Question about skills


Rules Questions


I've looked around, but there's a lot of unrelated discussion about skills that doesn't answer my question.

It is my understanding that all uses of a skill must be as a "named use" (Recall Knowledge, Sense Direction, etc)...but I'm a bit confused by how this plays in a real game.

It sounds like the DM has to be fully aware of all of the "uses" for each level of training?
When a player just says "I'd like to try to do [this] with [skillA]", it doesn't seem easy to know if that particular activity is something that requires Untrained/Trained/Master level (or whatever).

And what happens if something that isn't (yet?) covered in the ruleset arrives as a "new Master usage" of [skillA] - does it just mean what you've been doing all along you just can't do anymore?

It gets even worse if new "uses" are unlocked through skill feats. Then you have to know "oh you can't do that with that skill because only people with that skill feat can do that".

Is the idea you literally just have to look at the skill "uses" available to you from your training and choose one? That works until you want to think outside the box a bit (which all good rp games should allow, right?). It makes sense from the "need to know the different success-type results" but does seem limiting if so.

Thoughts?

Liberty's Edge

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Barring Skill Feats, it's actually only Trained or Untrained that actually restrict skill usages (some uses require being Trained). Some things are more effective at higher levels of Proficiency, but that doesn't make you unable to do them at Trained.

So it's really pretty much as easy as keeping track of whether a particular Skill could be used Untrained in PF1 (which was a thing). It's really pretty straightforward.

Which means that most of your concerns are not a huge deal...with the exception of Skill Feats, which (as implied above) do have prerequisites beyond Trained. As for those, we'll just need to hope that Paizo doesn't institute new ones that require the Skill Feat for something that shouldn't require a Feat...but that was true in PF1 as well. And indeed is inevitably true in the kind of system both editions of Pathfinder are.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Some things are more effective at higher levels of Proficiency, but that doesn't make you unable to do them at Trained.

Cool, can you give an example of a skill that does this so I can see how it works? Must still have to "know" that the level of success you're looking for isn't possible without [X] level of training


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

In the playtest document, Untrained uses of Athletics are Break Grapple, Break Open, Climb, Grapple, High Jump, Long Jump, Shove, Swim, and Trip, so anyone could try to do those things if they rolled high enough. The only Trained use was Disarm, so you couldn't try to disarm someone without being Trained in Athletics.


I think one possibility could be (iirc)
Lets say we have a trap, rolling logs coming down on you
everyone in the party can try an untrrained athletics (dc20) check to outrun the logs, or you could try a trained (dc15) acrobatics to hurdle over the logs

Liberty's Edge

Dreamer3333 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Some things are more effective at higher levels of Proficiency, but that doesn't make you unable to do them at Trained.

Cool, can you give an example of a skill that does this so I can see how it works? Must still have to "know" that the level of success you're looking for isn't possible without [X] level of training

Sure.

We know that the final version of Treat Wounds (a Trained Only Medicine use), you decide on a DC when you make the check. At DC 15, it heals 2d8 damage, at DC 20 (which you must be Expert to attempt) it heals more, and so on and so forth.

And yes, you need to know your options if you actually have and use the Skill, but uses like this aren't common, and people who don't actually have Medicine at Expert or higher don't even need to remember the numbers, just the vague concept.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And if a player wants to try an impromptu or improvised use of a skill, that’s usually covered. For example, if a player wants his character to discern the cause of death at a crime scene, the DM could call for the Recall Knowledge use of a Medicine check, choosing an appropriate DC based upon the nature of the forensic evidence available.


The only examples of checks being gated beyond trained seem pretty explicitly stated. You need higher proficiency for higher level crafting. And some hazard were explicitly labeled as needing X proficiency to disable, though often you could another skill with lower proficiency but a higher DC.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Skill feats are likely to make you better at specific uses of a given skill rather than being required to even make the attempt.


If by chance you do encounter some usage of a skill that isn't covered by the existing listed uses of a skill (they are usually fairly broad, so I find that unlikely), it would be up to the GM to decide what training level is needed.

If I was the GM, I would follow the general usage of the skill to begin with. If the skill generally requires trained, then any ad-hoc use of the skill would also require trained. If the skill generally does not require trained, then the ad-hoc use also wouldn't require trained. On the ones that are mixed it would be handled on a case-by-case basis, so I really couldn't answer that here.

As for the skill feats, ad-hoc usages of the skills wouldn't require skill feats, though I would prohibit extremely powerful activities from being done with just a skill check. If there is some activity or action that a character wants to be available for their character, I would probably work with them to create a houserule for a skill feat to allow it.


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Quick tip regarding learning new systems like this.

Create a list of the trained uses of skills and put them under their headings. If it isn't on that list at a glance you know it is fine.

After a few sessions you will simply know what is needed to be trained or not and won't need to reference it anymore.

I would also recommend this video to you if you are concerned with learning the complexities of a new system
https://youtu.be/mOwwICf-y_k

It is a little goofy but the video has some good advice in it.

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