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


Advice

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Dragonamedrake, my nickname has been Wes for about 20 years now. Ever since a gf I had said I looked like Wesley the Dread Pirate Roberts (I had a passing likeness at the time). So yup, I like the link.

- Gauss


Back at it. Working on Equipment traits. I choked up a little when I had to rate the crap that is Heirloom Weapon now.

I went ahead and linked it to the old trait at the bottom of my Guide. In case any GMs (other than me) allow the old one.


As for the new Heirloom Weapon, note that Masterwork Transformation will make it into a masterwork item that can be enchanted. I am told this is not legal in PFS because PFS doesn't know what "instantaneous" is and it will gradually undo itself, but haven't verified.

"Flank buddy" type Summoners might have a use for it, being the only class with no martial weapons but a business on the front lines.


deuxhero wrote:

As for the new Heirloom Weapon, note that Masterwork Transformation will make it into a masterwork item that can be enchanted. I am told this is not legal in PFS because PFS doesn't know what "instantaneous" is and it will gradually undo itself, but haven't verified.

"Flank buddy" type Summoners might have a use for it, being the only class with no martial weapons but a business on the front lines.

Its mainly rated the way it is because of my disgust with the strip job they did to what was originally a great trait. There was no need for a nerf in the first place, but even if it did, what they did to it was pure criminal.


Done with Equipment Traits.

Moving on to Religion Traits. I'm putting off Regional Traits as I assume they will be boring.

Dark Archive

Dragonamedrake wrote:
I'm putting off Regional Traits as I assume they will be boring.

There are some real pearls among them.


I feel like your response is calling me an idiot. I'm going to assume it's just the internet making communication and try again:

You said this trait is worse than nothing.

I think it's really bad, but in a very specific scenario it does something.

That scenario is when you have a party where spellcraft and detect magic do not line up.

As an example (the most likely on): The alchemist gets spellcraft but does not get cantrips.

Normally if Alchemists want to ID non-potion items they cast Identify.
For a variety of reasons they may not have access to identify.

Thus, this trait actually does something for the alchemist.

All that said, it's still really narrow and really bad.

---
tldr: I do understand how identifying magic items work. What this does is eliminate the need for detect magic in identifying items, in exchange for a +5DC bump to the spellcraft check. This is a bad trait.

Dragonamedrake wrote:
Pirate Rob wrote:
Dragonamedrake wrote:
Researching the Blot - wow this trait is fail lol.

This actually does something. It allows you to identify without casting detect magic first.

This could be useful for an alchemist who doesn't want to buy a wand of Identify etc.

All that said It's just really bad instead of actively detrimental.

Seriously. I think you have the rules for identifying magic items confused.

1. Detect magic is an unlimited 0 level cantrip. Why wouldn't you want to cast it before trying to determine what a magic item is.

2. Identify just gives you a +10 bonus on the spell craft role. If an alchemist doesn't want to memorize a 1st level spell to identify something then so be it. There are a few very good traits that give you detect magic as a spell-like ability.

3. It makes it HARDER to identify magic items. It causes the DC to go up by 5.

I can see this as anything other then a mistake. Detect magic is easy to get even if you don't get it on your spell list. Heck a continuous item of detect magic would only be 2k gold.

Scarab Sages

Great work so far.

--Slippery - +1 to stealth and its a class skill.

Minor typo. its should be it's. Or, you could phrase it like you worded

--Witty Repartee - +1 to bluff and it becomes a class skill.

--Desperate Focus - +2 on concentration checks. So at first level you have about a +5 or +6 to your concentration. Its a DC 17 to cast a first level spell. A CD 19 for a second....

Minor typo. CD should be DC.

I didn't carefully read the whole thing, but found out some nice options that I had previously missed by scanning the Blue and Purple. Thanks.


Pirate Rob wrote:
I feel like your response is calling me an idiot. I'm going to assume it's just the internet making communication and try again:

I in no way meant to call you an idiot. After re-reading what I wrote it was very snarky. I apologize. I meant no insult.

The point is its a very poorly written trait that at best does almost no good and at worse does harm.

But I appreciate all comments. Please keep them coming.

Grand Lodge

loving it so far - looking forward to the Regionals and prehaps the PFS faction traits.


Kexle wrote:

Great work so far.

--Slippery - +1 to stealth and its a class skill.

Minor typo. its should be it's. Or, you could phrase it like you worded

--Witty Repartee - +1 to bluff and it becomes a class skill.

