Current skill system extremly static and boring! Solution Talent instead of Ability affect skill!


General Discussion


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As the current skill system work you get plenty of classes that really cant contribute at all in skill challenges.
Examples Fighters and Barbarians that only are good at athletic pretty much useless in rest.

Even worse is that some skills some classes should logical be good at they are not.
Examples: Intimidation Barbarian, they have no charisma so they are useless in this.
Rangers and Rogues that dont have wisdom and are bad in Perception, instead you have Clerics and Druids being the uber scouts! I mean where is the logic in this?

Worst of all is that you as a player have no freedom at all on what skills you should be good at because how the abilities affect the skills. Not only that there really is no flexibility on what skills you can learn and I for one as well as my playgroup would find it fun and logical as well as flexible if you could pick the skills you would want to be talented in.
Example if you want a Performing Druid you could, or a Occult intrested Fighter or why not a Acrobatic Paladin to mention a few.

Solution to this is easy.
Remove Abilities from skills!
Include talents for skills.

Talent points should exchange the current abilities Points from the skills.

Each character should get Talent Points to allocate to the skills
3x+4, 3x+3,3x+2, 3x+1 (Instead of current fixed abilites/skills)
Each stat increase thereafter you would get 4 more talent point to allocate.
You could then raise current talents by +1 to a max 0f +4
(+5 if you have a 20+ ability)

This would make for a really free and flexible skill system where roleplaying and freedom to be who you want is at focus!

Example: You want to make a silvertounged Diplomatic Wizard with a criminal background that actually are good at what he should be.
You pick
+4 talent in Diplomacy and get trained in the skill
+4 talent in Deception and get trained in the skill
+4 talent in Thievery and get trained in the skill
+3 talent in in Arcana and get trained in the skill
+3 talent in Stealth and get trained in the skill
+3 talent in Perception and get trained in the skill
+2 talent in Performance and get trained in the skill
+2 talent in Athletic and get trained in the skill
+2 talent in Acrobatic and get trained in the skill
+1 talent in Social and get trained in the skill
+1 talent in Lore and get trained in the skill
+1 talent in Craft and get trained in the skill

It might be that you can not train all your choosen skills just as it now due to to few skill but these you can train up along the way or ignore much as it works now

THIS would really make a free and fun character with their own personality and make a lof of different types of personalities even within the same classes.

A truly flexible and intresting skill system for all characters regardless of Abilities and classes!

And it is EASY to implement within the current system as well!


Interesting and I would like to know more


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Don't take this as any jab. But I have no idea what I just read. I opened the post and saw a big long thing of a bunch of numbers, glanced at it, and hit the back button on my browser.

Maybe it's that I just got off a 12 hour shift. I might try again after a shower and coffee.


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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:

Don't take this as any jab. But I have no idea what I just read. I opened the post and saw a big long thing of a bunch of numbers, glanced at it, and hit the back button on my browser.

Maybe it's that I just got off a 12 hour shift. I might try again after a shower and coffee.

Well it might very well be your 12h shift :-) but it might as well be my poor English. Its not my native language and while I can speak rather well my writing has a lot to desire.

I hope you have some patience with me and take the time to read it because it is not really that difficult.

But here is the short version:

1 Remove abilities from the skills (stats)
2 Replace those removed abilities with fixed amount of Talent Point that you allocate yourself to the skills. ( 3 of each of +4, +3, +2, +1)
(with stat increase you get 4 x +1 each time more talent points)

This to get a much more free and flexible skill system.
By being able to choose where the talents are located you actually get better at the skills you want your character to be able to use.
Currently the skills are veryrigid due to the stat allocation to the skills. Hope this helped :-)


Oh, I see now, I think.
Basically just allocating your bonus instead of it being pre-decided by stats.

The only problem I really see is it would place less importance on stats. Wisdom for non-divine casters would only matter for Will save, basically.


Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
Don't take this as any jab. But I have no idea what I just read. I opened the post and saw a big long thing of a bunch of numbers, glanced at it, and hit the back button on my browser.

I think worg64 has a valid point, but he jumps ahead to a proposed solution before he finishes fully explaining the problem. Let me just focus on the problem now. By the way, he has an almost identical post, Skill challanges in Doomsday, which would be a good place to describe examples from actual Doomsday Dawn playtest characters.

