Skills and Charisma Replacing: An Inquisitor Question


Rules Questions

Dark Archive

19 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

First of all, I'm saddened there's no official ruling on this.

Here's the conundrum:

Infiltrator Archetype:
Guileful Lore (Ex)

At 1st level, the infiltrator’s will is bent toward subterfuge and deception. She adds her Wisdom modifier on Bluff and Diplomacy skill checks in addition to the normal ability score modifiers.

This ability replaces monster lore.

Conversion Inquisition:
Charm of Wisdom (Ex): You use your Wisdom modifier instead of your Charisma modifier when making Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks.

I want to start a dialogue as to why or why not these abilities stack, and at the same time I would like to discuss why or why not it should stack.

My argument is that while the infiltrator archetype merely adds the Wisdom modifier to the total skill bonuses, the conversion inquisition replaces the original stat used. They don't interfere with each other, and the infiltrator archetype reads "normal ability score modifiers" rather than "Charisma modifier". This leads me to conclude that it depends on the normal ability modifier used by the specific class, and they left it intentionally open.

Of course, this does lead to the ability to double-dip Wisdom for Bluff and Diplomacy. Is this overpowered? If you're feeling really generous, give that FAQ button a click! ;)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Looks to me like it's a legit double-dip of WIS on social skills.

And congratulations, you get to accomplish the exact intent of the Infiltrator archetype, only with a few less build points, by using an inquisition that could've been the Travel domain.

Yeah, I don't see this as an issue.

Dark Archive

I'm not even sure that a character I create would use this combination Jiggy. I'm not of the opinion that it's overpowered, but I would not only like to understand why others might think it's overpowered, but understand why some might believe it is not legal.

Silver Crusade

The wording seems pretty clear that they do stack, so go ahead and double up on Wis bonus. Unless you're bumping your Wis to 30+ I don't see much of an issue. If bluff and diplomacy are your things, why not be good at what you want to do? If you really want, pick up some skill focus. Yes, I'm aware this makes it relatively easy to have one of these skills at 19 at level one (diplomacy: aasimar, 20 wis, skill focus). This is the first time I've felt an urge to play an inquisitor. Who wouldn't like a super-diplomacy holy man with celestial blood?

If they're not intended to interact I'd love to know how to fix it without making one of the abilities bad (or making them the same).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Mergy wrote:
I would not only like to understand why others might think it's overpowered, but understand why some might believe it is not legal.

I can answer those for you:

1) Why others might think it's overpowered: Because no one in their home game has already done it.

2) Why some might believe it is not legal: Because they think it's overpowered.

;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I use a similar combination with the Heretic Inquisitor and the Heresy Inquisition. With the Wisdom in the Flesh trait, I have x2 wisdom to bluff and stealth.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

You guys are preaching to the choir, but what you're not doing is clicking the FAQ! >:[

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Not needed.
There is nothing to imply that it does not work the way it says it does.

Other than "I don't like it", there is no reason to think otherwise.

Dark Archive

With the new ruling for PFS that online clarifications must be followed, FAQ becomes very helpful for contentious issues. I've had a GM argue this point with me, and I would enjoy approaching clarity and removing table variation, at least in some small way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What about it made this DM of yours believe it doesn't work?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Mergy wrote:
With the new ruling for PFS that online clarifications must be followed,

Note: this is for online clarifications from campaign leadership - i.e., Mike Brock and Mark Moreland. Clarifications from developers, etc are not strictly binding for PFS (though good GMs will give a lot of weight to such commentary when they're aware of it).

Relatedly, I sent Mike Brock an email with a collection of developer clarifications (he told me I could do so; it wasn't just out of the blue!) in hopes he would take some/all of them and say "yes, this is how we'll do it in PFS". So far, nothing's come of it. But here's hoping! :D

Dark Archive

blackbloodtroll wrote:
What about it made this DM of yours believe it doesn't work?

