Idea to make Int more useful: More reactions


General Discussion

Scarab Sages

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I think most people agree that Intelligence, as it currently stands is one of the weakest stats in the playtest.

Another issue that seems to come up quite frequently is while I like to refer to as the Reaction Traffic Jam. Many classes have far too many actions that take a reaction, and not enough reactions to do them.

Examples:

Paladins wanting to use a shield (defense is their thing!) and use their primary class feature.

Wizards that want to both identify a spell, and counter that spell.

Multiple races with reaction abilities wanting to take classes that rely on reactions (Dwarf, Half-orc etc wanting to be Paladins and Fighters)

Reach builds

Anyone wanting to ready an action etc.

So, the potential solution (either as a default rule, or as a general feat) Characters get a number of reactions equal to their intelligence mod (min 1). This gives the stat some real use, and helps alleviate some of the issues with too many reaction actions not enough reactions.

The Exchange

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No thanks.Beyond it not making sense. I would rather limit everyone to 1 than give bonus reactions based on int. The problems it causes isn't worth it.


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This would be too overpowered for fighters with oppotunity attacks IMO.
A general feat that could increase reactions by only one with a minimum in intelligence (say 16) without item bonuses and a minimum level (say 7) could be more balanced though.


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A few feats exist that alleviate some of the "Reaction Traffic Jam". For instance, there's Shield of Reckoning that allows Paladins to combine Shield Block and Retributive Strike, although that feat does come online fairly late. There's also Quick Recognition, which allows spellcasters to Recognize Spell as a Free Action. I think the game can benefit a lot by expanding on these kinds of feats for a wider range of reactions. Additionally, I would like to see the level-gating on many of these feats relaxed.

I do agree that Intelligence feels a little bit weak, especially when it gives you more than enough skill proficiencies to be trained in all of your desired skills at level one. Some characters are left picking very ancillary skills just to fill out these initial skill proficiencies. To fix this, I propose that level one characters be allowed to spend some of their initial skill proficiencies as Skill Increases to bump skill proficiency up to Expert for a number of skills equal to their Intelligence Modifier, if they so choose. This would make having a higher Intelligence Modifier more attractive for characters that don't need a wide variety of skill proficiencies. Additionally, this keeps Intelligence as a skill-focused Ability while providing tangible benefits to classes that don't synergize well with the "skill-monkey" role.

Because of the level-gating on Master and Legendary proficiency, this still limits a character to a maximum of three Legendary skills, but does allow them to increase other skills to Expert or Master aside from their three Legendary skills. Currently, it requires complete investment of all Skill Increases in order to reach three Legendary skills for all characters besides Rogues.


I would rather see all Recall Knowledge checks be intelligence based and eliminate Lore. We had a Kyra, a pregenerated cleric, with Lore: Serenrae = +5 and Religion = +9. I know its not true, but it felt like she was less knowledgeable about her own god than everyone else's, in any case Lore was definitely unnecessary here.

Another area where intelligence could be improved is languages. The characters do not know many languages. I wouldn't mind seeing +1 language per intelligence modifier and you wouldn't necessarily have to pick them all at 1st level, you could wait and see how the campaign evolves and fill out languages (with appropriate training) later on.


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Snickersnax wrote:

I would rather see all Recall Knowledge checks be intelligence based and eliminate Lore. We had a Kyra, a pregenerated cleric, with Lore: Serenrae = +5 and Religion = +9. I know its not true, but it felt like she was less knowledgeable about her own god than everyone else's, in any case Lore was definitely unnecessary here.

Another area where intelligence could be improved is languages. The characters do not know many languages. I wouldn't mind seeing +1 language per intelligence modifier and you wouldn't necessarily have to pick them all at 1st level, you could wait and see how the campaign evolves and fill out languages (with appropriate training) later on.

Yes, a number of additional languages equal to your Int modifier; 5th Ed went this way during the playtest, but on final release, they dropped it, which is lame (I simply ported it back in, same with class ability score increases, something that PF2 now implements).


I like the idea, in theory.

The problem is that people do not get the same amount of reactions.

As for people thinking it 'doesn't make sense', Int (to me) has always been about mental agility/dexterity. (I have a very strong Str -> Cha, Dex -> Int, Con -> Wis physical-to-mental mapping.)

