Know Your Skills – Appraise

New series of posts incoming!  How well do you know the skills in Pathfinder?  I’m guessing “Not too well’, that’s fine, but you could probably learn a lot through simply reading the Core Rules descriptions for them. Seems silly to put points in a skill if you don’t know what it does in the game!


So, Appraise… Think about it…  What could it be used for in the context of the game?

Pathfinder’s description of Appraise is this.

Pretty simple isn’t it?  Basically you use it to tell you what the value of something is…  Or rather what you think it is!

Now the typical DC for this is 20, and that’s a tough check, plus, there are degrees of success / failure as well.

A roll that is 5 above the DC, you can tell if it is magical, but NOT necessarily what the magic enchantment is.

A roll that is 5 below the DC, will tell you that the item is around 20% below the its true value – NO metagaming here!

If your roll is 6 or more below the DC, you’re basically appraising a diamond as being a piece of coal.


There are aspects of this that are really of no relevance to a story and are purely for wealth’s sake, and originally my thoughts were that it should be relatively obvious what’s valuable and what isn’t; and I know some GMs that tell their players what each item is worth all the time.  I can honestly see that point of view too, I mean, why make your Players roll for something that is just meh?  Is there really any fun in finding out what something is worth?  This isn’t a game show.


There are occasionally however, very good reasons to leave this in.  Sometimes a seemingly innocuous item can be extremely important to the story and sometimes a GM just wants to create some mystery or allure around something for sh!ts and giggles…  It’s for that reason that reason that I’m leaving this as is for now.

What are your thoughts?  Remove this or leave it in?


3 thoughts on “Know Your Skills – Appraise

    1. zhap77

      To further explain myself; considering the breadth of available skills and the limit in the number you can choose at the start, there really is no room for this. I think its only an option in a large group where deep character creation is required.

      1. Having done some more research, there are many reasons to leave it in. While I may well just give you the value of certain things, there are others I will ask for rolls for.

        The primary reason here is to keep you on your toes, add some realism (to this fantasy world we play in) and sometimes it is important to the story… If I only made you roll for items that were important to the story, it would give it away.

        Thanks for taking the time to read and respond though.

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