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Liberty's Edge

I love collections of NPC statblocks. They're useful, but I enjoy them beyond their practical value. So this book is pretty much aimed at me.

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Squiggit wrote:
It's one of those theory/practice situations. A group with darkvision can give themselves a massive asymmetrical advantage against enemies that don't by appropriately weaponizing darkness. There's very little that can trump being able to perfectly see someone who can't see you.

The PC party in the Agents of Edgewatch game I GMed did this, and it was wildly effective. I’m not sure how I’d “value” darkvision in a party that doesn’t all have it, but in a party that does, it is very useful, so when I see it on an ancestry, I tend to think “Well these folks qualify for a darkness spamming party.“

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The Raven Black wrote:

It is for players who choose to play a Thaumaturge and get saddled with the feat even when they hate it and would never have taken it if given the choice.

And then you need to beg the GM just so you are allowed to not get one of your core class features.

Honestly, I've banned Dubious Knowledge at my tables. I'm fairly sure it's the only Common option in PF2 that I've ever disallowed. Pre-remaster I house ruled Recall Knowledge to no info on a failure, and no info and a lockout for the encounter on a crit failure, because I hated coming up with lies, and I've kept that in place after switching to the Remaster.

I've not had a Thaumaturge PC yet, but if I had a player strongly invested in playing one, it might be me as the GM begging the player to let me change one of their core class features.

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It's important to note that Ana Ng and I aren't immune for 24 hours because we still haven't walked in the glow of each other's Majestic Presence.

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I require the PC have some mechanically defined item that contains the particular metal. Coins work, any weapon or armor or other item works. Worst case scenario, buy a chunk.

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Themetricsystem wrote:
"You don't recall any" is pretty much a perfect response for every result other than a CS depending on the truth of the matter and it falls short for a CS only because it doesn't provide any additional bonus info the PC should be given in such circumstances.

I’m a forever-GM, desperate to play, and I’d still quit a game if I found out the GM was pulling that.

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Crag Hammerfell wrote:

How would this affect the Kingmaker Kingdom building? I can see him spending a lot of downtime creating forests, which in turn, can be used to build lumbermills, help the local fey, and all sort of potential repercussions.

This stuff seems (largely) like a very-long-term sort of question, so I think it's interesting background stuff that might reasonably translate in to some modest benefits down the road.

Quote:
Sure, the forests will be basically a forest of saplings until they mature (as Timber Sentinel leaves behind a normal tree after it expires). Any thoughts on how to make it that it will not break the game?

As a GM of a Kingmaker 2e campaign with an Earth/Wood Kineticist PC, the real risk of Timber Sentinel breaking the game lies in combat. If the Kineticist is willing to keep spending the actions to use it in combat (and she usually is in my campaign), the trees are a veritable force field. She's casting it at 3rd Rank at this point, which can eat 30 damage, and she doesn't necessarily even let the things die but will recast when they have blocked 20 or 25 points.

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Ravingdork wrote:
Merely touching the object is not enough. Using familiar game terms, all that is required is that (1) a creature (2) holds or wields the cursed item, and (3) removes it from its...

For what it’s worth, I’d rule the spell’s conditions are met by (1) and (2), and that (3) is irrelevant. Basically, has the creature made the object attended?

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Ravingdork wrote:
If I am playing a level 2 Unbreakable Goblin with Cat Fall, and I fall from a 30 foot height, how much damage do I take?

It seems to me the order of operations is Cat Fall then Unbreakable Goblin because Unbreakable Goblin only seems to have an effect when you take damage from falling, while Cat Fall applies whether you take fall damage or not, but that's just my own take, I can't point to rules authority.

So if you're Trained in Acrobatics . . .

  • Thirty feet (30 foot fall = 15 damage)
  • Cat Fall ("treat as" 20 foot fall = 10 damage)
  • Unbreakable Goblin ("reduce the falling damage . . . as though you had fallen half the distance" (half of "treat as" 20 foot fall = 5 damage)

If you're Expert in Acrobatics (e.g. Acrobat Dedication) . . .

