Lore skill and PFS


Pathfinder Society

1/5

Is there going to be a master list of Lore subjects allowable for PFS characters, or is it pretty much wide open? I want to build a character with Dance lore.

Dark Archive 2/5

I recently saw this text in the 2e PFS scenario that I am prepping to run at a con on labor day weekend:

Skill Check: Occultism, Society, Fortune-Telling Lore,
Games Lore, or any Lore skill not covered by the Common
Lore Categories on page 248 of the Core Rulebook.

So I'm hoping the field is pretty wide open.

1/5

Me too. As a GM, I'm looking forward to seeing how players use their odd Lore skills. I fully intend to build one of my characters with "Lore: shrubbery" and if I come across a hedge maze...

1/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TheBigBlueFrog wrote:
I fully intend to build one of my characters with "Lore: shrubbery" and if I come across a hedge maze...

And yes, his name will be Roger.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

RP their background as the Society's groundskeeper!

4/5

My first PFS2 character is a cavern heritage elf, so of course he has Lore:Darklands.


I think that the Lore skill is too open ended for PFS play. By the rules, your choice of a lore skill is subject to GM approval. The PFS rules need to contain a list of CAMPAIGN APPROVED lore topics.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

There's a lot of example lores in the CRB. Those are also the lores scenario writers will be looking at when thinking "what lore can I put into my adventure that people have a reasonable chance of having".

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber
CraziFuzzy wrote:
I think that the Lore skill is too open ended for PFS play. By the rules, your choice of a lore skill is subject to GM approval. The PFS rules need to contain a list of CAMPAIGN APPROVED lore topics.

That's not necessary.

All Lores are going to be subject to GM interpretations, regardless of whether they're listed or not.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Just as with profession in PF1


Nefreet wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
I think that the Lore skill is too open ended for PFS play. By the rules, your choice of a lore skill is subject to GM approval. The PFS rules need to contain a list of CAMPAIGN APPROVED lore topics.

That's not necessary.

All Lores are going to be subject to GM interpretations, regardless of whether they're listed or not.

"Not necessary" doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. Yes, of course we could interpret whether a given lore skill that Player A will work for the specific Lore check listed in a scenario. But then when there are boons gained that benefit a specific lore skill, and Player B has a slightly differently worded lore skill, you will end up with table variation on not just how the lore skill is used in a given scenario, bus also whether a given boon is. I have already seen boons and scenarios referencing Pathfinder Society Lore, for instance, yet it is NOT an example listed in the PHB.

All it takes is a compiled list on the pfs guide website - something that's easily upgraded and maintained as the game expands and grows.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

2 people marked this as a favorite.

No need. Take all the lores!


So, a player brings a character to the table who is trained in Guild Lore (a "Common Lore Subcategory" from the PHB). He plays a scenario that asks for a "Pathfinder Society Lore" check. Can he make it using his Guild Lore? He then gets a chronicle sheet that has a boon that can be used to boost a trained (or greater) "Pathfinder Society Lore" check by +2, or an untrained "Pathfinder Society Lore" check by his level. Is he trained or untrained when he uses this boon? This is Pathfinder Society - there WILL be table variation in this situation. Most characters brought to the table will never have "Pathfinder Society Lore," because it is not listed in the recommendations in the PHB - in fact - Lore of a specific organization doesn't eave fit into one of the open ended examples (like specific settlement, deity, plane, etc).

Also realize that the Lore skill itself states that "The GM determines what other subcategories they’ll allow as Lore skills." Which GM? When things are left up to GM discretion, that is a cause for concern in organized play, and the answer SHOULD be a published list. If you are saying that the PHB common list is sufficient for that, then the Pathfinder Society Lore skill is not a valid choice, and multiple already written scenarios are conflicting with that.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

"Pathfinder Society Lore" is an actual Lore skill (my character earned it from his Background). It's also referenced in at least two scenarios. So no problem selecting or using that.

"Guild Lore" is a valid choice as well, but it wouldn't, by default, cover Pathfinder Society Lore, as the Pathfinder Society is not a guild. You're probably confusing the OOC Roleplaying Guild Guide for an IC organization.

Likewise, if you have a bonus to one Lore skill, it would not apply to a different Lore skill. If you happen to encounter a GM that allows it, then enjoy the privilege for that game.

There will never be an all encompassing list, just as there wasn't such a list in PFS1, and there isn't such a list in SFS. There doesn't need to be. Nobody wants there to be. Table variation is fine.

It's like asking whether the green plotches on a map are difficult terrain. Sometimes the scenario has it listed. Sometimes a GM says "No". Sometimes "Yes". Play it however they rule and move on.


There was never a defined list for profession checks in pfs1, because pfs1 had almost no references to profession checks at all, and the ones that were very rarely references were ones on the phb list. That is very much not the case with pfs2.

