Masterwork Tools


Pathfinder Society

1/5

What masterwork tools are allowed in Society play? Obviously the specifically named ones like Masterwork Thieves Tools, Alchemist Lab, Healer's Kit, and Climbers Kit are allowed. But what about the generic masterwork tool?

tool, masterwork wrote:
Tool, Masterwork: This well-made item is the perfect tool for the job. It grants a +2 circumstance bonus on a related skill check (if any). Bonuses provided by multiple masterwork items do not stack.

Someone spends 50 GP on a fake mustache as a MW tool for Diplomacy. Can a GM decide that that is silly and deny the benefit of the tool? Or is the fact that he has the tool is enough and the form is irrelevant?

Silver Crusade 2/5

The section of the PRD on Ultimate Equipment has this to say:

Masterwork Tools:

MASTERWORK TOOL
Price 50 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This tool is perfect for its intended job. It grants a +2 circumstance bonus on a related skill check (if any). The bonuses provided by multiple masterwork items do not stack.
Several common items already count as masterwork tools for particular skills. These are the alchemist's lab, climber's kit, disguise kit, healer's kit, masterwork musical instrument, and masterwork thieves' tools. Therefore, there is no masterwork climber's kit, masterwork healer's kit, and so on—those items are already the best available for general checks with the relevant skill.
Some skills have no appropriate tool or masterwork tool—no nonmagical item exists that grants a bonus for all uses of that skill. For example, just because a certain perfume is favored by local nobles (granting a +2 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy checks to influence them) doesn't mean that perfume has the same effect on a member of the thieves' guild, a foreign berserker, or a medusa. Likewise, just because a fake beard woven by dwarves out of the beards of famous dwarves may grant a +2 circumstance bonus on Use Magic Device checks to emulate the dwarven race doesn't mean the beard has any effect on using that skill to activate elven items or paladin items, or to decipher a written spell.
Individual GMs may want to allow masterwork tools for other skills at the listed cost. The circumstance bonus for such a tool should never be more than +2. The tool should either have a limited number of uses (such as the disguise and healer's kits) or only apply to certain aspects of the skill (such as the balancing pole's bonus on Acrobatics checks to traverse a narrow surface or the magnifying glass's bonus on Appraise checks for detailed items).

edit: added link

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thorin is talking about the Masterwork Tool from the CRB, which is much less restrictive than the one from Ultimate Equipment.

Mike Brock summed up the PFS stance as "don't abuse them".

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Utah—Lehi

My understanding is that Ultimate Equipment replaced the CRB Masterwork Tool and that the CRB version doesn't exist anymore. Given that, I would say that the fake mustache should be limited in use somehow by the UE guidelines.

The Mike Brock post you linked to was before Ultimate Equipment.

As far as whether the mustache is silly...I personally think it is. As long as the UE limits are respected, though, I try to be lenient and/or helpful when this sort of thing comes up. Suggest an appropriate limit for a fake mustache (works only in Taldan cultures maybe?) or recommend a different idea.

For 50g, that fake mustache better look REALLY good...

4/5

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thorin001 wrote:
Someone spends 50 GP on a fake mustache as a MW tool for Diplomacy. Can a GM decide that that is silly and deny the benefit of the tool?

Yes the GM can decide that the circumstance bonus doesn't apply in that circumstance.

Grand Lodge

The Only Star wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Someone spends 50 GP on a fake mustache as a MW tool for Diplomacy. Can a GM decide that that is silly and deny the benefit of the tool?
Yes the GM can decide that the circumstance bonus doesn't apply in that circumstance.

Of course this relies on the player not just assuming that they get to use the modifier and including it in the check without asking the GM.

In my experience, a lot of players don't bother asking if the bonus from a masterwork tool can be applied and just take it.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Nathan Goodrich wrote:
My understanding is that Ultimate Equipment replaced the CRB Masterwork Tool and that the CRB version doesn't exist anymore.

That's not how Pathfinder Society works.

People often assume that a newer source replaces the older one, but that's simply not stated anywhere.

Someone might own just the CRB, and not Ultimate Equipment.

Or you could be playing CORE.

The message to take to heart is "don't game the system".

Silver Crusade 5/5

Nefreet wrote:


The message to take to heart is "don't game the system".

