Magical Knack class choice


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The trait says you choose a class that benefits from this trait when you gain the trait....usually level 1 I presume. Does that mean you can only use the trait for the class you have at level 1?

To answer my own question, I would say yes because how can you have a background trait the helps you with a class you don't have yet? So if you start out as a Paladin with this trait, it applies to Paladin and NOT cleric if you dip into Cleric at level 2?

This is important because 2 players in my game have done this and I really think they are min/maxing and using this trait wrong.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It doesn't say 'a class you have levels in', so you can absolutely pick any class you feel like.

You have a 'knack', an innate talent. You wouldn't discover that you have that knack until you tried it. At that point, you're all 'whoa, I'm really good at this'!


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That's true I suppose.

Now I begin to understand why this is banned in PFS.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm thinking of house ruling this and making this a Feat instead of a Trait. It just seems to good to be true as a trait.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not particularly, no.

PFS bans lots of stuff for reasons other than power (see: The Spellslinger).

Bear in mind that 3e had a feat that gave you +4 CL (with the same restrictions).

Multiclassing is already a bad idea; making it worse seems overkill.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Magical Knack is legal in PFS.


There is a feat that allows for additional traits. That being said, there really is nothing that says you cannot have a trait that has no mechanical effect when you choose it.

The same would be for choosing a favored class you don't have yet.

Silver Crusade

You couldn't choose a trait that effected a class feature you didn't have, but being a certain class is not a feature of that class.


Nefreet wrote:
Magical Knack is legal in PFS, now.

Fixed.

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
You couldn't choose a trait that effected a class feature you didn't have, but being a certain class is not a feature of that class.

There are traits with prerequisites, but there's nothing inherently illegal about taking a trait that affects a class feature you don't have. It wouldn't *do* anything, but you could have the trait. Best example I can think of is the trait that gives a +1 to channel DCs. Great for Paladins, who can't use it at 1st level.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
You couldn't choose a trait that effected a class feature you didn't have, but being a certain class is not a feature of that class.

I'll disagree with this. The subject at hand is an example of that. Magical Knack doesn't make you a certain class, it simply raises your caster level in a class.

I'm certain there are other examples of traits that affect a class feature that you may not have yet. Ohh, just came up with one, feel free to choose Magical Lineage (Fireball) at character creation, even though you can't cast Fireballs, and may actually have started with a level of Rogue.

Silver Crusade

You can't take a feat that effects class abilities you don't have, why would it be any different for traits? Also, Zahir, your caster level isn't a class feature either.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
You can't take a feat that affects class abilities you don't have, why would it be any different for traits?

Sure you can, as long as it doesn't have a prerequisites that you don't meet. I can't think of any feats that exclusively affect a class feature that is not a prerequisite, but I do recall some feats that have a few minor effects, and some of those might be class feature specific (so you would get some of the abilities but not all).

Zenori, Magical Knack makes plenty of sense to take for a class you don't have yet. It makes about as much sense as taking it for the class you start with, since you won't get any benefit at all until you take another class (or reach L.4 for Rangers/Paladins).

Silver Crusade

Yes that is true Majuba. And now that I think about it, there aren't any traits that affect specific class features that don't have that class as a prerequisite, like the "of the Society" traits.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

This quote might make us pause to reconsider:
.

John Compton wrote:

Q: Can I apply the aasimar or elf oracle's favored class bonus to a revelation I do not yet have? Can I do so for the aasimar bard’s favored class bonus?

.
No, when choosing which class feature’s effective level to increase, you can only select a feature that you already have. For example, an aasimar flame oracle cannot choose to improve the wings of fire revelation with her favored class bonus until she actually gains the revelation at 7th level or beyond; she could not start augmenting it at 1st level.
.
This isn’t actually a new rule. It’s just a clarification that I confirmed with the design team because it seemed that some folks were assuming otherwise.

.

If you can't choose Favored Class Bonuses when you do not yet have the class feature that they are improving, wouldn't the same apply to a Trait?


Nefreet wrote:

This quote might make us pause to reconsider:

.
John Compton wrote:

Q: Can I apply the aasimar or elf oracle's favored class bonus to a revelation I do not yet have? Can I do so for the aasimar bard’s favored class bonus?

.
No, when choosing which class feature’s effective level to increase, you can only select a feature that you already have. For example, an aasimar flame oracle cannot choose to improve the wings of fire revelation with her favored class bonus until she actually gains the revelation at 7th level or beyond; she could not start augmenting it at 1st level.
.
This isn’t actually a new rule. It’s just a clarification that I confirmed with the design team because it seemed that some folks were assuming otherwise.

.

If you can't choose Favored Class Bonuses when you do not yet have the class feature that they are improving, wouldn't the same apply to a Trait?

