Can we please get an FAQ on taking 10 on knowledge checks?


Rules Questions

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Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I have seen many a Player/DM look upon Take 10, and Take 20, as some kind dastardly form of cheating.

I am baffled, every single time.


Random! Dice! More random! That's how the game is meant to be...

or things


I am baffled by how many GMs tell me "You can't take 10 because there is a chance of failure!".

It makes me wonder what they think the "take 10" rule is for...


You can't take 10 when rushed or in the middle of combat. There is that. So, there's no middle of combat taking of 10 to identify monsters or bluffing to feint and so on.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

I remember doing Bonekeep II with a GM who wouldn't allow Take 10 on a Perception check. The 6 players tried to explain how Take 10 works, to no avail.

So we had to waste about 45 minutes of our time actually rolling dice for every square in the dungeon.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber
Malag wrote:

@wrath

What I am saying is, there is no need for FAQ because the rule is already written. You can take 10 on anything besides UMD. If the person can't see it, he is either unaware or deliberately ignoring it. FAQ might help in clarifying, but I doubt it will help that much. There is so many other things out there worth FAQ-ing instead. If you really believe that Knowledge skill requires special FAQ, then all other skills might require it also. It's as difficult to convince person that you can take 10 on social skills in the same way. Perhaps a general FAQ on take 10 should take place, not about Knowledge skill.

An FAQ would absolutely help. The problem is that right now it's not clear. The Bard ability leads many people to infer something they should not have inferred, and frankly, I don't blame them. An FAQ is about all that will fix it.

The GM that precipitated my current post changed his mind after seeing the James Jacobs post. So, clear evidence of a GM that will change his mind based on a clear statement from Paizo. But, again, the James Jacobs thread isn't supposed to be an official ruling source, and PFS requires official ruling sources. So, we need the FAQ.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Yeah, speaking as a rules-ignoramus, looking at the take ten rules and then the bard ability, I think that Bard sentence "clearly" implies (on it's face) that most people can't take ten on a knowledge check. You have to examine the rules pretty deeply to reach the alternate (presumably intended) meaning of that ability.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Buri Reborn wrote:

You can take 10. However, you can't retry a knowledge check RAW. So, over the course of a character's career, those checks should be tracked (your question and your result). Interestingly, here's everything a 10 intelligence (average) creature knows with a take 10:

  • Identify mineral, stone, or metal
  • Identify dangerous construction
  • Identify a creature's ethnicity or accent
  • Know recent or historically significant event
  • Know local laws, rulers, and popular locations
  • Identify a common plant or animal
  • Know current rulers and their symbols
  • Know the names of the planes
  • Recognize a common deity's symbol or clergy

That's a pretty well-rounded set of information basically gifted by the game to pretty much everyone.

The problem with it is if the character is magically transported to another solar system on a never before visited planet, they know all the same things immediately. I know nearly all GMs would not go for that, but those that follow RAW like law, it is the case.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Seeing the heated response to the SLA FAQ, I can just imagine the pitchforks if they decided to edit the knowledge skill and not the bard ability.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You do realize there is the always available +2 or -2 circumstance bonus, that a DM can apply to any roll, he sees fit?

Also, a DM can always just say "you don't know that".


Shar Tahl wrote:
The problem with it is if the character is magically transported to another solar system on a never before visited planet, they know all the same things immediately. I know nearly all GMs would not go for that, but those that follow RAW like law, it is the case.

The rules are not designed to handle the specifics of every single esoteric situation that you can imagine. If you want to run a game where the PCs have no knowledge of the monsters, customs, geography, or anything else in their location, you can always invoke the Rule 0 GM's privilege.

GM's that are slaves to RAW aren't likely to plop PCs into a brand new solar system anyways.

Sczarni

rknop wrote:
Malag wrote:

@wrath

What I am saying is, there is no need for FAQ because the rule is already written. You can take 10 on anything besides UMD. If the person can't see it, he is either unaware or deliberately ignoring it. FAQ might help in clarifying, but I doubt it will help that much. There is so many other things out there worth FAQ-ing instead. If you really believe that Knowledge skill requires special FAQ, then all other skills might require it also. It's as difficult to convince person that you can take 10 on social skills in the same way. Perhaps a general FAQ on take 10 should take place, not about Knowledge skill.

