Assurance as a feat is terrible


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells

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Anything that gives a flat result in a system with scaling numbers will soon become obsolete. The biggest problem with assurance is that it is obsolete almost immediately.


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I came to say something good.

I am running Sombrefell Hall and my players successfully used Assurance. Several times.

This was in various attempt to Recall Knowledge towards low level monsters (CR3 or 4) with a Master-level skill (flat 20). I set their DC as low or high for their level depending on the creature's notoriety, then added one difficulty rank for using a non-ideal skill, and the pc managed to still beat it using his Assurance value.

He did not however gain much additional information, as he would've needed more than 20 for that.
He had a +15 to the skill.

So I guess what I'm saying sounded good at the start, but actually, he would've had more information if he did not use Assurance... But I guess there are more low-DC checks than I initially thought.


Ediwir wrote:

I came to say something good.

I am running Sombrefell Hall and my players successfully used Assurance. Several times.

This was in various attempt to Recall Knowledge towards low level monsters (CR3 or 4) with a Master-level skill (flat 20). I set their DC as low or high for their level depending on the creature's notoriety, then added one difficulty rank for using a non-ideal skill, and the pc managed to still beat it using his Assurance value.

He did not however gain much additional information, as he would've needed more than 20 for that.
He had a +15 to the skill.

So I guess what I'm saying sounded good at the start, but actually, he would've had more information if he did not use Assurance... But I guess there are more low-DC checks than I initially thought.

That was because level 7 right when you get master assurance can have some use. But as you level best 7 for master or 15 for legendary your assurance doesn't get any boost at all. It really should scale with level. So master assurance could be level + 6, and legendary could be level + 15, that'd give you the same low result, but be at least somewhat relevant at higher levels.

Also I really wish monster knowledge was a lot more clear, monster stat blocks should have a clear place with what check result of recall knowledge with which skill will tell you about that creature.

Trying to build a monster knowledge ranger doesn't work. It's really hard to get a decent bonus to nature, especially considering the only item bonus needs to be held. And with how hard it to succeed even a max out'd ranger has just over a 50% success to learn anything about an equal level creature. That's a maxed out ranger and your using an action. Monster knowledge shouldn't be so hard, maybe a failure tells you something, a success most things, and a crit success should tell you everything, because it really is very hard to get and you have to specialize and use an action.


Tbh your DCs were 15-18 (level 3 and 4, Low for vampires and ghasts, High for the wights, Religion being best choice and Occultism being second best - Arcana and Nature would have had higher DCs).
I realise you were only using Assurance because the feat required you to (free action to recall knowledge with assurance) but the other guys got a lot more details by just spending an action and a trained skill, rather than the the two feats investment on your best skill.

This, to me, is an issue, despite the successes.

(that said I am starting to slow down on "equal level" challenges, because they do not seem to happen as much)


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Ediwir wrote:
He had a +15 to the skill.

So he opted for the "I got a 20" rather than rolling?

i.e. equivalent to rolling a 5 on the d20.

Huh.


Draco18s wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
He had a +15 to the skill.

So he opted for the "I got a 20" rather than rolling?

i.e. equivalent to rolling a 5 on the d20.

Huh.

The skill feat Automatic knowledge requires using assurance instead of rolling.


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Ediwir wrote:

So, I did a thing.

I playtested Assurance.
I created by GM-fiat a character with every skill at max rank for his level and gave him Assurance on everything, then had him check every skill DC in Doomsday Dawn to see what he could do. I speed-read fairly well but it's possible I skipped one or two.

Now, I am not posting specifically which checks are because spoilers, but this is how many he passed:

-one in The Lost Star, but most players will give you the answer before you ask for the check. Hell, my group hasn't encountered the hint or the check yet and they already know it.
-four in Pale Mountain, all requiring Expert Assurance.
-none in Sombrefell Hall (did I miss one? it's possible)
-none in Mirrored Moon (Or maybe I didn't?)
-none in Heroes of Undarin (then again, there's not that many here)
-four in Red Flags, all Master level (so many skill checks!)
-one in When Stars go Dark, Legendary level, no spoilers

Note that almost all of these checks are either things you can mostly skip (crossing a calm river, sneaking into an unprotected area, identifying an obvious goddess), some are outright pointless (cracking a lock to an empty room, remembering that the very obvious big thing was also in one of the previous sessions) and some are probably not the greatest of ideas (spend your whole turn during combat to lower a skill check you could easily pass to start with).

Two of these 9 checks could have (reasonably) been affected by armour penalties. More would fit the bill, but I doubt the rogue will wear heavy armour.

I'd say the playtest isn't looking good on Assurance.

I thought it'd be good to revisit this as the DCs have been changed in 1.3.

Additionally, the errata allows me to find everything that I missed in my speed reading, which I appreciate.

The correct number of checks that could be Assured (before and after the errata) is:
-one in The Lost Star. Unchanged.
-three in Pale Mountain (I misred, one was a Perception), two requiring Expert Assurance. Unchanged.
-three in Sombrefell Hall (I missed some Athletics), all requiring Expert Assurance. Unchanged.
-Two in Mirrored Moon, Master. Now two, at Expert. <-
-none in Heroes of Undarin. Now one, at Master. <-
-none in Red Flags (somehow I thought Assurance here gave a 25). Unchanged.
-one in When Stars go Dark, Legendary level. Now none. <-

So clearly I first will apologize for the sloppy reading on the first run. I skipped a few checks and added too many. There were actually 10 checks affected by Assurance, 4 of which are affected by armour penalties. Now there are 10 (different ones) and two have gone down in requirements.

The playtest still isn't looking good on Assurance.

As for the new 10.2, characters with Assurance will succeed on level-appropriate Medium checks at level 2, 3 and 15, and fail at level-appropriate Easy checks at level 14. However, I no longer consider this fact to be entirely dishartening, just a little sad (as I now realised after GMing more that players will often face skill DCs of lower level) and pretty damn bad.
It's still not worth a feat.


It still feels like Assurance in Athletics (because you might be called upon to climb a rope, or swim if you fall off the boat) is one of the better skill feats one can get from their background.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
It still feels like Assurance in Athletics (because you might be called upon to climb a rope, or swim if you fall off the boat) is one of the better skill feats one can get from their background.

Or you could get a functional feat and just roll Athletics. None of those checks have big failure consequences.

Liberty's Edge

I still feel like it either needs to get better in general, get harmonized with the DC table better (maybe just say "you can automatically succeed at an Easy check for your level"), or just become an inherent function of the system. Aside from the corner case of using it to ignore your ACP, it doesn't do a whole lot.


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swordchucks wrote:
I still feel like it either needs to get better in general, get harmonized with the DC table better (maybe just say "you can automatically succeed at an Easy check for your level"), or just become an inherent function of the system. Aside from the corner case of using it to ignore your ACP, it doesn't do a whole lot.

Well, you can also use it to remove the Multi-Attack Penalty on Combat Maneuvers, as well as the penalty for doing a combat maneuver with a weapon you are not proficient in.

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