Tips and Traits: A guide to Pathfinder Traits (Work in Progress)


Advice

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Update:

Birthmark rating increased
Magical Knack description updated with Gauss's tip
Adopted description updated
Child of the Streets ranking lowered


deuxhero wrote:

One note on Havoc of the Society: Because it is force damage, next to nothing is immune (and I think it may actually be nothing in pure PF). This means that effects that activate if something is damaged (Dazzling Spell for instance), will always activate.

This narrow use means it is worth taking if you plan on using such spells (if not for the Sorcerer restriction, Summoner would love it for Lesser Dazzling Rod+Wall of Fire). Still useless if you don't, but nowhere near as bad you make it out to be.

Good point. I will add your tip and change it to orange. It is still pretty bad, but at least it has a small redeeming quality.


Dragonamedrake wrote:
I read Ghost sound and wondered if a druid with natural spell could use it to communicate with it. By the wording you could make a case for either.

Wording seems pretty clear to me. You create the sounds of people talking. There's no reason those sounds wouldn't include intelligible speech. But fine, it's "debatable." It's still a primitive way to communicate, no matter how intensely minimal-benefit-focused a DM tries to interpret it.

Dragonamedrake wrote:
Princess requires you to be female. Otherwise it would be superior.

O_o Roleplaying a bully is less of a hindrance/negative than RPing a female?

I do think that trait is sexist, there's no reason why you couldn't be a prince and have the same benefits. But still.

Do you plan to downgrade Poverty-Stricken (+1 Survival & it's a class skill) because it requires that your character grew up poor?


Dragonamedrake wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Child of the Streets: Green. Sleight of Hand really isn't a good skill. And its best uses tend to land your PC in prison and/or gets the other players REALLY angry at you...
I still havent quite figured out how I will score all the skill traits. I think giving a skill as a class skill should diserve a blue unless its a really really crappy skill. Heal, swim, climb, ect. Slight of Hand might be added to that list because of the limited scope of the skill. I will think on it.

First, you need to check how often it's given out as a class skill. Gaining craft as a class skill is useless since every PC class already gets craft as a class skill. Gaining UMD as a class skill is much more valuable since only three core classes gain it as a class skill. Builds that are often centered around Intimidate, for example, usually already get intimidate as a class skill. Paladins with dazzling display are about the only build I can immediately think of that would jump on a trait to give intimidate that +4. I don't know a single class that is champing at the bit for a +4 to heal...

Second, you need to evaluate the value of the skill itself. If it's a skill you wouldn't bother putting a point into, then it's a useless bonus. If it's a skill you might put a point into if you already had it as a class skill just to gain the +3 because it's sometimes used against some low static DCs (such as with Climb or Swim), then it might be vaguely worth it. If you will need to put a rank into it every level just to remain competent at it, such as Acrobatics to tumble or Perception, then gaining it as a class skill can be very useful.

Finally, it needs to be weighed against other traits. Is gaining a +4 to this check better than +2 initiative or +1 to my will saves? This is where your guide seems to be going, but I think you are over-valuing some skills.

I am genuinely impressed by your undertaking and highly encourage you to continue. I don't think I could do what you are doing. I really only have the skills to critique (which is a lesser skill set than creating).


StreamOfTheSky wrote:


Dragonamedrake wrote:
Princess requires you to be female. Otherwise it would be superior.

O_o Roleplaying a bully is less of a hindrance/negative than RPing a female?

Extremely Fashionable is better than both Princess AND Bully and it requires you to... wear jewelry (with no clause against magic jewelery), so who cares.


Quote:
Etymologist (Gnome) - +1 bonus on Linguistics checks, know one additional bonus language, and treat Linguistics as a class skill. Must be Gnome. Ok so you get a bonus on a checks to decipher text, an additional language, and Linguistics becomes a class skill. Whenever you put a rank into this skill you learn a new language. I'm not certain, but the +3 in class bonus should apply to this. So basically taking this trait nets you 5 known languages after you place a single point in the skill. This can be really important for summoners who need to be able to communicate with their summons. Unfortunately most classes that summon have Linguistics in class already(Sorcerers don't). Infernal, Abyssal, Celestial, and the elemental languages are great choices.

The bolded portion is inaccurate. The +3 bonus for it being a class skill is not additional ranks, just a bonus to checks. You gain bonus languages based on ranks. Forgery and decipher text uses of Linguistics gain the +3, but you do not gain 3 additional languages. Sorry.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Inkwell wrote:
Nicos wrote:
It is interesting see you typing the guide in real time, very funny.
I second this notion! My girl and I can't help but laugh as we take bets on what the color of the next trait ends up being.

Thirded! I've actually never used Google Docs, and while I knew they allowed real-time editing, I've never actually seen it in practice.