An FAQ would absolutely help. The problem is that right now it's not clear. The Bard ability leads many people to infer something they should not have inferred, and frankly, I don't blame them. An FAQ is about all that will fix it.

The GM that precipitated my current post changed his mind after seeing the James Jacobs post. So, clear evidence of a GM that will change his mind based on a clear statement from Paizo. But, again, the James Jacobs thread isn't supposed to be an official ruling source, and PFS requires official ruling sources. So, we need the FAQ.

I can actually perfectly understand the need for FAQ if it's PFS games that we are talking about. GMs are usually expected to abide the rules there.

Shadow Lodge

thejeff wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Yes it's an abstraction, but if you want to say that taking 10 leads to a good representation of common knowledge you should consider the limits of that representation and in context of the current discussion why that limitation leads some people to believe that you shouldn't take 10 on Knowledge checks.
I wouldn't say it leads to a good representation of common knowledge. I'd say it leads to a useful abstraction for letting players know what their characters know when it comes up in game.

Buri said it was a good representation of common knowledge, and that's why I replied to him in my first post on the subject (and why my secon post primarily responded to his).

I normally really appreciate being able to assume PCs know anything with a DC of 10+skill modifer - I can prepare a summary of what they know when encounteringa subject without asking for checks, and can write up background info for them based on their skills and backstory. Likewise it's good to know that the sage with a +10 Knowledge (History) can answer the PCs' DC 20 question about the MacGuffin.

On the other hand, I feel like there are some questions which aren't necessarily difficult but are a bit odd and I prefer those to be somewhat random regardless of DC - I roll for whether NPCs know them and as a player I roll to see if I know it even if I could take 10.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here's another point in favor of allowing the players to take 10:

Story-telling.

If your players roll badly on their knowledge checks, they may never know the significance of this plot point or that item. They may never know about these NPCs who are related to each other and how their past has lead to the current situation. They may never find the local inn or tavern, because they failed their Knowledge: Local check and now must wander up and down the lone street in your little hamlet because you thought it would be interesting to have the inn be in someone's basement for plot reasons, and you required the players to beat a DC 5 to know about, but of course they all failed because they're level 1 and the dice hate them. You can plan as much back-story and depth to the environment as you want, but if your players never hear about it, all that effort was wasted. Either that or you have to bring out the Deus Ex Machina of having an NPC pop up and "conveniently" explain things that the PCs should already know about.

I absolutely understand having DC 20 secrets that they have to ferret out, but if the DC is 10 or less, just give it your players as soon as it's relevant or as soon as they ask. Untold material may as well be nonexistent, because most groups only play through your story once. Sure, you can rob the unused bits for another story, but the story you just shared will have been leaner and less interesting for its absence.

Scarab Sages

I always felt that the main benefit of the lore master take 10 ability is that he can do it anytime anywhere. Hanging upside down by your Halfling foot hair in the middle of battle? Sure, go ahead.


Cuuniyevo wrote:

Story-telling.

If your players roll badly on their knowledge checks, they may never know the significance of this plot point or that item. They may never know about these NPCs who are related to each other and how their past has lead to the current situation. They may never find the local inn or tavern, because they failed their Knowledge: Local check and now must wander up and down the lone street in your little hamlet[...]

I often tell my players to use the "take 10" rules, but for what you said, if they just rolled badly, they still can search for more informations, using the diplomacy skill.

If you don't beat the knowledge skill, you still can "reroll" with a diplomacy check to directly find the answer, or to ask for someone who might know (you can even make a knowledge skill to try to find that person).

It can take time, but it's the price for rolling badly or not investing enough points I suppose.


Shar Tahl wrote:
The problem with it is if the character is magically transported to another solar system on a never before visited planet, they know all the same things immediately. I know nearly all GMs would not go for that, but those that follow RAW like law, it is the case.

Technically true. However, that's far from the average commoner. ;)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Weirdo wrote:

Yes it's an abstraction, but if you want to say that taking 10 leads to a good representation of common knowledge you should consider the limits of that representation and in context of the current discussion why that limitation leads some people to believe that you shouldn't take 10 on Knowledge checks.

