Will not run a game with Pageant of the Peacock


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5/5 5/55/55/5

On one hand, 15 skill points for 1 is nuts, even for a bard. It obviates bardic knowledge as something to be dropped like a bad habbit.

On the other hand, "I bluff this guy to convince him i had the right answer all along" is nearly prone shooter level of redundant.


@Akerlof: And the point about the distinction between substituting bonuses (Versatile Performance) and substituting checks (PotP)?

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Northern

Akerlof wrote:
So, what's the mechanical definition of "convince others of your breeding, eloquence and refinement?" Where's my "breeding" stat on the character sheet? What kind of check is that, what skill, what modifiers, what's the result? Also, you want us to remember this line, but you focus only on two words in the whole sentence. "Convince others" is directly referencing "of your breeding, eloquence, and refinement." What's that got to do with Intelligence-related checks?

The first part of the sentence sets the context in or for which the ability can be used. You are attempting to use the skill to "convince others of your breeding, eloquence, and refinement." And, the latter part of the sentence is the mechanical benefit for using the ability in that context to do that particular thing.

It's no different than races that get a racial bonus to X skill when attempting to do something specific. For example, dwarves get the following:

"Dwarves gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking."

Where is the mechanical definition of "unusual stonework"? There isn't one - only a couple of examples. And because the language says "..such as...", it implies there are other than beyond what is listed.

PotP is no different. The first part of the sentence establishes the condition(s) under which the mechanical benefit will apply. It's no different in that regard than the dwarven Stonecutting racial ability.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.

But now you're getting +4 instead of -20 or worse.

Shadow Lodge

Reading rules considers the full rule, fluff and crunch both - and often times the fluff contains things that impact the crunch.

Off the top of my head, wall of fire is another good example. Wall of fire specifically conjures an "opaque sheet of flame". There's no specific definition of an "opaque" keyword elsewhere in the rules. But opaque means opaque - something you can't see through. Thus, if you're reading the full effect/description of a wall of fire, it's something that you can't see through. Running the rules for wall of fire means considering more than just the sentences about damage and saving throws.

How about another random masterpiece...

The Dance of Kindled Desires wrote:
Effect: Your dance entices one creature within 30 feet that is able to see you, invoking every imaginable vice and craving until finally the desire the creature personally finds most appealing overwhelms its thoughts. You always know what your target wants, and, if you have the means to provide it, can offer it to the creature in exchange for a specific service. The creature can resist this effect with a successful Will saving throw, and creatures never agree if you offer services that are physically impossible or obviously suicidal, or if you lie about having the means to fulfill the desire in question. The service can never take more than a day to complete, and the affected creature gains a +2 bonus on its saving throw if the service requires more than an hour to complete.

What is "every imaginable vice and craving"?

Using this masterpiece means a creature has to go through every possible vice/craving before finally picking one it wants the most. There's no "vice/cravings" section in the stat blocks of PCs, NPCs or creatures, but this is certainly an interesting ability with a lot of potential mileage for play.

Reading the full rule as written means your brain is processing all of the text in determining how to run it. The author/editor could've used a semicolon instead of a period. He could have arranged the sentences in reverse order. Most of the bardic masterpieces are loosely defined like this though where there's an evocative context of what is going on and how the bard is actually performing the masterpiece is described. Some GMs handwave the fact the bard is actually performing a masterpiece. Other GMs will get into details and describe the actual performing of a masterpiece. Pageant involves "peacocking". I feel it's even clearer how it plays into the game because it lasts a full 10 minutes and not for a single check. The rule is indicating a character is strutting/peacocking into a location/venue and because of those actions/the dramatic entrance, they are able to pass off they are knowledgeable in topics that they may not otherwise have been knowledgeable in - for the purpose of impressing others. As a heavy roleplay ability, how this pans out in games will vary wildly.

Pageant of the Peacock v2.0

Pageant could be reworded one of these two ways to make it clearer:

Pageant of the Peacock - Option A

Your elegant movements cause you to seem to be more than you are.

Effect: By gracefully weaving your body through subtle forms and postures you gain a +4 circumstance bonus on Bluff checks. You may also attempt a Bluff check in place of an Intelligence check or Intelligence-based skill check for the purpose of convincing others of your breeding, eloquence, and refinement.

or...

Pageant of the Peacock - Option B

Your elegant movements reveal insights into the universe to which you may have been previously unaware.