And yes, I know that the Pathfinder Society Lore shows up a lot. That is my concern. There are many things that reference it, but most of them are things a player doesn't see until after character creation. I have only played a few pfs2 scenarios so far, and the question of whether that skill is a valid choice came up in 100% of the games, with every single new player saying they wish they'd known it was an option. Hell, if it's only this one exception, then all it would take is a single sentence in the PFS character creation section that references it to alleviate all of the concern I experienced at the table.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
CraziFuzzy wrote:
pfs1 had almost no references to profession checks at all

Did you... Play PFS1 at all?

I know you didn't GM it, but speaking as someone who GMed a lot, the ratio is pretty equivalent.

CraziFuzzy wrote:
if it's only this one exception, then all it would take is a single sentence in the PFS character creation section

Problem solved, then. It's already listed in the PFS character creation guide (I again reference my -2001 with Pathfinder Society Lore), and it's in the Lost Omens book.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Since Lore's are usually more specific than the General Knowledges, I would think the DCs for Lore check's would be easier than General Knowledges. For example, if you are trying to recall knowledge about The Misty Forest, I would think the DC for Misty Forest Lore would be lower than the DC for Nature. But I am not seeing that a lot in mods so far. It's usually just something like, "DC 22 Nature or Misty Forest Lore." In fact, if we are talking about your typical druid here, he would have a greater chance of success with his general Nature check since it is Wisdom based, than he would with his specific Misty Forest Lore check, which is Intelligence based. This just doesn't make much since to me.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Good suggestion for future scenario authors ^_^


Nefreet wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
if it's only this one exception, then all it would take is a single sentence in the PFS character creation section
Problem solved, then. It's already listed in the PFS character creation guide (I again reference my -2001 with Pathfinder Society Lore), and it's in the Lost Omens book.

Lost Omens isn't listed under Character Options, and the only place I see it in the PFS guide is in the Season 0 Legacy background. It is not referenced anywhere a new player would go to build their character. And to say that this is sufficient, and since it is not listed in the PHB list of Common choices, than that would mean that no player can choose it unless they have the Early Explorer background, or (once it is listed in Character Options) own the Lost Omens book and take the Pathfinder Hopeful background. I'm pretty sure that is not the intention of the campaign leadership.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bill Baldwin wrote:
Since Lore's are usually more specific than the General Knowledges, I would think the DCs for Lore check's would be easier than General Knowledges.

When I'm GMing for new players, one of my "advice" items is that when you are given the choice for a skill check that includes either a standard skill or a Lore skill, generally choose the attempt the Lore skill because the DC seems to be moderately lower. The difference is not massive (2-4), but every occurrence of this phenomenon I have seen in scenarios so far it applies. Of course if your modifier for the normal skill is significantly higher (4 or more) than the Lore skill, you might want to ignore this advice.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
CraziFuzzy wrote:
I'm pretty sure that is not the intention of the campaign leadership.

Since you're pretty sure, and I'm absolutely sure, why are we having this discussion?

We know Pathfinder Society Lore is valid. We know Pathfinder Society Lore comes up in games.

Doesn't seem like an issue to me.

2/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bill Baldwin wrote:
Since Lore's are usually more specific than the General Knowledges, I would think the DCs for Lore check's would be easier than General Knowledges. For example, if you are trying to recall knowledge about The Misty Forest, I would think the DC for Misty Forest Lore would be lower than the DC for Nature. But I am not seeing that a lot in mods so far. It's usually just something like, "DC 22 Nature or Misty Forest Lore." In fact, if we are talking about your typical druid here, he would have a greater chance of success with his general Nature check since it is Wisdom based, than he would with his specific Misty Forest Lore check, which is Intelligence based. This just doesn't make much since to me.

For what it's worth, I'd argue that even if the scenario has the same DC for Nature and Misty Forest Lore, the GM is well within their rights to apply a circumstance bonus on the check for a player who has both skills (or who just has the more specific Lore skill). Your hypothetical druid would usually have a better chance at a nature check with the same DC, but a GM could say that because they also have Misty Forest Lore, they get a circumstance bonus on the check.

Special Circumstances, Source Core Rulebook pg. 492 wrote:
The player characters in your group will at times attempt tasks that should be easier or harder than the rules or adventure would otherwise lead you to expect, such as a PC Gathering Information in their hometown. In these cases, you can just apply a circumstance bonus or penalty. Usually, this is +1 or –1 for a minor but significant circumstance, but you can adjust this bonus or penalty to +2 or –2 for a major circumstance. The maximum bonus or penalty, +4 or –4, should apply only if someone has an overwhelming advantage or is trying something extremely unlikely but not quite impossible.

