Fast Learner


Rules Questions

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Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Ah, never mind what I said above. I was thinking of something else. As I recall now, this got asked about earlier when the book first came out (or maybe it was the preview before it came out), and my reply at that time was when writing it was much fresher. What I should have said was:

I can't really address the RAI on that one, as the rules text for the Fast Learner feat is different from what I sent in.

If you want what is purely my opinion on the meaning of how it is phrased, I read it as a choice between:

1. hit point + skill point
2. alternate class feature

I don't think it is intended to be a "pick two of three" option, but that's just me.

So, long story short, I think it's A+B *or* C, but your guess is as good as mine. Nevermind! :)


The problem is that the feat as worded clearly is (A+B) or C.

BUT, that's not enough to answer the question of whether it is "2 out of 3" because it's not clear in the wording if taking the feat automatically removes the original option of choosing A or B.

In other words, if you choose C, do you lose the original ability to choose A or B?

The wording is vague on this point. It seems to IMPLY that you lose the ability to choose A or B and you replace that with the choice of A+B or C, meaning if you choose C you lose the ability to take a skill rank or hit point as you level.

However, as others have said, the feat is so egregiously sucky that I'd allow someone choosing C to still take A or B.

Although I'd do my best to talk them out of taking the feat at all.

I mean, seriously, what a terrible feat.


Why would the feat even need to specify C? There's no credible purpose in the feat specifying that you have the option to pick an alternate class feature alone; you can already do that without the feat. If it said "When gaining a level in your favored class, you may gain both +1 HP and +1 SP in lieu of the standard bonus." then that would mean that +1 HP and +1 SP is your only option for the feat and if you want to take an alternate class feature, that stands on its own. The feat explicitly says that you can either:

A) Take +1 HP and +1 SP instead of +1 HP or +1 SP
OR
B) Take an alternate class feature.

Only A says you are swapping anything out. It says you can take an alternate class feature and if you presume that it's also a swap (even though it doesn't specify so), then you're presuming that the feat gives you permission to do something you can already do without it.


Kazaans interpretation makes the most logical sense. The alternate class feature need not be mentioned if the feat does not interact with it... in fact, it should be very specific about the fact that it does not.


Kazaan wrote:
Why would the feat even need to specify C? There's no credible purpose in the feat specifying that you have the option to pick an alternate class feature alone; you can already do that without the feat.

"Each race page includes a set of alternative benefits that characters of that race may choose instead of the normal benefits for their favored class. Thus, rather than taking (an extra hit point) or (an extra skill rank), players may choose for their characters to gain the benefit listed here." (emphases mine)

The reason it has to mention it is because you can normally replace the HP or the skill rank with a favored class bonus. If it just specified that you got the skill and the HP, you would then be able to trade either or both the HP/Skill for the favored class bonus.

With this wording, it specifies that you can take either (the skill and HP) or the favored class bonus.

But yeah, without allowing you to take a skill and a favored class bonus at the same level, the feat is pretty bad (since all other combinations can be accomplished by just taking Toughness).

The only reason to go for it is if you receive a free racial feat for whatever reason (the GM I'm playing with now did just that) or if you already have Toughness and want both more HP and more skill ranks.


@mpl: You're allowed, by default rules, to swap out (+1 HP or +1 SP) with the alternative racial bonus. (+1 HP and +1 SP) is not (+1 HP or +1 SP) so if the feat made no reference to the alternate racial bonus, it would only allow swapping your HP/SP choice with HP+SP. So the fact that it mentions, explicitly, the ability to pick an alternative racial bonus is pertinent to the function of the feat in that it is a change to how things are done by default.

Shadow Lodge

Kazaan wrote:

@mpl: You're allowed, by default rules, to swap out (+1 HP or +1 SP) with the alternative racial bonus. (+1 HP and +1 SP) is not (+1 HP or +1 SP) so if the feat made no reference to the alternate racial bonus, it would only allow swapping your HP/SP choice with HP+SP. So the fact that it mentions, explicitly, the ability to pick an alternative racial bonus is pertinent to the function of the feat in that it is a change to how things are done by default.

But the feat replaces (HP or SP) WITH (HP and SP). So (HP or SP) is now (HP and SP). Mentioning the alternate racial bonus was done so that it remained an option.

A semicolon would have been so handy here...


