Skill Feats In Pathfinder 2

Monday's Pathfinder 2 preview over at the Paizo blog talked about skills, so it only makes sense that the Friday preview would take a look at skill feats in the upcoming game.

Pathfinder2BetaLogo.png

"One that will stand out to risk-averse players is Assurance, which allows you to achieve a result of 10, 15, 20, or even 30, depending on your proficiency rank, without rolling. Are you taking a huge penalty or being forced to roll multiple times and use the lowest result? Doesn't matter—with Assurance, you always get the listed result. It's perfect for when you want to be able to automatically succeed at certain tasks, and the kinds of things you can achieve with an automatic 30 are pretty significant, worthy of legendary proficiency." This puts a new spin on critical results, as the Assurance feat lets you get the result that you might need for your character, even if it is a low roll.

Characters get a feat on every even-numbered level, so this is going to mean (at least) 10 feats for a character over the course of playing across 20 levels. "At their most basic level, skill feats allow you to customize how you use skills in the game, from combat tricks to social exploits, from risk-averse failure prevention to high-risk heroism. If you'd ever rather just have more trained skills than special techniques with the skills you already have, you can always take the Skill Training skill feat to do just that. Otherwise, you're in for a ride full of options, depending on your proficiency rank." We saw in the update about skills how the number of skills, and how your character advances in them. Skill feats are the road to further customization of your character's skills, and may be a missing piece of the advancement pie.

We know that skill mastery is going to be in "tiers" of expert, master and legendary, and the skill feats will give extra abilities with skills. For example, the cat fall feat: "Your catlike aerial acrobatics allow you to cushion your fall. Treat all falls as if you fell 10 fewer feet. If you're an expert in Acrobatics, treat falls as 25 feet shorter. If you're a master in Acrobatics, treat them as 50 feet shorter. If you're legendary in Acrobatics, you always land on your feet and don't take damage, regardless of the distance of the fall." At the cost of one feat, you receive a lot of new capabilities for your character's acrobatics skill. I suspect that more than a few Pathfinder 2 games are going to see a lot of high level rogues falling from very tall things.

Legendary characters, on either side of the screen, are going to be tough to beat in Pathfinder 2 games. "Legendary characters can do all sorts of impressive things with their skills, not just using scaling skill feats but also using inherently legendary skill feats. If you're legendary, you can swim like a fish, survive indefinitely in the void of space, steal a suit of full plate off a guard (see Legendary Thief below), constantly sneak everywhere at full speed while performing other tasks (Legendary Sneak, from Monday's blog), give a speech that stops a war in the middle of the battlefield, remove an affliction or permanent condition with a medical miracle (Legendary Medic, also from Monday's blog), speak to any creature with a language instantly through an instinctual pidgin language, completely change your appearance and costume in seconds, squeeze through a hole the size of your head at your full walking speed, decipher codes with only a skim, and more!" This is going to mean that there are going to be some pretty impressive high level characters in Pathfinder 2 games.

What do you think? Is the added flexibility that skill feats will give to character counter the changes to the skill system, or make them better?
 

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Xavian Starsider

First Post
If I started having characters swimming like fish, surviving the vacuum of space unprotected, and stealing plate mail off the guards wearing them, I think I would hit that world with an asteroid and start over. I understand the desire to be awesome and epic at high levels but these are like serious biological mutations. This is some X-Men level bs. If PCs are going to start doing this, they should start looking like mutants and stop passing for humans and elves. In fantasy terms, they would be demigods.
 

bleezy

First Post
Steal the shoes someone is wearing off their feet? I really wouldn't want to add feats that would turn the game into a joke.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Well... high level play has always been difficult. Since I normally don't play high levels, this doesn't really impact me... but in theory, this is a bit ridiculous. It sounds like Exalted.

Edit: now, to be fair. *Casters have always been able to do over the top things*. Why? because magic, that's why. These legendary skills are a way for non-casters to also be extraordinary. It's a bit of a double standard that it's ok for a mage to do impossible things, but a rogue nuh-huh, not allowed!
 
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S

Sunseeker

Guest
Yeah....some of these examples of what you can do with a "skill" are a little absurd.

I'm pretty okay with spells letting you do silly stuff, and magical items, and races that can do crazy stuff.

I don't really care to simulate reality, but I like to have it at least be heroic reality. Living for 5 minutes in space is a stretch. Living forever 'cause you're great at holding your breath? lolnope.
 

unknowable

Explorer
Just need to start looking at Pathfinder 2.0 as fantasy superheroes and stop thinking of it as fantasy rpg. Pathfinder 1.0 was pretty bad at not going superhero whenever someone powergamed.

But damn this takes it to extremes.

I will still probably play and buy, just treat it as a built in mythic ruleset :)
 


thekittenhugs

First Post
Seems like PF2e's approach to martial utility and special ability isn't being received too warmly. I'm betting it mostly has to do with it straying so much from the story fantasy presented in its predecessor systems (3.PF). Which raises a point I often bring up when discussing people trying to "fix" D&D and D&D-likes' martial/caster balance: this "imbalance" is a core part of the story fantasy for many players, no matter how much some people yell on the Internet. It's not impossible to succeed without it, but you're not giving yourself any early boosts.
 


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