Can anyone take 10 on knowledge checks?


Rules Questions


I know the bard ability lore master allows a bard to take 10 on knowledge checks and take 20 once a day on knowledge checks.

SRD wrote:
Lore Master (Ex): At 5th level, the bard becomes a master of lore and can take 10 on any Knowledge skill check that he has ranks in. A bard can choose not to take 10 and can instead roll normally. In addition, once per day, the bard can take 20 on any Knowledge skill check as a standard action. He can use this ability one additional time per day for every six levels he possesses beyond 5th, to a maximum of three times per day at 17th level.

I always assumed that meant normally people could not take 10 on knowledge checks (ie. like UMD says you cannot)

But it was brought to my attention today that the description of the knowledge skill does not say explicitly you cannot take 10, unlike the other skills that say so.

does that mean that this bard ability is only useful for taking 20 once a day? or is the rule for taking 10 on knowledge checks located somewhere else?

thanks for the help


Actually it would seem to allow the bard to make those checks in combat or when under pressure, which isn't allowed normally (take 10 rules). A bard can take 10 on the know:arcana to see what spell was cast on them or to determine what spell the enemy is in the process of casting. Also they can take 10 on the know:religion skill to figure out which undead creature just popped out of the grave and maybe some of its weaknesses/abilities are.

General rule of 'you can't do that right now' being trumped by the class ability saying the bard can take 10 with any know: skill they have, is how I read it.

Dark Archive

Anyone can take 10 on Knowledge checks unless they are distracted, etc.

Bards can do it even when others can't; combat is an example of this.


Mergy wrote:

Anyone can take 10 on Knowledge checks unless they are distracted, etc.

Bards can do it even when others can't; combat is an example of this.

Where is this written in the rules?


Belle Mythix wrote:
Mergy wrote:

Anyone can take 10 on Knowledge checks unless they are distracted, etc.

Bards can do it even when others can't; combat is an example of this.

Where is this written in the rules?
Quote:
Taking 10: When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn't help.

Nothing in Knowledge says you cannot take 10 or modifies taking 10 in any way. Thus, you have to use the default rules for taking 10 which I have quoted.

Bards seem to be the only class to enjoy being allowed to take 10 on knowledge checks in combat, even though it is kind of absurd (oh no! I was so stressed by combat I had to roll my knowledge roll so I don't know that is a zombie. If I had just not been in combat I could have taken 10 and known it was a zombie.).

I let my players take 10 on identifying monsters with Knowledge checks in combat, but as far as I can tell that is a house rule.


Page 86 has the take 10 rules. There is no exclusion of taking 10 noted anywhere in the Knowledge skill. If you have no ranks in a knowledge skill, you automatically fail if the DC is higher than 10.


Belle Mythix wrote:


Where is this written in the rules?

As others have said the normal rules for take 10 apply.

Now the UMD skill specifically denies the take 10 rules for that skill. It is alone in that.

The bard ability is a blanket ability that means that they can take 10 on those skills regardless of not otherwise meeting the criteria (which lets them do it in combat to say ID monsters).

-James


Whale_Cancer: it makes perfect sense to be unable to take 10 on knowledge checks during combat. How many people get flustered during a high pressure situation (such as a test) and cannot remember basic things?

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:
Whale_Cancer: it makes perfect sense to be unable to take 10 on knowledge checks during combat. How many people get flustered during a high pressure situation (such as a test) and cannot remember basic things?

The only trouble is the one-shot nature of it. If you don't remember while flustered, you never will. Until you level and put more points in.


thejeff:

True, but you can perform research. That is not so much a try again as a different check altogether. In general if you have a different situation it is not a try again. Pulling out reference books after the fight and calmly figuring it out is a different situation.

Note: There is nothing in the rules that state you must wait until you gain another level and put another rank in.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

thejeff:

True, but you can perform research. That is not so much a try again as a different check altogether. In general if you have a different situation it is not a try again. Pulling out reference books after the fight and calmly figuring it out is a different situation.

Note: There is nothing in the rules that state you must wait until you gain another level and put another rank in.

- Gauss

There's nothing in the rules that states you can try again at all. It makes sense that a different situation would let you make another check, but that's never stated. Nor are different situations defined.


