Jason: Please get rid of those +2 / +2 Feats!


Skills & Feats

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Dark Archive

Does anyone agree with me that some of those are just odd, and frankly, I've rarely seen anyone picking them for their characters. I mean -- 'Atletic' gives you +2 on your Swim and *FLY* (?) skills (shouldn't that be Climb?) and Stealthy +2 on Escape Artist and Stealth. In my opinion they don't even add any flavour, since a character who takes Skill Focus o n Stealth or puts enough ranks in it is far more "stealthier" than a fighter or a low-level rogue who would pick this feat.

So, I'm suggesting that either the bonuses are more significant (i.e. worth burning a Feat on skill bonuses) and the Feats are tweaked a bit so the benefits match the flavour (i.e. 'Athletic' doesn't really bring flying to mind...) *OR* these Feats are cut from the game altogether.

Some of them might be redesigned as Racial/Background Feats, though.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'll be honest, I almost never see anyone take those. I don't think I want to get rid of them as it's good to have them there if someone did want to boost skills but... I doubt it will change much unless the bonus was increased somehow.


Callous Jack wrote:
I'll be honest, I almost never see anyone take those.

I give them to NPCs all the time. Charisma-based Rogues and Diplomat-oriented PCs take them as well. I find them exceedingly useful.

Rez

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

While I don't often see PCs use them, I think they should stay, since they're useful for monsters or NPCs - especially experts. They might see more use with the new feat progression, especially for fighters who also have their fighter bonus feats and can really afford to take a few skill related feats now - and this would go a long way to help out those that want a fighter that has better skills.

As for being worse than skill focus - that depends on if you only care about one of the two skills. Also, you can use both this feat and skill focus for a total of +5 on the skill.


with this current skill system though they almost make 2 trained non-class skills as powerful as 2 trained class skills. that still isn't too powerful, but what if you really want those skills upped for your character design, but don't want to worry about multi-classing for them.

I think all together they suck pretty bad, but they are more useful in this skill system than in the 3.x versions.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Rezdave wrote:

I give them to NPCs all the time. Charisma-based Rogues and Diplomat-oriented PCs take them as well. I find them exceedingly useful.

Rez

Yeah, what he said.

They're great for NPCs and I have seen them used by PCs, though, admittedly, not often.

Dark Archive

Rezdave wrote:
Callous Jack wrote:
I'll be honest, I almost never see anyone take those.

I give them to NPCs all the time. Charisma-based Rogues and Diplomat-oriented PCs take them as well. I find them exceedingly useful.

Rez

I've given them to NPCs, too, but in my experience players are not exactly fond of them, because that +2 bonus on two skills is hardly comparable to Cleave, Power Attack, Energy Substitution, Toughness (the new version), etc. In a campaign in which skills and "non-combat actions" play a more important role they might be worth burning a Feat or two, but I can't really recommend them to any players in a "typical" D&D campaign.

Dark Archive

James Griffin 877 wrote:

with this current skill system though they almost make 2 trained non-class skills as powerful as 2 trained class skills. that still isn't too powerful, but what if you really want those skills upped for your character design, but don't want to worry about multi-classing for them.

I think all together they suck pretty bad, but they are more useful in this skill system than in the 3.x versions.

At higher levels that +2/+2 is ridiculously low. Now, if the bonuses from those Feats "scaled" with your level (say, +1/4 levels) *then* it would be worth taking the Feat.


Asgetrion wrote:


I've given them to NPCs, too, but in my experience players are not exactly fond of them, because that +2 bonus on two skills is hardly comparable to Cleave, Power Attack, Energy Substitution, Toughness (the new version), etc. In a campaign in which skills and "non-combat actions" play a more important role they might be worth burning a Feat or two, but I can't really recommend them to any players in a "typical" D&D campaign.

If it stay, It should be made somehow level dependent.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

I said this in the last thread, but add me to the chorus that hates these feats - not because players don't use them, but because they are a waste of space. Rather than trying to come up with a clever name to tie two random skills together, just create a generic Skill 2-Fer Feat or whatever you want to call it, and allow that feat to add +2 to two chosen skills. It's absolutely ridiculous to have to pore through books trying to find that one feat that gives you a bonus to two random skills, particularly when the names do not convey immediately what skills receive the bonuses. You might as well come up with a new flavor of Skill Focus for every skill (Crafty Potter - Receive a +3 bonus to Craft: Pots; Frogger - Receive a +3 bonus to Jump).