When did the future become now?


Mauril wrote:
Quote:
Etymologist (Gnome) - +1 bonus on Linguistics checks, know one additional bonus language, and treat Linguistics as a class skill. Must be Gnome. Ok so you get a bonus on a checks to decipher text, an additional language, and Linguistics becomes a class skill. Whenever you put a rank into this skill you learn a new language. I'm not certain, but the +3 in class bonus should apply to this. So basically taking this trait nets you 5 known languages after you place a single point in the skill. This can be really important for summoners who need to be able to communicate with their summons. Unfortunately most classes that summon have Linguistics in class already(Sorcerers don't). Infernal, Abyssal, Celestial, and the elemental languages are great choices.
The bolded portion is inaccurate. The +3 bonus for it being a class skill is not additional ranks, just a bonus to checks. You gain bonus languages based on ranks. Forgery and decipher text uses of Linguistics gain the +3, but you do not gain 3 additional languages. Sorry.

I wasn't sure. Do you have a link to where this is clarified? I don't doubt your right but I want to make sure.


Misroi wrote:
Inkwell wrote:
Nicos wrote:
It is interesting see you typing the guide in real time, very funny.
I second this notion! My girl and I can't help but laugh as we take bets on what the color of the next trait ends up being.

Thirded! I've actually never used Google Docs, and while I knew they allowed real-time editing, I've never actually seen it in practice.

When did the future become now?

Wow... lol. Bets on my coloring. That creeped out feeling is back again!

Liberty's Edge

Dragonamedrake wrote:
Mauril wrote:
Quote:
Etymologist (Gnome) - +1 bonus on Linguistics checks, know one additional bonus language, and treat Linguistics as a class skill. Must be Gnome. Ok so you get a bonus on a checks to decipher text, an additional language, and Linguistics becomes a class skill. Whenever you put a rank into this skill you learn a new language. I'm not certain, but the +3 in class bonus should apply to this. So basically taking this trait nets you 5 known languages after you place a single point in the skill. This can be really important for summoners who need to be able to communicate with their summons. Unfortunately most classes that summon have Linguistics in class already(Sorcerers don't). Infernal, Abyssal, Celestial, and the elemental languages are great choices.
The bolded portion is inaccurate. The +3 bonus for it being a class skill is not additional ranks, just a bonus to checks. You gain bonus languages based on ranks. Forgery and decipher text uses of Linguistics gain the +3, but you do not gain 3 additional languages. Sorry.
I wasn't sure. Do you have a link to where this is clarified? I don't doubt your right but I want to make sure.

He is right, and AFAIK it isn't ever clarified because it isn't an issue, ranks are ranks, the bonus from having a skill as a class skill is just a bonus.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think you should enable comments (not editing) by other people on the document. Very interesting to watch you write it, I'll admit.


Castarr4 wrote:
I think you should enable comments (not editing) by other people on the document. Very interesting to watch you write it, I'll admit.

Comments enabled. Also moving on to Racial Traits.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Dragonamedrake wrote:
Mauril wrote:
Quote:
Etymologist (Gnome) - +1 bonus on Linguistics checks, know one additional bonus language, and treat Linguistics as a class skill. Must be Gnome. Ok so you get a bonus on a checks to decipher text, an additional language, and Linguistics becomes a class skill. Whenever you put a rank into this skill you learn a new language. I'm not certain, but the +3 in class bonus should apply to this. So basically taking this trait nets you 5 known languages after you place a single point in the skill. This can be really important for summoners who need to be able to communicate with their summons. Unfortunately most classes that summon have Linguistics in class already(Sorcerers don't). Infernal, Abyssal, Celestial, and the elemental languages are great choices.
The bolded portion is inaccurate. The +3 bonus for it being a class skill is not additional ranks, just a bonus to checks. You gain bonus languages based on ranks. Forgery and decipher text uses of Linguistics gain the +3, but you do not gain 3 additional languages. Sorry.
I wasn't sure. Do you have a link to where this is clarified? I don't doubt your right but I want to make sure.
He is right, and AFAIK it isn't ever clarified because it isn't an issue, ranks are ranks, the bonus from having a skill as a class skill is just a bonus.

Alright that line is removed.


Dragonamedrake: Etymologist only gives you 1 extra language when the trait is taken.

Linguistics on the other hand gives you one extra language whenever you take a rank in linguistics. The +3 class bonus is not a rank.

CRB p101 wrote:
Learn a Language: Whenever you put a rank into this skill, you learn to speak and read a new language.

Hope that helps.

- Gauss

Shadow Lodge

deuxhero wrote:
@Beckett (because quoting refuses to load), it isn't an issue for 2 handers, it is a free action to shift back and forth between wielding a weapon in 2 hands and holding (but not wielding) a weapon in one hand. It is still of note for TWF (however rare divine casters with TWFing are) and Heavy Shield+Weapon. Potentially the odd Magus/Cleric/Mystic Thurge as well.

