Would it be better if Find Flaws didn't reference Recall Knowledge?


Thaumaturge Class

Dataphiles

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Due to the some strange ways that recall knowledge feats interact with recall knowledge, I'm wondering if it would be better if Find Flaws didn't reference Recall Knowledge at all.

Specifically, I'm refererring to feats such as

- Bestiary Scholar which greatly increases the success chance on your main feature for a class feat.
- Unmistakable Lore, which, combined with Esoteric Lore removes the chance of crit fail from your main class feature entirely.
- Kreighton's Cognitive Crossover which would be another skill feat that greatly increases the chance of your main feature working if you weren't forced to have dubious knowledge.

I wonder if it would be better to simply give the class Esoteric Lore at level 1, have it scale to expert (or master) naturally, then change the text of Find Flaws to simply be

"Make an Esoteric Lore check against a standard DC of the target's level (other text as needed such as "only against a creature you can see/investigating, cha sub, etc.).

....
CS: XXXX

S: XXXX

F: XXXX

CF: XXXX"

With no reference to Recall Knowledge at all, so it doesn't interact with any of these feats (and force some of them to be must-haves).


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I really hope they remove any connection to recall knowledge. That sub system is just too vague to be worth using as rules.


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citricking wrote:
I really hope they remove any connection to recall knowledge. That sub system is just too vague to be worth using as rules.

Well either that OR they could actually flesh it out.

Grand Lodge Contributor

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I like the class having a tie to Recall Knowledge and even having a core class feature tied to it, but not relying on it.

If the ability was to make a check using the skill you'd Recall with (and the Charisma thing) and not actually making a Recall check, it might work better? The success conditions can even include the Recall info.

Dataphiles

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Pinstripedbarbarian wrote:

I like the class having a tie to Recall Knowledge and even having a core class feature tied to it, but not relying on it.

If the ability was to make a check using the skill you'd Recall with (and the Charisma thing) and not actually making a Recall check, it might work better? The success conditions can even include the Recall info.

That's a little bit of a grey area I think with regards to things like Bestiary Scholar - would it apply or wouldn't it? Seeing as you can use X for any recall check, then X would always be a skill you can recall with.


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graystone wrote:
citricking wrote:
I really hope they remove any connection to recall knowledge. That sub system is just too vague to be worth using as rules.
Well either that OR they could actually flesh it out.

I'd prefer this option as well (base RK rules leave a lot to be desired, for me), but it'd likely require errata to the CRB, which causes logistical issues, especially with the policy of only releasing errata when a new printing is made.


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I would prefer it if Find Flaw worked kinda like how the known weakness investigor feat where the Recall Knowledge was something that happened in parallel rather than be the basis of the effect.

I'm imagining something like "make a roll using arcana, Nature, Occultism or Religion, using cha instead of the normal attribute for this skill to make a connection with one of your esoterica and a weakness they possess. This roll usually has a standard DC of the target creature's level, but may be higher for especially strange foes" and have feat that lets you recall knowledge with you Find a Flaw

I remember investigator had a similar mechanic to the recall knowledge one we have here and struggled to consistently hit the DCs, so letting the thaumaturge focus one skill against a reasonably set DC avoids the issue of being spread too thin on skills


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Similar to Know weakness Rogue feat would work.

Reference

Liberty's Edge

Note that there are no items giving you a bonus to Lores.

Liberty's Edge

I am now thinking we could have 3 subclasses with different stat bonus and base abilities. And specific feats later on.

CHA based would have automatically advancing proficiency in the 4 Tradition skills.

INT based would have additional INT-based skill feats.

WIS based would open the door to things that feel more Divine / Inquisitor.


I don't believe Thaumaturge can use Kreighton's Cognitive Crossover. Dubious Knowledge means they get information on every result of Find Flaws, so they will never trigger it.

Liberty's Edge

Guess that's why DK is there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Has anyone run numbers on what it would take to critically fail if you had assurance on your recall knowledge skills?

