The Highest Heights in Skills


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What is the highest number of skills that we can get at the highest proficiencies?

I've heard that the baseline for most characters is two Legendary skills, one Master skill, and one Expert skill, or three Legendary skills. Is that right?

Just how much further can we take it?

So that we have some form of guage, and to make it a little more fun, let's use a basic scoring system:

0 points = Untrained
1 point = Trained
2 points = Expert
3 points = Master
5 points = Legendary

2 ppoints = Abilities that allow you to use skills untrained while adding half your level or your level (scored once no matter how many skills you can use untrained) such as Untrained Improvisation.

3 points = Abilities that allow you to use a single skill for every lore (scored once only) such as Bardic Lore or Esoteric Lore.

Baseline mentioned above is worth 15 points + your Trained skills. How much higher can you score?


I think you should re-think your scoring system. Just having 4+INT skills trained with an INT bonus of +4 and putting your 9 skill boosts into getting Expert in a bunch of skills would put you at 18 points.

I would recommend having a proficiency increase score two points higher than double the previous proficiency level. That way fully boosting one skill is better than partially boosting two. So:

0 : untrained
2 : trained
6 : expert
14 : master
30 : legendary

-----

Some ideas that I am thinking:

You will want a familiar from an ancestry feat. If rolling a skill untrained with at least half your level added scores points, then Skilled Familiar will do the job.

Rogue archetype will let you take Skill Mastery 5 times.

Summoner can take Dual Studies.

Thaumaturge Tome Implement gives skill boosts that last for a day. Do those score as normal skill training, or do those score like Untrained Improvisation?

How about Lore skills. Additional Lore looks really good. Probably a better skill feat than Skill Training for this particular challenge.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Acrobat Archetype is essential--one feat for another legendary skill.


Inventor is also good for another legendary skill.


Perpdepog wrote:
Inventor is also good for another legendary skill.

Except Rogue or Inventor would give more (and the skill feats to maximize their value).

Also this all depends if one's doing this as a thought experiment, going far beyond practical utility, or as a viable PC sticking to significant skills. I mean, an Investigator could overload on Additional Lore and get a disgusting volume of Legendary skills w/ fantastic bonuses, but beyond Sailing Lore and a few campaign-themed Lore skills, most of them would add little value except as points in RD's scoring system.

I'm unsure Legendary is so much more valuable than Master except for access to skill feats (which might be taken for one's other Legendary skill instead) or if it's usage has deep ramifications, i.e. Athletics or Thievery vs. above-level DCs.

ETA: And yes, RD, 3 Legendary, 1 at 15th, 17th, & 19th. And it's easy to expand on one's Trained skills to a ridiculous degree though there's Untrained Improvisation which makes it kind of silly to do so unless going further. Except plumping up the Expert & Master skills requires a bit of investment, enough that the efforts should be spread throughout most parties.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm inclined to ignore standard Lore skills entirely. They aren't half as useful as other skills, and skew things way too much if we give them any point value at all.

Maybe we won't score Trained skills either due to their skewing nature.

How about this?

0 points = Lore / Untrained / Trained
1 point = Expert
2 points = Untrained Improvisation and similar (once only)
3 points = Master
4 points = Bardic Lore, Esoteric Lore, or similar (once only)
5 points = Legendary

For scoring, I think of it in terms of investment. I think the skill proficiency should be worth AT LEAST 1 point per bump or other resource expenditure. To get an Expert skill, you only need to raise it once. To get a Legendary skill, you need to raise it three times (so 3 points). However, Legendary is quite limited, and provides options whose power level are on a whole other level (character defining even) so I think they should be worth even more than that. That's also true with Master skills, but to a lesser extent. Also, I think it's fine for two Master skills to be worth a little more than a single Legendary skill, because it takes four bumps to get them there rather than three. That means the investment cost per point gained for a bunch of Master skills generally ends up being more.

Feel free to pick it apart. I freely admit to being pretty terrible at math. That being said, I want to avoid double digit numbers (except for final scoring). Let's keep it as simple as possible.


Bardic Lore, Esoteric Lore and such are class features. If you start counting them, you raise the question: "Why only them?"
Also, why putting Bardic Lore at the same level than Esoteric Lore when the latter, with the help of Diverse Lore, is way beyond the former?

Roughly, are you interested solely on skill proficiencies or on skill "efficiency"? Because the former is not exactly interesting as it is only one aspect of skill monkeyness, but the latter is hard to define as there are many ways to improve skills.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

OK, here's a build (skillful human investigator/medic/acrobat/rogue/wrestler):
https://pathbuilder2e.com/launch.html?build=513656

(Not particularly optimized besides skill trainings)

7 Legendary skills (35)
6 Master skills (18)
2 Expert skills (2)
4 Trained skills, 3 of which are Lores because I ran out of untrained skills. I did not bother with Untrained Improvisation, although I could have just to add "points".

