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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I have never taken a piano class. I do not know how to read sheet music. I do not know what notes what keys make. A while ago (and I've forgotten how) I could play a few bars of a song I don't know the name of simply by rote practice. Deedle deedle de da dee da dum. That one.

So yeah, I can buy that a Fighter untrained in performance could hammer out a recognizable tune, but couldn't do it for a living without being actually trained.


Stone Dog wrote:

I have never taken a piano class. I do not know how to read sheet music. I do not know what notes what keys make. A while ago (and I've forgotten how) I could play a few bars of a song I don't know the name of simply by rote practice. Deedle deedle de da dee da dum. That one.

So yeah, I can buy that a Fighter untrained in performance could hammer out a recognizable tune, but couldn't do it for a living without being actually trained.

For a Lease, right? One can figure out basic roots of pieces due to Middle C and playing an instrument (theory, etc), and you speak of knowing notes and keys (how they relate), playing things by rote practice, it really can be really daunting without any sort of background/framework. Of course, that is easily role-played in.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Picking little things up based on exposure/life but is of little interest to the character is covered by the inherent attribute modifiers (which increase as the character levels) and the fact that you can make rolls on anything the DM will let you attempt.

Showing that your fighter can bandage people up because of a career of adventuring watching the party medic do it is covered by the fact that you can gain additional skill proficiencies at higher levels. Otherwise, you're junk at it because you never paid attention to what he was doing whilst healing people.

Narrative reasoning supporting player choice. Weird how that works.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
ENHenry wrote:

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?

The system already covers these ideas by virtue of the core attributes and the fact that they can be increased as you level up. Being able to kind of carry a tune is your base Charisma. Managing money ...Intelligence or Wisdom. Driving, Dexterity.

Watching an EMT perform their job daily for two years...if you were actually paying attention and attempting to retain the information, that'd be enough for me to call that Training. Otherwise, it's covered by Wisdom (I'm assuming Medicine is still attached to Wisdom).


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
whew wrote:
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?

Heaven forbid the players treat the idea that their base attributes mean something and the fact that they can be increased as their characters level represents the characters learning things.

Or heaven forbid that the character spends one of their skill proficiencies on stealth BECAUSE they've spent time watching, paying attention, and learning from seeing their allies and enemies use stealth.


I wonder if the base number (3 for Fighter) of Trained skills must be from a class list, but those from Int can be from any.

Liberty's Edge

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Weather Report wrote:
I wonder if the base number (3 for Fighter) of skills must be from a class list, but those from Int can be from any.

Evidence suggests the two are treated the same. Which may well be that you can buy any skill but gain some benefit if you take your Class's 'signature skills'. We really don't know how those work.


Stone Dog wrote:
A while ago (and I've forgotten how) I could play a few bars of a song I don't know the name of simply by rote practice. Deedle deedle de da dee da dum. That one.

"As time goes by" from Casablanca?

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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Since we’ve primarily heard from the opposing side, I want to chime in that I greatly prefer Thievery to any of the proposed alternatives.

Skulduggery in particular feels so broad as to be meaningless, and arguably overlaps with Deception to a degree that might be confusing for non-native English speakers. It also strikes me as equal parts antiquated and anachronistic—more suited to an Old-West game than Pathfinder.

That’s just my opinion though. I tend to like thief-y characters in games and stories (e.g. the burglar Bilbo Baggins), so Thievery doesn’t have a negative connotation for me in this context.

Silver Crusade

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I just like Skulduggery cause I think it sounds cooler.


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Pathfinder Way wrote:

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.

IDK how it will work in the RAW, but I'd expect a lot of people will look at it like this: Tools, including presumably Healing Kits can have varying levels of quality, similar to Skill proficiency, which grant bonuses to skill checks using them. If you don't have a Healing Kit, that feels to me as effectively the same as "Untrained" quality tools. Since First Aid can be attempted untrained, I could see someone using just scraps of cloth as a bandage, but taking a -2 untrained penalty for not having the tools.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
I wonder if the base number (3 for Fighter) of skills must be from a class list, but those from Int can be from any.
Evidence suggests the two are treated the same. Which may well be that you can buy any skill but gain some benefit if you take your Class's 'signature skills'. We really don't know how those work.

If I had to hazard a guess, I feel like I saw somewhere that a class tended to be better at Signature skills, but didn't get explicit bonuses to them or have them trained automatically, which makes me think that maybe you can take the ranks for them earlier than other classes (so for example, a cleric could be Master level at religion while the rest of the party could only invest up to Expert level, ect)


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Rysky wrote:
I just like Skulduggery cause I think it sounds cooler.

Yeah, that would be nifty if it replaced Deception.


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Tholomyes wrote:
Pathfinder Way wrote:

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.

IDK how it will work in the RAW, but I'd expect a lot of people will look at it like this: Tools, including presumably Healing Kits can have varying levels of quality, similar to Skill proficiency, which grant bonuses to skill checks using them. If you don't have a Healing Kit, that feels to me as effectively the same as "Untrained" quality tools. Since First Aid can be attempted untrained, I could see someone using just scraps of cloth as a bandage, but taking a -2 untrained penalty for not having the tools.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
I wonder if the base number (3 for Fighter) of skills must be from a class list, but those from Int can be from any.
Evidence suggests the two are treated the same. Which may well be that you can buy any skill but gain some benefit if you take your Class's 'signature skills'. We really don't know how those work.
If I had to hazard a guess, I feel like I saw somewhere that a class tended to be better at Signature skills, but didn't get explicit bonuses to them or have them trained automatically, which makes me think that maybe you can take the ranks for them earlier than other classes (so for example, a cleric could be Master level at religion while the rest of the party could only invest up to Expert level, ect)

That sounds likely, the barbarian and fighter can leap over barns before the others.

