Running the Game

Friday, July 20, 2018

As the Pathfinder Playtest begins, Game Masters will need to quickly get up to speed with the new rules. The Game Mastering chapter of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook is here to help you out! It covers the responsibilities of a GM, gives advice on running sessions, and teaches you how to adjudicate the rules of the game. Because this is a playtest, there aren't details about creating your own campaign or adventures, but rest assured, this information will appear in the Pathfinder Second Edition rulebook!

Running Modes of Play

A large section of the Game Mastering chapter runs through the special concerns of running the three modes of play: encounters, exploration, and downtime. The specific rules governing those modes appear in the Playing the Game chapter, so this chapter instead talks about how to set the pace of the game as you GM. Exploration and downtime get the most focus here, since most the rules for running encounters are addressed in Playing the Game. The section on exploration goes over exploration tactics characters might adopt, and gives advice on what to do when players want to choose tactics that aren't included in the default options. It also addresses how to begin and end encounters, including some advice on how to use the new initiative rules of the playtest. The section on downtime shows you how to play out a single downtime day at the table, and how to cover long periods of downtime quickly and keep them interesting. It also talks about buying and selling items and retraining abilities.

Difficulty Classes

Setting DCs is one of your major tasks as GM, and the rulebook covers how to create two different types of DCs: those that are appropriate for a certain level and those that are static challenges in the world. This first category is great when you need the DC of an obstacle created by an enemy of a certain level but don't have all their statistics, when you set the DC to Craft an item of a particular level, and so on. Levels and categories of difficulty are given in a table so you can pick a DC quickly. The level is based on your opposition's level, and the category depends on the particular situation. Here's a portion of that table.

LevelTrivialLowHighSevereExtreme
0 910121417
11012141518
21113151619

Static challenges are everything from climbing a tree to identifying a minor noble. These tasks don't really get more difficult if the PCs are higher level, but can still be expressed in terms of level and difficulty category. The guidelines explain how to select a level and category of difficulty. For instance, climbing a rope that's hanging in mid-air is a level 1 task, so it's normally a high DC (14), but it might have a low DC (12) if you can brace yourself against a wall while climbing through a narrow area, and maybe even a trivial DC (10) if you can brace against two walls. Because static DCs don't increase as the PCs advance in levels, eventually low-level static tasks will become nearly automatic for them. We give guidelines here for GMs crafting their own adventures, but it's ultimately up to them what level and DC tasks are. (In published adventures, this information is still provided.)

As you can see, the rules for DCs intentionally put far more choice in your hands as the GM. Rather than having a long list of DCs and modifiers pre-defined, we wanted to let the GM assess the particulars of any given situation and then use some simple tools to set the DC, rather than needing to calculate a DC based on rules that aren't always exactly suitable to the challenge facing the players.

This section also speaks to some particular categories of skill DCs for crafting, gathering Information, performing for an audience, practicing a trade with Lore, recalling knowledge with skills like Arcana or Lore, or training an animal.

Rewards

This section contains some rules not directly related to Doomsday Dawn, but that we want people to take a look at and use if they create their own campaigns during the playtest. One thing that shows up is rules on awarding Experience Points. This includes XP awards for accomplishments, so that you'll have guidance for when the group pulls off important tasks that aren't encounters or hazards. As noted previously, it normally takes 1,000 XP to level up, but there are also options for varying the players' advancement speed by having a new level every 800 XP or 1,200 XP. If you're playtesting your own campaign, you might want to have characters level up every 800 XP so you get a chance to playtest more levels of the game!

Environment and Hazards

The last section of the Game Mastering chapter briefly summarizes environments and the rules for hazards (such as traps, environmental dangers, and haunts). These are covered in more detail in the Pathfinder Playtest Bestiary. They'll be in the final version of Pathfinder Second Edition's core rulebook, but the Playtest Rulebook didn't have quite enough space for the whole thing!

Are you looking forward to GMing playtest games? What changes are you hoping to see? Are you going to run Doomsday Dawn, or try some of your own adventures too? Sound off in the comments!

Logan Bonner
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
551 to 589 of 589 << first < prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | next > last >>

Vidmaster7 wrote:
But most likely someone else in the party would have it maxxed and would have a substantially better check then you so might as well let them do it.

Why would only one person roll? Do your games not allow aid another checks? Does every skill have someone max it? I know I've been in games where several skills had NO ONE have any points in them, let alone a minor investment.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Assisting just gave +2

Per PERSON. You didn't have to be the 'face' to toss some +2's into the mix when people talk for instance.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
If everyone took out 2 points into other skills they could sure assit each other and cance out the 2 points they spread out to assit or just max the skill and allow others to do the same.

Why assume some skills AREN'T maxed? If you could have 8 skills maxed but instead max 6 and spread out some points to aid another 4 or 5 skills others have, how is that bad?

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In this epsiode, graystone discovers that his table variation is a wee bit off from truecore 3.5/PF.


If we didn't have the skill we just found alternatives.

Per person so +6 IF they all made their assist rolls? Its still meh.

IT wasn't uncommon to have a few knowledges not maxed for variety sake but it still rarely benefited anyone who did that.