Without getting too far into the realm of hearsay, he believes that replacing charisma with another stat precludes adding that same stat to the total. If anyone has a precedent example to show him that might convince him otherwise, I could show him.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Agile Maneuvers and Fury's Fall.

Dark Archive

Mergy wrote:
...he believes that replacing charisma with another stat precludes adding that same stat to the total.

This sounds like a basic reading comprehension/rudimentary logic issue to me, unless he can cite a rule stating that belief of his.

If two different sources try to replace X with Y (such as Weapon Finesse and Agile Maneuvers both replacing STR with DEX on a trip attempt), then it makes logical sense that you cannot replace something twice, since after the first replacement it's no longer there to replace again.

However, if one source is replacing X with Y and another source is adding Z, there's no reason to believe that you can't have both Y and Z. The fact that Y and Z happen to be the same thing makes no difference at all, unless a specific game rule says so. Thus, the burden of proof is on that GM to find such a rule.

Dark Archive

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Agile Maneuvers and Fury's Fall.

That's pretty good. Is there any official clarification to cement that?

Silver Crusade

So, I am the person who disagrees that it is clear what the rules state.

I'd like to thank everybody for jumping to the conclusion that I'm just afraid of the power level and instinctively ruling against something that I dislike. And for assuming that I'm a bad GM who made a bad decision at the table.

In fact, Mergy and I were having a theoretical discussion. My opinion was that the situation is unclear and that he should expect table variation.

My main argument for them not adding is :

The infiltrator archetype has wisdom replace the "normal ability score" modifier. That is Charisma. The conversion domain allows one to use Wisdom instead of Charisma but that does NOT make Wisdom the normal ability score modifier.

To take an analagous situation, if a character has Weapon Finesse the normal ability score for a melee weapon is STILL Strength.

A secondary argument is that if the two are read quickly and without great care it seems "obvious" to me that they really weren't meant to stack. I have a great deal of mistrust for arguments that parse the rules more finely than most legal contracts. That is a standard that game rules really cannot be held to. Heck, even in legal contracts intent is very important.

In support of my position that the situation is unclear I'll cite Hero Lab. It does NOT combine the two. While that is certainly not authoritarian as to what the rules say I'll claim it is indicative that the situation is, at least, a little unclear.

Mergy and I are in violent agreement that at least one local influential GM would almost certainly rule that they do not add.

Dark Archive

Paul, I am very sorry if you got offended by any of this. I would urge everyone to understand that people can disagree with this ruling and not be bad GMs. If I misinterpreted your argument when I paraphrased my understanding of it, I apologize.

Let's not judge people here, let's talk about rules.

Silver Crusade

Mergy wrote:

Paul, I am very sorry if you got offended by any of this. I would urge everyone to understand that people can disagree with this ruling and not be bad GMs. If I misinterpreted your argument when I paraphrased my understanding of it, I apologize.

Let's not judge people here, let's talk about rules.

No apology necessary (although it is appreciated). It was some others who mildly (very mildly :-)) irked me by jumping to conclusions.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hero Lab is not infallible.

It is not even Paizo product.

Why is it cited as a rules source?

Who uses a third party program to prove RAW?

Why does it happen so often?

I am seriously asking these questions, as I truly do not understand.

Silver Crusade

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Hero Lab is not infallible.

It is not even Paizo product.

Why is it cited as a rules source?

Who uses a third party program to prove RAW?

Why does it happen so often?

I am seriously asking these questions, as I truly do not understand.

I did not cite it as a rules source. I cited it to show that the rules may well be slightly unclear.

In general, though, when I disagree with Hero Lab it is more likely to be right than I am. On several occassions I have seen a discrepency and, after a lot of work, decided that it was correct.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

pauljathome wrote:

So, I am the person who disagrees that it is clear what the rules state.

I'd like to thank everybody for jumping to the conclusion that I'm just afraid of the power level and instinctively ruling against something that I dislike. And for assuming that I'm a bad GM who made a bad decision at the table.