With a -1 or -2 penalty you make a DC 10 check about half of the time (on an 11 or 12). The jump from 100% grasp of common knowledge to 50% grasp with a point or two of intelligence difference seems more than "a little spotty" to me, but it's possible that a lot of common knowledge is actually lower than DC 10 so that's not too bad.

Looking at the population at large, about 1/3 of humans are intelligence 9 or 8 (assume average array of 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13), a little fewer after the racial +2 or age adjustments. That means about 10-15% of people will fail to know each "common knowledge" DC 10 fact. Overall that sounds plausible for me.

The issue is the DC 11 fact, which only those who specifically study the field know. There are a lot of things that are known by between 1% and 85% of the untrained population and information in that category is poorly represented by the current rules.

Access to libraries doesn't account for this because you only get the benefit of the library when actually referencing it. If I'm sitting around on the beach without an internet connection and we started talking about WW2 I can tell you that Hitler rounded up gays and communists in addition to Jews and that the USA put Japanese-Americans into camps, and it's not because I consciously made a decision to research those facts. I just picked them up over time - which is what a Knowledge check is expected to represent. And I'm pretty sure I don't have ranks in Knowledge (History) given how many basic questions in that field I can't answer.

To some extent knowledge of these things is random. That provides a reason why a GM might not feel it makes sense to take 10 on a Knowledge check, even if we're not immediately...

As thejeff said, it's an abstraction to represent what fantasy characters know without special training. Like any of the game abstractions it begins to fall apart if you pick at it, just like turn based combat does.

Comparing the Knowledge system with modern humans' knowledge is only useful to a point. The Knowledge skill is meant to abstractly represent the information available to people in a fantasy setting. Modern real world people in a first world country have a much broader education and ready access to the internet, which dramatically increases the amount of general knowledge we have. Even without looking things up there is a lot of stuff we know from having looked it up before, that without the easiness of the internet we might not have bothered.

Honestly if I were to convert Pathfinder to a modern setting I would allow all Knowledge DCs to be rolled untrained to represent our education system and the results of the internet.


Buri Reborn wrote:
Which, some classes have features (as quoted earlier), can. But, those are special cases.

All most of these exceptions really do, is to automatically roll a 20. Their class feature would require 20 times the time to use otherwise.

Shar Tahl wrote:

Problem Text:

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.

The implication here with this specific situation is that normally it is not allowed.

Implication is not RAW but RAI. At no point does this class feature change the Take-10 rule. It does override the Take-20 rule by allowing you to do it despite the general rule indicating Take-20 not allowed. It also changes the time needed for the Take-20 action.

Is this what they intended? Probably not.

/cevah


Cevah wrote:
Buri Reborn wrote:
Which, some classes have features (as quoted earlier), can. But, those are special cases.

All most of these exceptions really do, is to automatically roll a 20. Their class feature would require 20 times the time to use otherwise.

Shar Tahl wrote:

Problem Text:

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.

The implication here with this specific situation is that normally it is not allowed.

Implication is not RAW but RAI. At no point does this class feature change the Take-10 rule. It does override the Take-20 rule by allowing you to do it despite the general rule indicating Take-20 not allowed. It also changes the time needed for the Take-20 action.

Is this what they intended? Probably not.

/cevah

Wouldn't "Any" Knowledge skill check means you can take 10 during combat,rush,distract too? I think that count as changing the Take-10 rule.


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Thine is permitted to taketh a ten on checkeths of knowledges.

"What thine of ye bard?" Youeth asketh?

"Are youeth a bard? Nay? Then his rules doth not concern ye!"

So sayeth AM DEVELOPER.


Cleru wrote:
Cevah wrote:
Buri Reborn wrote:
Which, some classes have features (as quoted earlier), can. But, those are special cases.

All most of these exceptions really do, is to automatically roll a 20. Their class feature would require 20 times the time to use otherwise.

Shar Tahl wrote:

Problem Text:

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.

The implication here with this specific situation is that normally it is not allowed.

Implication is not RAW but RAI. At no point does this class feature change the Take-10 rule. It does override the Take-20 rule by allowing you to do it despite the general rule indicating Take-20 not allowed. It also changes the time needed for the Take-20 action.

