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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Diego Rossi wrote:


Now I see people fighting wielding pianos as weapons. :D

With sofa-sized weaponry apparently in, you can go for it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Corrik wrote:
With the Lv 15 Legendary stealth feat, you no longer have to tell your DM "Just assume I'm stealthing unless I say otherwise."

I think it's better than that. I believe it allows you a Stealth check even if circumstances wouldn't normally let you have one. It's still a little silly as you say, but if I can use a Stealth check even without actually meeting the requirements for a Stealth check, it has some use.

But it's not worthy of Legendary + Skill Feat. Maybe Master, tops, or Expert + Skill Feat, but certainly not that.

I disagree actually. This legendary skill feat they are talking about is focused on "Exploration" mode which is likely going to be considerably more codified than it was in PF1. Things that were previously taken for granted such as stealth, perception checks, and detection spells/abilities will probably take "tactics" and such now. From the sound of things this feat will mean that you don't have to explicitly use any of your "tactics" at all to sneak leaving those open for something else:

blog post wrote:
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.

Anything that messes with action economy (even pseudo-action-economies) is worthy of a high level ability...

Liberty's Edge

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Franz Lunzer wrote:
Well, that makes things easier. (I don’t know where your knowledge is from, or how you gained it, but if it’s correct, then a lot of granularity of the skill system is lost in PF2E.)

Depends on what you mean by granularity. The actual numbers don't vary nearly as much, but Skill Feats add a new and interesting variable.

And I got it from a whole host of posts on the subject (though the leveling Blog is where they state when you get Skill Feats and Skill Ranks).

Franz Lunzer wrote:

It makes the math work with the rest of the system, I can see that.

I’ll have to see it in play, I guess.

I'm liking it, for the most part. I'm a little concerned with the side effects of untrained, say, Athletics making 20th level wizards master athletes, but am hopeful that the list of untrained Athletics uses will be limited enough to make that not an issue.

Diego Rossi wrote:
A level 19 fighter with int 12 (and I am convinced that he will have more int at that level) ha a total of (3+1)*10 increases in skill proficency.

Based on Mark Seifter's analysis of how many skills a Rogue can get (and our knowledge you can get more with a Skill Feat) this cannot be true, in terms of number of ranks per level.

The maximum number of ranks a non-Rogue can get every time they get ranks is 2. Not 2+Int, either. Just 2. You get more (and bonus skills for high Int) at 1st level, but not at later levels.

Which, as I noted above, maxes out at 6 Legendary skills at most (assuming Int 16 by 19th level, which I agree is fair for that level).


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DarthMask wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Corrik wrote:
With the Lv 15 Legendary stealth feat, you no longer have to tell your DM "Just assume I'm stealthing unless I say otherwise."

I think it's better than that. I believe it allows you a Stealth check even if circumstances wouldn't normally let you have one. It's still a little silly as you say, but if I can use a Stealth check even without actually meeting the requirements for a Stealth check, it has some use.

But it's not worthy of Legendary + Skill Feat. Maybe Master, tops, or Expert + Skill Feat, but certainly not that.

I disagree actually. This legendary skill feat they are talking about is focused on "Exploration" mode which is likely going to be considerably more codified than it was in PF1. Things that were previously taken for granted such as stealth, perception checks, and detection spells/abilities will probably take "tactics" and such now. From the sound of things this feat will mean that you don't have to explicitly use any of your "tactics" at all to sneak leaving those open for something else:

blog post wrote:
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.
Anything that messes with action economy (even pseudo-action-economies) is worthy of a high level ability...

There's also a question of whether Sneak or Hide will be its own action in combat-- being able to do it for free would be sweet. (I'm not advocating for it to BE an action by default, but it is possible.)

Quote:

Let's make it a RL example (I hope I will not offend anyone).

Character A is a Chatolic priest that has studied in seminary.
Character B is a traveler that has spent some time visiting the world and has visited temples and holy sites of different religions.

Who know betther the tenets of the Chatolic church and the differences in faith between Chatolics, Protestants and Ortodox churches? The Priest.
Who has a better chance of recognizing holy symbols of non-Christian (or related) faiths? The traveler.

This actually seems like a really solid example and highlights one of my problems with the PF1 skill system. Making a cleric actually know stuff about their god is EXPENSIVE, and also comes with knowing about every other god + undead and what not. Making Religion Wisdom based helps with this, even if it seems to fit INT in a vacuum.

Actually, this makes me hope there is a cheap or free way to get Deity specific Lore. Perhaps scaling with a cleric's Divine spellcasting proficiency-- as their connection to their god deepens, so does their understanding. I think I'd like it if it was free for clerics and paladins, and at worse cheap for anyone else. Would be neat if it made people care about setting deities more. Plus, you could just change the ABCs to ABCDs, haha.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
edduardco wrote:
So how training is gained? The blog mentioned fighters has 3 + Int trained skills, but is that for level?
It was mentioned in the level up blog that (Cleric's at least) get a skill increase every other level where they can increase their proficiency level in a skill.

Thanks Bardarok and KignOfAnything

But, can we be sure that skill ranks increases just by one each odd level? If yes that is kind of disappointing, I would expect to keep adding Int.

Its not as bad as all that, the bonus for all skills (trained and untrained) increase by one every level. So skill ranks are levels of proficiency in the new system which maxes out at rank 4 (legendary). I also assume that you get a bonus skill rank when you improve intelligence.
Yes I know, but that means that most characters are only going to have three or four skills maxed, I don't see how are they going to be more round up with that. Although given the number of skill feats maybe that is more than enough, I definitely need to play with this to see how it goes, because right now I don't think I like it much.

A level 19 fighter with int 12 (and I am convinced that he will have more int at that level) ha a total of (3+1)*10 increases in skill proficency.

Becoming legendary cost 4 skill proficencies. So he can be legendary in 10 skills.
At level 9 he can be a master (assuming he can't get a legendary proficency at that level) in 6 skills and expert in sevent.
Plus what you get from your race and background.
That isn't "three or four skills maxed". That is 4 skill maxed at level 1, assuming you can be at most trained at that level, or 2 skill maxed if you can be an expert.
4 skills at expert level at level 3. 6 at level 5 or 2 at master and 2 at expert and 2 at trained (again, plus background and race).

