A New Skill: Knowledge (Warfare)


Homebrew and House Rules


1 person marked this as a favorite.

At the moment wizards can pretty much know about every single monster in existence thanks to having a high INT score. Knowing what dr a creature has, or if it can paralyze or drain you are pretty critical abilities and as it currently stands only wizards can reliably do this. Having to wait for the wizard sucks as a fighter, so I'm proposing a new skill to help even the playing field: Knowledge (warfare).

Knowledge (warfare) checks would be used to recall information on common tactics used by certain groups/races/creatures, famous battles, famous soldiers and identify a monster's combat abilities and weaknesses. This reduces the "must have" nature of knowledge (arcana), knowledge (Dungeoneering), knowledge (nature), knowledge (planes) and knowledge (religion) and help depower a wizard's skill points by boosting the other classes.

Knowledge (warfare) would be a class skill for clerics, fighters, Paladins and Rangers (possibly bards and druids?). A wizard could still have ranks in it of course, and with 18 INT the wizard will still equal an INT 13 fighter and by level 8 would surpass him.

To that end I would suggest giving fighter's a new class feature to complement the new skill. It could replace bravery if desired.

Combat Lore: Starting at 2nd level, a fighter gains a +1 bonus on Knowledge (warfare) checks. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

What do people think?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think it's a very good idea.
I've used my own version for some time (different name).

I don't usually apply it to typical 'small-scale' adventure type battles. I figure knowledge about a particular monster/race and their tendencies would be more appropriate in that case.
But for large units and armies going at it, finding strategic terrain, siege warfare, placement of troops, as well as logistics (supply lines),it provides insight/bonus.

Another knowledge I felt was missing is 'Streetwise'.
The flip-side of 'Nobility', it applies to street smarts or "etiquette" in the slums or shady areas of urban settings. Knowledge of criminal organizations, guilds, and where might be the best person/place for a quick loan, fencing goods, etc.


Just spitballing here, but what if you folded those functions into Knowledge (History) and then gave fighters that aforementioned class feature that gave them a huge boost to Knowledge (History) when recalling knowledge about warfare (as well as making it a class skill)?

A lot of those functions sound like they could be part of History, and it's not like that skill is really doing a lot.


Ventnor wrote:

Just spitballing here, but what if you folded those functions into Knowledge (History) and then gave fighters that aforementioned class feature that gave them a huge boost to Knowledge (History) when recalling knowledge about warfare (as well as making it a class skill)?

A lot of those functions sound like they could be part of History, and it's not like that skill is really doing a lot.

My bard disagrees


It's not a bad idea, really. I always thought there should be more knowledge based skills, anyway.

I have two houserules that would work with this:

1. Every class gets two more skill points per level than stated in the class description and

2. A character can choose to sacrifice a language slot for a new class skill. Of course adding this to the fighter's base skill set doesn't require the sacrifice of a language slot, but it could be handy for certain other classes.

I would propose starting it at 4th level with a +1 to the check,then every 4th level after that, to a final +5 at 20th level. For most of the Fighter's list of abilities, the 4th, 8th, 12, 16, and 20th levels don't get many add on abilities. This would help boost those levels a bit.

EDIT: This is how I wrote it up for my homebrew setting:

Knowledge: (Warfare)
Knowledge (Warfare) is a new class skill for Barbarians, Cavaliers, Fighters, Paladins, and Rangers. Knowledge (Warfare) checks would be used to recall information on common tactics used by certain groups/races/creatures, famous battles, famous soldiers and identify a monster's combat abilities and weaknesses. Fighters get a +1 bonus to this skill beginning at 4th level and increasing by +1 every 4 levels afterward.


In Inner Sea Intrigue I believe, these rules already exist and are covered by Knowledge (local).
Could also be Spymaster Handbook.


But for those of us who don't possess that book it's a pretty good houserule. What does it say about this?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
But for those of us who don't possess that book it's a pretty good houserule. What does it say about this?

Yeah, posting "book X has something that's really helpful" isn't really helpful for those of us who don't have it (second time this has happened). So long as it's OGL (which most mechanics are) it's all good to repost the material (although common courtesy says to wait 1 month before doing so for new releases).

The only thing I can find is:

Quote:

Recall Intrigues (Knowledge)

Source PPC:SpyHB

You can identify feats and the class features of various classes with successful Knowledge checks when you observe the feats or class features being used.

