Signature skills need to be removed entirely, and martials could use more trained skills


Classes


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I just do not see the point of signature skills. Players forget about them until 7th level rolls around, and then whoops, the character's arbitrary list of signature skills is what suddenly pigeonholes them into progressing only some skills while locking out other skills. This can be alleviated with class feats and multiclass feats, yes, but that is just a band-aid for a problem that was totally unnecessary in the first place. I fail to see why a fighter should be unable to progress their, say, Diplomacy at 7th level to be a general-like figure, or why a barbarian cannot progress their Stealth at 7th level to be a silent hunter.

For that matter, the martial characters need more trained skills. They are already struggling enough in the noncombat department compared to the utility of skills. Barbarians, fighters, and monks having only 3 base skills seems quite lacking, and a paladin's base 4 is not much better. Rangers have 6, but they have major problems elsewhere, as another story. Rogues are in a good place here, at least.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
I just do not see the point of signature skills. Players forget about them until 7th level rolls around, and then whoops, the character's arbitrary list of signature skills is what suddenly pigeonholes them into progressing only some skills while locking out other skills. This can be alleviated with class feats and multiclass feats, yes, but that is just a band-aid for a problem that was totally unnecessary in the first place. I fail to see why a fighter should be unable to progress their, say, Diplomacy at 7th level to be a general-like figure, or why a barbarian cannot progress their Stealth at 7th level to be a silent hunter.

+1 to this post. I am building a character that is a Merchant Sorceror that got their powers from a demon but hates it. None of my signatures are Diplomacy so I'll never be amazing at diplomacy despite putting all of my time and effort into it? that's not how things work. That's not how any of this works. At the least we need a feat that adds signature skills. For the best, get rid of em


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Agreed. Non-rogue martials have way too few skills, especially when some of the caster classes are getting way more, and Signature Skills as they currently work are way too restrictive. They're both basically a step backwards from how it was in PF1 instead of a step forward.


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I don't hate Signature skills, but I would not miss them of they were gone. Since nobody really seems to love them, and lots of people really do dislike them, they should probably get the chop.

I strongly agree that martials in general should get more trained skills. There is not reason for a full caster like a bard to get twice as many skills trained as a fighter - if anything it shoud be the other way around.

_
glass.


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I think signature skills would be more palatable if you had more felxability, like some from class, some from background, and a few just freely chosen, sort of like stat ups. That being said I wouldn't mind seeing them gone entirely.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I like the idea of signature skills as something that classes give out. However, I really don't like this iteration of the concept. I fully agree that any character should decide what skills they want to invest in, and not be limited by this artificial construct.

To my mind, Signature Skills are supposed to replace the Class Skills from first edition, so I think they should actually be changed to be an iteration of that concept instead of the something else entirely that they've gone with. The math is tighter in 2E, so perhaps a Signature Skill gives a flat +1 to the skill if you're at least trained in it. This could be an additional angle of attack for the current problem that skill DCs feel too high in general.

And, much like Class Skills in 1E, if you can pick up a Class Skill that's a fine bonus. If you don't, then you're just slightly behind the person whose training synergizes with that skill, but not so far back that you're crippled by it.


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signature skills are literally the same thing as class skills for PF1. they work perfectly fine. making all the classes the same or able to do the same things at the same level or degree, sort of defeats the purpose of having a class system.


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ikarinokami wrote:
signature skills are literally the same thing as class skills for PF1. they work perfectly fine. making all the classes the same or able to do the same things at the same level or degree, sort of defeats the purpose of having a class system.

PF1 made it very easy to gain skills as class skills (the core races had a "fey thoughts" alternate racial trait to gain 2 class skills, and there were a bevy of traits which gave a skill as a class skill).