So 55 points purely in skill boosting. This is close to max if not actually max with vanilla rules. With Free Archetype you could add at least a little more.


SuperBidi wrote:
Bardic Lore, Esoteric Lore and such are class features. If you start counting them, you raise the question: "Why only them?"

Extra skill boosts are also class features of Rogue and Investigator. So why only them? Investigator with Rogue Archetype is going to be top dog in this fight by a large margin.

Quote:

OK, here's a build (skillful human investigator/medic/acrobat/rogue/wrestler):

https://pathbuilder2e.com/launch.html?build=513656

I think you can tweak that a bit more to get 8 legendary skills by replacing Medic archetype with Inventor archetype and Brilliant Crafter. It moves Acrobat archetype to 8th level, but that isn't a problem at 20th. Also throwing in Clever Improviser at level 5 because why not - it scores points.

Which puts the score at
8 Legendary = 8x5 = 40
5 Master = 5x3 = 15
2 Expert = 2x1 = 2
Untrained Improvisation (which does nothing because there are no untrained skills) = 2

59 points.


breithauptclan wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Bardic Lore, Esoteric Lore and such are class features. If you start counting them, you raise the question: "Why only them?"
Extra skill boosts are also class features of Rogue and Investigator. So why only them? Investigator with Rogue Archetype is going to be top dog in this fight by a large margin.

Yes. Why your sentence sounds as if you disagree when you are just repeating what I say?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Are you guys using traditional archetype rules, or free archetype rules?

breithauptclan wrote:
Untrained Improvisation (which does nothing because there are no untrained skills) = 2

I suppose you could still use it on lore skills.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

@breithauptclan good call, I missed Brilliant Inventor.

Ravingdork wrote:
Are you guys using traditional archetype rules, or free archetype rules?

Traditional. Free Archetype could go higher.


SuperBidi wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Bardic Lore, Esoteric Lore and such are class features. If you start counting them, you raise the question: "Why only them?"
Extra skill boosts are also class features of Rogue and Investigator. So why only them? Investigator with Rogue Archetype is going to be top dog in this fight by a large margin.
Yes. Why your sentence sounds as if you disagree when you are just repeating what I say?

If you are wanting to score Bardic Lore and Esoteric Lore as no value solely because they are class features, then why not ignore Rogue and Investigator's extra skill boosts too? Those are also class features.

But if class features like Rogue's and Investigator's class feature named "Skill Increases" are allowed to compete, why should we be giving Bardic Lore and Esoteric Lore zero value?


esoteric with diverse could really be counted as almost having master in the 4 main recall skills since practically it does give you that.

using the above scoring, if not the full 12, at least something like 10ish or so points seems fair.

similarily, Bardic would be counted as having (almost) expert in the same skills, so something like 3ish points?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

If we're going to value Bardic Lore and Esoteric Lore by their "knowledge equivalents", then both are outclassed by Unified Theory which is available to anyone who pushes Arcana to Legendary and gives effective Legendary in Nature/Occult/Religion. If we count that, then the Investigator/Rogue build is up to an effective 11 Legendary skills and we're at 55 points before we add anything from Master/Expert/Untrained Improvisation.


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breithauptclan wrote:

If you are wanting to score Bardic Lore and Esoteric Lore as no value solely because they are class features, then why not ignore Rogue and Investigator's extra skill boosts too? Those are also class features.

But if class features like Rogue's and Investigator's class feature named "Skill Increases" are allowed to compete, why should we be giving Bardic Lore and Esoteric Lore zero value?

Ok, so you haven't understood my question. If we give all these value, why don't we give value to Vision of Foresight, Ageless Patience, the ability to brew Mutagens, to cast Heroism 9 or the use of an Eidolon? These features have much more impact than Bardic Lore.

Also, what is "the highest in skills"? Especially regarding multiple vs single skill. Vision of Foresight + Ageless Patience gives you the highest chance to succeed at a skill. An Eidolon + One for All gives you the highest bonus at a skill.
And do you count Heroism or high level Mutagens? Only if they are class features? Or also by considering you can buy them (well, a Scroll in the case of Heroism)?

