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Can Slayers pick the rogue talent Combat Trick multiple times or not? I've seen long debates about this, but never found a good answer.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Other than the discussion you linked to, I couldn't find any other debates; I would like to read more of the controversy surrounding this if you can provide further links. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10 '15 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ paizo.com/threads/rzs2rfrn?Rogue-Talent-AND-Slayer-Talents this is close to same. Mostly there just my party arguing back and forth about it \$\endgroup\$
    – Cutter8812
    Sep 10 '15 at 15:53
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No, you cannot take Combat Trick multiple times.

The reason for this has nothing to do with anything in the Slayer class description; it has to do with the Rogue Talent class feature description.

A rogue cannot select an individual talent more than once. Source.

Some Rogue Talents, such as the Terrain Mastery talent, can be taken multiple times because they explicitly say so.

Special: A rogue can take this ability multiple times, each time applying it to a new terrain. Source.

Combat Trick does not contain any permission to take it multiple times, so it cannot be taken multiple times. That applies to anyone who can take Rogue Talents, not just Rogues themselves.

Whether Slayer talents can be used to take the same Rogue Talent multiple times if the Rogue Talent allows it depends on your interpretation of "it grants the slayer a new rogue talent," as discussed in Hey I Can Chan's answer. I would argue that each time a Rogue can pick a new Rogue Talent, even if he repeatedly takes Terrain Mastery, he is gaining new Rogue Talents each time. In my mind it works much like Weapon Focus: you take Terrain Mastery(Forest) as one Talent and later decide you want Terrain Mastery(Plains). They are in that sense separate talents. This is an interpretation, however, and there is no exact rules-as-written answer like there is for Combat Trick.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ My one question is piazo was very specific about the ninja paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateCombat/classes/ninja.html using rogue talent but not the slayers paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advancedClassGuide/classes/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Cutter8812
    Sep 10 '15 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ The classes were probably written by different designers. If you think about it, the different wordings for the Ninja and Slayer mean the same thing most of the time. They both have the same general intent. The Ninja wording is better because it is more clear, and that was overlooked with the Slayer. I don't think Paizo is trying to make meaningful design differences by using slightly different wordings that are otherwise so close in meaning. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris D
    Sep 10 '15 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I really want to agree with this because, darn it, it makes sense, but I can't get over the fact that the slayer is not a rogue, so while a rogue can take Terrain Mastery multiple times, that just doesn't affect the slayer, like, at all. It certainly should, and it's dumb that it doesn't, and maybe even the GM should rule it does, but that's not what it says. (Totally not your fault, obviously. Just let me vent: Argh! Paaathfinder!) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10 '15 at 18:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ (I wish there were something addressing this in the description of hybrid classes.) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 28 '15 at 22:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unless an errata is written, the class works like the text says it does. There have been multiple cases of classes they are JUST like another but were intentionally different. The ACG is full of examples, investigator and alchemists being the one that caused the most discussions on the boards. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Dec 26 '16 at 11:55
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A slayer can pick the slayer talent rogue talent (combat trick) only once

The class feature slayer talent is introduced with the following text:

As a slayer gains experience, he learns a number of talents that aid him and confound his foes. Starting at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, a slayer gains one [n.b. not new] slayer talent. Unless otherwise noted, a slayer cannot select an individual talent more than once.

Emphasis mine. Later, the slayer talent rogue talent says, in part, that

This talent can be selected multiple times; each time, it grants the slayer a new rogue talent.

Thus, while the individual slayer talent rogue talent can be picked more than once, each rogue talent picked must be different from one already possessed or else the newly picked rogue talent isn't a new rogue talent but an old rogue talent picked a second time.

(By the way, were each time, it grants the slayer a new rogue talent omitted, I'd totally agree with this answer, but allowing picking the same rogue talent multiple times ignores that sentence as, if it's read as permitting multiple picks of the same talent, the clause merely repeats the introduction to the class feature slayer talents, which already grants a slayer talent, in essence, saying A slayer gains a slayer talent twice for no reason. I know these folks are paid by the word, but that's why editors are salaried.)

In short, a slayer who picks the slayer talent rogue talent to pick the rogue talent combat trick is barred from picking combat trick a second time.

