Wizards and Skills: Once again they have "Wizards are smart" skill penalty.


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Wizards in PF2 once again have the least number of skills at creation of any character (before Int). This was true in the early days of the playtest, but was later changed to equal many of the other classes.

The Wizard is often given less spells as a class because Intelligence is their primary attribute. The main problems with this are. (all estimates of skills are class based and ignore backgrounds, ancestries and other creation differences)

1. The other Intelligence primary stat class, the Alchemist, gets 4 skills + Int to the Wizards 3 + Int. This breaks the paradigm that the Wizard should get less skill becuase they have a higher Int.

2. "we need to make sure the wizard does not compete with the Rogue for number of spells"
At minimum, the Rogue gets 9+ skills before Int, while the Wizard gets a maximum of 7 skills at 1st level. Would one more threaten the Rogue (like the Alchemist does")

3. They focus most of their studies on learning their spell books. This is true, which is why the Wizard has the least number of proficiencies of any class and the lowest HP. While this is true, the Wizard also stresses that they may "Have an unquenchable intellectual curiosity about how everything in the world around you works—magic in particular." Having the least number of class skills does not coincide with having an "unquenchable intellectual curiosity about how everything in the world".

4. The low number of skills is there to balance the class. The class does not get significantly balanced by having 1 less skill.

The Wizard should have 4 + Int at creation (one being arcane). This will not significantly unbalance the class but would indicate that they are a class that pursues knowledge and believes in Mind over Matter. (Wizards use the minds to control matter, and other minds)

Nightfox


1. Probably because Wizards have spells that (while no longer that severe) can bypass a respectable number of skill usages, the now non-magical Alchemists had to have something to be compensated.

2. Well, it's Paizo's decision to make Rogues as THE skill class so there's that. I do wonder when the Investigator goes online next year fans of those two classes get to scuffle a lot...

3. The most likely in-universe justification is that they spent all intellectual time studying wizardry while other smarties picked up skills during the same time.

4. While not a tryout for explanations, if I readjusted PF1 classes' skill points, I'd use the following principle;

(1) All playable races w/ class levels start with 2+INT skill points.
(2) If the class' main AS is not INT, gain 2 more.
(3) If the class has 1/3 or no spell slot progression, gain 2 more.
(4) If the class is often treated as a "skill monkey", gain 2 more.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Wizards aren’t 2+ In skills because of high Int. Sorcerers, Druids, and Clerics are also 2+ and Int is not a key ability for them. The only caster to not have a 2+ is Bard which has a history of being a skill focused class. My guess is that this decision was made as casters have spells to provide utility that can partially replace the need for skills.


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The_Hanged_Man wrote:
Wizard’s aren’t 2+ In skills because of high Int. Sorcerers, Druids, and Clerics are also 2+ and Int is not a key ability for them. The only caster to not have a 2+ is Bard which has a history of being a skill focused class. My guess is that this decision was made as casters have spells to provide utility that can partially replace the need for skills.

Sorcerers, clerics and druids get additional skills from their bloodlines, deities and orders, putting them all at 4+INT technically.

The wizard does start with training in arcana so he's at 3+INT.

It wold be flavorful if the wizard would get one additional skill based on his thesis or arcane school. Might be hard to come up with a diverse enough list of skills that make sense for each of those.

EDIT: Thinking a bout it a bit more, it might not be THAT hard to match one skill to each arcane school. It could roughly be something like

Abjuration - Athletics
Conjuration - Crafting
Divination - Occultism
Enchantment - Diplomacy
Evocation - Nature
Illusion - Deception
Necromancy - Religion
Transmutation - Acrobatics
Uiversalist - choose any

EDIT2: Switched Conjuration from Nature to Crafting.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Good point. It looks like there might be an “Int Tax” of 1 on Wizards then compared to other casters. You could give a lore skill that focuses on their specialization to even things up.

Liberty's Edge

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Frankly, this always made sense to me.