By contrast PF2 makes it extremely difficult to gain a signature skill, which is something that needs changing. It should not cost more than a single skill feat to get a new skill as signature, IMO. PF1 conditioned people to "class skills are extremely flexible for low cost" and I don't think it's worth trying to put that genie back in the bottle.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
ikarinokami wrote:
signature skills are literally the same thing as class skills for PF1. they work perfectly fine. making all the classes the same or able to do the same things at the same level or degree, sort of defeats the purpose of having a class system.

First, it's not literally the same thing. In fact, I'd say that it's actually the exact inverse of what Class Skills were in 1E. Instead of a class-related bump to some skills, it's now a class related imposition on how high a skill is allowed to go.

Second, if the intention is to have the things that skills do be related to classes, then they should make those things part of the class chassis. Skills are a universal subsystem which is accessed by all classes. It was this way in 1E, and changing this in 2E is a bad idea. Class features are your defining benefits of your class. Skills and skill feats are one of the things that makes you different from others of your same class.


Is there a larger difference than the +2 skill difference between an Expert and a Legend? There doesn't seem to be much stopping a Fighter from becoming a General-like figure, only that another character with signature Diplomacy will be slighter better than him.

(For that matter, the Untrained Fighter who wants to be a general is only -4 worse than his Expert Diplomat counterpart).


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Reverse wrote:

Is there a larger difference than the +2 skill difference between an Expert and a Legend? There doesn't seem to be much stopping a Fighter from becoming a General-like figure, only that another character with signature Diplomacy will be slighter better than him.

(For that matter, the Untrained Fighter who wants to be a general is only -4 worse than his Expert Diplomat counterpart).

I find that sometimes people want to invest in a skill not because they find it useful but because "being very accomplished at it" was important to how they conceived of their own characters. Like we play with background skills and it's not unusual for a character to have max ranks in something that they will never be asked to roll (but they may ask to roll it themselves.)

Like people see value in being able to say "I as good at x as I possibly could be" that they don't see in "I am as good at x as I need to be."


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Reverse wrote:
(For that matter, the Untrained Fighter who wants to be a general is only -4 worse than his Expert Diplomat counterpart).

-4 in this system is pretty huge. Instead of a success half the time, you're successful only a quarter of the time.

Silver Crusade

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I think signature skills are fine IF 2 changes are made

1) There has to be some readily available way for everybody to get a skill as a signature skill. A skill feat or even a general feat would probably be sufficient

2) The skill feats that are gated by proficiency level have to vastly improve. They have to become cool, mechanically beneficial and actually come up in play some reasonable part of the time. And NOT be the sort of things that everybody was expecting would just automatically come with legendary status (eg, legendary diplomat should be absolutely free when you become legendary)


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So, I see some people suggesting you freely pick a couple of signiture skills.

That is almost the same as removing them. You only max out a couple skills anyway. If you can pick a couple, then you practically ignore the class list. It'd enforce some completely abritrary restriction on the third skill you got to master at a very late stage in character growth.

I entirely support getting rid of the system entirely. Picking just a couple leaves a disgusting half-system in the game that doesn't really affect anything but still needs to be tracked.


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Reverse wrote:
Is there a larger difference than the +2 skill difference between an Expert and a Legend?

They'd be locked out of any skill feats that required expert or master proficiency, and certain skill checks might require higher proficiency to even attempt (although at this point the rules have no provided many examples of those).

Dark Archive

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I agree that it is too limiting. I like playing face characters and I shouldn't be restricted to what CHA based skills I can use/increase proficiency because someone at Paizo thinks a particular class isn't very socially inclined. Get rid of the arbitrary restriction and just give out skill bumps with no upper proficiency limitations. Alternatively let people pick the signature skills themselves instead of being class based.


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I think there should be 1 from the class. and then a few of your own choosing for your flavor of character.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So on martial trained skills. I agree Fighters, Barbarians, and Monks need more of them, and should be behind casters. I don't see any particular reason Paladins shouldn't have the same amount as clerics, though with Hospice Knight being the default 1st level feat I actually think they feel pretty all right.