Dumb things that resulted.

One person being able to make perception checks others rolling pointlessly oh I rolled a 20 so 28! I rolled a 10 so 34! oh ok then.

Party wants to stealth forward well I'll just hang back so I don't ruin that and spend 5 turns running to catch up once stuff happens.

Really if you hate the + level thing I think it would be super easy to just drop that part of the game. Like It should be as simple as subtracting everything by the party level.


I find Skill disparity too severe in 3rd Ed/PF1, but it can also get too homogenised, the other direction; gotta thread that needle, I suppose.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
In this epsiode, graystone discovers that his table variation is a wee bit off from truecore 3.5/PF.

Well except Gray only plays online games with random people so its actually super weird.

Liberty's Edge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

I've got to agree with Vidmaster7 here, there were only five meaningful levels of skill I ever saw anyone take in PF1 for more than a level or so.

1. Zero ranks, because they don't care.
2. A single rank, so at use a Trained Only skill, or Aid Another with a skill they had a good Ability modifier with.
3. Exactly enough ranks to qualify for a Feat or Class or something.
4. The number of ranks left over after buying other stuff (a 4th level character who has 5 skills at one rank, might have another at 3).
5. Max Ranks.

This is the same number of categories as PF2, and some of them are actually fairly rare in practice. I mean, of those, I've seldom seen more than a single skill on any individual character that wasn't at 0, 1, or maximum ranks.

I mean, I've seen people skip out on a rank or two to buy a single rank in other skills early on, but always with the intention of maxing things later.

Likewise, I've never met someone who liked keeping track of the fiddly and awful number of skill points required, and that includes people who play games like Mutants and Masterminds (which is, to be clear, entirely point-based). I believe there's an anecdote from the Paizo office about one of their Accounting people trying the game for the first time, looking at skill points and basically going 'Nope. Don't wanna deal with that.'

In short, Skill Points are a much hated feature by many people and their level of modularity is more than 90% illusion for the vast majority of player groups.

Before greystone's defense of them I had literally never run into anyone who actually liked skill points as they are in PF1. It is not a majority opinion.


Gorbacz wrote:
In this epsiode, graystone discovers that his table variation is a wee bit off from truecore 3.5/PF.

LOL It's more that Gorbacz finds out he is a wee bit off in his assumption as I DON'T HAVE a set table. I play online with different groups and DM's all the time. So if it's a 'table variation, it's one shared by s few dozen tables.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
If we didn't have the skill we just found alternatives.

I'm not sure how this relates to my post. There are more variations in skill than have and not have.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Per person so +6 IF they all made their assist rolls? Its still meh.

I can't imagine that a +6 to a skill would never have come in handy in your adventures. that's max skill +6.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Really if you hate the + level thing I think it would be super easy to just drop that part of the game. Like It should be as simple as subtracting everything by the party level.

You should know by now I do not DM and do not play a set physical table but play differing online tables, so anything that hinges on a houserule does me no good.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
In this epsiode, graystone discovers that his table variation is a wee bit off from truecore 3.5/PF.

LOL It's more that Gorbacz finds out he is a wee bit off in his assumption as I DON'T HAVE a set table. I play online with different groups and DM's all the time. So if it's a 'table variation, it's one shared by s few dozen tables.

Or you're saying that to boost your credibility and given just how invested you are in convincing everybody as to correctness of your opinions, I wouldn't be surprised if you did.


Gorbacz wrote:
In this epsiode, graystone discovers that his table variation is a wee bit off from truecore 3.5/PF.

The true core that also brought us "Run Wizard every game the same way or you're doing it wrong"?

I'll take graystone's table.


Hey as far as the houserule thing goes at some point your going to have to take the fun in your own hands and actually find the kind of game you want to play and other people that want to play that game. I can already tell you you have a very nuanced way you like to play. Not everyone is going to enjoy it that way. You really should find some like-minded people and get a more set group instead of always hitting up pick up groups. Also People play house ruled games online I think E6 is a thing. I think subtracting level to everything is very likely going to be the new E6.


Gorbacz wrote:
graystone wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
In this epsiode, graystone discovers that his table variation is a wee bit off from truecore 3.5/PF.

LOL It's more that Gorbacz finds out he is a wee bit off in his assumption as I DON'T HAVE a set table. I play online with different groups and DM's all the time. So if it's a 'table variation, it's one shared by s few dozen tables.

Or you're saying that to boost your credibility and given just how invested you are in convincing everybody as to correctness of your opinions, I wouldn't be surprised if you did.

Now to be fair she has said before they she pretty well only plays like random online games with people. Like I've saw her say that back when the shifter came out.

I have a hard time believing however she constantly found people that likes thoughtfully assigning every single skill point.


MerlinCross wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
In this epsiode, graystone discovers that his table variation is a wee bit off from truecore 3.5/PF.

The true core that also brought us "Run Wizard every game the same way or you're doing it wrong"?

I'll take graystone's table.