  • Thirty feet (30 foot fall = 15 damage)
  • Cat Fall ("treat as" 5 foot fall = 0 damage)
  • Unbreakable Goblin (not applicable because no damage to reduce)

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I just finished painting Reaper’s Henchmen & Hirelings boxed set, and it has the topic of hirelings on my mind more generally, and I was thinking about a Cleric hiring out of the Henchman’s and Hireling’s Guild.

But since my knowledge of the Golarion deities is a little sketchy, I decided to see who folks thought would fit that bill.

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Trip.H wrote:
I don't recall reading a direct/absolute claim that "you cannot hide with the aura active"

Dig around the thread a while and you’ll find it. Several people are not only saying that, but claiming that it’s the RaW interpretation.

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Errenor wrote:
You know what else is definitely and irrefutably visible (well, most of the time)? A character that tries to be stealthy. And stealth still works for them! It's a miracle! Well, no, it works because the rules say that stealth works even for visible characters.

And the Invisible condition doesn’t even give a bonus to Stealth, while the Skill Junction for Air does. So, assuming access to cover or concealment. A visible Air Kineticist with their aura up might be better at stealth than that same Kineticist Invisible, but with their aura down.

The difference here is one of degree, not kind.

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I don’t see why they wouldn’t. I’ve allowed them in the past.

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Has anyone statted up any NPCs that mimic the Kineticist class, impulse / Kinetic gate-based? Have any appeared in adventures or PFS scenarios one might point to?

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Ravingdork wrote:
Here are a few that I ordered recently, along with what they looked like after I had a friend paint them for me.

Tell your friend their work is being appreciated!

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Like any time you're walking around with your aura up, it will be read by NPCs similarly to "you are walking around with a bow with an arrow nocked". So it's something you're not going to want to do, like, at a garden party or during market day.

Sure, but “as a general rule,” PCs in my campaign aren’t at garden parties or markets. I’m running Kingmaker at the moment, so most of the time they’re running around in the wilderness. When they’re not running around in the wilderness they adjust their behavior accordingly.

When we haven’t explicitly discussed it, there have been plenty of instances in which I’ve said “you wouldn’t have had your weapon drawn, plenty in which the first PC to act in a combat has said “I wouldn’t have had my weapon drawn and everyone follows suit, and even a few where the first player to act has opened a discussion among the players about the question.

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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Scrap Barricade is 3 actions. Unless your DM allows you to walk around with your aura active all the time

With reference to earlier discussion in this thread, I don’t see why Kineticists wouldn’t have their aura active as a general rule, and as a GM, I don’t see much, if any, reason to disallow this.

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YuriP wrote:
IMO the Tree is too complex to discuss in whiteroom (it's not a simple question of DPR). Someone has the real experience with it to say how it really is?

I’m three or four sessions into GMing Kingmaker 2E with a Wood/Earth Kineticist who has made pretty extensive use of the Tree, all at 1st and 2nd level. So far it’s seemed significant, but not busted. There have definitely been fights in which the Tree has been recast multiple times after doing its job, and it has kept PCs from being dropped several times. It has really shone in bottleneck situations, where everyone is naturally bunched up, so that it can protect multiple PCs.

We hit 3rd level at the end of last week’s session, so today it will make its Rank 2 debut, and eat 20 damage at a go, while enemy damage hasn’t doubled, so I may feel differently after another session or two.

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I’ve not run across any.

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pH unbalanced wrote:
We allow keeping your aura up in exploration mode, but then that is your exploration activity (similar to "repeatedly casting a spell")

That doesn't seem comparable to me because unless you overflow, fall unconscious, or voluntarily dismiss the aura, it remains active indefinitely without any effort. You literally don't need to "repeatedly activate."

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The Raven Black wrote:
Or an Investigator using Devise a Stratagem ?

Can other people even perceive an Investigator using Devise a Stratagem?