My apologies. When a viewpoint is connected to "some GMs might think..." instead of being put forth by an individual, it's easy to lump you into the slobbering hordes of people who really are all those things you just said. That is, since I know there are people who oppose whatever they're not familiar with, and you were represented as opposing this combination without your reasoning being specified, I defaulted to the assumption that your reasoning was what some people's reasoning always is.

Quote:

My main argument for them not adding is :

The infiltrator archetype has wisdom replace the "normal ability score" modifier. That is Charisma. The conversion domain allows one to use Wisdom instead of Charisma but that does NOT make Wisdom the normal ability score modifier.

To take an analagous situation, if a character has Weapon Finesse the normal ability score for a melee weapon is STILL Strength.

Alright, so your first point is based on "normal". Okay, fair point. My counter would be twofold: first, why does it say "normal ability score modifiers" instead of "charisma modifier"? If CHA is always going to be the "normal", why did they choose a wordier and more vague phrase to say the same thing? Second, if we assume for the moment that the current wording always refers to CHA, then what wording would allow for other ability scores? What would it need to say, in your opinion, to allow the interpretation of "stacking"?

Quote:
A secondary argument is that if the two are read quickly and without great care it seems "obvious" to me that they really weren't meant to stack. I have a great deal of mistrust for arguments that parse the rules more finely than most legal contracts. That is a standard that game rules really cannot be held to. Heck, even in legal contracts intent is very important.

Your second argument is that if you read carelessly enough, it becomes unclear? Are you serious?

Additionally, seeing a difference between "adds" and "replaces" is not "parsing the rules more finely than most legal contracts". That comparison is absurd. If you're going to call people out for making unfair assumptions about you (and especially if you want people to believe that those assumptions really are untrue and unfair), then you should at least try to do better yourself and not use such asinine hyperbole.

Quote:
In support of my position that the situation is unclear I'll cite Hero Lab. It does NOT combine the two. While that is certainly not authoritarian as to what the rules say I'll claim it is indicative that the situation is, at least, a little unclear.

Pervasive as HeroLab is, it does still sometimes get things wrong that are in no way unclear. "HeroLab says so" is not a valid premise, not even for a claim of unclarity.

Quote:
Mergy and I are in violent agreement that at least one local influential GM would almost certainly rule that they do not add.

Was this another premise for your argument of the rule being unclear? I could point you to multi-star PFS GMs (some of them Venture-Officers) who think/thought that you couldn't Take 20 on perception to find traps, that drinking a potion of bestow curse would let you cast the spell and touch someone else to curse them (instead of being cursed yourself), and that getting a dog to climb stairs should be just as hard as getting a horse to climb a rope. "At least one GM would rule X" doesn't mean jack.

----------------------

So in total, you have exactly one valid point: the thing about "normal ability score". If you've got good answers for the questions I posed on that point, you might just convince me. :)

Dark Archive

The sticky thing is this would set precedent. I looked, and could find no actual ruling for interaction between Fury's Fall and Agile Manoeuvres. James Jacobs has made a ruling, but I disagree with it based on lack of sound evidence.

This would also set precedent for interaction between a magus (kensai) and student of war prestige class.

If any one of these are legal, they all are.

Sovereign Court

pauljathome wrote:

The infiltrator archetype has wisdom replace the "normal ability score" modifier. That is Charisma. The conversion domain allows one to use Wisdom instead of Charisma but that does NOT make Wisdom the normal ability score modifier.

To take an analagous situation, if a character has Weapon Finesse the normal ability score for a melee weapon is STILL Strength.

I agree with you for that exact reason. I already answered to that question in another thread, and most people did not agree saying that the "normal ability score" became wisdom, when it is quite clear that your normal ability score for those is Charisma

And to answer to Mergy: Read those feat again:

Fury's fall:
When making a trip attack, add your Dexterity bonus to your CMB.

