Errata needed: Unique tag doesn't make sense


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Let's not assume bad faith on the part of the GM as a baseline, please.


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Zapp wrote:
Spending an action for maybe a 50% shot at getting ONE piece of useful info is horrendously expensive,

You should have more than 50% chance of success unless you speak of a Recall Knowledge attempted by someone who's not good at it, which is a self defeating situation.

Also, there are feats and abilities working with Recall Knowledge that make it stronger.

It looks to me your players don't have characters with good Recall Knowledge abilities. In that case, yes, Recall Knowledge is not really a good action.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Also, why adding +10 as a rare modifier? Should be half that.

Sorry the +10 is for Unique.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Zapp wrote:
Spending an action for maybe a 50% shot at getting ONE piece of useful info is horrendously expensive,

You should have more than 50% chance of success unless you speak of a Recall Knowledge attempted by someone who's not good at it, which is a self defeating situation.

Also, there are feats and abilities working with Recall Knowledge that make it stronger.

It looks to me your players don't have characters with good Recall Knowledge abilities. In that case, yes, Recall Knowledge is not really a good action.

If you're referring to the hysterical Hypercognition feats, yes, they spam enough RK's to make spending an action worthwhile.

Especially since they let you spend the action on something useful, effectively bringing the RAW to the state my game is in from the beginning.

Otherwise, I don't see why anyone would bother strengthen perhaps the game's most useless ability and subsystem - just whack the guy and you'll find out all you need to know.

In other words: theoretically the RK system might appear fine. But its dev completely forgot about the opportunity cost. Spending an action to *automatically* get a single nugget of info - no risk of misleading crap - might be defensible for casters without no good third action (and a decent Intelligence in the first place), but the RK action just isn't nearly that good.

The reason is that you need the info NOW, not later. So buff your Recall Knowledge and spend all three actions in the first round (freeing your less lore-filled friends to do something else) Congratulations! I dare you to find a more ueseless minmaxing strategy... :-)

And against Uncommon, Rare, and Unique monsters (EXACTLY the kinds of monsters where general knowledge of D&D flora and fauna won't help you!) the action is just an outright trap.

So, yes, you can probably arrange a decent shot at finding out that Orcs are smelly, but that's just damning the mechanism with faint praise.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Zapp wrote:
Spending an action for maybe a 50% shot at getting ONE piece of useful info is horrendously expensive,

You should have more than 50% chance of success unless you speak of a Recall Knowledge attempted by someone who's not good at it, which is a self defeating situation.

Also, there are feats and abilities working with Recall Knowledge that make it stronger.

It looks to me your players don't have characters with good Recall Knowledge abilities. In that case, yes, Recall Knowledge is not really a good action.

Please keep in mind that Zapp is refering to enemies that are a) of higher level than the party and b) mostly not common, as those are the enemies where RK should yield the greatest benefits because of those enemies largely unknown special abilities and weaknesses.

For example, when fighting a Clay Golem at party level 8, our master Arcana, Int19 Wizard had exactly a 50% chance of succeeding, while our master Crafting, Int10 Fighter would have only had a 30% chance (and 25% critical failure chance). Also note that even if you consider your success chances higher in an ideal setup (e.g. availability of skill items) it may easily not be possible for the GM to provide especially useful data that the party can actively act on, which further reduces the effectiveness of RK.

Using the above example and given a party that did not have a) adamantine weapons b) cold, water or earth spells prepared, c) too low a level to use Disintegrate, d) no capability to target saves other than with spells, d) figured out AC like in round one there was really few useful data that the GM could provide when the Wizards turn came up and he succeeded in RK. Where there a really aweful lot of shortcommings within the party? Admittedly so. However this is exactly the situation when pairing white room considerations and actual play.

Our GM did his best and disclosed the info about Golem Antimagic which probably helped the Wizard to save some spells (not actions, as due to the circumstances of high enemy DR and improper spell selection he more or less had to pass his turns for some rounds). So the successful RK was not entirely useless but due to the rather passive nature of the benefit (4 players could not act on this information and 1 player only knew what not to do) also not very satisfying.


Zapp wrote:


If you're referring to the hysterical Hypercognition feats, yes, they spam enough RK's to make spending an action worthwhile.

No, I'm referring to Monster Hunter, Mastermind Rogue and such. Most of the skill uses in combat are especially interesting if you have class abilities tied to them.

Zapp wrote:
Otherwise, I don't see why anyone would bother strengthen perhaps the game's most useless ability and subsystem - just whack the guy and you'll find out all you need to know.