Part of the issue is that Rangers, Rogues, and Bards feel like they probably SHOULD be above the rest of the class in skills though. Rogues are obviously fine-- they get so many skills it is ludicrous. I'm not sure Bards actually NEED as many skills as they have from a balance perspective, but they feel appropriate for legacy reasons. And being highly skilled is as or more important than being a martial badass for the iconic Ranger.

Someone in another thread suggested giving the Bard more skill increases. I actually think that's the opposite direction the Bard should go. Bards excel as the Jack of All Trades, and they don't need to be advanced more skills to Legendary to pull it off.

Rangers, on the other hand, kind of do. To do everything we expect of a Ranger, they need to excel in Nature, Survival, Stealth, and Crafting if snares are a thing. Athletics and Acrobatics also seem important. That leaves very little room for the Ranger to even completely fill out their role, much less branch into other things.

So my ideal trained skill numbers would look something like:

10: Rogue.
7: Bard
6: Fighters, Barbarians, Monks, Rangers. (With a ranger getting a skill increase every level like the Rogue.)
5: Sorcerer, Cleric, Druid, Paladin. (Counting any extra trained skills from 1st level choices like Druid Orders.)

I'm leaving off the alchemist and wizard because I'm not sure if I like them where they are. From a balance perspective I'm not sure if they should be changed. The alchemist feels pretty OK, and have a least a little room for skill expansion in their feats. It is gonna be hard to ever convince me "wizards don't get enough stuff" but I'm trying to keep an open mind.

I don't see any particular reason why Druids, Sorcerers and Clerics shouldn't operate on the same level for skills, whether that gets shifted down to 4 or whatever. I do think 5 skills seems like a nice number for a cleric to cover their cleric bases, though.

Reverse wrote:

Is there a larger difference than the +2 skill difference between an Expert and a Legend? There doesn't seem to be much stopping a Fighter from becoming a General-like figure, only that another character with signature Diplomacy will be slighter better than him.

(For that matter, the Untrained Fighter who wants to be a general is only -4 worse than his Expert Diplomat counterpart).

Actually, the differences can be pretty significant when it comes to Skill Feats. Some can only be taken with Master+ proficiency, and others scale significantly when you reach those levels. Cat Fall lets someone with Legendary acrobatics ignore falls from any fights, and you can't take Legendary Negotiator at all if you don't have Diplomacy as a signature skill.

Honestly, you could leave Signature Skills in as something analogous to the RP suggestions, but with no real mechanical impact, and I'd probably be happy. But as pointed out you could accomplish the same thing by giving each class a free signature skill, or make more skill feats turn make skills signature as a side benefit, etc.


@morgan I suppose the main benefit bards have going for them skillwise rn is that they can explicitly cheat the benefits of untrained skills (e.g. bardic knowledge, using performance in place of other charisma skills).

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

I think one of the major issues with Signature skills is the inability to break their mold. In Pathfinder 1st edition I could make a Wizard a master of diplomacy. It took effort, traits, in some cases multiple traits, but you could do it.

Now the Wizard would have to spend a feat to get it trained, and eventually can go up to expert tops. Next they would require investment in Charisma (something not needed in PF 1) and always be further behind the Bard/Sorcerer because they can't get a higher stat than those classes. Furthermore the limitation on potent items means you will always use the one best for your class. Before I could make a diplomat of any class now they are going to be 4 points behind a charisma based class. (2 from starting stat,2 from no master/legendary proficiency).

I would also like to note why is Druid the only class that gets less trained skills then they have signature skills. Why are they treated differently?


Taenia wrote:
I would also like to note why is Druid the only class that gets less trained skills then they have signature skills. Why are they treated differently?

No they don't. They get trained equal to 3+ and they get 3 signature skills. On top of that they get one more signature and trained from their order.

Quote:

Leaf:

You are
trained in Diplomacy, and it becomes a signature skill for
you.