--Desperate Focus - +2 on concentration checks. So at first level you have about a +5 or +6 to your concentration. Its a DC 17 to cast a first level spell. A CD 19 for a second....

Minor typo. CD should be DC.

I didn't carefully read the whole thing, but found out some nice options that I had previously missed by scanning the Blue and Purple. Thanks.

Fixed. Thank you.


Wow. what I thought was a decent trait turns out to be absolutely crap. Rereading heirloom weapon, I had at first thought it gave you proficiency with that weapon type, wich was good. Now I find out it only gives it with the starting weapon... No upgrading to a better weapon, complete loss if it gets destroyed/disintregated, I figured I could use it to give me free proficiency with an exotic weapon of my choice. One of my faves down the drain 8'(
Thanks for clearing that up, now I gotta ask for gm fiat to make that work from now on XD
Ps I think that Thrown together fashion should get a bump for the reasons i stated in the comments. If it actually works like that, the passive income could be worth it? Your looking at roughly 6gp wage an hour, that you can do anytime. Thoughts?


Gobo Horde wrote:
I think that Thrown together fashion should get a bump for the reasons i stated in the comments. If it actually works like that, the passive income could be worth it? Your looking at roughly 6gp wage an hour, that you can do anytime. Thoughts?
Quote:


Comment he made and referred to:

One idea I had with Thrown-together fashion was to turn rags to riches kinda idea. If you can turn some rags into a gown or something of the sort as a way to gain some extra coins. It gives you a small bonus but if your group is a fan of the 15 minute day, you get a lot of down time to go towards earning a small passive income.

Its an interesting thought. By the wording you are right. However, having to use a Disguise check to change it makes me think its all superficial. If someone else actually put it on they could tell the difference.

Anyone else have any thoughts? Do you think it would work like that?


it seems like your making a cosplay costume; looks nice at first, but after you walk around in it for an hour the scotch tape wears off an you go from looking awesome to looking like a color blind crazy hobo walking around a convention center.

if someone sold me an outfit that fell apart after an hour and revealed it self to be made out of old sweat pants I'd punch them. so yeah you could make money doing that, but it might be hazardous to you characters health ;)


Gobo Horde wrote:

Wow. what I thought was a decent trait turns out to be absolutely crap. Rereading heirloom weapon, I had at first thought it gave you proficiency with that weapon type, wich was good. Now I find out it only gives it with the starting weapon... No upgrading to a better weapon, complete loss if it gets destroyed/disintregated, I figured I could use it to give me free proficiency with an exotic weapon of my choice. One of my faves down the drain 8'(

Thanks for clearing that up, now I gotta ask for gm fiat to make that work from now on XD

There's one case I cna think of where it can be good - Bladebound Magus. Cause it only has to survive until you make it your black blade, and then even if it gets destroyed you can reform it. Of course...scimitar is generally regarded to be the best weapon for a magus, but hey, if you want something special, or a new, better exotic comes out, there you go.


Dragonamedrake wrote:

Done with Equipment Traits.

Moving on to Religion Traits. I'm putting off Regional Traits as I assume they will be boring.

And you would be correct from what I remember.


I'm trying something new with Religion traits

I organized them based on Deity and provided a link to each Deities Wiki description.

I'm thinking of doing the same with Regions (and possibly Racial)


nice, that would be sooo helpful


I just noticed that my ranking on Sense Motive has been somewhat varied.

Sense motive in class.... Worth what rank?


I would say Sense Motive is a blue.

- Gauss


So here is the format I came up with on the Rank for traits that gave skills.
.
.
.
.
Purple
Perception
Sense Motive
Spellcraft
Stealth
Use Magic Device

Blue
Acrobatics
Bluff
Diplomacy
Intimidate
Knowledge (Arcana)
Knowledge (Dungeoneering)
Knowledge (Nature)
Knowledge (Planes)
Knowledge (Religion)
Survival

Green
Appraise
Disable Device
Disguise
Escape Artist
Handle Animal
Heal
Knowledge (Engineering)
Knowledge (Geography)
Knowledge (History)
Knowledge (Local)
Knowledge (Nobility)
Perform
Sleight of Hand

Orange
Climb
Craft
Fly
Linguistics
Profession
Ride
Swim

What do you think?


That looks good to me, with one question...why is Survival so high? <_< Is there some super-great use of Survival I've missed for years?


Most of this is going to be personal opinion.

Sense Motive has about as much use as Diplomacy does (ie: RP). Fact is, few monsters use Bluff in combat thus you don't usually need it for that. I would drop it to blue.