It's quite clear, you just add it to your CMB, you don't really care about what ability score you are using for your CMB. If it was "add your Dexterity bonus to your CMB in addition to the normal ability score modifier", THEN it would make a precedent.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Darkorin wrote:
pauljathome wrote:

The infiltrator archetype has wisdom replace the "normal ability score" modifier. That is Charisma. The conversion domain allows one to use Wisdom instead of Charisma but that does NOT make Wisdom the normal ability score modifier.

To take an analagous situation, if a character has Weapon Finesse the normal ability score for a melee weapon is STILL Strength.

I agree with you for that exact reason.

Since you hold that same view, then to you I'll pose the same questions I did to pauljathome:

Earlier, I wrote:
Alright, so your first point is based on "normal". Okay, fair point. My counter would be twofold: first, why does it say "normal ability score modifiers" instead of "charisma modifier"? If CHA is always going to be the "normal", why did they choose a wordier and more vague phrase to say the same thing? Second, if we assume for the moment that the current wording always refers to CHA, then what wording would allow for other ability scores? What would it need to say, in your opinion, to allow the interpretation of "stacking"?

Sovereign Court

Jiggy wrote:
Alright, so your first point is based on "normal". Okay, fair point. My counter would be twofold: first, why does it say "normal ability score modifiers" instead of "charisma modifier"? If CHA is always going to be the "normal", why did they choose a wordier and more vague phrase to say the same thing? Second, if we assume for the moment that the current wording always refers to CHA, then what wording would allow for other ability scores? What would it need to say, in your opinion, to allow the interpretation of "stacking"?

Oh that one I had already answered to on the previous topic. I searched and find that a there was a few feat/trait/etc. that used this same sentence. So the "normal ability score modifiers" is just a general sentence that can apply to different abilities that they sometime use. I'm not gonna search again since last time it took me quite a while.

The wording does not always refers to CHA, it's just that it's a wording that it usefull if you want to use it in a context where you add something to two different skills that uses different ability score.

If you look at Lore of Escape from the Heretic Archetype for the Inquisitor, you can see the power of that sentence:

Lore of Escape (Ex):
At 1st level, the heretic uses every trick she knows to escape those now pursuing her. She adds her Wisdom modifier on Bluff and Stealth skill checks in addition to the normal ability score modifiers.

Because Yes, Bluff is a Charisma skill and Stealth a Dexterity one. So the "in addition to..." sentence makes all it senses here. And as always, they tend to make some copy/paste when making books and use the same sentences a few times, which explains why they don't say Dexterity in Guileful Lore.

Oh yes and as you can see, Guileful Lore and Lore of Escape are built and explained exactly the same way...

Silver Crusade

Still leaves the question of how they would word it if stacking were intended.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Definitely starting to build a legitimate case there, thanks Darkorin. I am still curious to hear an answer to my other question (as Riuken also mentions).

Sovereign Court

Riuken wrote:
Still leaves the question of how they would word it if stacking were intended.

Quite simple, exactly like Fury's Fall:

She adds her Wisdom modifier on Bluff and Diplomacy skill checks.

You just add it, that simple. So you determine your skill bonus(with Dex or Wis) then add your wisdom, no interpretation needed.

Sovereign Court

Mergy wrote:
This would also set precedent for interaction between a magus (kensai) and student of war prestige class.

Hmmm, just out of curiosity... What Interaction???

Edit: Don't forget you get arcane spell failure chance with any type of armor as a Kensai, so I don't know why you would want to wear a light armor.

Dark Archive

The kensai gets Canny Defence (duelist prestige class ability), meaning they increase their AC by their Intellect, at a rate of +1 per duelist (or kensai) level. The student of war gets Mind Over Metal at second level, which lets the character use Intellect instead of Dexterity to calculate AC.

I don't think Paizo really has a problem with double-dipping on stats like this.

EDIT REPLY: A haramaki has no arcane spell failure chance, and came out in the same book as the kensai.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

At this point I must concede that non-stacking is possible as the intent. My current stance, then, is that the text can be read two different ways and the true intent is unknown.