Exactly. With so much undefined it is not really restricted is it? It is up to you and the GM to work it out. If they had defined this it would have tied the GMs hands. So instead, provide the GM with a viable excuse to let you figure it out after the fight.

Just remember, not even Death is defined. If you want to be a slave to RAW then you can also act while dead because nothing (except common sense) states you cannot.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:
Just remember, not even Death is defined. If you want to be a slave to RAW then you can also act while dead because nothing (except common sense) states you cannot.

Your soul leaves your body...

GM: and you find yourself on a sandy white beach with soothing waves lapping at your feet.

Player: I walk along the beach.

You could still act. ;)


*chuckles* Exactly GM_Jeff, it is up to the GM. I was pointing out the ridiculousness of following RAW too closely when things are so undefined.

- Gauss


Since anyone can make an untrained knowledge check up to DC 10 and you can take 10, all DC10 knowledge checks are in essence common knowledge that a person of average intelligence could know with higher DCs representing actual trained knowledge.


GM: The zombies lumber forward.

PC: What do I know about zombies?

GM: Make a Knowledge (religion) check.

PC: I want to Take 10 on the check.

GM: You can't Take 10 now, you're in combat.

PC: Okay... what did I know about zombies before combat started? I Take 10!


Gauss wrote:

Whale_Cancer: it makes perfect sense to be unable to take 10 on knowledge checks during combat. How many people get flustered during a high pressure situation (such as a test) and cannot remember basic things?

- Gauss

I could understand that if you could try your knowledge check again after the battle. I had a player literally not know what a zombie was because they didn't make the check during battle due to a bad roll.

Quote:
Try Again: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn't let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Edit: Whoops, people have already raised this concern.


Whale_Cancer:

Yes, people raised that concern and my point is that no, you cannot try again, but the rules do not state under what conditions you are ever allowed to try to make another knowledge check for that creature type. It makes sense that if the situation has changed then you can make a new check. It is not 'try again' since it is a different situation. Thus, you sitting down, pulling out your reference books, and examining the corpse carefully is not trying again. It is a whole new check.

- Gauss


Wouldn't most DMs force a knowledge roll prior to combat? At least... in another Knowledge related thread I remember, someone was asking about how people handled knowledge checks (whether or not you tell them which knowledge check to roll), and it was brought up that most people feel it's appropriate to simply tell them randomly when to roll which knowledge, rather than let them guess.

Which would imply that the only reason the Bard's Take 10 would really be unique is in a surprise round. I suppose that makes sense though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You can refuse to make a knowledge check. Wait until outside combat, then take 10.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That is part of the problem. I don't see Knowledge checks as something you try to do. Every character, at the point of seeing something, is checked to see if they know anything. They are just going "lalala, I don't want to think about what you are" while they are fighting.

My personal reading of this is that the bard class ability Lore Master implies that those without this ability cannot take 10. I have disallowed taking 10 on knowledge in my games for those without this ability. Knowledge checks are not something a character does like jumping or sneaking. They are a random test of worldly knowledge, that every character has a percentage chance to know something on a particular subject based on their strength of knowledge in that field, represented by skill bonus

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Shar Tahl wrote:
the bard class ability Lore Master implies that those without this ability cannot take 10.

The guy who did a lot of the work on Pathfinder's version of the bard has stated that the intent is for the bard to take 10 in combat while everyone else follows normal take 10 rules.


Shar Tahl wrote:


My personal reading of this is that the bard class ability Lore Master implies that those without this ability cannot take 10.

That would be flawed reasoning.

You believe that the rule changed with Pathfinder, and they HID this change in the Bard class ability?

That doesn't make any sense.

Perhaps you believe that this was a rule in 3.5e? Yet, they did specify a skill where one could not take 10 and it wasn't the Knowledge skills (which were even updated in 3.5 from 3e).

There's no evidence for your claim beyond a desire for it to be so.

Perhaps it is the way that you are viewing knowledge skills. Rather than see them as what your character knows, see them as what they can recall. In the heat of battle they might not remember something, or they can be spurred to be their best... that's the nature of pressure situations and the d20 system modeling it.

-James

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