I don't see the problem.

He can't be Legendary in 10 skills because becoming Legendary in a skill is only open at level 15 "at the earliest" for most characters. The Proficiency blog then goes on to say : "Most characters become Legendary in only a few skills and one or two other statistics.". I figure more than half the skill list is a bit more than "a few skills".

The same blog also says Master is level 7 at the earliest.

Which is fine, level blocking general skill Proficiency advancement is a way of forcing characters to spread out their proficiencies instead of just pumping one skill, though we'll see how it works in practice.

Aside from that the Skill list is alright. I'm one of those people that thinks Sleight of Hand and Disable Device shouldn't be lumped together into one skill, but it's not a deal breaker. The weird one to me is calling Profession "Lore" and lumping it with stuff like Underworld Lore.

Oh and the Legendary skill feats sound pretty underwhelming, but I'll have to see how other stuff compares before declaring them bad.

Liberty's Edge

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Weather Report wrote:
Very similar list to 5th Ed, and I really like that you get extra trained skills for Int; at least in the 5th Ed playtest you got additional languages for a high Int, they settled on nothing...

You seem to get at least one language for high Int in PF2, too. On top of the skills.

The big improvement over 5E for me is that you can take new skills after character creation and/or decide to advance existing ones. Making all your skill choices at 1st level in 5E was not fun, and I never felt like I had enough (it also meant all my characters were Half Elves...I don't even like Half Elves that much, but I like skills).

Weather Report wrote:
I also seriously dig getting rid of Perception as a skill, finally.

I am also very pleased with this.

Weather Report wrote:
There is a treadmill in this edition, but that is intentional, and with the 4-tiers of success system, it seems a great way to leverage that.

There's a bit of a treadmill, but you get distinctly better at things you focus on as you level.

A 1st level Expert (assuming there's a way to do that...I suspect there is) has +6 at most (Level +5), while a 7th level Master has a +15 at most (Level +8). So he's actually gotten better, for his level, than the 1st level version. This continues until you can max at +35 at 20th level (Level +15). Some of that is items, but it's still very solid.

Also, they've specified many things have set DCs, which makes the bonus for leveling much cooler.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So...why are skill ranks based on level? It means there's basically no difference between a person who is trained and a person who is a master other than their skill feats chosen if their the same level.

If its based on stupidly high skill checks for the higher level skill feats...why not lower the DCs since they're already blocked off if you don't have the requisite level of proficiency.

Could do -2, +0, +2, +4, +6 or -2, +2, +4, +6, +8 or -2, +0, +2, +5, +10 or something and get your level of the equation.

Regardless, ill probably end up houseruling it to something along those lines anyways.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Very similar list to 5th Ed, and I really like that you get extra trained skills for Int; at least in the 5th Ed playtest you got additional languages for a high Int, they settled on nothing...

You seem to get at least one language for high Int in PF2, too. On top of the skills.

The big improvement over 5E for me is that you can take new skills after character creation and/or decide to advance existing ones. Making all your skill choices at 1st level in 5E was not fun, and I never felt like I had enough (it also meant all my characters were Half Elves...I don't even like Half Elves that much, but I like skills).

Weather Report wrote:
I also seriously dig getting rid of Perception as a skill, finally.

I am also very pleased with this.

Weather Report wrote:
There is a treadmill in this edition, but that is intentional, and with the 4-tiers of success system, it seems a great way to leverage that.

There's a bit of a treadmill, but you get distinctly better at things you focus on as you level.

A 1st level Expert (assuming there's a way to do that...I suspect there is) has +6 at most (Level +5), while a 7th level Master has a +15 at most (Level +8). So he's actually gotten better, for his level, than the 1st level version. This continues until you can max at +35 at 20th level (Level +15). Some of that is items, but it's still very solid.

Also, they've specified many things have set DCs, which makes the bonus for leveling much cooler.

Even better, I like the way they are handling Intelligence in this edition. Str and Int are the oft-lamentend (god that sounded pretentious) scores in 5th Ed.

As for Perception separated from Skills, yes, too obvious a skill for everyone to want, and not tied to any one score, directly - will be houseruling this instantly into 3rd Ed/PF1 and 5th Ed.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
There is a treadmill in this edition, but that is intentional, and with the 4-tiers of success system, it seems a great way to leverage that.

There's a bit of a treadmill, but you get distinctly better at things you focus on as you level.

A 1st level Expert (assuming there's a way to do that...I suspect there is) has +6 at most (Level +5), while a 7th level Master has a +15 at most (Level +8). So he's actually gotten better, for his level, than the 1st level version. This continues until you can max at +35 at 20th level (Level +15). Some of that is items, but it's still very solid.

Also, they've specified many things have set DCs, which makes the bonus for leveling much cooler.

Where are you getting a 1st level expert having a +6. They've said expert is Level+1. A 7th level master would have a +9 vice +15 as Master level is stated as Level+2. Same with the 20th level legendary being +35. I'm only seeing a +23 (Level+3 for Legendary proficiency)

Liberty's Edge

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Jonathan Cormier wrote:
So...why are skill ranks based on level? It means there's basically no difference between a person who is trained and a person who is a master other than their skill feats chosen if their the same level.

There's a +2 difference. Which actually matters quite a lot in a system like this.

For exampple, assuming DC 20 and a +15 bonus for the Master, he has the following percentages:

5% Critical Fail, 15% Fail, 50% Success, 30% Critical Success

The person with a +13 (due to identical stats but not being a Master...this is actually unlikely, since it involves having invested in an item):

5% Critical Fail, 25% Fail, 50% Success, 20% Critical Success

So that's 10% of the time that they just fail instead of critically succeed. It gets worse without the item.

Jonathan Cormier wrote:
If its based on stupidly high skill checks for the higher level skill feats...why not lower the DCs since they're already blocked off if you don't have the requisite level of proficiency.

Uh...we have no idea what skill checks are required for high level skill feats.

Jonathan Cormier wrote:

Could do -2, +0, +2, +4, +6 or -2, +2, +4, +6, +8 or -2, +0, +2, +5, +10 or something and get your level of the equation.

Regardless, ill probably end up houseruling it to something along those lines anyways.

