Gathering information from Knowledge checks


Advice


I am seriously considering going Enigma Muse, in order to acquire knowledge on our enemies. I had a few questions I was hoping the good people of these forums could assist me with.

1) How useful is Recall Knowledge in this game?
2) Is it a viable strategy to try and use it once or twice every fight?
3) Is it a waste of an action?
4) Is the feat Know-It-All worth getting later on?


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1. Depends on GM & campaign. Default in published material is "Very" to "Game changing", both in and out of combat.
2. Yes. Maybe more vs. outsiders, undead, & abominations.
3. Seldom. Most creatures have some ability you want to know about for tactical purposes, like a weakness to exploit or maybe that the big beast has an AoE physical attack so spread out.
In the playtest, my players often regretted not doing a Recall Knowledge, especially if they'd had a spare action. Oops.
4. I don't like the vague wording and I wouldn't expect Bardic Lore to get frequent critical successes. Not worth a class feat.

I prefer the Enigma Muse and find Bards that work better with the other muses don't match my sensibilities. So I'm biased. :)
Having a shot at knowing anything, always? That's valuable.
Add on Dubious Knowledge and/or Unmistakable Lore if you're able.

Cheers


Completely depends on what your GM gives with knowledge checks.

You really need to see what your GM will give to see if they're worth using, the guidelines in the book give very little. But if you have a GM who will tell you if the creature has an attack of opportunity on a success then I think it's worth it. By the rules you need a critical success for that, and I don't think it's worth it then.


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1). Results may vary, but generally it should be decent. Lots of adventuring zones have good idea for recall knowledge (identifying fauna/flora in the woods, finding significance in ancient ruins, understanding social status of influential nobles, etx).
2). Recall Knowledge isn't a strategy in and of itself, it can, however, set your team strategy for a fight. Most enemies have some special abilities to learn about, and that can change party tactics.
3). You run the risk, but generally it will be fine. If you lean too heavily on Bardic Lore the DCs might outpace you, and a failure/crit failure is a wasted action. As Castilliano mentioned, there are feats to help. Also, the GM might not give useful information which will make the action a waste.
4). It effectively converts a success into a critical success, and boosts a critical success. If recall knowledge is a good trick, Know-It-All is a good feat. If not, then skip. You have 7 levels of seeing how much the GM gives on recall knowledge to see if boosting it will be worthwhile.

The biggest takeaway is that you need your GM to be willing to work with you for Recall Knowledge to be good. For PFS I'd be surprised if it wasn't useful out of combat at least, given the nature of the Pathfinder Society in Golarion. In-combat expect table variance.


It definitely is variable. On a successful check I tend to give my players an idea of the ordering of their saves (or rather if they have a notably high and/or low save or saves), and possibly other notable strengths or abilities. Things like weaknesses or more subtle/surprise abilities they have may be reserved for a crit, depending in the situation.


If my INT is 10 and don't plan on increasing it at all will my Recall Knowledge still land successfully? My concern is will it scale ok?

Update: My GM has communicated with me how he runs Recall Knowledge and it definitely is worth using as he provides useful information.


Atalius wrote:

If my INT is 10 and don't plan on increasing it at all will my Recall Knowledge still land successfully? My concern is will it scale ok?

Update: My GM has communicated with me how he runs Recall Knowledge and it definitely is worth using as he provides useful information.

It almost certainly will not land reliably without investing more in INT, at least for Bardic Lore. Remember you are only trained until level 15. Occultism might land often enough of you keep it upgraded, for bardic lore you are pretty much gambling on dubious knowledge.


Yeah, Bardic Lore needs good Int, knowledge skills can probably get by if you keep your proficiency up.


Paradozen wrote:
Atalius wrote:

If my INT is 10 and don't plan on increasing it at all will my Recall Knowledge still land successfully? My concern is will it scale ok?

Update: My GM has communicated with me how he runs Recall Knowledge and it definitely is worth using as he provides useful information.

It almost certainly will not land reliably without investing more in INT, at least for Bardic Lore. Remember you are only trained until level 15. Occultism might land often enough of you keep it upgraded, for bardic lore you are pretty much gambling on dubious knowledge.

Ohh, Bardic Lore was going to be my main way to acquire Knowledge (on different types of monsters primarily), isn't that the best way since I have limited Skills I can improve? My Occultism will be expert level by 5. But with Occultism I can only Recall Knowledge a few different types of monsters no?