The feat lets you replace (HP or SP) with (HP and SP) or don't replace anything and after you make your normal, default choice of (HP or SP), you may take the alternate class bonus as well.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

A very minor bonus stepping stone feat: A+B or C for all the reasons stated. It is just a tax on the feat tree.

It does stack with toughness. For those cases where that is important.*shrugs*

For those reading it as A+B,or A+C, or B+C, I think this would have been the better designed format. And maybe given enough FAQ's it would be changed.

For those reading it as a 2C option, I cannot even see the stretch of imagination. I think that is entirely in the realm of houserule/wishful thinking.

Based on how other rulings have went, based on RavingDork's post collection upthread, I would NOW rule it is retroactive. I have not ruled that way in the past.

Greg

Shadow Lodge

Kazaan wrote:
The feat lets you replace (HP or SP) with (HP and SP) or don't replace anything and after you make your normal, default choice of (HP or SP), you may take the alternate class bonus as well.

No, it says, "or you can choose an alternate class reward." It does not say "or you can choose an alternate class reward in addition to the standard HP or SP." When you receive an alternate class reward, you forgo the standard HP or SP, and this feat does not modify that rule.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
The feat lets you replace (HP or SP) with (HP and SP) or don't replace anything and after you make your normal, default choice of (HP or SP), you may take the alternate class bonus as well.
No, it says, "or you can choose an alternate class reward." It does not say "or you can choose an alternate class reward in addition to the standard HP or SP." When you receive an alternate class reward, you forgo the standard HP or SP, and this feat does not modify that rule.

And, again, why does it have to specify something that you can already do without the feat? It would be as if the TWF feat specified that you may perform non-two-weapon-combat without the TWF penalty; unnecessarily redundant. If you take both HP and SP, it already sets up the situation where you can't take alternate bonus because you can't replace "HP and SP" with racial bonus, only "HP or SP".

It doesn't need to say that the alternate bonus is in addition to standard HP or SP because that part is implicit; it need not be stated. If I say "Jump." as a command, the subject of the sentence is 'You', even though it's not explicitly stated. When the feat says, "When you level up, you may take the alternate racial bonus" that feature stands on its own. It's not replacing anything. So you do everything else you normally would do on level up; calculate your new HP, add spells, add skill points, and take your favored class bonus if applicable... then you adjudicate the Fast Learner feat and gain an alternate bonus. Or, if you're choosing the first option for Fast Learner, you adjudicate it at the time you take your favored class bonus and swap out the choice between HP or SP and take both instead. That burns the feat for that level. So, once again, the proper interpretation of the feat is as follows:

A) You choose the first option to replace "HP or SP" with "HP and SP". You then take the HP and SP and your benefit ends.
B) You choose the second option and it adjudicates separately from your normal favored class choice. You take either HP or SP, then you adjudicate the feat to gain an alternate class bonus.
C) You choose the second option as with (B) but you also take your normal option to swap out your "HP or SP" choice for an alternate bonus. You gain your normal alternate bonus, then adjudicate the feat to gain a second alternate bonus.


Ah, I see how you're parsing that, Kazaan. Something like this:

"When you gain a level in a favored class, you have the option to either (gain both +1 hit point and +1 skill rank instead of choosing either one or the other benefit) or you can choose an alternate class reward."

That means the first option is to replace the normal favored class bonus with HP+Skill. And the second option is to just get an alternate class reward. And because "instead" is within the parenthesis, the alternate class reward is in addition to your normal favored class bonus (which could be HP, or skill, or alternate).

I think most everyone else is assuming that no matter what, the feat replaces your normal favored class bonus with one of the options from the feat.


*nods*

Silver Crusade

I think it's well past time to stop debating this and just encourage everyone to click the FAQ button on the first post of this thread. We're not going to come to a definitive conclusion until the Paizo staff responds officially.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Fromper wrote:
Another silly question about Fast Learner: If you take it after level 1, does it apply retroactively to all your previous levels?

It most certainly is.

James Jacobs wrote:
Masked Participant wrote:

Are the benefits from the Fast Learner feat (Advanced Race Guide under humans) intended to be retroactive? Skill ranks for intelligence increases are retroactive, as are hit points from Toughness. I've also heard developers strongly hint that pretty much everything in Pathfinder is meant to be retroactive (so that two similar characters stay relatively balanced against each other no matter when they took certain feats and abilities).