Your example is actually the opposite of a true core. At least I think how he is using it. The way people play on the forums is probably drastically different from the norm. I look at how my group would play if I never mentioned anything I saw on this site and I think thats probably a lot truer.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

I've got to agree with Vidmaster7 here, there were only five meaningful levels of skill I ever saw anyone take in PF1 for more than a level or so.

1. Zero ranks, because they don't care.
2. A single rank, so at use a Trained Only skill, or Aid Another with a skill they had a good Ability modifier with.
3. Exactly enough ranks to qualify for a Feat or Class or something.
4. The number of ranks left over after buying other stuff (a 4th level character who has 5 skills at one rank, might have another at 3).
5. Max Ranks.

This is the same number of categories as PF2, and some of them are actually fairly rare in practice. I mean, of those, I've seldom seen more than a single skill on any individual character that wasn't at 0, 1, or maximum ranks.

I mean, I've seen people skip out on a rank or two to buy a single rank in other skills early on, but always with the intention of maxing things later.

Likewise, I've never met someone who liked keeping track of the fiddly and awful number of skill points required, and that includes people who play games like Mutants and Masterminds (which is, to be clear, entirely point-based). I believe there's an anecdote from the Paizo office about one of their Accounting people trying the game for the first time, looking at skill points and basically going 'Nope. Don't wanna deal with that.'

In short, Skill Points are a much hated feature by many people and their level of modularity is more than 90% illusion for the vast majority of player groups.

Before greystone's defense of them I had literally never run into anyone who actually liked skill points as they are in PF1. It is not a majority opinion.

That really does sum up the only way I've ever seen it done.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Before greystone's defense of them I had literally never run into anyone who actually liked skill points as they are in PF1. It is not a majority opinion.

*shrug* Very few of the people I've played with have complained about skills and I have seen more times than I can count people NOT using your "five meaningful levels of skill". I seen multiple people play skill monkeys so they can roll around in the points and put points in every skill. For me, I've met more people in this thread that seem to dislike pathfinder classics system than I have in online games.

Gorbacz wrote:
graystone wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
In this epsiode, graystone discovers that his table variation is a wee bit off from truecore 3.5/PF.

LOL It's more that Gorbacz finds out he is a wee bit off in his assumption as I DON'T HAVE a set table. I play online with different groups and DM's all the time. So if it's a 'table variation, it's one shared by s few dozen tables.

Or you're saying that to boost your credibility and given just how invested you are in convincing everybody as to correctness of your opinions, I wouldn't be surprised if you did.

Feel free to sod off and not believe me. I could really care less.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I can already tell you you have a very nuanced way you like to play. Not everyone is going to enjoy it that way.

The thing is, I don't run into a huge amount of issue in pathfinder classic, or other games really. I see people like Gorbacz tell me I'm playing wrong, but i don't really see it in actual games. From my perspective, this whole binary skill only thing is weird and strange and something I don't see in my games.


I've never seen any variation in regards to skills. Either there's no points, one point (in a class skill), prestige points, or all in. One exception is the "well I guess these are spare" in Climb/Swim.

MerlinCross wrote:


KingOfAnything wrote:
Because rolling +4 against a DC 25 was so satisfying?

Yes. Yes it was.

Because then I turn to any items I have giving me a chance to find something I might have overlooked. Or I look at my abilities/spells to see I can boost it. Or I ask my allies if they have anything that could help.

OR and bare with me on this, the GM doesn't tell me it's a DC 25. He just says Roll it. I wouldn't know that I couldn't make it at all unless I sit there and memorize every bloody skill check DC.

Oh hey. This is Master. I know I can't do that. Because of any number of possible reasons.

Again, it could very well work out that all the Skill ranks/levels do is make you better at passing the check and that's basically it. That's actually what I hope for because if so, I would think there's ways of boosting your roll in other ways to clear it.

Question: why do you have a double standard in regards to this?

Your argument of "the GM will tell me I can't roll Master" is like saying "the GM will ask me my bonus and then tell me whether I can roll or not".

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

SKILLS IN PF AND HOW YOU TREAT THEM:

Perception: Skill tax. Anybody not investing their max skill points in Perception is a dead weight, liability and active danger to the universe. I mean, get those people off your table before something horrible happens. And keep your guns away from them!

Skills that Target Dynamic DCs: You want one person with +20 Know (dungeoneering), not four people with +5. Elementary math here. Same with a host of other skills, such as Bluff, Spellcraft and Sense Motive.

We Can't Do This Together Skills: Stealth, Swim, Climb. They way 3.5/PF system works you either build your party around being stealthy together (light armor ... feats to help low Dex people ... black bandanas) or you really make sure that one person with maxed Stealth will survive. It's a binary choice. Swim and Climb suffer from this as well, but are more easily mitigated by magic.

Building a party of low level people who can sneak past a bunch of doozy city guard or swim across the river without resorting to magic is next to impossible. A fatal flaw, inherited from 3.5.

Skills that Target Static DCs: Well, those at least get you something out of not maxing them. Getting Heal and UMD up to being reasonably able to hit DC 20 makes some sense.

Linguistics: The One and Only Skill where every rank counts and contributes ... up to the point where the party learns tongues, that is.