Check: You can attempt a skill check to identify a feat or class feature when you observe it in use, similar to how Spellcraft can be used to identify a spell. The feat or class feature must have some observable effect in order for you to attempt the Knowledge check. For example, you can’t see the internal determination of Iron Will, so this ability can’t identify that feat. In general, if a feat or class feature creates a noticeable effect (such as the extra attack from using Cleave) or has a variable modifier a character must choose to use (such as Arcane Strike, Combat Expertise, or Enlarge Spell), it can be identified. If it creates a static bonus (such as Dodge or Lightning Reflexes), there’s no telltale sign to give it away.

The Knowledge skill required to identify a feat or class feature varies depending on the type of feat or class feature to be identified and is outlined in the Recall Intrigues (Knowledge) table above, along with the DCs of such skill checks.

But this isn't really anything special as far as I can tell. Spellcraft has always been able to determine spell in effects. I'm assuming some skill would let you identify power attack, lightning reflexes, etc. But that's not really the same thing.

What I've done is said "Wizards get this really important ability to know the combat abilities of all monsters in the game at no meaningful cost. I'm giving fighters (and other classes) the same equally important ability, at a similar cost."

PodTrooper wrote:

Another knowledge I felt was missing is 'Streetwise'.

The flip-side of 'Nobility', it applies to street smarts or "etiquette" in the slums or shady areas of urban settings. Knowledge of criminal organizations, guilds, and where might be the best person/place for a quick loan, fencing goods, etc.

Knowledge (local)? Seems a similar but not quite the same ability. Alternatively Profession (beggar) or Profession (Thief) could apply if you use the expanded skills rules from Pathfinder Unchained.

Ventnor wrote:

Just spitballing here, but what if you folded those functions into Knowledge (History) and then gave fighters that aforementioned class feature that gave them a huge boost to Knowledge (History) when recalling knowledge about warfare (as well as making it a class skill)?

A lot of those functions sound like they could be part of History, and it's not like that skill is really doing a lot.

I'm wary of making history even more important than it currently is. It could just be the type of games I run, but outside of monster identification, knowledge (history) is probably used equally often compared with the other knowledges.

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
A character can choose to sacrifice a language slot for a new class skill. Of course adding this to the fighter's base skill set doesn't require the sacrifice of a language slot, but it could be handy for certain other classes.

Oh I like that a lot.

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I would propose starting it at 4th level with a +1 to the check,then every 4th level after that, to a final +5 at 20th level. For most of the Fighter's list of abilities, the 4th, 8th, 12, 16, and 20th levels don't get many add on abilities. This would help boost those levels a bit.

Depends what other house rules/optional rules you're using for the fighter. If you're using stock standard fighter, than yeah that could definitely be a good spot to add it (I was roughly aiming for the levels a wizard is likely to get an INT boost while also replacing bravery with it).

DungeonmasterCal wrote:

Knowledge: (Warfare)

Knowledge (Warfare) is a new class skill for Barbarians, Cavaliers, Fighters, Paladins, and Rangers. Knowledge (Warfare) checks would be used to recall information on common tactics used by certain groups/races/creatures, famous battles, famous soldiers and identify a monster's combat abilities and weaknesses. Fighters get a +1 bonus to this skill beginning at 4th level and increasing by +1 every 4 levels afterward.

Looks good to me. Although I'd probably replace "soldiers" with "warriors".


Not a bad idea. Thanks!

EDIT: I'm glad you like my idea of replacing a language slot with a new class skill. My players like the idea, but I don't think I've ever posted anything about it here on the forums.

Silver Crusade

Neat ideas, everyone!

Back in my days of Rolemaster, I had added a skill named "Mythology" which essentially was identifying creature traits.

Game on!


I think for something like what you're describing, Knowledge (Tactics) would be the better name for it...


Ready to have your mind blow'd? Here is an idea for an alternative skill system: Concept skill packages. Basically, you take a class's skill list and make it a level +1-2 check with appropriate ability mods. This lets a PC make a check that should be relevant to a situation even if the skill (like knowledge: tactics) isn't easy to express. If there is a skill group offered through multiclassing then offer them based on the multiclass level.

Sure prestige classes that require skills to qualify will need tweaking, but that is a silly pre req anyway. On the flip side, you have more classes being able to act in more scenes in more varied ways.