But yes, it would make Fighters very sticky. Which isn't bad, as far as it goes, but it makes them far stickier _than the other tanky classes_.

I dunno if it goes too far, though. It would be interesting to playtest.


NemisCassander wrote:

I like the idea, in theory.

The problem is that people do not get the same amount of reactions.

As for people thinking it 'doesn't make sense', Int (to me) has always been about mental agility/dexterity. (I have a very strong Str -> Cha, Dex -> Int, Con -> Wis physical-to-mental mapping.)

Interesting, in 4th Ed you can use Str or Con for Fort, Int or Dex for Ref, and Wis or Cha for Will. I like your take as well.

For 5th Ed, I was thinking of Int modifier for Initiative, instead of Dex, would help with Int being an easily dumped stat (same with Str), and Dex being so uber.


Thanks, Vic.

I am very aware of 4E Defenses, and is in fact what crystallized my view of things. I think my view is superior to 4E because it would give you a physical or mental attribute for each Defense.

Int as the modifier for Initiative makes quite a lot of sense from an immersion perspective. The main issue is that it makes Wizards into the default 'go first' people, and historically letting the guy who can 'deal with' entire encounters also be the guy who goes first...

of course, this wouldn't happen in PF2E because magic is outright terrible, but there you go.


NemisCassander wrote:

Thanks, Vic.

I am very aware of 4E Defenses, and is in fact what crystallized my view of things. I think my view is superior to 4E because it would give you a physical or mental attribute for each Defense.

Int as the modifier for Initiative makes quite a lot of sense from an immersion perspective. The main issue is that it makes Wizards into the default 'go first' people, and historically letting the guy who can 'deal with' entire encounters also be the guy who goes first...

of course, this wouldn't happen in PF2E because magic is outright terrible, but there you go.

Right on, I really like this, so is it:

Fort: Constitution or Wisdom.
Ref: Dexterity or Intelligence.
Will: Strength or Charisma.

Or:

Fort: Strength or Charisma
Ref: Dexterity or Intelligence.
Will: Constitution or Wisdom.
?

Yeah, as for Int to Initiative, the wizard deal and the fact that all animals/beats would be slow to react when combat starts, is lame and why I haven't implemented it.


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NemisCassander wrote:


As for people thinking it 'doesn't make sense', Int (to me) has always been about mental agility/dexterity. (I have a very strong Str -> Cha, Dex -> Int, Con -> Wis physical-to-mental mapping.)

I don't know about this...I've met a number of very smart people with the mental agility of a turtle. They are so focused on thinking and immersed in their mental world that they are oblivious to what goes on around them.


Vic: It could be either. I like the former more than the latter, though. Will should change to something like 'Determination', though. Essentially, you would change 'Fort' and 'Will' to something more like 'one-time massive shock to your system' (which would be resisted by sheer counterforce) and 'long-term debilitation' (which would be more of an endurance match).

Snickersnax: That has nothing to do with the speed of their thought, but _what_ they are thinking about. Smart people tend to have the trait, or are otherwise defined by, their ability to rapidly work through things.

Now, I can easily see where 'smart people' are too busy thinking about things that are not immediate that they miss obvious things in front of them. That, however, is a matter of training/proficiency, not raw talent.

*shrug* One problem is that D&D and similar attribute systems have problems pulling apart 'quick thinking' and 'deep thinking'. If you tend to put 'quick thinking' in Wisdom and 'deep thinking' in Intelligence, then clearly you would not agree with my schema. OTOH, it is not clear which should go where. In ST systems--I am most familiar with Exalted--these are clearly delineated with Intelligence (deep) and Wits (quick). And, in that system, Initiative is a combination of Wits and Awareness.


When I saw this thread I misinterpreted it as more [types of] reactions, and got all excited about the idea of letting Recall Knowledge occur as a reaction in response to an ability to gauge similar or related abilities.

I'm less keen on the idea of number of reactions = int mod. That would massively warp martial priorities and seems horrifically powerful.


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Hot take, no single ability score should be terribly important.

Resonance based on Charisma is the only thing we have currently, and the resonance system is going to change.

Otherwise, ability scores aren't too terribly important in determining things important to all classes.


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Honestly, there are only two things that I think need to be done for Intelligence to be where it should be. One is how I'm already assuming it works RAI however RAW it's ambiguous.