The +2 to two feats are lazy filler and should be dumped. There's nothing that irritates me more than receiving "20 new feats!" only to find out that 3 of those "new" feats are the same boring old stupid feats I've already seen a dozen times in the PHB.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
Rather than trying to come up with a clever name to tie two random skills together, just create a generic Skill 2-Fer Feat or whatever you want to call it, and allow that feat to add +2 to two chosen skills.

Now that I agree with %100. :)

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Some times I let players choose one 1st level to help define what their character is like but that is the few times I see them used.


Wicht wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Rather than trying to come up with a clever name to tie two random skills together, just create a generic Skill 2-Fer Feat or whatever you want to call it, and allow that feat to add +2 to two chosen skills.
Now that I agree with %100. :)

Indeed! Just call the Feat Skill Improvement, and let the player choose two skills to receive the bonus. Let them take the feat multiple times even, but never exactly the same pair. (Or even if you want to prevent min/maxing choose a skill twice.)

Then, I beg you, give Skill Improvement and Skill Focus feats a level dependant bonus. +1/4 levels, +1/5 leveles, anything. Because by tthe time you reach level 16 thru 20, these feats no longer make any difference at all.


Wicht wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Rather than trying to come up with a clever name to tie two random skills together, just create a generic Skill 2-Fer Feat or whatever you want to call it, and allow that feat to add +2 to two chosen skills.
Now that I agree with %100. :)

I'll second this one. Especially when you run into situations (this happens with splatbooks and 3rd party materials all the time) where two "+2 to two skill" Feats have the same skill. Thus, +4 to one skill, which is a stronger bonus than +2 to two different. Having it as just a single Feat gives you an easier mechanic: this Feat does not stack with itself.

For Feats that have these Two-to-Twos as prereqs, just say that you have to have "Talented (these two skills)". Or whatever you want to call the Feat (used the True20 name). This means you could have taken it across two different Feat purchases, but the end result's still the same. +2 to the two skills you need to get the new Feat.

Dark Archive

Sebastian wrote:

I said this in the last thread, but add me to the chorus that hates these feats - not because players don't use them, but because they are a waste of space. Rather than trying to come up with a clever name to tie two random skills together, just create a generic Skill 2-Fer Feat or whatever you want to call it, and allow that feat to add +2 to two chosen skills. It's absolutely ridiculous to have to pore through books trying to find that one feat that gives you a bonus to two random skills, particularly when the names do not convey immediately what skills receive the bonuses. You might as well come up with a new flavor of Skill Focus for every skill (Crafty Potter - Receive a +3 bonus to Craft: Pots; Frogger - Receive a +3 bonus to Jump).

The +2 to two feats are lazy filler and should be dumped. There's nothing that irritates me more than receiving "20 new feats!" only to find out that 3 of those "new" feats are the same boring old stupid feats I've already seen a dozen times in the PHB.

Hear hear! I absolutely agree with this, and you actually said it better than I did. I, too, have sometimes poured through the books in order to find that one specific Feat for an NPC, and it's frustrating. Not to mention how much space these Feats take. Your suggestion is great, and I'm totally in favor of it -- why not just call that Feat 'Talented' or 'Background Skills' or something and let every played decide which skills the bonuses apply to.


Dreamweaver wrote:
Some times I let players choose one 1st level to help define what their character is like but that is the few times I see them used.

I honestly think this might be the original purpose for them, as that is the only reason I've seen it used, or, used it myself regularly in a NWN game. Something to spend that feat on at first level to give a little oomph to your starting skill ranks: rogues taking stealthy, etc. Sort of like treating them as Forgotten Realms' concept of a regional feat, one that you have to take at character conception to give a little bonus. Would it be missed if they were gone? Probably not, though it DOES make for that nice little oomph over a +4-6 skill roll for your first few levels.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Yup, I give my players bonuses (action points) for making roleplaying decisions (like taking these feats)...keep 'em!


Sebastian wrote:

I said this in the last thread, but add me to the chorus that hates these feats - not because players don't use them, but because they are a waste of space. Rather than trying to come up with a clever name to tie two random skills together, just create a generic Skill 2-Fer Feat or whatever you want to call it, and allow that feat to add +2 to two chosen skills. It's absolutely ridiculous to have to pore through books trying to find that one feat that gives you a bonus to two random skills, particularly when the names do not convey immediately what skills receive the bonuses. You might as well come up with a new flavor of Skill Focus for every skill (Crafty Potter - Receive a +3 bonus to Craft: Pots; Frogger - Receive a +3 bonus to Jump).