Acrobatics: This could be purple but I don't think most people believe as I do that acrobatics is a skill that helps just about anyone.

All knowledges that have creatures attached (Arcana, Dungeoneering, Nature, Planes, Religion) should be purple imo. Knowledge Local should be blue. Yes,I am aware that most people have a low opinion of Knowledge Local but it is the one knowledge that covers the abilities of various humanoids.

Escape Artist should be purple. Grapple (grab) is the single most common ability that creatures in the Bestiary have and Escape Artist is the best means to get out of that situation. For most classes CMB advances more slowly than Escape artist does.

Heal, this is a tricky one. I would say Orange. I know that most people think of Heal as something to take but what does it actually do? First Aid/Long Term Care/Treat Wounds are all easy DCs. Treat Deadly Wounds is utterly useless (it takes 1hour to get back a few hps). Treat Poison is useless most of the time. (poisons occur during combat or via a trap. In combat you rarely have the time to treat poison.) Treat Disease is a good use for heal but is rare enough to not warrant an entire trait spent for a +3/4 bonus on it.

Craft/Profession should be a red...there is almost zero call for having either as a class skill. They are a wasted skill 99% of the time anyhow.

Climb/Fly/Ride/Swim I am on the fence about. They could easily be green but unless you have a need for them I wouldnt bother.

Survival, I would drop this to orange. It is too situational. Those classes that need it have it already. Those that do not usually do not need it.

Otherwise I think I agree with your color codes.

- Gauss

Edit: All of my color codes are based upon the premise that the trait makes the skill as a class skill. If it does not (only gives a bonus) then drop it down at least 1-2 color grades. Frankly, bonus without class skill is not worth taking imo.


Have fun with religion traits. There's a lot of stinkers (like each category), but religion also houses IMO the biggest assortment of spectacular trait bonuses of any category. Really makes you wish you could get more than one.

In regards to your rankings for the skills:

Sleight of Hand, Heal, Disguise, Perform, and Know (geo) should be Orange.

Linguistics, Sense Motive (why is this so high?!), and Survival should be Green. All the knowledges you have as blue I'd make green, but I could see them as staying blue.

Stealth should be blue. Maybe green. It's very limited in what you can use it for, everyone and their mother maxes the hell out of perception, and invisibility is only a level 2 spell.

Spellcraft should be blue, all the casters get it already. Identifying the spell being cast is nice, but not having all of the other uses for spellcraft that casters do lessens its utility. Still good, just not purple-good.

Fly should be Blue or Green. By level 10+, everyone's going to want to be flying at least some of the time. Very important skill late-game. And if you're relying on winged boots or your friendly neighborhood wizard for flight, you're not gonna have it as a class skill.


Ok, Religion traits...

Lover of the Law: It's only +1 on certain will saves instead of all. I think you're grossly over-estimating what "against the law" means. Attacking allies isn't necessarly unlawful in the slightest. Green?

Calistrian Prostitute: It sounds to me like you get +1 on all Sense Motive checks, and the gather info. only restriction is solely on diplomacy, since gather info is folded into that skill. Makes more sense. You said a narrow bonus to 2 skills.

Holy Schemer: If the above reading is true, this is plainly worse than being a prostitute. I guess they figured not everyone would want to be a prostitute?

And...I'm sure I'll have more to add when you get farther. Also, currently using Lessons of Chaldira with one of my characters and...it really is amazing! Better than a feat!

Silver Crusade

Dragonamedrake wrote:

So here is the format I came up with on the Rank for traits that gave skills.

.
.
.
.
Purple
Perception
Sense Motive
Spellcraft
Stealth
Use Magic Device

Blue
Acrobatics
Bluff
Diplomacy
Intimidate
Knowledge (Arcana)
Knowledge (Dungeoneering)
Knowledge (Nature)
Knowledge (Planes)
Knowledge (Religion)
Survival

Green
Appraise
Disable Device
Disguise
Escape Artist
Handle Animal
Heal
Knowledge (Engineering)
Knowledge (Geography)
Knowledge (History)
Knowledge (Local)
Knowledge (Nobility)
Perform
Sleight of Hand

Orange
Climb
Craft
Fly
Linguistics
Profession
Ride
Swim

What do you think?

My thoughts on skill rankings:

Purple: Perception, Diplomacy, Use Magic Device, and nothing else. I'd bump Sense Motive down to blue, and put Spellcraft and Stealth down to green. Anyone playing a class that uses Spellcraft or Stealth heavily already has it as a class skill.

