Feats to enhance role play / social skills


Advice


So, my GM has instituted a new house rule that seems to be beneficial to everyone. At every even level, we are able to pick up an extra feat, however that feat must primarily serve to enhance the characters social skills or role play. This is being done so that we are encouraged to take feats that we would not normally consider due to tight restrictions focused in combat. The feat CANNOT have a primary function or benefit for combat. Crafting feats are considered a benefit to the character’s overall combat ability and are not included in the feats we can take. Feats that boosts skills are kind of in the middle, but are allowed.

Anyway, my request for advice would be perhaps a list of decent “social” feats that people would invest in given the same opportunity. Skill focus and the few feats that boost two skills (like persuasive) are a given.

Thank you


Then he's not giving you extra feats. EVERY 'social skill' has an in-combat effect or potential benefit.

ASSUMING that he simply means that things like Dazzling Display is off limits, though, go to the General Feats page and search either Intimidate, Diplomacy, or Bluff. Some of the third party content has some interesting stuff, too.

As an oddity, check with him and see if stuff like the Magnum Opus would be considered viable here.


I addressed that issue in my original post. The feats can not have a direct/primary function in combat. They are to encourage role play, not combat. They can influence battle, but any clever player can do that with anything. They are still bonus feats and can help combat oriented class (like the fighter) develop means to solve challenges outside of combat.

My goal is not to get a list of all the feats I could take, merely what other people would consider taking if given access to the same houserule. Also, we don’t play with third party material. We have enough rules to support what we need. None of us wants to learn another system.


Depends entirely on what I was trying to do. I mean, it's just like building a mage or a fighter, there's gotta be a considered course of events. You looking to be an ambassador? Famous for something? Looking to maximize your profits on rare and interesting loot? Take over country without anyone knowing there's been a coup?


Well, in my instance, I am playing Strange Aeons and the character is a Shaman (Nature/Waves) from the Land of the Mammoth Lords. Variant Multiclass Barbarian (think like Rage Prophet). His powers stem from (roleplay/fluff) from Tundra and Glacier spirits. He is married to another character (played by my wife) that is a Bloodrager VMC Bard (think like skald, but no magic). They left their home because they were treated like outsiders and seek to make names for themselves elsewhere. Fame, fortune, glory, etc, etc. They worship Gorum.

As of right now, they have no over arching goals except to recover their missing memories. We’ve both take story feats relating to regaining our memories. I’ve taken persuasive. I am looking to be more of a support role, using hexes and spells to protect the party (his wife most of all). Any useful social feats that steer in that direction can be useful.


Rhetorical Flourish is good for making requests of people, such as when trying to track down information.

Voice of the Sibyl is another booster.

Couple I like for your general shape of things.


Story feats come to mind. Most of them are combat based, but there're a lot cool non-combat feats. Actually, there're a lot of non-combat feats. the problem is that most times people simply have never used them and don't know them for reasons you stated yourself. I advise you to just go through the list, look at the ones with a cool name and pick one you like.


Cosmopolitan makes two int/wis/cha based skills class skills and gives proficiency in two languages.

Additional Traits to take traits that make skills class skills.

Cunning for an extra skill point per level.

Dilettante gives a +2 bonus to knowledge skills you have 2-5 ranks in.


I do like the idea of giving free non-combat feats. I did it as well when I was a DM. Maybe you can look back at what happened in the campaign and convince your DM to take a feat based on what your character would have learned.


Additional Traits definitely comes to mind. Can really help develop the character. Gorum has some cool traits, like Strong Heart, that can be beneficial and can be worked into the back story for the character. If they both take the Tight Bonds trait, and the Soul Mate feat, you have a pretty good back story that benefits both characters.

Cosmopolitan is really good.

Anything that gives you knowledge skills as class skills.

And Cunning is awesome to take early as possible.

The trick is to get enough ranks in each of the main knowledge skills to use the Cunning weapon enchantment... I mean, to be really knowledgeable in social role play situations.

Look at the X to Y conversions, because even though you are getting free social feats, there's no reason not to get as many things based on your primary combat stat.

Persuasive is good.

Also, you can focus on things like Sleight of Hand, because it's use is not combat focused.


So, why feats? I'm sorry to derail this thread, but I'm having trouble finding feats that don't also apply to combat, unless they're skill focus types.

Why not give the PCs Traits? Even if they're combat-focused the benefits are usually insignificant. In the meantime you could use Traits to add extra class skills, gain niche abilities like using tools from your Profession or Craft skills as weapons, etc.

Anyway, if you're looking for non-combat focused Feats, I like Feats that give you a Familiar or the ability to cast 0 level spells. These powers, while having some application to combat, just provide you with choices that can ALSO be more social/roleplay focused.