Beyond trained, I don't think this class is nearly as focused on needing to be level appropriate at recalling knowledge on all monsters as a lot of posters are making it out to be. You kind of have to build the class into "needing to succeed" at RK checks, and in most campaigns, you will know generally which ones your character needs to focus on, and if you can't, trying to be good at all of them might not be the best build for you.

Recall knowledge does need a little love as an activity and GMs probably need more advice for setting DCs now that 3 classes have been released that are heavily dependent upon that activity for class features, which was not the case when the rules were written in the core rulebook, but I think we can get some of that in the Dark Archive.

Much like the psychic, I think when you build a character up, you start to see your Niche more clearly and recognize that just trained in a RK skill is fine for coming up against most lower level enemies.

In longer/broader campaigns like Age of Ashes, Strength of Thousands, and even in PFS, you don't need to be good at all knowledge skills at all times, you can retrain and focus on what is coming up in the next section.

People do realize there are quite a few weapon options in this game that do damage on a miss, even with strikes, right?


ran the numbers for recall knowledge against a standard DC here


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I think Find Flaws using Recall Knowledge actively works *against* the flavor of the class if it's going to remain Charisma based. Especially considering the best dump stat for the class is Intelligence, the ability score of knowledge, so it feels really damn weird.

That and it edges too close to being the Investigator's Devise a Stratagem (which itself is already eerily close to Hunt Prey and the Mastermind Rogue), which it is already mechanically and thematically close to, since both are about spending an action now for bonus damage later by examining the opponent.


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Yeah I'd almost like it changed to be a check against will DC of the target and be completely separate from the "common flaws" that anyone can exploit.

Like anyone can use fire against a troll, but a thaum can do fire and oil from some exotic plan that has a similar debilitating effect, but in this case it's the characters will making the oil have this effect rather than anything inherent to the troll.

Like it's the combination of the stories the character heard in their past and their unshakable belief in those stories that makes it, at least temporarily, a part of reality.


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wegrata wrote:

Yeah I'd almost like it changed to be a check against will DC of the target and be completely separate from the "common flaws" that anyone can exploit.

Like anyone can use fire against a troll, but a thaum can do fire and oil from some exotic plan that has a similar debilitating effect, but in this case it's the characters will making the oil have this effect rather than anything inherent to the troll.

Like it's the combination of the stories the character heard in their past and their unshakable belief in those stories that makes it, at least temporarily, a part of reality.

The oil and fire plan seems more like something an INT-based class would do, like an Investigator.

Right now it feels weirdly against the flavor of the Thaum, since it's actively encouraged to dump the stat that best represents knowledge and don't really care about actually using fire. The ability just makes you do the extra damage and doesn't actually simulate finding the right tool, just the result.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'd rather just see the Thaumaturge get some other bonus if they hit an existing weakness so they don't feel like they lose their combat mechanic. Otherwise I like it mostly as is (with a few rough edges that could be sanded).


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Squiggit wrote:
I'd rather just see the Thaumaturge get some other bonus if they hit an existing weakness so they don't feel like they lose their combat mechanic. Otherwise I like it mostly as is (with a few rough edges that could be sanded).

Yes, having some extra effect or damage or bonus where you are already uniquely situated would be thematic and useful.


Golurkcanfly wrote:
wegrata wrote:

Yeah I'd almost like it changed to be a check against will DC of the target and be completely separate from the "common flaws" that anyone can exploit.

Like anyone can use fire against a troll, but a thaum can do fire and oil from some exotic plan that has a similar debilitating effect, but in this case it's the characters will making the oil have this effect rather than anything inherent to the troll.

Like it's the combination of the stories the character heard in their past and their unshakable belief in those stories that makes it, at least temporarily, a part of reality.

The oil and fire plan seems more like something an INT-based class would do, like an Investigator.

Right now it feels weirdly against the flavor of the Thaum, since it's actively encouraged to dump the stat that best represents knowledge and don't really care about actually using fire. The ability just makes you do the extra damage and doesn't actually simulate finding the right tool, just the result.

Bad phrasing on my part, the oil in this case wouldn't be flammable, it would be toxic on it's own without the fire, with the fire it would hit 2 weaknesses.