Effect: By gracefully weaving your body through subtle forms and postures you gain a +4 circumstance bonus on Bluff checks. You also stumble upon real insight and facts, and may also attempt a Bluff check in place of an Intelligence check or Intelligence-based skill check for the purpose of recalling real facts or useful information.


wakedown wrote:

Reading rules considers the full rule, fluff and crunch both - and often times the fluff contains things that impact the crunch.

Off the top of my head, wall of fire is another good example. Wall of fire specifically conjures an "opaque sheet of flame". There's no specific definition of an "opaque" keyword elsewhere in the rules. But opaque means opaque - something you can't see through. Thus, if you're reading the full effect/description of a wall of fire, it's something that you can't see through. Running the rules for wall of fire means considering more than just the sentences about damage and saving throws.

The Travel domain for Clerics is another good example. What is widely considered it's best part of the domain (+10 move) is inside the fluff, not the effects/abilities area like all the other Domains are.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Teatime42 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.
But now you're getting +4 instead of -20 or worse.

Except that, mechanically, PtoP doesn't negate any penalties to using the bluff skill at all.


Could use this masterpeice to bluff a spell craft and convince your enemies that your silent image really is a wall of stone?


Sadly, probably not, though I may allow some variation of that in a home game. You don't make Spellcraft checks when casting a spell, so there's nothing to substitute a Bluff check for.


Jeff Merola wrote:
Teatime42 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.
But now you're getting +4 instead of -20 or worse.
Except that, mechanically, PtoP doesn't negate any penalties to using the bluff skill at all.
Andrew Christian wrote:

Sure it does. Bluff isn't just a roll vs a sense motive. There are modifiers, some quite heavy, based on how dubious your lie is.

Pageant of the Peacock let's you mitigate the dubiousness of the lie, by effectively making up info that's believable. So that instead of potentially getting a -10 or -20 on your bluff check, you get a +4 with either no or less of a penalty.

It would have taken me a page to say what he said right there, so I decided to link him, rather than force a wall of text, since I have no idea how to be concise apparently. :/

Scarab Sages 5/5

Teatime42 wrote:
Jeff Merola wrote:
Teatime42 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.
But now you're getting +4 instead of -20 or worse.
Except that, mechanically, PtoP doesn't negate any penalties to using the bluff skill at all.
Andrew Christian wrote:

Sure it does. Bluff isn't just a roll vs a sense motive. There are modifiers, some quite heavy, based on how dubious your lie is.

Pageant of the Peacock let's you mitigate the dubiousness of the lie, by effectively making up info that's believable. So that instead of potentially getting a -10 or -20 on your bluff check, you get a +4 with either no or less of a penalty.

It would have taken me a page to say what he said right there, so I decided to link him, rather than force a wall of text, since I have no idea how to be concise apparently. :/

wait...

I can avoid the penility to a Bluff check for an unbelievable lie by using Pageant of the Peacock? So I can claim to be a Venture Captain and not suffer the -20 on the Bluff? Or claim to be the God Aroden returned with out the penility?

Am I understanding this correctly?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Katisha wrote:
Teatime42 wrote:
Jeff Merola wrote:
Teatime42 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.
But now you're getting +4 instead of -20 or worse.
Except that, mechanically, PtoP doesn't negate any penalties to using the bluff skill at all.
Andrew Christian wrote:

Sure it does. Bluff isn't just a roll vs a sense motive. There are modifiers, some quite heavy, based on how dubious your lie is.

Pageant of the Peacock let's you mitigate the dubiousness of the lie, by effectively making up info that's believable. So that instead of potentially getting a -10 or -20 on your bluff check, you get a +4 with either no or less of a penalty.

It would have taken me a page to say what he said right there, so I decided to link him, rather than force a wall of text, since I have no idea how to be concise apparently. :/

wait...

I can avoid the penility to a Bluff check for an unbelievable lie by using Pageant of the Peacock? So I can claim to be a Venture Captain and not suffer the -20 on the Bluff? Or claim to be the God Aroden returned with out the penility?

Am I understanding this correctly?

Not quite. from my reading, the Pageant is a means to save you from the certain doom a deception might run into because of a lack of knowledge. If your deception relies on your knowledge of Ancient Osirion. (i.e. you are pretending to be an Osirion archaeologist, or trying to run a scam based on Osirion relics, you can use the Pageant to cover your lack of knowledge by literally dazzling them with BS. Where that gets you is up to your GM.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jeff Merola wrote:
Teatime42 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.
But now you're getting +4 instead of -20 or worse.
Except that, mechanically, PtoP doesn't negate any penalties to using the bluff skill at all.