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

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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).

I still am not a fan of a 10th level fighter automatically being able to play anything. Using me as an example, I actually took 2 years of recorder, and 2 years of piano lessons as a kid (under duress). Today, there's no way I could play ANYTHING at all on a musical instrument. I'm pretty much limited to saying "Alexa, play Mary Had a Little Lamb". While I'm certainly not a 10th level fighter, I'm pretty confident that I'm somewhere around a 7th-9th level analyst.

I think there's a place for having skills which if you're untrained you simply can't do anything.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Maliloki wrote:
whew wrote:
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?

Heaven forbid the players treat the idea that their base attributes mean something and the fact that they can be increased as their characters level represents the characters learning things.

Or heaven forbid that the character spends one of their skill proficiencies on stealth BECAUSE they've spent time watching, paying attention, and learning from seeing their allies and enemies use stealth.

Alright then, let's remove the level modifier, go the 5e route with more granularity in a sense, -2 to +3 . No level component involved, so our 20th level god like wizard can struggle to climb ropes and ladders without spending a spell slot.

The goal of PF2'S skill system is to have a sense of constant progression, with BOTH skill granularity in the form of life skill rank specialization and skill feats, and tighter math so that challenges for any given character aren't meaningless or impossible for another, merely very easy or very hard.
The first goal is simple, by allowing the bonus to increase every or nearly every other level, whether that's through automatic level based bonus or allowing them to increase their skill every level through choices.

Granularity requires more options than just on/off, there needs to be differences between a person who's good and a person who's near otherworldly. So you want people to be able to invest in varying amounts in a given skill. Not just ability scores and items, you need degrees of proficiency, but the addition of skill feats reduces the weight on needing high variance in numbers to have 2 varying degrees of skill feel different.
In order to complete that last goal the number disparity in most circumstances should be less than 75% of the results of the die being rolled. We've already been handed that in the most extreme circumstances the difference between a loser and a legend covers 85-90%( variance of 17-18). It's fine if the character who is so invested in said tasks has a way to nullify the task through skill feats, because that shows a level of investment and can reinforce engagement , but a task doomed to failure can pull people out of the enjoyment of the game unless failure was the goal of the attempt. The point that you simply cannot have skill ranks / level where a character completely unversed in a skill has a +5 someone who wanted to be good at the skill have a +32, and the one who understands the system and wanted to be really good show up with a +50


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Huh, this is the first thing I haven't really liked at all. A lot of it just feels mishandled or unnecessary. Except removing perception. That was a good call.


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Find Legendary Medic to be weird and maybe underwhelming for what is basically a capstone for the skill.

Yeah it can be useful but those seem like edge cases, or pretty specific examples that might not see play. And it still has to compete with Magic(Spells, Scrolls, Wands, Potions, Possible Wonderous?) which is far more instant. And even then, you can debate just waiting it out. If the effect wears off before an hour is up, well why not just deal with it?

I would have much rather seen how Battle Medic works. The feat that actually lets you start considering playing without a Healer. Is it as good as Cure spells? Less more? Limited per day/person?

Might have missed it if some info about Battle Medic has shown up in the thread.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think I'm cool if ride checks and fly checks pretty much get axed, or rolled into acrobatics or something. The rules for ride and fly checks didn't come up 90% of the time. 5% it should be rolled but people forget. And 5% characters who build with those rules in mind and get their mods high enough to never have to roll.

I am curious what will happen with linguistics, which was an underrated skill. Deciphering ancient runes, decoding enemy messages, or piecing together damage d documents was pretty clutch, and forgery could be neat too.

I sort of hope learning a language just become a downtime skill check. The PF1 system was super weird. Also, you guys know how gnomes don't get a bonus language unless they have 14 Int or higher? Do you guys think skill increases with level may get gated a similar way? 1 every other level if your Int is below 14, 2 every other level if it is above it?


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JoelF847 wrote:
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).

I still am not a fan of a 10th level fighter automatically being able to play anything. Using me as an example, I actually took 2 years of recorder, and 2 years of piano lessons as a kid (under duress). Today, there's no way I could play ANYTHING at all on a musical instrument. I'm pretty much limited to saying "Alexa, play Mary Had a Little Lamb". While I'm certainly not a 10th level fighter, I'm pretty confident that I'm somewhere around a 7th-9th level analyst.

I think there's a place for having skills which if you're untrained you simply can't do anything.

I think they've said real world Olympic records tend to get hit at like level 5 in this game, so to qualify as a 7-9th level anything you'd need to basically be the best of that thing in the world. Also, you don't live in a world where magic has infused every living thing to the point that worldly people resonate more with chemical reagents than people who just stay at home.

A 10th level fighter has more raw presence he can lend to a performance, even if it isn't very good. I kind of agree playing piano seems like it would be trained only, but I bet the crowd loves him at karaoke. (The line between adding to the level to skill vs an ability score is a little blurred, I'll admit.)