Let's start with Rangers. I like to play rangers as a high-skill martial class. The Pathfinder 2nd Edition developers had a different vision built around Hunt Target ability. The ranger is a martial with ranged attack ability, so needs to invest in Strength for damage and Dexterity for accuracy. The classic PF1 ranger was also a Wisdom-based delayed-onset spellcaster, so they typically invested in Wisdom too, which aided Perception and Survival skills. Those skills helped the ranger fit the original inspiration, the ranger Aragorn from Lord of The Rings, as a wilderness expert. The PF2 ranger has little reason to invest in Wisdom. If they don't invest in Wisdom, their Perception is weak despite starting as Expert and their Survival is weak despite starting as Trained.

In contrast, a cleric who wants lots of Spell Points and a high Spell DC will invest in Wisdom. This gives them a strong Perception despite being only Trained in it. Since clerics are viewed as bookish, the high Perception seems out of place. Clerics were one of the few classes in PF1 that did not have Perception as a class skill.

Perception is a natural proficiency for comparison, because its rank is set by the class, so we can tell which classes are supposed to be good at Perception and which classes are supposed to be mediocre at Perception. However, the Wisdom modifier ranges from -1 to +3 while the proficiency rank ranges from +0 to +1, so the Wisdom score is a much bigger factor than the proficiency ranks.

It is like that with all proficiencies, except that Untrained is a hefty -4 penalty so that one proficiency rank can be a major factor. Some people have been arguing for months that the level+0, level+1, level+2, and level+3 are too close to really distinguish between Trained, Expert, Master, and Legendary. Other people have been hoping that skill unlocks will make up the difference, but I have not seen that working on actual characters.

worg64 proposes replacing the ability score modifiers with talent points, and devotes a lot of numbers to presenting talent points.

An alternative would be finding ways to encourage rangers to invest in Wisdom. But we don't want to discourage clerics from investing in Wisdom. And making them the only class Untrained in Perception would be a heavy burden.


Well explained Mathmuse. You take a good example and explain it in depth what is the problem with the current skill system.

The current skill system is extremly rigid as it is now working both in terms of abilities(stats) allocation as well as class choices in those that must be done.

Allocating talent instead of abilities(stats)open up the skill to a more fluid and flexible system with the roleplaying in focus for players.

And I agree with Barnabas Eckleworth III
Basically you just allocating your bonus instead of it being pre-decided by stats to the skills in my suggestion.
Still it would be easy to implement and work well in the current system.

You are also right on your concern Barnabas Eckleworth III regarding the stats. You wrote:
The only problem I really see is it would place less importance on stats. Wisdom for non-divine casters would only matter for Will save, basically.

The mental stats are as they are a bit underwhelming.
Int would just give exyta skill Points, WIS would just give will save and Cha would just give resonance Points. STR would also only be a dump stats for casters.

But that is a matter of balance and can be fixed by allocating some more abilities to those stats.

In fact In the current system those stats are underwhelming as they are for all melee classes,
Fighters, Barbarians, Paladins etc etc all take high STR, DEX; CON and have 10-12 at best a single 14 in the mental stats.


Not much comments or action these days in the forums. Have all already started thinking on the holidays and are tired of the playtests?
I sure hope not because this is the time to make the difference to make the Pathfinder 2 a great game!

The current skillsystem!

Is it just me and my game group that find the current skillsystem static and boring?

Our game group have now started with free allocation of point instead of the current fixed stats and all players are happy how it has turned out.

The characters really has come to live and now there is a big difference on the characters. Makes for more fun and fluffy roleplay.


Another option is to do what 5e tried to do: divorce skills from attributes. Everything becomes an attribute check, and skill proficiency is applied if appropriate. Unfortunately there aren't too many easy examples to grab of this, and ot doesn't work quite as well with the uteml system.

The jist of it is that any action a player attempts is based on an attribute. If they have training in a skill that would aid them, it can be applied. So, for example, swimming against a strong current would be a strength check, and a character trained in athletics could apply that bonus to the check. Swimming over a long distance would be a constitution check for being based on stamina, but a character trained in athletics could still add athletics if trained in it as it still applies.

Similarly, if you try to menace someone with your phisique, threatening harm, that'd be a strength check (against will), and a character trained in intimidation could add that skill bonus. This also opens up the option that 5e didn't take which is to divorce social skills from charisma. There's no reason one couldn't try to reason with someone (int), or charm or otherwise coerce them (charisma) into a favorable course of action, but all those could add diplomacy.

Charisma and wisdom being what they are makes it harder too. Making them more concrete attributes instead would help that along, but that's a different issue.


worg64 wrote:

As the current skill system work you get plenty of classes that really cant contribute at all in skill challenges.

Examples Fighters and Barbarians that only are good at athletic pretty much useless in rest.