That's absolutely correct. But it may very well make an impossible Bluff, possible.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Teatime42 wrote:
Jeff Merola wrote:
Teatime42 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.
But now you're getting +4 instead of -20 or worse.
Except that, mechanically, PtoP doesn't negate any penalties to using the bluff skill at all.
Andrew Christian wrote:

Sure it does. Bluff isn't just a roll vs a sense motive. There are modifiers, some quite heavy, based on how dubious your lie is.

Pageant of the Peacock let's you mitigate the dubiousness of the lie, by effectively making up info that's believable. So that instead of potentially getting a -10 or -20 on your bluff check, you get a +4 with either no or less of a penalty.

It would have taken me a page to say what he said right there, so I decided to link him, rather than force a wall of text, since I have no idea how to be concise apparently. :/

Except that, mechanically, PtoP has nothing in its language that removes penalties. It might be the intention, but it's far from the reality of it.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Jeff Merola wrote:
Teatime42 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.
But now you're getting +4 instead of -20 or worse.
Except that, mechanically, PtoP doesn't negate any penalties to using the bluff skill at all.

That's where being a reasonable GM and knowing the rules comes into play.

If I'm going to try to convince an astrology expert that some grouping of stars is the constellation Platypus, and he knows that grouping I'm pointing at is actually parts of two other constellations... that's going to be a nearly impossible bluff. That's a -20 to your bluff check.

But if I use Pageant of the Peacock and make a Knowledge (geography) check with my Bluff skill, I can convince him that I actually might know more about that grouping of stars than he does.

Bard: "So my friend, see those 5 stars right there? They are known as Platypus..."

Astrologer: "You friend are full of it. I happen to know two of those stars are actually Aroden's Staff and the other three are part of Calistria's Girdle."

Bard: "That may be so, and you would be correct, if you were not from the small nation of Sargava. In Sargava you see, they have this fearsome beast that is nigh unto a god to them, and they say he comes from the stars. Those 5 stars to be exact."

Pure poppycock... but the Bard was able to mitigate the -20 by making a Knowledge (geography) check with his Bluff skill, and got a +4 instead.

Sometimes mechanics can't all be laid out for you in a nice little package. Sometimes one has to extrapolate things.

Otherwise you get ridiculous things like being able to make 15 different checks for 1 rank with the equivalent of a feat or 2nd level spell. Something that is far more powerful than any single feat in the game, or any single 2nd level spell.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Andrew Christian wrote:
Jeff Merola wrote:
Teatime42 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.
But now you're getting +4 instead of -20 or worse.
Except that, mechanically, PtoP doesn't negate any penalties to using the bluff skill at all.

That's where being a reasonable GM and knowing the rules comes into play.

If I'm going to try to convince an astrology expert that some grouping of stars is the constellation Platypus, and he knows that grouping I'm pointing at is actually parts of two other constellations... that's going to be a nearly impossible bluff. That's a -20 to your bluff check.

But if I use Pageant of the Peacock and make a Knowledge (geography) check with my Bluff skill, I can convince him that I actually might know more about that grouping of stars than he does.

Bard: "So my friend, see those 5 stars right there? They are known as Platypus..."

Astrologer: "You friend are full of it. I happen to know two of those stars are actually Aroden's Staff and the other three are part of Calistria's Girdle."

Bard: "That may be so, and you would be correct, if you were not from the small nation of Sargava. In Sargava you see, they have this fearsome beast that is nigh unto a god to them, and they say he comes from the stars. Those 5 stars to be exact."

Pure poppycock... but the Bard was able to mitigate the -20 by making a Knowledge (geography) check with his Bluff skill, and got a +4 instead.

Sometimes mechanics can't all be laid out for you in a nice little package. Sometimes one has to extrapolate things.

Otherwise you get ridiculous things like being able to make 15 different checks for 1 rank with the equivalent of a feat or 2nd level spell. Something that is far more powerful than any single feat in the game, or any single 2nd level spell.

I'm not seeing that as anything but a chain of Bluff skills that you could do without PotP.


Jeff Merola wrote:
I'm not seeing that as anything but a chain of Bluff skills that you could do without PotP.

Without PotP you would do it without the +4 bonus though.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Lycar wrote:
Jeff Merola wrote:
I'm not seeing that as anything but a chain of Bluff skills that you could do without PotP.
Without PotP you would do it without the +4 bonus though.

Note that the +4 bonus in PotP is a separate part from the "can use bluff" part.

Shadow Lodge

And as has been mentioned earlier in the thread, you potentially do so without opposed Sense Motive checks. You can also potentially do so while inside a zone of truth or with an inquisitor discerning your lies. You could do so where a Bluff was otherwise impossible to further you goals to convince others of your station. In a roleplaying game, there's a ton of situations that distinguish this from "just using Bluff"...