Thus, we have a YMMV case here. Unless I acquire additional information, I think at my tables I'll let inquisitors double dip their WIS in this way, purely for the sake of erring on the side of the players' fun - which is, after all, why I GM. :)

Sovereign Court

Mergy wrote:
EDIT REPLY: A haramaki has no arcane spell failure chance, and came out in the same book as the kensai.

ANNND that's why I don't like some of the "eastern" things... Well, then yes it would work I see no problem there, and as I said earlier, all of those wording are quite different, so no precedent are made.

@Jiggy : Happy to make you doubt, As a DM I may allow it too, but talking RAW I'm quite convinced that it does not work, and that needs to be clarified for PFS...

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

And this is the reason why anyone reading this should be clicking the FAQ. These are two abilities from Ultimate Magic, and if they're ambiguous enough to us, others are probably also confused.


So if they don't stack, what would you use? Just the Wisdom, per the Inquisition, ignoring the Archetype ability? Or Wisdom + Charisma, ignoring the Inquisition?

Dark Archive

I suppose the side that says they don't stack would say pick the ability that is most beneficial to your character.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Armored Kilt is arguably better than the Haramaki, and it came first, and certainly has no "eastern" flavor.

Sovereign Court

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Armored Kilt is arguably better than the Haramaki, and it came first, and certainly has no "eastern" flavor.

It has a max dex bonus, Haramaki and Silken ceremonial armor do not... And Haramaki weight 1/10 of the armored kilt.


The thing to keep in mind is that to add something is quite separate from replacing something. If you add something to itself than it doubles.

Normally: ranks + x stat

After adding y stat: ranks + x stat + y stat

After replacing x with y: ranks + y stat + y stat

Otherwise you'd be ruling that the second ability actually makes you worse.

Shadow Lodge

I clicked on the FAQ button because I have a Zen Archer/Inquisitor (Infiltrator w/ Conversion) and also was looking for clarification.

In your opinions, how much table variation should I expect with this in PFS play?


I've actually never had someone complain when I explain that I got twice my wisdom to my bluff and diplomacy in pfs or homegames. I don't have any arguements beyond one saying replaces and one being in addition to. Your trading out other nice class features for this kind of power. At worst its just a little frontloaded I think.


This says "answered in FAQ." What did the FAQ decide? Bonuses stack or not?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I'm not seeing the FAQ entry either. Could we get a link to the response?

Scarab Sages

Bumping this (yeah, necromancy, apologies). I've been culling through the FAQ looking for an answer too. A player wanted to do this in PFS, and while I wasn't sure it worked officially (the JJ post, while not official, was one inclination), I just wanted to double check.

Did an actual answer on this ever come out?


It seems like more often than not, "Answered in FAQ" and "No Response Needed" are Paizo-ese for "We don't care, so stop asking."


Another thread necro.

"No Response Needed" would also imply that the rules should be very, very obvious to anyone who is an English major.

"At 1st level, the infiltrator’s will is bent toward subterfuge and deception. She adds her Wisdom modifier on Bluff and Diplomacy skill checks in addition to the normal ability score modifiers."

"Charm of Wisdom (Ex): You use your Wisdom modifier instead of your Charisma modifier when making Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks."

There are other implications, but I'll keep this simple. A diplomacy check is a Charisma check using your Charisma modifier. Charm of Wisdom replaces Charisma with Wisdom. It does not change the nature of the check; it remains a Charisma and Diplomacy check. This is a key note in the PACG, as well, when using items like Pearl of Wisdom to swap out dice. The Infiltrator ability adds Wisdom as an untyped bonus to the diplomacy check, in addition to the normal modifier; the normal modifier has become Wisdom. You have added Wisdom in addition to Wisdom. There is no core rule that says you may not add the same modifier twice as a result of shenanigans, it only states that you cannot add the same type of bonus twice, save for certain exceptions. As Wisdom becomes an untyped bonus to a Wisdom modifier Charisma/Diplomacy, there is no RAW that states you cannot have this same modifier added twice to the same check. The rules of English (as an analytical language rather than an inflected one) state that something as stated is what it is, until it becomes a pun, double entendre, or some other form of comedic fallacy.