While I generally strongly agree with the sentiment, in the specific case of Masterwork tools this has always bothered me

Why in heck would my skill monkey NOT come as close to "A masterwork tool for every occasion" that he, in world, can? In the real world professionals DO pay a lot of money for the right tools, it is one thing that differentiates the professional from the amateur.

In deference to Mike I try and not take it to TOO much of an extreme and only buy tools for skills the character REALLY cares about. But (for example) my Know it alls certainly carry a small library with then (+2 to all knowledge checks as long as they have time to consult their books) and I've rarely seen a GM object.

And lets face it, a +2 circumstance bonus usually isn't a huge deal.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm of the opposite view.

I'm the one that pays 800gp for that Ioun Stone that grants a +2 competence bonus on any one skill. You can even switch it once a day.

For Knowledges, there's a stone for 200gp that grants you just +1.

And then there are items that grant +5, but usually for ~5,000gp.

Paying 50gp for a +2 stackable circumstance bonus makes me feel like cheating. I'll usually do it just once, and just for something to boost my Day Job (or that Handle Animal harness), but never more than that.

To do so, for me, would violate the spirit of what Mike Brock ruled.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Oh. Although I do love Thistledown's "Masterwork Tool - Ninja Suit - +2 Stealth". It weighs just 2 pounds, making it one of the lightest "outfits" out there.

I chuckle a bit everytime I think about it.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Nefreet wrote:


Paying 50gp for a +2 stackable circumstance bonus makes me feel like cheating.

So your argument is primarily that a MW tool is too cheap?

Not unreasonable. But many of the most powerful tools are CLEARLY legal (thieves tools, instruments in the hand of a bard, etc). And in PFS I have the choice of paying 50 gp or not getting the perfectly reasonable in world tool.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Nefreet wrote:

Oh. Although I do love Thistledown's "Masterwork Tool - Ninja Suit - +2 Stealth". It weighs just 2 pounds, making it one of the lightest "outfits" out there.

I chuckle a bit everytime I think about it.

If it keeps him from wearing a haramaki commando i'm all for it.


My understanding of the PFS rules is that you can only buy MW items if they are specifically listed in the game rules and you own a copy of the rules. So a character can buy a set of Pathfinder Chronicles from ISWG to help with his knowledge checks if he owns this book but otherwise not.

The contradiction between the CRB and UE puts it squarely in the grey zone and I can see table variation.

Silver Crusade 5/5

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Masterwork tools are in the Core Rulebook

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

anyone not living on the boards can, in good faith, drop 50 gp on a masterwork item, put the number on their character sheet, and fuggetabout it.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
anyone not living on the boards

Hmm checks her home address.

Nuts. Why did I move here again? The wolf howls at night, and the neighbors keep me up way too late.

Hmm

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

5 people marked this as a favorite.

The rum.

4/5

Mwk tool for perform(dance) : a Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance outfit? Or maybe tap shoes?

Shadow Lodge

Nefreet wrote:
I'm the one that pays 800gp for that Ioun Stone that grants a +2 competence bonus on any one skill. You can even switch it once a day.

Slightly off-topic, but I've had to point out that you can only switch that skill at a specific time of the day to multiple people...

Cracked Magenta Prism Ioun Stone wrote:
Cracked: This stone grants you a +2 competence bonus on checks with any one skill you choose, and you can change the skill modified once per day, as a normal magenta prism ioun stone.
Magenta Prism Ioun Stone wrote:
This stone grants you a +2 enhancement bonus to any one ability score of your choosing. The selected ability score can be changed only once per day at a time unique to each stone (typically sunrise or sunset). A stone attuned to a specific ability score maintains that attunement until changed at the specified time of day, regardless of how long it has remained unused or how many times it changes hands.

So you can't just switch what skill it applies to when you go to make the check; you have to anticipate what skill you're going to need it for in advance.

"Oh, I guess we're going into this adventure without anyone who specializes in Perception, so I guess I'll switch my ioun stone to that."

not

"I need to roll a Bluff check as part of this conversation I'm having right now? I haven't switched my ioun stone today, I'll switch it to Bluff to make this lie extra believable."

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

Nope. It's always gone.