Are you playing with errata 1.6? They get a lot more trained skills at 1st level now. I have a barbarian in my play test group and although he isn't super charismatic or intelligent, he still does OK with Diplomacy and Medicine skills. Optimized, no, but he has a chance.

worg64 wrote:
Examples: Intimidation Barbarian, they have no charisma so they are useless in this.

Yeah, a number of us have already said that Intimidation should be based on Str, not Chr. It doesn’t make sense that a drama student should be more intimidating than Brock Lesnar, but I guess Paizo disagrees.

worg64 wrote:
Rangers and Rogues that dont have wisdom and are bad in Perception, instead you have Clerics and Druids being the uber scouts! I mean where is the logic in this?

The real problem here is that default manner to resolve initiative should not be based on Perception. Sure, if you don’t know the opponent is there, but when you’re going door to door and expecting trouble, it’s all about reflexes and your dexterity like in PF1, not Perception.

worg64 wrote:
And it is EASY to implement within the current system as well!

Honestly, it’s too different from PF1. Does it really make sense to be good at things opposite to your stats? Like being super athletic but super weak and clumsy? Or knowing random facts about everything and yet not being smart? It doesn’t sounds intuitive to me.

worg64 wrote:
Not much comments or action these days in the forums. Have all already started thinking on the holidays and are tired of the playtests?

It’s more like people are weary. Or they get turned off because they didn’t see an important change they suggested. Or they can’t keep up with the errata and are just waiting for the final game. Or their players no longer want to play test. It’s also hard to have a conversation when people are not keeping up to date on the errata.

Mathmuse wrote:
In contrast, a cleric who wants lots of Spell Points and a high Spell DC will invest in Wisdom. This gives them a strong Perception despite being only Trained in it. Since clerics are viewed as bookish, the high Perception seems out of place. Clerics were one of the few classes in PF1 that did not have Perception as a class skill.

Again, I’ve played at least 15 play test games now and strongly feel Perception should not be the baseline skill for initiative. PF1 feels intuitive, making Perception even more important does not.

Thinking about it, it’s kind of funny that wisdom is the prime stat of clerics when some religious personas have the least amount of common sense and awareness. In real life, a cleric’s prime stat is charisma, not wisdom. It’s too late to change now perhaps, but I find that thought amusing.

Sorcerers, witches, monks, and occult types, they are the ones with strong awareness and intuition, not dogmatic clerics.

Clerics are the charismatic leaders that convince people to join their faith.

Sorcerers are the weirdos who just "know things" and don't know how they know.

I think that is a house rule I’m going to make, Clerics will get charisma as a prime stat and sorcerers will get wisdom, it makes much more sense.

Mathmuse wrote:
It is like that with all proficiencies, except that Untrained is a hefty -4 penalty so that one proficiency rank can be a major factor. Some people have been arguing for months that the level+0, level+1, level+2, and level+3 are too close to really distinguish between Trained, Expert, Master, and Legendary. Other people have been hoping that skill unlocks will make up the difference, but I have not seen that working on actual characters.

Yeah it’s a huge problem, they need to do something to distinguish someone who is trained from someone who is a legend. So far in my PF1 conversions, I’ve been requiring a certain level of proficiency to even attempt some checks (mostly trained but sometimes expert). But I’d like to see something more than that from Paizo. I know some skills have skill feats that allow re-rolls or you can roll twice on your check, perhaps that should be more generic to all non-combat skill checks.

Ranishe wrote:
Similarly, if you try to menace someone with your phisique, threatening harm, that'd be a strength check (against will), and a character trained in intimidation could add that skill bonus. This also opens up the option that 5e didn't take which is to divorce social skills from charisma. There's no reason one couldn't try to reason with someone (int), or charm or otherwise coerce them (charisma) into a favorable course of action, but all those could add diplomacy.

I actually kind of like that, only some players will try to use skills with their best stats and could probably come up with a good argument to use just about any stat for some skill checks, and it would be up to the GM to say "no, reasoning doesn't work on these guys, not right now" which would lead to a lot of table variation, arguments, and strife. So it sounds good, but I'd have to say "no" because of the above.


Quote:
I actually kind of like that, only some players will try to use skills with their best stats and could probably come up with a good argument to use just about any stat for some skill checks, and it would be up to the GM to say "no, reasoning doesn't work on these guys, not right now" which would lead to a lot of table variation, arguments, and strife. So it sounds good, but I'd have to say "no" because of the above.

I have three separate responses to this:

A) it's not the player's choice what kind of check they roll, any more so than a player can say "i want to athletics the door down." They can say they want to scare someone into helping them by looming over them, but the players do not say "I'm going to roll a str based intimidate check."

