Sense Motive seems... bad.


Rules Discussion

51 to 77 of 77 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The only thing I really dislike about PF2 perception is that you can't really choose to be meaningfully good or bad at it outside however skilled Paizo thinks you should be. You can control your wisdom a little, but even that tends to fall into a range and options to improve your proficiency are limited, which sucks when proficiency gating exists.

You can build a fighter who's very athletic, or a fighter who's really knowledgeable about religions, or a fighter who's a master craftsman, but you can never build a fighter who can detect every trap, because there are some traps that you aren't allowed to search for unless you're a rogue, ranger, investigator, or gunslinger.

That's pretty bad, and feels somewhat antithetical to the freedoms Paizo tried to build into the skill system in PF2.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
I'll gladly take Perception over Spot, Search, Listen, and Sense Motive.

My surprise for random thread necromancy aside, I agree with this 3 year old post x'D Never liked how D&D 3.5 had separate skill for hiding and sneaking

(then again I also thought it was annoying how most of people disliked idea that their wizard had to have decent athletics bonus by level 20 :P)


Squiggit wrote:

The only thing I really dislike about PF2 perception is that you can't really choose to be meaningfully good or bad at it outside however skilled Paizo thinks you should be. You can control your wisdom a little, but even that tends to fall into a range and options to improve your proficiency are limited, which sucks when proficiency gating exists.

You can build a fighter who's very athletic, or a fighter who's really knowledgeable about religions, or a fighter who's a master craftsman, but you can never build a fighter who can detect every trap, because there are some traps that you aren't allowed to search for unless you're a rogue, ranger, investigator, or gunslinger.

That's pretty bad, and feels somewhat antithetical to the freedoms Paizo tried to build into the skill system in PF2.

I can feel that. I just come to terms with it by way of canny acumen existing and master being the baseline of "good" in the system. It doesn't help you be bad at perception if you're looking to dump it on a class that has a good track and you want good wisdom for your saves. But I guess that's the consequence of streamlining and niche protection.....which are two things I do really appreciate about the system over 5e


I'm just surprised at all the people here claiming Sense Motive was a popular skill. As someone has mentioned, only the party face would take it in any of my games. I'm currently building a "raised in the wild" socially inept character and would love to differentiate between the two, so I guess I'll have to homebrew with the GM


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Finkelhuber wrote:

Ok, I read the forum and i still completly agree with JamesMaster.

I like your system in the most parts but that there is no sense motiv makes the complete social sector empty makes indeed a Hunter better in sense motive than a Bard.

Kind of confused how you could read the forum and then list the specific example that the Lie to Me feat (which was mentioned several times) completely fixes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CocoAsticot wrote:
I'm just surprised at all the people here claiming Sense Motive was a popular skill. As someone has mentioned, only the party face would take it in any of my games. I'm currently building a "raised in the wild" socially inept character and would love to differentiate between the two, so I guess I'll have to homebrew with the GM

Or just autofail/don't roll for the checks where Sense Motive would be applicable.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I’m going to play Asmodean Advocate and say the choice of Perception for Sense Motive checks makes a lot of sense from a realism perspective.

The unchallenged argument here is that ‘a charismatic diplomatic socially skilled bard’ should be better at judging a person than an ornery ranger who’s not particularly social.

But that’s just not necessarily true based on reality.

In my experience and I’m sure yours too, it’s not the talkative charming extrovert’s that are perceptive: they’re charismatic, but they frequently miss details because they’re busy being the center of attention. Meanwhile that quiet person sitting at the back is paying very close attention, notices everyone’s bs and doesn’t miss a thing.

Sure there’s charismatic people whose charisma is based on great empathy. But that’s by no means all.

To quote Buddha: “If your mouth is open you’re not learning”. Bards are the quintessential ‘mouth open’ class. The statement that they should inherently be good at sense motive holds no water.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I've grown to accept perception and sense motive as one skill. I don't like it but I get why they did it. It just means the onus on portraying the character is even more on the player. Instead of rolling to search and the numbers are telling you you are bad instead you just have to choose to not search, or sense motive.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
CocoAsticot wrote:
I'm just surprised at all the people here claiming Sense Motive was a popular skill. As someone has mentioned, only the party face would take it in any of my games. I'm currently building a "raised in the wild" socially inept character and would love to differentiate between the two, so I guess I'll have to homebrew with the GM

I have to push back on this. I've never seen the party face take Sense Motive. The party face takes Diplomacy, Deception, and other Charisma-based skills and blathers on and on about what they want to do without caring what the target is actually thinking.