Basically, these characters are set up to be less Cassandra Cain and more Bruce Wayne.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

I still am not a fan of a 10th level fighter automatically being able to play anything. Using me as an example, I actually took 2 years of recorder, and 2 years of piano lessons as a kid (under duress). Today, there's no way I could play ANYTHING at all on a musical instrument. I'm pretty much limited to saying "Alexa, play Mary Had a Little Lamb". While I'm certainly not a 10th level fighter, I'm pretty confident that I'm somewhere around a 7th-9th level analyst.

I think there's a place for having skills which if you're untrained you simply can't do anything.

I think they've said real world Olympic records tend to get hit at like level 5 in this game, so to qualify as a 7-9th level anything you'd need to basically be the best of that thing in the world. Also, you don't live in a world where magic has infused every living thing to the point that worldly people resonate more with chemical reagents than people who just stay at home.

A 10th level fighter has more raw presence he can lend to a performance, even if it isn't very good. I kind of agree playing piano seems like it would be trained only, but I bet the crowd loves him at karaoke. (The line between adding to the level to...

Everyone also keeps forgetting that Mark has repeatedly said that there are going to be limits on what you can do with skills based on how much training you have.

Just because you add your level to the skill bonus doesn't mean at 20th level untrained you can suddenly write a symphony. You're going to have reasonable limits based on the level of proficiency you have acquired.

An untrained fighter might have a little tune he whistles while he walks. It's nifty little tune he whistles. He can sing a bawdy tune while drunk at the bar and not be painful to listen to. However, he's not Mozart nor is he Pavarotti. Thus are the limits of what he can do from the viewpoint of the proficiency system for skills.


Captain Morgan wrote:
I am curious what will happen with linguistics, which was an underrated skill. Deciphering ancient runes, decoding enemy messages, or piecing together damage d documents was pretty clutch, and forgery could be neat too.

If I had to guess, I'd think that bits and pieces will be in different skills. Most of it, in the ancient runes or other esoteric languages probably will be in a particular Lore skill, while I could see forgery and encoding/decoding possibly being part of deception. And I could see Society being used (probably with some sort of skill feat) for either gaining new languages or being able to interpret unknown common languages.


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Maliloki wrote:


The system already covers these ideas by virtue of the core attributes and the fact that they can be increased as you level up. Being able to kind of carry a tune is your base Charisma. Managing money ...Intelligence or Wisdom. Driving, Dexterity.

Watching an EMT perform...

Core attributes don't really cover it - they increase EXCEPTIONALLY slowly, compared to actual skills (in PF1, we're talking 5 increases total over 20 levels, which amounts to a +1 in a couple of abilities; in PF2, we're talking about it going a bit faster), but the +1 from an extra +2 to ability score doesn't cover appreciable growth very well. (I can't say I'm happy with the ability score increases in PF2, but that's a different thread.)

Secondly, from a game mechanical standpoint, if you were a fighter or cleric, and wanted to emulate the learning osmosis of someone with a very adventurous lifestyle, you'd have to assign FAR more skill points than feasible if using a skill point system like PF1 - and to simulate the gradual broad spectrum of learning that people do over time, you'd have to restrict where they could put those points so they wouldn't be able to "carb load" their skill ranks. Having a broad spectrum of general knowledge increase over time gradually represents this way better than just relying on assigning skill points, which gets abused. Which makes more sense - that someone overnight gains 9 ranks to a skill because they crash-coursed and dumped 9 points into it this level, or that they gradually gained knowledge of multiple various subjects over time due to osmosis and experience?


Well, one thing to keep in mind is that legendary skill feats are available as early as 13th level so it's not like a character capstone, it's more like a high level ability.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Gregg Reece wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

I still am not a fan of a 10th level fighter automatically being able to play anything. Using me as an example, I actually took 2 years of recorder, and 2 years of piano lessons as a kid (under duress). Today, there's no way I could play ANYTHING at all on a musical instrument. I'm pretty much limited to saying "Alexa, play Mary Had a Little Lamb". While I'm certainly not a 10th level fighter, I'm pretty confident that I'm somewhere around a 7th-9th level analyst.

I think there's a place for having skills which if you're untrained you simply can't do anything.

I think they've said real world Olympic records tend to get hit at like level 5 in this game, so to qualify as a 7-9th level anything you'd need to basically be the best of that thing in the world. Also, you don't live in a world where magic has infused every living thing to the point that worldly people resonate more with chemical reagents than people who just stay at home.

A 10th level fighter has more raw presence he can lend to a performance, even if it isn't very good. I kind of agree playing piano seems like it would be trained only, but I bet the crowd loves him at karaoke. (The line between adding to the level to...

Everyone also keeps forgetting that Mark has repeatedly said that there are going to be limits on what you can do with skills based on how much training you have.

Just because you add your level to the skill bonus doesn't mean at 20th level untrained you can suddenly write a symphony. You're going to have reasonable limits based on the level of proficiency you have acquired.

An untrained fighter might have a little tune he whistles while he walks. It's nifty little tune he whistles. He can sing a bawdy tune while drunk at the bar and not be painful to listen to. However, he's not Mozart nor is he Pavarotti. Thus are the limits of what he can do from the viewpoint of the proficiency system for skills.

Yeah, that's part of why I thought playing an instrument would be trained only. Then again, if we aren't getting a zillion different perform skills again, it seems like learning to play one instrument might let you play all. Which probably isn't much more realistic than being able to play an instrument badly by default.