Storm:
You are
trained in Acrobatics, and it becomes a signature skill for
you.

Wild:
You are trained
in Intimidation, and it becomes a signature skill for you.


I totally agree about the signature skill distribution needing to be adjusted. It really makes no sense that casters should have a ton of skills with all the assumed time they have to spend studying magic.

I'd overhaul the system as such:

Signature Skills seem to run against the idea of player choice and customization the way they are.

They should define what each class gains as "basic training".
It shouldn't determine which skills can gain advanced training.

Think of it like this, all police officers are trained in 'sense motive', 'thievery', and 'driving'. Those are their signature skills if you will. However, a detective might be better trained in 'sense motive'. An undercover officer has more training in 'thievery'. And, a motorcycle officer has advanced training for motorcycles. Meanwhile, a dispatcher (yes, they are also police officers and often still do patrol work) would instead get advanced training in 'communication'. Or a precinct captain would have advanced training in 'diplomacy' and 'leadership'. They all share the class "Cop" and the same basic training, but have a variety of additional skills associated with them.

So I think the solution is to rename "Signature Skills" into "Core Skills" or "Basic Training" or something like that.

Advancing into master and legendary should then be entirely up to the player to decide.

This keeps the flavor of the classes intact while allowing the player plenty of space to create their character how they see fit.

Additionally, it might be a good idea to allow players to exchange one or two signature skills that don't fit in with their concept.
This would allow a ton of flexibility in implementing a player's character concept and might even make it so that archetypes don't need to mess with skills at all.


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In the end, what signature skills even do until one have to pick your first skill mastery? Nothing. It's like making a fighter proficient with rubber ducks, but saying he can buy one only at level 7.

I realy feel, unless Paizo plans something more for signature skills, something which isn't in the scope of the play-test, essentially making a stopgap for some other features in the future, their only function is to limit skill growth, while sounding like a feature.

Now if Signature skill added at least another +1 when applied to trained skills, with maybe some other benefits - then it would be a lot more useful and would be a feature instead of a stop sign you need to mind when you reach level 7.


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  • Rogues have too many skill points compared to the number of skills available. With 14-16 INT you can be trained in everything that is not spellcasting-based. Maybe 8 skill points would be enough ?
  • Full Spellcasters (Sorcerer, Wizard, Bard, Druid) should have less skill points than everyone else, since they can "cheat" the skills system with their spells. Pure Martials (warriors, barbarians, rogues) should have more skill points than everyone else, since they can't cheat the skills system. And Spell Points based Martials should be somewhere in the middle (this last one needs some thinking though, I admit I have not studies the Spell Points based classes enough to know if you could do magic-like things, like the PF1 Monk's Wind Jump).
  • Signature skills should be removed for the reasons said by previous posters in this thread. Class skills were better since they were just a +3 boost, and we did not have skill feats gated behind proficiencies.

Sovereign Court

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Signature skills don't seem to do anything good for you. They don't let you do anything awesome, they just lock you out of choosing which thing you wanted to be awesome in.

I would like them removed entirely. No need to replace them with anything. One less rule we need to learn.


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I'm firmly on the "axe signature skills" bandwagon. Character creation gives me flexibility in picking which skills I want to be good at, and skill feats let me further determine what I want to be extra good at. This is great! It was something I really liked about character creation and playing this silly character I made up was a lot of fun.

Signature skills do the exact opposite and completely remove that flexibility by saying I can only get really good at skills that are predetermined by my class (which in turn can lock out skill feats and even potentially some skill checks entirely).

Why is the system at odds with itself like this? It doesn't make sense. It's simply a restriction being imposed by the game on the freedom the game itself wants to give me.

Pick one: either give me the freedom to pick my skills, or don't. Doing both at the same time is just complexity for no value.


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If Signature skills gave you a +1 bonus (that whole "trained" thing from PF1 where we got a +3 for it being a class skill that we put a rank into) along side whateverelse it did, that'd go a long way to making it feel important at level 1.