Bard: "Of course I'm a noble, I'm an expert in fashion and jewels."

Noble: "Oh really? Which of these rings is the most valuable? Pick one of these five to prove it."

It's a DC20 Appraise check. Our bard doesn't have that, but they have Pageant.

Bard rolls Bluff instead of Appraise, gets a +4 bonus, hits DC20, puffs his chest and passes this noble's "test".

It's not the most outstanding bardic masterpiece ever invented. But then again, neither is a +4 circumstance bonus to disbelieve illusions, which is an example of another highly situational 2nd level performance.


Mark Stratton wrote:
Akerlof wrote:
So, what's the mechanical definition of "convince others of your breeding, eloquence and refinement?" Where's my "breeding" stat on the character sheet? What kind of check is that, what skill, what modifiers, what's the result? Also, you want us to remember this line, but you focus only on two words in the whole sentence. "Convince others" is directly referencing "of your breeding, eloquence, and refinement." What's that got to do with Intelligence-related checks?

The first part of the sentence sets the context in or for which the ability can be used. You are attempting to use the skill to "convince others of your breeding, eloquence, and refinement." And, the latter part of the sentence is the mechanical benefit for using the ability in that context to do that particular thing.

It's no different than races that get a racial bonus to X skill when attempting to do something specific. For example, dwarves get the following:

"Dwarves gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking."

Where is the mechanical definition of "unusual stonework"? There isn't one - only a couple of examples. And because the language says "..such as...", it implies there are other than beyond what is listed.

PotP is no different. The first part of the sentence establishes the condition(s) under which the mechanical benefit will apply. It's no different in that regard than the dwarven Stonecutting racial ability.

That's a great example, however I say that there is a crucial difference between Pageant of the Peacock and Stonecunning's wording:

Stonecunning wrote:


Stonecunning: Dwarves gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking.
Keen Senses wrote:


Keen Senses: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Pageant of the Peacock wrote:


Effect: By gracefully weaving your body through subtle forms and postures you can convince others of your breeding, eloquence, and refinement. For the duration of the effect, you gain a +4 circumstance bonus on Bluff checks, and may attempt a Bluff check in place of an Intelligence check or Intelligence-based skill check.

The subtle changes in your movements also confer a +4 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks to appear to be someone of a higher station (an aristocrat, merchant prince, or even a queen).

"+2 on perception checks to notice unusual stonework..."

"+2 racial bonus on Percepton checks."

"For the duration of the effect, you gain a +4 circumstance bonus on Bluff checks, and may attempt a Bluff check in place of an Intelligence check or Intelligence-based skill check."

Pageant of the Peacock is missing the equivalent of "to notice." That's what I meant when I said there are no conditionals on Pageant of the Peacock, it's worded like Keen Senses instead of being worded like Stonecunning. Yeah, "unusual stonework" is undefined so it's up to GM interpretation, I agree with that. That simply makes Stonecunning more vague than PotP.

Rudy2 wrote:


@Akerlof: And the point about the distinction between substituting bonuses (Versatile Performance) and substituting checks (PotP)?

1.) It's really hard for me to address that rule (or meta rule) without knowing what it is. Can you link it to me from the PRD, a FAQ, a Blog, a Dev Post, 3.5 rules post, or even d20pfsrd or archives of nethys so I can look at the actual wording?

2.) My counter example is Knock that doesn't just substitute a skill check for a skill check, but substitutes a completely different mechanic for a trained only skill check. I use Knock as an example because the general rules for Bardic Masterpieces said to compare a GM created masterpiece with a Cleric or Wizard spell that would be cast at the level the Bard became eligible for the masterpiece. In this case a 2nd level spell because that's the top level a Cleric or Wizard would be casting at 4th level, when the Bard becomes eligible for this masterpiece.

3.) Specific trumps general. Specific rules are allowed to break general rules: If I rule that a cavalier cannot wield a lance and a shield while mounted, I'm flat wrong even though the general rule says "you need two hands to wield a two-handed weapon." How does this distinction between substituting bonuses and substituting rolls prevent Pageant of the Peacock from overriding it? There's no way for me to know until you quote me the text of your rule.

5/5 5/55/55/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rudy2 wrote:
@Akerlof: And the point about the distinction between substituting bonuses (Versatile Performance) and substituting checks (PotP)?

