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PF2E Here's The Pathfinder 2nd Edition Skill List!

It's another Tuesday, which means another look at the previous night's Pathfinder 2nd Edition preview! There's only a couple of month to go until the full playtest rules are released (I have the hardcover on pre-order). Until then, Paizo continue with their twice-weekly glimpses into the ruleset - and this time we look at skills!


PlaytestLogo.png





  • 17 base skills down from 35.
  • Lots of consolidation -- Athletics contains a bunch, and Use Magic Device is replaced by the relevant Lore skill
  • You are trained in more skills than before -- fighter has an extra one, for example (3+ Int mod)
  • Skill list --
    • Acrobatics (Dex)
    • Arcana (Int)
    • Athletics (Str)
    • Crafting (Int)
    • Deception (Cha)
    • Diplomacy (Cha)
    • Intimidation (Cha)
    • Lore (Int)
    • Medicine (Wis)
    • Nature (Wis)
    • Occultism (Int)
    • Performance (Cha)
    • Religion (Wis)
    • Society (Int)
    • Stealth (Dex)
    • Survival (Wis)
    • Thievery (Dex)
  • Skill proficiency --
    • Untrained -2, trained +0, expert +1, master +2, legendary +3 (plus level and ability modifier)
    • Each level of proficiency unlocks new skill uses
    • Medicine's Administer First Aid ability is available at the untrained level, being trained allows you to Treat Disease and Treat Poison
  • Skill feats --
    • Usually at even levels you choose a skill feat
    • Rogues get them every level
    • Prerequisite is a level of proficiency in a skill (e.g. "legendary in Medicine")
    • Example is the Legendary Medic, which lets you remove diseases and conditions.
    • Stealth has skill feats like Quiet Allies (help your party sneak), Swift Sneak (move at full speed while sneaking), and at legendary level you just sneak everywhere constantly.
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

Parmandur

Legend
Oddly similar to the ratios in 5E: only difference, in fact, is hat 5E has a fifth Wisdom skill in Perception.
 

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Koloth

First Post
The veteran who has reached level 20 is better at sowing seeds, watering and weeding because she has developed an ability to stay on task, regardless of distractions, fatigue, or conflicted motives. Her brother, at level 0 and Proficient or Expert in farming, may slow down when he gets bored or tired; he may get sloppy and do a half-assed job, even though he knows *how* to do a better job. She is used to following through on tasks as if her life depended on it... because it has.

"Gettin' clear o’ dirtiness, gettin' done with mess,
Gettin' shut o' doin' things rather-more-or-less"
- Kipling
Your veterans apparently are far more task oriented then the ones I run with. Most of the ones around here are "Oh, Lassie said Timmy fell down the well? Rescuing the Prince can wait, we must save Timmy! " While attempting to save Timmy, the 'Well' turns out to be an orc/(lvl appropriate monsters) infested cave complex. Three weeks later...

Besides, farmers have to complete their tasks in a timely fashion or they tend to starve. And most fantasy type settings don't have crop insurance.

I might buy off on the returned veteran being able to apply herself to the task of getting caught up on her farming skills faster then the average commoner. But I don't see her having a +20 to her skill rolls while the person who has been farming constantly for 5 years can have at best +3(Legendary).
 

[*]17 base skills down from 35.
[*]Lots of consolidation -- Athletics contains a bunch, and Use Magic Device is replaced by the relevant Lore skill
An excellent move. Nothing hurts a game quite like skill proliferation, IMHO. (hmm... 17 sounds familiar...)

Some 3.5 skills were actually open-ended skill placeholders, though - is crafting still like that, could you blow all your skills on just crafting various different things?
Are any others?
 

Ghal Maraz

Explorer
Your veterans apparently are far more task oriented then the ones I run with. Most of the ones around here are "Oh, Lassie said Timmy fell down the well? Rescuing the Prince can wait, we must save Timmy! " While attempting to save Timmy, the 'Well' turns out to be an orc/(lvl appropriate monsters) infested cave complex. Three weeks later...

Besides, farmers have to complete their tasks in a timely fashion or they tend to starve. And most fantasy type settings don't have crop insurance.

I might buy off on the returned veteran being able to apply herself to the task of getting caught up on her farming skills faster then the average commoner. But I don't see her having a +20 to her skill rolls while the person who has been farming constantly for 5 years can have at best +3(Legendary).
If the farmer has got to Legendary, he would actually have at least +18 (before characteristic modifier) and, probably, 7 specific Skill Feats.
He would be able to do all manner of amazing things with his skill, not even needing to roll at all for the majority of tasks, while the Level 20 dungeon veteran would only be able to do the most basic things.
 

Maybe it's just me, but I'm a little bit disappointed. It feels like they just took the basic 3rd edition skills and renamed some of them. There's hardly anything new. Are third edition (and by extension Pathfinder) so stuck in their core skill set?
 

Aldarc

Legend
Maybe it's just me, but I'm a little bit disappointed. It feels like they just took the basic 3rd edition skills and renamed some of them. There's hardly anything new. Are third edition (and by extension Pathfinder) so stuck in their core skill set?
What more were you expecting?
 

What more were you expecting?
Well, some changes would be nice. I don't see why we need to be stuck to these same skills after so many iterations of the game.

I see people calling these Pathfinder skills, and 'similar to 5th edition skills'. But lets be honest here, these are third edition skills just renamed a little.
 