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Well, I also think that the difference between trained and legend being just a few points is pretty ridiculous, specially with 1/3 of skill feats being "permuting things that shouldn't be a feat", 1/3 being lackluster/bad and 1/3 being ok/good, all for different skills. Making a Skill level up at least so it's -2/0/+2/+4... instead of -2/0/+1/+2... with a +1 for signature makes them more special.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Put me in as another voice for the wholesale removal of signature skills. I can understand that Paizo put them in to help guide players towards the "classic" interpretation of each class (and to give newbies guidance on what skills to pick as trained at 1st level if they have no idea), but they simultaneously have very little impact and impose a character development restriction that doesn't seem to have much value.

Does the fantasy of the game fall apart if a wizard is legendary at deception? I don't think so.

I would remove the concept of sig. skill and instead add a brief paragraph in the intro to each class that talks about the types of skills that class is typically or often skilled at.

"A wizard benefits from being skilled at Arcana (helping him to identify and understand arcane magic) and Crafting (>something about crafting magic items<)"


Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

After reading this, I guess my question is why are signature skills all that different from all the other class features that mean someone else is better than you at X.

If I wanted to be the best high jumping Fighter, I'm still going to lag behind the Monk who gets class feats that increase their jumping capability. If I wanted to make a wizard general who was skilled at diplomacy, shouldn't a bard general with still be better? Shouldn't they be more than just 15% better?

I have no problem over a general feat or skill feat adding a signature skill to a class, but the number of signature skills is also part of how the classes are balanced. Removing them would require a different kind of re-balancing around skills.

Grand Lodge

Colette Brunel wrote:

I just do not see the point of signature skills. Players forget about them until 7th level rolls around, and then whoops, the character's arbitrary list of signature skills is what suddenly pigeonholes them into progressing only some skills while locking out other skills. This can be alleviated with class feats and multiclass feats, yes, but that is just a band-aid for a problem that was totally unnecessary in the first place. I fail to see why a fighter should be unable to progress their, say, Diplomacy at 7th level to be a general-like figure, or why a barbarian cannot progress their Stealth at 7th level to be a silent hunter.

For that matter, the martial characters need more trained skills. They are already struggling enough in the noncombat department compared to the utility of skills. Barbarians, fighters, and monks having only 3 base skills seems quite lacking, and a paladin's base 4 is not much better. Rangers have 6, but they have major problems elsewhere, as another story. Rogues are in a good place here, at least.

Agree 100% players should be able to select one free signature skill. Disagree 100% about martials needing more skill training. Martials are martials, casters are caster. Each class needs their strengths and weaknesses; the weakness of the martial is their weakness in noncombat. Plain and simple, this is how it should be. Weakness with casters is their weakness in melee. Plain and simple, this is how it should be.

Martials should not be able to have their cake and eat it to, but should have, like every class, a free signature skill to add.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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I want signature skills gone from the game entirely as well. Not only do they limit character concepts and pigeon hole you to the most sterotypical skills for your class by 7th level when you can start to get Mastery or Legendary proficiency, but it also locks out other parts of the game which require those proficiency levels, such as disabling traps that need a master level in Thievery, or rituals which need a master level in religion (which is opposite of the concept of rituals being things non-spell casters can do), or some skill feats.

Rituals limited due to signature skills:
Commune
Commune with nature
Planar Binding
Legend Lore
Control Weather

Skill Feats limited due to signature skills:
Quick Recognition
Kip Up
Legendary Contortionist
Quick Climb
Quick Swim
Wall Jump
Legendary Climber
Legendary Swimmer
Inventor
Impeccable Craft
Cruel Deceiver
Slippery Secrets
Legendary Impersonator
Shameless Request
Legendary Negotiator
Battle Cry
Scare to Death
Legendary Professional
Legendary Medic


They will be removed on Monday? when the new errata drops.

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