Knowledge(arcana) and Knowledge(religion)


Skills & Feats

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

This has been touched on in other threads but I would like more discussion.

Now that Knowledge(arcana) is doing the work previously handled by Spellcraft don't we really need Knowledge(religion)to do the same thing? Knowledge(arcana) handles Arcane spells/effects and Knowledge(religion) handles Divine spells/effects.

For example, Identifying a Spell that is in Place should be Knowledge(arcana) when it is an Arcane spell and Knowledge(religion) when it is a Divine spell.

For that matter Identifying a Spell being Cast could be Knowledge(arcana) or Knowledge(religion) as appropriate.

OF course then one could let Wizards use Knowledge(arcana) for learning new spells and suddenly you don't need Spellcraft anymore just Concentration. So all those who wanted Concentration back are happy and we get more of a division between the Arcane and Divine.

Thoughts??

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

My thoughts *exactly*.

Inspired by the Concentration controversy, and given as my homebrew campaign setting uses psionics heavily, my logical conclusion was exactly this. I am actually trying this out starting this weekend, rolling Psicraft into Knowledge:psionics and Authypnosis into Concentration (as someone suggested in another thread) to complete the changeover.

count my vote for this idea, further feedback forthcoming as I try it out in my game.


Let me add my agrement to this idea as well.

Three skills (or four if you also use Psionics):
KN: Arcana
KN: Religion
(KN: Psionics)
Concentration


Good idea. Me likey!

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I found this post by Disciple of Sakura after making my post, makes my point better than I did ;)

Disciple of Sakura wrote:


Concentration and Spellcraft. Bring back Concentration as a skill, keyed to Constitution. It's integral to Psionics and Tome of Battle, and making it a skill keyed to CON makes it a skill that no one caster type has an advantage in. As a result, get rid of Spellcraft. Roll the abilities of Spellcraft (and Psicraft) into the associated knowledges: Identifying an arcane spell requires Knowledge (Arcana). Divine spell? Knowledge (Religion). Psionic power? Knowledge (Psionics). Maneuver? Knowledge (Tactics) or (Local) or something. It's still keyed off of the same attribute (INT) and it means that priest classes are more likely to identify the magic of the gods, arcanists are more likely to identify wizard magic, and psions are more likely to identify psionics. It makes a whole lot more sense.

I know that's how I'll be houseruling it, even if the Beta doesn't fix it.

(Bear in mind, I haven't had a lot of playtesting to speak of, so there may be something else that I hate more, but this is the main thing that bugs me as of right now.)

Credit where credit is due!


I like this idea! Arcana, Religion, Concentration, and no spellcraft.

I believe this would be a great way to consolidate some skills....

Liberty's Edge

Spiral_Ninja wrote:


Three skills (or four if you also use Psionics):
KN: Arcana
KN: Religion
(KN: Psionics)
Concentration

We used this version in early playtesting and found that it seems to makes more sense. For example, a Cleric should have training in recognizing divine spells (Knowledge [Religon]) as they are cast, but might have no idea what a Wizard is casting without ranks in the Knowledge (arcana), since arcane spell training is so different.

It makes sense, and allows a skill consolidation that doesn't change much from a mechanic perspective.

As for credit... Check here!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Spiral_Ninja wrote:

Let me add my agrement to this idea as well.

Three skills (or four if you also use Psionics):
KN: Arcana
KN: Religion
(KN: Psionics)
Concentration

I would add that we could (and should) roll Use Magic Device and Use Psionic Device into these (where applicable) as well.

Liberty's Edge

I am for that too, but consider the following...

1) Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (Religon) would have to be on the Rogue's skill list if that were so....

and...

2) It makes those Knowledge skills unbalanced compared to others.

Sovereign Court

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Reddog wrote:
Arcana, Religion, Concentration, and no spellcraft.

Reduced redundancy (Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft = Arcana), gives clerics their due (Religion as divine Spellcraft), and brings back a skill important to everyone (Concentration). Hurray!


What about combining Knowledge (Religion) and Knowledge (Planes)? I'd actually favor getting rid of Concentration - it seems either a must have or a skill to be avoided if the spellcaster is going to try and avoid melee.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Arnim Thayer wrote:

I am for that too, but consider the following...

1) Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (Religon) would have to be on the Rogue's skill list if that were so....

and...

2) It makes those Knowledge skills unbalanced compared to others.

I don't think that you could roll Use Magic Device into K:arcana, or Use Psionic Device into K:Psionics.