Hmm

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

{moustache as MW tool for Diplomacy} it all depends on whether the person you are talking to respects the moustache. 8^{) . . . {hard to get that moooustache right}

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Stephen Ross wrote:
{moustache as MW tool for Diplomacy} it all depends on whether the person you are talking to respects the moustache.

:)

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Stephen Ross wrote:
{moustache as MW tool for Diplomacy} it all depends on whether the person you are talking to respects the moustache.
:)

:{)

Shadow Lodge

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Serisan wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Stephen Ross wrote:
{moustache as MW tool for Diplomacy} it all depends on whether the person you are talking to respects the moustache.
:)
:{)

+1 interwebs

4/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

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So can you wear a moosetache to get a +2 bonus to Handle Animal with large animals?

---

On a more serious note, if you would allow a MW Tool for the skill in question, don't know of a different specific MW Tool, and they have followed the guidelines then allow it.

Some characters are going to be more silly than others. Don't disallow the tool just because you don't think it is funny.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BretI wrote:

So can you wear a moosetache to get a +2 bonus to Handle Animal with large animals?

---

On a more serious note, if you would allow a MW Tool for the skill in question, don't know of a different specific MW Tool, and they have followed the guidelines then allow it.

Some characters are going to be more silly than others. Don't disallow the tool just because you don't think it is funny.

a good rationale for the item working is that like the thieves tools it's a kit: it's not one perfume bottle it's a selection of perfume froms around the world. Its' not a moosestach its a box with a moostache, cat whiskers, and big floppy ears if you want to be king of the rabbits.

Grand Lodge

I have a character that has a masterwork skateboard, he calls it a "wheel board" and most gm's let me take a +2 on acrobatics when trying to jump a long distance on even terrain with a 20 foot run-up, I think the key to masterwork tools is making them very specific, the moustache for instance might only help while making diplomacy checks against nobility, or maybe only other moustached npc's that recognize your exceptional moustache as a sign of greatness... i think that specificity is the purpose of the masterwork tool, basically a way for the creators to allow you to cover specific situations that are not foreseeable.

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

Or the mustache only works on nobles of a particular nation as that type of mustache is in style there

Sovereign Court 5/5

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That is going to be some mustache.

The MW tool is listed as one pound...

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

Muse. wrote:

That is going to be some mustache.

The MW tool is listed as one pound...

It's got to be an epic 'stache if it's going to help Diplomacy

Also that could include a case for it.

Grand Lodge

For a fake mustache to assist in diplomacy with those who would respect well grown facial hair, shouldn't a disguise check be required to ensure that it looks real?

I really don't like that essentially players just say "I spent 50 gold so I get +2 to this skill from now on" Because if they aren't checking with the GM each time they use the skill (or at least talking to the GM about it once to discuss what sort of checks they can apply it to), that's exactly what they are doing. Obviously some people feel that that's right and proper, but I don't think that was ever the intent of the campaign coordinators when they allowed these items.

Personally I like that players can come up with creative masterwork tools, but it should be REQUIRED that they declare their use to the GM and that the GM approves it's use.

Grand Lodge 2/5

dwayne germaine wrote:
The Only Star wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Someone spends 50 GP on a fake mustache as a MW tool for Diplomacy. Can a GM decide that that is silly and deny the benefit of the tool?
Yes the GM can decide that the circumstance bonus doesn't apply in that circumstance.

Of course this relies on the player not just assuming that they get to use the modifier and including it in the check without asking the GM.

In my experience, a lot of players don't bother asking if the bonus from a masterwork tool can be applied and just take it.

If they've specialized their masterwork tool as they're supposed to, then they shouldn't need to ask--they should already know if it applies or not. I have "masterwork stirrups" that only help with mounting/dismounting (to hit that dc 20 fast mount/dismount check). Why on earth would I ask the GM "if I'm allowed to" when I probably know more about the rules than he does and give him the chance to say no (when there really isn't grounds to say no other than "I don't like masterwork tools") and/or slow down the game by asking?

Silver Crusade 5/5

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claudekennilol wrote:
Why on earth would I ask the GM "if I'm allowed to" when I probably know more about the rules than he does and give him the chance to say no (when there really isn't grounds to say no other than "I don't like masterwork tools") and/or slow down the game by asking?

