In Golarion, everyone has a 5% chance, every so often, of being fired from their job and being shamed in their community


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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In Golarion, everyone has a 5% chance, every few days, of being fired from their job and being shamed in their community.

According to page 152, rolling a critical failure on a Lore check to Practice a Trade for a few days means, "Critical Failure: You earn nothing for your work and are fired immediately. Your reputation suffers, potentially making it difficult for you to find rewarding jobs in that community in the future."

This happens more often than one would think due to natural 1s, falling 10 or more short of the DC, and Lore always keying off Intelligence by default. As per page 337, "The Lore skill lets characters try tasks of various levels. These usually use the high-difficulty DC for the task level unless some external factor adjusts it. For example, if a character uses Farming Lore to tend crops, you should use the low DC if their plot has fertile soil, but severe or extreme during a drought.
"When a character is using Lore to practice a trade, the task level depends greatly on whether the character’s preferred sort of job is common or practical in the location. For example, in a town on a river, Sailing Lore might get you a level 1 task of piloting a raft, whereas a major seaport might have a level 4 task of working the sails on a flagship. The highest-level tasks might be available only at places where your Lore skill is highly lauded or in demand."

Thus, getting a job piloting a raft demands a DC 14 Lore check, and working the sails of a flagship calls for a DC 19 Lore check. The Assurance skill feat is not going to cut it.

There are provisions for taking longer to handle the job and thus avoiding further checks, but the thing here is, a "job" is not a job in the "I am a blacksmith" sense. It is a job in the "I am a blacksmith, and I just got a job to forge some armor" sense.

How does Golarion sustain itself with everyone being fired from their job and being shamed in their community every few days? Does everyone with a stable job need the Experienced Professional skill feat? What a dystopian economy this is.

As a bonus, selling spellcasting services is far more lucrative. To wit, if an expertly-skilled person critically succeeds on a 6th-level job that takes four days, they earn 20 sp. Conversely, selling a single 1st-level spell earns 27 sp. If a legendarily-skilled person critically succeeds on a Lore check for a 20th-level job that takes four days, they earn 2,500 sp. Meanwhile, peddling a single 9th-level spell earns 18,000 sp.

Is self-employment, ideally as a spellcaster, the answer to Golarion's economy?

UPDATE: Well, it is not as bad as I thought. "After you spend the base downtime to get started, roll your Lore check to determine your earnings. You continue to earn that amount each day for the duration of the job, without requiring further checks. The GM determines how long the job lasts, which is limited by how long the task will take to complete and other factors. Most tasks last a week or two, though some can take months or even years." That is somewhat confusingly worded, but it does delay the doom of being fired from the job to several weeks.

Still, even with that in mind, the dreaded "one-off job" is terribly dangerous to one's status in a community.

Suppose a 3rd-level NPC is down on their luck. They just need 5 copper pieces for the day. They opt for a quick and simple, one-day job, maybe working as a maid for an aristocrat, perhaps serving food and drinks in some eatery.

They roll a natural 1, and the next thing they know it, they have somehow accidentally dumped torn off the entirety of a noblewoman's dress or set a building on fire, and they have been blacklisted from the community forevermore.

Dark Archive

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It would be nice to once again have the rule where a skill check natural 1 that still succeeds is not necessarily a failure. At the very least, it could be so that a natural 1 that still succeeds should only fail normally and not critically.


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Mergy wrote:
At the very least, it could be so that a natural 1 that still succeeds should only fail normally and not critically.

It actually is that. A nat 1 that would have otherwise succeeded is just a normal failure. Not a crit fail.


Colette Brunel wrote:
Thus, getting a job piloting a raft demands a DC 14 Lore check, and working the sails of a flagship calls for a DC 19 Lore check. The Assurance skill feat is not going to cut it.

That would just mean you'd have to be an Expert to pilot a raft or a Master to Sail a ship.


N N 959 wrote:
That would just mean you'd have to be an Expert to pilot a raft or a Master to Sail a ship.

Unfortunately, Assurance grants only a 10 for the final, modified result, not the natural result.


Colette Brunel wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
That would just mean you'd have to be an Expert to pilot a raft or a Master to Sail a ship.
Unfortunately, Assurance grants only a 10 for the final, modified result, not the natural result.
p. 163 wrote:
If you’re an expert in your chosen skill, you receive a result of 15; if you’re a master, you receive a result of 20; and if you’re legendary, you receive a result of 30.