PF2 is built in such a way that you can do whatever you want and it'll work just fine. So, if the only thing you're interested in is whacking guys, go with it. Recall Knowledge skills have other uses. If you value these uses then you have a free 3rd action coming with them. I had some very good combat Recall Knowledge in the past and I'll continue to use it, but it's by no mean better than anything else.

Ubertron_X wrote:
Please keep in mind that Zapp is refering to enemies that are a) of higher level than the party and b) mostly not common, as those are the enemies where RK should yield the greatest benefits because of those enemies largely unknown special abilities and weaknesses.

At my tables, if you act on player knowledge people will tell you to stop. So there's a point recognizing anything. And PF2 loves special abilities so recognizing common monsters can yield substancial information.

And your golem example is a bit of a stretch. You just got massive bad luck not being able to capitalize on it.
Also, Recall Knowledge can be done outside combat sometimes, the benefit stays the same, the cost drops to zero.

I will never say that Recall Knowledge is the summum of combat abilities but it's far from useless.


Don't forget you can use reroll abilities on recall knowledge and there are plenty of ways to boost the skills with circumstance, status and item bonuses.

Sometimes it won't work out, but a good GM will both listen to what you want to recall and also give you something useful if what you are looking for wouldn't help you.

My players used some white dragon breath potions on a stone golem in age of ashes because of a recall knowledge check and absolutely wrecked it with minimum effort.

Not everyone will have a good shot at knowing the right info, sometimes it isn't the right action to take. Judgement calls can be made.
Nor are recall knowledge checks limited to combat scenarios, they are used throughout the game.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Please keep in mind that Zapp is refering to enemies that are a) of higher level than the party and b) mostly not common, as those are the enemies where RK should yield the greatest benefits because of those enemies largely unknown special abilities and weaknesses.
At my tables, if you act on player knowledge people will tell you to stop. So there's a point recognizing anything. And PF2 loves special abilities so recognizing common monsters can yield substancial information.

Which is another inherent problem with the as-is RK rules. At which point in time time specific monster knowledge becomes general monster knowledge?

So if I have successfully RK'ed a low level fey and back then the GM provided the info that in general fey are weak to cold iron, what is stopping me in using my back-up cold iron weapon the next time I successfully RK another enemy as fey, however the GM now providing useful info about another ability instead?

How is PFS handling this? Bookkeeping which foes and their special abilities and weaknesses you have ever met? Rolling every time anew for one and the same ability even if you play a 3-part scenario with a common theme?

Note that RK is of course not bad per se, however at times the rule can be so vague, that our table really had huge and disruptive (to the gameplay) discussions when we first tried to use the skill action and even when we agreed to a very liberal stance (GM will usually ignore the crit fail result, so you just know nothing & GM will often provide more than one piece of useful info as he does not keep track of our characters at all times) it is rarely used.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Zapp wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Also, why adding +10 as a rare modifier? Should be half that.
Sorry the +10 is for Unique.

That makes more sense then. I don't disagree with your main point, but was wondering if you were operating on an even greater handicap than intended.

Liberty's Edge

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Confronting an enemy and discovering early on that it has weaknesses but you are not equipped to take advantage of them is IMO a very clear clue that retreating now and coming back later with the proper preparations done is the way to go.


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No GM wants to sit there watching their players waste time by doing something ineffective or failing to figure out the thing they need to figure out to progress, since that's wasting the GM's time too.

I've found we're generally going to err on the side of "the players get too much information for free" for precisely this reason.

Liberty's Edge

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Very very GM-dependent. Some enjoy having their monsters or NPCs bring some fear to the players. And some care most about applying the RAW as they understand them, come what may.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Which is another inherent problem with the as-is RK rules. At which point in time time specific monster knowledge becomes general monster knowledge?

I can only speak of what I've seen at my tables (mostly PFS):

For things that are common to most or all members of a monster type, they are considered common knowledge. No one will bat an eye if you use positive energy to harm an undead or if you use cold iron against what you think is a fey.

If you have already encountered a similar monster (because you don't know if it's the same monster before rolling) you can act on that knowledge. If the GM asks just tell him you know a similar monster (people know many PFS adventures, so it's easy to confirm).

If you encounter a creature which race base level is very low compared to your level (like a troll at level 15) people may assume common knowledge of the racial abilities. But it's in general limited to humanoids.