Appraise: Let's forget it exists.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For the record, I, too, have to back greystone's credibility on this point. They've noted their particular play habits in regards to online groups previously, and very consistently.

Given how online gaming works IME (ie: people tend to do chargen on their own) I'm a bit skeptical what insight they could have on how much people enjoy fiddling around with Skill Points, but they aren't being disingenuous with their gaming history.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:

SKILLS IN PF AND HOW YOU TREAT THEM:

Perception: Skill tax. Anybody not investing their max skill points in Perception is a dead weight, liability and active danger to the universe. I mean, get those people off your table before something horrible happens. And keep your guns away from them!

Skills that Target Dynamic DCs: You want one person with +20 Know (dungeoneering), not four people with +5. Elementary math here. Same with a host of other skills, such as Bluff, Spellcraft and Sense Motive.

We Can't Do This Together Skills: Stealth, Swim, Climb. They way 3.5/PF system works you either build your party around being stealthy together (light armor ... feats to help low Dex people ... black bandanas) or you really make sure that one person with maxed Stealth will survive. It's a binary choice. Swim and Climb suffer from this as well, but are more easily mitigated by magic.

Skills that Target Static DCs: Well, those at least get you something out of not maxing them. Getting Heal and UMD up to being reasonably able to hit DC 20 makes some sense.

Linguistics: The One and Only Skill where every rank counts and contributes ... up to the point where the party learns tongues, that is.

Appraise: Let's forget it exists.

My group is bad wrong fun not core then. I have two players with good Appraise checks for Mummy's Mask.

I'll go tell them they are bad players.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

SKILLS IN PF AND HOW YOU TREAT THEM:

Perception: Skill tax. Anybody not investing their max skill points in Perception is a dead weight, liability and active danger to the universe. I mean, get those people off your table before something horrible happens. And keep your guns away from them!

Skills that Target Dynamic DCs: You want one person with +20 Know (dungeoneering), not four people with +5. Elementary math here. Same with a host of other skills, such as Bluff, Spellcraft and Sense Motive.

We Can't Do This Together Skills: Stealth, Swim, Climb. They way 3.5/PF system works you either build your party around being stealthy together (light armor ... feats to help low Dex people ... black bandanas) or you really make sure that one person with maxed Stealth will survive. It's a binary choice. Swim and Climb suffer from this as well, but are more easily mitigated by magic.

Skills that Target Static DCs: Well, those at least get you something out of not maxing them. Getting Heal and UMD up to being reasonably able to hit DC 20 makes some sense.

Linguistics: The One and Only Skill where every rank counts and contributes ... up to the point where the party learns tongues, that is.

Appraise: Let's forget it exists.

My group is bad wrong fun not core then. I have two players with good Appraise checks for Mummy's Mask.

I'll go tell them they are bad players.

Bring me their tears or tell me how they taste.

On a more serious note: Appraise is pointless. It slows down the game to a crawl when 4 or more people try to hit DC 20 and appraise the 200 gp necklace. This information will do you squat until you reach civilisation ... where you can just have a pawnbroker or jeweler price them out and Sense Motive him/her if they're lying. People who invest ranks in Appraise get absolutely nothing else, making Profession and Craft look like powerhouses of utility in comparison.

Sorry, it's simply the Use Rope of Pathfinder.

Liberty's Edge

graystone wrote:
*shrug* Very few of the people I've played with have complained about skills and I have seen more times than I can count people NOT using your "five meaningful levels of skill".

Few people I know complain about them while gaming (or, indeed, complain about most chargen or leveling issues while gaming). They complain about them while talking about the game or doing character creation/leveling. How often do you chat about the game with the people you play with?

graystone wrote:
I seen multiple people play skill monkeys so they can roll around in the points and put points in every skill.

How many points are we talking in each skill? Because I've never seen a character who did this who didn't have either one or maximum ranks in most of the skills they put points in.

graystone wrote:
For me, I've met more people in this thread that seem to dislike pathfinder classics system than I have in online games.

I like the system fine, if I didn't I wouldn't play it. That doesn't mean that I don't think some aspects of it are unpleasant or problematic. Skill Points are probably the single most annoying one. Not the worst one by any means, but the most annoying.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cyouni wrote:

I've never seen any variation in regards to skills. Either there's no points, one point (in a class skill), prestige points, or all in. One exception is the "well I guess these are spare" in Climb/Swim.

MerlinCross wrote:


KingOfAnything wrote:
Because rolling +4 against a DC 25 was so satisfying?

Yes. Yes it was.

Because then I turn to any items I have giving me a chance to find something I might have overlooked. Or I look at my abilities/spells to see I can boost it. Or I ask my allies if they have anything that could help.

OR and bare with me on this, the GM doesn't tell me it's a DC 25. He just says Roll it. I wouldn't know that I couldn't make it at all unless I sit there and memorize every bloody skill check DC.

Oh hey. This is Master. I know I can't do that. Because of any number of possible reasons.

Again, it could very well work out that all the Skill ranks/levels do is make you better at passing the check and that's basically it. That's actually what I hope for because if so, I would think there's ways of boosting your roll in other ways to clear it.