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Squiggit wrote:
I'd rather just see the Thaumaturge get some other bonus if they hit an existing weakness so they don't feel like they lose their combat mechanic. Otherwise I like it mostly as is (with a few rough edges that could be sanded).

A circumstance bonus to hit or increasing the weakness even more could be a solid way to address this. +2 to hit could be a solid way to reward you for using an actual weakness


wegrata wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
wegrata wrote:

Yeah I'd almost like it changed to be a check against will DC of the target and be completely separate from the "common flaws" that anyone can exploit.

Like anyone can use fire against a troll, but a thaum can do fire and oil from some exotic plan that has a similar debilitating effect, but in this case it's the characters will making the oil have this effect rather than anything inherent to the troll.

Like it's the combination of the stories the character heard in their past and their unshakable belief in those stories that makes it, at least temporarily, a part of reality.

The oil and fire plan seems more like something an INT-based class would do, like an Investigator.

Right now it feels weirdly against the flavor of the Thaum, since it's actively encouraged to dump the stat that best represents knowledge and don't really care about actually using fire. The ability just makes you do the extra damage and doesn't actually simulate finding the right tool, just the result.

Bad phrasing on my part, the oil in this case wouldn't be flammable, it would be toxic on it's own without the fire, with the fire it would hit 2 weaknesses.

That would be interesting, but does kinda raise some questions with how it interacts with Recall Knowledge and where CHA comes into play.


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I don't think you lose your combat mechanic if you hit an existing weakness - it frees you to not have to worry about what material your weapon is made of, what runes it has (go for weird utility stuff or the new force damage one rather than elemental that might be resisted or an aligned one that won't work against neutrals), and whether it does B/P/S. People are seriously selling short the "I don't have to worry about actually having what applies to their existing weakness" aspect of this. It's not like most parties will even be guaranteed to have the means to apply a weakness if you knew it, let alone each character.

Get those force, extending, shifting runes and go wild, people.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Lose might be the wrong term but like... party getting ready to fight werewolves so we stock up on silversheen and... suddenly the thaumaturge's core combat mechanic is just saving some gold by not having to buy the consumable and they're hitting like a barbarian who isn't raging.

It's not the end of the world, but it can feel awkward... especially since a lot of the enemies the Thaumaturge might run into these problems with are ostensibly things they should be really well equipped to fight.


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Xenocrat wrote:

I don't think you lose your combat mechanic if you hit an existing weakness - it frees you to not have to worry about what material your weapon is made of, what runes it has (go for weird utility stuff or the new force damage one rather than elemental that might be resisted or an aligned one that won't work against neutrals), and whether it does B/P/S. People are seriously selling short the "I don't have to worry about actually having what applies to their existing weakness" aspect of this. It's not like most parties will even be guaranteed to have the means to apply a weakness if you knew it, let alone each character.

Get those force, extending, shifting runes and go wild, people.

Which is making the "optimal play" be the opposite of leaning into the flavor the class is described as having (being prepared for everything) and actively leaning against it (I shouldn't bother to prepare because my class feature does it for me and should do other things instead).


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Golurkcanfly wrote:
wegrata wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
wegrata wrote:

Yeah I'd almost like it changed to be a check against will DC of the target and be completely separate from the "common flaws" that anyone can exploit.

Like anyone can use fire against a troll, but a thaum can do fire and oil from some exotic plan that has a similar debilitating effect, but in this case it's the characters will making the oil have this effect rather than anything inherent to the troll.

Like it's the combination of the stories the character heard in their past and their unshakable belief in those stories that makes it, at least temporarily, a part of reality.

The oil and fire plan seems more like something an INT-based class would do, like an Investigator.

Right now it feels weirdly against the flavor of the Thaum, since it's actively encouraged to dump the stat that best represents knowledge and don't really care about actually using fire. The ability just makes you do the extra damage and doesn't actually simulate finding the right tool, just the result.

Bad phrasing on my part, the oil in this case wouldn't be flammable, it would be toxic on it's own without the fire, with the fire it would hit 2 weaknesses.

That would be interesting, but does kinda raise some questions with how it interacts with Recall Knowledge and where CHA comes into play.