For everything else you have to roll. If a player starts acting on his knowledge (and if it's quite visible) the GM may react (and the reaction is different depending on the GM, some may get angry (and I've once angered a GM because I inadvertedly hit a sweet spot)).

Here's what I've seen at my tables.


The Raven Black wrote:
Like in PF1, I am left wondering what action can give you useful combat information about adventurers. I mean we have actions that will let us know that a given creature has attacks of opportunities or a weak REF save but nothing that does the same for PCs or PC-likes, no matter what investment we would make. How can we change this?

If it's a fellow Pathfinder, Pathfinder Society Lore for who's that guy, what class, and what level?

If it's an Aspis agent, Aspis Consortium Lore for the same information.


RealAlchemy wrote:

If it's a fellow Pathfinder, Pathfinder Society Lore for who's that guy, what class, and what level?

If it's an Aspis agent, Aspis Consortium Lore for the same information.

Personally I give lore adjustments based on how narrow the lore is

For instance a party is trying to identify a nosferatu vampire:
- -2 DC for the person with undead lore
- -5 DC for the person with vampire lore
- -10 DC for the person with nosferatu lore

It isn't an exact science, but I am glad paizo gave leeway for GM rulings.

I try to keep it so that a lore will always give a -2 to a recall knowledge check if it properly applies. This seems in line with lore examples in APs too.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Like in PF1, I am left wondering what action can give you useful combat information about adventurers. I mean we have actions that will let us know that a given creature has attacks of opportunities or a weak REF save but nothing that does the same for PCs or PC-likes, no matter what investment we would make. How can we change this?

Idk what your are talking about PF1. Knowledge skills in that work for abilities, regardless of what is giving it. Paizo later expanded it with Spy Handbook, adding specific DCs to recall observable class features and feats. Based on the level the feature is granted, or character level for feats.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Which is another inherent problem with the as-is RK rules. At which point in time time specific monster knowledge becomes general monster knowledge?

Isn't this just the old potential "how did you know to burn the troll, you didn't roll for anything" problem that can generate basically infinite arguments on the internet, but actual tables always just handle it pretty well?

Liberty's Edge

Temperans wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Like in PF1, I am left wondering what action can give you useful combat information about adventurers. I mean we have actions that will let us know that a given creature has attacks of opportunities or a weak REF save but nothing that does the same for PCs or PC-likes, no matter what investment we would make. How can we change this?
Idk what your are talking about PF1. Knowledge skills in that work for abilities, regardless of what is giving it. Paizo later expanded it with Spy Handbook, adding specific DCs to recall observable class features and feats. Based on the level the feature is granted, or character level for feats.

Thanks for the info. I will definitely check the Spy Handbook :-)

Liberty's Edge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Which is another inherent problem with the as-is RK rules. At which point in time time specific monster knowledge becomes general monster knowledge?
Isn't this just the old potential "how did you know to burn the troll, you didn't roll for anything" problem that can generate basically infinite arguments on the internet, but actual tables always just handle it pretty well?

Not always. I too have had troubles with players using OOC knowledge, verisimilitude be damned. I did not like it, even when I too was a player and thus on the same "side".

Then I also had GMs accusing me of metagaming when I switched to a Bludgeoning weapon after it became obvious that Slashing did not cut it.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Please keep in mind that Zapp is refering to enemies that are a) of higher level than the party and b) mostly not common, as those are the enemies where RK should yield the greatest benefits because of those enemies largely unknown special abilities and weaknesses.

Yes please do!

(Thank you :-)


SuperBidi wrote:
Also, Recall Knowledge can be done outside combat sometimes, the benefit stays the same, the cost drops to zero.

When the cost is zero, RK makes much MUCH more sense.

But the default is that it costs an action.

Obviously if you have a GM that interprets this rule as "only a suggestion" then you... have a good GM since the default RP subsystem is completely FUBAR and he or she just solved it one way! :-)

Liberty's Edge

When you have nothing left to do with your third action, RK in a skill you have at a decent level is better than nothing. And I have seen players just skip their third action because they felt they had nothing useful to do.


Ubertron_X wrote:
How is PFS handling this? Bookkeeping which foes and their special abilities and weaknesses you have ever met? Rolling every time anew for one and the same ability even if you play a 3-part scenario with a common theme?

This is EXACTLY the core issue.

The RK rules are written with a computer game in mind, where the cumputer can instantly and effortlessly:

a) generate "info snippets" appropriate for critical success, success, and critical failure without a moment's hesitation
b) remember exactly what snippets have been handed out for each and every monster in the game

In short, the idea is good but the actual implementation is horribly unworkable.