B) the above wouldn't stop a player from trying to make use of skills they're good at, but isn't that kinda encouraged? Shouldn't a character act in ways consistent with what they're good at? Shouldn't a logician try to reason their way through a problem? And then whether or not any given approach is applicable is up to the gm.

C) you cannot rules the GM out of the game. They are the final arbiter on everything, and there will always be situations where the gm makes a decision on what can and cannot work, and what the chances of each are.


The way stats are now, I honestly don't see a problem.

It's not like PF1 where to raise Cha as a wizard you had to ruin your build as an example.

Stats now are much closer to each other, and due to multiple stat boosts the system NEEDS that mad elements to diversify the characters.

So "a wizard that's a diplomat" as a concept could start with a 14 cha, and by level 10 he already has a +4 mod vs the +5 mod that is the absolute max for a character at that level.

That's not bad.

You'll either way end up with mods around +7, +5, +5, +4, +1, +0 or +7, +5, +4, +4, +2, +0

So, usually stat variation isn't even that big.

As an example, a cleric that doesn't care for perception will end up at around +27 while a ranger who does will end up with around +32/+33

The issue is nonexistent.

It really is:
I want to simultaneously raise my dex, my con, my wis, my main X, Y, Z but I also want to be competitive in skill A, B, C that have nothing to do with the stats I'm raising.


Jason S wrote:


Yeah, a number of us have already said that Intimidation should be based on Str, not Chr. It doesn’t make sense that a drama student should be more intimidating than Brock Lesnar, but I guess Paizo disagrees.

It absolutely does in the same way that Guitarists are still classified by their CHA over their talent.

Also, Coercion is a form of intimidation.

I'm pretty sure when I think of Intimidate, a great example that comes to mind is Joe Pesci's scene in Goodfellas. Joe Pesci is a small guy with absolutely 0 "muscle" and he is absolutely intimidating in that scene. Muscle has nothing to do with it.

Think of Lenny from Mice and Men. Absolutely huge, accidentally kills people with his Strength. Not intimidating in the slightest, because he lacks Charisma.

I wouldn't be opposed to something Akin to Dastardly Finish granting STR to intimidate as well as an action/ability (or something comparable), but to say a Drama student is better at Intimidation than Brock Lesner isn't even true in the current system. One that feeds into some made-up stereotype of Drama student (Jason Mamoa was a drama student) and two Brock Lesnar has been a martial artist for years (probably not level 1 and he'd be intimidating not because of his Intimidation but because of his ability to fight, his level bonus).

Ability Scores should matter for Skills, the problem is really that Proficiency doesn't. Paizo has already recognized this is a major issue with Proficiency as it interacts with Skills, but it's worth fielding other ideas.

I personally think creating a point system for "Talent" is adding complexity where it doesn't need to exist.


This moves pretty close to not needing stats at all. If there's no interplay between your abilities, then you don't need the ability scores in the first place. I understand the desire to have the bonuses free floating like that, but my concerns are the same as those I have for monster creation being free floating; you're left with a big chunk of game you don't need.


Ok, while it is an interesting and potentially useful concept that someone who might not show the typical natural aptitude by build or personality, nor necessarily specific training may show either a surprising aptitude or ineptitude towards a specific skill. Someone who isn't even that charismatic, big , even trained might have a knack for simply having a strangely terrifying nature. A knack or talent.

One thing that definitely is missing in P2 is the ability for a first level character to differentiate skills past being, trained or not, and/or those skills being something they get good bonuses via their attributes or not. In 3.5 you could put one rank in something to show some dabbling, or put all four in to show some focus. In Pathfinder, you had fewer points to put around, but you could normally grab a trait to make an odd skill into a class skill to make you more adept as something a little out of the normal class envelope, that you want to include as part of your nature.

Some ability to have a knack for a skill seems to be of value, but the biggest issue I see is the potential problem of different skill or proficiency potentially having strikingly different values. If knack points could be used in place of an attribute bonus for something for instance, and you wanted to give a ranger a boost to perception to boost their weak wisdom, would having perception being an option make using such a bonus to boost someones knowledge skill a trap that people would heckle the individual for choosing because it suited their concept. If you allowed someone to use talent points to affect their weapon proficiency with a particular type of weapon, replacing their weak strength, would that make a trap of the perception and knowledge choices?

I love the idea of offering someone the ability to be better or worse at a few skills than might otherwise seem likely based on raw abilities. I just think in most cases, the abilities should be the things tied to the skills.

