal to magic.

    In PF1 magic made many skills moot, so I believe that the pendulum needs to swing the other way. Legendary Medicine being able to raise the dead seems like swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction.

    That said, I think it would be cool and balanced if a circle of high level fighters could raise their fallen comrade through a complex/expensive/long ritual, but that would clearly be a spell not a skill.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I feel like Society could also include Sense Motive, but I think it's more likely a function of Perception.


    AnimatedPaper wrote:
    I'd be just fine if bards wound up being psychic casters, but for some reason occult annoys me.

    Has Paizo said anything suggesting they are departing from P1E equation of Psychic/Occult?


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
    Quandary wrote:
    AnimatedPaper wrote:
    I'd be just fine if bards wound up being psychic casters, but for some reason occult annoys me.
    Has Paizo said anything suggesting they are departing from P1E equation of Psychic/Occult?

    Not that I've seen, although a few people have assumed.

    To be clear, the issue i have is with the name occult being applied to bards. The actual class and style of magic I'm fine with. And I genuinely don't understand why.


    8 people marked this as a favorite.

    I think this is all really good. But I still have a few bugbears, mostly about the Thievery skill.

    In my experience, players put a lot of weight on first impressions. That friendly NPC you spent hours working on might be ignored or even hated if he doesn't give the right first impression, whereas an NPC you quickly improvised because the PCs wanted to talk to them might suddenly become the centre of their interactive world just because he/she said something funny. Naming a skill Thievery has the potential to label a PC or NPC as a thief the first time they roll it... even if they don't have a background as a criminal (i.e. they were a street magician or a mechanical tinkerer).

    The consolidation of the Thievery skill also seems a bit of a stretch. Unlike Acrobatics and Athletics, the actions involved in opening a lock, disabling a trap, cutting a purse and feats of prestidigitation seem to be very different skill sets.

    Similarly, the idea (I don't think it's actually been confirmed?) of Sense Motive and Perception rolled into just Perception is strange to me. I did like the ability to differentiate between someone who is good at spotting THINGS and someone who is good at reading PEOPLE.

    Still, I want to see how it plays, and will give it all a solid go regardless ;)

    But personally I'd have probably gone with "Mechanics" as a skill for locks, traps, and dealing with other mechanical devices in the world, especially as that could actually open up more space for non-magical devices, such as the technology of Numeria or the machines of the Mana Wastes. Then leave Sleight of Hand to be the skill that involves dexterous trickery, like picking pockets, but also coin or card tricks, planting incriminating documents on PCs or NPCs, passing notes or objects between PCs without others noticing, and to hide the evidence of having investigated a corrupt official's paperwork (I use SOH a lot in my games).

    Anyway. Most of my babble here can really wait until after the playtest, which I am still really looking forward to :D


    AnimatedPaper wrote:
    ElSilverWind wrote:

    Arcana = knowledge regarding Arcane Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

    Religion = knowledge regarding Divine Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
    Nature = knowledge regarding Primal Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
    Occultism = knowledge regarding Occult Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

    Calling it now . . .

    Society = knowledge regarding Social Spells, Monsters, and Rituals!

    (Joking. But would be somewhat fitting for a Bard.)

    I wish, but bards are likely occult casters. Which I'm weirdly against. I'd be just fine if bards wound up being psychic casters, but for some reason occult annoys me.

    I'm sure it'll make sense in context.

    Part of me still feels like both the Bard and Sorcerer are going to be able to choose which spell list they have access to. That way Bards traditional bardic college dabblers with Arcane magic, lore singing Skalds with Divine magic, fairy ring panpipes dancers with Nature magic, and Gypsy tarot card readers with Occult magic. An similarly Sorcerer with Dragon bloodlines get Arcane magic, Fey bloodlines get nature magic, Celestial/Fiend magic get Divine magic, and Aberration bloodline get Occult.

    Option B is that Bard get no spells, but still have cantrips and various spell point powered powers. Which I'm not against, but I'm also not putting any money down on either. My real monopoly money is down on the Sorcerer bloodlines.