About knowledge: tactics specifically though, it's cool and flavorful, but it seems like a niche skill that has diminishing returns. This may help.
- tactics + int to plan an assault or ambush
- tactics + wis to determine tactics used against you
- tactics + chat to bluff or convince someone to go along with a plan
- tactics + str/dex to feint instead of bluff (?)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
John Lynch 106 wrote:

At the moment wizards can pretty much know about every single monster in existence thanks to having a high INT score. Knowing what dr a creature has, or if it can paralyze or drain you are pretty critical abilities and as it currently stands only wizards can reliably do this. Having to wait for the wizard sucks as a fighter, so I'm proposing a new skill to help even the playing field: Knowledge (warfare).

Knowledge (warfare) checks would be used to recall information on common tactics used by certain groups/races/creatures, famous battles, famous soldiers and identify a monster's combat abilities and weaknesses. This reduces the "must have" nature of knowledge (arcana), knowledge (Dungeoneering), knowledge (nature), knowledge (planes) and knowledge (religion) and help depower a wizard's skill points by boosting the other classes.

Knowledge (warfare) would be a class skill for clerics, fighters, Paladins and Rangers (possibly bards and druids?). A wizard could still have ranks in it of course, and with 18 INT the wizard will still equal an INT 13 fighter and by level 8 would surpass him.

To that end I would suggest giving fighter's a new class feature to complement the new skill. It could replace bravery if desired.

Combat Lore: Starting at 2nd level, a fighter gains a +1 bonus on Knowledge (warfare) checks. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

What do people think?

We have been using this as our house rules for some time. Modified a bit this year after some help from the board fine tuning:

Knowledge Skill:

There is a total of thirteen knowledge skills with an addition of Military, Occult, and Monster Lore. See below for specifics.

Knowledge Skills:

Arcana
1) No longer identifies spellwork, spell effects. These have been moved to spellcraft checks.
2) Magical components, history, traditions, writing, symbols, rituals, and afflictions.
3) Identifies dragons, constructs, and magical beasts.
4) Astrological information

Dungeoneering
1) Identifies underground creatures and oozes/slimes/fungus.
2) Underground civilizations, folklore, history, geography, minerals, and other resources.
3) Underground survival and recognizing hazardous conditions.

Engineering
1) Technological, Architectural, and Mechanical subjects.
2) Building of structures and underground complexes.
3) Identify constructs, robots, and mechanical creatures.
4) Identify how a trap works (not locate or sense a trap).

Geography
1) Read and amend maps.
2) Identify humanoids and monstrous humanoids.
3) Identify lands, cultures, agriculture, and weather.
4) Astronomical information

History
1) Strengths and weaknesses of historical figures, monsters of historical significance or ancient myth (eg dragons).
2) Historical events, figures, and locations.

Local
1) Local customs, laws, organizations, rumors, leaders, trouble makers.
2) Locations of importance.
3) Identify humanoids.

Military
1) Military history, hierarchy, traditions, tactics, and logistics, including siege equipment.
2) History of battles, major engagements, and wars.
3) Military races.

Nature
1) Identify animals, fey, monstrous humanoids, plants.
2) Weather, agriculture, Druidic traditions, fey lore, lands of the First Realm.
3) Identify fresh water and edible plants.

Nobility
1) Noble lineages, heraldry, traditions, and history.
2) Laws, diplomacy, court gossip.

Occult
1) Identify aberrations and ancient outsiders, undead, alien lifeforms.
2) Identify strange rituals, cults, and practices.
3) Summoning of creatures, Great Old Ones, Outer Gods, and similar creatures.
4) Obscure religions and practices. Apocalyptic history/myth.
5) Psychic magic, lore, components, properties.
6) Languages, symbols, runes and texts tied to these items.

Planes
1) Myth, history, and properties of the planes.
2) Outsiders not related to gods or religions.
3) Summoning, Possession, banishment of outsiders.

Religion
1) Identifies undead, outsiders associated with Gods and religion.
2) Religious folklore, symbols, customs, rituals, history, materials, and writing.
3) Astrological information
4) Identifies magical afflictions (curses, possession, lycanthropy)

Monster Lore
1. Identify monsters.
2. Lore, stories and legends of monsters.
3. Special powers and vulnerabilities

SD


I'd like to do an in-post bump for "^^" to get some feedback towards it.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Homebrew and House Rules / A New Skill: Knowledge (Warfare) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Homebrew and House Rules