Noble Background - Lore & feat really don't work together?


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was just making a character & decided he was a noble so I jumped to the noble background, and found a rather confusing result.

It grants the skill Nobility Lore - seems sensible enough on it's own.

It then grants the "Courtly Graces" feat - a feat that allows you to use Society in place of Nobility Lore for Recall Knowledge...

So the background both grants you a Lore, then immediately undercuts it by granting you a feat who's primary purpose is to let you use a different skill instead of having to be trained in that lore?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I was wondering if I was the only person who had noticed that.

Silver Crusade

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

Hmm, very curious, it might have been trying to do a certain thing but then got lost in implementation.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Noticed this as well (half of the characters I was making for testing, which were based on my friends' past PF1 character, would have the Noble background). I wonder if they intend in inverse to be true: use Nobility Lore in the place of Society.


Big Lemon wrote:
Noticed this as well (half of the characters I was making for testing, which were based on my friends' past PF1 character, would have the Noble background). I wonder if they intend in inverse to be true: use Nobility Lore in the place of Society.

I feel that using Nobility Lore in place of Society is what was intended.


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I feel like this might be a case of "too quick to the printer". I'd imagine backgrounds were a late addition. Obviously they knew backgrounds would be there, since the stat boosts are key to the math of the system, and the trained Lore and skill feat aspects were likely a part of the initial design, before anything else about the published backgrounds were set, but I can see the individual backgrounds were mostly done right before sending it to the printer, because they're the most simple to create, and aren't really things which need huge internal testing. So the design team, after finalizing everything else, just gathered a list of interesting backgrounds, gave them stats and lore, and then went through the index of skill feats, and chose ones whose names seemed to fit best.

So, yeah, I expect this to be changed, and honestly, I'm kind of curious as to why Society wouldn't cover Nobility Lore on its own. For 1e's skills distribution, it makes sense. But if Skills are being consolidated, Society seems like the skill that would cover that.


still no answer from the staff ? or is there an update that i have miss in the V1.6


Tholomyes wrote:


So, yeah, I expect this to be changed, and honestly, I'm kind of curious as to why Society wouldn't cover Nobility Lore on its own. For 1e's skills distribution, it makes sense. But if Skills are being consolidated, Society seems like the skill that would cover that.

I'm pretty sure Society does cover Nobility Lore. However, using a specific lore tends to lower the DC a couple of points rather than using a more broadly applicable skill. Knowing the full history of the Foxglove family might be a DC 25 society check or DC 23 Nobility Lore check. (See page 24 of Doomsday Dawn.)

As written, the main benefit of the feat is that it allows you to apply your society bonus to this lower DC, and it may be easier to get item bonuses to Society than Lore skills, for example. And you're more likely to out a skill increase in a generally useful skill like Society than a Lore.

If you reversed the feat so you could use Nobility Lore for all society DCs, the main benefit would be that you can upgrade a Lore to Legendary cheaper than Society. There are skill and ancestry feats that do that for you. OTOH I don't know if there are ways to get item bonuses to Lore before level 14.

I'd guess either way you write the feat gives about the same level of benefit. However, neither is actually very good or interesting.

A more interesting version of the feat would allow you to use Nobility Lore for Diplomacy checks, at least in higher social circles. We had a lot of PF1 traits that let you swap ability scores for skill usage, and nothing quite does anymore. That might be a little too powerful in general, but limiting it to a specific chunk of society might be reasonable. (Though I imagine it would be extremely powerful in a game like War of the Crown.) I'd consider allowing it to be used for any Ancestry you have Cultural Familiarity with, although that could turn this into the equivalent of Favored Enemy: Human.

Edit: I wouldn't hold my breath on an answer tbh, it is probably going to be changed in the final version anyway which they are very busy working on.


I guess I should note that none of the above really takes away from the OP's point: the nobility background grants a Lore which is then rendered redundant by the background's skill feat.


Acolyte is pretty similar as well, with a bonus that their 'lore' skill is bizarrely narrow and specific, and not very useful. (How many times, outside of that horrorshow in Wrath of the Righteous, are you going to be on a trivia quiz show about your own deity?)

It rather highlights the problems with the lore skill to me. I get that they wanted some background thing that wasn't worth character resources, but many of the lores either fall under the auspices of real skills, aren't useful in any way at all, or both.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Voss wrote:
Acolyte is pretty similar as well, with a bonus that their 'lore' skill is bizarrely narrow and specific, and not very useful. (How many times, outside of that horrorshow in Wrath of the Righteous, are you going to be on a trivia quiz show about your own deity?)

It gets even worse if you're a Wisdom-based character like a Cleric, since you're almost certainly invested in the Religion skill and since your wisdom bonus will be much higher than your intelligence bonus even a large DC discount on deity lore will still be more difficult than just using Religion. Other lore skills have a similar problem; why would a ranger care about hunting lore when they have a great survival skill?

I'm not opposed to lore in principle, but given the implementation we saw in the playtest document the vast majority of lore skills were simply subsets of existing skills, and that doesn't really add anything to the game. This was exacerbated by the fact that most characters dumped intelligence and there was no good way to get a big bonus to lore checks, so most characters had no way to actually be good with lore anyways and were better off just invested in a real skill that covered that.

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