The highest heights is a very general description, without more details, it's impossible to determine what is of value. Because currently, Ravingdork's "point system" doesn't define the best skill monkeys in the game who are not solely based on skill proficiencies.

tiornys wrote:
If we're going to value Bardic Lore and Esoteric Lore by their "knowledge equivalents", then both are outclassed by Unified Theory which is available to anyone who pushes Arcana to Legendary and gives effective Legendary in Nature/Occult/Religion. If we count that, then the Investigator/Rogue build is up to an effective 11 Legendary skills and we're at 55 points before we add anything from Master/Expert/Untrained Improvisation.

That's not how Unified Theory works. It only works on checks about magic traditions (recognizing spells and magic items, mostly).

Liberty's Edge

Ravingdork wrote:

What is the highest number of skills that we can get at the highest proficiencies?

I've heard that the baseline for most characters is two Legendary skills, one Master skill, and one Expert skill, or three Legendary skills. Is that right?

Just how much further can we take it?

So that we have some form of guage, and to make it a little more fun, let's use a basic scoring system:

0 points = Untrained
1 point = Trained
2 points = Expert
3 points = Master
5 points = Legendary

2 ppoints = Abilities that allow you to use skills untrained while adding half your level or your level (scored once no matter how many skills you can use untrained) such as Untrained Improvisation.

3 points = Abilities that allow you to use a single skill for every lore (scored once only) such as Bardic Lore or Esoteric Lore.

Baseline mentioned above is worth 15 points + your Trained skills. How much higher can you score?

I think it would be more relevant to check the max possible at highest levels of proficiency and go down from there rather than using a single weighted sum that will end up mixing all kind of different things.

So, max at Legendary, followed by max at Master, and so on.

The question then becomes how many skills can you get to Legendary, and then how many to Master...

You end up with different proficiencies arrays that you can then compare based on different use cases (similar to stat arrays).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any ability that turns crit failures into failures, failures into successes or successes into critical successes has a lot of value too. Skill use is complicated to measure across the board because sometimes you need to just not critically fail, and other times you need to succeed or better.

Liberty's Edge

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Unicore wrote:
Any ability that turns crit failures into failures, failures into successes or successes into critical successes has a lot of value too. Skill use is complicated to measure across the board because sometimes you need to just not critically fail, and other times you need to succeed or better.

Not to mention skills do not all have the same value. And it varies according to the campaign.


tiornys wrote:
If we're going to value Bardic Lore and Esoteric Lore by their "knowledge equivalents", then both are outclassed by Unified Theory which is available to anyone who pushes Arcana to Legendary and gives effective Legendary in Nature/Occult/Religion. If we count that, then the Investigator/Rogue build is up to an effective 11 Legendary skills and we're at 55 points before we add anything from Master/Expert/Untrained Improvisation.

unified theory only works for checks that depend on a magic tradition, which is an extremely smaller subset of checks compared to Esoteric that you simply can roll any and all recall checks using it (plus I didn't even included Crafting, Society, and etc stuff that you can use for Recall checks simply because those skills have plenty of other uses apart from Recall).

Quote:
Whenever you use a skill action or a skill feat that requires a Nature, Occultism, or Religion check, depending on the magic tradition, you can use Arcana instead.

as an example, it won't work for a simple recall knowledge to identify a creture, although it will work to identify a spell (since a spell has a tradition)


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SuperBidi wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:

If you are wanting to score Bardic Lore and Esoteric Lore as no value solely because they are class features, then why not ignore Rogue and Investigator's extra skill boosts too? Those are also class features.

But if class features like Rogue's and Investigator's class feature named "Skill Increases" are allowed to compete, why should we be giving Bardic Lore and Esoteric Lore zero value?

Ok, so you haven't understood my question. If we give all these value, why don't we give value to Vision of Foresight, Ageless Patience, the ability to brew Mutagens, to cast Heroism 9 or the use of an Eidolon? These features have much more impact than Bardic Lore.

Because those don't give skill proficiencies.

SuperBidi wrote:
Also, what is "the highest in skills"? Especially regarding multiple vs single skill. Vision of Foresight + Ageless Patience gives you the highest chance to succeed at a skill. An Eidolon + One for All gives you the highest bonus at a skill.

I think you are misunderstanding the entire point of this thread. It isn't about creating a good and playable skill expert character. It is a theorycrafting challenge to see how many skill proficiency tick marks you can legally put on your character sheet.


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If we're talking strictly skills, nobody is mentioning the Additional Lore feat, which gives Legendary in a Lore Skill, which can also be used to cover a large amount of bases that your existing skills might not cover already due to lack of training/bonuses.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If we're talking strictly skills, nobody is mentioning the Additional Lore feat,

I beg your pardon!