Blue: I agree with most of your blue choices, though I'd bump Survival and Intimidate down to green. I also agree with Gauss that you under-rated Escape Artist. I'd make that one blue, though, not purple as he suggests. I'd also bump Knowledge (Local) and Disable Device up to blue.

Green: I'd lower Appraise, Disguise, and Perform down to orange. They're only good for specific types of characters, most of whom already have them as class skills.

Orange: I think you're underestimating a few skills here. I'd bump Climb, Swim, Linguistics, and maybe Fly up to green. Climb may even border on blue. Scaling cliffs and castle walls is such a staple of the game that everyone should have at least a little skill in climb. Swim is one of those skills that varies heavily depending on the campaign, but if you come to a situation where you need it, you REALLY need it.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Ok, Religion traits...

Lover of the Law: It's only +1 on certain will saves instead of all. I think you're grossly over-estimating what "against the law" means. Attacking allies isn't necessarly unlawful in the slightest. Green?

Calistrian Prostitute: It sounds to me like you get +1 on all Sense Motive checks, and the gather info. only restriction is solely on diplomacy, since gather info is folded into that skill. Makes more sense. You said a narrow bonus to 2 skills.

Holy Schemer: If the above reading is true, this is plainly worse than being a prostitute. I guess they figured not everyone would want to be a prostitute?

And...I'm sure I'll have more to add when you get farther. Also, currently using Lessons of Chaldira with one of my characters and...it really is amazing! Better than a feat!

Lover of the Law: Its a save vs one of the worse set of saves to fail on. Turing around and chopping your party to pieces. Most smart NPCs (aka GMs) throw will saves on the big dumb fighter who hits real hard. A bonus on that save is a real good thing. But even better... you get a second save not to chop your friends to bits. In most (if not all) societies attempted murder without provocation is against the law. Not to mention, realistically it should be up to the player's terms of what is lawful and what isn't (as its his mind rebelling from the command). I think that it more then deserves a purple rating.

Calistrian - Your right. I touched up the description. Sometimes these things start to blend together lol.

Holy Schemer: Yeah your right again. I added that in its description. lol.


So....

From reading everyone's opinion on skills... everyone has different opinions lol.

Literally some people had skills at purple while others had the same skill at Orange or worse....

I almost feel like we need a separate post discussing the rankings on skills.


Tally up the votes? Heheheh

However, I think there was some commonalities.

Those seem to be:
Sense Motive should be lowered
Survival should be lowered
Escape Artist raised
Knowledge (Local) raised
Climb/Swim/Fly raised

- Gauss


DrowVampyre wrote:
That looks good to me, with one question...why is Survival so high? <_< Is there some super-great use of Survival I've missed for years?

DC 10: Get along in the wild. Move up to half your overland speed while hunting and foraging (no food or water supplies needed). You can provide food and water for one other person for every 2 points by which your check result exceeds 10.

DC 15: Gain a +2 bonus on all Fortitude saves against severe weather while moving up to half your overland speed, or gain a +4 bonus if you remain stationary. You may grant the same bonus to one other character for every 1 point by which your Survival check result exceeds 15.

DC 15: Keep from getting lost or avoid natural hazards, such as quicksand.

DC 15: Predict the weather up to 24 hours in advance. For every 5 points by which your Survival check result exceeds 15, you can predict the weather for one additional day in advance.

Tracking: To find tracks or to follow them for 1 mile requires a successful Survival check

If you are trained in Survival, you can automatically determine where true north lies in relation to yourself.

Tracking Creatures is the important part.


Gauss wrote:

Tally up the votes? Heheheh

However, I think there was some commonalities.

Those seem to be:
Sense Motive should be lowered
Survival should be lowered
Escape Artist raised
Knowledge (Local) raised
Climb/Swim/Fly raised

- Gauss

You know the real way to figure this out. It would be a monumental task. But to take an average AP (1st volume), and tally up number of skill checks for each skill (Including possible checks).

I wouldn't do it, but it sure would be interesting.


This is a listing of my, StreamOfTheSky, and Frompers comments (in that order). NC = no comment or no change (take your pick).