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JoelF847 wrote:

I still am not a fan of a 10th level fighter automatically being able to play anything. Using me as an example, I actually took 2 years of recorder, and 2 years of piano lessons as a kid (under duress). Today, there's no way I could play ANYTHING at all on a musical instrument. I'm pretty much limited to saying "Alexa, play Mary Had a Little Lamb". While I'm certainly not a 10th level fighter, I'm pretty confident that I'm somewhere around a 7th-9th level analyst.

I think there's a place for having skills which if you're untrained you simply can't do anything.

I'm willing to bet that resuming play of piano or recorder, you would probably be able to regain a large portion of your old skill level much faster than someone such as me, who has never taken a single lesson. Someone in the adventuring profession would probably retain skills much more readily because of both occasional re-use and exposure. NPC townsfolk such as us don't even need to have any skill in non-work skills in the first place. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Maliloki wrote:
ENHenry wrote:

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?

The system already covers these ideas by virtue of the core attributes and the fact that they can be increased as you level up. Being able to kind of carry a tune is your base Charisma. Managing money ...Intelligence or Wisdom. Driving, Dexterity.

Watching an EMT perform...

I recall that if you are using a tourniquet to stop bleeding, you need to loosen it every hour or so to allow for the flow of blood and to avoid a necrose because I learned that in a telefilm of the series Planet of the Apes. You can learn stuff without training.

Designer

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edduardco wrote:
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.

Let's consider a rogue, in PF1 with perhaps 12 Int (or a human with 10 Int), so 9 skill points per level. I want to be a slippery and social con artist and heister, so I spend those 9 ranks on maxing out Acrobatics, Bluff, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Fly, Perception, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand. In PF2, with a rank increase every level except 1st, my rogue is looking at 6 legendary skills, as you say. Plus Perception which is not a skill. I only need half that many skills (plus Perception) to do everything I did before: Acrobatics, Deception, and Thievery. I can also have three more legendary skills (and one more expert, and several more trained). Even a character with three legendary skills and legendary Perception has an amount of skill points on par with that PF1 rogue example. If my PF2 rogue also takes, say, Society, Athletics, and Stealth, that's on par with a PF1 character that gains at least 15 skill points per level.

Designer

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Yeah, that's part of why I thought playing an instrument would be trained only. Then again, if we aren't getting a zillion different perform skills again, it seems like learning to play one instrument might let you play all. Which probably isn't much more realistic than being able to play an instrument badly by default.

While the option to do some kind of simple quick performance is allowed untrained without an explicit caveat by instrument, there is an overall rule that sometimes a particular instance of using a skill requires a higher rank (with the example given of recognizing a dragon with arcana vs deep analysis of magical theories). Certainly dealing with an instrument that you have never seen before nor know how to use it, even if it's technically a wind instrument and you're an expert and extra-great with wind instruments, should present some difficulties, such as circumstance penalties, possibly treating the item as if it was improvised even if it's high quality because you don't know how to use it, or maybe even just not allowing the use period until after using some other skill or skills to figure out some instructions. "Ohhh, you have to pump these foot pedals and twist that thing while you blow into it."


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
MusicAddict wrote:
Maliloki wrote:
whew wrote:
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?

Heaven forbid the players treat the idea that their base attributes mean something and the fact that they can be increased as their characters level represents the characters learning things.

Or heaven forbid that the character spends one of their skill proficiencies on stealth BECAUSE they've spent time watching, paying attention, and learning from seeing their allies and enemies use stealth.

Alright then, let's remove the level modifier, go the 5e route with more granularity in a sense, -2 to +3 . No level component involved, so our 20th level god like wizard can struggle to climb ropes and ladders without spending a spell slot.

The goal of PF2'S skill system is to have a sense of constant progression, with BOTH skill granularity in the form of life skill rank specialization and skill feats, and tighter math so that challenges for any given character aren't meaningless or impossible for another, merely very easy or very hard.
The first goal is simple, by allowing the bonus to increase every or nearly every other level, whether that's through automatic level based bonus or allowing them to increase their skill every level through choices.

Granularity requires more options than just on/off, there needs to be differences between a person who's good and a person who's near otherworldly. So you want people to be able to invest in varying amounts in a given skill. Not just ability scores and items, you need degrees of proficiency, but the addition of skill feats reduces the weight on needing high...

That's actually what I'm pushing for, more granularity of choice that actually matter. The difference is that I don't see, based on how it's currently written, the need for actual choices of "degrees" of proficiencies in this case as any bonus beyond skill feats chosen are overshadowed by it being completely reliant on level to determine how good you are at the skill (and the skill feats are locked/unlocked based on your level anyways since you can't get to a certain level of proficiency until you reach a certain level barring class bonuses)

What I'm seeing:

- Attribute Modifiers (-5 to +X, but realistically -1 or 0 to +X) = base apptitude in all things. These numbers will get better as your character levels up and experiences the world and picks up little tricks here and their from exposure.

- Skill Proficiencies (Your Level modified by either -2 or +0 to +3) = represents concerted effort in picking up skills. Actual training through learning and repetition. Oh, and it ALSO represents picking things up just by experiencing the world just because we need to double up on that idea because player's don't like to be bad at things.

- Tools (+0 to +3 - or +1 to +3...I can't remember) = represents the bonus you gain to completing a task based on the quality of the tools.

- Skill Feats = Specialized uses of the skill that are locked off based on level of proficiency.