Lore skills score zero. Not that I necessarily agree with that, but that is the rules for this challenge.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For a character swimming in skills feats and a high INT, additional lore is much better than trying to cover religion and nature effectively for recalling knowledge. Depending on the campaign, additional lore: Undead, fiends, demons, devils, animals or fey is going to really make that lore skill shine. For example, Undead lore in Bloodlords is almost like cheating. And Dinosaur lore in Extinction Curse will cover more than 50% of the recalling knowledge on nature checks you might make against creatures in that campaign. Occult, society and arcane are harder to cover in the same way, but they are INT skills, so the investigator or mastermind rogue will generally want to keep those up pretty decently. Especially because that can be a good path to also picking up a dedication like wizard, which can net you diviner's sight which would be an exceptional focus spell for the skill focused character. Getting to know what you rolled on secret recalling knowledge checks feels like it should be worth a fair bit, plus access to lower level scrolls (that you don't have to waste actions to use) can do a lot for you if you are already good with a wide range of skills.

But if the challenge is just number of ranks in non-lore skills with no weighting for value of the skill or ways to trivialize certain skills (getting access to jump, climb or swim speeds, fly, polymorphing into a creature small enough to not need to squeeze or balance, turning into a gas cloud to pass through a keyhole, summons to set off traps, invisibility, etc...), then I think investigator into dandy, then getting out of dandy by level 4 and going with rogue for level 6 so you can pick up additional skills at level 8+ is probably more skill boosts than you can even reasonably use. You'd also have so many skill feats, you could probably have additional lore for every single creature type in nature and religion at max level with your best attribute.


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breithauptclan wrote:
I think you are misunderstanding the entire point of this thread. It isn't about creating a good and playable skill expert character. It is a theorycrafting challenge to see how many skill proficiency tick marks you can legally put on your character sheet.

Then why refusing Lores? Why putting Bardic Lore (that goes to Expert) at the same value than Esoteric Lore (that goes to Legendary)? Why putting them at different values than other skills? Why counting Untrained Improvisation that doesn't even go to Trained, considering that Trained costs 0?

What's "highest heights in skills"?
Proficiency is clearly not the answer (at least not the sole answer).

Liberty's Edge

Unicore wrote:

For a character swimming in skills feats and a high INT, additional lore is much better than trying to cover religion and nature effectively for recalling knowledge. Depending on the campaign, additional lore: Undead, fiends, demons, devils, animals or fey is going to really make that lore skill shine. For example, Undead lore in Bloodlords is almost like cheating. And Dinosaur lore in Extinction Curse will cover more than 50% of the recalling knowledge on nature checks you might make against creatures in that campaign. Occult, society and arcane are harder to cover in the same way, but they are INT skills, so the investigator or mastermind rogue will generally want to keep those up pretty decently. Especially because that can be a good path to also picking up a dedication like wizard, which can net you diviner's sight which would be an exceptional focus spell for the skill focused character. Getting to know what you rolled on secret recalling knowledge checks feels like it should be worth a fair bit, plus access to lower level scrolls (that you don't have to waste actions to use) can do a lot for you if you are already good with a wide range of skills.

But if the challenge is just number of ranks in non-lore skills with no weighting for value of the skill or ways to trivialize certain skills (getting access to jump, climb or swim speeds, fly, polymorphing into a creature small enough to not need to squeeze or balance, turning into a gas cloud to pass through a keyhole, summons to set off traps, invisibility, etc...), then I think investigator into dandy, then getting out of dandy by level 4 and going with rogue for level 6 so you can pick up additional skills at level 8+ is probably more skill boosts than you can even reasonably use. You'd also have so many skill feats, you could probably have additional lore for every single creature type in nature and religion at max level with your best attribute.

My PFS Witch is using all his Skill feats and General feats to get Additional Lore. Obviously he already covers Arcana, Occultism and Society.

At level 3, he is Expert to RK with INT about Animals, Feys, Undead and all Humanoids. And Trained at RK with INT for Plants, Fiends, Beasts, Constructs, Dragons, Elementals, Aberrations and Oozes.

For any INT build, at level 10, retrain to Pathfinder Agent + Scrollmaster to get Bestiary Scholar to cover everything but Society for RK purpose.


SuperBidi wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
I think you are misunderstanding the entire point of this thread. It isn't about creating a good and playable skill expert character. It is a theorycrafting challenge to see how many skill proficiency tick marks you can legally put on your character sheet.
Then why refusing Lores? Why putting Bardic Lore (that goes to Expert) at the same value than Esoteric Lore (that goes to Legendary)? Why putting them at different values than other skills? Why counting Untrained Improvisation that doesn't even go to Trained, considering that Trained costs 0?