Is this what they intended? Probably not.

/cevah

Wouldn't "Any" Knowledge skill check means you can take 10 during combat,rush,distract too? I think that count as changing the Take-10 rule.

"Any" in this case means "all" as in you can have any of the cookies you want, meaning you can choose any one you want without limit. It does not mean that you can do it at any time. As an example saying you can have any cookie you want does not mean that you can have said cookie when it is past your bed time. However tomorrow you can still select any cookie you wish, but within a certain limitations(not in combat).


Cevah wrote:
Is this what they intended? Probably not.

Um, what? Look at the context.

_Ozy_ wrote:
You can't take 20 because you can't retry a knowledge check.


Cevah wrote:
Implication is not RAW but RAI.

Incorrect. Explicit or implicit writing means nothing as to whether or not it is RAI.

Imply: involved, indicated, or suggested without being directly or explicitly stated; tacitly understood.

Implication still relies on what is written. Both explicit meaning and implicit meaning are matters of RAW. The problem is that people arrive at a conclusion that isn't implied but call it implied. But this is not one of those cases. The line clearly states that Lore Master allows the Bard to take 10 on any Knowledge skill check that he has ranks in. So, "I'm in combat, can I take 10 on this Knowledge check?" "Yes, because Lore Master says you can take 10..." "I'm running across a collapsing bridge, can I take 10 on this Knowledge check?" "Yes, because Lore Master says you can take 10..." Now, whether or not RAI agrees with either explicit or implicit RAW is another discussion altogether.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kazaan wrote:
Cevah wrote:
Implication is not RAW but RAI.

Incorrect. Explicit or implicit writing means nothing as to whether or not it is RAI.

Imply: involved, indicated, or suggested without being directly or explicitly stated; tacitly understood.

Implication still relies on what is written. Both explicit meaning and implicit meaning are matters of RAW. The problem is that people arrive at a conclusion that isn't implied but call it implied. But this is not one of those cases. The line clearly states that Lore Master allows the Bard to take 10 on any Knowledge skill check that he has ranks in. So, "I'm in combat, can I take 10 on this Knowledge check?" "Yes, because Lore Master says you can take 10..." "I'm running across a collapsing bridge, can I take 10 on this Knowledge check?" "Yes, because Lore Master says you can take 10..." Now, whether or not RAI agrees with either explicit or implicit RAW is another discussion altogether.

This is the heart of the problem, and it can be clearly seen where you stand and you can't see why it's not being misunderstood (from the previous attack on the literacy of GMs who disagree). Be aware though, that there is a chance you could be wrong in your interpretation. The other side of the coin is the chance that the Knowledge skill is the one needing the amendment to remove take-10 and that the take-10 rules for combat would still apply to the bard.


Shar Tahl wrote:
This is the heart of the problem, and it can be clearly seen where you stand and you can't see why it's not being misunderstood (from the previous attack on the literacy of GMs who disagree). Be aware though, that there is a chance you could be wrong in your interpretation. The other side of the coin is the chance that the Knowledge skill is the one needing the amendment to remove take-10 and that the take-10 rules for combat would still apply to the bard.

Of course there is a chance I could be wrong in my interpretation. But it doesn't change the fact that this is the most reasonable interpretation given the facts available. If presented with new facts, I will adjust accordingly. But what I have presented is what the rules currently say. If the intent is different, it is Paizo's responsibility to change the relevant rules to more accurately reflect their intent.


Buri Reborn wrote:
Cevah wrote:
Is this what they intended? Probably not.

Um, what? Look at the context.

_Ozy_ wrote:
You can't take 20 because you can't retry a knowledge check.

And I wrote:

It does override the Take-20 rule by allowing you to do it despite the general rule indicating Take-20 not allowed.

That is, specific overrides general. No retry is the general rule that is overridden.

/cevah

Paizo Employee Official Rules Response

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Answered in FAQ

FAQ wrote:

Lore Master Bard Ability and Taking 10: Can I take 10 on Knowledge checks? The Knowledge skill doesn’t say I can’t, but if that's true, the first half of the lore master bard ability doesn’t do anything.

Yes, you can. The lore master bard ability should add to the end of that first sentence “even when threatened or distracted.”