    Grand Lodge

    9 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Oh. Let me go on the record that I also want Thievery renamed as something else. Legerdemain works, or even ‘Roguery’ or ‘Security’.

    Hmm


    Tholomyes wrote:
    I feel like Society could also include Sense Motive, but I think it's more likely a function of Perception.

    It could be that while people with advanced Perception might notice certain things, people with advanced Society would be able to tell you what those things mean. *EDIT* and know to look in the first place.

    "You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear." Sherlock Holmes


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    AnimatedPaper wrote:
    Quandary wrote:
    Has Paizo said anything suggesting they are departing from P1E equation of Psychic/Occult?
    To be clear, the issue i have is with the name occult being applied to bards. The actual class and style of magic I'm fine with. And I genuinely don't understand why.

    Well in that case, I guess maintaining the synonomous relationship means everybody gets to call it what they want in their own games, but must suffer the heathen uttering their heretical prononunication on public messageboards like this. :-)

    I am curious to see if they take Witch into Psychic/Occult land, although we'll have to wait and see. Would distinguish it more from Wizards, both of them (along with Sorcerors) already suffering from 'words that mean practically the same thing' (wielder of supernatural forces).


    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps Subscriber
    Hmm wrote:

    Oh. Let me go on the record that I also want Thievery renamed as something else. Legerdemain works, or even ‘Roguery’ or ‘Security’.

    Hmm

    For those of us who have non-family kid connections, it's really really hard to talk to parents when we have to use words like "Thievery" to explain the game.

    ETA:
    Once again, I'm adding to Hmm's post, not arguing with it ;-)


    I like what I see, but I'm still thinking about houseruling untrained to "level divided by 2" instead of "level -2".


    6 people marked this as a favorite.
    Hmm wrote:

    Oh. Let me go on the record that I also want Thievery renamed as something else. Legerdemain works, or even ‘Roguery’ or ‘Security’.

    Hmm

    My house rule is going to be that "thievery" is the name of the skill, but one can only ever refer to it by polite euphemisms.


    Has anyone (besides the designers) tried to break down what numbers of each proficiency level it's possible to attain, for rogues and non-rogues separately, at its most basic level (i.e. without investing other ressources into skills)?
    Obviously this would depend on starting intelligence too.
    So, Int 10: X skills at Legendary, Y skills at Master, Z skills at Expert ...
    Int : 14 X skills at Legendary, Y skills at Master, Z skills at Expert etc.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    Thought it might be interesting to put in here too. I listed the backgrounds present in the playtest document in this thread, all gleaned from the pages shown at the PaizoCon banquet. This gives an idea of just some of the many skill feats available and some of the Lore skills that are "set" already (it seems like a skill where you can add your own too, in a specific area or even tied to your own setting if necessary)
    Some give an indication of what they might do, just by naming association, others are a bit more of a mystery.

    Skill feats:
    Student of the Canon
    Steady Balance
    Train Animal
    Hobnobber
    Specialty Crafting (blacksmithing)
    Experienced Smuggler
    Fascinating Performance
    Assurance
    Survey Wildlife(? - the "survey" part wasn't the most legible, so it might be wrong)
    Robust Recovery
    Bargain Hunter
    Courtly Graces
    Underwater Marauder
    Forager
    Pickpocket
    Quick Repair

    Lore skills:
    Lore skill corresponding to your deity
    Circus Lore
    Animal Lore
    Alcohol Lore
    Smithing Lore
    Underworld Lore
    Entertainment Lore
    Farming Lore
    Gladitorial Lore
    Hunting Lore
    Labor Lore
    Mercantile Lore
    Nobility Lore
    Lore skill related to one terrain you traveled in
    Sailing Lore
    Academia Lore
    Scouting Lore
    Underworld Lore
    Warfare Lore

    EDIT: This list also answers some of Hmm's questions above (Nobility is a Lore skill, Handle Animal seems to be split up in Animal Lore and the Train Animal skill feat).


    So where does Sense Motive lie in all this? Is it rolled under perception also?


    42nfl19 wrote:
    So where does Sense Motive lie in all this? Is it rolled under perception also?