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CorvusMask wrote:
I'm still going to miss lack of alignment in NPC description for future because it made it easy to see on glance which npc that has only one small sentence about them are meant to be antagonistic ones and which ones are helpful or neutral

I agree that it’s a useful shorthand, and I’ll miss it for that reason. But that, gating Champions, and alignment damage are about all I used alignment for. “Fixing” alignment damage and (hopefully) something interesting and new with Champions is probably worth the loss of a useful shorthand.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But it's also pretty weird to say "all Ogres- past, present, and future are like this"

I think it’s pretty weird to say “all [any sentient creature], past, present, or future are like [any personality / behavior pattern].”

I don’t necessarily mind characters in the world believing that, but I don’t like for it to be true. And the existence of Ogres who aren’t in some sort of cannibal cult doesn’t preclude the existence of Ogres who are. The (fictional) world is more interesting when there are more possibilities.

That said. I’ve never read, played, or run “Hook Mountain Massacre,” but hearing about it here, it sounds like fun, and I might track it down and convert it to 2E for a one-shot. It doesn’t bother me that Paizo wouldn’t publish it today, because they already published it. This doesn’t conflict at all with my preference that not all Ogres act like the ones in HHM.

It doesn’t bother me that Paizo won’t publish something like it because it doesn’t sound like a theme I’d want to repeat anyway, but that’s really a matter of personal preferences — I occasionally enjoy horror media, but it’s not a favorite genre.

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
No rules for this language being able to break anathema because you cannot teach this language, either from Multilingual or from some other feature.

Why can’t you learn Wildsong via Multilingual? The feat allows you to “learn two new languages, chosen from common languages, uncommon languages, and any others you have access to” (emphasis supplied). As a GM I’d consider having a Druid willing to teach you Wildsong to qualify as having access to Wildsong. That’s basically how a PC learns any Uncommon, Rare or Unique option without meeting a specific Access requirement.

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SuperParkourio wrote:
Is this simply referring to the forum post from Michael Sayre

May I ask that you drop a link to that post? I pretty quickly lost track of the various previews and commentary, and that seems pretty useful to read, as "persuasive authority," even if not as "binding authority."

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Unicore wrote:
"There are terrifying horrors beneath the surface of the planet" is not an original D&D plot device.

I think an F20 setting with a “Classical” underworld (maybe not immediately) below the surface would be super interesting. Far more interesting than the “Underdark,” though there’s no reason a setting couldn’t have both.

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SuperBidi wrote:
I just point out that the game doesn't handle properly tasks with low variability.

That may just fall in the category of stuff this system doesn’t aim for. GURPS Is pretty good at low variability with the bell curve of its 3d6 resolution roll.

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D3stro 2119 wrote:
Having said that I don't think using the idea of anything ""outshining"" or ""obsoleting"" anything really matters in a setting like Golarion, especially not with the more Wild West stuff.

It may not matter in a setting, but it matters in a game.

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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Base Kinesis (water) can arguably be used to provide drinking water for even a moderate crowd of people (as long as they're willing to line up and drink it from your hands).
[url=https://2e.aonprd.com/Actions.aspx?ID=2126

Base Kinesis[/url] “has a range of 30 feet,” so the Water Base Kinesis could be used to fill containers. No need to drink from the Kineticist’s hands.

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That’s how I ran 1E and I honestly liked what we wound up with more than I like a professional map with tags added.

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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
The choice point comes in where the party has to decide "will hustling be a resource I will require later, or will I be fine if I spend it all now."

Hustle doesn't have a frequency or a recharge time listed. "You can Hustle only for a number of minutes equal to your Constitution modifier × 10 (minimum 10 minutes)" per hour, until your next daily preparations, total ever in life?

How do folks who have seen it used adjudicate that?

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SuperParkourio wrote:
However, many marching orders have two PCs in front if the hallway is wide enough.

"Marching Order" can be a somewhat nebulous concept in 2E, too, with the exploration system.

The Scout exploration action involves moving "ahead and behind the group to watch danger[.]" Where in the marching order does that leave the PC who's on Scout when initiative is rolled? In front or in back?

There's a reasonable argument to be made that a character using Avoid Notice is darting between sources of cover, not sticking to a particular place in the marching order.

This can make adjudicating the triggering of hazards a little fraught in the first place, even putting aside how wildly dangerous triggering this hazard can be.

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Finoan wrote:
In my scenario it is more that the GM is being ambushed by the players.