That kind of hair splitting is likely to induce fission.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Jeff Merola wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Jeff Merola wrote:
Teatime42 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except that there's no bonus to the bluff check. You can already try a bluff check to pull that off.
But now you're getting +4 instead of -20 or worse.
Except that, mechanically, PtoP doesn't negate any penalties to using the bluff skill at all.

That's where being a reasonable GM and knowing the rules comes into play.

If I'm going to try to convince an astrology expert that some grouping of stars is the constellation Platypus, and he knows that grouping I'm pointing at is actually parts of two other constellations... that's going to be a nearly impossible bluff. That's a -20 to your bluff check.

But if I use Pageant of the Peacock and make a Knowledge (geography) check with my Bluff skill, I can convince him that I actually might know more about that grouping of stars than he does.

Bard: "So my friend, see those 5 stars right there? They are known as Platypus..."

Astrologer: "You friend are full of it. I happen to know two of those stars are actually Aroden's Staff and the other three are part of Calistria's Girdle."

Bard: "That may be so, and you would be correct, if you were not from the small nation of Sargava. In Sargava you see, they have this fearsome beast that is nigh unto a god to them, and they say he comes from the stars. Those 5 stars to be exact."

Pure poppycock... but the Bard was able to mitigate the -20 by making a Knowledge (geography) check with his Bluff skill, and got a +4 instead.

Sometimes mechanics can't all be laid out for you in a nice little package. Sometimes one has to extrapolate things.

Otherwise you get ridiculous things like being able to make 15 different checks for 1 rank with the equivalent of a feat or 2nd level spell. Something that is far more powerful than any single feat in the game, or any single 2nd level spell.

I'm not seeing that as anything but a chain of Bluff skills that you could do without PotP.

As a reasonable GM, I'm giving you a -20 for an impossible lie. I don't care how creative you get. There are just some people that aren't going to believe what you say unless you are impossibly good at lying.

Pageant of the Peacock allows you to mitigate that.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Andrew Christian wrote:

As a reasonable GM, I'm giving you a -20 for an impossible lie. I don't care how creative you get. There are just some people that aren't going to believe what you say unless you are impossibly good at lying.

Pageant of the Peacock allows you to mitigate that.

Your reasonable is my rewriting mechanics. Pageant of the Peacock says nothing about negating penalties.

Edit: I also wouldn't consider "No matter how creative you are some lies will always be impossible" to be reasonable GMing.


Pageant of the peacock allows someone to be Cliff Claven...they can spout off some BS about a subject that isn't remotely true and have people believe it. It doesn't make it a fact...just in the listeners mind. If the listener acts on this imperfect knowledge...well it's Darwinism at its finest


On a side note this isn't so much of an overpowered ability as it is of certain players who will take whatever class or class/archetype combo and break it so that it becomes overpowering and dominates the game. The easier thing to do is just say I will not GM a game with these players. If they fuss just tell them flat out that they ruin your fun and the other players and you refuse to shell out the cost of the scenario, your time, and other resources just so they can sour the game...just tell them to find another GM

Grand Lodge 4/5

I should clarify my position from above, since I was in a rush before and it's too late to edit it:
"I also wouldn't consider "No matter how creative you are some lies will always be impossible, but you can use this other ability that doesn't mention making impossible things possible to make it possible" to be reasonable GMing."


Akerlof wrote:
1.) It's really hard for me to address that rule (or meta rule) without knowing what it is. Can you link it to me from the PRD, a FAQ, a Blog, a Dev Post, 3.5 rules post, or even d20pfsrd or archives of nethys so I can look at the actual wording?

Sure.

Versatile Performance

Quote:
At 2nd level, a bard can choose one type of Perform skill. He can use his bonus in that skill in place of his bonus in associated skills. When substituting in this way, the bard uses his total Perform skill bonus, including class skill bonus, in place of its associated skill's bonus, whether or not he has ranks in that skill or if it is a class skill. ...

Pageant of the Peacock

Quote:
For the duration of the effect, you gain a +4 circumstance bonus on Bluff checks, and may attempt a Bluff check in place of an Intelligence check or Intelligence-based skill check.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Rudy2 wrote:
@Akerlof: And the point about the distinction between substituting bonuses (Versatile Performance) and substituting checks (PotP)?
That kind of hair splitting is likely to induce fission.

Clever, but I strongly disagree. It seems very apparent to me that there would be a difference between using a different bonus for a check, and making a different kind of check.


I'm just curious, Rudy2.