However, this feat doesn't seem to read that way.

Yes. It should absolutely be retroactive.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The first post on this thread has this: 61 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ.

Except I cant seem to find the actual ARG FAQ.

Is it me?


Nope, there doesn't appear to be one yet.


Apparently they are still collecting the F.A.Q.


I'm ressurecting this old thread in an effort to get some clarification on the subject after being directed here from another similar thread located here.

I had an excellent idea for an Aasimar Bard who would take Scion of Humanity, theoretically making it eligible for both the Aasimar's favored class option and the Human's favored class option... I wanted verification and posted the question, and was directed to this debate.

Reading through the replies, it seems to make utterly no sense. Here are the options for interpretation as I see it - and let's keep in mind that this is a feat with pre-requisites and is restricted to a single race, suggesting that it does in fact offer some sort of benefit:

1) The feat allows you to take 1 skill rank AND 1 skill point per level OR to take an alternate class feature.

First of all, can't every single character choose an alternate class feature regardless of race already? So how or why would that even be mentioned as an option? Secondly, can't every single character choose to take 1 skill rank as their favored class option and then choose Toughness as a feat to get this benefit already? Why an entirely separate feat with race and attribute-dependent restrictions?

2) The feat allows you to take 1 skill rank or 1 hit point AND an alternate favored class optione.

Well, the above examples show that you already get a favored class option for free no matter who you are and that Toughness will get you that extra hit point, making the feat redundant (and less effective) than already existing options unless you were to try take a skill rank and a favored class option alternate which would actually give the feat as described some sort of non-redundant role but still make it enormously under-whelming (especially with the pre-requisites) and overly confusing.

3) My original interpretation which mirrors the above, but allows you to take two of any favored class option you are eligible for without duplication.

This makes far and away the most sense, provides an actual benefit players might want, is in no way unbalanced and is actually worthy of the pre-requisites applied to the feat's selection.

Perhpas I'm being dense or missing something blatantly obvious to others, but I can't imagine a feat being conceptualized, written, intended or interpretted in the manner described by options #1 and #2... can someone help me out?


I don't see any text in the feat that hints that you would be able to pick 2 racial favored class options with this feat.

Doesn't actually matter for your purposes.

Quote:
Scion of Humanity: Some aasimars' heavenly ancestry is extremely distant. An aasimar with this racial trait counts as an outsider (native) and a humanoid (human) for any effect related to race, including feat prerequisites and spells that affect humanoids. She can pass for human without using the Disguise skill. This racial trait replaces the Celestial language and alters the native subtype.

Das FAQ:

Quote:

Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial favored class options?

No. While half-elves and half-orcs do count as humans "for any effect related to race", racial favored class options do not count as an "effect."

—Jason Bulmahn, 08/13/10


Cheapy wrote:

I don't see any text in the feat that hints that you would be able to pick 2 racial favored class options with this feat.

Doesn't actually matter for your purposes.

Quote:
Scion of Humanity: Some aasimars' heavenly ancestry is extremely distant. An aasimar with this racial trait counts as an outsider (native) and a humanoid (human) for any effect related to race, including feat prerequisites and spells that affect humanoids. She can pass for human without using the Disguise skill. This racial trait replaces the Celestial language and alters the native subtype.

Das FAQ:

Quote:

Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial favored class options?

No. While half-elves and half-orcs do count as humans "for any effect related to race", racial favored class options do not count as an "effect."

—Jason Bulmahn, 08/13/10

That's a good find, and you're right, for my purposes that clarification renders the subject mute - dang it all.

Still kinda wondering about the intent of the original feat, though.


Is Fast Learner a PFS only Feat? I can't find it in the CRB.


ngc7293 wrote:
Is Fast Learner a PFS only Feat? I can't find it in the CRB.

It's in the ARG,

and it's a human racial feat


"or get alternate bonus"

youll get both hp&sp each level or you can get another trait benefit:

i use like this:
Magus trait
level bonus
1 1hp+1skillpoint
2 1hp+1skillpoint
3 1hp+1skillpoint
4 1hp+1mana point
5 1hp+1skillpoint
6 1hp+1skillpoint
7 1hp+1skillpoint
8 1hp+1mana point
9 1hp+1skillpoint
10 1hp+1skillpoint
11 1hp+1skillpoint
12 1hp+mana point
13 1hp+1skillpoint
14 1hp+1skillpoint
15 1hp+1skillpoint
16 1hp+1manapoint
17 1hp+1skillpoint
18 1hp+1skillpoint
19 1hp+1skillpoint
20 1hp+1manapoint

because as i can understand, i can swap my bonus any of the racial favored class option i get!!