The +2 to two feats are lazy filler and should be dumped. There's nothing that irritates me more than receiving "20 new feats!" only to find out that 3 of those "new" feats are the same boring old stupid feats I've already seen a dozen times in the PHB.

You beat me to it!


I actually wouldn't mind getting rid of them either, except for one problem . . . too many PrCs have them as prerequisite, which then screws with backwards compatibility if you get rid of those feasts. I suppose if the rules had a "if a PrC had feat X as a prerequisite, the prerequisite is not feat Y or X number of skill ranks of skill Z," that would help alleviate this.

Yeah, I know, as a DM I could come up with alternative requirements, but part of the point is to make the conversion as fast and easy as possible. That having been said, honestly, I don't mind bumping these things (or at least putting them in some kind of context, such as when a regional feat gives bonuses to skills used often in that region).


what i don't get is that in this skill system, the only difference in your max bonus in a trained vs. class trained is a +3, so the +2 almost makes two non-class skills as powerful as two class ones. As long as you kept putting points in the skill anyway, as i presume you would since you want a high bonus in it, then at max your bonus is only 1 less than the max you could have gotten from a maxed trained class skill for your level. also take skill focus on that skill and it would have a +2 to the max (unmodified) bonus of a trained class skill at the same ranks.

I think the generic +2/+2 would just be a needless concession to power gaming. I mean they're kinda lame but their names are adjectives that are supposed to story-wise flesh out a character. But if I take the generic and add the bonuses to... hmm, sleight of hand and climb for whatever reason, it just seems lame, even if "mechanically" superior.


Leave them for backwards compatibility.

I think I've taken them all of once, for an Artificer to max out Use Magic Device, which is a terrible terrible example of a reason to keep them. But they do have uses of sorts, and shouldn't be tossed out of hand.

One plus - they're short.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I love the +2/+2 feats and use them quite often on my PCs. I agree that the generic +2/+2 to two skills of your choosing is probably the best way to handle it, though. Just call it "Skill Adept" or something.


Skill Focus is the feat that grants a bonus to skills. Is there really a need to make a whole host of other feats to do the same thing slightly differently?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I concur wholeheartedly with the OP. Skills should be condensed so that the +2/+2 feats are completely unnecessary. Instead, people should rely exclusively on Skill Focus (+3).

Dark Archive Contributor

Sebastian wrote:
I said this in the last thread, but add me to the chorus that hates these feats - not because players don't use them, but because they are a waste of space. Rather than trying to come up with a clever name to tie two random skills together, just create a generic Skill 2-Fer Feat or whatever you want to call it, and allow that feat to add +2 to two chosen skills.

Yeah, that's how Monte Cook handled those feats in his game. Count me in as a proponent of the idea as well. :)

Dark Archive

Well, how about creating a feat called Talented, and have sub-categories that are Athletic, Diligent, etc? It allows backwards compatability and seriously cuts down on space use in the rulebook.

I also imagine you could include a line about the GM allowing new +2/+2 combinations, warning them that the +2 skills should not both be high-use skills.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Archade wrote:
I also imagine you could include a line about the GM allowing new +2/+2 combinations, warning them that the +2 skills should not both be high-use skills.

This is why I see anything that keeps, amends, or "updates" +2/+2 as needlessly complicating things.

If it's a free-for-all of +2/+2, i.e., you pick, then that's practically better than one Skill Focus. More so, it's subject to abuse simply because of the need to track its use in game.

Again, since we are already going the way of condensed skills, I say, "Do it right." Condense the skills so that "similar skills" that would call for +2/+2 cease to exist. That way we can take a much more streamlined approach. You want to boost a skill? Get Skill Focus. End of discussion.


Saurstalk wrote:
Condense the skills so that "similar skills" that would call for +2/+2 cease to exist. That way we can take a much more streamlined approach. You want to boost a skill? Get Skill Focus. End of discussion.

This is a great point. The whole idea of the +2/+2 with a net +4 being better than the Skill Focus +3 was that the skills are "related". That's why I don't like the "pick any 2" ideas.

If you are condensing the Skill set, then it goes away and Skill Focus takes over.

