How do you identify monster in playtest?


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Sorry this is a silly question.

What is the way to identify monster and get monster information in playtest now?

Use the corresponding Skill? (Arcane/Nature etc.) or Lore Skill?


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You use Recall Knowledge with the appropriate Skill (Arcana, Nature, Occult, Religion, Society, and possibly an appropriate Lore skill). Now, what are the DCs?

I'll wager that the DM can probably use the table on p. 337. Match the level of the creature with the difficulty in knowing about and the appropriate skill.. For example, what's the DC to identify an orc brute? An orc brute is a 0 level, humanoid (complex society) common creature. That would put the DC at 10 and require Recall Knowledge Society. An Orc warchief is a level 2 common creature = DC 13.

Now, what about a saxra? Level 18 uncommon undead creature = Recall Knowledge using Religion DC =39

Demons, Devils are probably under Occult. Animals, Fey, under Nature, etc. I couldn't find the list of creature types, but maybe it's in there somewhere.

The DC column compared to monster rarity might be:

Common = Low
Uncommon = High
Rare = Severe
Unique = Extreme


Look at Recall Knowledge and Monster Identification on page 338. It uses Arcana, Lore, Nature, Religion, or Society as appropriate. Recall Knowledge allows for repeated uses at increasing difficulties.

I have a mixed group of PF veterans and outsiders from other hobbies and RPGs in my playtest group, I'll be recording how this effects metagaming. With experienced character, I'll try giving that basic knowledge for free: Red Dragons breath fire, fire kills trolls and starting the knowledge check at high for the rest of the information.


Found the entry on p. 338

Quote:

Monster Identification

Identifying monster abilities is one of the most common uses of Recall Knowledge. The monster’s commonality sets the difficulty: low for common monsters, high for uncommon, and severe for rare or unique. Most monsters’ level should be the level of the DC, but you could reduce the level drastically for really famous monsters. A character who succeeds identifies the monster and singles out one of its best-known attributes—such as a troll’s weakness to acid and fire or a manticore’s tail spikes. On a critical success, the character gets that information plus something more subtle, like a demon’s weakness or the trigger for a reaction.

After a success, further uses of Recall Knowledge can yield more information, but you should increase the difficulty each time. Once a character has attempted an extreme-difficulty check or failed a check, further attempts are fruitless.

So Rare or Unique are only Severe DC, not Extreme.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

How do you know what skill applies for a monster? I've been looking in the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary, but I haven't found anything.

For instance, the first first enemy in Doomsday Dawn would be identified with the Dungeoneering skill in 1E, but I don't think there's an equivalent skill in 2E, so which one do you use?

First enemy in Doomsday Dawn:
Sewer Ooze


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A table to tell which monster you can identify with which skill is definitely missing. As a PF1 veteran player, I will say you need Arcane to identify a Dragon and Religion to identify a Mummy. But what about new players ?

Maybe add an Arcana and/or Occult and/or Nature and/or Religion trait(s) to each creature to know which creature can be identified by which skill. Dragons could get the Arcana trait, while Babaus would get Religion and Arcana traits.

Tomeric => I guess... Arcana (alchemical ennemy) ? Or Nature ? I'm as confused as you.


yep, that information is a) definatly missing and b) please don't add more traits to the monsters. there are monsters in the Bestiary, where the trait least is longer than the actual entry (okay, I'm exaggerating a little bit, nevertheless if a monster has the traits
Beast
Evil
Human
Humanoid
Lawful
Medium
Werecreature
they start to blend together, especially in the way the Bestiary entries are presented


If we don't add traits to monsters to tell which Recall Knowledge to use, at least add to each trait's description which Recall Knowledge is used, if necessary. So for your exemple, we could have :

Beast -> Nature
Evil -> ///
Human -> Society
Humanoid -> /// (Society ?)
Lawful -> ///
Medium -> ///
Werecreature -> Nature

Which would lead to Werewolves being identified with Nature and Society


Almarane wrote:

If we don't add traits to monsters to tell which Recall Knowledge to use, at least add to each trait's description which Recall Knowledge is used, if necessary. So for your exemple, we could have :

Beast -> Nature
Evil -> ///
Human -> Society
Humanoid -> /// (Society ?)
Lawful -> ///
Medium -> ///
Werecreature -> Nature

Which would lead to Werewolves being identified with Nature and Society

I think this is the best solution. It would take up less than a page and you could put common ones in the CRB and every new bestiary could have half a page showing new traits not covered in the crb. I also like the idea of being able to use different skills to identify monsters from a flavor perspective. It lets the DM spin the description and information with some fluff.