True but there may also be spell components or the spell or ability might be longer than a standard action. I'm just saying, I find it very useful, and probably one of the only useful Faith traits for faith based characters, (which is more saying that the others are pretty bad rather than this one is that great). I would say a solid Green as it is very useful for certain characters, has strong flavor, and is fairly open to all classes and builds for different reasons. For Cleric and Paladin types, dark Blue to light Purple. However for non-holy characters like your typical Rogue, not so useful.

:)


Like this. I've added some comments on the doc. Also, dot.


Savant: Note that with bard's versatile performance, this trait is +2 to 2 different skills. 3 if you consider a high bonus in the perform skill itself actually useful. That's the equivalant of a +2/+2 feat like Alertness, at least until 10th level when they become +4/+4. Pretty good trait for a bard.


So far Im seeing a alot of Racial traits that just plain stink.


I realize it's a bit far along, but some of the traits leave me wondering where they came from (the one that gives stealth as a class skill for example)

Races of are fairly easy to guess, but if you're looking for more to type, could you note where ones NOT from APG come from?


Beast Bully (Tiefling) - You can make an Intimidate check instead of a Handle Animal check when trying to handle or push an animal.

So this is the second trait that deals with using Intimidate on animals. Popular opinion is that Intimidate works on animals, but considering that there are two traits that give you the ability to do so... I'm starting to wonder.


Dragonamedrake, I wouldnt wonder too hard. There are many such inconsistencies. For example, there is a feat called Prone Shooter that gives crossbow users the 'ability' to shoot while prone. Something that is already clearly indicated that they can do..without the feat!

That is just one example. There are others (such as the whole: Monk flurry of blows is or is not TWF..many many PF books used that 'incorrectly').

- Gauss

Edit: The Beast Bully trait isn't trying to grant the ability to intimidate animals. It is granting skill substitution. It folds Handle Animal into Intimidate for a couple purposes.


Jaatu Bronzescale, you can look up any individual trait at D20PFSRD.com to find it's source. The D20PFSRD is a good resource for this. The problem is that it does not lay out the traits in an easy to read manner.

- Gauss


Regarding Rich Parents: I have heard many denounce it as a trap trait and I happen to agree with them. It is really only useful at level 1. I would suggest dropping it to orange or maybe even red and listing it as a trap trait (assuming other's agree).

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

Regarding Rich Parents: I have heard many denounce it as a trap trait and I happen to agree with them. It is really only useful at level 1. I would suggest dropping it to orange or maybe even red and listing it as a trap trait (assuming other's agree).

- Gauss

Well I did point out that it loses its usefulness after you spend the gold. You basicly are selling a trait to the GM for 900 gp. I wouldn't do it but for short games where you want to get something right off the bat I can see why someone might sacrifice a trait. I will look at dropping it though.


Jaatu Bronzescale wrote:

I realize it's a bit far along, but some of the traits leave me wondering where they came from (the one that gives stealth as a class skill for example)

Races of are fairly easy to guess, but if you're looking for more to type, could you note where ones NOT from APG come from?

I will throw a link to the SRD where all the traits are located. It is the site Im using the write this guide.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Anything that grants acrobatics or perception is top quality. Not much does.
The Rough and Ready trait has become one of my favorite traits by the way.
Combine this with adamantine durable arrows for what is essentially an adamantine weapon at first level.


Why cant there be more traits like the Goblin ones. Useful, full of flavor, and fun.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:

O_o Roleplaying a bully is less of a hindrance/negative than RPing a female?

I do think that trait is sexist, there's no reason why you couldn't be a prince and have the same benefits. But still.

I suspect it is less about being a Princess and more about being a Princess. The former being the type we'd expect in the House of Windsor, the latter we'd expect in the House of the Jersey Shore.


Dragonamedrake, did you catch my edit regarding Beast Bully?

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hmm, I'd say about 75% of my characters are female.
If I have a concept that can go either way gender-wise, I flip a coin.


BBT, you would cause me a headache in my games. One of my players (a female) does. Whenever she plays a male I still call him 'her'.

Thankfully, she doesnt get insulted and knows I cannot keep the pronouns straight when players cross gender lines.

- Gauss


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Hmm, I'd say about 75% of my characters are female.

If I have a concept that can go either way gender-wise, I flip a coin.

I actually have a rule against playing cross gender. It just makes me Uncomfortable to GM a dude playing a Chick.


Gauss wrote:

Dragonamedrake, did you catch my edit regarding Beast Bully?