Removing level reinstitutes the problem this was intended to get rid of. The issue being that, as proved in many games, unless the whole party has Stealth you can't sneak anywhere, because the low guy still has a +0 despite being 12th level.

It's an issue and one they removed for a very specific reason. This version is also much simpler because it makes all Proficiencies work the same, which is very nice from a 'teaching this to new players' perspective.

Weather Report wrote:
Even better, I like the way they are handling Intelligence in this edition. Str and Int are the oft-lamentend (god that sounded pretentious) scores in 5th Ed.

Indeed. We also now have confirmation that adding Dex instead of Str to damage with finesse weapons is a Class Feat rather than being freely available. So Str is mostly good too.

Weather Report wrote:
As for Perception separated from Skills, yes, too obvious a skill for everyone to want, and not tied to any one score, directly - will be houseruling this instantly into 3rd Ed/PF1 and 5th Ed.

In fairness, it is still tied to Wisdom in PF2. That's all it's tied to, though.

Jonathan Cormier wrote:
Where are you getting a 1st level expert having a +6. They've said expert is Level+1. A 7th level master would have a +9 vice +15 as Master level is stated as Level+2. Same with the 20th level legendary being +35. I'm only seeing a +23 (Level+3 for Legendary proficiency)

I'm including all bonuses, such as Ability Modifier and items.

An 18 Cha and Expert Diplomacy will give you +6 Diplomacy at 1st level, for example.


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I really, really like these changes to the skill system. It looks like a great way to customise your character and distinguish yourself from other characters in the party.

I really like the Legendary Medic skill feat, I think this a great ability to have access through skills alone. It also opens up some fantastic options for NPCs as well.

The stealth stuff looks amazing. Being able to be in two modes at once (stealth + other) in exploration mode sounds like on hell of a good perk.


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Franz Lunzer wrote:
Well, that makes things easier. (I don’t know where your knowledge is from, or how you gained it, but if it’s correct, then a lot of granularity of the skill system is lost in PF2E.)

The new system is certainly much less granular, with the skill list reduced some 50%, and the ranks on a scale of 1-5 (ie from Untrained to Legendary) rather than 1-20. So you could say that granularity is reduced by a factor of about 8. I think this is a major improvement, as the 3.5/PF1 system gave us excessive granularity.

A large number of PF1 skills are of only marginal use: This prompted the invention of the background skills concept, a fairly clumsy (but useful) patch. And some of them are at least partly redundant - do I roll Knowledge Arcana, or Spellcraft? Ride, or Handle Animal? What's the point of my rogue having 8 ranks per level if he needs to learn Escape Artist and Acrobatics separately?

In many cases, the attribution of 2 to 10 or so ranks to skills at every level is just a bunch of low-impact, uninspiring choices (my players tend to wave the whole thing off as "same as last level", unless they're playing a skill-driven character).

This is now replaced with a smaller set of more meaty skills, all of them are meant to have real impact on play, eventually competing with or supplementing spells to some degree. And when a character levels, the skill rank and feat choices will carry some real weight. To me, this is a big benefit over PF1.

Franz Lunzer wrote:

It makes the math work with the rest of the system, I can see that.

I’ll have to see it in play, I guess.

Like many of these blogs, this one only gives a general direction. Making assumptions on the math to assess how powerful the Legendary Medic is, for instance, is likely to lead to irrelevant conclusions. This also applies to concerns about the scale of -2 to +5 modifiers: In the absence of the full picture of skill feats and skill descriptions, including the DC of common skill checks, it's not really possible to form a data-backed opinion.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:

So, skill points per level are gone the way of the dodo?

I'm still not sure I understand how to train skills at level up though.

I get that at level X, your bonus to skill Y is:

level + proficiency + ability mod + item bonus

This is correct!

Franz Lunzer wrote:
Also, from the wording in the blogs, I get that a fighter is peaking his proficiency in 3+INT skills of his choice, and gets a skill feat every odd level.

This is incorrect!

What happens to a Fighter is as follows:

At 1st level, he gets a number of skills at Trained equal to 3+int Mod (4+Int Mod in the final game, probably). So an Int 12 Fighter would pick 4 skills (5 in the final game) and they are now Trained.

At 2nd level and every even level thereafter he gets a Skill Feat (on top of the one from Background at 1st level).

At 3rd level and every odd level thereafter, he gets X ranks in skills. He can use those, on a one for one basis, to buy new skills at Trained, or to upgrade existing skills by one rank (so Trained to Expert, or Expert to Master, or Master to Legend). He cannot buy skills to Master before 7th level, or to Legend before 15th.

The only part of this we don't know is what X is, though it seems to probably be 2 (it could be 3), and the same for almost everyone, with only Rogues getting extra and nobody adding Int Mod.

Franz Lunzer wrote:

So... Are there 'virtual skill points' you gain every level?

Like: it takes 1 vsp to be trained, 5 to be expert, 10 to be master, 15 to be legendary?

There are not. There are ranks. They work in a very straightforward fashion, you just don't get huge numbers of them or get them every level.

I am going to go ahead and just assume that if you raise you intelligence it will grant you extra proficiency rank increases (ha! technically the correct term).

So assuming 2 skill ranks per odd level and ending up with an intelligence of 16. We have 4 basic +3 int+18 from levels= 25 increases.
So at 20 level a fighter can be:
Legendary in atheltics, intimidation, crafting, lore(warfare) survival and pereception ( which needs only one increase).
Trained in diplomacy, society, medicine and another skill.
To add to this he has 11 skill feats.

Not bad at all when compared to the the old unskilled fighter.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Lucas Yew wrote:
Not bad, the legendary feats are. But seriously, fighters and other non-casters should have above average skill points compared to casters; +1 compared to PF1 is a bit meh...

A +1 at only half the skills to (not) spend it on


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I like this a lot, there's been some serious thought (and work!) put in to it. A few thoughts, in no particular order:

1. Glad Perception is no longer a skill. Presumably Sense Motive is folded into it?

2. Consolidation is no bad thing in principle, but I would like to know which of the new "knowledge" replacement skills (Arcana, Occultism, Nature, Religion) is used to identify each class of monster? Looks like knowledge (dungeoneering) is gone for good, so what skill now identifies those monsters (mainly oozes, IIRC)? And what about orcs, bugbears, etc (previously knowledge local)?