There you have it folks.


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I seem to recall that was the consensus like 3 years ago when this came up before, huh.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It has been the majority community thought on the matter, from the last couple threads. Though the ability to take 10 in combat for knowledge checks is pretty weak compared to the other way this ruling could have gone with taking knowledge 10's being unique to bards.

The Exchange

Cheapy wrote:
I seem to recall that was the consensus like 3 years ago when this came up before, huh.

Consensus represents the majority viewpoint. It doesn't prevent a vocal minority from continuing to advocate an opposing view.

On that note I kinda wish this FAQ had addressed the other "take 10" class feature that some posters are passionate about - whether the Skill Mastery Advance Rogue Talent allows you to take 10 on UMD checks. Would be nice to reduce the list of contentious skill questions to "how long does a perception check take."

Paizo Employee Designer

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Belafon wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
I seem to recall that was the consensus like 3 years ago when this came up before, huh.

Consensus represents the majority viewpoint. It doesn't prevent a vocal minority from continuing to advocate an opposing view.

On that note I kinda wish this FAQ had addressed the other "take 10" class feature that some posters are passionate about - whether the Skill Mastery Advance Rogue Talent allows you to take 10 on UMD checks. Would be nice to reduce the list of contentious skill questions to "how long does a perception check take."

Logan managed to get in some helpful text for that last one into one of the Unchained skills section, since he had to rewrite a bunch of skill text anyway, if I recall correctly. Yay Logan!


I dunno. If you do use take 10 in combat, and you've been putting a rank a level in, that means you'll always be aware of what a creature is, as long as they are super rare or have a CR more than 1.5x your level.

And then you don't have to sigh when you make your character use a lightning attack against that giant mass of vines and slime just because your character doesn't know better and you rolled a 2 on your Knowledge (nature) check.


Oh yea, I was pretty happy with finally defining how much space you could search. I recall that was one of Jiggy's original crusades, although I think that takes backseat to his current one.


Belafon wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
I seem to recall that was the consensus like 3 years ago when this came up before, huh.

Consensus represents the majority viewpoint. It doesn't prevent a vocal minority from continuing to advocate an opposing view.

On that note I kinda wish this FAQ had addressed the other "take 10" class feature that some posters are passionate about - whether the Skill Mastery Advance Rogue Talent allows you to take 10 on UMD checks. Would be nice to reduce the list of contentious skill questions to "how long does a perception check take."

FAQs tend to address what is asked. That rogue talent would need its own FAQ.

As for the perception check I dont know what you mean. I never knew that was in contention. What I have been debated is what counts as an immediate threat to prevent taking 10.

Paizo Employee Designer

wraithstrike wrote:
Belafon wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
I seem to recall that was the consensus like 3 years ago when this came up before, huh.

Consensus represents the majority viewpoint. It doesn't prevent a vocal minority from continuing to advocate an opposing view.

On that note I kinda wish this FAQ had addressed the other "take 10" class feature that some posters are passionate about - whether the Skill Mastery Advance Rogue Talent allows you to take 10 on UMD checks. Would be nice to reduce the list of contentious skill questions to "how long does a perception check take."

FAQs tend to address what is asked. That rogue talent would need its own FAQ.

As for the perception check I dont know what you mean. I never knew that was in contention. What I have been debated is what counts as an immediate threat to prevent taking 10.

It generally goes something like this (note that the Taking 10 is not important in the question): "Can a character with +40 perception who takes 10 or rolls a 10, search a ~283,000 square foot field covered in hay for a well-concealed needle (DC 20 Perception check to find) as a single move action." Last time I saw the question, there was plenty of debate on both sides, since the rules in the CRB accidentally left out what the area is, which is viewed by a fair number as intentionally stating that there is no limit.

But let's take that to its own thread if you like, rather than threadjacking more here!

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

Thank you for the faq on the Knowledge Take 10! Hopefully that will settle things for the future.


I had at least one PFS GM throw the bard ability at me as a reason why I could not T10 on k. checks. Now that has come to an end.

Amen on the FAQ.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Bizamm.

I feel bad, because as happy as I am, all I want to do is waggle this FAQ in front of a certain person.

In person.

And dance.

I guess I can be shallow sometimes.