Do you also take great issue with Mindchemist Alchemists? My bard is optimized for Perform checks cause he's a rock star. He gets about +23 on Knowledge check with PotP. This is from a second spell slot, MW Instruments, Aasimar racial traits, crazy high Charisma, etc. My gunslinger/mindchemist at the same level gets easily upwards of +30 on maxed rank Knowledges and minimum +20 on single rank Knowledges. +3 bonus; +16 from base Int; +4 if my cognatogen is up. Also, at 26 Intelligence, he gets +12 skill points per level, far more than my Charisma-based Bard. What did I sacrifice to get such great Knowledges? Nearly nothing. My alchemist uses Explosive Missile with Targeted Bomb Admixture, Conductive Pistol and Kirin Style to drop up to 6x his Int modifier on bad guys as a standard action. He wants his Int high to make his combat build function. He has done almost nothing towards getting good knowledges other than a few piddly skill points. This is leagues less than the requirements for PotP.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

How do you double your Int bonus?


Uh... that's like 70 ranks of skill points that you spent on knowledge. That's not leagues less than what is required for PotP.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
How do you double your Int bonus?

It's the mindchemist archetype.


Walk me through your logic, because I'm not seeing a QED in what you quoted. What do the rules for Versatile Performance, a Bard class feature, have to do with Pageant of the Peacock, a Bardic Masterpiece performance?

I don't see how they're related, aside from keying off a perform skill in some way. Pageant of the Peacock says nothing about using the Versatile Performance class feature, it is not a prerequisite, you do not need to have chosen Versatile Performance: Act in order to use PotP, you could even take it on an archetype that trades out versatile performance. Versatile Performance is an Ex ability while Pageant of the Peacock is an Su ability, that right there says they're very different under the hood.


Rudy2 wrote:
Uh... that's like 70 ranks of skill points that you spent on knowledge. That's not leagues less than what is required for PotP.

At level 8 with 26 Int without Cognatogen or feats, a mindchemist would only need 4 ranks in each Knowledge check to equal PotP. There are 10 Knowledge skills. This is 40 skills points. A mindchemist with this Int would get +12 skill point per level, whereas an optimized PotP Bard would get +6 per level. The mindchemist would gain 96 skill points (56 after the ranks in Knowledges). The Bard would have 48 skill points, which is still less that the Mindchemist after the ranks in Knowledges.

Alchemist Requirements: High Int (+8), Mindchemist Archetype
[4 ranks + 3 bonus + 16 Int]

Bard Requirements: Equally High Cha (+8), Masterwork Instrument (+2), Aasimar Racial Variant (+2), Second Level Spell Slot (which gets obsoleted in three levels by Glibness)
[8 ranks + 3 bonus + 8 Cha + 2 MW + 2 Racial]

QED: You need less to be a Mindchemist than a PotP Bard. Also, the Mindchemist would still get 8 more skill points.

Also, you never answered the question. Do you take issue with Mindchemists since they more easily "abuse" Knowledge checks compared to PotP Bards?


@Akerlof:

I'm saying that people are assuming that PotP works the way that Versatile Performance does, and I don't think that's at all clear.

Versatile Performance says that you can take a bonus from one skill and use it in place of the bonus from another skill. So, if you're using Perform (Comedy) to make an Intimidate check, you're still making an Intimidate check. It still does everything an Intimidate check does.

In contrast, PotP says that you make a Bluff check in place of another skill check. My claim is that, if you make a Bluff check in place of a Knowledge check, you are by definition no longer making a knowledge check, you are making a bluff check. That's tautological, but I think the implication of this is that it therefore acts like a Bluff check, in terms of what it can and cannot do.


Rudy2 wrote:
... I think the implication of this is that it therefore acts like a Bluff check, in terms of what it can and cannot do.

Then, by your very logic, all Bluff modifiers would apply to these checks, e.g. Impossibility, which you have already stated as not applying.


@GM Bold Strider:

I'm not sure I follow your point. An Int-based class has more skill points? Uh... yes?

Regardless, your build is still more devoted to knowledge than you say, whether or not that is your primary purpose in the build. You picked an archetype which has the primary feature of doubling int bonuses to knowledge checks. Is it powerful? Of course, but you are locked into a specific archetype for it. It's a much narrower build.

PotP, in contrast, is something that a bard of any archetype can pick up, almost as an afterthought. It additionally has the downside of making no narrative sense, which matters more than I think people believe, when you're a GM trying to paint a captivating world.


GM Bold Strider wrote:
Then, by your very logic, all Bluff modifiers would apply to these checks, e.g. Impossibility, which you have already stated as not applying.

PotP, in this interpretation, removes the modifiers. That point has been made better by Andrew and LazarX, and I admit it's arguable.

The only crucial point to me is that the language difference between substituting a bonus, and substituting a check, is not an insignificant or trivial one. It's something that has to be taken into account.