Because the player doesn't get to decide the rules, the GM does. You've been around long enough to KNOW that there are rules that player A thinks are crystal clear but GM B thinks are ambiguous or crystal clear but different than what player A thinks they are.

It doesn't matter how "clear" you think the rules are, the GM gets to decide.

Note, I'm talking about in general so PLEASE don't make an impassioned argument for your interpretation of stirrups (which I agree with, btw, just for the record).

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

claudekennilol wrote:
dwayne germaine wrote:
The Only Star wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Someone spends 50 GP on a fake mustache as a MW tool for Diplomacy. Can a GM decide that that is silly and deny the benefit of the tool?
Yes the GM can decide that the circumstance bonus doesn't apply in that circumstance.

Of course this relies on the player not just assuming that they get to use the modifier and including it in the check without asking the GM.

In my experience, a lot of players don't bother asking if the bonus from a masterwork tool can be applied and just take it.

If they've specialized their masterwork tool as they're supposed to, then they shouldn't need to ask--they should already know if it applies or not. I have "masterwork stirrups" that only help with mounting/dismounting (to hit that dc 20 fast mount/dismount check). Why on earth would I ask the GM "if I'm allowed to" when I probably know more about the rules than he does and give him the chance to say no (when there really isn't grounds to say no other than "I don't like masterwork tools") and/or slow down the game by asking?

Because there are times when the masterwork tools aren't applicable and you can't use them? On top of that too if you have a ridiculously high score you might just end up slowing down the game equally when the GM asks where you got such a high modifier.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

I doubt that the +2 bonus is the dividing line between GM asking or not how his skill is a +X.

Scarab Sages 3/5

man, i wish i could get some masterwork tools (they'd be great for knowledge monkeys) but the VC keeps telling me it's just an add on to existing items :(

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

Wouldn't a masterwork tool for a Knowledge skill need to be regarding a single subject per tool? I don't see how a single too could help with every Knowledge Local check

5/5

crashcanuck wrote:
Wouldn't a masterwork tool for a Knowledge skill need to be regarding a single subject per tool? I don't see how a single too could help with every Knowledge Local check

The Pathfinder Chronicles do just this but they take a few rounds to use.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

crashcanuck wrote:
Wouldn't a masterwork tool for a Knowledge skill need to be regarding a single subject per tool? I don't see how a single too could help with every Knowledge Local check

Well, if you can print a book like the Inner Sea World Guide in a relatively skinny book in the real world, it stands to reason that someone could cram a broader amount of information into a bigger book without the various limitations that go along with having to include character options and deities and avoiding specifics of their adventure hooks so there are still new adventures to be written.

That's closer to geography, really, but the same thing applies to other knowledge skills.

Remember, Golarion knowledge is not as well-developed as it is in the 21st century, so while a particular book might not be the single definitive source, it could still have something interesting to say on most subjects of general interest.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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In PFS where the opinion of the GM can change at every table without time to adjust, I pretty much think masterwork tools should just work and leave it alone. I have too many opportunities already to argue about discretionary rules without quibbling about a +2 bonus to a skill check

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Thames Valley aka chris manning

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its not just a +2 bonus to a couple of skill checks. I have seen players with up to a dozen masterwork tools, automatically adding that bonus in EVERY situation without ever discussing it with the GM. Especially in combat..

5/5

Chris Manning wrote:
its not just a +2 bonus to a couple of skill checks. I have seen players with up to a dozen masterwork tools, automatically adding that bonus in EVERY situation without ever discussing it with the GM. Especially in combat..

Hey now, I rarely have more than 3 or 4. I do tend to buy a lot of pathfinder chronicles but they never get used in combat due to the time needed to consult them.


Chris Manning wrote:
its not just a +2 bonus to a couple of skill checks. I have seen players with up to a dozen masterwork tools, automatically adding that bonus in EVERY situation without ever discussing it with the GM. Especially in combat..

As it stands this is covered by the don't abuse it clause. Talk to the player look at the character and come to an agreement.

If some one is playing a Halfing with Well-Prepared and Brilliant Planner I'm inclined to let them have as many tools as they want.

If someone is playing a fully optimised teleportation wizards maybe 25 tools is over doing it a little.

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