How can the players ambush the GM by expecting an item whose presence is strongly implied by the presence of a Wizard? When a GM either places a Wizard into an adventure or finds one in a published scenario, unless that Wizard has no prepared spells, the GM knows that they necessarily had recent access to a spellbook.

This is entirely within the hands of the GM, who can just replace the Wizard with a spontaneous caster or a Witch if they don’t want to mess with a spellbook. But I don’t see how there’s any potential for an ambush here.

Finoan wrote:
So not something that the GM was originally intending to give out

If you don’t intend to “give out” a spellbook, don’t include a Wizard. If you don’t intend to “give out a sword,” don’t include a dude with a sword. In the former case, include a Sorcerer. In the latter, include a Monk.

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anarchitect wrote:

Something I'd like to note about the Aldori Duelist dedication as a fighter:

You get proficiency with the Aldori Blade equal to your highest weapon proficiency. So you don't *need* to make swords your specialty. I'd advise going Brawling so your off hand punches are as good as your sword strikes.

That’s a great point, and it makes Aldori Duelist a little more attractive.

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Finoan wrote:
No, Sneak Attack by itself has always been worded to be with weapon strikes only.

Sneak Attack explicitly works with “ an agile or finesse unarmed attack,” and none of the verbiage limits it to strikes, only to a specific set of attacks.

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If Evil Eye has the Visual trait, THEN it would require that the target see the spell.

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Ravingdork wrote:

The double wall in Example B is explicitly allowed, per SuperBidi's rules quote above.

Walls wrote:
The path of a shaped wall can’t enter the same space more than once, but it can double back so one section is adjacent to another section of the wall.

I think that is meant for spells like Wall of Fire, whose segments actually take up an entire map space. I think the "double wall" in Example B is "enter[ing] the same space more than once," but that the segments marked 8 and 21 in Example B are the Wall of Stone version of "one section is adjacent to another section of the wall."

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SuperBidi wrote:
- What is an object? On paper, even a small rock is an object. Being nitpicky about this point can lead to the spell being nearly unusable.

My first instinct is that if the entity in question is intended to have a mechanical impact, it's an object. So if the pebbles on the floor are significant enough to create difficult terrain, objects. If they're descriptive detail to paint a mental picture, not objects.

Quote:
- What is passing "through" a creature? You obviously can't pass through their space but from the space and size rules: Sometimes part of a creature extends beyond its space, such as if a giant octopus is grabbing you with its tentacles. For example a guard with a Longspear is definitely extending beyond it's space. But how do you rule what creature is extending beyond its space and what creature isn't?

I think before I worry if the "extension" is a body part or equipment, a better starting point is whether the "extension" is engaged with another creature outside its space.

Two Humans punching one another from adjacent squares? Neither of them is acting when I cast Wall of Stone, so the Wall can go right between them.

Human A has Human B grabbed in an adjacent square with a combat grapnel? The Wall can't pass between them because it would be crossing an object.

The relevant question, in my mind, is whether the wall would be "crossing" something at the instant of casting, rather than whether that something is an object or creature, because either would interrupt the wall.

Quote:
- Can the ceiling "break" the space if it's less than 20-foot high?

That seems like a pretty obvious yes.

Quote:
- How do you handle this part of the Walls rule: The path of a shaped wall can’t enter the same space more than once. Considering that Wall of Stone is supposed to be positioned on the border between squares, it's hard to determine what the "same space" refers to.

I've never considered this complicated. My reading has always been that the Wall of Stone can't double back on itself. Once a line segment exists between Point A and Point B, no further line segment can go between A and B, though you could go A > B > C > A if that path were possible.

Quote:
Also, can you make a prison with the wall?

I don't understand what you're asking. Do you mean could you enclose a cube? You could, make 20 foot cube by forming a floor, pivoting 90 degrees to form a North wall, then a West wall, then a South wall, then an East wall, then a roof.

- What if the ground is not flat?

I'd probably not worry about it unless the ground is so jagged as to count as at least difficult terrain.