I think this plays into the explanation, your belief in those old stories is what makes then true, not anything biological.

Pf has been pretty consistent with cha being the stat for that. I'd say recall knowledge up a to give it the feel of mixing force of personality to cause the effect.


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wegrata wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
wegrata wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
wegrata wrote:

Yeah I'd almost like it changed to be a check against will DC of the target and be completely separate from the "common flaws" that anyone can exploit.

Like anyone can use fire against a troll, but a thaum can do fire and oil from some exotic plan that has a similar debilitating effect, but in this case it's the characters will making the oil have this effect rather than anything inherent to the troll.

Like it's the combination of the stories the character heard in their past and their unshakable belief in those stories that makes it, at least temporarily, a part of reality.

The oil and fire plan seems more like something an INT-based class would do, like an Investigator.

Right now it feels weirdly against the flavor of the Thaum, since it's actively encouraged to dump the stat that best represents knowledge and don't really care about actually using fire. The ability just makes you do the extra damage and doesn't actually simulate finding the right tool, just the result.

Bad phrasing on my part, the oil in this case wouldn't be flammable, it would be toxic on it's own without the fire, with the fire it would hit 2 weaknesses.

That would be interesting, but does kinda raise some questions with how it interacts with Recall Knowledge and where CHA comes into play.

I think this plays into the explanation, your belief in those old stories is what makes then true, not anything biological.

Pf has been pretty consistent with cha being the stat for that. I'd say recall knowledge up a to give it the feel of mixing force of personality to cause the effect.

The awkward part is that CHA currently comes into play when *identifying* the weaknesses, rather than when *exploiting* them. CHA is used to Recall Knowledge rather than force the universe to make them weak to whatever you pulled out of the bag.

Though Recall Knowledge also just needs to be reworked in general. Better to have it fixed at its core when things already use it then just patch it only with this new thing that uses it.


I think it helps if you stop thinking of recalling an actual weakness, your recalling a mythical one and your act of recollection is what causes the weakness to affect it.

Lile I recall therefore its real.

Edit: spelling


wegrata wrote:

I think it helps if you stop thinking of recalling an actual weakness, your recalling a mythical one and your act of recollection is what causes the weakness to affect it.

Lile I recall therefore its real.

Edit: spelling

But it's still recalling, rather than creating. Which is still INT or WIS, rather than CHA. The importance of CHA should be pushed to the other aspect of the feature if it should remain in a similar state, where you establish the connection.


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It's both though, your recalling is literally what causes the creation.

I kinda agree it could be int equally to charisma in my book, since it's a single act that is both recalling and creating.


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I think RK should be clarified a bit, or it should be RK-adjacent. So use RK DCs, but not be a literal RK check, just for mechanical purposes.

In fact, if it isn't literally RK the class starts to make a bit more sense to me. The Thamaturge isn't figuring out a weakness so much as intuiting one and bringing it into the world. They're weaving their enemy into a trap. The check is an act of creation and tapping into the grand tapestry rather than remembering something they read in a book once. I'm starting to think maybe "Find Flaws" is a misnomer and implies more searching than what's actually happening, and it should be more like "Intuit Anathema" or "Resonate." Maybe in some sense the Thaumaturge is identifying and creating the enemy's "resonant frequency" that tears their essense apart?

It also makes sense to me to have a separate effect to pick once you "find flaws," a decent bonus that makes knowing a weakness already and being prepared for it that much scarier. I liked the idea one poster had which was causing the enemy to be sickened. Maybe flat-footed. Maybe you can expand it with a feat to throwing the Esoteric Anathema as a big damaging attack, etc.

TL;DR: Using Recall Knowledge, explicitly, doesn't fit for me 100%. I think it's the source of maybe some confusion between Mark's write-up and what we have. It starts to click more for me when the mechanical term is separated and replaced with something else.


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In this case since it's half recollection and half force of will is why it's charisma for the ability to represent force of personality on reality and recall knowledge to represent remembering the tale.

I think this fits, since your knowledge plays a bigger role as it will generally have a higher number.