I am sorry. :(

Grand Lodge

At last, my players shall have no excuse for their characters to not know the absolute basics of the campaign setting!

*Dances with blackbloodtroll*

Scarab Sages

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Bizamm.

I feel bad, because as happy as I am, all I want to do is waggle this FAQ in front of a certain person.

In person.

And dance.

I guess I can be shallow sometimes.

I am sorry. :(

It can be hard to make that will save, but just remember sometimes the FAQ cuts the other way. Gloat at others as you would be gloated on to yourself. That being said if you can take some gloating potentially coming your way in the future go ahead.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I won't actually do it.

I am glad to see one of the easy one's answered though.

No unwritten rules here. :)


Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

Answered in FAQ

FAQ wrote:

Lore Master Bard Ability and Taking 10: Can I take 10 on Knowledge checks? The Knowledge skill doesn’t say I can’t, but if that's true, the first half of the lore master bard ability doesn’t do anything.

Yes, you can. The lore master bard ability should add to the end of that first sentence “even when threatened or distracted.”

And there was much rejoicing!


Cool missed this last night. It's always nice to get a FAQ you agree with.

Silver Crusade

So this pretty much means, that everyone with out a negative intelligence knows everything that can be known with a DC 10 knowledge check.

I am glad to have a FAQ for this, could potentially get a little bit complicated when PCs ´have the chance to learn about enemies outside of combat with something like gloves of reconnaissance.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Don't forget the DM's trusty +2 or -2 Circumstance Bonus/Penalty!

Maybe that 10 is just enough, or just not enough.


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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

So this pretty much means, that everyone with out a negative intelligence knows everything that can be known with a DC 10 knowledge check.

I am glad to have a FAQ for this, could potentially get a little bit complicated when PCs ´have the chance to learn about enemies outside of combat with something like gloves of reconnaissance.

Yeah, but that leads to the question, "What can be known with just a DC 10 Knowledge check?"

- Recognize a rock, mineral, or metal (dungeoneering). So a 10-Int character knows what iron or gold looks like without a second thought, just so long as he isn't distracted.
- Recognize an accent or ethnicity (geography). So a 10-Int character could recognize a French accent.
- Identify dangerous construction (engineering). "Wow, that bridge hardly looks stable."
- Know about recent or historically significant events (history). Read the newspaper recently? Paid attention to grandpa's stories about the War? Great, you probably have at least a 10 in Intelligence.
- Know local laws, rulers, and popular locations (local). Hard to imagine in our own time people knowing laws and politicians, but things were simpler in the cultural time-frame that Pathfinder is predicated upon.
- Identify common plant or animal (nature). Congrats, you know what a dog or an oak tree is.
- Know the names of the planes (planes). You know that a place called "Hell" exists. You don't necessarily know that Devils come from Hell while Demons come from The Abyss; they're all just "Fiends" to you.
- Recognize a common religion's symbol or clergy (religion). You know a cleric of Saranae when you see them.
- Identify a monster's abilities or weaknesses (varies, CR < 1). You know what an Orc can do. A Ghoul or a Gnoll or a Wolf, however, is too complicated.

I'd say this is pretty reasonable "given" knowledge for an Int 10 character (most common yokels likely have <10 Int). Also, as BBT added, circumstance bonus/penalty applies.

Liberty's Edge

Excellent summary.

You'll also know some particularly common monsters of up to CR 5. Likely bears, lions, and other things of that nature common to your area.


Identifying a common plant or animal is different from identifying abilities or weaknesses. It's a DC 10 check to see a bear and know that it's a bear. It's DC 9 to know a single fact about what a bear can do (ie. its natural weapons, its potential HP, etc), presuming bears are common foes for you. This might vary based on the profession and background of the character. For a woodsman, Bears are likely a common threat to deal with and a 5+CR check. But for a city-dweller, it'd be a normal 10+CR check. If you grew up and lived in a village near a forest, Bears might be considered a common threat. If you lived in a desert, not so much. Oddly, in the case of the Bear in this case, if you had only 8-9 Int and a bear is considered a common foe for you, you might see a bear and know what it can do (DC 9), but not what it's called (DC 10). It's just a big snarly animal that can attack with its claws and bites.

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