Maybe. But the problem with that is the only people who could take Magical Knack would be characters who took their spell-casting class at 1st level.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

That's what I was getting at.

Or those who took it via the Additional Traits feat later on after they had levels in said class.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.
fretgod99 wrote:
Maybe. But the problem with that is the only people who could take Magical Knack would be characters who took their spell-casting class at 1st level.

And it would be impossible to use Magical Lineage on any but a 0 or 1st level spell, unless you took Extra Traits at a later point in your career, and had not already taken a Trait from the appropriate group.


Nefreet wrote:
If you can't choose Favored Class Bonuses when you do not yet have the class feature that they are improving, wouldn't the same apply to a Trait?

I don't see that that is particularly relevant. Reigning in a (potentially) game-breaking ability with highly complex interactions really isn't the same as overly limiting a trait that must be taken at 1st level (other than Additional Traits feat).

Edit: I love your
.
by the way.

Silver Crusade

Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Maybe. But the problem with that is the only people who could take Magical Knack would be characters who took their spell-casting class at 1st level.
And it would be impossible to use Magical Lineage on any but a 0 or 1st level spell, unless you took Extra Traits at a later point in your career, and had not already taken a Trait from the appropriate group.

No, because all spells on the wizard spell list are wizard spells. So a level 1 wizard has fireball on his spell list, even if he doesn't have access to it.


There was a feat in 3.5's Complete Arcane called Practiced Spellcaster that boosted your CL by +4, but not above your level.


Nefreet wrote:

This quote might make us pause to reconsider:

.
John Compton wrote:

Q: Can I apply the aasimar or elf oracle's favored class bonus to a revelation I do not yet have? Can I do so for the aasimar bard’s favored class bonus?

.
No, when choosing which class feature’s effective level to increase, you can only select a feature that you already have. For example, an aasimar flame oracle cannot choose to improve the wings of fire revelation with her favored class bonus until she actually gains the revelation at 7th level or beyond; she could not start augmenting it at 1st level.
.
This isn’t actually a new rule. It’s just a clarification that I confirmed with the design team because it seemed that some folks were assuming otherwise.

.

If you can't choose Favored Class Bonuses when you do not yet have the class feature that they are improving, wouldn't the same apply to a Trait?

Because they're completely different and unrelated mechanics, so what applies to one has no reason to apply to another.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
colemcm wrote:
There was a feat in 3.5's Complete Arcane called Practiced Spellcaster that boosted your CL by +4, but not above your level.

And it is sorely mourned. *bows head in regretful silence*


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You can take a trait that affects an ability you do not have.

Bullied
You were bullied often as a child, and you are now constantly ready to defend yourself with your fists when an enemy comes near.

Benefit: You gain a +1 trait bonus on attack of opportunity attack rolls made with unarmed strikes.

Note that this trait does not grant the ability to make attacks of opportunity with your unarmed strikes—you must have a level in monk, the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, or some other similar power to gain the use of this character trait. However, that doesn't prevent you from selecting this trait. You simply cannot make use of it until a later point if you do.


I think the key difference between the trait and the ruling regarding alternate FCBs is that FCBs could be used to stack toward a revelation not available until higher level (which typically would already be far more powerful).

For instance, an Oracle of flame could stack all his FCBs toward Firestorm, and upon hitting 11th level and choosing it, he suddenly counts as a 16th level Oracle and can summon a 160 cubic feet of fire dealing 16d6 of damage, and capping at 290 cubic feet for 29d6 damage - whereas with this ruling he instead gets 110 cubic feet for 11d6 to a max of 240 cubic feet and 24d6.

Silver Crusade

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

You can take a trait that affects an ability you do not have.

Bullied
You were bullied often as a child, and you are now constantly ready to defend yourself with your fists when an enemy comes near.

Benefit: You gain a +1 trait bonus on attack of opportunity attack rolls made with unarmed strikes.

Note that this trait does not grant the ability to make attacks of opportunity with your unarmed strikes—you must have a level in monk, the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, or some other similar power to gain the use of this character trait. However, that doesn't prevent you from selecting this trait. You simply cannot make use of it until a later point if you do.

Improved Unarmed Strike is not a class feature of any class. It is a feat that some classes get as a bonus feat.

Xaratherus wrote:

I think the key difference between the trait and the ruling regarding alternate FCBs is that FCBs could be used to stack toward a revelation not available until higher level (which typically would already be far more powerful).

For instance, an Oracle of flame could stack all his FCBs toward Firestorm, and upon hitting 11th level and choosing it, he suddenly counts as a 16th level Oracle and can summon a 160 cubic feet of fire dealing 16d6 of damage, and capping at 290 cubic feet for 29d6 damage - whereas with this ruling he instead gets 110 cubic feet for 11d6 to a max of 240 cubic feet and 24d6.