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I do think a unique lore skill would fit the bill better or even having a new action that's class DC vs will save rather than another skill check, but that's pretty much a focus cantrips named something else.


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Golurkcanfly wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

I don't think you lose your combat mechanic if you hit an existing weakness - it frees you to not have to worry about what material your weapon is made of, what runes it has (go for weird utility stuff or the new force damage one rather than elemental that might be resisted or an aligned one that won't work against neutrals), and whether it does B/P/S. People are seriously selling short the "I don't have to worry about actually having what applies to their existing weakness" aspect of this. It's not like most parties will even be guaranteed to have the means to apply a weakness if you knew it, let alone each character.

Get those force, extending, shifting runes and go wild, people.

Which is making the "optimal play" be the opposite of leaning into the flavor the class is described as having (being prepared for everything) and actively leaning against it (I shouldn't bother to prepare because my class feature does it for me and should do other things instead).

You're prepared for everything by having esoterica that are metaphorically appropriate for everything, rather than carrying around thousands of gold in spare weapons with every conceivable alignment and elemental rune.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

I don't think you lose your combat mechanic if you hit an existing weakness - it frees you to not have to worry about what material your weapon is made of, what runes it has (go for weird utility stuff or the new force damage one rather than elemental that might be resisted or an aligned one that won't work against neutrals), and whether it does B/P/S. People are seriously selling short the "I don't have to worry about actually having what applies to their existing weakness" aspect of this. It's not like most parties will even be guaranteed to have the means to apply a weakness if you knew it, let alone each character.

Get those force, extending, shifting runes and go wild, people.

Which is making the "optimal play" be the opposite of leaning into the flavor the class is described as having (being prepared for everything) and actively leaning against it (I shouldn't bother to prepare because my class feature does it for me and should do other things instead).
You're prepared for everything by having esoterica that are metaphorically appropriate for everything, rather than carrying around thousands of gold in spare weapons with every conceivable alignment and elemental rune.

There's nothing that encourages the player to actually prepare, which is a gameplay disconnect. Mechanics can help players *feel* like their character by encouraging different gameplay patterns. Hence why the Alchemist is more efficient with its batches when it prepares stuff instead of relying on Quick Alchemy.

A mechanic that both allows a Thaumaturge to gain benefits when targeting an existing weakness as well as pull out actual items that they have specifically prepared (such as pulling out an alchemist's fire when up against a troll) could go a long way in strengthening the "feel" of having a bag full of different tools and fetching the right tool for the job.


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Okay, so after thinking about, I think removing recall knowledge from finding flaws is indeed the best fix. I think the class should focus primarily on making new weaknesses. These come from a scrap of paper here, a thread there, and a splinter here. Just a bunch of junk that the class always has on them, hence there is no need to prepare. Then when you "Find Flaws" there is no knowledge check involved, and you make this piece of junk into a secret weakness. I think this meshes much better with the charisma KAS and using implements.

It's essentially the con artist class, convincing the universe your junk is important.


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Recall Knowledge is thematically bizarre should the class remain CHA-based.

With CHA as a base, it should be some sort of Gather Information check, but using a lore skill or something.

What would be interesting is the ability to choose your Key Ability Score, and then that determines what sort of check you do.

INT uses Recall Knowledge by going through their library of knowledge, CHA uses Gather Information to determine which Implement does the job the best, and WIS uses Seek to intuit the weaknesses of the monster.

And each of these would use Thaumaturgy Lore, which would automatically increase as you level up.

The current implementation tries to do both INT and CHA interpretations, and ends up thematically bizarre.


I don't think Charisma-based recall knowledge is that bizarre. Wisdom-based recall knowledge for nature and religion doesn't cause much of a stir, because the topics are ones better understood through the lens of wisdom than intelligence. I'd rather Find Flaws not key off Recall Knowledge broadly speaking, since the class wants to be good at too many skills if it's main combat feature is bound to several different skills and because Recall Knowledge information has high table variance and Recall Knowledge DC is weird and variable, and because Recall Knowledge and other abilities will interact in ways Thaumaturge doesn't anticipate. But conceptually, the action as charisma-based makes sense to me.

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