3. "Thievery" sucks as a name (I'm sorry, but it does). Especially since - in my view - actual thievery (such as pickpocketing) should be the domain of Stealth. Change it to something like "Skulduggery" and include forgery in its purview and I'm sold.

4. Just bite the bullet and give Fighters and other similar classes 4 skill points. You know it makes sense.

5. Legendary Medicine needs to be a bit more... legendary.

6. Some skills don't seem to easily fit the consolidated list. Appraise and Ride don't see much use in game, but it might be nice to have them. Where do they fit? Also, Linguistics: again, not used much - especially if forgery gets moved to a more appropriate skill! - but occasionally useful.

7. I assume that knowledge: geography, history and engineering are now just Lore skills? And Escape Artist is part of Acrobatics? I can live with that.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jonathan Cormier wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
There is a treadmill in this edition, but that is intentional, and with the 4-tiers of success system, it seems a great way to leverage that.

There's a bit of a treadmill, but you get distinctly better at things you focus on as you level.

A 1st level Expert (assuming there's a way to do that...I suspect there is) has +6 at most (Level +5), while a 7th level Master has a +15 at most (Level +8). So he's actually gotten better, for his level, than the 1st level version. This continues until you can max at +35 at 20th level (Level +15). Some of that is items, but it's still very solid.

Also, they've specified many things have set DCs, which makes the bonus for leveling much cooler.

Where are you getting a 1st level expert having a +6. They've said expert is Level+1. A 7th level master would have a +9 vice +15 as Master level is stated as Level+2. Same with the 20th level legendary being +35. I'm only seeing a +23 (Level+3 for Legendary proficiency)

This is a "taking all relevant bonuses into account for the sake of overall comparison" situation. A theoretical level 1 expert with the best score for skill's stat gets the expert +1, stat +4, and presumably an expert tool for another +1 in his example. And extend to the others, based on ALL of the information we've gotten to date.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Alexander Bascom wrote:
So you're a fighter who dabbled in religion, but is level 10? I am a level 5 Cleric who as devoted my life to it! Who is better?

Let's make it a RL example (I hope I will not offend anyone).

Character A is a Chatolic priest that has studied in seminary.
Character B is a traveler that has spent some time visiting the world and has visited temples and holy sites of different religions.

Who know betther the tenets of the Chatolic church and the differences in faith between Chatolics, Protestants and Ortodox churches? The Priest.
Who has a better chance of recognizing holy symbols of non-Christian (or related) faiths? The traveler.

Having known quite a few Seminarians, I'd probably still say the priest for both. The traveler might be able to identify them, but I'd wager the one with seminary training (including likely courses on comparative religion) would still have the edge.

Liberty's Edge

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Wandering Wastrel wrote:

I like this a lot, there's been some serious thought (and work!) put in to it. A few thoughts, in no particular order:

1. Glad Perception is no longer a skill. Presumably Sense Motive is folded into it?

All evidence suggests this to be the case, yes.

Wandering Wastrel wrote:
2. Consolidation is no bad thing in principle, but I would like to know which of the new "knowledge" replacement skills (Arcana, Occultism, Nature, Religion) is used to identify each class of monster? Looks like knowledge (dungeoneering) is gone for good, so what skill now identifies those monsters (mainly oozes, IIRC)? And what about orcs, bugbears, etc (previously knowledge local)?

We don't know, but Society seems to have subsumed Local so I'd expect Humanoids to fall under that. I'd likewise expect Abberations to fall under Occultism. No idea where Oozes will wind up. Outsiders seem to be under Religion based on some stuff Mark Seifter said earlier in the thread (though some might also wind up under Occult).

Wandering Wastrel wrote:
3. "Thievery" sucks as a name (I'm sorry, but it does). Especially since - in my view - actual thievery (such as pickpocketing) should be the domain of Stealth. Change it to something like "Skulduggery" and include forgery in its purview and I'm sold.

I have no real comment here. I'm fine with whatever they decide.

Wandering Wastrel wrote:
4. Just bite the bullet and give Fighters and other similar classes 4 skill points. You know it makes sense.

Mark Seifter posted to say this was likely gonna happen (though it isn't true in the playtest).

Wandering Wastrel wrote:
5. Legendary skills need to be a bit more... legendary.

Given that you can scare people to death with a Legendary Intimidate Skill Feat, I think we're on for legendary stuff being impressive. Frankly, the Legendary Medic thing above is quite impressive given that it has no cost or limitations on use except time.

Wandering Wastrel wrote:
6. Some skills don't seem to easily fit the consolidated list. Appraise and Ride don't see much use in game, but it might be nice to have them. Where do they fit? Also, Linguistics: again, not used much - especially if forgery gets moved to a more appropriate skill! - but occasionally useful.

Appraise is probably part of Crafting (which makes sense if you think about it), and I'd bet on Linguistics being part of Society. Ride I'm less sure of, but might be part of Nature (where Handle Animal wound up) or part of Acrobatics.

Wandering Wastrel wrote:
7. I assume that knowledge: geography, history and engineering are now just Lore skills? And Escape Artist is part of Acrobatics? I can live with that.

History is probably part of the Society skill (along with Local and Nobility and, as mentioned above, probably Linguistics), but other than that yes, those are probably correct (though some parts of Geography have always overlapped with Survival, and I suspect Survival will maintain those).


Diego Rossi wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
edduardco wrote:
So how training is gained? The blog mentioned fighters has 3 + Int trained skills, but is that for level?
It was mentioned in the level up blog that (Cleric's at least) get a skill increase every other level where they can increase their proficiency level in a skill.

Thanks Bardarok and KignOfAnything

But, can we be sure that skill ranks increases just by one each odd level? If yes that is kind of disappointing, I would expect to keep adding Int.

Its not as bad as all that, the bonus for all skills (trained and untrained) increase by one every level. So skill ranks are levels of proficiency in the new system which maxes out at rank 4 (legendary). I also assume that you get a bonus skill rank when you improve intelligence.
Yes I know, but that means that most characters are only going to have three or four skills maxed, I don't see how are they going to be more round up with that. Although given the number of skill feats maybe that is more than enough, I definitely need to play with this to see how it goes, because right now I don't think I like it much.