I'm aware. If I was running the challenge, I would rank things differently.

SuperBidi wrote:
What's "highest heights in skills"?

That's just the title of the thread.


breithauptclan wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If we're talking strictly skills, nobody is mentioning the Additional Lore feat,

I beg your pardon!

Lore skills score zero. Not that I necessarily agree with that, but that is the rules for this challenge.

Okay, my bad.

I would personally argue that Additional Lore should still give some points, though since they aren't the same weight as an actual skill, shouldn't be the same amount. Usually, a Lore can cover a specific type of creature, plane, deity, profession, etc., which is a fraction of a skill. So, it should be a fraction's worth of points.

Heck, I'd even settle for Additional Lore being a mere 1 point, since it can still amount to something. But since it's not my rules, no point in arguing it now.

Liberty's Edge

Skills that I have rather often used / seen used in combat :

Athletics (Trip, Shove)
Creature RK Skills (Arcana, Crafting, Nature, Occultism, Religion, Society and the relevant Lores)
Medicine (Battle Medicine, First Aid)

Used less often :

Stealth (Initiative, sniping)
Acrobatics (Tumble through)
Performance (Bard)
Diplomacy (Bon Mot)
Intimidation (Demoralize)
Deception (Feint)

Not that I remember :

Survival
Thievery


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Heck, I'd even settle for Additional Lore being a mere 1 point, since it can still amount to something. But since it's not my rules, no point in arguing it now.

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

There's been a rule change in the games.

Spoiler:
Under the new rule both tributes from the same district will be declared winners if they are the last two alive.

;P

Liberty's Edge

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Ravingdork wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Untrained Improvisation (which does nothing because there are no untrained skills) = 2
I suppose you could still use it on lore skills.

Using Untrained Improvisation when you Recall Knowledge can be pretty handy, because the reduction to the DC for Specific Lore can outpace the "traditional" Recall Knowledge skills that you only have at Trained.

Someone mentioned dinosaurs earlier, so lets look at a Tyrannosaurus.

The recall knowledge DCs are:

Archives of Nethys wrote:

Recall Knowledge - Animal (Nature): DC 27

Unspecific Lore: DC 25
Specific Lore: DC 22

If a 7th level Rogue is Trained in Nature, with a +2 Wisdom, and a +2 Int, That's Nature +11. That same Rogue's Untrained Improvisation will give them a +9 on Animal Lore (Unspecific) or Dinosaur Lore (Specific).

So that Rogue will need to roll 16 to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus with their Trained Nature skill, but will only need to roll a 13 with their "fake" Dinosaur Lore.

Liberty's Edge

Luke Styer wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Untrained Improvisation (which does nothing because there are no untrained skills) = 2
I suppose you could still use it on lore skills.

Using Untrained Improvisation when you Recall Knowledge can be pretty handy, because the reduction to the DC for Specific Lore can outpace the "traditional" Recall Knowledge skills that you only have at Trained.

Someone mentioned dinosaurs earlier, so lets look at a Tyrannosaurus.

The recall knowledge DCs are:

Archives of Nethys wrote:

Recall Knowledge - Animal (Nature): DC 27

Unspecific Lore: DC 25
Specific Lore: DC 22

If a 7th level Rogue is Trained in Nature, with a +2 Wisdom, and a +2 Int, That's Nature +11. That same Rogue's Untrained Improvisation will give them a +9 on Animal Lore (Unspecific) or Dinosaur Lore (Specific).

So that Rogue will need to roll 16 to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus with their Trained Nature skill, but will only need to roll a 13 with their "fake" Dinosaur Lore.

That is why I believe Untrained Improvisation and similar abilities do not work on Lore skills.


Luke Styer wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Untrained Improvisation (which does nothing because there are no untrained skills) = 2
I suppose you could still use it on lore skills.

Using Untrained Improvisation when you Recall Knowledge can be pretty handy, because the reduction to the DC for Specific Lore can outpace the "traditional" Recall Knowledge skills that you only have at Trained.

Someone mentioned dinosaurs earlier, so lets look at a Tyrannosaurus.

The recall knowledge DCs are:

Archives of Nethys wrote:

Recall Knowledge - Animal (Nature): DC 27

Unspecific Lore: DC 25
Specific Lore: DC 22

If a 7th level Rogue is Trained in Nature, with a +2 Wisdom, and a +2 Int, That's Nature +11. That same Rogue's Untrained Improvisation will give them a +9 on Animal Lore (Unspecific) or Dinosaur Lore (Specific).