Question: why do you have a double standard in regards to this?

Your argument of "the GM will tell me I can't roll Master" is like saying "the GM will ask me my bonus and then tell me whether I can roll or not".

Because I'm assuming it would be easier to remember what is a Master skill check than recalling all the DC numbers right now? To the point players won't even have to ask, the easy to recall numbers will say no befor the GM has to.


Gorbacz wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

SKILLS IN PF AND HOW YOU TREAT THEM:

Perception: Skill tax. Anybody not investing their max skill points in Perception is a dead weight, liability and active danger to the universe. I mean, get those people off your table before something horrible happens. And keep your guns away from them!

Skills that Target Dynamic DCs: You want one person with +20 Know (dungeoneering), not four people with +5. Elementary math here. Same with a host of other skills, such as Bluff, Spellcraft and Sense Motive.

We Can't Do This Together Skills: Stealth, Swim, Climb. They way 3.5/PF system works you either build your party around being stealthy together (light armor ... feats to help low Dex people ... black bandanas) or you really make sure that one person with maxed Stealth will survive. It's a binary choice. Swim and Climb suffer from this as well, but are more easily mitigated by magic.

Skills that Target Static DCs: Well, those at least get you something out of not maxing them. Getting Heal and UMD up to being reasonably able to hit DC 20 makes some sense.

Linguistics: The One and Only Skill where every rank counts and contributes ... up to the point where the party learns tongues, that is.

Appraise: Let's forget it exists.

My group is bad wrong fun not core then. I have two players with good Appraise checks for Mummy's Mask.

I'll go tell them they are bad players.

Bring me their tears or tell me how they taste.

Oh I'm sure you know the flavor all too well

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

SKILLS IN PF AND HOW YOU TREAT THEM:

Perception: Skill tax. Anybody not investing their max skill points in Perception is a dead weight, liability and active danger to the universe. I mean, get those people off your table before something horrible happens. And keep your guns away from them!

Skills that Target Dynamic DCs: You want one person with +20 Know (dungeoneering), not four people with +5. Elementary math here. Same with a host of other skills, such as Bluff, Spellcraft and Sense Motive.

We Can't Do This Together Skills: Stealth, Swim, Climb. They way 3.5/PF system works you either build your party around being stealthy together (light armor ... feats to help low Dex people ... black bandanas) or you really make sure that one person with maxed Stealth will survive. It's a binary choice. Swim and Climb suffer from this as well, but are more easily mitigated by magic.

Skills that Target Static DCs: Well, those at least get you something out of not maxing them. Getting Heal and UMD up to being reasonably able to hit DC 20 makes some sense.

Linguistics: The One and Only Skill where every rank counts and contributes ... up to the point where the party learns tongues, that is.

Appraise: Let's forget it exists.

My group is bad wrong fun not core then. I have two players with good Appraise checks for Mummy's Mask.

I'll go tell them they are bad players.

Bring me their tears or tell me how they taste.
Oh I'm sure you know the flavor all too well

On a more serious note: Appraise is pointless. It slows down the game to a crawl when 4 or more people try to hit DC 20 and appraise a 200 gp necklace ... for the 20th time tonight, and we're halfway through. This information will do you squat until you reach civilisation ... where you can just have a pawnbroker or jeweler price them out and Sense Motive him/her if they're lying. Or ask a friendly NPC. Or the temple of Abadar.

People who invest ranks in Appraise get absolutely nothing else out of it, making Profession and Craft look like powerhouses of utility in comparison.

Sorry, it's simply the Use Rope of Pathfinder.


DMW how did you get a post in between 2 double posts?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

SKILLS IN PF AND HOW YOU TREAT THEM:

Perception: Skill tax. Anybody not investing their max skill points in Perception is a dead weight, liability and active danger to the universe. I mean, get those people off your table before something horrible happens. And keep your guns away from them!

Skills that Target Dynamic DCs: You want one person with +20 Know (dungeoneering), not four people with +5. Elementary math here. Same with a host of other skills, such as Bluff, Spellcraft and Sense Motive.

We Can't Do This Together Skills: Stealth, Swim, Climb. They way 3.5/PF system works you either build your party around being stealthy together (light armor ... feats to help low Dex people ... black bandanas) or you really make sure that one person with maxed Stealth will survive. It's a binary choice. Swim and Climb suffer from this as well, but are more easily mitigated by magic.

Skills that Target Static DCs: Well, those at least get you something out of not maxing them. Getting Heal and UMD up to being reasonably able to hit DC 20 makes some sense.

Linguistics: The One and Only Skill where every rank counts and contributes ... up to the point where the party learns tongues, that is.

Appraise: Let's forget it exists.

My group is bad wrong fun not core then. I have two players with good Appraise checks for Mummy's Mask.

I'll go tell them they are bad players.

Bring me their tears or tell me how they taste.
Oh I'm sure you know the flavor all too well
On a more serious note: Appraise is pointless. It slows down the game to a crawl when 4 or more people try to hit DC 20 and appraise a 200 gp necklace ... for the 20th time tonight, and we're halfway through. This information will do you squat until you reach civilisation ... where you can just have a pawnbroker or jeweler price them out and Sense Motive him/her if they're lying. Or ask a friendly NPC. Or the temple...