A level 19 fighter with int 12 (and I am convinced that he will have more int at that level) ha a total of (3+1)*10 increases in skill proficency.

Becoming legendary cost 4 skill proficencies. So he can be legendary in 10 skills.
At level 9 he can be a master (assuming he can't get a legendary proficency at that level) in 6 skills and expert in sevent.
Plus what you get from your race and background.
That isn't "three or four skills maxed". That is 4 skill maxed at level 1, assuming you can be at most trained at that level, or 2 skill maxed if you can be an expert.
4 skills at expert level at level 3. 6 at level 5 or 2 at master and 2 at expert and 2 at trained (again, plus background and race).

I don't see the problem.

But that is assuming that in this example the fighter gains 3+1 skill increases at each odd level and not 3+1 at level 1 and after that only gets increased by 1 each odd level. I have not seen a confirmation of how many skill increases are given at odd levels, I certainly would like it to be class bonus + Int mod.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
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...

If use a medieval definition of "dead", CPR raise the dead. And that can be done bare handed.

Today "dead" is way more nebulous that Aesculapius definition of "dead", and he was a Legendary healer.
The cousin of my mother was stillborn, but the doctor was able to save him with 1932 tech, at the mother home, without special equipment. He is spastic as a consequence, but very intelligent and still alive after 85 years.

So, I would accept a form of "raise the dead", with some limitation based on the kind of damage suffered, if done within a minute or slightly more.


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Someone asked why I might not like this system and I'll voice a few of the concerns now. (Keep in mind this isnt a final opinion, I fully intent to playtest the system and see how it works)

Consolidated lists are always a bummer for me. In those systems it seems like you cram too much into too few spaces. Its more difficult to differentiate one character from the next. Things like ranks and feats can help, but have their own potential pitfalls. Its possible im just twice bitten thrice shy after WOTC last couple editions on consolidated lists. Seems like things had to consolidated to stop the PF2 CRB from having a thousand extra feats...

Exploration mode and its limits. As noted in some comments you cant sneak and do anything else until you gain ranks and get feats. Thats very limiting compared to PF1. I feel like that can hamper both GM and player creativity. It takes something that was vague, but useful, and turned it into a confined game space. I know some will champion this new paradigm, particularly at the PFS table, but I feel like rules have been added to a formerly open space and thats a loss in my book.

Feats... First issue with feats is they create a gate between doing things you should arguably be able to do and cant. No longer are ranks pushing character development up alone, you need feats too. I know some will argue that you get ranks like before, and now feats to make you cool too! The playtest might convince me of this. The second problem is a history of feats being unequal. Im not convinced that all skill feats will be matched and worth taking. Im afraid traps will rear their ugly head again and burn some folks at the table.

These are just my reservations about PF2 skill system which is #2 on my worry list after multi-classing. I'll be eager to look over the playtest docs and discuss more here on the forums.

-cheers

Liberty's Edge

edduardco wrote:
But that is assuming that in this example the fighter gains 3+1 skill increases at each odd level and, not only 3+1 at level 1 and after that only gets increased by 1 each odd level. I have not seen a confirmation of how many skill increases are given at odd levels, I certainly will like it to be class bonus + Int mod.

The evidence is strong that it's actually right around a flat two. Possibly only one.


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Tholomyes wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Alexander Bascom wrote:
So you're a fighter who dabbled in religion, but is level 10? I am a level 5 Cleric who as devoted my life to it! Who is better?

Let's make it a RL example (I hope I will not offend anyone).

Character A is a Chatolic priest that has studied in seminary.
Character B is a traveler that has spent some time visiting the world and has visited temples and holy sites of different religions.

Who know betther the tenets of the Chatolic church and the differences in faith between Chatolics, Protestants and Ortodox churches? The Priest.
Who has a better chance of recognizing holy symbols of non-Christian (or related) faiths? The traveler.

Having known quite a few Seminarians, I'd probably still say the priest for both. The traveler might be able to identify them, but I'd wager the one with seminary training (including likely courses on comparative religion) would still have the edge.

Would that have been true pre-globalization though? Not that Golarion closely resembles medieval society, but it probably closer to that than it is to the real world for the specific field of information technology. Did historic seminary training include a lot of information on religions from the other side of the world? Honest question.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
edduardco wrote:
But that is assuming that in this example the fighter gains 3+1 skill increases at each odd level and, not only 3+1 at level 1 and after that only gets increased by 1 each odd level. I have not seen a confirmation of how many skill increases are given at odd levels, I certainly will like it to be class bonus + Int mod.
The evidence is strong that it's actually right around a flat two. Possibly only one.

Yeah that is what I'm dreading, I think that is to few.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Jonathan Cormier wrote:
So...why are skill ranks based on level? It means there's basically no difference between a person who is trained and a person who is a master other than their skill feats chosen if their the same level.

There's a +2 difference. Which actually matters quite a lot in a system like this.

For exampple, assuming DC 20 and a +15 bonus for the Master, he has the following percentages:

5% Critical Fail, 15% Fail, 50% Success, 30% Critical Success

The person with a +13 (due to identical stats but not being a Master...this is actually unlikely, since it involves having invested in an item):

5% Critical Fail, 25% Fail, 50% Success, 20% Critical Success

So that's 10% of the time that they just fail instead of critically succeed. It gets worse without the item.

Jonathan Cormier wrote:
If its based on stupidly high skill checks for the higher level skill feats...why not lower the DCs since they're already blocked off if you don't have the requisite level of proficiency.

Uh...we have no idea what skill checks are required for high level skill feats.

Jonathan Cormier wrote:

Could do -2, +0, +2, +4, +6 or -2, +2, +4, +6, +8 or -2, +0, +2, +5, +10 or something and get your level of the equation.

Regardless, ill probably end up houseruling it to something along those lines anyways.

Removing level reinstitutes the problem this was intended to get rid of. The issue being that, as proved in many games, unless the whole party has Stealth you can't sneak anywhere, because the low guy still has a +0 despite being 12th level.

It's an issue and one they removed for a very specific reason. This version is also much simpler because it makes all Proficiencies work the same, which is very nice from a 'teaching this to new players' perspective.