Unless you make it work. Which is fine (more than fine - I myself have done so) but it does mean you can no longer defend the RAW.

"The RAW is perfectly fine, you just need to ignore it" is not exactly a credible argument ... ;)


The Raven Black wrote:
Confronting an enemy and discovering early on that it has weaknesses but you are not equipped to take advantage of them is IMO a very clear clue that retreating now and coming back later with the proper preparations done is the way to go.

Except for a very small subset of monsters and encounters, the fact is that you can always brute force your way through these weaknesses.

Published adventures are 99.9% written in such a way that WITHOUT knowledge you get a tense challenging difficult fight... and WITH knowledge you get a comfortable pushover completely winning fight.

But since the game is about exciting combats (with a thin layer of story wrapped around it) what is meant as a reward is actually a punishment.

I dare anyone to find an official encounter where the writers rely on the RK subsystem to provide hints and clues to monster weaknesses where not finding them means death or defeat (and not just having to deal 10 more damage per hit or whatever).

I submit none exist, and in the few cases the monster can't be beat without proper preparation, the adventure will bend over backwards to provide the heroes with the hints they need. In fact, often the heroes will need to actively avoid getting the hints. Sometimes, the hints will be shoved into the heroes faces no matter what.

Thus I maintain the best use of the un-fixed (RAW) RK subsystem is to ignore and avoid it entirely.


SuperBidi wrote:
For everything else you have to roll.

But you only have to roll if you want the GM to hand out one of those snippets, right?

I mean, you're still allowed to just whack the monster, right?

And if you do, and deal zero damage, the GM doesn't try to hide that fact?

So ignoring RK provides even better info than using RK, amirite?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Which is another inherent problem with the as-is RK rules. At which point in time time specific monster knowledge becomes general monster knowledge?
Isn't this just the old potential "how did you know to burn the troll, you didn't roll for anything" problem that can generate basically infinite arguments on the internet, but actual tables always just handle it pretty well?

Well, not exactly. (That problem exists - if only theoretically, just as you say)

The problem I'm discussing is that the Recall Knowledge subsystem implementation in PF2 is horribly overwrought (no GM can make up "misleading" info on the spot, or come up with five different useful info nuggets each time the Bard spams that feat whatitscalled), and insanely expensive to use.

It basically screams to not be used as written.


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Zapp wrote:

When the cost is zero, RK makes much MUCH more sense.

But the default is that it costs an action.

One action outside combat is zero cost. I've often rolled RK checks before the fight to start.

Zapp wrote:

But you only have to roll if you want the GM to hand out one of those snippets, right?

I mean, you're still allowed to just whack the monster, right?

And if you do, and deal zero damage, the GM doesn't try to hide that fact?

So ignoring RK provides even better info than using RK, amirite?

If you want to whack the monster you can, but don't say that it provides info.

You don't have to be disingenuous in current situation. RK is nice but not broken. You can live without it but it still provides useful info. It saved a few characters in a game I've played because we faced Basilisks without info (and this fight has killed characters). RK is more defensive than offensive actually. Knowing the monster weaknesses is nice but knowing the monster special ability can help much more.

Grand Archive

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Zapp wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Confronting an enemy and discovering early on that it has weaknesses but you are not equipped to take advantage of them is IMO a very clear clue that retreating now and coming back later with the proper preparations done is the way to go.

Except for a very small subset of monsters and encounters, the fact is that you can always brute force your way through these weaknesses.

Published adventures are 99.9% written in such a way that WITHOUT knowledge you get a tense challenging difficult fight... and WITH knowledge you get a comfortable pushover completely winning fight.

But since the game is about exciting combats (with a thin layer of story wrapped around it) what is meant as a reward is actually a punishment.

I dare anyone to find an official encounter where the writers rely on the RK subsystem to provide hints and clues to monster weaknesses where not finding them means death or defeat (and not just having to deal 10 more damage per hit or whatever).

I submit none exist, and in the few cases the monster can't be beat without proper preparation, the adventure will bend over backwards to provide the heroes with the hints they need. In fact, often the heroes will need to actively avoid getting the hints. Sometimes, the hints will be shoved into the heroes faces no matter what.

Thus I maintain the best use of the un-fixed (RAW) RK subsystem is to ignore and avoid it entirely.

Feature, not bug.

You did well to houserule it since it does not fit the style of game you enjoy.

That still does not mean the system is complete trash. It definitely has room for improvement, as I and others stated before. No need to just throw it away though.