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I’m expecting to start GMing a Kingmaker 2E Revised campaign in January, so this post caught my eye. At the risk of sounding basic, I think Fighter is the class to pick, in which case, I’d either take the Sword Scion background or the Aldori Duelist archetype, but not both.

Sword Scion and Aldori Duelist Dedication just overlap too much. And while the Aldori Dueling Sword is Uncommon, I think it’s pretty reasonable for a character from Rostov to have access. As a GM, I’d certainly allow that. If you GM won’t, you can take Sword Scion, and then go into the “vanilla” Duelist archetype instead, and just bypass Aldori Duelist altogether.

Without Sword Scion, a Fighter is going to be Trained with the Aldori Dueling Sword at first level, and would advance to Expert at second level with Aldori Duelist Dedication. With Sword Scion, the Fighter is Expert at first level anyway, so the greater flexibility of vanilla Duelist is a little more attractive out of the gate, and the Background already signifies “membership” in the Aldori school.

Honstly, even if I were playing under a GM who didn’t give access to the Aldori Dueling Sword for Rostov-based characters, I’d still be inclined to bypass the background, take Aldori Duelist at second level, and fight with some generic sword at first level with the intention of getting my Aldori Dueling Sword at second level, and just make it into a rite of passage of some kind for my character.

For the game I’m going to GM, I’m hoping a player will go the Aldori route one way or the other, and I’m going to be as flexible as I can to encourage it.

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breithauptclan wrote:

Bob: you are using Athletics to climb the tree so your DC is 10.

Steve: you are using Untrained Improvisation and Climbing Lore, so your DC is only 5.

I think I see the confusion. Steve never uses Untrained Improvisation to do anything. He uses skill to do things, but when he’s untrained in those skills, he has a better-than-zero proficiency bonus because he has the Untrained Improvisation feet.

Also I’m not aware of Lore skills allowing one to use the Climb action, so Steve should probably use Athletics, which definitely allows one to use the Climb action. Fortunately for Steve, if he’s untrained in Athletics, he’ll get an increased proficiency bonus because he has Untrained Improvisation.

Quote:
Uh, shouldn't the DC still be 10?

Yes, it should be 10, because the DC doesn’t vary on the basis of whether a character is trained. Just like a Dinosaur Lore check doesn’t vary depending on whether the PC making the check is trained.

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BooleanBear wrote:
So vague sense at best :(

Nice catch. I don’t think I ever noticed that section.

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breithauptclan wrote:
Narrative: You haven't studied Animals or Dinosaurs enough to qualify for the reduced DC. Mechanics: You are using a generalized ability rather than gambling on picking a specific Lore subcategory and winning the lottery.

So do you reduce other DCs based on PCs’ level of proficiency? “Al, you’re trained in Athletics? Climbing that Tree is DC 10. Bob, you’re untrained? Same tree is DC 15. Narrative: you’re using generalized ability rather than gambling on picking a specific skill and winning the lottery.”

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Farien wrote:
Right. Because the Fighter without Untrained Improvisation rolling 1d20 +0 and trying to hit the DC 22 using their Dinosaur Lore untrained is a completely viable strategy. Excellent example there.

It's a better strategy than rolling his 1d20+0 Nature to hit DC 27. At least he's a little more likely to fail instead of crit failing.

But the point isn't that it's a good idea. The point is that Untrained Improvisation doesn't make it possible; Untrained Improvisation makes it viable. The Druid who has a maxed out Wisdom and a maxed out Nature will still have significantly better odds, but the guy with Untrained Improvisation will at least have a shot.

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breithauptclan wrote:
No. The Untrained Improvisation hack is outshining the entire rest of the party at the same time.

No, he's probably not.

Quote:

The Rogue that is taking Arcana and Society, and the Cleric covering Religion, The Ranger with Nature, the Bard with Occultism, and the Inventor with Crafting.

And yet, the Fighter with Untrained Improvisation needs a lower die roll in order to succeed and it doesn't matter what creature they are fighting.

No, the Fighter almost certainly needs a higher die roll than the specialist in every case. At least he will if by "taking" you don't mean raising their specialist skill to trained and then ignoring it from then on.