So that Rogue will need to roll 16 to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus with their Trained Nature skill, but will only need to roll a 13 with their "fake" Dinosaur Lore.

Remember that the reduction in DC is used when the GM considers the player uses a specific lore skill. In that case, as a GM, the DC would not change as you are using a very generic ability.

Liberty's Edge

The Raven Black wrote:
So that Rogue will need to roll 16 to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus with their Trained Nature skill, but will only need to roll a 13 with their "fake" Dinosaur Lore.
That is why I believe Untrained Improvisation and similar abilities do not work on Lore skills.

Interesting. Lore skills might be the leading use at my table, though from what I've seen online my players may use Recall Knowledge more often than the majority of players.

Even with the prevalence of Recall Knowledge rolls at my table, I don't think that letting Untrained Improvisation work on Lore is too good. In fact, I have a Mastermind Rogue in my current group who didn't bother to take it, and he doesn't seem to think that he's missing out.

SuperBidi wrote:
Remember that the reduction in DC is used when the GM considers the player uses a specific lore skill. In that case, as a GM, the DC would not change as you are using a very generic ability.

I am the GM, and I consider a PC using Untrained Improvisation to be using the relevant specific Lore skill.


Luke Styer wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Remember that the reduction in DC is used when the GM considers the player uses a specific lore skill. In that case, as a GM, the DC would not change as you are using a very generic ability.
I am the GM, and I consider a PC using Untrained Improvisation to be using the relevant specific Lore skill.

Sorry, my sentence was not clear: As a GM I would not grant a reduction in DC. And it'll be very RAW and certainly more RAI than granting one.

Liberty's Edge

Luke Styer wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Quote:
So that Rogue will need to roll 16 to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus with their Trained Nature skill, but will only need to roll a 13 with their "fake" Dinosaur Lore.
That is why I believe Untrained Improvisation and similar abilities do not work on Lore skills.

Interesting. Lore skills might be the leading use at my table, though from what I've seen online my players may use Recall Knowledge more often than the majority of players.

Even with the prevalence of Recall Knowledge rolls at my table, I don't think that letting Untrained Improvisation work on Lore is too good. In fact, I have a Mastermind Rogue in my current group who didn't bother to take it, and he doesn't seem to think that he's missing out.

SuperBidi wrote:
Remember that the reduction in DC is used when the GM considers the player uses a specific lore skill. In that case, as a GM, the DC would not change as you are using a very generic ability.
I am the GM, and I consider a PC using Untrained Improvisation to be using the relevant specific Lore skill.

I feel it is very generous and likely unintended.

How do you adjudicate the use of Bardic Lore ?

Liberty's Edge

The Raven Black wrote:
I feel it is very generous and likely unintended.

I haven't seen anything that convinces me that it's unintended, but I'm okay with it being generous, because I like seeing Recall Knowledge checks.

Quote:
How do you adjudicate the use of Bardic Lore ?

I'm honestly not sure it's ever come up at my table. I've only seen a very few Bards, and never very long term. Taking a quick look at it on Archives of Nethys, my first impression is that I'd consider it an unspecific Lore applicable to all topics, so it would get the -2 reduction to DC.

Liberty's Edge

Luke Styer wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I feel it is very generous and likely unintended.

I haven't seen anything that convinces me that it's unintended, but I'm okay with it being generous, because I like seeing Recall Knowledge checks.

Quote:
How do you adjudicate the use of Bardic Lore ?
I'm honestly not sure it's ever come up at my table. I've only seen a very few Bards, and never very long term. Taking a quick look at it on Archives of Nethys, my first impression is that I'd consider it an unspecific Lore applicable to all topics, so it would get the -2 reduction to DC.

That means at level 7 a General feat (Untrained Improvisation) becomes better than a Class feat requiring a specific muse (Bardic Lore), until the Bard takes Occult to Legendary.

Very likely unintended.


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The Raven Black wrote:

I feel it is very generous and likely unintended.

How do you adjudicate the use of Bardic Lore ?

I would agree with that. The benefit of Lore to use a lower DC to recall knowledge is meant to balance the requirement that a Lore skill is only used to identify a very narrow category of creatures.

Using something like Bardic Lore or Esoteric Lore to identify creatures with is allowed for any creature. But because it is allowed for any creature, then it isn't a specific Lore skill and shouldn't get the lower DC.

And Untrained Improvisation shouldn't be getting perks above what Esoteric Lore gives. That is clearly too good to be true. A level 3 general feat available to every character regardless of build shouldn't outperform a signature class ability.