Purple
Perception (NC, NC, purple)
Sense Motive (blue, green, blue)
Spellcraft (NC, blue, green) (I would change my no comment to blue)
Stealth (NC, blue/green, green) (I could see changing my NC to blue)
Use Magic Device (NC, NC, purple)

Blue
Acrobatics (purple, NC, NC)
Bluff (NC, NC, NC)
Diplomacy (NC, NC, purple)
Intimidate (NC, NC, Green)
Knowledge (Arcana) (purple, green/blue, NC)
Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (purple, green/blue, NC)
Knowledge (Nature) (purple, green/blue, NC)
Knowledge (Planes) (purple, green/blue, NC)
Knowledge (Religion) (purple, greeb/blue, NC)
Survival (orange, green, green)

Green
Appraise (NC, NC, orange) (I would change my NC to orange too on retrospect)
Disable Device (NC, NC, blue)
Disguise (NC, Orange, Orange)
Escape Artist (purple, NC, blue)
Handle Animal (NC, NC, NC)
Heal (orange, orange, NC)
Knowledge (Engineering) (NC, NC, NC)
Knowledge (Geography) (NC, NC, NC)
Knowledge (History) (NC, NC, NC)
Knowledge (Local) (blue, NC, blue)
Knowledge (Nobility) (NC, NC, NC)
Perform (NC, orange, orange) (in retrospect, change my NC to orange)
Sleight of Hand (NC, orange, NC) (in retrospect, change my NC to orange)

Orange
Climb (green?, NC, green/blue)
Craft (red, NC, NC)
Fly (green?, blue/green, green)
Linguistics (NC, green, green)
Profession (red, NC, NC)
Ride (green?, NC, NC)
Swim (green?, NC, green)

If I misidentified anyones opinion could you let me know? Thanks.

- Gauss


Well Im done for the night. I will be back at it tomorrow. Hopefully I can finish up the Religion traits and just have the Region ones left.

How do you like my Religion format?

Should I do the same for Region?

Should I go back and do it for Races?

Thanks again for all the help guys.


Dragonamedrake, all that you listed would actually make me downgrade survival.

Hunting and foraging? spells fix that.
Severe weather? spells fix that.
Natural Hazards? too situational for a trait unless you are in Kingmaker or similar game.
Predict weather? who cares?
Finally, tracking. The only universal ability here. And the one that frankly, many players don't care about. I agree it would be nice, but if they honestly want tracking they can look for the skill trait. I wouldn't reccomend this trait to everyone as a result.

Note: any snarky attitude evinced in this post is not directed at the OP but at the skill.

- Gauss


So if I take all the votes (I was the 4th), and ties went to me (hehe), I got the following.
.
.
.
.
Purple
Perception
Use Magic Device

Blue
Acrobatics
Bluff
Diplomacy
Intimidate
Knowledge (Arcana)
Knowledge (Dungeoneering)
Knowledge (Nature)
Knowledge (Planes)
Knowledge (Religion)
Sense Motive
Spellcraft
Stealth

Green
Disable Device
Disguise
Escape Artist
Handle Animal
Fly
Knowledge (Engineering)
Knowledge (Geography)
Knowledge (History)
Knowledge (Local)
Knowledge (Nobility)
Survival

Orange
Climb
Craft
Linguistics
Profession
Ride
Swim
Appraise
Heal
Perform
Sleight of Hand

Im good with this list other than Sense Motive and Stealth. They should both be Purple IMO. Especially Sense Motive. Maybe its just me but I have very SNEAKY GMs. Survival I think should be blue but I have been over ruled lol.


I still think Escape Artist should be higher, but oh well. :D

- Gauss


I feel Lover of the Law is the WORST trait short of the ones that outright harm you. There are tons of traits that give either +2 vs mind effecting unconditionally or +1 will saves unconditionally.

Further, the condition to get that +2 has a few problems

1: The game by its design takes you away from places that even have laws
2: It isn't clear "against the law" applies to.
2a: If it is against the law for you you run into the problem that you are under mind control, that is, from a strict letter of the law standpoint, a valid legal defense in the REAL WORLD. Why would any fantasy legal system where mind control is proven to exist and common hold you accountable?
2b: If against the law for the controller, again, there are probably laws against mind control in a world with proven commonplace mind control.
3: Which laws? Abadar is LN so "laws of the current place" would work, but what of places that have a contested government (there is an entire AP on that, plus some situtations in Kingmaker). What if you are in Riddleport (that's another AP...) or area similarly under control of organized crime rather than a proper government? Are the criminal overlords "the law" for the trait?

Also of note on Asmodean Demon Hunter is that it is the exception to the normal Religon trait rules in that you can be a former member.

Toilcraft is also pretty eh. It does nothing on its own (if it did, it would easily be at least blue), and you can't go over +1.