I think that Knowledge skills represent highly specialized intellectual study and training, which is why it makes sense that these skills should come into play when recognizing other people doing what you were trained to do. However (and excluding the mechanics of the Artificer from the discussion for the present), UMD represents ingenuity in tinkering with arcane devices, teasing their powers from them in an act of bravado (hence it is so comically appropriate that it is a Cha-dependent skill), because you only make UMD checks when you couldn't normally cast the spell provided by the item (again, the idea of training is echoed)... decidedly *not* the same as learning from musty old books and practising intonations and rites endlessly in order to get them right. In this context, the knowledge skill represents a well-trained eye, while UMD is the curious, inexperienced kid saying, "I wonder what happens if..."

Now, on the other hand, with the Magic-Psionics transparency rule in place, I could see UMD and UPD rolled up into a single Use Device skill...

Sovereign Court

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Mauricio Quintana wrote:
Now, on the other hand, with the Magic-Psionics transparency rule in place, I could see UMD and UPD rolled up into a single Use Device skill...

I've advocated elsewhere for a Use Mechanical Device skill as (incorporating Disable Device and Open Lock).

Maybe just "Use/Disable Device" would be enough if it were kind of a double skill check, like synergy. Magic device - Knowledge (arcana) followed by Use/Disable Device. Mechanical device - Knowledge (mechanics) followed by U/DD. Holy item - Knowledge (religion) followed by U/DD. Psi crystal - Knowledge (psionics) followed by U/DD. You could use U/DD by all by itself, but at a bit of a disadvantage.

Sovereign Court

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Tessarael wrote:
What about combining Knowledge (Religion) and Knowledge (Planes)?

I mostly agree - most planner knowledge will be religious in nature - although I probably let a high Knowledge (arcana) take a shot at it too; they have to know about binding and summoning and what not. But, yeah, Knowledge (planes) all by itself is just too specialized.


Knowledge (Planar) is no more specialized than any given Knowledge (local), possibly less so. I'm all for keeping it as-is.

However, Spellcraft and Psicraft, as skills, are nettles in my shorts, and every game that I have run has houseruled them to oblivion. Viva la Knowledge! (And Concentration!)

Sovereign Court

You know, that really is a very good solution. I like that a lot.

As to unbalancing the skills, I don't really think so since it doesn't really do anything for non-casters, and it doesn't hurt spellcasters since they would have max ranked it anyways (they always do when I see mages and clerics)

Liberty's Edge

We still use the Concentration skill; we just folded into Endurance as a skill.

A link to the Endurance skill discussion can be found here.


I like rolling Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) into one then making divine spells based on Knowledge (religion). This is one of the few things that I think 4e actually did right. I don't think WotC would mind us borrowing one eensy little idea from them. :)


I am thinking of doing this in my game, with the additional change that identifying druid and ranger spells requires Knowledge (nature).

Grand Lodge

Robert Hanson wrote:
I am thinking of doing this in my game, with the additional change that identifying druid and ranger spells requires Knowledge (nature).

That's exactly what I did, you can see my post here.

I didn't feel rangers and druids should have to take Knowledge (religion), as that also implies an understanding of church workings.


Andrew Phillips wrote:

This has been touched on in other threads but I would like more discussion.

Now that Knowledge(arcana) is doing the work previously handled by Spellcraft don't we really need Knowledge(religion)to do the same thing? Knowledge(arcana) handles Arcane spells/effects and Knowledge(religion) handles Divine spells/effects.

For example, Identifying a Spell that is in Place should be Knowledge(arcana) when it is an Arcane spell and Knowledge(religion) when it is a Divine spell.

For that matter Identifying a Spell being Cast could be Knowledge(arcana) or Knowledge(religion) as appropriate.

OF course then one could let Wizards use Knowledge(arcana) for learning new spells and suddenly you don't need Spellcraft anymore just Concentration. So all those who wanted Concentration back are happy and we get more of a division between the Arcane and Divine.

Thoughts??

So you're basically saying: Knowledge Arcana should identify arcane spells. Knowledge Religion should identify divine spells. Knowledge psionics should identify powers. It's a sound idea; after all, magic comes from a great variety of sources, and this would certainly make for better flavor than every spellcaster being an expert in Arcana rather than their respective fields.

But what of crossovers? Is a master of arcane knowledge clueless when he sees the divine version of levitate? And what about artificer magic? What about druids or bards or others with less conventional magical roots? These are particulars that should be considered.

A simple answer would be to take a note from one of the past "exotic magic" rules from Secrets of xen'drik, where it was harder to identify spells cast by people with the exotic magic feat (forgot what it was called). Quite simply, your spellcraft would be at a bit of a penalty when applied to other fields, but still helps.

Or maybe the answer lies somewhere else altogether. I don't have all the answers, and it bears consideration.