First, the specialist's proficiency bonus with their Recall Knowledge skill, at every level, is going to outstrip the Fighter's by more than the DC "discount" the Fighter would enjoy by using a specific Lore for Recall Knowledge.

Second, most of those characters are going to have an equal or higher relevant ability than the Fighter's Intelligence. The Cleric's Wisdom bonus and the Inventor's Intelligence Bonus are fairly likely to be maxed out. The Rogue might have Int maxed out, but even if he doesn't, it's unlikely to be lower than the Fighter's Int. Likewise, the Ranger's Wis and the Bard's Int won't be maxed, but, again, I doubt they'll be lower than the Fighter's Int.

There's a decent chance one or more of the other party members will eventually wind up with an item bonus to their Recall Knowledge, too, which the Fighter likely won't.

At best the Fighter may end up second best at a few of these.

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SuperBidi wrote:
So a Bard with Bardic Knowledge is a dabbler?

A Bard with Bardic Lore picked an underpowered feat. The skill it grants stalls out at Expert, and is stuck at Trained until 15th level. If a Bard with Bardic Lore wants to be good at Recall Knowledge, he'd be well advised to pick up some carefully selected Additional Lore feats.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Untrained Improvisation is not a specialized Lore, it's a generic ability and should get the base DC.

Untrained Improvisation isn't a Lore at all. It's not even a skill. It is a feat that provides an adjustment to the PC's proficiency bonus when they make an untrained check with any skill. When a PC who has Untrained Improvisation makes an untrained Athletics check to climb a ladder, that PC is making an Athletics check, not an Untrained Improvisation check, and the usual rules for Athletics apply, except that the PC has an increased proficiency bonus.

Recall Knowledge is an untrained action. It's even explicitly called out in the skill description for Lore that "Even if you're untrained in Lore, you can use it to Recall Knowledge."

Quote:
Also, as a side note, Lores are not only about RK.

You're right. They're also about Earn Income, which is a trained action, which means (except for folks who have Clever Improvisor) it's irrelevant to the topic at hand. Those are literally the only two common actions listed for Lore. The Vehicle rules also make some use of Lore, of course, and there are a few other specialized uses that pop up in adventures, but Recall Knowledge is surely the most prevalent use by far. The first line of the skill description is literally "You have specialized information on a narrow topic[,]" so bringing that information to bear is naturally the primary focus.

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No, I don't use Athletics to grapple the purple worm, I use "Purple Worm Wrestling" Lore so the DC should be lowered by 5.

And I'm pretty sure you'd not allow that.

You're right. I wouldn't allow that because Lore can't be used to grapple. Am I to understand from your question that you routinely allow PCs to substitute Gladiatorial Lore checks in place of traditional attack rolls? I wouldn't allow that, even though Gladiatorial Lore clearly exists in the game, so I consider the question of modification to DC in this context irrelevant, but I guess if you're allowing that, you have to consider whether a DC adjustment is appropriate.

All that said, Lore explicitly can be used to Recall Knowledge, even untrained, so I'd allow a PC to make a Recall Knowledge check using Purple Worm Wrestling Lore to identify a Purple Worm, and that's a pretty specific Lore, so sure, I'll reduce the DC by 5. I'd allow that whether the PC is or isn't trained, regardless of whether that PC has Untrained Improvisation.

Also, if someone was either trained in Purple Worm Wrestling Lore or had Clever Improviser, and wanted to try to use that skill to Earn Income, I'd allow it, though opportunities to practice that trade would likely be few and far between.

Incidentally, this all assumes I'd allow that Lore subcategory. Remember that the rules state that "Lore skills . . . require GM oversight, particularly in determining which Lore subcategories are acceptable for characters to select." I'm not sure Purple Worm Wrestling would make the cut. Purple Worm Lore, though, seems pretty closely analogous to Owlbear Lore, which is literally on the list of Lore skills in the Core Rulebook, so it seems acceptable.

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breithauptclan wrote:
A single level 3 feat choice by one character shouldn't be outshining the Recall Knowledge skills of the other characters that didn't pick that feat.