Honestly? I think the whole idea of rating skill traits in comparison to the other traits is just completely silly. Not only do opinions about skills vary wildly between different players (as we have seen), the ratings vary wildly based on character class, campaign, and party composition. A Rogue with a Druid and Ranger in the party probably rates a Survival boosting trait pretty low. That same Rogue in a party without those two can probably consider a class skill Survival trait to be a purple option. Many of the other traits aren't so variable, or their variance can be taken into consideration (EG, Carefully Hidden is a strong option for a Fighter almost always).

And the thing is, when I go to pick traits, I have a decent idea of what I'd like to get- but going through all of them is a hassle. If I want a skill boost, I already know what skill I want to boost. I don't care what skills some people personally think are better than others, I just want to see a quick comparison of all the traits that modify the skill I want.

Or maybe I am playing a Tiefling, and want to look at their traits. I don't want to go through hundreds of racial traits, scanning for Tiefling stuff. A block containing the dozen or so Tiefling traits all together so I can easily compare them, and ignore the rest is the best.

Or maybe I'm looking for a trait that grants a unique boon- I don't want to sift through generic skill traits every other entry.

So with that said, this my view of what would be the best format for a Trait guide:

Trait Guide:
Break the guide down into 6 sections (any order is fine).
1. SKILLS. Organize this section by skill, and throw in every trait that modifies that skill. Rank the traits in comparison to the others that modify that skill only. Still keep every skill trait list kept in a uniform order throughout (eg all Combat traits for the first skill, then all Faith traits for the first skill, etc).

2. CAMPAIGN. You already have this section organized pretty much perfectly already.

3. RACIAL. Organized by race. Has all racial traits, even those already listed in the SKILLS section.

4. RELIGION. Organized by deity. Has all deity traits, even those already listed in the SKILLS section.

5. REGIONAL. Organized by region. Has all regional traits, even those already listed in the SKILLS section.

6. THE REST. Combat, Faith, Magic, Social, EQ, and any oddballs go here. Does not contain any trait just modifies skills.

I know that would be a large overhaul, but this is my opinion on what would be the most helpful.


Merkatz, I think what Dragonamedrake has created is fine. Not the format everyone would like but at least it's format is an established one (that being, listing them by category they are listed in the game and the color scheme which has been established in other guides). While I agree that the color scheme is subjective that is why he is accepting opinions.

- Gauss


Yes, other guides roughly follow the organization already laid out in the books, but that's because it actually makes sense to do so.

Spells, for example, are organized relatively well. They are already organized by power and function (level and school respectively). That's useful. Looking for a weak blast spell? Look in low level evocation. Want a powerful mind shielding spell? Look in high level abjuration.

On the other hand, traits are organized by fluff. Organizing by fluff is absolutely terrible in a crunch analysis. What category of traits gives you bonuses to your saves? All of them. What category has the nature based skills, such as Survival, Kn: Nature, Ride, and Handle Animal? All of them. That's not useful.

Giving a slightly revamped organization based on crunch would help make crunch decisions. And note, the only radical suggestion I make is just put all the skill traits together (rating them separately), which in return helps reduce the clutter in Basic traits.


He stated he is going to supply a list of all the skill traits relative to each skill. Personally, I think this is fine. However, the decision is his of course. It is his guide.

- Gauss

Silver Crusade

Survival may be an important skill for tracking, but only one member of any group needs to be good at it. And as stated above, just about every other use of the skill has magical substitutes. That's why I think it shouldn't be that highly ranked.

I also don't see why Dragonamedrake wants stealth to be purple. I've never seen anyone need it who didn't already have it as a class skill.


Gauss, looks good. If you did misrepresent me...it's probably too minor a detail for me to care.

Dragonamedrake wrote:

So if I take all the votes (I was the 4th), and ties went to me (hehe), I got the following.

<snip>

Im good with this list other than Sense Motive and Stealth. They should both be Purple IMO. Especially Sense Motive. Maybe its just me but I have very SNEAKY GMs. Survival I think should be blue but I have been over ruled lol.

Overall, this looks very good. Not 100% what I'd do, but I'm satisfied with it, and I admit some of them were kinda wobbling between 2 rankings for me anyway.

I disagree strongly with you about Stealth and Sense Motive, though.
Stealth is extremely limited compared to the equivalent spells and there's literally like half a dozen monstrous special senses that outright ignore it. And again, since Perception is so good, everyone has it now. Sneaking past one creature is one thing; trying to sneak past a group, you have to beat ALL of their rolls, which unless your bonus is so high that rolling is meaningless, becomes statistically impossible to do as you add new creatures to the scenario very quickly.