As it's written in the post, there's honestly zero reason to train in much of anything beyond gaining access to the higher level skill feats since your level is added to your skill roll regardless and the proficiency gives a nominal bonus to the roll. If that's the case, just remove the multiple skill proficiency levels/bonuses all together, and have skills either be Trained (d20 + Mod + Tool + Level) or Untrained (d20 + Mod + Tool + 1/2 level or level-5 or level-2 or whatever) and lock off the higher level skill feats based on character level and being trained in the skill since that's the primary way to specialize in a skill in this system. What skill feats to choose becomes the only choice in how to show skill training at that point, which it kind of is as its currently written, it's just hidden a little bit behind "kind of" choices being completely overshadowed by adding your level to the roll.

What I'm saying is that by removing the level bonus to the skill roll, AND maybe increasing the skill proficiency bonus by a little bit, you now make the choice of what you train in actually important whilst not leaving anyone in the dust too much. All while leaving the choice of actually being good at something in the hands of the player. And still having the choice of further specialization through skill feats for even more uniqueness in characters.

(I'm fine with the idea of skill feats being a way of showing further specializing in a skill, btw. My main gripe is the silly need of a +15 or +35 to something if the base DCs are supposed to be flatter. There's no point in rolling after a certain level in that case)

Regardless, I get it. Nobody else thinks the same way about this as I do. I'm done.


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Mark

I have had some time to think about you example of the Bard and the Paladin trying to sneak into the party, and I'm afraid I don't agree with you. (I know that's bold to say, but hear me out.)

Part of your explanation was that the Bard would have a magic item and a disguise, while the Paladin would not.

I find that, in my games at least, characters don't tend to buy items for specific scenarios unless the come up and magic items of the nature you explained (fragment of the first lie ever told), aren't just handed out, nor would they be sought out unless the story called for it. Is this not going to be expected for typical games? Are we now going to be required to maintain (magic) items for the skills we wish to use if we want them to be effective?

If the party in question knew about the party ahead of time, they would all buy disguises. If they didn't know, they would likely not have disguises at all (unless there was a previous event where disguises where needed, in which case, they all still have them). This means that the entire party is either stuck with a -2 for having nothing, or an appropriately leveled tool for the job.

So we are back to a Bard and a Paladin at the same level, with the same CHA having a 5 point difference in their checks.

This is WAY too close for my taste seeing as the bard sunk a few Skill Points into Deception and isn't getting much of a bonus to his check for doing so.

Also, what sort of critical success could the Bard potentially get that would benefit him in this situation? Getting in to the party is getting in to the party. How do you "critically" get into the party?

The only real modifiers I see for this situation is that the Bard might be able to claim he is someone important, but that would require that the Bard take the extra risk of claiming that as part of his Deception. In other words, the Paladin might just try to look like a person who belongs there, and that DC might be 25, but the Bard trying to claim he is someone important would have a DC of 35, and failure would mean he doesn't get into the party. If the Bard wants to attempt to "blend in" just like the Paladin, he isn't going to get any special benefit for beating that DC by 10, unless something occurs during the party to raise suspicion. Letting the Bard modify his bluff after he sees the die result to get a better in game result would be cheating by my book.

I also understand the nature of a small bonus being more meaningful depending on the DC, but that is a situational bonus. On average, a +5 bonus is only going to yield 25% more successes.

I understand that PF1 has issues where the fighter that never put points in sneak couldn't sneak past level appropriate challenges, but PF2's solution appears to be going WAY too far in the other direction.

Also, I'd like clarification:

Do Skill ranks give any benefit aside from the marginal bonus increase and feat access?

For example, I remember you saying that it would require training to be able to pick a lock. Can I automatically try to pick a lock once I get training in Thievery, or do I need to grab a feat to do that?

If it's the former, that's not too bad, but the latter is not acceptable. You might as well remove skill proficiencies from the game at that point.


Maliloki wrote:
(I'm fine with the idea of skill feats being a way of showing further specializing in a skill, btw. My main gripe is the silly need of a +15 or +35 to something if the base DCs are supposed to be flatter. There's no point in rolling after a certain level in that case)

I generally prefer smaller numbers; d20 + 7 vs. DC 20 instead of d20 + 17 vs. DC 30, but with the 4-tiers of success and intentionally making high level characters truly epic (low level threats ignored), it makes sense.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
edduardco wrote:
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.
Let's consider a rogue, in PF1 with perhaps 12 Int (or a human with 10 Int), so 9 skill points per level. I want to be a slippery and social con artist and heister, so I spend those 9 ranks on maxing out Acrobatics, Bluff, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Fly, Perception, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand. In PF2, with a rank increase every level except 1st, my rogue is looking at 6 legendary skills, as you say. Plus Perception which is not a skill. I only need half that many skills (plus Perception) to do everything I did before: Acrobatics, Deception, and Thievery. I can also have three more legendary skills (and one more expert, and several more trained). Even a character with three legendary skills and legendary Perception has an amount of skill points on par with that PF1 rogue example. If my PF2 rogue also takes, say, Society, Athletics, and Stealth, that's on par with a PF1 character that gains at least 15 skill points per level.

Actually Mark,

I would like to have a serious dialogue about this.

I saw it in Starfinder where, if you aren't a certain class you can just forget about using certain skills. Ever. For example, in SFS you will not be the pilot on the ship unless you are a high dex operative.

I have always struggled in Pathfinder with melee classes, who tend to get shafted hard on skills.

As a Paladin, for example, I generally assume that I should be good at the following things:

1. Diplomacy
2. Knowledge: Religion
3. Ride (if I plan to take a mount, but even if just because horses are a thing.)
4. Perception (because everyone needs perception to be maxed out)
5. Sense Motive (because you need to be able to know who is lying to to you.)
6. Heal

I have never been able to do this.