And if my players want to use it and invest(but not heavily) into it; You want me to what? Tell them they are bad players? That it would be so much more useful in another skill? That the character should just let the first NPC do it?

Also, reminder; I use Background Skills. Which lets you have 2 extra points to go into something less used and more for character/flavour. Like say Apprisal.

No wait. They're still bad players and this isn't the real PF experience is it?

Nice to know we'll have you around to tell us what the PF2 core experience should be after release

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Vidmaster7 wrote:
DMW how did you get a post in between 2 double posts?

I honestly don't know. Lucky timing I guess.


Merlin I really don't see how what your talking about is related to what we were talking about. Your like taking a soap box on something entirely different. Like I'm reading your posts and not understanding how your getting to where you getting.
Also yes appraise is a waste of time skill with very low benefit.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
I'm a bit skeptical what insight they could have on how much people enjoy fiddling around with Skill Points

From my time in either group character creation or aiding someone with a character [I often volunteer to help if someone has an issue].

I also get a chance to see skills in relation to rolls and stats posted so I have a good idea of the number of skills not maxed. Now I can't be 100% sure that "The number of ranks left over after buying other stuff" isn't some kind of factor but I don't find it that uncommon to see multiple non-maxed skills so it seems unlikely to be much of one IMO.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Few people I know complain about them while gaming (or, indeed, complain about most chargen or leveling issues while gaming). They complain about them while talking about the game or doing character creation/leveling. How often do you chat about the game with the people you play with?

I often help with leveling up and creation if someone needs help so I think I'd hear it there. As for other times, it depends: I've had groups that are pretty quiet and some that max out a thread in a day. I've had several that debated various parts of the game and aspects they liked and disliked. I can honestly say I don't recall anyone hating on skill point spending.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
How many points are we talking in each skill? Because I've never seen a character who did this who didn't have either one or maximum ranks in most of the skills they put points in.

Pretty much the whole gamut. I tend to see higher than 1's more often than just 1's as those often don't hit auto aid anothers. So if a character has a +3 stat, +3 trained, it's not uncommon to see at least a 3-5 ranks [5 for the -2 circumstance if an unfavorable situation might come up]: that way the 'main' skill user can just add the bonus in for aid another and save the back and forth of waiting for a roll to see if the bonus is there.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Skill Points are probably the single most annoying one.

oh, I believe you. It's just something I'm not used to hearing.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:

And if my players want to use it and invest(but not heavily) into it; You want me to what? Tell them they are bad players? That it would be so much more useful in another skill? That the character should just let the first NPC do it?

Also, reminder; I use Background Skills. Which lets you have 2 extra points to go into something less used and more for character/flavour. Like say Apprisal.

No wait. They're still bad players and this isn't the real PF experience is it?

Nice to know we'll have you around to tell us what the PF2 core experience should be after release

I want you to tell them what I did: folks, we're not using the Appraise skill. You simply know the value of every non-magical item you find, unless it's something super rare where I'll call for a Knowldge check or say that you need to take that to a specialist in order to appraise it. There, everybody is happy, your players get more to spend on other skills, your game goes faster, nothing of value (heh. that was funny) is lost.

They can use their background skill points on stuff that's actually useful. Like Profession (basketweaving).


That is so bizarre to me. I have never ever in my 3.0 career met someone who enjoyed meaningfully assigning each skill point. Heck the one praise my players had for the star wars galaxy system was that they didn't have to assign skill points.

HEck the main reason we never played d20 BESM or SAS was because they emphasized the skill system and deemphasized the feats.


MerlinCross wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I've never seen any variation in regards to skills. Either there's no points, one point (in a class skill), prestige points, or all in. One exception is the "well I guess these are spare" in Climb/Swim.

MerlinCross wrote:


KingOfAnything wrote:
Because rolling +4 against a DC 25 was so satisfying?

Yes. Yes it was.

Because then I turn to any items I have giving me a chance to find something I might have overlooked. Or I look at my abilities/spells to see I can boost it. Or I ask my allies if they have anything that could help.

OR and bare with me on this, the GM doesn't tell me it's a DC 25. He just says Roll it. I wouldn't know that I couldn't make it at all unless I sit there and memorize every bloody skill check DC.

Oh hey. This is Master. I know I can't do that. Because of any number of possible reasons.

Again, it could very well work out that all the Skill ranks/levels do is make you better at passing the check and that's basically it. That's actually what I hope for because if so, I would think there's ways of boosting your roll in other ways to clear it.

Question: why do you have a double standard in regards to this?

Your argument of "the GM will tell me I can't roll Master" is like saying "the GM will ask me my bonus and then tell me whether I can roll or not".

Because I'm assuming it would be easier to remember what is a Master skill check than recalling all the DC numbers right now? To the point players won't even have to ask, the easy to recall numbers will say no befor the GM has to.

Uh-huh. And where will they get these "easy-to-recall" numbers on what proficiency is required? Looking over the GM's shoulder? Memorizing the DCs and requirements of everything in the game?