SuperBidi wrote:
Zapp wrote:

When the cost is zero, RK makes much MUCH more sense.

But the default is that it costs an action.

One action outside combat is zero cost.

Yes...? I just said that.

Quote:
I've often rolled RK checks before the fight to start.

But you didn't go into the real crux!

The game never specifies when you get to use the action for free and when you don't.

If you play with a GM that allows free RK's then obviously my objections don't apply. But if you play with a GM that always makes sure to extract the listed cost, they do.

This makes the entire subsystem fall apart, since if you can't even know the value of your build choices then what's the point? With a GM that allows no-cost usage of the RK actio there's no point in taking any of the associated feats and abilities, since you can just use it out of game where a failure just means some lost time (or whatever, that's just a guess).

I can only comment upon the subsystem as listed.

Your objection again just reads as "play with a good GM, one that lets you make RKs for free!"

To which I say DUH! that's my point the entire time, and again I say "The RAW is perfectly fine, you just need to ignore it" is not exactly a credible argument ... ;)


Bran Noldo wrote:
That still does not mean the system is complete trash. It definitely has room for improvement, as I and others stated before. No need to just throw it away though.

Here's my suggestion:

Scrap the action called Recall Knowledge and scrap the abilites/feats that grant individual usages of that action.

Now keep the rest, basically resulting in "whenever you see or hear about a monster, make a skill check to learn however much or little about that monster the GM deems appropriate".

Yes, that IS much better! :)


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The Raven Black wrote:

<snip>

Then I also had GMs accusing me of metagaming when I switched to a Bludgeoning weapon after it became obvious that Slashing did not cut it.

Nice! :D

Intentional or not, I see what you did there. ;)


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Zapp wrote:
Bran Noldo wrote:
That still does not mean the system is complete trash. It definitely has room for improvement, as I and others stated before. No need to just throw it away though.

Here's my suggestion:

Scrap the action called Recall Knowledge and scrap the abilites/feats that grant individual usages of that action.

Now keep the rest, basically resulting in "whenever you see or hear about a monster, make a skill check to learn however much or little about that monster the GM deems appropriate".

Yes, that IS much better! :)

That's called PF1.

Spoilers: they changed it for a reason.


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Cyouni wrote:
Zapp wrote:
Bran Noldo wrote:
That still does not mean the system is complete trash. It definitely has room for improvement, as I and others stated before. No need to just throw it away though.

Here's my suggestion:

Scrap the action called Recall Knowledge and scrap the abilites/feats that grant individual usages of that action.

Now keep the rest, basically resulting in "whenever you see or hear about a monster, make a skill check to learn however much or little about that monster the GM deems appropriate".

Yes, that IS much better! :)

That's called PF1.

Spoilers: they changed it for a reason.

Was it really necessary to change it to an action now that you can't build a character that auto succeeds? Given that you only have a roughly ~50% chance to succeed (against a slightly higher level foe, much worse for rare/unique), and you cannot retry if you fail, and the amount of information given is much lower, does it really help the game to make it require an action?

It's a bit late to fix it now, but the whole recall knowledge system is really clunky as it stands. I have yet to see a group use it productively without straying significantly from strict RAW.


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"The heroes can't have a 100% chance at succeeding at what they're trying to do 100% of the time, or else there's no drama" appears to be a core foundational principle of PF2.

If the GM genuinely does not want a thing to be possible for a character to be mistaken about (e.g. "is fire hot?") then you don't have them roll for it.


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Djinn71 wrote:

Was it really necessary to change it to an action now that you can't build a character that auto succeeds? Given that you only have a roughly ~50% chance to succeed (against a slightly higher level foe, much worse for rare/unique), and you cannot retry if you fail, and the amount of information given is much lower, does it really help the game to make it require an action?

It's a bit late to fix it now, but the whole recall knowledge system is really clunky as it stands. I have yet to see a group use it productively without straying significantly from strict RAW.

I think my group's been generally fine, and I strive to run as RAW as physically possible (picking RAI when RAW is obviously incorrect). Part of the factor is that it can be used as a third action, which is good to replace a lot of other things, and is also very usable against things lower level than you.

Funny thing: a lot of how it's written is the exact same as PF1, it's just how the DCs were way lower in PF1 that affected it. If you were only hitting DC or DC+5 because you weren't an Int char, it's very similar - those are 1-2 pieces of information.