Meanwhile, the party Silent Support Guardian (ie Cleric, Warpriest, Monk, or Inquisitor), who actually has points in Wisdom, takes Sense Motive and monitors the situation, making suggestions when necessary.

:) :) :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sense motive should be a seperate skill from perception.

A thick as bricks fighter shouldn't be better at detecting a lie or understanding motives better than a socially skilled bard.

No matter how quiet you are or whatever we want to say about the rustic ranger understanding motives, particularly when they are complex is a social skill.

I would much rather 'sense motive' was tied to the higher if diplomacy or sense motive. Diplomacy involves understanding what other people want ad part of being good at it. Good deception involves knowing what people are willing to believe or not believe, how far truth can be stretched.

These are very very different to noticing an ambush.

Part of the issue is how blunt skill tied to attribute is rather than the some skill used in a different way (a recall knowledge about athletics not being int based). They have feats in some situations (strength for intimidate) but nothing for blanket you can use int to recall knowledge adding your prificiency with amy applicable skill. Int for nature, medicine and religion makes sense for simply recalling kniwledge. But equally appraising how difficult it is to climb a wall int + athletics should be an option.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Anguish wrote:
JamesMaster wrote:
Conflating them means the ultra Perceptive, raised by wolves Ranger your player has put together also happens to be equally good at reading people’s intentions? This makes 0 sense to me.

I assume you have the same issue with Athletics. I mean... dead-lifting weight and rock-climbing are dramatically different uses of physical strength that have nothing in common.

Also Deception, where verbal falsehoods requiring agile-minded creation of fiction is blended with creating a disguise, which amounts to knowing how to use make-up.

Point is, for purposes of gameplay we've always had skills that lump thematically similar but mechanically disparate abilities into one roll. It's always been up to the player to decide if their character is good at all applications of a skill. If your character is bad at reading other people but good at spotting distant enemies... don't roll for sensing motive.

I already have issues with Athletics being a god skill in PF2e. Combat applications of athletics should be either a separate skill or skill feats. Right now athletics is the be all and end all skill for strength and combat, it does everything physical and the only feat a martial needs to invest in to have it all (other than balance). There are 3 social skills, 5 knowledge skills etc so a social/knowledge character cannot cover it all but a fighter only need to max athletics to cover 90% of what they need to.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Cyder wrote:
I already have issues with Athletics being a god skill in PF2e.

It is the only strength skill. I think it is fair.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I mean, experts will tell you that the best ways to tell if someone is lying are things like changes in speech pattern/tone, incongruent gestures, offering too many details or not enough, etc.

Sense motive being a perception check is just an question of "do you notice it when someone does that." Which makes sense, since it's not a fundamentally different skill-set than "do you notice that noise that's out of place" that indicates someone sneaking around.

If you need a mystical way to intuit someone isn't lying, then skills aren't for that sort of thing.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gortle wrote:
Cyder wrote:
I already have issues with Athletics being a god skill in PF2e.
It is the only strength skill. I think it is fair.

I am all for it being divided into 2 or 3 strength skills, otherwise why not make all knowledge skills 1 skill, its the same level of difference between swimming, climbing and disarming etc.

I think its unfair that strength users only need to invest in 1 skill to be good at everything strength related.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cyder wrote:
Gortle wrote:
Cyder wrote:
I already have issues with Athletics being a god skill in PF2e.
It is the only strength skill. I think it is fair.

I am all for it being divided into 2 or 3 strength skills, otherwise why not make all knowledge skills 1 skill, its the same level of difference between swimming, climbing and disarming etc.

I think its unfair that strength users only need to invest in 1 skill to be good at everything strength related.

Used to be that way. It kind of sucked. Turns out it's not all that much fun being only able to move in certain directions because you didn't have to skill points for a niche option like Swim while your wizard was rendering your Climb ranks obsolete by level 5. On the other hand, it wouldn't necessarily be a huge crisis if maneuvers like Grapple and Disarm required a more specialized close combat skill separate from "move with strength". Not like Dex is the godstat you sometimes see in other games, so Str doesn't need to compete quite so hard.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not going back! I'm never going back to that place!

