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.


"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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You must hate all editions of D&D then, because feather fall is a level 1 spell.

Which last one minute, slows the person down considerably, costs a finite magic resource and isn't widely available to all character classes. It doesn't ignore suspension of disbelief either.

I really shouldn't need to explain all of that to someone of your experience, or at all in fact.

It changes the game into something other than a fantasy system - the superhero factor in high level games and how it trivialises most of the game world is already an acknowledged problem acknowleged and mitigated by not playing into the end game level of D&D games by many, many gamers.

PF2 could have gone some way to making high level adventures believable and desirable for those who read fantasy novels and watch fantasy movies - but no, now we have to have people capable of longer unslowed jumps than spider man for no good reason.


If you really like this kind of entirely counterintuitive OP stuff, then play Exalted - at least that game world has an explanation why the characters can do impossible stuff without using spells.

Also, don't tell me what I like mellored, especially in such a passive aggressive way. I critiqued PF2's choice of legendary skills in this regard, I didn't attack you - so keep it on topic and stop with the sniping.

If you think that terminal velocity is reasonably countered by a high mundane jump skill, then defend it with something other than 'it's cool for non-magic users'... and while you are at it, argue why an automatic 30 on a skill test is anything but boring as hell for players and challenge-trivialising for GMs?
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Magical spell and ability skill don't really match up in my eyes as being the same. I'll pass on this edition until it comes out and see what the playtest molds this crud into.

Yes - it's a pass for me and everyone I know in my two game groups, which it wasn't until this last release came out.

Let's hope Paizo see some sense and drop this. Otherwise they are going to lose a lot of customers.

If D&D was a superhero game, then this would be fine... but it's not, and the idea that a Fighter in full plate could knock a non-winged titanic boss monster off a mountain top, fall with him and after the massive HP-laden monster was pavement pizza, just stand up without a single HP damage and walk away is ridiculous.


Which last one minute, slows the person down considerably, costs a finite magic resource and isn't widely available to all character classes.
Ring of feather fall has been in every D&D game.
And no, falling faster than normal is not "mega-powergamy".

It doesn't ignore suspension of disbelief either.
That's a different subject. If you don't like the word "legendary" and would rather have the word "magical", then fine.

"If you're magical in Acrobatics, you always land on your feet and don't take damage, regardless of the distance of the fall."

Prerequisites magical in Deception, Quick Disguise

You set up a full disguise with which you can Impersonate someone with incredible speed.

But claiming any of those abilities are somehow a game-breaking, power gamer, or is genera breaking is just flat untrue.

Shadow Demon

I think Paizo has completely missed what it means to be high-level just like WoTC missed it with 4e. They have boxed themselves into a specific game type that isn’t going to appeal to a wide audience. With shrinking influence, their time is about up at the top of the third-party market.


What I don't get is why so many people assume that, in a world where magic is real and pervasive, martial characters will behave and have access to the same skill-set as their counterparts in medieval Europe.
For me, the feather-falling rogue is tapping into the same magic 'weave' or 'mana' or whatever as the first level wizard. Or for that matter, the high level 1e AD&D monk.

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