Also, since this has come up, this is a factor on a lot of well-known things:

Quote:
You might adjust the difficulty down, maybe even drastically, if the subject is especially notorious or famed. Knowing simple tales about an infamous dragon’s exploits, for example, might be incredibly easy for the dragon’s level, or even just a simple trained DC.


Zapp wrote:

If you play with a GM that allows free RK's then obviously my objections don't apply. But if you play with a GM that always makes sure to extract the listed cost, they do.

This makes the entire subsystem fall apart, since if you can't even know the value of your build choices then what's the point? With a GM that allows no-cost usage of the RK actio there's no point in taking any of the associated feats and abilities, since you can just use it out of game where a failure just means some lost time (or whatever, that's just a guess).

I can only comment upon the subsystem as listed.

Your objection again just reads as "play with a good GM, one that lets you make RKs for free!"

My PFS Alchemist is pumping Recall Knowledge (maxed Int, Additional Lores tied to all Religion and Nature-based monster types) and I had no issue with Recall Knowledge. Is it because most GMs are good GMs? Is it because GMs prefer players who Recall Knowledge about their monsters before whacking them and as such give helpful information? Is it because I only use Recall Knowledge when it seems useful or is free? Is it because I like getting information about what I fight? Is it because the rules, even if vague, are actually fine?

In my opinion, you see an issue where there isn't. RK is fine, not overpowered but fine.


Cyouni wrote:
Zapp wrote:
Bran Noldo wrote:
That still does not mean the system is complete trash. It definitely has room for improvement, as I and others stated before. No need to just throw it away though.

Here's my suggestion:

Scrap the action called Recall Knowledge and scrap the abilites/feats that grant individual usages of that action.

Now keep the rest, basically resulting in "whenever you see or hear about a monster, make a skill check to learn however much or little about that monster the GM deems appropriate".

Yes, that IS much better! :)

That's called PF1.

Spoilers: they changed it for a reason.

I'm not arguing to go back to any specific game. But conveying monster info works just fine without rules in every other game, and having this hyperdetailed mechanistic framework that simultaneously expects specificity while providing none itself, while also being extremely expensive is not the answer.


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Djinn71 wrote:
It's a bit late to fix it now, but the whole recall knowledge system is really clunky as it stands. I have yet to see a group use it productively without straying significantly from strict RAW.

Exactly. Thank you.


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Zapp wrote:

I'm not arguing to go back to any specific game. But conveying monster info works just fine without rules in every other game, and having this hyperdetailed mechanistic framework that simultaneously expects specificity while providing none itself, while also being extremely expensive is not the answer.

You are being highly disingenuous here suggesting it is a "hyperdetailed mechanistic framework".

It is 3 points of mechanical influence with abstracted and flexible results. Your bonus, the dc adjustment based on rarity of info, the base DC.

It works, you don't have to like how it works but please stop opining as incontrovertible fact. Not working for you doesn't stop "conveying monster info" from working in PF2e as you suggest.


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Zapp wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Zapp wrote:
Bran Noldo wrote:
That still does not mean the system is complete trash. It definitely has room for improvement, as I and others stated before. No need to just throw it away though.

Here's my suggestion:

Scrap the action called Recall Knowledge and scrap the abilites/feats that grant individual usages of that action.

Now keep the rest, basically resulting in "whenever you see or hear about a monster, make a skill check to learn however much or little about that monster the GM deems appropriate".

Yes, that IS much better! :)

That's called PF1.

Spoilers: they changed it for a reason.

I'm not arguing to go back to any specific game. But conveying monster info works just fine without rules in every other game, and having this hyperdetailed mechanistic framework that simultaneously expects specificity while providing none itself, while also being extremely expensive is not the answer.

Providing none itself? Have you even read it?

- "The skill used to identify a creature usually depends on that creature’s trait, as shown on Table 10–7, but you have leeway on which skills apply. A character who successfully identifies a creature learns one of its best-known attributes—such as a troll’s regeneration (and the fact that it can be stopped by acid or fire) or a manticore’s tail spikes. On a critical success, the character also learns something subtler, like a demon’s weakness or the trigger for one of the creature’s reactions."
- "For instance, hags are humanoids but have a strong connection to occult spells and live outside society, so you might allow a character to use Occultism to identify them without any DC adjustment, while Society is harder. Lore skills can also be used to identify their specific creature. Using the applicable Lore usually has an easy or very easy DC (before adjusting for rarity)."
- "Some topics might appear on multiple lists, but the skills could give different information. For example, Arcana might tell you about the magical defenses of a golem, whereas Crafting could tell you about its sturdy resistance to physical attacks."