Yeah, no this doesn't work. You cannot take the FCB to increase the effectiveness of a revelation you do not yet have access to. There was a recent FAQ about this.


I really don't see the problem here.

The text of the trait: ..."our caster level in that class gains a +2 trait bonus as long as this bonus doesn't raise your caster level above your current Hit Dice."

How is that broken? Having a higher effective caster level simply increases the duration or damage of spells - it doesn't give you extra spells (e.g., a Pal3/Clr1 with Magical Knack wouldn't have 2nd level cleric spells - but when they cast Cure Light Wounds as a cleric, it would heal 1d8+3 points instead of 1d8+1).

You don't get any extra abilities of that caster class (e.g., a Ftr2Inq3 with this trait would NOT get the Inq5 bane ability). You're talking about 2 extra points of damage or 1 extra d6 of damage or maybe a minute or two of duration.

Hardly seems like a min/max problem.

BTW, would like to take this opportunity to thank the good folks at Paizo for making an awesome game, with which I have no complaints whatsoever. Hours of enjoyment and whatnot, all thanks to y'all's work.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Yeah, no this doesn't work. You cannot take the FCB to increase the effectiveness of a revelation you do not yet have access to. There was a recent FAQ about this.

Yes, I know (I even mention that ruling in what you quoted - "...and the ruling regarding alternate FCBs..."). That FAQ was brought up as precedent for not allowing you to take Magical Knack for a class you don't have yet. I was pointing out that there's a pretty huge difference between the two; the FCB limitation is because it causes a significant increase in the power of revelations beyond what was intended, while the other is simply a static increase of +2 caster level.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Improved Unarmed Strike is not a class feature of any class. It is a feat that some classes get as a bonus feat.

<snip>

Yeah, no this doesn't work. You cannot take the FCB to increase the effectiveness of a revelation you do not yet have access to. There was a recent FAQ about this.

You're not super great at reading comprehension, are you?

Silver Crusade

The Morphling wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Improved Unarmed Strike is not a class feature of any class. It is a feat that some classes get as a bonus feat.

<snip>

Yeah, no this doesn't work. You cannot take the FCB to increase the effectiveness of a revelation you do not yet have access to. There was a recent FAQ about this.

You're not super great at reading comprehension, are you?

Bah, I need to stop speed reading posts while I'm at work.


The Morphling wrote:
colemcm wrote:
There was a feat in 3.5's Complete Arcane called Practiced Spellcaster that boosted your CL by +4, but not above your level.
And it is sorely mourned. *bows head in regretful silence*

It really isn't that OP of a feat.

After conversion, the prereqs become having a caster level and 1 rank in Spellcraft, then you treat your CL as up to 4 higher not to exceed your HD.

A trait does exactly the same thing but half, which is what traits are supposed to do anyway.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Zhayne wrote:
It doesn't say 'a class you have levels in', so you can absolutely pick any class you feel like.

Same logic was used by the people that believed that you could bank favored class bonuses until you are high enough to take that class feature (Oracle Revelation +1/3 banked for level 7 revelation) but that isn't how it works now.

This is a conservative vs liberal (non-permissive vs permissive) issue. Most of the time the rules are written from the conservative / non-permissive view point. When we take the liberal / permissive stance we run into trouble. Saying "it doesn't say 'a class you have levels in'" is taking the liberal stance.


And since traits aren't favored class bonuses, this applies ... how?

Sorry, the RAW is crystal clear here. It's perfectly legal and functioning as intended.


I could be wrong, but my personal belief\hope is that the designers normally interpret and balance rules around actual mechanical factors, not around, "We didn't say you could do it, so you can't."

In that case, the question becomes, "Does it cause a significant game imbalance to allow a non-caster to select a trait that will eventually allow him to cast spells at +2 caster level if\when he cross-classes"? I don't really see that it's that unbalancing, but I haven't looked it over in detail.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Zhayne wrote:

And since traits aren't favored class bonuses, this applies ... how?

Sorry, the RAW is crystal clear here. It's perfectly legal and functioning as intended.

I really have a distaste for this stance.

It is at it's core "they didn't say I couldn't"

Silver Crusade

I don't have a problem with people picking traits for classes they don't have, just with picking traits that affect specific class features. Granted, I haven't been able to think of such a trait yet. I look at traits as your background and probably something you could do when you were still a commoner. Maybe you have an innate knack for magic, or know how to handle a knife. maybe you were the scrawny nerdy kid and it made you hyper-aware of any potential threat.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Magical Knack class choice All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.