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As mentioned in the other trait, I would prefer to have it directly in the Monster traits - crosschecking another table would be tedious, especially with the massive amount of traits AND the possibility of them referring to different Knowledge skills.
From your example, I would have to look up all seven entries in the table in order to find out which skill(s) I could have my Players roll. And that table would be massive to list all Monster traits.


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since it's become an important detail of the creature, why not just add a line as follows to the entry.

Identification: Society, Nature.

It takes up less space and gives the dm information that is relevant to the monster.


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LordKailas wrote:

since it's become an important detail of the creature, why not just add a line as follows to the entry.

Identification: Society, Nature.

It takes up less space and gives the dm information that is relevant to the monster.

If they are gonna put in a line like that, I hope they include a specific DC to identify. I think the DC table we have isn't too bad, and it is definitely a step up from PF1 because it makes it easier to modify stuff based on rarity. But I feel like having DCs for each specific creature would be great.

Personally, I'd love if specific creatures included knowledge you learned for those DCs, but that's probably too much text for a a stat block.


Captain Morgan wrote:
LordKailas wrote:

since it's become an important detail of the creature, why not just add a line as follows to the entry.

Identification: Society, Nature.

It takes up less space and gives the dm information that is relevant to the monster.

If they are gonna put in a line like that, I hope they include a specific DC to identify. I think the DC table we have isn't too bad, and it is definitely a step up from PF1 because it makes it easier to modify stuff based on rarity. But I feel like having DCs for each specific creature would be great.

Personally, I'd love if specific creatures included knowledge you learned for those DCs, but that's probably too much text for a a stat block.

Cool side effect : some monsters could have special DCs not tied to the normal amount. And some could flat out not being identifiable. Like some ultra rare monsters nobody has ever heard about (like the Elohim who is supposed to be some kind of god), or monsters who are so rare there is not enough data on them to just be able to luckily read about them :D

Silver Crusade

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As a PFS veteran myself, I really would prefer a set table to indicate when which skill applies, just to cut down on variation.
I am pretty fine with arguing that other skills could work as well a significant penalty.


Add me to the "please have a table with monster types and corresponding skill" crowd. It was the very first roll I attempted in the game and it was super frustrating to never know if it was the right skill or not.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Me Too on the "please have a table with monster types and corresponding skill" crowd.


I'm having this problem as well. Most of the classes of creature knowledge from PF1 seem easily ported over to PF2. Dragons > Arcana, Dryads > Nature, Aberrations > Occult, Zombies > Religion, Gnolls > Society. But where do Elementals fit? Are they Occult or Arcana because they're inner planar creatures? If they're Nature, then why aren't they in the Primal summoning spell? Are they open to everything but Nature? It's totally unclear.

I'm fine with having the trait box lead to corresponding knowledges. We did that before we can do it again, just need to know which knowledge is the best.

Also, in looking at the rarity related to the skill check table, that's TOTALLY fine with me. In fact it seems like a good enough mechanic to afford extra recollections as you hit higher DCs on the table.


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If you cannot sort them out - throw them in the same bag! Allow the players to roll their choice of religion, arcana, nature or occult for any monster. I mean, recalling a religious legend of a saint fighting a Rakshasa might be just as informative as recalling an arcane research report on the same monster when it comes to revealing a weakness.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

I mean, recalling a religious legend of a saint fighting a Rakshasa might be just as informative as recalling an arcane research report on the same monster when it comes to revealing a weakness.

Basically, that's what I am doing ) Information one learns depends on the skill used. Of course, in situartions like combat they can't just "roll everything at once", so me and player have to set on what skill might be relevant here before rolling. In any investigations outside combat, the more skills the merrier.


That would be fine, if we had some idea of what e.g. Occult Information is vs Arcane. Or what, for Desnas Sake, is the common Information about a Leng Spider.

Dark Archive

I ran into this problem last night, running for the first time. As mentioned the biggest challenge is reassigning things that used to use Dungeoneering or Planes in PF1. It caused a stoppage in play as we tried to figure it out.


Is Lore (Monsters) a thing?


master_marshmallow wrote:
Is Lore (Monsters) a thing?

Why wouldn't it be? :P


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I hope there is clearer hierarchy of information/identity...
I.e. The Orc High Chieftan may have special abilities particular to them but still have basic Orc traits common to Level 0 Orc, even if they personally are Level 15. Or a Level 20 Dragon has common trait with a Level 5 Hatchling. So if you roll low, it's reasonable you could still tell "Yes, this is an Orc, with these basic traits". Just because it is Level 20 Dragon shouldn't make it harder to recognize AS a Dragon, even if you'r not familiar with the higher level abilities.