(As for artificer magic, it should probably fall straight under arcana. Not that Pathfinder will have artificers; I'm just thinking of backwards compatibility)


OneWinged4ngel wrote:

So you're basically saying: Knowledge Arcana should identify arcane spells. Knowledge Religion should identify divine spells. Knowledge psionics should identify powers. It's a sound idea; after all, magic comes from a great variety of sources, and this would certainly make for better flavor than every spellcaster being an expert in Arcana rather than their respective fields.

But what of crossovers? Is a master of arcane knowledge clueless when he sees the divine version of levitate? And what about artificer magic? What about druids or bards or others with less conventional magical roots? These are particulars that should be considered.

A simple answer would be to take a note from one of the past "exotic magic" rules from Secrets of xen'drik, where it was harder to identify spells cast by people with the exotic magic feat (forgot what it was called). Quite simply, your spellcraft would be at a bit of a penalty when applied to other fields, but still helps.

Or maybe the answer lies somewhere else altogether. I don't have all the answers, and it bears consideration.

(As for artificer...

I don't see why an arcanist would immediately be able to identify divine spells any more so than a fighter. His magic and the magic of the gods is inherently different. If he sees a cleric cast a spell and start moving upwards, he can probably guess that flight or levitation magic is at work (just like a fighter could), but I don't see why he could somehow identify exactly what spell it was, without specific training in the subject.

Don't forget, wizards have Knowledge (Religion) on their skill list, just like clerics have Knowledge (Arcana) on theirs. Each can learn details about the others' magic and use that knowledge to identify spells from their opposite, but they won't necessarily be as good at it naturally. As it was, in 3.5 wizards were one of the only classes that would even invest in Spellcraft so that they could learn spells - In my experience, identifying a spell as it was cast happens very rarely, and it's typically not as necessary as other things.

That said, I'd have no problem with an "exotic magic" penalty to knowledge checks. A cleric can use Knowledge (Religion) to identify an arcane spell, he just takes a penalty to do so. I could see it reasoned as having read treatises from the church of the God of Magic (every setting seems to have one).

Liberty's Edge Contributor

I am an advocate of this change (or something like it), as well. Part of my agreement lies in the way I envision the different kinds of spellcasting actually working:
- Wizards still have to do the traditional motions and utter the required syllables to create a magical effect. Since those motions are very similar for every wizard, the spell can be identified.
- Sorcerers have to do some kind of motions or speak some words, and therefore, one trained in arcane lore can discern the spell being cast.
- Clerics' and Paladins' verbal and somatic components are designed to invoke a deity, so it makes sense to me that, even for a spell with the same effect, they would look and sound different when being cast.

As for rangers and druids, while I think that Knowledge (nature) is a natural choice (no pun intended...really). However, the risk here is that a character who takes knowledge (nature) so he can identify local flora and fauna will also gain the ability to identify druid spells, which may not make sense for the character. I personally think that the DM and player should be able to agree on whether using a skill for a purpose makes sense in the context of the game, but it does introduce a ripple that may not work for some people.

And lastly, with respect to Use Magic Device, I agree that it should remain a separate skill. It represents the ability to simulate requirements to activate an item. Those simulated abilities can't be used for any other purpose than to make an item function.

Regardless, I think this is the right way to go with the functions of Spellcraft, Knowledge (arcana/religion), and Concentration.

Sovereign Court

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Paris Crenshaw wrote:
As for rangers and druids, while I think that Knowledge (nature) is a natural choice (no pun intended...really). However, the risk here is that a character who takes knowledge (nature) so he can identify local flora and fauna will also gain the ability to identify druid spells, which may not make sense for the character.

Just stick a line in front of the ability to identify druid/ranger spells that says "If you can cast druid or ranger spells, then you may ...," kind of like some of the Disable Device abilities are rogue only.

Paris Crenshaw wrote:
And lastly, with respect to Use Magic Device, I agree that it should remain a separate skill. It represents the ability to simulate requirements to activate an item. Those simulated abilities can't be used for any other purpose than to make an item function.

Only sorcerers, bards and rogues get this skill anyway. What about making Use Magic Device a class ability for each of them instead of a skill? Knowledge (arcana) would be a class skill for all three and the text would say something like "Rogues may use Knowledge (arcana) to try to use arcane magical items and disable arcane magical traps. In these situations, the rogue would use his/her Charisma as the key ability score rather than Intelligence."

As now, every rogue would have the option but not everyone would go down this path. It might be a good pre-req for the Minor Magic talent. It would bring disabling magic traps together with using magical devices, where I think it belongs. Plus, it would give the arcane rogue a chance at having Knowledge (arcana).