Did you mean +1 Arcane Pool point (instead of "mana point")?

If so, I am not sure it works that way. I don't think "Add +1/4 point to the magus' arcane pool" means you get a whole point if you take it every 4th level. I think you need to take this 4 times to get one point. In which case your strategy gets you 1 arcane pool point at level 16 and you're wasting your selection at level 20 since you will only get 0.25 of an arcane pool point and won't be able to get the other 0.75 of that point unless you're going into epic (post-20) levels.


really?
where do you read that?

this rules are so confusing sometimes!!

so as a rogue i need to pick this trait six time for a rogue talent?
if it is that way, then, whats the purpose of that at all?


The default rule is round down unless told otherwise in PF. Believe that's in the Core book, someone else would have to quote it though.

If you get 1/4 (.25) of something when you take it, doing it once at level 4 doesn't make that 1/4 suddenly a 1.0. Some rule of common sense applies, heck it's even been pointed out in this thread the PF devs strove to make things equal regardless of what level you take them. Why would you think doing it only once at lvl 4 is worth Four Times as much as it would have been worth for the same cost at level 1?

... and it's a pretty decent racial choice for Magi with access to it as is, though the Elven (whic operates like the 1/6 Rog one) is often seen as better. So the purpose is: it's pretty good even w/o breaking it. Unless I'm getting hit often (which as a Magi or Rog I should be trying to avoid in the first place) the extra Arcana/Talent is worth more than 6HP, a drop in the bucket damage wise by level 12-14.


oooohhh thanks!!
let me see if i truly understand this:

So, as you mention, and if the feat let you swap those traits (gessing a gestalt magus/rogue)

class level
level bonus
1 arcane pool point .25/roguetalent .16
2 arcane pool point .50/roguetalent .32
3 arcane pool point .75/roguetalent .48
4 arcane pool point 1.0/roguetalent .64
5 arcane pool point .25/roguetalent .80
6 arcane pool point .50/roguetalent .96 (1)
7 arcane pool point .75/roguetalent .16
8 arcane pool point 1.0/roguetalent .32
9 arcane pool point .25/roguetalent .48
10 arcane pool point .50/roguetalent .64
11 arcane pool point .75/roguetalent .80
12 arcane pool point 1.0/roguetalent .96 (1)
13 arcane pool point .25/roguetalent .16
14 arcane pool point .50/roguetalent .32
15 arcane pool point .75/roguetalent .48
16 arcane pool point 1.0/roguetalent .64
17 arcane pool point .25/roguetalent .80
18 arcane pool point .50/roguetalent 0.9 (1)
19 arcane pool point .75/HP
20 arcane pool point 1.0/hp

i realy love my version of it!!
but that´s the same bonus to get, so i can sacrifice my hp/sp for those bonusses at all!!


judas 147 wrote:

let me see if i truly understand this:

1 arcane pool point .25/roguetalent .16
2 arcane pool point .50/roguetalent .32
3 arcane pool point .75/roguetalent .48
4 arcane pool point 1.0/roguetalent .64
5 arcane pool point .25/roguetalent .80
6 arcane pool point .50/roguetalent .96 (1)

Fast Learner does not allow you to choose two alternate racial bonuses.

At level 1, if you take a level in your favored class, and you have the Fast Learner feat, you get to choose one of:

A) +1 HP and +1 skill rank
or
B) one alternate racial bonus

That's it.

At level 2, if you take another level in your favored class, you get to choose one of:

A) +1 HP and +1 skill rank
or
B) one alternate racial bonus

That's it. And so on.

As for the fraction bonuses, here's how they work.

Racial Favored Classes: "some of these alternate favored class benefits only add +1/2, +1/3, +1/4, or +1/6 to a roll (rather than +1) each time the benefit is selected; when applying this result to the die roll, round down (minimum 0). For example, a dwarf with rogue as his favored class adds +1/2 to his trap sense ability regarding stone traps each time he selects the alternate rogue favored class benefit; though this means the net effect is +0 after selecting it once (because +1/2 rounds down to +0), after 20 levels this benefit gives the dwarf a +10 bonus to his trap sense (in addition to the base value from being a 20th-level rogue)."