1) I get that, which is why I didn't really change much as far as what the proficiency bonus was and was intending to kind of split the difference between "level+X and just a small bonus, but have it actually be based on player choice vice default automatic gains.

2) you're correct. We don't. I was basing it off the idea that the only reason you set up a system to give a +15 bonus at level 7 is because the DC's are going to counter it. Using smaller numbers means you can normalize the DCs so a 15 is always the "default" difficulty of average/hard or whatever.

3) Holy balls this idea is part of the problem people have with D&D having become too soft/characters becoming too much like fantasy superheroes.

That low stealth character IS NOT SKILLED IN STEALTH. It doesn't matter their level. They haven't devoted the time to that particular skill nor deemed it important. Heaven forbid players have to make choices about what's important to their playstyle or that they might not be good at everything. If a character is actually skilled in something, they get to take point in that action.

I don't get why being a higher level character automatically makes them inherently better at EVERYTHING vice the things they've chosen to actually work on through Proficiencies/feats/class choices.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Alexander Bascom wrote:
So you're a fighter who dabbled in religion, but is level 10? I am a level 5 Cleric who as devoted my life to it! Who is better?

Let's make it a RL example (I hope I will not offend anyone).

Character A is a Chatolic priest that has studied in seminary.
Character B is a traveler that has spent some time visiting the world and has visited temples and holy sites of different religions.

Who know betther the tenets of the Chatolic church and the differences in faith between Chatolics, Protestants and Ortodox churches? The Priest.
Who has a better chance of recognizing holy symbols of non-Christian (or related) faiths? The traveler.

Having known quite a few Seminarians, I'd probably still say the priest for both. The traveler might be able to identify them, but I'd wager the one with seminary training (including likely courses on comparative religion) would still have the edge.
Would that have been true pre-globalization though? Not that Golarion closely resembles medieval society, but it probably closer to that than it is to the real world for the specific field of information technology. Did historic seminary training include a lot of information on religions from the other side of the world? Honest question.

I could see arguments based on that reasoning that maybe the priest wouldn't know about (for example) Tian-Xia gods, but honestly I'm not sure the traveler would know about them either, unless they spent a good deal of time outside the Inner Sea. But one important difference between Golarion and Medieval Earth is that in Golarion, the priest knows that other gods exist, he's just only devoted to his chosen god, whereas in the Medieval Earth example, the priest will believe that his faith is the One True Faith, and all others are heathens.

Liberty's Edge

Perception not being a skill is unfortunate. This feels like designing the game based on accounting for optimizers who will always take Perception.
(Honestly, after playing 5e for a while, I really like Perception versus Investigation. The return of Spot vs Search.)

I'm not a fan of the single Athletics skill still, since it's weird that Swimming and Climbing are always associated. Mountain Dwarves should not be natural swimmers.

Not sure of the difference between Arcana and Occultism. Is it a Arcana/ Planes distinction? Arcana vs Mysticism?

Crafting as a skill feels a little unneeded.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Diego Rossi wrote:
A level 19 fighter with int 12 (and I am convinced that he will have more int at that level) ha a total of (3+1)*10 increases in skill proficency.

Based on Mark Seifter's analysis of how many skills a Rogue can get (and our knowledge you can get more with a Skill Feat) this cannot be true, in terms of number of ranks per level.

The maximum number of ranks a non-Rogue can get every time they get ranks is 2. Not 2+Int, either. Just 2. You get more (and bonus skills for high Int) at 1st level, but not at later levels.

Which, as I noted above, maxes out at 6 Legendary skills at most (assuming Int 16 by 19th level, which I agree is fair for that level).

I am a reverse-ninja, i.e. I reply to a post in a thread several hours after it has been posted and sometime that mean that what I write has already corrected and covered by other posts.

If, as it seem probable, we get the int bonus only at first level and (more or less) most classes get the same number of rank increases, I see even less why the non-casters should get more skill points when they raise in level. That is right for a skill based class, but a skill based class is different from a non spellcasting class.

Edit: unless the int bonus is so relevant that it is possible to get 3-4 times what other class get at first level.
Unless I am mistaken it is not possible to get more than 18 in a stat at level one, so a fighter with 3+1 skill rank increase isn't so distant from a wizard that get 3+4, especially as both are limited to taking trained or expert ranks, and both get +1 trained skill from their background.
5 vs 8, no reason to cry.


welp. community still jumping the shark except few smart souls. I give up you guys gonna be shocked when play test reveals we still have the old point based system and ranks work as mastery's were you unlock new options like battlefield surgeon feat revealed in the one of the marks posts.


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Jester David wrote:
Not sure of the difference between Arcana and Occultism. Is it a Arcana/ Planes distinction? Arcana vs Mysticism?

Oh, it's an easy difference:

Arcana -> Spells, constructs, dragons, magical beasts

Occultism -> Rituals, planes, aberrations, ia ia cthulhu fhtagn

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
edduardco wrote:
But that is assuming that in this example the fighter gains 3+1 skill increases at each odd level and, not only 3+1 at level 1 and after that only gets increased by 1 each odd level. I have not seen a confirmation of how many skill increases are given at odd levels, I certainly will like it to be class bonus + Int mod.
The evidence is strong that it's actually right around a flat two. Possibly only one.

From this blog and what I have seen thus far, I don't see this. I imagine that when the character gets new ranks, it is the same as he gets at first level. (Fighter is 3 plus Int mod) Other than attaching Proficiency to the ranks, which I am unsure of, and the initial "trained" drop when putting the rank into the skill, there is no reason not to give those ranks to the character.

The character is getting less than PF1 because they are not getting skill ranks at every level. (Oops, sorry Rogue, didn't see you there)

If Ranks is tied to Proficiency, then one can not get further ranks until the level lock is reached for the next proficient level to be obtained? Not sure how that would work. This would mean that every character would be at least trained in every skill by 7th level anyways. (barring a really low Int).

Scarab Sages

In the future, it would be nice if something like Ride is covered under a different system, to at least be told, "And for Ride, well just wait, we have an upcoming blog that will cover that." or "Ride is covered under Nature like Handle Animal."

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tholomyes wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Alexander Bascom wrote:
So you're a fighter who dabbled in religion, but is level 10? I am a level 5 Cleric who as devoted my life to it! Who is better?