A lot of academics are a bit...focused, in their skill set as compared to more worldly folks (which, in-universe, means they have high rankings in a few Skills, which is a thing Wizards do as well as anyone). I wouldn't mind it not being the case, but it makes a lot of sense for it to be the case.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Frankly, this always made sense to me.

A lot of academics are a bit...focused, in their skill set as compared to more worldly folks (which, in-universe, means they have high rankings in a few Skills, which is a thing Wizards do as well as anyone). I wouldn't mind it not being the case, but it makes a lot of sense for it to be the case.

So what you are saying is that Wizards don't get the benefit of having a breadth of skills like everyone else does because they focus on getting a few skills as high as possible. Instead their focus on getting few skills as high as possible gives them same amount of high skills as everyone else gets? Do you not see the problem with this?

If you want to focus on this, just say that Wizard gets autoadvancement in Arcana skill, it being so critical to the Wizard, and thus allowing the use of normal skill advancements for other skills instead.


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Is this a situation of feeling like, when you're building a wizard character, you don't have enough skill choices to have the skills that fit the particular concept of the character... or just a reaction to the number itself?


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I'm with DMW here and I don't really agree with

Quote:
"Have an unquenchable intellectual curiosity about how everything in the world around you works—magic in particular." Having the least number of class skills does not coincide with having an "unquenchable intellectual curiosity about how everything in the world".

This premise per se.

Wizards are archetypally knowledge hungry, but that doesn't necessarily mean broad knowledge. Knowledge of magic is pretty much just the Arcana and Occultism skills, with Religion being a good addon here too.

Outside of that, skills tend to be physical things (athletics, acrobatics, thievery, stealth) or knowledge that isn't really part of a stereotypical Wizard's wheelhouse (society, nature). Obviously investing in these skills is cool, but they're not really what I'd call part of the standard wizard archetype either.

In that respect, Wizard as a potentially high skill class seems more like a quirk of how Int works than something particularly thematic.

Though I also agree giving them four skills like most everyone else wouldn't really matter all that much.

Liberty's Edge

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NemoNoName wrote:

So what you are saying is that Wizards don't get the benefit of having a breadth of skills like everyone else does because they focus on getting a few skills as high as possible. Instead their focus on getting few skills as high as possible gives them same amount of high skills as everyone else gets? Do you not see the problem with this?

If you want to focus on this, just say that Wizard gets autoadvancement in Arcana skill, it being so critical to the Wizard, and thus allowing the use of normal skill advancements for other skills instead.

I was more saying that magic itself is a knowledge skill in-universe, and they spend so much time learning it they have less time for other stuff.


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Smart/Knowledgeable =! Skillful

Wizards are smart, but they are dedicating their initial smarts to learning magic and writing their Arcane Thesis.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Is this a situation of feeling like, when you're building a wizard character, you don't have enough skill choices to have the skills that fit the particular concept of the character... or just a reaction to the number itself?

Yeah. Playtest wizards more skills than they needed, IMO. I built a wizard with the sorcerer dedication and eventually I was saying things like: ”well I guess he might as well take athletics so he isn't as much of a weenie now that he's an adventurer...” This was on a character designed to be a weenie from the start.

Edit:. Though I suppose in retrospect I could have had him toss some skills down the Lore Well.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Frankly, the ability to stop time itself more than makes up for having one less legendary skill.


I do think it would be cool, and may house rule it in games I run, for there to be focuses, like lores for the knowledge skills, so that a wizard might have an easier time with recall checks specifically for portals, or spell recognition, or enchantments


Wizards are the only casters with 1st level feat anyway, one less skill will not kill them.


Unicore wrote:
I do think it would be cool, and may house rule it in games I run, for there to be focuses, like lores for the knowledge skills, so that a wizard might have an easier time with recall checks specifically for portals, or spell recognition, or enchantments

There's already a lot of ways to do that. You can take a Lore skill that will have an easier DC for a thing it is relevant to. You can get a staff that provides bonuses to identify certain schools of magic. There are also skill feats like Oddity Identification that give you bonuses to identify certain types of magic, and I expect there to be more down the line. I made one for the playtest for arcana specifically, an an example, that gave bonuses to identify magic with the morph, polymorph, or illusuon traits.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I don't think it would be a stretch for Wizards to have more Lore skills at character creation. I may house rule something about Lore skills for all classes anyway. It seems like few characters would bother with Lore when there are more generally useful skills. Maybe something like Background skills from 1e.