One other thing. That same Use Magic Device class ability just says "magic," not specifically arcane magic. As they could use Knowledge (arcana) to trigger arcane items, why not allow rogues with Knowledge (religion) to trigger divine magic items and disable divine magic traps (like a cleric can do with positive/negative energy). You could even create a talent similar to Minor Magic called Minor Prayer or something that allows the rogue to cast 0-level orisons. It would be a fun option to be able to build a rogue with a slightly divine flavor, perfect for a tomb robber.

Liberty's Edge

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Andrew Phillips wrote:

Now that Knowledge(arcana) is doing the work previously handled by Spellcraft don't we really need Knowledge(religion)to do the same thing? Knowledge(arcana) handles Arcane spells/effects and Knowledge(religion) handles Divine spells/effects.

Thoughts??

Sure, here are some thoughts, it's an incorrect statement.

Knowledge Arcana does SOME of the work Spellcraft did. Look at Knowledge Arcana, look at the first line of DCs for Spellcraft, then look at what Jason says. The two skills are both used for identifying spells.

Better to go back to the 3.5 versions of Arcana, Religion, Spellcraft, and Concentration... atleast then a Wizard has to take 3 skills that make sense.

That said, I don't want to see a divide of Arcane and Divine magic in the knowledge skills. Why?

BECAUSE THEN WIZARDS NEEDS KNOWLEDGE RELIGION TO IDENTIFY, COUNTER, OR DISPELL DIVINE EFFECT WHICH THEY CURRENTLY CAN DO WITHOUT ANY SPECIAL SKILLS. THIS IDEA DRIVES SPELLCASTERS BACK INTO NEEDING 3 SKILLS WHICH IS EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF THE NEW SKILLS.

Sovereign Court

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SirUrza wrote:
BECAUSE WIZARDS CAN COUNTER AND DISPELL DIVINE SPELLS AND IN THIS IDEA THEY WOULD NEED TO TAKE A THIRD SKILL AGAIN, KNOWLEDGE (RELIGION) TO DO THAT.

I know they can but I'm not sure wizards should be able to counter and/or dispell divine spells, at least not very well. Something like the Exotic Magic solution described earlier might well apply (i.e., they can do it but at a penalty).

Liberty's Edge

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Dispell Magic is dispell magic. Once a spell is in place the divide is stupid. If you go down this route, then you have to alter every magic item in the game, why? Well what if a cleric decides to craft magic armor.. he can you know? What then? What about holy artifacts? Surely they're not arcane in nature.

You're sliding down a slippery slope of making the game incompatible with 3e material. The magic system does not need to be altered because of a bad idea to alter a single knowledge skill.

Furthermore I don't think I've ever seen a cleric try to counter or dispell an effect in place, ONLY PROTECT his allies from it. The role of anti-magic guy falls clearly on the Wizard if you ask me.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

SirUrza wrote:
BECAUSE THEN WIZARDS NEEDS KNOWLEDGE RELIGION TO IDENTIFY, COUNTER, OR DISPELL DIVINE EFFECT WHICH THEY CURRENTLY CAN DO WITHOUT ANY SPECIAL SKILLS. THIS IDEA DRIVES SPELLCASTERS BACK INTO NEEDING 3 SKILLS WHICH IS EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF THE NEW SKILLS.

Okay...this is a persuasive point. I suppose it would have made more sense to think about why one would want to identify a spell being cast before determining the best skill and how it should work.

Given the possible ripple effect and the fact that the skills have been working find up until now, I'm fine with the skills staying the same.

Scarab Sages

Historically, of course, no distinction was made between arcane and divine magic. People's beliefs about magic and spells were tied into their other beliefs about the supernatural and cosmology. But so long as we maintain that separation in D&D, then the skills governing arcane & divine spells should also be separate. Same with psionics if you include that in your game as a distinct form of "magic".

I'm not that keen on concentration, though. I can't think of a time I've ever seen it used aside from spellcasting. And there was always the gotcha aspect of defensive casting, as in "aha, you didn't say 'I defensively cast' you take an attack of opportunity!" Instead, I think I'd favor a spell failure chance for casting in melee, maybe 5% per spell level or something, cumulative with armor misfire chances.


Dispel Magic doesn't actually need to identify the spell it's being used on. And counterspelling honestly needs to be bolstered something fierce for it to even be worth more than just readying a spell do deal damage and force a Concentration/Spellcraft check, so I'm not that concerned there unless they seriously tweak counterspelling.