Let's make it a RL example (I hope I will not offend anyone).

Character A is a Chatolic priest that has studied in seminary.
Character B is a traveler that has spent some time visiting the world and has visited temples and holy sites of different religions.

Who know betther the tenets of the Chatolic church and the differences in faith between Chatolics, Protestants and Ortodox churches? The Priest.
Who has a better chance of recognizing holy symbols of non-Christian (or related) faiths? The traveler.

Having known quite a few Seminarians, I'd probably still say the priest for both. The traveler might be able to identify them, but I'd wager the one with seminary training (including likely courses on comparative religion) would still have the edge.

Having know my share of Catholic priests, I disagree with you. Some of them are highly intelligent people that has studied other religions, but a lot, especially those that did their studies some decade ago, are very close minded and know very little about other religions.


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Gregg Reece wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Not sure of the difference between Arcana and Occultism. Is it a Arcana/ Planes distinction? Arcana vs Mysticism?

Oh, it's an easy difference:

Arcana -> Spells, constructs, dragons, magical beasts

Occultism -> Rituals, planes, aberrations, ia ia cthulhu fhtagn

My guess is spells will be associated with their related spell list, so Arcana lets you recognize a Wizard's spells, but to identify a Druid's spell you need Nature.

Liberty's Edge

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thaX wrote:
From this blog and what I have seen thus far, I don't see this. I imagine that when the character gets new ranks, it is the same as he gets at first level. (Fighter is 3 plus Int mod) Other than attaching Proficiency to the ranks, which I am unsure of, and the initial "trained" drop when putting the rank into the skill, there is no reason not to give those ranks to the character.

There are actually quite a few reasons this low number of ranks is good and necessary (starting with not wanting everyone to actually be Trained in everything), but it's almost immaterial.

But per Mark Seifter, even a Rogue is only gonna get 19 Skill Ranks that actually allow for increasing skills beyond Trained.

That's two per odd level of those at most for non-Rogues.

thaX wrote:
The character is getting less than PF1 because they are not getting skill ranks at every level. (Oops, sorry Rogue, didn't see you there)

We actually don't know that Rogues get ranks every level. They get extra Skill Ranks and they get Skill Feats every level.

thaX wrote:
If Ranks is tied to Proficiency, then one can not get further ranks until the level lock is reached for the next proficient level to be obtained? Not sure how that would work. This would mean that every character would be at least trained in every skill by 7th level anyways. (barring a really low Int).

Ranks are Proficiency. There is no difference between the two. Also, you can start buying skills to Expert at 3rd level, so that helps with the 'make everything Trained' issue.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
There is a treadmill in this edition, but that is intentional, and with the 4-tiers of success system, it seems a great way to leverage that.

There's a bit of a treadmill, but you get distinctly better at things you focus on as you level.

A 1st level Expert (assuming there's a way to do that...I suspect there is) has +6 at most (Level +5), while a 7th level Master has a +15 at most (Level +8). So he's actually gotten better, for his level, than the 1st level version. This continues until you can max at +35 at 20th level (Level +15). Some of that is items, but it's still very solid.

Also, they've specified many things have set DCs, which makes the bonus for leveling much cooler.

Yep, and the every point mattering due to exceeding or missing DCs by 10, and the truly epic nature of high levels, it works.


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graystone wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
Student of the Canon
I want a 'Student of the Cannon' feat. ;)

A Student of the Cannon


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ElSilverWind wrote:

“Seoni is running down the sidewalk with toast in her mouth. Dragon, her kawaii familiar, didn’t wake her up this morning and now she is late for her first day at Pathfinder Society High!

She bumps into someone and falls onto the ground, her toast nowhere to be seen. Who did she bump into? It’s . . . Valeros-sempai!”

. . . *shudders*

No, just No, just... just.... just... No.

Liberty's Edge

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Jonathan Cormier wrote:
1) I get that, which is why I didn't really change much as far as what the proficiency bonus was and was intending to kind of split the difference between "level+X and just a small bonus, but have it actually be based on player choice vice default automatic gains.

This is valid if you want to build a totally different game than PF2 is shaping up to be.

Jonathan Cormier wrote:
2) you're correct. We don't. I was basing it off the idea that the only reason you set up a system to give a +15 bonus at level 7 is because the DC's are going to counter it. Using smaller numbers means you can normalize the DCs so a 15 is always the "default" difficulty of average/hard or whatever.

They've specifically noted that many DCs don't scale with level. A tree is just a tree and has a flat DC to climb it.

Jonathan Cormier wrote:
3) Holy balls this idea is part of the problem people have with D&D having become too soft/characters becoming too much like fantasy superheroes.

Characters have been fantasy superheroes (or, as I'd put it, pulp fantasy heroes and heroes out of myth) at high levels for a long, long, time now. PF2 appears to be acknowledging this and leaning into it somewhat.

Which is an excellent marketing choice, given the contrast that places between PF2 and D&D5E, as well as being many people's preferred style of game anyway.

Jonathan Cormier wrote:

That low stealth character IS NOT SKILLED IN STEALTH. It doesn't matter their level. They haven't devoted the time to that particular skill nor deemed it important. Heaven forbid players have to make choices about what's important to their playstyle or that they might not be good at everything. If a character is actually skilled in something, they get to take point in that action.

I don't get why being a higher level character automatically makes them inherently better at EVERYTHING vice the things they've chosen to actually work on through Proficiencies/feats/class choices.

Do you mean in-universe, thematically, or why they chose to do that mechanically? I have answers to all three:

In-universe: Level adds to all skills for the same reason it adds to HP and BAB in PF1. This is terribly unrealistic (I mean, your BAB goes up 15 points as a Cleric or Oracle even if you never make a single attack roll), but it's always been terribly unrealistic. Applying it to skills doesn't really change that.

Thematically: They're aiming for the aforementioned 'pulp/mythic hero' feel. Characters like that are usually able to at least muddle their way through most tasks, even those outside their area of focus. This is a perfectly valid genre convention to bring into play in an RPG. It can be taken too far, but we have no evidence they've done that as of yet.