Or are you confusing "trivial/low/high/severe/extreme" for "untrained, requires trained, required expert, requires master, requires legendary"? Because I can tell you you're certainly not having a legendary skill before level 15, making about 1/5 of the chart there useless.

Liberty's Edge

graystone wrote:

From my time in either group character creation or aiding someone with a character [I often volunteer to help if someone has an issue].

I also get a chance to see skills in relation to rolls and stats posted so I have a good idea of the number of skills not maxed. Now I can't be 100% sure that "The number of ranks left over after buying other stuff" isn't some kind of factor but I don't find it that uncommon to see multiple non-maxed skills so it seems unlikely to be much of one IMO.

Interesting. I wonder if this is due to differing optimization levels, differing play styles, or something else entirely?

graystone wrote:
I often help with leveling up and creation if someone needs help so I think I'd hear it there. As for other times, it depends: I've had groups that are pretty quiet and some that max out a thread in a day. I've had several that debated various parts of the game and aspects they liked and disliked. I can honestly say I don't recall anyone hating on skill point spending.

Also interesting. I've seen it as a very common complaint among people on the forums, as well as from people who play games other than Pathfinder sometimes. I wonder if those groups are intervening variables of some sort?

graystone wrote:
Pretty much the whole gamut. I tend to see higher than 1's more often than just 1's as those often don't hit auto aid anothers. So if a character has a +3 stat, +3 trained, it's not uncommon to see at least a 4 rank: that way the 'main' skill user can just add the bonus in for aid another and save the back and forth of waiting for a roll to see if the bonus is there.

Getting to the point where you can auto aid-another would, I suppose add a sixth 'category', but I seldom see people do this. I again wonder what precisely the difference is.

graystone wrote:
oh, I believe you. It's just something I'm not used to hearing.

The same to you, I suppose. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
And if my players want to use it and invest(but not heavily) into it; You want me to what? Tell them they are bad players? That it would be so much more useful in another skill? That the character should just let the first NPC do it?

Merlin, no one is attacking you or telling you your players are bad (except Gorbacz, who is clearly being sarcastic). You consistently view optimization opinions as personal insults. It's getting really uncomfortable to read.

We can have opinions on skills in PF1 without it being about your players. If you find appraise fun, great! I'm sure you'll have the ability to keep doing it in PF2, although it'll be rolled into craft or lore, if I recall correctly.

Also, to answer your earlier question: there are two ways to advance skills.
1, you can increase a skill. This moves you up one level of proficiciency, from Untrained to Trained, then Expert, Master, and finally Legendary. You start out with a certain number of "ranks" to advance skills with in this way, and periodically gain more increases as you level.
Gaining a new level of proficiency gives you a small bonus to your skill roll and also unlocks new tasks for you to attempt, much like the skill unlocks in pathfinder unchained worked.
2. You can select a skill feat. A skill feat also works like a skill unclock, in that it allows you to attempt new tasks. Often, but not always, you get more out of the feat as you increase your proficiency with the skill.

Edit:

Vidmaster7 wrote:

That is so bizarre to me. I have never ever in my 3.0 career met someone who enjoyed meaningfully assigning each skill point. Heck the one praise my players had for the star wars galaxy system was that they didn't have to assign skill points.

HEck the main reason we never played d20 BESM or SAS was because they emphasized the skill system and deemphasized the feats.

It's also the reason skill points got ditched in 4e and even with the severe back pedaling, didn't come back into 5e. The designers for 4e straight out said in their preview book that after a while, the only skills that mattered to your rolls were the skills that you had maxed out; otherwise it was only there for flavor.


Vidmaster7 wrote:

Merlin I really don't see how what your talking about is related to what we were talking about. Your like taking a soap box on something entirely different. Like I'm reading your posts and not understanding how your getting to where you getting.

Also yes appraise is a waste of time skill with very low benefit.

Well for one I am jumping around when something else gets me riled up.

To the point it seems my players are bad for doing what they want and I'm bad for not only letting the but working with them.

The "Oh well this is how you really do it" got on my nerves. How dare my players do something the community all agreed on.

Do they sit there and weigh the pros and cons of every skill point? No, heck I don't either. But they should be free to do whatever they want with the skill points without being looked down on. And if the want to go put points into Appraise, why the heck should I stop them? But enough about PF1

@Cyouni - I'll get back to you. It's late. But I do believe part of the answer both of us are looking for is only going to come down to how the skill section is written up. Example - "Breaking into X is a Master level skill".
Player: Mater huh. Well I just won't ask then.

Replace the above with any skill. Such as climbing.


MerlinCross wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

Merlin I really don't see how what your talking about is related to what we were talking about. Your like taking a soap box on something entirely different. Like I'm reading your posts and not understanding how your getting to where you getting.

Also yes appraise is a waste of time skill with very low benefit.

Well for one I am jumping around when something else gets me riled up.

To the point it seems my players are bad for doing what they want and I'm bad for not only letting the but working with them.

The "Oh well this is how you really do it" got on my nerves. How dare my players do something the community all agreed on.

