Originally Posted by Solo
That's great to hear, but it doesn't seem enough to compensate for the fact that Gather Information seems to be less useful at gathering information than Contact Other Plane or Commune, especially when you can get around the XP cost.
(Forgive me if that specific example turns out to be wrong.)
No problem, it just confused me, is all. Seems to happen with me a lot, where people think I'm angry or bothered when I type something, when I'm not in the slightest. *shrug* Anyway...
Actually, Gather Information was rolled into Diplomacy (which makes sense). The reason it can be just as useful (and more useful in some situations) is that, as you already mentioned, RAW it doesn't have an XP cost, as well as the fact that you're more likely to get information directly related to your situation with using Diplomacy to gather information if the option is even there (a.k.a. you're in somewhere with crowds, not in a dungeon or the wilderness). Also, you can get more than a one-word answer (in regards to contact other plane
) and avoid possible Int/Cha damage, and can get answers to things other than simple yes or no questions (in regards to commune
). Also, as mentioned, it has to do with what information you're getting... an agent of your deity or an outsider from another plane wouldn't be likely to know how to contact the crime lord of the city you're in, for example.
Speaking of Bards, I hear that Bards with Versatile Performance are actually better at skills than the Rogue. Thoughts on that one?
On a vaguely related note, I also hear that Ninjas are a more solid class than the Rogue. Again, thoughts?
With Versatile Performance, bards can be better at some skills, but the skills are pretty limited, and usually things the bard already has as class skills (and are Charisma based, just like Perform is, so no different than using the skill by itself if you have ranks it in, which a standard bard might anyway for many of the skills covered by Versatile Performance). Those skills that fall outside that (Handle Animal isn't something most bards would have, Sense Motive is Wisdom-based, and Acrobatics/Fly are Dexterity-based) aren't exactly game-breakers, and take a certain kind of bard to get, anyway (unless you take the 3.5 feat that allows you to treat all Perform skills as having equal ranks, which would be DM discretion).
As for Ninjas, they're pretty much rogues with some monk flavoring... they're equal, just different. They swap trapfinding for poison use, trap sense for no trace, base evasion for light steps, and get ninja tricks that use ki
(making them a more efficient cross-class choice for monk) instead of rogue talents that don't generally require anything to use, as well as swapping master strike for hidden master. They're pretty much just a more extreme version of a rogue archetype... not more powerful, just a different focus.
Two things come to mind.
1. Pathfinder had 10+ years of 3rd edition experience and material to draw upon. They could have taken the best of 3rd edition and run with it. I don't think they did, which makes me disappoint.
2. This has been bugging me for quite a while. How would you get Lyric Spell to work in Pathfinder?
1. I think they did take some of the best of 3.x, while removing a lot of the bloat. It's nice being able to make a viable character in Pathfinder without having to have 6 separate books open just to make sure I'm not missing anything that would make my character fall far behind the characters of those players who did choose to use all the expanded content. For now, at least, Pathfinder is easier to play a more basic game with, which I prefer, instead of running calculators and figuring out scenarios in an attempt to make a game-breaking character with combinations of feats and other rules from the dozens of splatbooks that 3.5 had. Again, depends on your playstyle.
2. Beyond adjusting the Perform ranks prereq for the change in ranks/max ranks in skills in Pathfinder (so 6 instead of 9 ranks required), and perhaps adjusting the number of uses of bardic music each spell needs (to compensate for the change in how many bardic music uses Pathfinder bards get vs. 3.5 bards), it seems to me to be a pretty straightforward conversion from 3.5 to Pathfinder.