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Atalius wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
Atalius wrote:

If my INT is 10 and don't plan on increasing it at all will my Recall Knowledge still land successfully? My concern is will it scale ok?

Update: My GM has communicated with me how he runs Recall Knowledge and it definitely is worth using as he provides useful information.

It almost certainly will not land reliably without investing more in INT, at least for Bardic Lore. Remember you are only trained until level 15. Occultism might land often enough of you keep it upgraded, for bardic lore you are pretty much gambling on dubious knowledge.
Ohh, Bardic Lore was going to be my main way to acquire Knowledge (on different types of monsters primarily), isn't that the best way since I have limited Skills I can improve? My Occultism will be expert level by 5. But with Occultism I can only Recall Knowledge a few different types of monsters no?

You can only improve Bardic Lore through better Intelligence or getting to legendary occultism (which gives Expert Bardic Lore). You explicitly cannot upgrade it directly. At level 1 you need to roll a 12 to succeed at low-level targets. At level 5, a 13, at 10 a 15, at 15 a 17 (15 with legendary occultism). And these are on-level targets. If it is a boss (the type you really want to know about) it gets much harder. Without Int you will fail more often than anything else.

If you upgrade your background's lore to expert, you can grab unmistakable lore that will safeguard you from critical fails. With Dubious Knowledge as well, you can guarantee some good and bad information on every check, except when you get lucky and succeed and only get good info.

Generally though, I recommend boosting intelligence if you plan on using bardic lore.


Very helpful thanks! In my planned build I have Incredible Initiative I would have to give that up in order to get either Dubious Lore or Unmistakable Lore, is Improved Initiative simply too good to pass up? How critical is it?


Atalius wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
Atalius wrote:

If my INT is 10 and don't plan on increasing it at all will my Recall Knowledge still land successfully? My concern is will it scale ok?

Update: My GM has communicated with me how he runs Recall Knowledge and it definitely is worth using as he provides useful information.

It almost certainly will not land reliably without investing more in INT, at least for Bardic Lore. Remember you are only trained until level 15. Occultism might land often enough of you keep it upgraded, for bardic lore you are pretty much gambling on dubious knowledge.
Ohh, Bardic Lore was going to be my main way to acquire Knowledge (on different types of monsters primarily), isn't that the best way since I have limited Skills I can improve? My Occultism will be expert level by 5. But with Occultism I can only Recall Knowledge a few different types of monsters no?

The GM can allow Occultism to Recall Knowledge on sort of related monsters at a higher DC, even if they don't fall squarely in the matching categories of monster traits. But it's up to him how much to raise the DC or whether to allow it. If the raised DC is higher than your gap between Bardic Knowledge and Occultism proficiency then it won't matter.


Atalius wrote:
Very helpful thanks! In my planned build I have Incredible Initiative I would have to give that up in order to get either Dubious Lore or Unmistakable Lore, is Improved Initiative simply too good to pass up? How critical is it?

In general I wouldn't spend a general feat on a skill feat, general feats are less available and generally stronger than skill feats. You can wait on unmistakable lore for a while, it is only good for you on crit fails, prioritize imp. Initiative, then Dubious Knowledge, then Unmistakable Lore. Also, see if you can work dubious knowledge into your background.


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

Initiative is very nice.

Regarding Recall Knowledge checks, we should keep in mind that not only can players call it out, DMs can ask for recall knowledge checks (especially during exploration mode) on specific items of knowledge that they want to hand over to the PCs. I used Recall Knowledge several times in last Friday's session (as the DM) for the PCs to remember some obscure piece of knowledge that helped move the session along but that they never would have thought to ask for.


Wheldrake wrote:

Initiative is very nice.

Regarding Recall Knowledge checks, we should keep in mind that not only can players call it out, DMs can ask for recall knowledge checks (especially during exploration mode) on specific items of knowledge that they want to hand over to the PCs. I used Recall Knowledge several times in last Friday's session (as the DM) for the PCs to remember some obscure piece of knowledge that helped move the session along but that they never would have thought to ask for.

Agreed. Recall Knowledge didn't help us in the fights I've had so far with my Enigma Bard (because we fought enemies without enough good abilities to learn) but got a ton of mileage from making every knowledge check.

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