Sense Motive... my experiences have been DMs fall into 1 of 2 types. Type 1 will be determined to get lies past the party when "plot" requires it no matter how good you are at sense motive. Type 2 is just a straight-forward kinda DM that mostly has his NPCs tell the truth anyway, making the skill pointless. He will of course have some liars, but their usage will be rare, limiting benefit of the skill. (Most DMs I've had tend to be type 2). So I've just been conditioned to finding Sense Motive as a wasted skill. I guess your milaegage may vary a lot on this one...


Fromper wrote:
I also don't see why Dragonamedrake wants stealth to be purple. I've never seen anyone need it who didn't already have it as a class skill.

Well, my current dex-based goblin alchemist took stealth (and acrobatics) as class skills via traits, wouldn't have had them otherwise. Even so, I consider both skills green. I just wanted to be a ninja doctor (Vivvisectionist). Actually, I just really like playing rogues, but PF rogue is too weak for me to enjoy, so I just take the alchemist and make it into a rogue stand in that can actually perform in combat.

Silver Crusade

Well, I have a higher opinion of Sense Motive than StreamOfTheSky, but not as high an opinion of it as Dragonamedrake. I'd put it at solid blue, but I can see the argument for it being purple, depending on the campaign and DM.


Religion traits: I don't make my characters particularly religious (probably because I'm not, either) and consider this whole category just an annoying "why isn't this a combat feat; why isn't this a magic feat; etc..." deal. The actual god attached to the mechanical benefit only matters to me so far as making sure I'm not worshipping some CE god of nihilism. I also seldom play clerics. So the current format is of no use to me, but I'm sure it's helpful to most other people.

Honeyed Words: +1 to charms and compulsions of peaceful acts is actually a huge chunk of the enchantment school, making this almost equal to a feat, and then it also boost diplomacy by 1. The problem keeping this from being purple is it's stuck to dwarves, who boost wisdom and drop charisma. Anyone who'd want this is an arcanist, especially Witches (slumber hex) and sorcerers (can spam the same enchantment repeatedly and have cha-synergy in using them). A shame, really. If an Elf Witch could take this, he'd want it every time, without a 2nd thought.

Toilcrafter: This trait sucks. Your interpretation IS correct, and note that you'll only ever be able to make +1 items with this trait, unless you also pick up Master Craftsman feat, which...obsoletes this trait. So, level 1-4 it does nothing, level 5 it works, by level 8 (anyone that wants a +2 or +1 weapon of X property tends to obtain it by level 8 IME) it's worthless again. Orange at best. Do you really want to blow a trait and a feat just to make +1 weapons and armor and never anything better?

Are you putting Torag's specific traits in its own area? Defensive Strategist is amazing, it's basically Uncanny Dodge as a trait.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:

I disagree strongly with you about Stealth and Sense Motive, though.

Stealth is extremely limited compared to the equivalent spells and there's literally like half a dozen monstrous special senses that outright ignore it. And again, since Perception is so good, everyone has it now. Sneaking past one creature is one thing; trying to sneak past a group, you have to beat ALL of their rolls, which unless your bonus is so high that rolling is meaningless, becomes statistically impossible to do as you add new creatures to the scenario very quickly.

Sense Motive... my experiences have been DMs fall into 1 of 2 types. Type 1 will be determined to get lies past the party when "plot" requires it no matter how good you are at sense motive. Type 2 is just a straight-forward kinda DM that mostly has his NPCs tell the truth anyway, making the skill pointless. He will of course have some liars, but their usage will be rare, limiting benefit of the skill. (Most DMs I've had tend to be type 2). So I've just been conditioned to finding Sense Motive as a wasted skill. I guess your milaegage may vary a lot on this one...

Yeah after a few games of screwing the rogue because I got to roll a bucket of perception and sense motive dice, I decided to change it so that in the room only the NPC or monster with the highest perception gets to roll. All the other guys only get to roll aid another. This way it doesn't totally kill the stealthy and bluffing rogues.


Merkatz wrote:

Honestly? I think the whole idea of rating skill traits in comparison to the other traits is just completely silly. Not only do opinions about skills vary wildly between different players (as we have seen), the ratings vary wildly based on character class, campaign, and party composition.