So if you choose the Human racial favored class Magus bonus ("Add +1/4 point to the magus' arcane pool.") then you need to choose that bonus four times before you get an arcane pool point.


nothing in the fast learner feat prevents you from using your normal level bonus to take the racial option a second time.


You can get the HP+SP OR the special Favoured Bonus. NOT choose 2 of the 3.


Azaelas Fayth wrote:
You can get the HP+SP OR the special Favoured Bonus. NOT choose 2 of the 3.

ok txs now i can see what are you talking about in this thread!!

im going to maintain my version of it, beter, helpful, and somehow functional to my table game


ok im going to drop this here

James Jacobs Creative Director Yesterday, 05:46 PM | FLAG | LIST
| REPLY
+

judas 147 wrote:
ok James, Fast Learner human feat:

i can pick an Hp and a skill point each level instead one of them...
can i get a variant for this feat? i mean, maybe a spell in the wizard spellbook and hp or how this feat really works?

other question: Im playing a Magus, then at level 4th can i take a favored class arcane pool point or do i need to take that trait four times before i can get one arcane pool point?

example:
Human Favored magus
level class option
1-3 1skillpoint
4 1arcane pool
5-7 1skillpoint
8 1arcane pool
9-11 1skillpoint
12 1arcane pool
13-15 1manapoint
16 1hp+1arcane pool
17-19 1manapoint
20 1manapoint

Thank you

It's up to your GM if you can take variant feats, not me.

As for the other question, yes, you have to take it four times.

So, as a james sujest, it depend to GM if you can swap this bonus!!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Additional question: Does it apply at 1st level, if you take it as a 1st level feat? Or only at 2nd level, when you "gain" a level?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

The first post in this thread claims the question was answered in the FAQ, but clearly it hasn't, so what's the next step towards getting this answered?


Resubmitting it.


Lvl 1 human takes alternate favored class bonus and take fast learner as his bonus feat gets nothing for that feat? That does seem a bit odd.

Also what James was replying to Judas 147 was in regards to something other than what is stated in the feat itself.

It seems it should be 2 out of 3 and James' response seems to be in allowing a 4th option.


Also FAQ'ing this. Both Trogdar's and Jason's interpretations can work by RAW, but I assume Jason has better knowledge of the RAI.


4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

How do you poke folks for "No, really, not answered in your FAQ"

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
How do you poke folks for "No, really, not answered in your FAQ"

You see, you send in an email to Paizo about why something "FAQ"ed is not actually in the FAQ and they respond with, "Oh, you should try asking your question on the messageboards." It's quite fun trying to explain that they are missing the point.

Not that I'm bitter about this happening to me before or anything...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Bumping this again. I still dont see it answered in the ARG FAQ.


The way it read to me is you get +1 skill point and +1 hp and you have the option to replace one of those with a racial bonus. It's jusy VERY poorly worded.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

This really is a GM's discretion kinda thing...

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

GM's discretion doesn't work for Pathfinder Society, so many people want an official ruling before they start creating a character based on this concept. All GM's need to be on the same page for someone to be able to rely on it, due to table variation.


Isn't there already been a ruling for PFS though?

Heck, is it even legal in PFS?

Lantern Lodge

It's legal:

Humans: all alternate racial traits except heart of the fields and heroic are legal for play; all racial subtypes, except trailblazer, are legal for play; all favored class options, feats, equipment, and spells are legal for play; all racial archetypes and bloodlines except buccaneer and feral child are legal for play.

And the ruling has yet to come, even though at the beginning it says "Answered in FAQ", which it hasn't...


I could have sworn this was answered already... Maybe it is going to be added but is currently in the bottom of the lists?

Silver Crusade

Finally answered:

Post by developer

A+B or C.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I know that I would absolutely allow a player to pick 2 of 3.

Anytime something is ambiguous, IMO "the rule of fun" is to side with the player, unless it would be something drastically, horribly broken and overpowered.

2 of 3 would hardly be overpowered. Ergo, my "rule of fun" says to just let the player have it.

Just my personal opinion though and obviously irrelevant for PFS.


The source of the confusion about this feat is that the benefit section is a run-on sentence.

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