Mechanically: Characters falling so far behind their fellows in things like stealth that they can't really even try drastically limits what kind of stories you can tell. You can't have everyone sneak up on someone, everyone go to the same party in disguise, or all engage with any particular skill challenge since any that's a challenge for the skilled will be utterly impossible for the unskilled. That's unfortunate and limiting.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

There are actually quite a few reasons this low number of ranks is good and necessary (starting with not wanting everyone to actually be Trained in everything), but it's almost immaterial.

But per Mark Seifter, even a Rogue is only gonna get 19 Skill Ranks that actually allow for increasing skills beyond Trained.

That's two per odd level of those at most for non-Rogues.

After though a bit about this I think I can accept 2 skill increases each odd level, at level 20 a character is going to be legendary in 6 skills, master in other 2, and expert in another 2 or 4 average depending on Int, that is good enough for me.

Grand Lodge

Fuzzypaws wrote:
Hurká wrote:


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.
I don't think Medicine should be able to duplicate Raise Dead... At least not until the inevitable Mythic tier is eventually published. But as for Breath of Life? Reviving someone who has dropped within the last few minutes, rather than days or however long ago? Absolutely, yes this is the province of Medicine. Lesser versions of that aren't even legendary, I am trained in CPR myself, but legendary could and should certainly be able to resuscitate someone sworded to death as long as it's done quick.

My concern is a situation like this:

GM: "As you enter the chamber the orc steps up to the alter where Gerald's [NPC] unconscious corpse lies, lifts his ax and SMASH SPLAT! [Additional color here] The orc performs a coup de grace and Gerald's body lays in three pieces upon the alter. Robin, you're up."

Robin: "I move 15 feet to the alter and perform [Legendary Medical Feat] to revive Gerald."

Not every death is like this, but it's not an extreme example either. I just don't see why a mundane skill, in <=3 actions, should be able to reconstitute a burned, cleaved, etc. creature like Breath of Life does.


Seems about as legendary as surviving in an airless, barren, featureless void.


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In my opinion, the whole "unskilled 20th level guy has a +18" thing works fine - to me, it's actually more believable than believing that a person who has adventured enough to make it to higher level has absolutely no training or experience gained in a particular skill by virtue of all their travels and has a +0 at it.

For one thing, thanks to downtime (and depending on the group, the story narrative), we do not zoom in on every moment of the lives of a PC. They travel, they study, they carouse with the local populace of places they visit or live, and quite frankly much goes on for an active adventurer that we do not narrate in game. (Don't believe me? I'm willing to bet darned few of us narrate our PC's bathroom breaks, sex, pillow talk, every single meal taken, every shopping purchase...)

There are pieces of info, observational lessons, chance encounters, that we engage in every waking moment. I am not a accountant, but I am better at money management at age 40 than I was at age 18. I am not a professional driver, but I am a DARNED better driver at 35 than I was at 15. I never trained professionally in music, but I can carry a tune pretty well and know about use of the diaphragm. I know a little bit of French and German by virtue of friends who speak it. If I watched an EMT perform their job daily for two years, I would pick up on a lot of very basic medical techniques. We learn subconsciously every day about multiple subjects. It models (maybe not perfectly, but better than PF1) what happens in real life, in that just because we don't formally train doesn't mean we know nothing. How much more so does this apply to a high-level adventurer who has been through crisis after crisis to come out on top?

So, that 20th level hero-god who saved the world twice? He's never taken a single formal lesson, but he knows how to bandage a wound and stifle bleeding from watching the Cleric do it for two years straight. He doesn't know all the fancy crap she does to treat poison or disease, or how to exactly prep that miracle herb in her kit to heal the blind like she does, but he can easily muddle through stopping a sucking chest wound, because she did it on him enough times, if nothing else.


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Hurká wrote:


My concern is a situation like this:

GM: "As you enter the chamber the orc steps up to the alter where Gerald's [NPC] unconscious corpse lies, lifts his ax and SMASH SPLAT! [Additional color here] The orc performs a coup de grace and Gerald's body lays in three pieces upon the alter. Robin, you're up."

Robin: "I move 15 feet to the alter and perform [Legendary Medical Feat] to revive Gerald."

Not every death is like this, but it's not an extreme example either. I just don't see why a mundane skill, in <=3 actions, should be able to reconstitute a burned, cleaved, etc. creature like Breath of Life does.

To me, that's more the fault of a slightly overzealous GM describing a scene, kind of like the player who hits a 50 HP bandit for 30 points and says, "I swing my Greataxe wildly and BURY IT IN HIS GUT!" If that were true, he wouldn't have 20 hit points left, would he? It's one thing if the Orc "Slams home with great force, making a deep gash into Gerald. Geralds eyes open wide with shock, and do not close. He does not move." It's another if you're describing full-on vivisection with a single death blow, because the first one gives a narrative chance to do something else, such as revivifying feats or magic, and the other causes more incongruity between game and narrative.

That said, hopefully there would be some limitations on a Legendary Healing Feat much like Raise Dead has, in limits on requiring missing body parts, limits on time, etc. Even Raise Dead, if you're missing a hand when you bring 'em back, they're still missin' that hand...


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Jonathan Cormier wrote:
That low stealth character IS NOT SKILLED IN STEALTH. It doesn't matter their level. They haven't devoted the time to that particular skill nor deemed it important. Heaven forbid players have to make choices about what's important to their playstyle or that they might not be good at everything.

Heaven forbid that a character should learn from their quite common experiences of seeing allies and enemies use stealth?


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think I'm in the Rename Thievery camp, but otherwise this all looks great, i look forward to testing it out.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Reading these posts you'd think everyone plays exclusively lvl 20 games. After all they are complaining like level 20 characters are the standard for common adventurers.


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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.

For that it would depend can a piano be used untrained. A lot of the skill stuff will come down to what can be used untrained and what cannot. Like a 10th level fighter may be a good singer they have had more time to practice and experience than a first level bard. but the same fighter could look at something like piano or dulcimer and have not the first idea how to play it.


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Is it possible to make a jury-rigged "Healing Kit"? For example, ripping some clothes to make a bandage? It seems like that might happen pretty often - and it probably reflects real life first aid.

I mean, in real life, can't a trained emergency responder do *something* to aid a bleeding person even if they have no first aid kit at hand?

I suggest including a sentence about jury-rigged Healing Kits in the Administer First Aid description.

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