For example gaining a 0-level spell usable 3/day from Arcane Talent, you could choose either Open/Close or Prestidigitation to help with a stage act as an Escape Artist type performer. If you gained a Familiar on the other hand, said helper could instead be given the Sage archetype and instead of being a scout or combat buddy, they could boost your PCs Knowledge skills or, at higher level play, lend Aid Another bonuses to Diplomacy.


Actually, speaking of traits and main stats, Clever Word Play is an interesting trait... One Charisma-based trait uses your intelligence mod. Which is useful for, say, an extraordinarily intelligent character with a 7 charisma who is, nevertheless, a terrifying S.o.B... Literally, since that particular character of mine is a wolf.


Zarius wrote:
Actually, speaking of traits and main stats, Clever Word Play is an interesting trait... One Charisma-based trait uses your intelligence mod. Which is useful for, say, an extraordinarily intelligent character with a 7 charisma who is, nevertheless, a terrifying S.o.B... Literally, since that particular character of mine is a wolf.

Actually I want to build a Sage archetype Familiar with this trait. You get a wizard with a raven on their shoulder who, over time, becomes more and more intelligent, and therefore better and better at dazzling folks with his intellectual banter. Over time I want the Familiar to be the diplomacizer of the group, using it's own growing Int, a +8 boost from one of its master/mistress Feats, a +1 Trait bonus to Diplomacy, and so on. You can also have the wizard crafting Int items for the bird that give it added languages or magic items to allow it to speak in tongues.

Plus, how fun would it be to roleplay two stuffy intellectuals arguing with each other (wizard and Familiar) in character! "Actually Roland, I believe doors of this type were crafted in the Age of Darkness by the dwarven clans who later refused the sunlit lands and became the Duergar." "Surely you're going senile in your elder years Baldazar. The cold-iron gilding is clearly an indication of the door's more recent construction during the Feybane Wars, when dwarves of the surface world began including the material in protecting their vaults against the burgeoning onslaught of mites, gremlins and other..."

*SMASH!*

"Throgg hate door. Door gone. Throgg's wordy friend and bird go first this time!"


I think Throgg and I would get along just fine, sir. You paint a fun picture.


The entire concept is based on a fallacy. Character social skills do not equal role playing.

Grand Lodge

Pretending your character is articulate and convincing with 5 cha and no diplomacy also does not work. The game still has rules as to how the world works.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thorin001 wrote:
The entire concept is based on a fallacy. Character social skills do not equal role playing.

And your addition to this thread is ... what, exactly? The sole reason for these bonus feats is to give us a chance to use feats that would never normally be taken, as combat rules all in most games. This has actually shown an increase in our enjoyment and ability to engage in social challenges in the game, especially with more confidence and enthusiasm.


You could use any of the social feats as a baseline and homebrew some customized feats that would work well for your character and submit them to your GM for approval :)

For example, if you wanted something like Voice of the Sybil but it didn't entirely fit with how you'd like to use it, you could switch it to "Voice of the <insert anything>" and now it does +1 intimidate, sense motive, and Perform (oratory) skill checks. If you have 10 or more ranks in one of these skills, the bonus increases to +3 for that skill. You do not get these bonuses if you do not use your voice when using the skill (such as using Intimidate to demoralize in combat).

Submit it to your GM and see if he'll run with it :)


Animal Call, Secret Language, Confabulist, Persuasive Bribery or Rhetorical Flourish could be fun. Babble-Peddler for a gnome would be too fun to pass up. I would have them start with a 1 cp item and see how high I could trade it up.


DeathlessOne wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
The entire concept is based on a fallacy. Character social skills do not equal role playing.

And your addition to this thread is ... what, exactly? The sole reason for these bonus feats is to give us a chance to use feats that would never normally be taken, as combat rules all in most games. This has actually shown an increase in our enjoyment and ability to engage in social challenges in the game, especially with more confidence and enthusiasm.

@thorin001 this concept is excellent imo. In almost every game I've ever played, players instinctively go for the combat feats and have "the perfect build" and none of them involve feats like Cosmopolitan, Rhetorical Flourish or Voice of the Sybil to "bring it all together".