Rez

Dark Archive

Archade wrote:

Well, how about creating a feat called Talented, and have sub-categories that are Athletic, Diligent, etc? It allows backwards compatability and seriously cuts down on space use in the rulebook.

Yep, that's my solution, too. As I've said before, I'm going to use LordZack's new and elegant synergy bonus system (as 'Aid Another' -- you roll against DC10 if you want use another skill for that +2 bonus) in PF. IMO a Feat called 'Talented' (maybe it could even be a Background Feat?) which lets you freely pick two skills would be consistent with that system. *And*, like you said, it would be backwards compatible, too.

Dark Archive

Mike McArtor wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
I said this in the last thread, but add me to the chorus that hates these feats - not because players don't use them, but because they are a waste of space. Rather than trying to come up with a clever name to tie two random skills together, just create a generic Skill 2-Fer Feat or whatever you want to call it, and allow that feat to add +2 to two chosen skills.
Yeah, that's how Monte Cook handled those feats in his game. Count me in as a proponent of the idea as well. :)

Maybe you could try selling this idea (of a Feat called 'Talented') directly to Jason? You could also Intimidate him, but I think his WILL save is probably too high for that (and didn't he pick Iron Will as a bonus Feat, too?) ;)


choose two skills that are based off of the same stat for the +2/+2.

how does that sound for an ability

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KujakuDM wrote:

choose two skills that are based off of the same stat for the +2/+2.

how does that sound for an ability

Again, it just seems like this is needlessly complicating what can be remedied by further condensing the skills and allowing only Skill Focus.

Below is my take on a comprehensive skill list that can survive without +2/+2.

Acrobatics: Balance, Escape Artist, Fly, and Tumble.
Appraise:
Athletics: Climb, Jump, [Run], Swim
Bluff (or Deception): Bluff, Disguise, Gamble.
Craft: (question - will these be broken down or combined? If broken down - what about condensing some into Smithing and also adding Mechanics)
Deft Hands: Disable Device (and Open Lock), Sleight of Hands
Diplomacy:
Drive: Drive and Pilot, including wagons, ships, etc.
Endurance: Concentration, [Endurance]
Handle Animal:
Heal:
Intimidate:
Investigate: Investigate, Research, Search
Know (arcana): Know (arcana), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device
Know (dungeoneering):
Know (engineering): Includes Architecture & Engineering and Demolitions
Know (geography):
Know (history):
Know (nature): Know (nature), Survival
Know (society): Know (art, business, civics, culture, local, nobility)
Know (planes):
Know (religion): Includes Theology and Philosophy
Know (sciences): Earth and Life, Physical Sciences
Know (tactics): Includes Behavioral Sciences
Know (technology):
Linguistics:
Perception: Listen, Spot and Sense Motive
Perform:
Profession:
Psicraft: Autohypnosis, Knowledge (psionics), Psicraft, Use Psionic Device
Ride:
Stealth: Hide and Move Silently

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I might suggest one more revision: Roll Handle Animal and Ride into one aspect. To the degree dexterity is involved, it becomes a feat of acrobatics.

Dark Archive

KujakuDM wrote:

choose two skills that are based off of the same stat for the +2/+2.

how does that sound for an ability

That is actually how I meant it. In fact, I just realized that True20 (at least Blue Rose) has a Feat called 'Talented' which lets you pick two skills (at the DM's approval) and you receive +2 on both. :)


KujakuDM wrote:

choose two skills that are based off of the same stat for the +2/+2.

how does that sound for an ability

Love it


Mike McArtor wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
I said this in the last thread, but add me to the chorus that hates these feats - not because players don't use them, but because they are a waste of space. Rather than trying to come up with a clever name to tie two random skills together, just create a generic Skill 2-Fer Feat or whatever you want to call it, and allow that feat to add +2 to two chosen skills.
Yeah, that's how Monte Cook handled those feats in his game. Count me in as a proponent of the idea as well. :)

I agree - a step better is making a generic +2/+2 feat to not waste valuable page count. But one step still better is the slimmer skill list and just Skill Focus.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I like them. The human rogue in our group took it and focus, used his talent to get focus and fine. He can sneak up on anything and sneak attack anything. The whole move at full speed while sneaking talent is nasty too.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I rather like the idea that was discussed elsewhere on the boards about making the skills class skills for you. That way it differs from Skill Focus, and you can keep those skills relevant for you.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Asgetrion wrote:
At higher levels that +2/+2 is ridiculously low. Now, if the bonuses from those Feats "scaled" with your level (say, +1/4 levels) *then* it would be worth taking the Feat.