1. Clarify rules for increasing attributes to include that adding additional points of Intelligence allows you to train an additional skill.
2. When performing the 'Recall Knowledge' action for both Nature and Religion allow you to substitute your Wisdom Modifier with your Intelligence Modifier if it is higher.


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How I would fix Intelligence:

I think saves should be based off of one of two scores, whichever is higher. So something like this:

Reflex: Dexterity (quick movement) or Intelligence (quick thinking)
Fortitude: Constitution (hearty body) or Strength (strong body)
Will: Wisdom (stable mind) or Charisma (force of personality)

Next I would add something for Int regarding skill points like this:

Int 12 = An extra trained skill at level 1
Int 14 = An extra skill increase at level 1 (Up to Expert) and an extra Language
Int 16 = An extra skill increase at level 3 (Up to Expert)
Int 18 = An extra skill increase at level 5 (Up to Expert)
Int 20 = An extra skill increase at level 7 (Up to Master)
Int 22 = An extra skill increase at level 9 (Up to Master)

Skill increases can be allotted retroactively due to Int increases. I am not sure how to make the above less clunky but, either way, higher int should mean more skill increases (instead of more trained skills, which feels kinda 'meh' to me). Then people would want it for sure.

Then, I think all stats would feel fine.


Data Lore wrote:

How I would fix Intelligence:

I think saves should be based off of one of two scores, whichever is higher. So something like this:

Reflex: Dexterity (quick movement) or Intelligence (quick thinking)
Fortitude: Constitution (hearty body) or Strength (strong body)
Will: Wisdom (stable mind) or Charisma (force of personality)

Next I would add something for Int regarding skill points like this:

Int 12 = An extra trained skill at level 1
Int 14 = An extra skill increase at level 1 (Up to Expert) and an extra Language
Int 16 = An extra skill increase at level 3 (Up to Expert)
Int 18 = An extra skill increase at level 5 (Up to Expert)
Int 20 = An extra skill increase at level 7 (Up to Master)
Int 22 = An extra skill increase at level 9 (Up to Master)

Skill increases can be allotted retroactively due to Int increases. I am not sure how to make the above less clunky but, either way, higher int should mean more skill increases (instead of more trained skills, which feels kinda 'meh' to me). Then people would want it for sure.

I generally like the concept. I was thinking the exact same thing for saves, although I do not really have an issue with the current Save system. I like your outline for skills based on Intelligence, but I prefer my outline below for extra skill increases based on Intelligence.

Intelligence still grants extra Trained skills at character creation just as it does now. Based on your Intelligence modifier, you also get an Intelligence based Skill Increase at the levels indicated on the chart below (capping at 6 extra increases).
You can use this increase to either become trained in one skill you’re untrained in, or to become an expert in one skill in which you’re already trained.
If you are at least 7th level, you can also use this increase to become a master in a skill in which you’re already an expert. If you are at least 15th level, you can also use this increase to become legendary in a skill in which you’re already a master.
If your Intelligence increases you also get a new Trained skill and compare the number of Intelligence based Skill Increases you already have to the new amount you would have at the higher score. If your new total is higher, you may apply the Skill increase in any way your current level would allow.. For example, if you use your level 10 stat increase to improve a 14 Intelligence to a 16 Intelligence, you gain a new Trained skill and you would now have two Skill Increases (from levels 5 and 10) instead of one increase (just level 6), so you can immediately apply that second increase.

+1 - Levels 7 & 14
+2 - Levels 6, 12, & 18
+3 - Levels 5, 10, 15, & 20
+4 - Levels 4, 8, 12, 16, & 20
+5 - Levels 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, & 18


Data Lore wrote:

How I would fix Intelligence:

I think saves should be based off of one of two scores, whichever is higher. So something like this:

Reflex: Dexterity (quick movement) or Intelligence (quick thinking)
Fortitude: Constitution (hearty body) or Strength (strong body)
Will: Wisdom (stable mind) or Charisma (force of personality)

Yes, the 4th Ed way, I ported that over to 3rd Ed. I also like Nemis' grouping (one physical and one mental for each).


What about you make it work this way?

you gain additional mental reactions equal to your half your int mod, these can not be used to make an attack.

now you can use a reaction to identify, then make the counter spell like you wished, of a fighter could do something like recognise an incoming attack then use there second reaction to block or dodge it.

would that work or would it still make int to powerful

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