The explanation is, "Balance"

But, to be honest, I feel that the Rogue is far better at skills than I am, while I am not equally better than the Rogue in combat. In fact often times the Rogue is *better* in combat because Dexterity (at least in PF1) is so much better than any other stat, and the penalties for heavy armor are downright crippling in many situations.

With the combat gap between fighter-type classes and rogue-type classes narrowing. How are more fighter-type characters going to be compensated?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Maliloki wrote:
As it's written in the post, there's honestly zero reason to train in much of anything beyond gaining access to the higher level skill feats since your level is added to your skill roll regardless and the proficiency gives a nominal bonus to the roll.

Skill feats aren't the only reason to increase your proficiency, though. Trained isn't the only level that unlocks new basic abilities (ones you don't have to spend feats to get).

Some challenges may have relatively easy DCs that require Master or Legendary proficiency to attempt, while mere experts face a more difficult challenge and untrained characters can't even attempt a roll. In PF1, that's basically every skill challenge by high level, but the Skill Proficiency system gives DMs the flexibility to use those kinds of challenges where they make sense and to use a single DC that is achievable for every character for other situations.

Designer

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thflame wrote:

Mark

I have had some time to think about you example of the Bard and the Paladin trying to sneak into the party, and I'm afraid I don't agree with you. (I know that's bold to say, but hear me out.)

Nah, not too bold. People will have different opinions from me, and that's totally OK!

Quote:
I find that, in my games at least, characters don't tend to buy items for specific scenarios unless the come up and magic items of the nature you explained (fragment of the first lie ever told), aren't just handed out, nor would they be sought out unless the story called for it. Is this not going to be expected for typical games? Are we now going to be required to maintain (magic) items for the skills we wish to use if we want them to be effective?

The story of how invested this bard was in Deception made me think he might be after a really awesome Deception item, and that's the best of the best. Being the best around requires an investment of rank increases and magic items, plus synergistic ability scores, but you can be pretty amazing even if you don't go all-in.

Quote:
I also understand the nature of a small bonus being more meaningful depending on the DC, but that is a situational bonus. On average, a +5 bonus is only going to yield 25% more successes.

Assuming you don't go off the end of the d20 to the point where the bonus doesn't help (either because you're so bad that a +5 still can't help you even on a nat 20 or you're so awesome you don't need the full +5 even on a nat 1), and assuming you are averaging for increased successes without regard for crit success or failure, the worst benefit for a +5 is going to be changing a 70% success rate to a 95% success rate (35.7% more successes) as well as going from a 20% to a 45% critical success rate (125% more critical successes). The best benefit is going from a 5% success rate to a 30% success rate (250% more successes) and going from a 50% to a 25% critical failure rate (cutting the critical failures in half). The average case between those two (again, averaging for successes without regards to critical success or failure) is going from a 40% success rate to a 65% success rate (62.5% more successes) while reducing the critical failures by 2/3 and increasing the critical successes by 200%.

A +5 creates enormous divergence in your expected successes and failures, and that is still ignoring any gear investment the invested character has at high level (and it would be pretty weird to not even have high quality non-magical tools, disguise kit, etc for something you're legendary at).

Quote:
For example, I remember you saying that it would require training to be able to pick a lock. Can I automatically try to pick a lock once I get training in Thievery, or do I need to grab a feat to do that?

The former.


ENHenry wrote:

{. . .}

Secondly, from a game mechanical standpoint, if you were a fighter or cleric, and wanted to emulate the learning osmosis of someone with a very adventurous lifestyle, you'd have to assign FAR more skill points than feasible if using a skill point system like PF1 - and to simulate the gradual broad spectrum of learning that people do over time, you'd have to restrict where they could put those points so they wouldn't be able to "carb load" their skill ranks. Having a broad spectrum of general knowledge increase over time gradually represents this way better than just relying on assigning skill points, which gets abused. Which makes more sense - that someone overnight gains 9 ranks to a skill because they crash-coursed and dumped 9 points into it this level, or that they gradually gained knowledge of multiple various subjects over time due to osmosis and experience?

Well, in our world, we often HAVE to cram in a skill overnight to avoid complete failure. It isn’t very good, but it works enough to avoid complete failure often enough for people to do it. Of course, retention usually isn’t very good unless you repeatedly use the skill thereafter. So maybe we need a cramming mechanic, in which you can temporarily give yourself skill ranks/proficiencies (9 is probably too much) by working at it really hard, but they dont stay unless you do the normal investment in them thereafter.

HEY, WHERE’S MY 2ND EDITION OF REAL LIFE!?

Designer

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HWalsh wrote:


Actually Mark,

I would like to have a serious dialogue about this.

I saw it in Starfinder where, if you aren't a certain class you can just forget about using certain skills. Ever. For example, in SFS you will not be the pilot on the ship unless you are a high dex operative.

I have always struggled in Pathfinder with melee classes, who...

This seems to be mostly aimed at Starfinder and PF1, and I'm not sure I agree with the premise. For instance, paladins tend to be night and day better than core rogues in encounters (Divine Grace alone, compared to rogues' two weak saves means the rogue is often not playing the game while the paladin, before long, cruises through saves until she rolls a 1. That's just basic saves, not getting into things like aura of justice, where the enemies basically need to leave for a minute or be annihilated.) Dex Star shaman mystic can be 1 point better than an operative can be, and even Dex Skill Focus lashunta of any class is ahead of the android/ysoki operative from levels 1 to 14 and falls only 1 point behind at 19th level.