I disagree.

2 + 3 + 3 + 1 = +9 To Stealth for a level 1 rogue. Remember the rank system is limited to your level now, the +2 is effectively 2 more levels and consider a rogue gets 3 combat related feats for free via talents, as a human those first 2 feats you get are open for other things now.

Mike McArtor wrote:
Yeah, that's how Monte Cook handled those feats in his game. Count me in as a proponent of the idea as well. :)

I'm in on it.

Ernest Mueller wrote:
I agree - a step better is making a generic +2/+2 feat to not waste valuable page count. But one step still better is the slimmer skill list and just Skill Focus.

Hey now, I'm all for it but a generic feat better have a damn good name because you're only saving about 20 lines in the feat section and that's about 1/4 a column on the page. That's not saving much on the page count.


I take these feats all the time, most always in combination with Skill Focus. I love them, perhaps pathologically.

Additionally, I agree than Athletic should be Acrobatics and Climb (or perhaps Acrobatics and Swim), as not every character will benefit from, or need, Fly as a skill.

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
I rather like the idea that was discussed elsewhere on the boards about making the skills class skills for you. That way it differs from Skill Focus, and you can keep those skills relevant for you.

This. It would actually be a much more useful (i.e. you get +3 to two skills) *and* it would not invalidate Skill Focus in any way.

Sovereign Court

I agree that a generic +2/+2 placed at DMs discretion might be best, I don't want a generic +2/+2 players pick because I don't like a feat giving a bonus to swim and stealth, or linguistics and accrobatics.

Also BJ please go elsewere, nobody wants that level of immaturity here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I know several PC's in my games as well as myself who take the +2/+2, especially with skill focus. The +2 is enough because thats +2 above "the curve" which is why a lot of things don't need to scale with level. You don't want to add more curve to the game. However I am in favor of just adding a generic +2 to two different skills of your choice. The backwards compatibility should be there as long as you add that the previous skill feats are now talented in "skill A/B"

The Exchange

I have also used and have seen others make much use out of these feats. With the change of skills they need to be reworked but I don't want to get rid of them at all. What I am more concerned about is synergy skills, and how these will work with the new skill system.


Count me in for the generic Skilled (+2 to any two skills) as well.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Well let's not making it too generic.

I'd go for something like this..

------------------
Skill Adept
Benefit: Choice a skill group below. You gain a +2 bonus in both skills.

Acrobatic: Acrobatics and Climb.
Alterness: Appraise and Perception.
Athletic: Fly and Swim.
Deceitful: Bluff and Disguise.
etc. etc. etc.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. This bonus does not stack with itself. Each time you take this feat, it applies to a new skill group.
------------------

Leaving it to the DM to bundle skills is stupid and leaving it to the player to choose how the skills a grouped is even worse. By leaving in the existing groups, you make this feat compatible with the old 3.5 feats that do the same.

It might require some playtesting.. but 3 skills in this design might not be too bad. Climb should be in Athletics too. Sleight of Hand could be in Deceitful. This COULD make this feat good at higher levels without increasing the bonus and introduce new combinations like "Presence: Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate" without breaking the system. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It still seems to me that the easiest way to keep track of this is to do away with the +2/+2 altogether. Skill Focus is enough, and if skills are condensed properly, then there's really no need for +2/+2.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Saurstalk wrote:
It still seems to me that the easiest way to keep track of this is to do away with the +2/+2 altogether. Skill Focus is enough, and if skills are condensed properly, then there's really no need for +2/+2.

I prefer having the +2 / +2 feats, it allows you to give a character an extra boost in specific skills. You can't take skill focus twice in 3.5 or Pathfinder for the same skill, but you can take skill focus and sneaky in both systems and be very good at hiding.

For a rogue, might not need both feats, might not need either, but say you have a fighter and you want him to be sneaky.. well giving up character feats to make him sneaky (and not mutliclass) is a great away to get around it not being a class skill. The +3 in Pathfinder and the extra skillpoints to spare in 3.5 make sure he's not as good as a rogue but still better then the average person. It might not be optimal, but you're not giving up fighter abilities just to become a skill monkey.

So yes, skill focus is better, but focus combined with these feats allow you to give a character flavor without forcing the character to multiclass.


Agreed they are not worth taking. What if instead of a static +2 they offered the possibility of a re-roll 1/day?

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