Extremely expensive is silly to say when there are tons of feats that remove the action skill, so at worst it's at the same action cost as a -10 MAP attack.


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PF2 as an entire game is antagonistic towards the entire idea of "strict RAW". Huge parts of the game rely on the GM making the flexible framework work for whatever it needs to do for the story. This is great for GMs, but less good for people who want to argue about theory and white rooms on the internet.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
PF2 as an entire game is antagonistic towards the entire idea of "strict RAW". Huge parts of the game rely on the GM making the flexible framework work for whatever it needs to do for the story. This is great for GMs, but less good for people who want to argue about theory and white rooms on the internet.

With black curtains, at the station?

Jesting aside I don't think that quite represents PF2e either (at least not to the point of being antagonistic towards strict RaW), it tries to sit in the middle, giving flexibility in areas which historically needed it and were filled with GMs winging it in PF1e (like knowledge checks) and keeping a level of structure for combat rules.

That is to say, the ruleset seems to support strict RaW until the rules directly call out flexibility.
Exploration activities, downtime activities, treasure rewards, simple DCs and knowledge checks are examples of where the boundries are roughly defined and room for rulings is given.
Counteracting is a good example of hard RAW that the system expects you to follow whenever two magical effects try and cancel each other out.


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Cyouni wrote:


I think my group's been generally fine, and I strive to run as RAW as physically possible (picking RAI when RAW is obviously incorrect). Part of the factor is that it can be used as a third action, which is good to replace a lot of other things, and is also very usable against things lower level than you.

Funny thing: a lot of how it's written is the exact same as PF1, it's just how the DCs were way lower in PF1 that affected it. If you were only hitting DC or DC+5 because you weren't an Int char, it's very similar - those are 1-2 pieces of information.

Also, since this has come up, this is a factor on a lot of well-known things:

Quote:
You might adjust the difficulty down, maybe even drastically, if the subject is especially notorious or famed. Knowing simple tales about an infamous dragon’s exploits, for example, might be incredibly easy for the dragon’s level, or even just a simple trained DC.

What info do you generally give out? I see most people that think RK is good giving out info like the lowest save of a monster, whereas the rules for Creature Identification states that you only get one of the creature's best known attributes on a regular success (and something more nuanced on a crit success). There are very few creatures for whom their lowest save is their best known attribute.

Recall Knowledge being a secret check that the GM needs to roll and potentially having 8 different skills per character that can apply just makes it clunky to run.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
PF2 as an entire game is antagonistic towards the entire idea of "strict RAW". Huge parts of the game rely on the GM making the flexible framework work for whatever it needs to do for the story. This is great for GMs, but less good for people who want to argue about theory and white rooms on the internet.

Why do you think PF2e is against relying on RAW? What huge parts of the game rely on the GM making there own calls/modifications, beyond basic storytelling? One of the biggest strengths of the system is that it has rules and subsystems for most situations. Any game you run can be modified on the fly by the GM (rule 0), but that doesn't mean it is intended (e.g., it would be very strange for a GM to heavily modify the results of the success/fail system for a specific action, as there is an expectation that the outcome will rely on the rules, especially for actions that PCs take/invest in).

The information that should be given out from a Recall Knowledge check is described in the Rules, and if it isn't sufficient to make Recall Knowledge a good action for most people then it shouldn't be up to the GM to change it (though they should), nor should it be up to players to badger their GM into making it good. Instead it should be errataed so that the rules explicitly match the way people are playing it (e.g, giving out lowest save info).


Djinn71 wrote:
Cyouni wrote:


I think my group's been generally fine, and I strive to run as RAW as physically possible (picking RAI when RAW is obviously incorrect). Part of the factor is that it can be used as a third action, which is good to replace a lot of other things, and is also very usable against things lower level than you.

Funny thing: a lot of how it's written is the exact same as PF1, it's just how the DCs were way lower in PF1 that affected it. If you were only hitting DC or DC+5 because you weren't an Int char, it's very similar - those are 1-2 pieces of information.

Also, since this has come up, this is a factor on a lot of well-known things:

Quote:
You might adjust the difficulty down, maybe even drastically, if the subject is especially notorious or famed. Knowing simple tales about an infamous dragon’s exploits, for example, might be incredibly easy for the dragon’s level, or even just a simple trained DC.
Recall Knowledge being a secret check that the GM needs to roll and potentially having 8 different skills per character that can apply just makes it clunky to run.