Liberty's Edge

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The Raven Black wrote:

That means at level 7 a General feat (Untrained Improvisation) becomes better than a Class feat requiring a specific muse (Bardic Lore), until the Bard takes Occult to Legendary.

Very likely unintended.

Maybe so, but in the absence of a clarification, I'd still probably be more inclined to boost Bardic Lore to compensate than to nerf Untrained Improvisation. My general policy is to encourage Recall Knowledge Checks, and that guides my adjudications.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

They're just something of a know-it-all. Hardly a sage or Scholar, but generally seems to know a little of everything. Still, not as worldwide as a thaumaturge or well traveled as a bard.

Liberty's Edge

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Luke Styer wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

That means at level 7 a General feat (Untrained Improvisation) becomes better than a Class feat requiring a specific muse (Bardic Lore), until the Bard takes Occult to Legendary.

Very likely unintended.

Maybe so, but in the absence of a clarification, I'd still probably be more inclined to boost Bardic Lore to compensate than to nerf Untrained Improvisation. My general policy is to encourage Recall Knowledge Checks, and that guides my adjudications.

I get that and it is a worthy goal. And I am happy to have noted a great increase in RK rolls in my PFS games in recent months.

I think what disturbs me a bit is that, if I could persuade my usual PFS GM to follow your ruling, I would likely have taken the General feat for my Know-it-all Witch instead of investing all his Skill feats and General feats in Additional Lore.


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Just want to chim in to say that from my experience Untrained Improvisation, when allowed to be used on lore checks, makes the game more fun for all parties involved with little to no downside. It incentivices teamwork and gives the GM an excuse to talk about plot relevant and world building stuff all the time. It is great.

Bardic Knowledge just needs a buff, it is quite hard to pull off without using skill boosting spells or going out of your way to boost INT.


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roquepo wrote:
Just want to chim in to say that from my experience Untrained Improvisation, when allowed to be used on lore checks, makes the game more fun for all parties involved with little to no downside.

If it's the case, then why not giving a +5 to Untrained Improvisation directly? It looks like it makes the game more fun for all parties involved...

No, doing that doesn't make the game fun for those who payed skill increases to be good at RK checks. And you don't need to give free skills to your PCs to speak about plot relevant and world building stuff, I do it all the time without it.

Liberty's Edge

The Raven Black wrote:
I think what disturbs me a bit is that, if I could persuade my usual PFS GM to follow your ruling, I would likely have taken the General feat for my Know-it-all Witch instead of investing all his Skill feats and General feats in Additional Lore.

If you're so focused on Recall Knowledge that you're willing to invest all your skill and general feats in Additional Lore, then I don't really see why my interpretation would persuade you to do anything more than swap a single instance of Additional Lore for Untrained Improvisation, if that.

Across all levels, any Recall Knowledge check using an applicable Additional Lore is numerically advantageous over a check using Untrained Improvisation, even if the former is made at DC -2, while the latter is made at DC -5.

For a character that you describe, Untrained Improvisation under my interpretation would provides an increased breadth of knowledge, but the depth of knowledge granted by each Additional Lore is always greater, and if you're otherwise literally using all your general and skill feats on Additional Lore, I'm not even sure the breadth of knowledge would increase enough to matter.

Liberty's Edge

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SuperBidi wrote:
No, doing that doesn't make the game fun for those who payed skill increases to be good at RK checks.

Your proficiency bonus in a Recall Knowledge skill that you're raising at each opportunity is always going to be at least 6 points higher than the proficiency bonus granted by Untrained Improvisation. At best Untrained Improvisation would allow a roll at -5 to DC. So "those who payed skill increases to be good at RK checks" will always be a net +1 ahead between proficiency and DC to Recall Knowledge.

Quote:
And you don't need to give free skills to your PCs . . .

No one is talking about giving "free skills" to PCs. There's an opportunity cost to selecting Untrained Improvisation, and nothing in the text of the feat suggests that my interpretation is incorrect. Untrained Lore checks to Recall knowledge are "untrained skill checks[.]" To rule otherwise is a reasonable house rule, but barring an erratum, it is a house rule.


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Luke Styer wrote:
Your proficiency bonus in a Recall Knowledge skill that you're raising at each opportunity is always going to be at least 6 points higher than the proficiency bonus granted by Untrained Improvisation. At best Untrained Improvisation would allow a roll at -5 to DC. So "those who payed skill increases to be good at RK checks" will always be a net +1 ahead between proficiency and DC to Recall Knowledge.