The guide for organized play says that "the listed DCs and results are not to be altered" in scenarios, but applying a circumstance bonus to the check doesn't change the DC and in this case makes sense that a player with multiple specific knowledges might have an easier time than others dealing with the problem.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

1 person marked this as a favorite.
cavernshark wrote:
Bill Baldwin wrote:
Since Lore's are usually more specific than the General Knowledges, I would think the DCs for Lore check's would be easier than General Knowledges. For example, if you are trying to recall knowledge about The Misty Forest, I would think the DC for Misty Forest Lore would be lower than the DC for Nature. But I am not seeing that a lot in mods so far. It's usually just something like, "DC 22 Nature or Misty Forest Lore." In fact, if we are talking about your typical druid here, he would have a greater chance of success with his general Nature check since it is Wisdom based, than he would with his specific Misty Forest Lore check, which is Intelligence based. This just doesn't make much since to me.

For what it's worth, I'd argue that even if the scenario has the same DC for Nature and Misty Forest Lore, the GM is well within their rights to apply a circumstance bonus on the check for a player who has both skills (or who just has the more specific Lore skill). Your hypothetical druid would usually have a better chance at a nature check with the same DC, but a GM could say that because they also have Misty Forest Lore, they get a circumstance bonus on the check.

Special Circumstances, Source Core Rulebook pg. 492 wrote:
The player characters in your group will at times attempt tasks that should be easier or harder than the rules or adventure would otherwise lead you to expect, such as a PC Gathering Information in their hometown. In these cases, you can just apply a circumstance bonus or penalty. Usually, this is +1 or –1 for a minor but significant circumstance, but you can adjust this bonus or penalty to +2 or –2 for a major circumstance. The maximum bonus or penalty, +4 or –4, should apply only if someone has an overwhelming advantage or is trying something extremely unlikely but not quite impossible.
The guide for organized play says that "the listed DCs and results are not to be altered" in scenarios, but applying a circumstance bonus to the check doesn't...

I agree. And as an experienced GM this is something I was leaning towards doing anyway, now that I have a better grasp of the 2E rules. However, I would still like to see authors put this in mods so that less experienced GMs will feel they can do this.

Envoy's Alliance 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

CraziFuzzy wrote:
Lost Omens isn't listed under Character Options, and the only place I see it in the PFS guide is in the Season 0 Legacy background. It is not referenced anywhere a new player would go to build their character. And to say that this is sufficient, and since it is not listed in the PHB list of Common choices, than that would mean that no player can choose it unless they have the Early Explorer background, or (once it is listed in Character Options) own the Lost Omens book and take the Pathfinder Hopeful background. I'm pretty sure that is not the intention of the campaign leadership.

Okay, I think I understand the confusion here. For lore options, we are not limited to those listed specifically in the CRB. Indeed, one of the scenarios that I have seen features a character who is excited to meet anyone with a lore not listed in the CRB. I do not believe that Pathfinder Society Lore is an uncommon lore. However, you are correct that this would be a nice (and fairly quick) addition to the guide. I would like to see it added as a lore option for all three of the Pathfinder schools listed in Pathfinder Training.

The good news is that your new players are likely first level, and can switch their skills once they realize that Pathfinder Society Lore is an option. This character, Pip, is considering picking up additional lore just to add Pathfinder Society Lore to her build as a Pathfinder attorney for the Envoy's Alliance. Currently she has Absalom Lore and Legal Lore, but I think that she definitely needs to add both Pathfinder Society Lore and Library Lore to her portfolio.


Nefreet wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
I'm pretty sure that is not the intention of the campaign leadership.

Since you're pretty sure, and I'm absolutely sure, why are we having this discussion?

We know Pathfinder Society Lore is valid. We know Pathfinder Society Lore comes up in games.

Doesn't seem like an issue to me.

It's a suggestion for an improvement. Why the fight against it?

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I disagree that a master list is an improvement.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I’m going to use my lore(unnecessary and fun-ruining rule additions for pfs) skill to check the master list of unnecessary fun-ruining rule additions for pfs.

1d20 ⇒ 7

Well thankfully it’s such a niche skill that the dc is really low. *reads* Hmm, looks like master lists of acceptable lore skills are right there at the top.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I realize this is a bit of a tangent, but are background and the Additional Lore feat the only ways to learn a Lore skill? Or can you just apply a skill proficiency unit (I miss having a word for this, BTW) or increase to pick up an extra Lore skill at character creation or when leveling up?

Envoy's Alliance 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

2 people marked this as a favorite.

You can absolutely pick up lores in other ways. Additional Lore is just popular because it automatically increases in proficiency.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pip Hip Hooray wrote:

You can absolutely pick up lores in other ways. Additional Lore is just popular because it automatically increases in proficiency.

Thanks!

Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Lore skill and PFS All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.