I disagree, this has in my games made it less clunky to run. I know what skill is used to RK on something, and so I don't have to ask the player what they are using or anything like that. I have all my player's secret skills noted already so I don't have to ask any modifiers or the like. Secret rolls in general are faster for me as a GM because I know the modifiers AND the DCs already.

As for what I give out, normally the rules to its most dangerous or annoying ability. So for a Gorgon I might tell the user about its Powerful Charge ability, one that may save the party from taking a lot of extra damage if they are careful about positioning or restricting its movement.

Scarab Sages

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
PF2 as an entire game is antagonistic towards the entire idea of "strict RAW". Huge parts of the game rely on the GM making the flexible framework work for whatever it needs to do for the story. This is great for GMs, but less good for people who want to argue about theory and white rooms on the internet.

It's awful as a GM as well, I have to finish writing the rules. The rules I paid for.

It's also antithetical to organized play, or any real play consistency.

Recall Knowledge is just as awful as I said it was during the playtest, and remains one of the worst systems in the entire game.


Angel Hunter D wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
PF2 as an entire game is antagonistic towards the entire idea of "strict RAW". Huge parts of the game rely on the GM making the flexible framework work for whatever it needs to do for the story. This is great for GMs, but less good for people who want to argue about theory and white rooms on the internet.

It's awful as a GM as well, I have to finish writing the rules. The rules I paid for.

It's also antithetical to organized play, or any real play consistency.

Recall Knowledge is just as awful as I said it was during the playtest, and remains one of the worst systems in the entire game.

Well, this is a terrible take. The only consistency that really matters is a consistent good time.

As a GM, my number one goal is to deliver a fun and challenging game for my players, whoever they might be this week. That requires some flexibility in the rules. Every group is different, after all.


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GM OfAnything wrote:
The only consistency that really matters is a consistent good time.

And for those of us that do not have 1 single consistent DM but see many tables, being able to sit at a new table and know that you'll be using the same set of rules adjudicated in the same way is the basis of a "good time". A good way to have a bad time is you doing everything the same way but getting different results because the rules are upon ended enough to allow for that, meaning you have to learn a now set of rules/expectations even when a Dm is running everything 'by the book'. What's fine in the 'white room' analysis of a single home game breaks down quite fast when you see several different table and compare how they are run. I've played an AP at with 2 different Dm at the same time and it was like played 2 different editions of the game with how different things where run: it sure wasn't a "good time"...

Scarab Sages

GM OfAnything wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
PF2 as an entire game is antagonistic towards the entire idea of "strict RAW". Huge parts of the game rely on the GM making the flexible framework work for whatever it needs to do for the story. This is great for GMs, but less good for people who want to argue about theory and white rooms on the internet.

It's awful as a GM as well, I have to finish writing the rules. The rules I paid for.

It's also antithetical to organized play, or any real play consistency.

Recall Knowledge is just as awful as I said it was during the playtest, and remains one of the worst systems in the entire game.

Well, this is a terrible take. The only consistency that really matters is a consistent good time.

As a GM, my number one goal is to deliver a fun and challenging game for my players, whoever they might be this week. That requires some flexibility in the rules. Every group is different, after all.

Graystone has it about right, and your entire argument is "I'm having fun so it's fine" which doesn't even refute anything I've said - it sidesteps the issue entirely.

And while every group is different, the game shouldn't be mechanically different for them. There's a difference between flexibility "this can be accomplished multiple ways" and incomplete or inconsistent rules "IDK, ask your GM how it works, why should this rule book have rules in it"


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graystone wrote:
And for those of us that do not have 1 single consistent DM but see many tables, being able to sit at a new table and know that you'll be using the same set of rules adjudicated in the same way is the basis of a "good time".

We are getting way high in the hyperbole. I've played PFS with a dozen of different GMs and had only 3 rules variations: One with a GM being really nice and 2 that have been handled by the second errata. Recall Knowledge doesn't need crazy GM calls, it's quite obvious the way it is written.

graystone wrote:
Instead it should be errataed so that the rules explicitly match the way people are playing it (e.g, giving out lowest save info).

Don't consider that the way you want to play it is the way people are playing it. I play PFS, so everyone plays it by the book and I'm fine with it. What I want to know when Recalling Knowledge is the monster's main abilities, not its lowest saves. I've always found PF1 rule silly as it's illogical to know about a medusa's lowest save but not about it's petrifying gaze.

In my opinion, the people criticizing Recall Knowledge are just not interested by what it gives. There's no need to say it's clunky when you just don't like it.

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