This concept turns everyone in the group into a "face" who can legitimately interact with the DM's NPC's, not just the guy playing the Bard. I think it's great :)


Some skill feats that might add to a campaign:

Psychic Sensitivity - if the players want to dabble into occult skill uses
Elongated Cranium - interesting since it comes with penalties
Technologist - if it's a free bonus feat, you don't need a bazillion of technological items to justify it
Hermean Blood - two more class skills allow you to dabble into skills you usually would avoid
Sure Grasp - encourages climbing (makes players rely on flying less)
Graceful Athlete - allows more characters to climb and swim reasonably well
Ostentatious Display - rewards spending money on nonmagic items
Willing Accomplice - adds a bit of interaction between players, especially with a vigilante in the party
Scholar - one of the "boost two skills" feats, but easy to miss since it's in the Inner Sea World Guide (and, well, Adventurer's Guide)
Underworld Connections - tempts players to deal with criminals, might add to the story quite a bit
Black Market Sleuth - pretty much the same
Street Smarts - another "boost two skills" feat which could be missed since it's in Ultimate Intrigue
Druidic Decoder - basically adds a personal quest (learn this treehugger language without being one!)
One Eye Open - very specific but strong Perception boost
Storm-Lashed and / or Storm Survivor - encourages to make up a story why storms affect you less
Fey Insight - a bit overspecialized, but nice once you meet fey
Secret Signs - allows to try to cast secretly; the bonus on secret messages might motivate player to use them

Liberty's Edge

I know you two are human, but if you happen to have a dwarf, elf, or gnome in the party, Breadth of Experience is one of my absolute favorites. "That reminds me of the time I worked in Kaer Maga as a bartender..." "I was smuggling holy symbols into Rahadoum when you were just a glint in your pappy's eye!"


Ryze Kuja wrote:
DeathlessOne wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
The entire concept is based on a fallacy. Character social skills do not equal role playing.

And your addition to this thread is ... what, exactly? The sole reason for these bonus feats is to give us a chance to use feats that would never normally be taken, as combat rules all in most games. This has actually shown an increase in our enjoyment and ability to engage in social challenges in the game, especially with more confidence and enthusiasm.

@thorin001 this concept is excellent imo. In almost every game I've ever played, players instinctively go for the combat feats and have "the perfect build" and none of them involve feats like Cosmopolitan, Rhetorical Flourish or Voice of the Sybil to "bring it all together".

This concept turns everyone in the group into a "face" who can legitimately interact with the DM's NPC's, not just the guy playing the Bard. I think it's great :)

If the idea is to get people to explore other options then it is a great idea. If the idea is to make up for the lack of skills that too many classes have then this could be a good idea.

If the idea is to encourage role play then it is setting people up for disappointment. High social skills is not role playing; acting how the character would act is role playing.


thorin001 wrote:
If the idea is to encourage role play then it is setting people up for disappointment. High social skills is not role playing; acting how the character would act is role playing.

No one is saying that these extra feats are going to make anyone BETTER at role playing. But, the mere presence of these feats and the ability to take them without impacting combat capability, will go a long way to facilitating incentive to focus more attention on non-combat challenges, and the setting in general. Maybe your games play out differently, but I know that at our table, this house rule was met with immediate welcome.


DeathlessOne wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
If the idea is to encourage role play then it is setting people up for disappointment. High social skills is not role playing; acting how the character would act is role playing.
No one is saying that these extra feats are going to make anyone BETTER at role playing. But, the mere presence of these feats and the ability to take them without impacting combat capability, will go a long way to facilitating incentive to focus more attention on non-combat challenges, and the setting in general. Maybe your games play out differently, but I know that at our table, this house rule was met with immediate welcome.

Ummm, your first post said it was to enhance role play.

Dark Archive

Additional Traits:
- Student of Philosophy (Dip/Bluff off INT, doesn't cover all skill functions)
- Clever Wordplay (1 CHA based skill off INT)
- Extremely Fashionable (+1 to Bluff/Dip/Intimidate, one becomes a class skill)
- Cunning Liar (Bluff off WIS or INT, whichever is highest)
- Bruising Intellect (Intimidate off INT)

Feats:
- Deific/Fey/etc. Obedience: Iomeadae gives +4 Diplomacy, Magdh gives +4 to INT skills which when combined with the traits is +4 to many social skills/knowledges, Norborger gives +3 to Bluff and +3 to gather information with Diplomacy. I'm sure there are other deities that give a variety of bonuses.
- Elongated Cranium - +2 to either CHA/INT/WIS skills, penalties to the other ones (great combo if you worship Magdh with fey obedience and do this for a +6 to all INT skills).
- Intimidating Prowess - STR mod to Intimidate Checks
- Skill Focus
- Casual Illusionist (Gnome) - +2 to Bluff, Disguise, and Sleight of Hand as long as you have unused spell-like illusions


thorin001 wrote:
Ummm, your first post said it was to enhance role play.

And? Enhancing roleplay does not immediately equate with a person’s ability to roleplay, it can also serve to increase their participation and enjoyment of roleplay, which can help build their skill at it through practice. However, this is delving into semantics and really does nothing to forward the thread. I’m dropping it at this point.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Feats to enhance role play / social skills All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.