And the thing is, when I go to pick traits, I have a decent idea of what I'd like to get- but going through all of them is a hassle. If I want a skill boost, I already know what skill I want to boost. I don't care what skills some people personally think are better than others, I just want to see a quick comparison of all the traits that modify the skill I want.

Or maybe I am playing a Tiefling, and want to look at their traits. I don't want to go through hundreds of racial traits, scanning for Tiefling stuff. A block containing the dozen or so Tiefling traits all together so I can easily compare them, and ignore the rest is the best.

Or maybe I'm looking for a trait that grants a unique boon- I don't want to sift through generic skill traits every other entry.

First I appreciate the time you took to post.

Second here is my response.

Subjective
Pretty much any guide you look at is subjective in one way or another. Class guides don't take into consideration what AP or GM is running your campaign.
Feat guides are much like my trait guide... they vary widely depending on class and such.
Spell guides don't take into effect who is casting them or what the situation is.
EVERY guide will be shaded by the authors personal opinions and favorites.

Here is how I plan to try and minimize that. First I am trying to base the ranking on how beneficial the trait is to the largest number of classes/specs. Second I look at the over all number of times the trait will come into effect. And third I will give extra credit if it is an extremely strong choice for a certain build and explain that in my description.

Skill Traits

As has been pointed out. I plan to add a section that simply tells people which traits give each skill in class. This will be added.

Race

I have been considering and will probably organize the Racial Traits as I have the Divine Traits. By Race. This will make it easier for those who wish to simply look at their races traits. Here is the issue with this... With the inclusion of the Adopted Trait, EVERY racial trait is open to every race. But I am still strongly considering organizing them by Race.

I will be doing the same for Region.
I have done so for Religion.

Specific Boon

You may always use the Control + F to find a specific thing your looking for. In addition, most of the traits that have something unique to offer (that aren't horrible) have been ranked blue or purple. It is much easier to skim through to those traits.

I respect that you find the guide to large for looking at upon every character you wish to create. However many have already red it for fun. There is no place to simply get a general feel of each trait and how it can be used. Thats what this guide is for. Several people have already commented that upon reading my guide they have found traits that had no idea about and want to use in the future. Thats what I want. If you find one trait you didnt know about, or use you didnt think about. My guide has done its job.

I don't pretend to think I know everything. Thats why I want all the advice I can get, and if you go back and look, I feel I have been very open to others critiques.

I hope you enjoy the guide, but if you think it silly, that's fine. I have had a great time writing it so far, and have learned quite a bit about several traits I had never looked at before. Thanks again for the post.


deuxhero wrote:

I feel Lover of the Law is the WORST trait short of the ones that outright harm you. There are tons of traits that give either +2 vs mind effecting unconditionally or +1 will saves unconditionally.

Further, the condition to get that +2 has a few problems

(Snipped for size)

Also of note on Asmodean Demon Hunter is that it is the exception to the normal Religon trait rules in that you can be a former member.

Toilcraft is also pretty eh. It does nothing on its own (if it did, it would easily be at least blue), and you can't go over +1.

Lover of the Law - The ability to get a second save cannot be ignored. Also, the worse of part of such spells, is the fact you can be turned on your own party. It seems quite clear to me that the trait is stating that LAW has been ingrained so deeply in your psyche that your mind rebels when given an unlawful command.

Even in corrupt governments, they usually have the outward appearance of being lawful. Meaning there are probably laws in every land against attempted murder (whether or not they are adhered to it is of no consequence) That matters little though because its the character's mind rebelling against the spell. It should be HIS personal lawful understanding that should be used.

A +1 to the save and a Retry (at a +2) is well worth a trait. And unless they are commanded to sit down and not take part I don't see how you wouldn't get the second save.

Demon Hunter - Thanks, I didn't see that. I updated the text.

Toilcraft - I can certainly see it being ranked lower. Yes its benefit is dependent upon another feat and it never allows you to make more then a +1. Normally that would make it green. But I gave it alot of love for being so Iconic of Dwarven Smiths. That might have been a mistake and it might need to be lowered to blue or green. I will wait and see if others think the same. I just thought it a very cool trait.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:


Overall, this looks very good. Not 100% what I'd do, but I'm satisfied with it, and I admit some of them were kinda wobbling between 2 rankings for me anyway.

I disagree strongly with you about Stealth and Sense Motive, though.

Yes, Yes. I have been over ruled lol. For now Stealth and Sense Motive will be blue, unless I get a sudden influx of Pro <insert skill>. After I am done writing I will go back and make sure my rankings are on par with the skill ranking we have devised.

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