Grand Lodge

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Right until you turn one of your performances say Perform (Oratory) into an INT based skill with the trait Clever wordplay (And take versatile performance with it)and then use Perform (Comedy) to emulate bluff and intimidate with Versatile Performance. Which then uses bluff to emulate all the INT based skills, including UMD since you also took the pragmatic activator trait.

So now you are making Perform (Comedy) checks for Perform (Oratory), Diplomacy, Bluff, Senese Motive, Intimidate, Appraise, Craft (Alchemy), Craft (Armor), Craft (Baskets), Craft (Books), Craft (Bows), Craft (Calligraphy), Craft (Carpentry), Craft (Cloth), Craft (Clothing), Craft (Glass), Craft (Jewelry), Craft (Leahter), Craft (Locks), Craft (Paintings), Craft (Pottery), Craft (Sculpture), Craft (Ships), Craft (Shoes), Craft (Stonemasonry), Craft (Traps), Craft (Weapons), Craft (Not listed in the CRB), Knowledge (Arcana),Knowledge (Dungeoneering),Knowledge (Engineering),Knowledge (Geography),Knowledge (History),Knowledge (Local),Knowledge (Nature),Knowledge (Nobility),Knowledge (Planes),Knowledge (Religion),Linguistics, Spellcraft,UMD and Intelligence Ability checks.

So you are using 1 skill for 41 skills (Not counting crafts not listed in the CRB) and intelligence checks for the low low cost of 1 second level spell slot, 2 traits, and 2 class features that are suppose to net you 1 extra skill each.

That my friends is the best joke ever told.


Himokl wrote:
Right until you turn one of your performances say Perform (Oratory) into an INT based skill with the trait Clever wordplay (And take versatile performance with it)and then use Perform (Comedy) to emulate bluff and intimidate with Versatile Performance. Which then uses bluff to emulate all the INT based skills, including UMD since you also took the pragmatic activator trait.

Holy cow. I never even thought of that. God... pure genius, pure evil. Glad I'll never have to deal with it.


Himokl wrote:
Stuff.

I'm not quite sure how that is really any different than just taking Oratory and Comedy as Versatile Performances and Pageant in the first place. You save +1 skill point per level at the expense of two traits. Sounds fine to me.


@GM Bold Strider: I think you're missing the fact that if Perform (Oratory) substitutes for Diplomacy, Bluff, Sense Motive, Intimidate, Appraise, Craft (ALL), Knowledge (ALL), Linguistics, Spellcraft and UMD, it's a lot more than saving one skill point a level. It means that a Skill Focus, for example, gives its bonus to all of those skills. That any bonus to perform is a bonus to all of those skills.

Holy hell, I can't get over the evil brilliance of that.


Rudy2 wrote:

@GM Bold Strider:

I'm not sure I follow your point. An Int-based class has more skill points? Uh... yes?

Regardless, your build is still more devoted to knowledge than you say, whether or not that is your primary purpose in the build. You picked an archetype which has the primary feature of doubling int bonuses to knowledge checks. Is it powerful? Of course, but you are locked into a specific archetype for it. It's a much narrower build.

PotP, in contrast, is something that a bard of any archetype can pick up, almost as an afterthought. It additionally has the downside of making no narrative sense, which matters more than I think people believe, when you're a GM trying to paint a captivating world.

Alchemists give up Poison Use/Mutagen to get Mindchemist archetype (and get Cognatogens). Poison Use, the least used Alchemist ability... Mindchemist is not a much narrower build. For the equivalent Bard you need a specific race and to expend a spell slot and spend Bardic Performance to activate.

And you inadvertently answered my question, you don't care that Mindchemists can overshadow others with Knowledges so well. So, then why do you care if Bards can?


It's not that I don't care. There are three reasons why I don't raise a fuss about Mindchemists.

One, there is zero ambiguity in them. There's nothing to argue about; everything about the knowledge bonuses there is 100% straightforward. I may choose to houserule it if I found it too overshadowing in a home game, but I wouldn't have a leg to stand on to try and do so in PFS.

Two, it makes perfect sense thematically and narratively, which is less disruptive when trying to maintain suspension of disbelief, and to create a narrative flow.

Three, it is narrower because you have to be a specific archetype. It's a good archetype, I'll grant you, but it's an archetype specifically designed to be good at knowledge checks. Any bard, regardless of race, can tack on PotP at very low cost. True, they won't be as good as your mindchemist, nor will they be as good as your bard if not optimized for it, but with nothing more than maxing the Bluff skill (or one of the Versatile Performance skills that can be used for Bluff), it is absurdly powerful for the cost (under your interpretation of it).