Do you have any other ideas that doesn't completely remove the abilities relationship to the skills? What do you do when you have someone with more than Twelve skills? Are the rest of them all +0? Does that mean that you 8 STR mage can choose for Athletics to be one of their +4 skills?


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The problem I have with the OP's suggestion is that it makes for a whole different kind of weirdness. It would be possible for a scrawny mage with STR 8 to be exactly as Athletic as a brawny STR 20 fighter, as long as they both invest the same amount of talent points into the skill.

Maybe they wouldn't, but they could, and there is no reason that the fighter's magnificent musculature should NOT help him be more athletic.

Also, more bookkeeping. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Me, I'd simply push for setting the proficiency bonuses at -4/0/+4/+8/+12 and then dropping the level modifier to only +1 per 2 levels. This way Legendary is 12 points better than Trained instead of only 3 points.

You do this for all checks, including attack rolls. Ultimately, it makes classes that never get better than Trained or Expert fairly bad at attacking, but hopefully, they make up for it with spells or something equally useful (cough, cough).

With that scale, level and proficiency have roughly equal value in the equation, and being Expert, Master, or Legendary really matters.


Hmm... it has always bothered me that stats have such a relatively huge impact on your skills compared to skill ranks, a.k.a. 'actual training'.

Some RPG system uses skill points like so: A skill check is a check vs. an attribute (or rather, 3 checks vs. 3 attributes), and your skill points do 2 things: 1) They work as a buffer for bad rolls, allowing you to miss your roll by a certain amount, and 2), the number of skill points left over after your roll determine the quality of success.

If you need, for example, to climb a wall, that may be a STR check, but you only climb a number of meters according to your left over skill points (possibly divided by 2/3/4). So a stronger climber will have an easier time keeping all his skill points, but only a skilled climber can actually hope to climb fast.

As for PF2, I like the idea of keeping the 'skill values' close together, so basic stuff can be done by (almost) everyone. But they had such a great opportunity to make skill tiers actually matter and wasted it. :(

All it would need would be to have certain skill uses gated by proficiency, with skill feats merely augmenting particular facets of the skill in question. And of course have feats scale like Free Fall. That ought to be the gold standard for feats.

Alas, it appears they got scared of their own courage and did not go far enough...


Lycar wrote:

Hmm... it has always bothered me that stats have such a relatively huge impact on your skills compared to skill ranks, a.k.a. 'actual training'.

Some RPG system uses skill points like so: A skill check is a check vs. an attribute (or rather, 3 checks vs. 3 attributes), and your skill points do 2 things: 1) They work as a buffer for bad rolls, allowing you to miss your roll by a certain amount, and 2), the number of skill points left over after your roll determine the quality of success.

If you need, for example, to climb a wall, that may be a STR check, but you only climb a number of meters according to your left over skill points (possibly divided by 2/3/4). So a stronger climber will have an easier time keeping all his skill points, but only a skilled climber can actually hope to climb fast.

As for PF2, I like the idea of keeping the 'skill values' close together, so basic stuff can be done by (almost) everyone. But they had such a great opportunity to make skill tiers actually matter and wasted it. :(

All it would need would be to have certain skill uses gated by proficiency, with skill feats merely augmenting particular facets of the skill in question. And of course have feats scale like Free Fall. That ought to be the gold standard for feats.

Alas, it appears they got scared of their own courage and did not go far enough...

actually, a dm may very well use the tier system as he sees fit.

it's only 1-2 trained options and 1-2 expert options that are shown in the playtest, but that doesn't automatically make evey other check an expert+

it's just a lack of examples that gives this impression, and this can very well be fixed in a more extensive actual rulebook.


In both 3.5 and PF1, there was a feat available that let a PC use STR instead of (or in addition to? Can't remember) CHA for Intimidate checks.
I'm sure there will be some form of that.
Or, if it bothers anyone badly enough, just offer it to the player as an option.


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Intimidating Prowess is actually a Skill Feat that can be obtained, and when you're physically menacing to the target you can apply a bonus to your Intimidate check.

Prerequisites: 16 Strength and Expert in Intimidation.

In situations where you can physically menace the target of your Coerce or Demoralize attempts, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your Intimidation check and you ignore the penalty for not sharing a language. If your Strength score is 20 or higher and you have the master proficiency rank in Intimidation, this bonus increases to +2.

So, with your example Barbarian if they had a Charisma of 16 and a Strength of 20 and raised their Intimidation to at least Master.. then they can effectively function as if they had a +5 Charisma to the check. More than enough to compete with more Charismatic characters.

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