Mic drop.

If you wanted it worded differently to completely eliminate confusion, reword it as: "At 1st level, the infiltrator’s will is bent toward subterfuge and deception. She adds her Wisdom modifier as an untyped bonus* on Bluff and Diplomacy skill checks in addition to the normal ability score modifiers.**"

* You may also consider it a circumstance, insight, or competence bonus, if you like, but it seems the intent here is to build it as an untyped, innate, and inherent bonus to the check that can stack with other bonuses.

** The language of "in addition to" might also be dropped because it has now become, definitively, a bonus, to eliminate the confusion it has apparently caused.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

@Sanchez:
Actually...

FAQ wrote:

Do ability modifiers from the same ability stack? For instance, can you add the same ability bonus on the same roll twice using two different effects that each add that same ability modifier?

No. An ability bonus, such as "Strength bonus", is considered to be the same source for the purpose of bonuses from the same source not stacking. However, you can still add, for instance “a deflection bonus equal to your Charisma modifier” and your Charisma modifier. For this purpose, however, the paladin's untyped "bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws" from divine grace is considered to be the same as "Charisma bonus (if any)", and the same would be true for any other untyped "bonus equal to her [ability score] bonus" constructions.
...
Alternate Ability Score-Based Checks: If I change the key ability score of a skill (or other check), for example, if I change Knowledge from Intelligence to Charisma, is it no-longer an Intelligence-based check? Is it now a Charisma-based check?
Generally yes—at the time of rolling a check, if you substitute the ability score, the check is now based on the new ability score. In the example, at the time of rolling, Knowledge would now be a Charisma-based skill and not an Intelligence-based skill for you, which would affect things like feats, spells, or items that grant bonuses on checks based on their key ability score (like circlet of persuasion). However, if you are adding a second ability modifier to a check, this is not the case. For instance, when adding both Wisdom and Dexterity on initiative checks, initiative is still a Dexterity check, not a Wisdom check. Also, this changes the check only at the time of rolling, so this does not change static class features or options made during character building such as your class’s class skills. Classes that receive “all Intelligence-based skills” as class skills, for instance, are the victim of sloppy writing, and furthermore sometimes effects might muddy the water by only changing the ability dependency sometimes and not others, which is why you check the new dependency only for a specific given roll.

So no, basing your Diplomacy and Bluff on Wis instead of Cha makes them no longer Cha skills. They are now considered Wis skills so rules elements that give a benefit to Cha skills no longer apply and those that give benefit to Wis skills will apply. They are still considered Diplomacy and Bluff checks so rules elements affecting those particular skills still apply as normal. And, (though a lot of people generally disagree with the logic on this one), the other FAQ states that when some rules element lets you add "<ability score> in addition to the normal ability score", it counts the ability scores as the "source" of the bonuses. For example, when you normally add your Charisma modifier to a Bluff check, the Charisma score, itself, is the source of that bonus. When Guileful Lore allows the Inquisitor to add their Wisdom modifier on top of that, their Wisdom score is the source of the additional bonus. So the base skill bonus comes from Cha and the additional bonus comes from Wis so there is no source conflict. But when you use both Guileful Lore and Charm of Wisdom, now the base skill bonus comes from Wis and the additional bonus also comes from Wis so there is a source conflict. However, this would not happen if the additional benefit were typed (eg. competence bonus, enhancement bonus, etc). And, again, I strongly disagree with this interpretation because I view Guileful Lore, Charm of Wisdom, et al, themselves, as the source and the ability score modifier as the value of the bonus. But, officially, both the abilities and the stat modifiers are counted as the source of the bonus if they are untyped. So, while you're kind of right on some things, you might want to pick up the mic and put it back on the stand where it goes.

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