*Dramatically runs away and leaps off a ledge towards freedom, far away from the creative straightjacket that was limiting skill divisions*


I always assumed that Athletics being the only Str skill was a balancing factor against the fact that Dex gives you both your AC and your reflex.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

We used to have all these skills some people want.

The Pathfinder 1st edition skill list, for your viewing pleasure

Balancing the handful of skill points less skilled classes had between all those was possible, but doing so effectively required a lot of system knowledge about enemy skill thresholds and set DCs that new players didn't have (and frankly, was more than many people could be bothered to know). Optimizing 3.5/PF1's skill points was incredibly fiddly and just not something I enjoyed.


Perpdepog wrote:
I always assumed that Athletics being the only Str skill was a balancing factor against the fact that Dex gives you both your AC and your reflex.

It's more because making athletics one skill instead 3 like in 3.x means that strength characters can like do other stuff.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I mean, nobody ever put more than one or two ranks in climb or swim in 1e, because eventually you got to the point where spells do better than skills. You also couldn't have combat maneuvers work the same way as they did in Pathfinder 1e since BAB is no longer a thing and your CMB was already STR+BAB(+Size+Misc).

So it's not a huge leap to say that the skill that makes you good at climbing is the same as the skill that makes you good at swimming is the same as the skill that makes you good at wrestling and all of those things were Str based to begin with.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd at least appreciate sense motive not being tied to class chassis. Make it a skill feat for anything that could be related to conversation or society or whatever but at least put it back in player control.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For what it's worth, there is a skill feat for making yourself better at detecting lies through Charisma instead of Wisdom and it's been mentioned in this thread a couple times over the years. Lie to Me lets you use your Deception DC against checks to lie to you.

For that matter, it's worth remembering that Sense Motive is an action to gain a sense of a person's behaviour, whether they're behaving normally, acting strange, or being evasive, not a, "was that sentence a lie" detector. Unless there has been clarification (in the Remaster perhaps?), an individual lie becomes apparent to you when their Deception check fails against your Perception DC, unless perhaps you happened to crit on Sense Motive at an appropriate point.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I wouldn't hate another Lie to Me skill type skill feat to let society do it too. Biographical Eye has a little overlap there. Aura Sight lets you do it with Occultism.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MEATSHED wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
I always assumed that Athletics being the only Str skill was a balancing factor against the fact that Dex gives you both your AC and your reflex.
It's more because making athletics one skill instead 3 like in 3.x means that strength characters can like do other stuff.

But by that logic all knowledge skills (Arcane, Occult, Nature, Religion, Society) should all by one skill so mental stat characters can do other things.

Athletics gets too much for just increasing ranks in it. No other skill gives you as many uses in and out of combat. No other skill requires zero skill feat support to do so many things well.


I'm not sure that people would bother with Athletics if it did less than it does though. Like if you split off the combat maneuver stuff from the climb/swim stuff, people would rarely bother to get better than trained at the latter.


It would be interesting if Sense Motive was a cross-skill action. You use whatever skill is appropriate for the creature you're trying to take stock of, but the stat modifier is always Wisdom (or Charisma?). Sense Motive on a person in a town? Society + WIS/CHA. On a genie? Arcana + WIS/CHA. An animal? Nature + WIS/CHA

Perhaps needlessly complex, but I like that it would depend on how much you know about the kind of creature it is too, but it's not the same as Recall Knowledge.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cyder wrote:
MEATSHED wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
I always assumed that Athletics being the only Str skill was a balancing factor against the fact that Dex gives you both your AC and your reflex.
It's more because making athletics one skill instead 3 like in 3.x means that strength characters can like do other stuff.

But by that logic all knowledge skills (Arcane, Occult, Nature, Religion, Society) should all by one skill so mental stat characters can do other things.

People didn't really complaint about it as much as swim and climb because the classes that were good at them were actually like good at them, unlike swim and climb where any bonus you got from strength and skill ranks just kind of got eaten by armor check penalty, and how knowledge skills in 3.x all scaled with int so by investing in knowledge stuff you just got more skill points to work with, and they did get condensed there used to be 10 knowledge skills instead of 6.

51 to 77 of 77 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Sense Motive seems... bad. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.