+1 ahead by increasing 5 skills (there are mostly 5 RK skills), that's all your proficiency increases of all your career. So yes, I consider that it makes increasing RK skills useless (unless you have another reason to increase them, but they are mostly about RK so you make 5 skills nearly useless).

Also, it's a bit crazy that someone is better at something by using Untrained Improvisation than their own skill if they are Trained or Expert.

Luke Styer wrote:
There's an opportunity cost to selecting Untrained Improvisation, and nothing in the text of the feat suggests that my interpretation is incorrect. Untrained Lore checks to Recall knowledge are "untrained skill checks[.]" To rule otherwise is a reasonable house rule, but barring an erratum, it is a house rule.

That's only partially true. As a GM, you can reduce the DC if the character uses a specialized skill. So by reducing it when the PC uses Untrained Improvisation you are following RAW (as it's up to the GM, so no one can say it's not RAW) but not RAI (you're giving a DC reduction to an ability that is not specialized).

Not reducing the DC is following both RAW and RAI. It's no house rule, it's the proper way of playing this rule.


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Not everything that is RAW is functioning properly. That is why the Ambiguous Rules rule was written in the first place. The game rules are too complex for the game developers to be able to audit every possible rule interaction before releasing things.

When I see someone point out something like this:

Quote:

If a 7th level Rogue is Trained in Nature, with a +2 Wisdom, and a +2 Int, That's Nature +11. That same Rogue's Untrained Improvisation will give them a +9 on Animal Lore (Unspecific) or Dinosaur Lore (Specific).

So that Rogue will need to roll 16 to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus with their Trained Nature skill, but will only need to roll a 13 with their "fake" Dinosaur Lore.

That is a big indication that this interaction was not audited by the game developers. The math doesn't add up.

A single level 3 feat choice by one character shouldn't be outshining the Recall Knowledge skills of the other characters that didn't pick that feat. Especially not characters with classes that have specific feats and abilities for knowing things about any of the creatures that they encounter.

Liberty's Edge

SuperBidi wrote:
+1 ahead by increasing 5 skills (there are mostly 5 RK skills), that's all your proficiency increases of all your career.

If your goal is to be good at Recall Knowledge, then just pumping skill increases into the five RK skills is a poor plan, even if we don't house rule Untrained Improvisation.

Quote:
Also, it's a bit crazy that someone is better at something by using Untrained Improvisation than their own skill if they are Trained or Expert.

In heroic fantasy, this honestly doesn't seem that wild to me.

Luke Styer wrote:
That's only partially true. As a GM, you can reduce the DC if the character uses a specialized skill.

But literally anyone can use "a specialized skill" in this context because Recall Knowledge is an untrained action.

Anyone can make a Nature check to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus, and the DC is 27, whether they're trained in Nature or not. Anyone can make an Animal Lore check to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus, and the DC is 25, whether they're trained in Animal Lore or not. Anyone can make a Dinosaur Lore check to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus, and the DC is 22, whether they're trained in Dinosaur Lore or not.

Literally all that Untrained Improvisation does is in ANY of these cases is increase the untrained character's proficiency. Untrained Improvisation doesn't allow any of these checks; the fact that Recall Knowledge is an untrained action allows all of these checks.

Quote:
It's no house rule, it's the proper way of playing this rule.

Requiring trained proficiency to attempt an untrained task is absolutely a house rule. Altering the DC of a task based on the PC's proficiency level is also probably a house rule.

The PC's proficiency bonus, however it's gained, affects the PC's check result, not the DC of the check. If Al and Bob are both climbing the same ladder, Al doesn't get a lower DC because he's Trained in Athletics and Bob isn't.


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Luke Styer wrote:

Anyone can make a Nature check to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus, and the DC is 27, whether they're trained in Nature or not. Anyone can make an Animal Lore check to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus, and the DC is 25, whether they're trained in Animal Lore or not. Anyone can make a Dinosaur Lore check to Recall Knowledge about a Tyrannosaurus, and the DC is 22, whether they're trained in Dinosaur Lore or not.

Not at all, that's up to the GM to reduce the DC. If a player uses a RAW technicality to get an undue bonus, it's perfectly fine and expected to not reduce the DC. Untrained Improvisation is not a specialized Lore, it's a generic ability and should get the base DC.

Also, as a side note, Lores are not only about RK. There are Farming Lore, Fishing Lore, Games Lore, Midwifery Lore and so on. You can nearly make up anything you want and roll checks that are not only about RK. So you could use your technique for absolutely everything: No, I don't use Athletics to grapple the purple worm, I use "Purple Worm Wrestling" Lore so the DC should be lowered by 5.
And I'm pretty sure you'd not allow that.

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