I also think there should be better grading of Commonality... Like Elves just don't seem very Common in vast majority of Golarion or Inner Sea, outside Kyonin and it's neighbors and few other places. Orcs aren't really a heavy presence everywhere, although Half-Orcs are probably more wide-spread.

I guess that also implies question what is context that these check are made from? Should characters use their 'native' regional context, even when travelling elsewhere? (So, Chelish natives treat Devils/Demons as more common than normal, but may be more unfamiliar with Elves and Dwarves)

Or in that vein, I wonder should characters get free Lore for their own Race/Ethnicity, Region and Class? Seems appropriate way to distinguish that familiarity. Wizards should be more familiar with Wizard abilities than just anybody with Arcana skill. A Cleric of hyper obscure Deity probably should use lower base DC for knowledge about their religion, because it isn't obscure to THEM. Plausibly, proficiency in this should auto-scale as well.


Quandary wrote:


Or in that vein, I wonder should characters get free Lore for their own Race/Ethnicity, Region and Class? Seems appropriate way to distinguish that familiarity. Wizards should be more familiar with Wizard abilities than just anybody with Arcana skill. A Cleric of hyper obscure Deity probably should use lower base DC for knowledge about their religion, because it isn't obscure to THEM. Plausibly, proficiency in this should auto-scale as well.

This came up in one of our last games. One of our 5th level clerics had Religion +9 (5 + 4 wisdom) and Lore: Serenrae :+5 (5+ 0 intelligence).

It made it seem like she was less familiar with her own religion than everyone else's.

I would prefer to see Lore: whatever go away. It seems unnecessarily complex.

And see Recall Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion, Occult, Society, Medicine, Crafting, etc.) all be intelligence modified, so we don't get that funny business like the Serenrae cleric.

I really like your idea that Society could be language based so Society: elven would be auto-trained if you speak elvish.

Perhaps Recall Knowledge: Class should just be a freebee, like identifying spells on your spell list is.


Yeah, the inconsistency is as weird as anything, especially given push to normalize everything to consistent mechanics.

Knowing language helping re: Society/Lore is interesting, although non-Natives would perhaps have intermediate effective difficulty between Natives and everybody else. And saying Natives just don't have to roll is legit, although even Natives may not know everything related to their society, so should still need to for more obscure stuff (but with better base DC/bonus than outsiders).

Discussing it, it can sound complicated I think, but I don't think real application is that hard, it's basically: are you part of group that check pertains to? (this might just negate need for some rolls, if not good bonus) Do you have better than generic familiarity with that group? (maybe negating need for absolute easiest rolls, decent bonus)


Quandary wrote:

Yeah, the inconsistency is as weird as anything, especially given push to normalize everything to consistent mechanics.

Knowing language helping re: Society/Lore is interesting, although non-Natives would perhaps have intermediate effective difficulty between Natives and everybody else. And saying Natives just don't have to roll is legit, although even Natives may not know everything related to their society, so should still need to for more obscure stuff (but with better base DC/bonus than outsiders).

Discussing it, it can sound complicated I think, but I don't think real application is that hard, it's basically: are you part of group that check pertains to? (this might just negate need for some rolls, if not good bonus) Do you have better than generic familiarity with that group? (maybe negating need for absolute easiest rolls, decent bonus)

Native or even adopted speakers could be given expert proficency for the purposes of recalling knowledge about their own society. That would leave trained for non-native speakers.


Draco18s wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Is Lore (Monsters) a thing?
Why wouldn't it be? :P

Lore (Monster) is not, but Lore (This specific type of monster) is.

And since you can make any lore check untrained, anyone can technically roll for any specific monster, at Level-4+INT.

I think my policy beyond that would be "do you have a skill with a higher bonus that could logically apply here." Which is a little more GM fiat based than would be ideal, but I imagine it will get me through the playtest.


Captain Morgan wrote:
And since you can make any lore check untrained, anyone can technically roll for any specific monster, at Level-4+INT.

Or you could roll Nature/Occult/Religion/Arcana at Level-4+INT/WIS anyway, no lore skill needed.

That's why Lore (Monsters) isn't a big deal.


Draco18s wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Is Lore (Monsters) a thing?
Why wouldn't it be? :P

Lore can't be bigger in scope than a Knowledge skill. So I would say no. But you can have "Lore (Dragons)" since it's just a sub-category of Arcana.


Almarane wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Is Lore (Monsters) a thing?
Why wouldn't it be? :P
Lore can't be bigger in scope than a Knowledge skill. So I would say no. But you can have "Lore (Dragons)" since it's just a sub-category of Arcana.

You missed the fact that it was a tongue-in-cheek comment. It was not meant to be taken seriously and was meant to be poking fun at the fact that Lore skills are worthless.