Liberty's Edge

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Zenori wrote:
I don't think it would be a stretch for Wizards to have more Lore skills at character creation. I may house rule something about Lore skills for all classes anyway. It seems like few characters would bother with Lore when there are more generally useful skills. Maybe something like Background skills from 1e.

Uh...you do know everyone already gets one Lore from their Background for exactly this reason, right?


As wizards get an automatic twelve in int regardless of any other decisions made it could be argued that they start with the exact same number of skills and any investment in int beyond that just adds more


Abyssiensis wrote:
As wizards get an automatic twelve in int

10 not 12.


graystone wrote:
Abyssiensis wrote:
As wizards get an automatic twelve in int
10 not 12.

Only if you are an Ancestry that has a penalty to Int (which is none as of this moment), or you take a voluntary flaw to it. All Abilities start at 10 - assuming you're using the default method - and Wizards bump Intelligence, so yeah, 12.


GameDesignerDM wrote:
graystone wrote:
Abyssiensis wrote:
As wizards get an automatic twelve in int
10 not 12.

Only if you are an Ancestry that has a penalty to Int (which is none as of this moment), or you take a voluntary flaw to it. All Abilities start at 10 - assuming you're using the default method - and Wizards bump Intelligence, so yeah, 12.

You just explained how you can get a 10, hence not "automatic": The default method includes this "Assign any free ability boosts and decide if you are taking any voluntary flaws."

Saying "wizards get an automatic twelve in int" is factually wrong.


"I have a cross-disciplinary education, and know quite a bit about a great many things" feels like an Arcane Thesis to me.


graystone wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:
graystone wrote:
Abyssiensis wrote:
As wizards get an automatic twelve in int
10 not 12.

Only if you are an Ancestry that has a penalty to Int (which is none as of this moment), or you take a voluntary flaw to it. All Abilities start at 10 - assuming you're using the default method - and Wizards bump Intelligence, so yeah, 12.

You just explained how you can get a 10, hence not "automatic": The default method includes this "Assign any free ability boosts and decide if you are taking any voluntary flaws."

Saying "wizards get an automatic twelve in int" is factually wrong.

No, abilities base is 10 - and then you apply any boosts to that. And since flaws are voluntary - and a GM might not allow them, anyway - someone taking a voluntary flaw to Int as a Wizard is either fulfilling a very specific concept that requires that for some reason or are trying some weird out of the box math weirdness.

Since I wager we're talking about the baseline 'default' Wizard here - as we should anyway when it comes to broad class discussions, since all of these would be better off that way and not have to try and debate around niche concepts the Core rulebook isn't assuming - and no Core Ancestry has a penalty to Int, you will get a 12 at minimum, since the Wizard boost is to Int.


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graystone wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:
graystone wrote:
Abyssiensis wrote:
As wizards get an automatic twelve in int
10 not 12.

Only if you are an Ancestry that has a penalty to Int (which is none as of this moment), or you take a voluntary flaw to it. All Abilities start at 10 - assuming you're using the default method - and Wizards bump Intelligence, so yeah, 12.

You just explained how you can get a 10, hence not "automatic": The default method includes this "Assign any free ability boosts and decide if you are taking any voluntary flaws."

Saying "wizards get an automatic twelve in int" is factually wrong.

Ok, if you take a voluntary flaw you could have 10 int as a wizard, and compared to any class other than alchemist who took the same voluntary flaw you would have a 2 int boost over them and therefore have the extra skill


I've always been a fan of "wizards study magic, not a bunch of other things" as well.


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I made an elven wizard just to see if this is an issue. I ended up with the following skills: academia lore, arcana, crafting, elven lore, medicine, nature, occultism, religion and society with 3 skills left to choose.

I think wizards are fine.

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