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psychophipps

Explorer
Considering this skill list, and the mechanic associated with skill advancement, are in a pre-playtest state (as in the rough draft of the rough draft) I wouldn't panic here. There is gonna be mad grips of players hammering on this section of the house. It's certainly fun to think that we're the only people to see these apparent glaring issues, it's sadly not the case.
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
Maybe it's just me, but I'm a little bit disappointed. It feels like they just took the basic 3rd edition skills and renamed some of them. There's hardly anything new. Are third edition (and by extension Pathfinder) so stuck in their core skill set?
When something works, why change it? Innovation for innovation's sake is not what people expect from the second edition of Pathfinder, or really the second edition of any game.
 

Saelorn

Hero
Well, some changes would be nice. I don't see why we need to be stuck to these same skills after so many iterations of the game.
Of the problems with PF1E that would need to be changed, I don't think the selection of skills would rate very highly for anyone. The major problems with the skill system were just that Perception was mandatory, that you needed to maximize your ranks in any skill you cared about (in order to stay viable with level-appropriate challenges), and that some classes simply didn't get very many skill points. All of those issues are being addressed in the playtest.
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
They mentioned in an earlier blog that since Perception was such a must-have skill, they just made it Trained for everyone.
Which in itself is annoying. I have created characters who were notoriously bad at perception before. It's practically a trope.
 

Which in itself is annoying. I have created characters who were notoriously bad at perception before. It's practically a trope.
Same here. It can actually be fun to play a character with bad perception.

I think the problem is really not with the skill itself, but with the way DM's tend to use perception. They will have players make perception checks to notice 'anything', and that is really not how the skill should be used. Because it makes the skill the most common roll at the table, while others are hardly ever used at all.

In my current campaign for example, diplomacy and sense motive are way more important than perception.
 

mellored

Explorer
Personally I just would not use a level 0 character as a model for a Master of anything. I definitely would not use such a flat level bonus.
I like the idea that you get a bit better at everything as you level.
Just not that much better.
 


Shasarak

First Post
I like the idea that you get a bit better at everything as you level.
Just not that much better.
I am not sure about a bit better. Your character goes from fighting Orcs to fighting Orcus. From casting magic missiles to casting meteor swarm. From being OK at your skills to being a little better at using your skills.
 

Saelorn

Hero
I am not sure about a bit better. Your character goes from fighting Orcs to fighting Orcus. From casting magic missiles to casting meteor swarm. From being OK at your skills to being a little better at using your skills.
The major difference is that we have absolutely zero basis in reality for how much time it's supposed to take in order get that much better at casting magic spells. We do have a pretty solid basis in reality for how much time it's supposed to take in order to master mundane skills, and in most cases it takes longer than a few months of intermittent study.

Imaginary things can be as amazing as we want them to be. Real things are limited by what sounds plausible.
 

Shasarak

First Post
The major difference is that we have absolutely zero basis in reality for how much time it's supposed to take in order get that much better at casting magic spells. We do have a pretty solid basis in reality for how much time it's supposed to take in order to master mundane skills, and in most cases it takes longer than a few months of intermittent study.

Imaginary things can be as amazing as we want them to be. Real things are limited by what sounds plausible.
How much time does it take to master mundane skills? And how much time does it take to go from Trained to Expert to Master to Legendary in the real world?
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
The major difference is that we have absolutely zero basis in reality for how much time it's supposed to take in order get that much better at casting magic spells. We do have a pretty solid basis in reality for how much time it's supposed to take in order to master mundane skills, and in most cases it takes longer than a few months of intermittent study.

Imaginary things can be as amazing as we want them to be. Real things are limited by what sounds plausible.
How many action movies do you watch? That doesn't seem to be a very tight rule. Forget physics; if we want the bus to jump the gap, the bus will jump the gap, and if we want the hero to walk away from the explosion all cool-like, they'll walk away from the explosion all cool-like, no matter how unrealistic it is.

And we do have a basis for knowing how much time it's supposed to take to get that much better at casting magic spells. We can look at the NPCs in the universe and see how long they took. If it takes five years to get to world-shattering magical power levels, we should see that; dedicated individuals with the right skills should be hitting world-shattering magical power levels on a regular basis.

Lastly, we do have some bounds for what a fighter can do. I'm pretty sure we can safely say that that killing a dozen boars (600 XP a piece) isn't going to make someone skilled enough to make them able to fight a grizzly bear one on one. If you want realism here, you've got much bigger issues than the skill rules.

PCs rocket up levels much faster and pick up amazing abilities way faster than realistic. If you want a game that worries about that, at least for mundane abilities, you're looking for a different game. Ars Magica, maybe?
 

Saelorn

Hero
How much time does it take to master mundane skills? And how much time does it take to go from Trained to Expert to Master to Legendary in the real world?
Greater than the in-game length of a typical Pathfinder campaign. Maybe you can go from Magic Missile to Meteor Storm in three months, but it takes longer than three months to go from microwaving pizzas to being the best chef in the world.
 

Saelorn

Hero
And we do have a basis for knowing how much time it's supposed to take to get that much better at casting magic spells. We can look at the NPCs in the universe and see how long they took. If it takes five years to get to world-shattering magical power levels, we should see that; dedicated individuals with the right skills should be hitting world-shattering magical power levels on a regular basis.
If you're saying that Golarion is a ridiculous place which seems to operate by arbitrary and inconsistent rules, then I'm not going to argue with that.

However a game world actually works, as spelled out for us in the rules, the narrative needs to be consistent with that. It's stupid if the PCs go from level 1 to level 20 over the course of three months, but an equivalent-motivated NPC wizard can't go from level 5 to level 6 over the course of a year. I know that 3.5 addresses the disparity with training times before you can actually gain a level, but I can't recall if those appear in Pathfinder as well.
 

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