Draco18s wrote:
Almarane wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Is Lore (Monsters) a thing?
Why wouldn't it be? :P
Lore can't be bigger in scope than a Knowledge skill. So I would say no. But you can have "Lore (Dragons)" since it's just a sub-category of Arcana.
You missed the fact that it was a tongue-in-cheek comment. It was not meant to be taken seriously and was meant to be poking fun at the fact that Lore skills are worthless.

The skill feat additional lore automatically progresses a Lore to expert, master, legendary. So it is a way to get more of those sweet sweet skill increases.

I've taken Lore: Worldwound for a chapter 5 character. I hope it is useful.


DM Livgin wrote:
I hope it is useful.

I think this sums up my opinion.

I haven't gotten to that chapter yet and right now I can already tell you: HA! GOOD LUCK.

Chapter 2 told us that the additional languages that were available would "open up possible opportunities". They did f#$%all. The lore skills that were given to us by the Chapter 1 enforced backgrounds? They did f#$%all too.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Draco18s wrote:
Chapter 2 told us that the additional languages that were available would "open up possible opportunities". They did f#$%all.

*blinks*

That's... not how I would describe them.


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I'm just going to bring this here,

Ediwir wrote:

I follow these guidelines:

-All Recall Knowledge can be used for any creatures.
-No skill is specific to creature type (but see later)
-All Hail 10.2, Master of Masters
-We use creature level to set the challenge level, and creature popularity to set the check difficulty

Then, I evaluate the skill used by my players. For each creature, independently, I determine which skill is most appropriate, which one is partially appropriate, and which are inappropriate.
For the partially appropriate skill, difficulty increases by 1 step. For inappropriate skills, the difficulty increases by 2 steps.
An appropriate Lore skill would have its difficulty reduced by 1 or 2 steps, depending on how narrow. Trivial checks get reduced by 2 levels if that is required.

Practical example:
The Vampire in Sombrefell Hall is a lv4 creature. Vampires are fairly common in folklore, so I assign it an Easy check. I then determine it fits most with Religion because of their many ties with holy lore, with Occult and Society being a good second choice due to the many legends and mysteries.
As such, these are the DCs:
Religion: DC17
Occult, Society: DC19
Arcane, Nature: DC20
Undead Lore: DC13
Vampire Lore: DC11

Note that most characters in Sombrefell have a +10/+12 at their knowledges, so that's pretty good.

Print 10.2 out and keep it on a small altar, I guess.

Note that I use Easy for particularly iconic monsters, and Medium for most.

Also, this gets a lot easier if you use the Simplified 10.2 equation (DC=12+lv+modifier).


Shisumo wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Chapter 2 told us that the additional languages that were available would "open up possible opportunities". They did f#$%all.

*blinks*

That's... not how I would describe them.

Ok, let me detail the the list of things that only occur as part of having the 3 languages and are not obtainable otherwise:

Spoiler:
Osiriani:
- This dead end nothing:
Quote:

A character

who knows the Osiriani language interprets it to mean,
“Seek and you shall find.”

- This striking revelation:

Quote:

A character who can read Ancient Osiriani can

automatically see that the vast majority of the hieroglyphs
on the walls represent numbers.

- Mabar: Ok, I forgot that Auran was one of the three languages specific to this adventure. See also below.

Aura:
- Mabar who can tell you basically nothing about the device. As far as I can tell its entirely for the purpose of metaknowledge and the game designer saying, "eh? eh? 'member that PF1 adventure plot? this is related!"*

Gnoll:
- The gnolls, that you can go around and avoid entirely. Oh and if you speak with them you end up fighting them anyway. Probably. The book doesn't say so, but the Paizo group attempted the "talk with them" route and ended up in a fight anyway.

*I've run into a single instance of less informative social encounter in my decade of playing games. And that was the D&D 5E adventure Window to the Past that I played about 6 months ago.

The entire opening introductive social encounter can be skipped wholesale. The players can learn NOTHING and everything they try--and I am not making this s+%! up--results in the GM hinting that there's "some magical signature you don't recognize" and/or "you can't heal these two men, but they're not going to die anytime soon either." Up to, and including, the exasperated section that says, "If the PCs really keep insisting on trying, tell them it will take 200 castings of Remove Curse."


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I've settled on this more or less.
Arcane: a creature with spell casting
Nature: a creature with neither equipment nor spell casting
Society: a creature with equipment
Occult: Rare creatures. Anything with an unusual count of limbs or eyes. Shape Shifters.
Religion: A creature with an alignment trait or divine spell casting

It would be nice to have something formal though to ensure consistency.

Liberty's Edge

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The lack of clear definitions on this is one of my more fundamental non-math issues with PF2. It needs fixing.

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