Question: Varril the Inquisitor


Pathfinder Adventure Card Society


Thanks to a fellow player I heard about this character and examined his abilities. One in particular allows him to use his Divine Skill in place of any skill.

It does have limits, such as Varril not having the Arcane Skill and so Arcane spells are automatically banished without any skill to substitute his Divine skill for.

For closing locations and finding items that would be very useful as a jack-of-all-trades. However there is a potentially crippling flaw in the battle performance as the character doesnt have much in the way of Melee, Ranged, or spells for attack.

My question is as part of a combat check and using weapons can you replace the relevant skills with the Divine or are weapons incompatible?

I thought about it and I think its intended to so that you can use weapons in conjunction with the ability so it becomes "reveal this card to use [divine] skill +[whatever]". Its fair as you do have to pay a cost to do so.

Im looking for confirmation as this one detail determines whether the character can even fight.

Silver Crusade 5/5

I believe there is still some controversy on this issue, but basically it was ruled that for a combat check, the "listed skill" is whatever skill you are using for the combat check. So if you're using a ranged weapon, Dexterity or Ranged is the listed skill, and Varril can recharge a card to use Divine in place of either Dexterity or Ranged,


I think it is clear and uncontroversial that Varril can fight.

Eliandra is right. Vic says here:

Vic wrote:

We don't have the exact wording down, but the ruling will be something like this, at the end of "Determine Which Skill You're Using" (Wrath p. 12):

Anything that refers to "listed skills" for a check includes the skills specified by the card itself and, if the card specifies Combat, the skill that you're using for combat. So if a card specifies a check as Combat 9 or Charisma 6, and you're using your Melee skill for the combat check, the listed skills are Melee and Charisma.

It is, however, true that Varril banishes Arcane spells after playing them.

The controversy around Varril is about whether the check retains the trait of the originally listed skill or if that trait is replaced by the Divine trait. (So: Varril is making a Dexterity 9 check; he uses his power to use Divine instead; is this a Dexterity/Divine/Wisdom check or a Divine/Wisdom check?) This is unresolved.


Unfortunately that creates another question.

Requiring the Arcane Skill to recharge arcane spells is more clear. Varril doesnt have the Arcane skill so there is nothing to substitute. the Banishment takes precedence.

But what about skills like Disable device? as you can use your divine skill "for any listed skill" it seems like you dont need to the required skill so long as you can actually roll.

Silver Crusade 5/5

That is correct. You do need to be able to discard ([]recharge) a card though.


I'm puzzled by the question. I've told you what a listed skill is. Are you now asking, if Disable is a listed skill, does Varril have to actually have the Disable skill, in order to use his Divine skill instead?

Not sure why you would ask that. If it is a listed skill, Varril can substitute his Divine skill for it. Nothing says he has to have the originally listed skill.


ChaosTicket wrote:

Unfortunately that creates another question.

Requiring the Arcane Skill to recharge arcane spells is more clear. Varril doesnt have the Arcane skill so there is nothing to substitute. the Banishment takes precedence.

But what about skills like Disable device? as you can use your divine skill "for any listed skill" it seems like you dont need to the required skill so long as you can actually roll.

In case you are not aware, each character can attempt any skill check, but unless the skill is listed on the character card, your skill is a flat 1d4.

So you can always attempt a disable check, but unless your character has disable listed on their card, you only have 1d4 (prior to playing cards like blessings and the like). The same holds true for any arcane check - you can always attempt it, but your base will only be 1d4 since its not on your card.

The recharge check for arcane spells is different in that you don't get to attempt that check in the first place - the reason being that spells explicitly care if the skill is on your card or not. As far as I know, the recharge checks for spells are the only cards in the game that ever care if you have a skill on your character or not. Unless they ask explicitly for you to have a skill, you can always attempt a check.

In all other cases, the existence/abscence of skills on your character is just for determining if you have the basic 1d4 or higher, and not whether you can attempt a check or not.

And like elcordude said above, you can use the power on every check that you get to attempt, so it doesn't matter if you have the skill or not.

Is that more clear?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Doppelschwert wrote:
As far as I know, the recharge checks for spells are the only cards in the game that ever care if you have a skill on your character or not.

You're not wrong, exactly, but what you're saying isn't as accurate as it was in Rise of the Runelords.

In RotR, cards that could be recharged after playing them had a box labeled "Recharge," which would say things like "Succeed at an Arcane 8 check to recharge this card instead of discarding it," and the rules that explained how this box worked said "if you don’t have at least one of the skills listed for the check, you cannot attempt to recharge the card." So in Runelords, if you didn't have the Arcane skill, you couldn't attempt that recharge check because the rules said so. It was, as you suggested, the one exception to the rule that if your character doesn’t have a skill listed for a check, you can use a d4 for that skill.

After Runelords, though, we got rid of that recharge box, and spells would instead say things like "After playing this card, if you do not have the Arcane skill, banish it; otherwise, you may succeed at an Arcane 8 check to recharge this card instead of discarding it." So now, the reason that you don't get to attempt the check isn't exactly because you don't have the skill—it's because your lack of the skill means you have to to banish the card before you would even get to the check. This allowed us to eliminate the exception, so now if your character doesn’t have a skill listed for a check, you can always use a d4.

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