And, honestly, I don't agree that UMD should be turned into some sort of class ability. I'd love to build a fighter with UMD as a skill, and with Pathfinder's change to the skill system, it's even more likely to work than before (which required me to jump through hoops and take several feats to become competent in). UMD as a skill makes sense and is functional and fine as it stands. It's not about knowing exactly the right way to make a wand work. It's tricking the wand into thinking you know how it works. It has very little to do with knowledge in the manner that the Knowledge skills represent. Unlike identifying spells.


SirUrza wrote:
Dispell Magic is dispell magic. Once a spell is in place the divide is stupid. If you go down this route, then you have to alter every magic item in the game, why? Well what if a cleric decides to craft magic armor.. he can you know? What then? What about holy artifacts? Surely they're not arcane in nature.

Yes, Dispel Magic is Dispel Magic. It works on everything, because the spell requires caster level checks, not skill checks, to use it. You don't even need to know what you're dispelling, just what the caster level of the person who cast it is.

As for identifying auras or whatever using detect magic? Well, it seems to me that a transmutation aura is a transmutation aura whether a cleric or a wizard cast it. The original spell might have been slightly different, and a wizard who was watching a cleric create magic armor might have trouble identifying the spell as it was being cast, but in the end the lasting effect is the same. It makes sense to allow each class to identify auras based on the knowledge skill keyed to their class. There might be some exceptions, but those are probably going to have to be adjudicated by DMs more than by overall rules sets anyway, as they would probably be unusual and/or unique cases.

Thanks for asking that question--it's something I hadn't thought about and should definitely be stated in the rules. Please, anyone else who has objections, state them. I've only rarely seen Spellcraft used in game, and while I'm sure that applications can be found for most of its uses via knowledges, I would like to be certain that there are no glaring oversights that would cause problems later...when Pathfinder pretty please adopts this version of the skills for the Beta? :)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Put me in the pro catagory.

  • yes, wizards (and bards, and psions) benefit the most from folding spellcraft into the various knowleges. I don't see the issue. The Sorcerer and the Cleric/Druid lose out. Not by much, because of the class skill vs non-class skill divide. Clerics, Druds and Sorceres (and Wilders, and psychic warriors) do more 'this is just how it works' kind of magic anyeay, and everyone complains about CoDzilla, so is it really bad that they're hampered in one specific field?

  • It seems to be a concern not only about the problem of "What is he throiwng" But playing CSI: Gloarion. I know from experience that some of my players would have killed for this kind of thing. Shadows of the Last War had my cleric of dol Dorn cursing that her knowlege religion skill was useless. If spellcraft had been folded into knowlege instead, she'd have felt those points were useful more than for the +2 synergy bonus.

  • As others have posted Detect Magic/Psionics doesn't care if the effect is Divine, Arcane, Psionic or Binding (shout out to Radience Magic) for their effects. I don't worry about that so much. Dispel/Detect is a bludgeon, why shouldn't the core caster have a scalpel as an option?

  • Liberty's Edge

    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    jennibert wrote:
    SirUrza wrote:
    Dispell Magic is dispell magic. Once a spell is in place the divide is stupid. If you go down this route, then you have to alter every magic item in the game, why? Well what if a cleric decides to craft magic armor.. he can you know? What then? What about holy artifacts? Surely they're not arcane in nature.
    Yes, Dispel Magic is Dispel Magic. It works on everything, because the spell requires caster level checks, not skill checks, to use it. You don't even need to know what you're dispelling, just what the caster level of the person who cast it is.

    But what if you want to say Dispel Magic for something more serious.

    Let's say you play with casters that actually Counterspell. Improved Counterspell gets broke by this. Use a spell of the same school to counter it instead of the same spell (or dispel magic.) Damn, Knowledge (Religion) sucks.


    SirUrza wrote:

    But what if you want to say Dispel Magic for something more serious.

    Let's say you play with casters that actually Counterspell. Improved Counterspell gets broke by this. Use a spell of the same school to counter it instead of the same spell (or dispel magic.) Damn, Knowledge (Religion) sucks.

    Dispel Magic for something more serious like what? Spellcraft is not even in the spell description for Dispel Magic, what else would you use it for? Please let me know--is there some errata I'm not aware of?

    As far as counterspelling, I believe someone above suggested allowing using a different Knowledge skill at a penalty, maybe a -2 or -5. And, honestly, both clerics and wizards have both arcana and religion as class skills, so if you're a dedicated counterspeller (and someone who took Improved Counterspell probably is), you could always just take both--just like you were probably taking both spellcraft and knowledge (arcana) in 3.5. And even casters who don't have access to both as class skills could still have a pretty good modifier--and if it matters that much to you, take Skill Focus on the one that's not a class skill and make it even. Yes, it takes a feat, but you have more of those in PFRPG anyway.

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