Four. There wasn't going to be a four until I saw Himokl's brilliantly evil plan. That. That's number four.

Grand Lodge

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Mindchemists are an Intelligence based class with an archetype to increase intelligence. They have the most skill points out of any class in the game. Pageant of the Peacock just invalidated there build 1/5th of its bonuses for virtually free. I tell a joke and presto I know the secrets to life, the universe and everything.

The combined information of every intellectual, craftsmen or tradesperson on Galorian can be out done by one guy telling apparently the best joke ever told all while swaying his hips. No need for universities, we have twerking comedians.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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DrakeRoberts wrote:
How would you specifically handle this ability at your table (both in how it would work mechanically, and if necessary, how you'd make sure that its use didn't ruin the fun of others)?

In terms of flavor, I'm imagining a Bard spouting off reasonable-sounding information, and the magic of Pageant influencing the bard so that it turns out to be right more often than not. In the same way that a cleric announces whether a possible course of action is a good idea, and is right more often than not, thanks to the magic of augury.

Mechanically, it looks like there's two different concerns going on in this thread: identifying monsters in combat, and substituting for a whole host of skills throughout the adventure.

I honestly don't think that using it for monster identification during combat is all that serious an issue. Using the Bardic Masterpiece takes a standard action, as opposed to using Knowledge (dungeoneering) or such. So, it allows a bard to announce things about the monster, after a standard action's worth of preening and posturing. And it turns out to be mostly correct. (Of course, that's what we expect from bards. They know stuff.)

The bard is also spending resources -- uses of bardic performance -- while her colleague with a lot of ranks in Knowledges can use them all day long. If the bard wants to spend three or four rounds of bardic performance during a scenario on pageant of the peacock, I'm okay with her getting some return on her investment.

In terms of dominating a table by running fough-shod over the Int-based Knowledge monkeys, I would make sure that the other PCs got an opportunity to shine. Maybe they'd know different things about the objects under study. Maybe they'd have better support for their positions. Mechanically, I'd follow the advice other people have already provided: If the wizard gets a Knowledge (dungeoneering) result of 21, and the bard gets a Bluff check of 31, I'd give the Wizard the information that a 21 entitles him to. And then I'd give the bard the additional information that she whipped up, and possibly one more "factoid" that she made up, which is just as plausible, but not correct..

When would I do that? When I think the bard is running rough-shod over her colleagues, and when I think the players at that table would enjoy it.

But in general, I think Akerlof has the heart of the situation. If somebody's using pageant of the peacock to dominate a table, the problem isn't with the Masterpiece.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Chris Mortika wrote:
The bard is also spending resources -- uses of bardic performance -- while her colleague with a lot of ranks in Knowledges can use them all day long.

Has a 5th level bard ever run out of uses for bardic performance? Its not exactly a common occurance. The number of knowledge checks you make in a day is not a significant drain compared to how many rounds of bardic performance they have.

Grand Lodge

When you have bards making knowledge checks well into the 50's at mid levels no one bothers making a knowledge check besides the bard or any skill check on that previous list or an intelligence check. It would be an exercise in futility. The local players around here opt to take 1's when they use the ability in an effort to have prolonged this discussion on the board. They KNOW it is insanely broken, and thus opt to roll a 1 so they only moderately out due everyone at the table whenever they use it.

The RAW of the ability is that it emulates a knowledge check, you can't just go handing out fake pieces of information to your players. That is a good way to get everyone pissed off.

You also need to use 1 round of bardic performance per 10 minutes using the ability so yeah not really a problem there.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Himokl wrote:
The RAW of the ability is that it emulates a knowledge check, you can't just go handing out fake pieces of information to your players. That is a good way to get everyone pissed off.

Oh, I hand out fake pieces of information to my players all the time, but, to be fair, I tell them I'm doing so.

"You just start talking about the thing, and random ideas spill out of your mouth. It's gray, so that suggests that it doesn't have blood anywhere, so it's an abomination, or aberration; something like that. All the multiple mouths are chattering at once, about all sorts of different things; we each hear them in our on native language, so there's some mental effects there, either causing confusion or perhaps some sort of interest to initiate dialogue. Maybe it affects the ground over which it glides. Maybe it flies, or burrows under the earth. There are dozens of eyes on the thing,rolling back and forth. They are all different shades, so it's identity isn't tied to them. It obviously sees in all directions, and probably with excellent Perception and darkvision."

If I have a table of players that can't get past that, then I wouldn't do it.

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