As I've said many times, that single level 3 feat choice probably isn't outshining the Recall Knowledge skills of other characters that didn't pick that feat, because, if those characters advance those skills, they're always going to come out at least a little bit ahead of a character relying on Untrained Improvisation. And if they don't advance those skills, they're just dabblers, too, and I don't particularly mind if they dabbled a little less effectively.

Quote:
Especially not characters with classes that have specific feats and abilities for knowing things about any of the creatures that they encounter.

I think the problem here is usually that such feats are underpowered, though, not that Untrained Improvisation is overpowered. That said, by the basic progression, you get either 10 or 11 class feats over your career, but only 5 general feats, so maybe it's not so bad if a general feat that serves a similar purpose is a little better.

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SuperBidi wrote:
+1 ahead by increasing 5 skills (there are mostly 5 RK skills), that's all your proficiency increases of all your career.

If your goal is to be good at Recall Knowledge, then just pumping skill increases into the five RK skills is a poor plan, even if we don't house rule Untrained Improvisation.

Quote:
Also, it's a bit crazy that someone is better at something by using Untrained Improvisation than their own skill if they are Trained or Expert.

In heroic fantasy, this honestly doesn't seem that wild to me.

Luke Styer wrote:
That's only partially true. As a GM, you can reduce the DC if the character uses a specialized skill.

But literally anyone can use "a specialized skill" in this context because Recall Knowledge is an untrained action.

Anyone can make a Nature check to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus, and the DC is 27, whether they're trained in Nature or not. Anyone can make an Animal Lore check to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus, and the DC is 25, whether they're trained in Animal Lore or not. Anyone can make a Dinosaur Lore check to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus, and the DC is 22, whether they're trained in Dinosaur Lore or not.

Literally all that Untrained Improvisation does is in ANY of these cases is increase the untrained character's proficiency. Untrained Improvisation doesn't allow any of these checks; the fact that Recall Knowledge is an untrained action allows all of these checks.

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It's no house rule, it's the proper way of playing this rule.

Requiring trained proficiency to attempt an untrained task is absolutely a house rule. Altering the DC of a task based on the PC's proficiency level is also probably a house rule.

The PC's proficiency bonus, however it's gained, affects the PC's check result, not the DC of the check. If Al and Bob are both climbing the same ladder, Al doesn't get a lower DC because he's Trained in Athletics and Bob isn't.

Liberty's Edge

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SuperBidi wrote:
No, doing that doesn't make the game fun for those who payed skill increases to be good at RK checks.

Your proficiency bonus in a Recall Knowledge skill that you're raising at each opportunity is always going to be at least 6 points higher than the proficiency bonus granted by Untrained Improvisation. At best Untrained Improvisation would allow a roll at -5 to DC. So "those who payed skill increases to be good at RK checks" will always be a net +1 ahead between proficiency and DC to Recall Knowledge.

Quote:
And you don't need to give free skills to your PCs . . .

No one is talking about giving "free skills" to PCs. There's an opportunity cost to selecting Untrained Improvisation, and nothing in the text of the feat suggests that my interpretation is incorrect. Untrained Lore checks to Recall knowledge are "untrained skill checks[.]" To rule otherwise is a reasonable house rule, but barring an erratum, it is a house rule.

Liberty's Edge

The Raven Black wrote:
I think what disturbs me a bit is that, if I could persuade my usual PFS GM to follow your ruling, I would likely have taken the General feat for my Know-it-all Witch instead of investing all his Skill feats and General feats in Additional Lore.

If you're so focused on Recall Knowledge that you're willing to invest all your skill and general feats in Additional Lore, then I don't really see why my interpretation would persuade you to do anything more than swap a single instance of Additional Lore for Untrained Improvisation, if that.

Across all levels, any Recall Knowledge check using an applicable Additional Lore is numerically advantageous over a check using Untrained Improvisation, even if the former is made at DC -2, while the latter is made at DC -5.

For a character that you describe, Untrained Improvisation under my interpretation would provides an increased breadth of knowledge, but the depth of knowledge granted by each Additional Lore is always greater, and if you're otherwise literally using all your general and skill feats on Additional Lore, I'm not even sure the breadth of knowledge would increase enough to matter.

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