That said, the paladin skill wish list seems PF2-related. Given Perception is not a skill (and covers Sense Motive), we're looking at grabbing Ride and then becoming trained, then expert, then master, then legendary in Diplomacy, Medicine, and Religion. Easily achievable for a paladin.


UnArcaneElection wrote:


HEY, WHERE’S MY 2ND EDITION OF REAL LIFE!?

It got nerfed by the playtester comments. :D

I could definitely see some kind of "cram" mechanic, "become equivalent to trained in a skill for 24 hours, in exchange for losing all ranks in 6 different untrained skills for the equivalent amount of time" or something similar. (That sucks, but it's a gist of the idea of focusing on a bunch of knowledge in short term memory to the point you start having trouble calmly thinking of other stuff you know - like how college students who cram don't want to talk about ANYTHING but their test material for fear they'll lose it. At least that's how it was when I used to do it...)

Exo-Guardians

ENHenry wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:


HEY, WHERE’S MY 2ND EDITION OF REAL LIFE!?

It got nerfed by the playtester comments. :D

I could definitely see some kind of "cram" mechanic, "become equivalent to trained in a skill for 24 hours, in exchange for losing all ranks in 6 different untrained skills for the equivalent amount of time" or something similar. (That sucks, but it's a gist of the idea of focusing on a bunch of knowledge in short term memory to the point you start having trouble calmly thinking of other stuff you know - like how college students who cram don't want to talk about ANYTHING but their test material for fear they'll lose it. At least that's how it was when I used to do it...)

You're not alone on that style of cramming, I think a better one would be You can spend eight hours of uninterrupted study, eating or drinking counts as an interruption, after the eight hours you count as trained in a single untrained skill and count as one level less proficient in all other trained skills for the next 24 hours. You then gain a +2 bonus to all checks in the crammed skill for the next 24 hours.


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HWalsh wrote:


Actually Mark,

I would like to have a serious dialogue about this.

I saw it in Starfinder where, if you aren't a certain class you can just forget about using certain skills. Ever. For example, in SFS you will not be the pilot on the ship unless you are a high dex operative.

The Starship skills might not be the best example for this, because they follow a very set formula, in order to keep all characters viable at ship combat. For Piloting, for instance, all the extra stuff that operatives get don't count, it's only Piloting Ranks + Dex + ship equipment bonuses + bonuses that other crew members give based on their roles, so other than the Dex, you might only come out one or two points different from a high-specced operative (at least until really high levels when that operative has a 24 DEX or so). Our Operative is one of the engineers or gunners, and the Soldier is the ship pilot because his dex is pretty good, and I think at level 5 there's only like a +3 difference between their Ship pilot checks, despite their pilot skills on their character sheets are VASTLY different, so if both are driving ground-based motorbikes or something, bet on the Operative over the Soldier. :)


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I don't like the concept of being unable to make an attempt at something even if the odds are terrible. Would it be unbalanced to apply a penalty for lacking sufficient training?

Maybe -10 per level of training you are behind so an untrained character can attempt a trained only task but takes a -10 penalty or an expert only task at -20 etc. the odds of critical failure would probably be enough to prevent most people from trying it but it means you can still make an attempt.


Item the first: Love the new skill rules we have seen so far. Especially about the sneaky character being able to do something about the non-sneaking characters modifiers. Item the second: We need a feat that lets you take 1 hour/ 8 hours/ whatever and bump a skill up one level - a Cram Session, maybe with the requirement of studying with a more highly trained character or referencing a rare textbook. Item the third: acrobatics would be totally awesome if the more trained you were, the further/higher you could jump, even beyond your normal movement. Not super realistic for a legendary athlete to jump 40' straight up on a DC 20 check, bur super cool.

Finally, I really really hope that Intimidation/Diplomacy get some morale penalties/boosts; basically dazzling display, but faster/more effective the more trained you are. Maybe legendary characters can give out +2 morale to everything for teammates simultaneously with a -2 to everything to enemies as a 1/day or 1/hour or CHA/day, whatever, ability. Lower level abilities would be every ally in the area gets a bonus, lower still would be every living creature (ally and enemy) gets a bonus, etc.

Designer

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Bardarok wrote:

I don't like the concept of being unable to make an attempt at something even if the odds are terrible. Would it be unbalanced to apply a penalty for lacking sufficient training?

Maybe -10 per level of training you are behind so an untrained character can attempt a trained only task but takes a -10 penalty or an expert only task at -20 etc. the odds of critical failure would probably be enough to prevent most people from trying it but it means you can still make an attempt.

I don't think it would break anything to allow this houserule, but it would lead to some of the situations that many on this thread find particularly troublesome, where the 20th level barbarian with 10 Int can use +18 - 10 = +8 Arcana to outperform the 1st-level 18 Int trained in Arcana wizard (1 + 4 = +5 Arcana) on some kind of trained-only test of obscure arcane theorems. That's something we've included safeguards to avoid, but it won't break anything if you do as you suggested, since it's not like the plot of a 20th level adventure is going to be likely to hinge on a standardized test duel between your 20th level barbarian and a 1st level wizard.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
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.