- Gauss

I read your comment and was like... How does he know my name? And then I noticed my email address above the Comment box. Duh.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Luckily, my RP and well done character illustrations keep my DMs well aware of my gender.
The only time I caused any real confusion, was with my hermaphrodite tiefling alchemist.


ROFLMAO yeah, I wondered if that would weird you out. Scary part? With someone's name and IP Address it becomes frighteningly easy to trace down the average person.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Dragonamedrake wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Hmm, I'd say about 75% of my characters are female.

If I have a concept that can go either way gender-wise, I flip a coin.
I actually have a rule against playing cross gender. It just makes me Uncomfortable to GM a dude playing a Chick.

That's a horrible house-rule.


BBT, for me the problem is that I have a hard time keeping names straight let alone a gender that is contrary to what is sitting in front of me. My thinking is a bit too straightforward in this regard.

However, beyond that little malfunction I have no problem with people crossing gender lines during RP. I have too many 'alternate lifestyle' friends for that to bother me.

- Gauss


Added a Table of Contents


No! not a table of contents! RUN! Ok, Im officially bored. Hmmmm, perhaps I should go shooting. Yes, Ill do that. Bye.

- Gauss

P.S. Gotta love living within a couple blocks of a public archery range.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Gauss wrote:

BBT, for me the problem is that I have a hard time keeping names straight let alone a gender that is contrary to what is sitting in front of me. My thinking is a bit too straightforward in this regard.

However, beyond that little malfunction I have no problem with people crossing gender lines during RP. I have too many 'alternate lifestyle' friends for that to bother me.

- Gauss

Have you seen the Pathfinder Table Tents?

Even as a player, I keep a short list with PC name, race, and gender.


Dragonamedrake wrote:
So far Im seeing a alot of Racial traits that just plain stink.

Yeah, Race Traits is one of the weaker categories. That's why the RAW for Adopted, where you can only pick Race Traits? It might not be worthy of blue rating...

You're actually being too nice with them, IMO. :)

I think my favorite race trait, at least of the ones I remember what they do, is Goblin Foolhardiness. I was SORELY tempted to get that one on my melee Viv. alchemist, since ideally he'll be flanking and not adjacent to allies anyway. I'm not saying it's a great trait. I just like it.


On chain master: I have never made a whip warrior, but the bonus to trip would stack with the lore warden archetype up to for a wonderful +8.


I realize it would be a lot of work, but it would be great if the name of each trait would link to the d20PFSRD page for it. It would also be helpful to have a separate list of only those traits that grant class skills, so you can see without having to search through them which trait to take for the skill you really want.


So far, I am liking this. Thanks!

Mind you, I find I am in a minority when it comes to things that add to your initiative modifier. Yes, it's great not be to flat-footed. But other than that, initiative is cyclical. A +20 to you inti helps only once a combat. Maybe.

Of course, if you get Sneak attack, then sure, you want this out the wazoo.


Yeah, I was going to suggest that. Nothing complex. Just a simple extra list of "traits that grant a class skill." Format can be as bare bones as:

Survival: X, Y, Z
Swim: X

Where the X, Y, Z, etc... are the names of traits that give it as a class skill. Don't even color code the names in htere if you don't feel like it. But just HAVING a condensed list like that would be so helpful. Actually, if you want to put any more than the minimum effort into it, listing "trait name (trait category)" would be great.

The Exchange

DOT!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Do the Quick Learner and Arms Master traits stack?


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
I realize it would be a lot of work, but it would be great if the name of each trait would link to the d20PFSRD page for it. It would also be helpful to have a separate list of only those traits that grant class skills, so you can see without having to search through them which trait to take for the skill you really want.
StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Yeah, I was going to suggest that. Nothing complex. Just a simple extra list of "traits that grant a class skill." Format can be as bare bones as:

Survival: X, Y, Z
Swim: X

Where the X, Y, Z, etc... are the names of traits that give it as a class skill. Don't even color code the names in htere if you don't feel like it. But just HAVING a condensed list like that would be so helpful. Actually, if you want to put any more than the minimum effort into it, listing "trait name (trait category)" would be great.

If you take a look at my Table of Contents I have planned on adding such a list :)

As for the linking each trait. That would be a lot of work. I will see how much gas I have left in the tank after I am done.


Nicos wrote:
On chain master: I have never made a whip warrior, but the bonus to trip would stack with the lore warden archetype up to for a wonderful +8.

While that is nice I would rather have a +6 with a better trip weapon.

Scarab Sages

I appreciate the effort of ranking traits, however, it seems like I often see posts that ask "What trait gives me X skill as a class skill?" To me, that often seems to be the most important bit of information.

Do you intend to include that information, organized by skill? That seems relevant.

Is there already another list of that information somewhere that I have missed? If not, I have recently finished going through the d20pfsrd and the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play book to compile my own. If there is interest, I will post it and it can be included.

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