    That's the prevailing theory but no dev confirmation as of yet.


    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    Hurká wrote:
    HWalsh wrote:
    NetoD20 wrote:
    FedoraFerret wrote:
    The Sideromancer wrote:
    Joana wrote:
    FedoraFerret wrote:
    Not gonna lie, unless Remove Blindness/Deafness and Cure Disease have been turned into much higher level spells I'm not super impressed by that legendary Heal feat.
    The main benefit I see is that it opens up condition removal to classes other than cleric/paladin, making non-standard party composition more viable.
    Only at high levels. If it required Expert or possibly Master, I could see the point, but this might just be adding rogue to that list.
    This. Legendary Heal feats should be along the lines of Raise Dead/Breath of Life, or completely restoring someone to full hit points instantly. Things that are beyond the bounds of the physically possible.
    I completely disagree, the legendary feat is indeed legendary by mundane standards, and I find it very good. I think it is crazy that people want mundane means that are not even high-end tech to be able to compete with magic...

    This in spades!

    I can't like this more than once, so I had to voice my support.

    I don't want mundane skills to be equal to magic.

    In PF1 magic made many skills moot, so I believe that the pendulum needs to swing the other way. Legendary Medicine being able to raise the dead seems like swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction.

    That said, I think it would be cool and balanced if a circle of high level fighters could raise their fallen comrade through a complex/expensive/long ritual, but that would clearly be a spell not a skill.

    I want to be able to shout at a fallen comrade to "get the f!#~ up" and for them to do so. Maybe a function of the Intimidate skill, make them more scared to disappoint you than they are to die.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    So, my initial confusion is with the skill "ranks" that are not mentioned as much as touched upon with this blog.

    Rereading the other (linked) blog, you get ranks at first level and every odd level. (the Rogue looks like they get ranks at every level)

    Here is my question. Does ranks determine how proficient you are, or does one need to take a skill feat to become more proficient after becoming trained?


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    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
    quillblade wrote:

    The consolidation of the Thievery skill also seems a bit of a stretch. Unlike Acrobatics and Athletics, the actions involved in opening a lock, disabling a trap, cutting a purse and feats of prestidigitation seem to be very different skill sets.

    Since all of those tasks involve being very nimble with your fingers, as well as having very sensitive touch sense, I can see the consolidation. Although I'd just call it "Sleight of Hand" and avoid the connotations that Quillblade brings up.

    Benjamin_Mahir wrote:
    AnimatedPaper wrote:
    ElSilverWind wrote:

    Arcana = knowledge regarding Arcane Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

    Religion = knowledge regarding Divine Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
    Nature = knowledge regarding Primal Spells, Monsters, and Rituals
    Occultism = knowledge regarding Occult Spells, Monsters, and Rituals

    Calling it now . . .

    Society = knowledge regarding Social Spells, Monsters, and Rituals!

    (Joking. But would be somewhat fitting for a Bard.)

    I wish, but bards are likely occult casters. Which I'm weirdly against. I'd be just fine if bards wound up being psychic casters, but for some reason occult annoys me.

    I'm sure it'll make sense in context.

    Part of me still feels like both the Bard and Sorcerer are going to be able to choose which spell list they have access to. That way Bards traditional bardic college dabblers with Arcane magic, lore singing Skalds with Divine magic, fairy ring panpipes dancers with Nature magic, and Gypsy tarot card readers with Occult magic. An similarly Sorcerer with Dragon bloodlines get Arcane magic, Fey bloodlines get nature magic, Celestial/Fiend magic get Divine magic, and Aberration bloodline get Occult.

    I could see that, and would add that Monks might belong to "schools" that differentiate themselves by tapping into different power sources, from Arcane wielding elementalists to Occult Chakra channelers to enigmatic Primal "shifters", even some that weild no ki powers at all and just double down on their martial skills.


    6 people marked this as a favorite.

    As much as I love Thievery as a skill name, the more I think about it the more I see the point of putting Disable Device back on the list and leave actual criminal activities to Thief Lore and various sorts of sleight of hand tricks to entertainer based Lores, Performance, and/or Deception.

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