Man this forum moves fast :p

Personally, I don't like locking combat styles behind a class like this. If only Rogues can do the lightly-armored martial build then it forces anyone who wants to play that style of character to play a rogue. It also means that every class that a designer wants to open that style to needs to have an in-class way of matching the rogue's class feat.

I think dex-to-damage either needs to be a general feat or not exist at all.


While I have my own set of concerns about how this system will actually function in play I don't feel that Skill Feats should be equivalent to magic because:
a. they don't (usually) cost anything to use while spells are much more limited in application.
b. they need to be useful to characters who actually possess said spells.
c. many players explicitly don't want their characters to have overtly supernatural abilities and unsurprisingly these players tend to gravitate toward skill-based/martial classes.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So, is ranks limited to just four per skill ever? Do they provide a numerical bonus as well as the Proficiency upgrade? What happens when a skill has more than four ranks?

Perhaps I am a little confused, as Ranks seem to be a tic on the proficient meter rather than a way to improve the skill itself. Once the skill is topped out, is there any reason to put more ranks into it?


thaX wrote:

So, is ranks limited to just four per skill ever? Do they provide a numerical bonus as well as the Proficiency upgrade? What happens when a skill has more than four ranks?

Perhaps I am a little confused, as Ranks seem to be a tic on the proficient meter rather than a way to improve the skill itself. Once the skill is topped out, is there any reason to put more ranks into it?

Ranks don't exist as they did in PF1. Ranks and Proficiency are basically the same thing now. So you don't buy ranks, you just increase Proficiency. (And do so every other level, to a maximum determined level/class; e.g. master proficiency usually can't be attained until at least 7th level.)


Knight Magenta wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
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.

Man this forum moves fast :p

Personally, I don't like locking combat styles behind a class like this. If only Rogues can do the lightly-armored martial build then it forces anyone who wants to play that style of character to play a rogue. It also means that every class that a designer wants to open that style to needs to have an in-class way of matching the rogue's class feat.

I think dex-to-damage either needs to be a general feat or not exist at all.

This is going slightly off topic from skills, but it's something I agree with. I want classes you can play in a different way - not to rehash the paladin thread, but I want the option to play a paladin as something other than an armour tank specialist (the virtuous bravo is one of my favourite archetypes from PF1 - I hope something similar is doable in PF2).


thaX wrote:

So, is ranks limited to just four per skill ever? Do they provide a numerical bonus as well as the Proficiency upgrade? What happens when a skill has more than four ranks?

Perhaps I am a little confused, as Ranks seem to be a tic on the proficient meter rather than a way to improve the skill itself. Once the skill is topped out, is there any reason to put more ranks into it?

Ranks are different from PF1e. Instead of being able to get 20 ranks in a skill by 20th level, it's ranked proficiencies, which each provide +1 to the skill past "trained" (where untrained is -2). Proficiency ranks determine what you can do with the skill, as there are feats (and presumably built-in abilities) that are restricted based on proficiency level.

I'm not saying I particularly like the fact that Legendary in a skill is only +3 more than trained, or that +1 to a skill every level is the right scaling factor (I think 1/2 level would be better, but that's just me), but it's a completely different beast than PF1e, where each Proficiency rank matters more, as do skill feats, which enable more things to be done with skills. Treating it like it's the same as skills in PF1e is looking at it way wrong.


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thaX wrote:

So, is ranks limited to just four per skill ever? Do they provide a numerical bonus as well as the Proficiency upgrade? What happens when a skill has more than four ranks?

Perhaps I am a little confused, as Ranks seem to be a tic on the proficient meter rather than a way to improve the skill itself. Once the skill is topped out, is there any reason to put more ranks into it?

The rank is the proficiency upgrade.

Example which probably gets some details wrong but should illustrate the general point:

A fighter with Int 10 starts of trained in 3 skills of their choice. The other 14 skills are all untrained.

At level 3 they can choose to increase their proficiency in two skills either moving two skills from untrained to trained or moving two from trained to expert or one of each.

Every odd level they can choose to increase their proficiency level for two skills.

They cannot improve any skill to Master until level 5, they cannot improve any skill to legendary until level 15.

At any given level the bonus that they have for a skill is dependent upon their ability modifier and their proficiency level:

Untrained = Lvl -2 +Ability Mod
Trained = Lvl + Ability Mod
Expert = Lvl +1 +Ability Mod
Master = Lvl +2 +Ability Mod
Legendary = Lvl +3 +Ability Mod

In addition to the modest bonus that each level of proficiency provides it will unlock additional uses for the skill that you could not even attempt before. So while your bonus is only marginally larger the things you can use the skill for has expanded.

In addition to improving proficiency ranks all characters will get skill feats which they can take to expand the power of their skills it has been strongly implied that skill feats will either be gated by having a high proficiency level as a prerequisites or they will improve with proficiency level.

Importantly Skill Feats are a separate pool from general feats and class feats so you are not forced to choose between your combat role and a skill focused role. You're getting skill feats weather you like it or not so pick a skill and get good.


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Maliloki wrote:
whew wrote:


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

Heaven forbid the players treat the idea that their base attributes mean something and the fact that they can be increased as their characters level represents the characters learning things.

If you go out of your way to interpret the fluff as negatively as possible, no crunchy RPG is going to work for you.

Quote:
Or heaven forbid that the character spends one of their skill proficiencies on stealth BECAUSE they've spent time watching, paying attention, and learning from seeing their allies and enemies use stealth.

If a character does that, then clearly the free bonuses from leveling were NOT ENOUGH, and the current rules worked as intended.

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