The benefit goes up with proficiency.


If only NPC's followed PC rules. Then there would be plenty of work out there.

K-Ray

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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This looks like an ideal bit of text to adjust in the final game to keep Golarion's economy (and that of ANY setting that uses the rules) from collapsing within weeks! Ha. Thanks for pointing this one out, as it's a good example of hyperbolic rules text that might make sense for a PC to deal with but implies a lot more fundamental on a mass scale about a setting that uses the rules to simulate reality.


N N 959 wrote:
The benefit goes up with proficiency.

Being an expert just to sail a raft or a master to handle a flagship sounds rough.

Dark Archive

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I can get behind wanting a master sailor to handle your flagship. That makes perfect sense.

However, that's with Assurance, which is currently seeming like quite the steep feat cost. Not only because it applies to a single skill, but because it's really quite boring as a feat. Look at Intimidating Glare, Cat Fall (especially Cat Fall!), Wall Jump. Those are all impressive actions. Assurance, by virtue of the problem it seeks to solve, is just not impressive. It's necessary though, which is why I'm starting to think baseline Assurance should just be available to everyone. If you're Trained you should be able to use Assurance and take your 10. Expert, take your 15.

Let us spend our feats on fun and interesting things!


Mergy wrote:

I can get behind wanting a master sailor to handle your flagship. That makes perfect sense.

However, that's with Assurance, which is currently seeming like quite the steep feat cost. Not only because it applies to a single skill, but because it's really quite boring as a feat. Look at Intimidating Glare, Cat Fall (especially Cat Fall!), Wall Jump. Those are all impressive actions. Assurance, by virtue of the problem it seeks to solve, is just not impressive. It's necessary though, which is why I'm starting to think baseline Assurance should just be available to everyone. If you're Trained you should be able to use Assurance and take your 10. Expert, take your 15.

Let us spend our feats on fun and interesting things!

I also like the idea of baking it in. Maybe use a feat to raise the assurance # even higher if that's something important to you.


Working as intended.


Pursuant to this, shall we conclude that the lifespan of the average trapeze artist is about three weeks, since they always have a 5% chance of crit-failing on Acrobatics and falling to their deaths?


Maybe this is the real reason everyone has apprentices. You have the apprentice make the check against their apprentice level dc and then the shop owner or whatever just assists the apprentice.

Since the DC for the aid action is a static 15 for typical skill checks you're sure to give the assistant a +2 or even +4 to their check. What's more, who cares if the apprentice gets shamed or fired. It's what apprentices do. :p


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Narration wrote:
Pursuant to this, shall we conclude that the lifespan of the average trapeze artist is about three weeks, since they always have a 5% chance of crit-failing on Acrobatics and falling to their deaths?

At the very least, you should work with a net until you have picked up Assurance (Acrobatics) or higher feats.


LordKailas wrote:

Maybe this is the real reason everyone has apprentices. You have the apprentice make the check against their apprentice level dc and then the shop owner or whatever just assists the apprentice.

Since the DC for the aid action is a static 15 for typical skill checks you're sure to give the assistant a +2 or even +4 to their check. What's more, who cares if the apprentice gets shamed or fired. It's what apprentices do. :p

Have you read The Accidental Alchemist perchance?

This is exactly what the backward alchemists did to achieve immortality: they had their apprentices Do The Thing (which then killed them) and the master got the perks.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks for pointing this one out, as it's a good example of hyperbolic rules text that might make sense for a PC to deal with but implies a lot more fundamental on a mass scale about a setting that uses the rules to simulate reality.

On the other hand, think of the campaign potential. Pathfinder Adventure Path: "The Forsaken Army- a mysterious leader has rallied the masses of ignominiously rejected laborers across several nations into a powerful legion with one goal in mind: revenge!!!"


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So why doesn't Take 10 exist anymore?


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I think Take 10 should be in PF2 and Assurance should be out. Take 10 has done nothing but speed up games on easy non-combat checks and removed nonsense situations like this.