Do they sit there and weigh the pros and cons of every skill point? No, heck I don't either. But they should be free to do whatever they want with the skill points without being looked down on. And if the want to go put points into Appraise, why the heck should I stop them? But enough about PF1

@Cyouni - I'll get back to you. It's late. But I do believe part of the answer both of us are looking for is only going to come down to how the skill section is written up. Example - "Breaking into X is a Master level skill".
Player: Mater huh. Well I just won't ask then.

Replace the above with any skill. Such as climbing.

I think the reason I'm having trouble with what your saying is your putting the carriage ahead of the horse. Your already Jumping ahead and making what I assume you must feel is a logical conclusion to what your saying but it is far from what I'm saying at least and I'm not getting that from others igther. Like Your the only one who called your players bad players that all you bud.


MerlinCross wrote:


@Cyouni - I'll get back to you. It's late. But I do believe part of the answer both of us are looking for is only going to come down to how the skill section is written up. Example - "Breaking into X is a Master level skill".
Player: Mater huh. Well I just won't ask then.

Replace the above with any skill. Such as climbing.

Given difficulties are a GM tool, that would be about on the same level as a GM going "you see a superior quality lock on the door". Look at the trap blog, for example. Can you see a GM going "you would have to be...incredibly masterful in your religious knowledge in order to exorcise this spirit"? I don't think that seems very realistic.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Also yes appraise is a waste of time skill with very low benefit.

Not really a waste, it just takes a MASSIVE investment to pay off, kind of like UMD. It help if you use skill unlocks too.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I have never ever in my 3.0 career met someone who enjoyed meaningfully assigning each skill point.

Enjoy is a bit too much IMO. I'd say I like the results when I'm done and enjoy how it can make meaningful differences in otherwise very close builds. I wouldn't call the actual counting up and spending points 'fun' but it generally didn't take up enough of my time to be a detriment.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Interesting. I wonder if this is due to differing optimization levels, differing play styles, or something else entirely?

Part of it, I'm sure, is simplicity and cutting down on actual rolled needed as each roll eats up time waiting for the player to log in and then waiting for the person you aided to log in, ect. hence wanting to auto make your DC's they expect to roll.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Also interesting. I've seen it as a very common complaint among people on the forums, as well as from people who play games other than Pathfinder sometimes. I wonder if those groups are intervening variables of some sort?

I don't know. I've played on a couple of different online 'locations' and it's been about the same with skills. At worst, I've seen some uninterested in skills and pro combat but I don't know if that an issue with skills per se.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Getting to the point where you can auto aid-another would, I suppose add a sixth 'category', but I seldom see people do this. I again wonder what precisely the difference is.

It speeds up the game. ;)

And I wouldn't say it was JUST aid another, but most time it was to hit a DC. For instance if you wanted to start off making a weapon for yourself, you needed enough skill + bonuses to make the DC or only fail up to -4 to not riun materials. Or a DC 10 to handle your animal. Or linguistics to get the number of languages you want. Or a survival 15 gets must any basic check there.

This is what I liked about the system is that I could invest just enough to do what I wanted the skill to do and then walk away and invest in something else: For some skills, the treadmill requires maxing it out bit for others there is a vast middleground you can stay in and get what you want out of the skill without that investment.

*waves* I'm falling asleep at the keyboard. I'm out for now.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:

Merlin I really don't see how what your talking about is related to what we were talking about. Your like taking a soap box on something entirely different. Like I'm reading your posts and not understanding how your getting to where you getting.

Also yes appraise is a waste of time skill with very low benefit.

Well for one I am jumping around when something else gets me riled up.

To the point it seems my players are bad for doing what they want and I'm bad for not only letting the but working with them.

The "Oh well this is how you really do it" got on my nerves. How dare my players do something the community all agreed on.

Do they sit there and weigh the pros and cons of every skill point? No, heck I don't either. But they should be free to do whatever they want with the skill points without being looked down on. And if the want to go put points into Appraise, why the heck should I stop them? But enough about PF1

@Cyouni - I'll get back to you. It's late. But I do believe part of the answer both of us are looking for is only going to come down to how the skill section is written up. Example - "Breaking into X is a Master level skill".
Player: Mater huh. Well I just won't ask then.

Replace the above with any skill. Such as climbing.

I think the reason I'm having trouble with what your saying is your putting the carriage ahead of the horse. Your already Jumping ahead and making what I assume you must feel is a logical conclusion to what your saying but it is far from what I'm saying at least and I'm not getting that from others igther. Like Your the only one who called your players bad players that all you bud.

If they don't follow what is supposed to be the "core experience" and put points into skills that are deemed worthless; what would you call them?

I would expect the community to call them bad players because they aren't doing it right. Or at least people here.

I'm just happy to see them enjoying the game and AP I'm running regardless of what they do.


Ok I get the linguistic till you get the languages you want. I've done that.

It really doesn't seem like that big of a difference it not only is allowing you to continue to do that but giving you other options as well. Its not taking that away but in fact making doing stuff like that easier.

551 to 589 of 589 << first < prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Paizo Blog: Running the Game All Messageboards
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion