Am I missing something re: Skill Feats?


Second Edition

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There are also some feats that probably shouldn't scale at all. For example, Group Impression. If that is going to be a skill feat, I'd rather it just be a binary switch that lets you speak publicly and impress anyone in earshot.

Silver Crusade

Pandora's wrote:

I think there actually is a problem if all skill feats scaled with proficiency. Since you can only advance a small handful of skills past trained, you'd feel like you were missing out on most of the effects of your feats if you if you didn't put all your skill feats into skills you advanced. If I get 5 effects from an Acrobatics skill feat because I'm legendary but only one effect from a Diplomacy skill feat, I'm less likely to consider the Diplomacy feat than I would without everything scaling.

There's also the problem that when a feat scales, it has to be split across the proficiency tiers. A feat that might have given benefit X that was reasonable as a Master-level feat may now have that effect as the Legendary effect because it was the best effect the designers came up with. You lose some design agility when there are several tiers that must be filled.

I fully support feats scaling when it feels like a natural progression and the end result is not so powerful that it pushes you to only invest in feats for skills you're advancing. I think Cat Fall does this well. I could see having a character with Legendary Acrobatics and not taking Cat Fall.

On the other hand, I do like how merely investing sufficiently in a skill can create superhuman effects. A Bard with Legendary Perofrmance and all the feats, like Fascinating Performance becomes world famous (if he wants) and can fill stadiums with fans both rapt and malleable. It's extrememly powerful, but only as gonzo as something like Scare to Death, with similar Intimidation investment (Combining the two however...)


Captain Morgan wrote:

The thing is a feat doesn't have to actually scale at all 4 proficiency steps. It is cool if it does, but you don't need to fit stuff in just to check every box. Just generally increase the level of scaling.

You're right that it does encourage you to double down on investing in specific skills... but Pathfinder has always rewarded specialization and I am not sure that's a bad thing.

It doesn't have to, but the example being used as the platonic ideal skill feat, Cat Fall, does. If everything is like Cat Fall, the issue I'm pointing out is more likely to arise.

I think that skill feats with higher proficiency requirements being more powerful already encourages specialization plenty. What I'm referring to is the negative psychological effect of looking at a feat that I want but realizing that out of the described 2-4 effects/levels of effect for that feat, I'm only going to ever get one of them. Should I not spend that feat on something I get the full 2-4 effects from? This is as opposed to getting the full benefit of a feat as long as I qualify for it. You're less likely to ever dabble outside of your specialization if you're getting obviously, visibly far less bang for your buck when doing so.

In reality, I don't think this will be a problem as I think making most feats fit the Cat Fall mold is too clunky design-wise and isn't what Paizo did or will do for future feats. I'm just pushing back against the idea that Cat Fall should be our platonic ideal feat, and acknowledging some of the drawbacks of that design style.


0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:
On the other hand, I do like how merely investing sufficiently in a skill can create superhuman effects. A Bard with Legendary Perofrmance and all the feats, like Fascinating Performance becomes world famous (if he wants) and can fill stadiums with fans both rapt and malleable. It's extrememly powerful, but only as gonzo as something like Scare to Death, with similar Intimidation investment (Combining the two however...)

I don't know how you got anything anti-gonzo from my post. All I'm arguing against is that most skill feats should scale to a legendary effect, not that legendary effects shouldn't exist. I enjoy legendary/mythic abilities as well as the next guy in a campaign with the appropriate theme.


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Pandora's wrote:
0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:
On the other hand, I do like how merely investing sufficiently in a skill can create superhuman effects. A Bard with Legendary Perofrmance and all the feats, like Fascinating Performance becomes world famous (if he wants) and can fill stadiums with fans both rapt and malleable. It's extrememly powerful, but only as gonzo as something like Scare to Death, with similar Intimidation investment (Combining the two however...)
I don't know how you got anything anti-gonzo from my post. All I'm arguing against is that most skill feats should scale to a legendary effect, not that legendary effects shouldn't exist. I enjoy legendary/mythic abilities as well as the next guy in a campaign with the appropriate theme.

Reducing legendary scaling does mean LESS legendary effects though.

I think we are basically arguing semantics though and there's probably not especially efficient quibbling to o for another 25 days. ;)


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I think if each skill had a single feat that was full scaling, and then a bunch of either 2 step (Master + Legendary, Expert + Master) or just single effect feats, that would be a nice line to draw. That ways, the guy focusing on one skill gets that growing/advancing feel, regardless of what skill, and the guys who just dip into a skill for a little bit get some really nice effects that aren't super ham.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Am I misunderstanding, or is the argument being made that incentives to select feats that scale with investment in a skill that you are planning on investing in anyway are bad?


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Shisumo wrote:
Am I misunderstanding, or is the argument being made that incentives to select feats that scale with investment in a skill that you are planning on investing in anyway are bad?

I think the argument is that if there are gated Skill feats (master+ for instance) then low level Skill feats that scale need to have lesser power to compensate for the fact that the Proficiency prerequisite ones have better incentives.

Also that it’s kinda weird to get 3 powers at once with one Skill Feat (but cat fall doesn’t do this, it scales but in a purely numbers way so it’s just one new ability but more potent to take it at master than trained)

That said, I think as CM said some auto scale because of what they can do (relative power remains insistence).

I do think nick1wasd has an excellent idea in make Master-Legendary paired feats at higher levels would compensate for the issues.


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Midnightoker wrote:


Also that it’s kinda weird to get 3 powers at once with one Skill Feat (but cat fall doesn’t do this, it scales but in a purely numbers way so it’s just one new ability but more potent to take it at master than trained)

IMO, skill feats kind of need this whether or not it comes from Proficiency scaling, because in the PFPT they were too niche to be wroth taking in isolation. Like, I would never spend a skill feat to crawl faster, or a skill feat to squeeze better, but I might grab a feat that does both.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:


Also that it’s kinda weird to get 3 powers at once with one Skill Feat (but cat fall doesn’t do this, it scales but in a purely numbers way so it’s just one new ability but more potent to take it at master than trained)
IMO, skill feats kind of need this whether or not it comes from Proficiency scaling, because in the PFPT they were too niche to be wroth taking in isolation. Like, I would never spend a skill feat to crawl faster, or a skill feat to squeeze better, but I might grab a feat that does both.

And I think falling might be just good enough since it’s damage prevention and allows them to create scenarios of height, where as crawling and squeezing are things you’d generally avoid doing.

That said, combining those two would make some sense, if it scaled up to say something like “freedom of movement” at legendary.

Really limiting them isn’t necessary to me. They can take a lot of shapes and still be balanced and interesting.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Am I misunderstanding, or is the argument being made that incentives to select feats that scale with investment in a skill that you are planning on investing in anyway are bad?
I think the argument is that if there are gated Skill feats (master+ for instance) then low level Skill feats that scale need to have lesser power to compensate for the fact that the Proficiency prerequisite ones have better incentives.

No, that I get and I agree with. It's this other bit.

If I understand the objection Pandora's raised, it is that if you are planning to invest in Skill A, and there is a scaling Skill Feat for Skill A, and you are not planning to invest much in Skill B, then somehow that makes you less likely to buy a Skill Feat for Skill B, and more confusingly, that somehow this is a problem?


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Shisumo wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Am I misunderstanding, or is the argument being made that incentives to select feats that scale with investment in a skill that you are planning on investing in anyway are bad?
I think the argument is that if there are gated Skill feats (master+ for instance) then low level Skill feats that scale need to have lesser power to compensate for the fact that the Proficiency prerequisite ones have better incentives.

No, that I get and I agree with. It's this other bit.

If I understand the objection Pandora's raised, it is that if you are planning to invest in Skill A, and there is a scaling Skill Feat for Skill A, and you are not planning to invest much in Skill B, then somehow that makes you less likely to buy a Skill Feat for Skill B, and more confusingly, that somehow this is a problem?

I think it's that if the skill feat for skill b has abilities for each proficiency level and you are only planing to get trained in skill b, you'll feel you're missing out on those other abilities from the feat.


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graystone wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Am I misunderstanding, or is the argument being made that incentives to select feats that scale with investment in a skill that you are planning on investing in anyway are bad?
I think the argument is that if there are gated Skill feats (master+ for instance) then low level Skill feats that scale need to have lesser power to compensate for the fact that the Proficiency prerequisite ones have better incentives.

No, that I get and I agree with. It's this other bit.

If I understand the objection Pandora's raised, it is that if you are planning to invest in Skill A, and there is a scaling Skill Feat for Skill A, and you are not planning to invest much in Skill B, then somehow that makes you less likely to buy a Skill Feat for Skill B, and more confusingly, that somehow this is a problem?

I think it's that if the skill feat for skill b has abilities for each proficiency level and you are only planing to get trained in skill b, you'll feel you're missing out on those other abilities from the feat.

Ah so the value of the feat is depreciated because you can't access the full scale.

To me that sounds like a consequence of player choice but I suppose if there wasn't a lot of Skill Feats for Skill B and Skill Feat for Skill B is one of the only choices your character can use, then it would feel lackluster.

I feel like discussing it now without even seeing things that scale is gonna be a bit hard.

Even though if we apply that logic to Cat Fall, I mean, falling from any distance is nice but if I chose not to advance Acrobatics to Legendary, I doubt I would feel like I missed out on vast amount.

As of now, the last leg of the Skill Feats that scale haven't really been "capstones" so to speak, that's more the territory Legendary Skill Feats seems to have now.

I also feel like there's a shortage of proficiency increases. From Trained -> Legendary, I do think there should only be at most 3 Legendary skills for non-rogues, but the fact that getting those Legendary Skills means you're going to have Trained or Untrained in everything else is a bit silly. A bell-curve of proficiency would make a lot more sense, or at least once you get the ability to progress Skills to Master you should get a little more "oomph" to invest in some tertiary skills.

I digress.


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Midnightoker wrote:
also feel like there's a shortage of proficiency increases. From Trained -> Legendary, I do think there should only be at most 3 Legendary skills for non-rogues, but the fact that getting those Legendary Skills means you're going to have Trained or Untrained in everything else is a bit silly. A bell-curve of proficiency would make a lot more sense, or at least once you get the ability to progress Skills to Master you should get a little more "oomph" to invest in some tertiary skills.

Keep in mind that while increases past trained are limited, there are many ways to get more trained skills if you want to.

Liberty's Edge

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Midnightoker wrote:
graystone wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Am I misunderstanding, or is the argument being made that incentives to select feats that scale with investment in a skill that you are planning on investing in anyway are bad?
I think the argument is that if there are gated Skill feats (master+ for instance) then low level Skill feats that scale need to have lesser power to compensate for the fact that the Proficiency prerequisite ones have better incentives.

No, that I get and I agree with. It's this other bit.

If I understand the objection Pandora's raised, it is that if you are planning to invest in Skill A, and there is a scaling Skill Feat for Skill A, and you are not planning to invest much in Skill B, then somehow that makes you less likely to buy a Skill Feat for Skill B, and more confusingly, that somehow this is a problem?

I think it's that if the skill feat for skill b has abilities for each proficiency level and you are only planing to get trained in skill b, you'll feel you're missing out on those other abilities from the feat.

Ah so the value of the feat is depreciated because you can't access the full scale.

To me that sounds like a consequence of player choice but I suppose if there wasn't a lot of Skill Feats for Skill B and Skill Feat for Skill B is one of the only choices your character can use, then it would feel lackluster.

It definitely could be a problem if the scaling isn't handled well or if there aren't enough Skill Feats overall for particular skills (something the playtest definitely didn't handle well). I would absolutely agree that a scaling feat should seem worth it even if you'll only ever access the Trained level of it. But neither of those issues seem to be inherent to the concept. I just look at the complaint and read, "Paizo is making feats that reward me the most if I take the ones that go with the skills I am most invested in! I don't like that!" and I am confused.

Midnightoker wrote:
I also feel like there's a shortage of proficiency increases. From Trained -> Legendary, I do think there should only be at most 3 Legendary skills for non-rogues, but the fact that getting those Legendary Skills means you're going to have Trained or Untrained in everything else is a bit silly. A bell-curve of proficiency would make a lot more sense, or at least once you get the ability to progress Skills to Master you should get a little more "oomph" to invest in some tertiary skills.

I do feel you on this one some. I was looking over some of my current PCs and thinking about how to convert them, and one is a fighter that is almost certainly going to need to take Rogue Dedication just to get Skill Mastery, and probably more than once...


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lordcirth wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
also feel like there's a shortage of proficiency increases. From Trained -> Legendary, I do think there should only be at most 3 Legendary skills for non-rogues, but the fact that getting those Legendary Skills means you're going to have Trained or Untrained in everything else is a bit silly. A bell-curve of proficiency would make a lot more sense, or at least once you get the ability to progress Skills to Master you should get a little more "oomph" to invest in some tertiary skills.
Keep in mind that while increases past trained are limited, there are many ways to get more trained skills if you want to.

It certainly helps, however, on it's own that's not going to scratch the itch at higher level play.

If the spread was like this at 20:

4 untrained
4 trained
3 expert
3 master
3 legendary

That would be a little bit easier to stomach. Instead we have something closer to this:

X Untrained
Y Trained
0 Expert
0 Master
3 Legendary

where X and Y are some variable depending on how many times you grabbed the Trained feats and how many you started with.

Now if the "Trained" feats had Special text that read:

Special: If you are at least 8th level, you may advance a skill that is already Trained to Expert. At 15th level, you may advance a skill that is already Expert to Master.

Then no worries. Especially since there is a feat that supposedly lets you roll anything untrained with half your level, which devalues the "Trained" Skill Feats by proxy.

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