Dark Archive

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Cthulhudrew wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Thanks for pointing this one out, as it's a good example of hyperbolic rules text that might make sense for a PC to deal with but implies a lot more fundamental on a mass scale about a setting that uses the rules to simulate reality.
On the other hand, think of the campaign potential. Pathfinder Adventure Path: "The Forsaken Army- a mysterious leader has rallied the masses of ignominiously rejected laborers across several nations into a powerful legion with one goal in mind: revenge!!!"

Unfortunately, his army routed after seeing they would have to cross a succession of twenty rickety wooden bridges.


Jason S wrote:

I think Take 10 should be in PF2 and Assurance should be out. Take 10 has done nothing but speed up games on easy non-combat checks and removed nonsense situations like this.

I sort of agree. I think take 10 should just be what assurance grants. In a system with crit failures, the opportunity to just automatically take a (probable) success seems more powerful than take 10 in a system without it, even if it also prevents non-trivial crit-successes. As assurance stands, it's only ever useful if you have horrendous penalties or you take the skill to master or legendary, where it seems to me that assurance should be at its best for skills you want to be pretty decent at, but aren't your primary skills. Like a rogue who has assurance(athletics) shouldn't fail at climbing a wall, in order to steal a delivery manifest from a crooked noble, since the theft of the manifest is where the dramatic tension is (and thus the place for the roll to be most apt).


Reminds me of the old joke that every podunk village blacksmith in Forgotten Realms is a level 7 Expert because you need that level to have enough skill ranks to be competent at your job.


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Jason S wrote:

I think Take 10 should be in PF2 and Assurance should be out. Take 10 has done nothing but speed up games on easy non-combat checks and removed nonsense situations like this.

Agreed. The Take 10 rule existed for a reason: to not waste the group's time with tedious stuff.

If there is an Assurance feat, then maybe it should work like Skill Mastery in PF1 and allow you to Take 10 even in combat? That could be worth a skill feat.


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People living in fear of getting fired from their job every few days and being shamed out of town -- sounds like a place I used to work once... ;-)


The Narration wrote:
Jason S wrote:

I think Take 10 should be in PF2 and Assurance should be out. Take 10 has done nothing but speed up games on easy non-combat checks and removed nonsense situations like this.

Agreed. The Take 10 rule existed for a reason: to not waste the group's time with tedious stuff.

If there is an Assurance feat, then maybe it should work like Skill Mastery in PF1 and allow you to Take 10 even in combat? That could be worth a skill feat.

As far as I can tell, Assurance already does that...


Cardz5000 wrote:
The Narration wrote:
Jason S wrote:

I think Take 10 should be in PF2 and Assurance should be out. Take 10 has done nothing but speed up games on easy non-combat checks and removed nonsense situations like this.

Agreed. The Take 10 rule existed for a reason: to not waste the group's time with tedious stuff.

If there is an Assurance feat, then maybe it should work like Skill Mastery in PF1 and allow you to Take 10 even in combat? That could be worth a skill feat.

As far as I can tell, Assurance already does that...

No, Assurance gives you a total result of 10, regardless of your bonus. As in, you succeed on DC 10 checks, fail on DC 11 checks, and critically fail on DC 20 checks.

And there aren't a lot of DC 10 checks in the book from what I've seen.


Cardz5000 wrote:
As far as I can tell, Assurance already does that...

No, Assurance gives you a 10. That's it. You don't add your proficiency, your level, your attribute modifier, circumstance, moral, luck, conditional, or item bonuses.

You get a 10.

Flat.


Assurance is a nice feat conceptually, but its numbers need adjustment.

DCs 10 just doesn't exist in the game.

It could very well "assure" you that you can tie your shoelaces.

Since it's total, it should at least be 15/20/25/30

Even the 30 on the legendary, is at most a rolled 8-9 at level 15 usually, (vs optimised skill rolls it's more like a 4) which is the earliest Legendary, and gets lower the higher level you are. For a feat, having a rolled 8-9 isn't that out of reason


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When it comes to Assurance I still have mixed feelings on it in its current state.

Personally, I think that it should give a result of 10 + All Modifiers or 10/15/20/30. (whichever is higher)

I also think that it should be an innate mechanic for all skills that are at least 'Trained' rather than costing a feat. Losing out on the 'Taking 10' mechanic is really rough, though losing out on the 'Taking 20' mechanic is IMO a good thing.

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