Assurance Feat alteration

Homebrew and House Rules

My group and I were finding that the assurance feat seemed too situational to use most the time, and usually only with a few skills. I had the idea for a minor alteration, but wanted to see if it would be too strong or not.

I would changed the feat to when assurance is declared on the action, you use the 10+proficiency bonus as the minimum result, but cannot score a critical result on the check unless the minimum would have resulted in a crit.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I don't hate it, but it is worth pointing out that this feat more or less protects you from critical failures on top of the normal Assurance utility, and critical failure negation is usually a skill feat into itself.

I also think we could do with stronger skill feats in general, though.

I am having trouble finding any specific feats for critical failure negation on skills to compare it to.

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A lot of those are Class feats too.

Here is one: Shameless Request.

When you Request something, you reduce any DC increases for making an outrageous request by 2, and if you roll a critical failure for your Request, you get a failure instead.

And Hobnobber

If you’re a master in Diplomacy and you Gather Information at the normal speed, when you attempt to do so and roll a critical failure, you get a failure instead.

So the skill feats that do the critical failure avoidance only have that be part of the skill feat. The feat has other benefits too. But it does still cost an entire skill feat in order to get that, and it is often only avoiding critical failures for specific uses of the skill.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You also have Unmistakable Lore, Experienced Professional, Student of the Canon, and Assured Identification.

Also, removing the critical failure conditions from Athletics checks is a rather significant buff. For one you won't have the risk of knockout yourself prone in combat and such. For another, you will never fall off a surface you're trying to climb. Real Assurance can prevent those things, but only lets you progress against reasonable DCs. By level 3, that means you could eventually scale a DC 40 surface by just waiting for natural 20s with no risk of falling off.

Similarly, it removes any potential consequences from lock picking.

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think if I was going to change anything about Assurance, I might let the feat tell you whether an Assurance result would be successful before you commit to the action. Losing a third action to test an Athletics check isn't the end of the world, but I've noticed that Automatic Knowledge has a really crappy interaction because you can't retry the check by RAW if the Assurance Automatic result is a failure.

Sovereign Court

Yeah I agree that current Assurance isn't really satisfying, but Captain Morgan has good points about how this proposal might be too good (for Athletics, among others).

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