Which knowledge stat to identify classes / class abilities?


Advice


So with monsters there's nearly a dozen knowledge skills to help identify who they are and what they are capable of.
My problem is I feel like players should not automatically know what class a humanoid is nor their abilities.

While I can imagine perception is a good way to identify what a person is equipped with, it would not tell you their skills.
So far I can't identify which skill I should be using to identify classes?
Religion could cover clerics
Nobility would cover Paladins?
Dungeoneering for fighters?

Help and suggestions would be appreciated!


all humanoids and thus characters are under knowledge local


You are correct. There is no knowledge roll that will tell you what the guy walking down the street in front of you has as his class.

Racial abilities should be under Knowledge Local.

Class abilities should as well, but only if you have something to tell you what class that PC/NPC is, as many of them have no outward sign.

A guy in leathers with a rapier could be a bard, a rogue, a swashbuckler, a fighter, hell... even a barbarian.

Until you have something to guess at what "class" an individual is, there shouldn't even be a roll to get anything other than visuals.

For example, even once they enter a rage, you don't even know for sure what they are. They could be a ranger, a skald, a barbarian, a cleric, an inquisitor... so that level of knowledge check is probably not settled by a dice roll at all.

That said, religion to get an idea of what divine casters are capable of, arcana for arcane, etc. is reasonable.


(Flagged thread for being in the wrong forum. This is not a rules question).
I wouldn't allow a knowledge check to identify what class or what ability someone possesses.
If they saw it being used, I'd allow Local, History or Arcana: "You know of people in this area who adopt this tactic". Or: "You've heard of legendary knights with this ability, it's said to do something like this". Arcana is for spells and spell-like abilities.
But that's how I'd run my game. This is not a rule.


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I'd say this is very much a rules question, just not one that can be readily answered by the rules as written.

I could see various knowledge skills (KN: Nature to distinguish between rangers, druids and hunters; KN: Arcana to distinguish between Wizards, Sorcerers and Arcanists; KN: Local to identify martial classes and so on), Perception and/or Sense Motive be put to good use for this, but there is no hard answer. Best thing I can come up with is to post in Advice and/or Homebrew, see how other people handle it. :)


Indeed this does kinda boil over into the homebrew/advice questions section but I was hoping there was something in the rules that might help.

Kudaku's your suggestions above sound pretty good actually because ideally I'd like taking multiple knowledges useful (instead of boosting the already powerful Knowledge: Local/religion/arcana).

The other alternative I guess is simply using pure 20+int mod to work for players to identify things but that's no where near a elegant as having skills.


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There are no rules for identifying a class.


Depends.

I think you can identify a specific individual using knowledge local and extrapolate his/her class from what is known about them. Assuming local knowledge is correct and he/she is not a vigilante in secret.

General information is the key here, a pious person who is well known my be a cleric, a war priest, or an inquisitor, and known to cast spells of the divine sort....

The old healing woman outside of town maybe called a "witch" but she could just as easily be a druid or cleric, or even alchemist.


For a random person you know nothing about? You simply can't identify their class, level, or abilities with any knowledge skill. There just isn't any one thing that is specific enough to identify any one particular class/archetype because there is so much overlap with classes/archetypes and many abilities could easily appear to be the same.

Now, as suggested if you use knowledge local to learn about a person and what they've been observed to have done in the past you may be able to infer about their abilities and class, but you wont have concrete evidence ever.


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You can also use Gather Information from Diplomacy to learn about people.

Gather Information: You can also use Diplomacy to gather information about a specific topic or individual. To do this, you must spend at least 1d4 hours canvassing people at local taverns, markets, and gathering places. The DC of this check depends on the obscurity of the information sought, but for most commonly known facts or rumors it is 10. For obscure or secret knowledge, the DC might increase to 20 or higher. The GM might rule that some topics are simply unknown to common folk.

I think this would be more appropriate than a Knowledge check.

Scarab Sages

Bob_Loblaw wrote:

You can also use Gather Information from Diplomacy to learn about people.

Gather Information: You can also use Diplomacy to gather information about a specific topic or individual. To do this, you must spend at least 1d4 hours canvassing people at local taverns, markets, and gathering places. The DC of this check depends on the obscurity of the information sought, but for most commonly known facts or rumors it is 10. For obscure or secret knowledge, the DC might increase to 20 or higher. The GM might rule that some topics are simply unknown to common folk.

I think this would be more appropriate than a Knowledge check.

Depends on how much time the GM is willing to devote to in-game conversations. I think the above is intended represent an abbreviated social encounter within a town.

Instead, the GM could have several NPCs fully developed, where the players ask questions or use perception in order to gather information that allows relevant knowledge checks, which permit further questions and knowledge checks. So on and so forth.

If the GM is content with simplistic gather information, then I agree, diplomacy is the more appropriate skill for learning about class abilities.

You could still attempt knowledge checks regarding common abilities and loadouts of generic characters, as well individual abilities of celebrity characters.

For example, Knowledge history would be entirely appropriate for learning the common weapons and abilities of historic figures. You could also use Knowledge religion to learn the tenets common to a paladin of a specific deity.

Remember, Knowledge skill checks represent characters recalling information previously learned. So you can only take the check regarding things that you could have learned already from a book or teacher.


It ought to be possible to use a Knowledge or Profession check to identify things like fighting styles, but I don't know which one to use. Profession (Soldier), maybe?

Scarab Sages

Side note, you could always try asking the NPC, what their abilities are called or do.

Depending on how you go about it, you could probably get most NPCs to explain their own abilities, limitations, or other details. Most characters should be at least somewhat prideful in their own strengths. This would mean using social skills (or spells) to gain information.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

It ought to be possible to use a Knowledge or Profession check to identify things like fighting styles, but I don't know which one to use. Profession (Soldier), maybe?

Perhaps, but I don't think that would do anything other than identify when someone uses a combat style feat.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Actually, the brand-new Pathfinder Companion: Spymaster's Handbook has rules for identifying the use of class features and feats. It is called the Recall Intrigues use of the Knowledge skill.

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