For comparison, with its full base attack bonus, two good saving throws, sneak attack, studied target, and track, the slayer is already a heady combination of ranger and rogue. Permitting the slayer also to take 10 bonus combat feats over the course of his career means virtually obviating the fighter, which Paizo has gone to great (some would say unreasonable) lengths to keep relevant despite Pathfinder's evolving character class landscape.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I still feel like there are good reason why the answer could still being yes or no. Unless there are more points that other people make would it be fair to leave it to dm discretion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cutter8812
    Sep 10 '15 at 14:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cutter8812 Literally everything is at the GM's discretion; sometimes, however, it's useful to be able to justify using that discretion in a different fashion. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10 '15 at 15:43
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YES

This talent can be selected multiple times; each time, it grants the slayer a new rogue talent

This is fairly unambiguous. Note that you gain a new rogue talent, not a 'new rogue talent not currently possessed', and especially note the lack of phrases like "do not stack'.

Compare Spell Focus's similar line:

You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new school of magic.

When you can take something like this multiple times, the rules have to specifically call it out. When they want to limit how that multiple times works, they have to call that out, too. No such restriction is placed on the Rogue Talent Slayer Talent, and indeed it seems clear that some of the options (e.g. terrain mastery) are likely intended to be allowed to be taken multiple times-- no other class with access to favored terrains can't get more than one.

From a RAW standpoint, slayers are most indubitably permitted multiple combat tricks, allowing them to attempt to fill their more combat-focused role somewhat more handily.

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    \$\begingroup\$ To clarify, new here means merely additional instead of not already selected and additional can mean already selected? Wouldn't saying it grants the slayer a rogue talent (without the word new at all) then mean the same thing? Further, a wizard can then repeatedly pick the same school of magic for the feat Spell Focus, too, right? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10 '15 at 6:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Yes, and yes (but note that the latter case may as well not be allowed; it explicitly doesn't stack, like most such things) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10 '15 at 7:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1; Combat Trick (Critical Focus) is not the same rogue talent as Combat Trick (Improved Initiative), just as Weapon Focus (Cestus) is not the same feat as Weapon Focus (Longsword). They are distinctly different, and therefore when you take Combat Trick with a different feat, it is indeed a new talent even though you may have taken Combat Trick previously with a different combat feat. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 28 '15 at 19:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ But the slayer being a different class, so wouldn't his list different than the rogue and follow his own rules. Also the the slayers list is much smaller than the rogues list so that's where I got confused because I didn't think he would follow the rogues talent rules because he's picking from a certain pool of them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cutter8812
    Oct 4 '15 at 13:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nowhere in the description of combat trick it says that it can be taken multiple times for different feats, unlike Weapon Focus does. You learn one feat once you learn combat trick, and you are limited to taking it only once as per "Rogue Talents" and "Slayer Talents" abilities descriptions. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Dec 26 '16 at 12:02
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Appended feat names are considered different individual feats throughout Pathfinder (this is a deductive argument). For example, the Investigator talent alchemist discovery (type-appended), and investigator talent rogue talent (type-appended) can be taken multiple times as long as its of a different type. "This talent can be selected multiple times; each time grants a new ..." alchemist or rogue discovery/talent. Ranger favored terrain [types] can also be selected multiple times as long as it isn't of the same type. The slayer's ninja trick [type-appended] "can be selected multiple times " The slayer's rogue trick [type-appended] "can be selected multiple times; each time, it grants the slayer a new rogue talent."

The rule "A rogue cannot select an individual talent more than once." is not abrogated by the talent terrain mastery [type], which can be taken multiple times as long as its a new terrain type. Likewise, the rogue ninja trick can be taken more than once without violating the individual talent rule.

The second argument is a language argument. We should expect Combat Trick (agile maneuvers) to be a different feat name, representing a different individual feat, than Combat Trick (alchemical strike) in much the same way as we should expect George Bush Jr. to be a different individual than George Bush Sr. When we append names to proper nouns, we are differentiating between those nouns.

Hence, I believe we can pick either a Slayer or Rogue 'combat trick (type)' multiple times as long as it is a different type each time. Likewise, we can pick the Rogue talent 'weapon focus (type)' or favored terrain (type) multiple times.

If however there is a circumstance where appended names represent the same thing, they do not stack (as is stated in the Ranger section of Terrain Master). If somehow there was 'Jungle-Forest', and we had both Terrain Mastery (Jungle) and Terrain Mastery (Forest), then we could use only one non-stacking Terrain Mastery (type).

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    \$\begingroup\$ There is no "above" and "below" here, and comments or answers that are here now may not be here in the future. Consequently, if your answer depends on a particular argument, saying "so-and-so's argument above" does not help anyone find the information, and instead you need to include it in the answer directly (in your own words, of course). \$\endgroup\$ Dec 26 '16 at 3:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ My edit helps but isn't really enough, so please do make your own edit to finish incorporating the substance of Dyndrilliac's argument. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Dec 26 '16 at 3:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ James Jacobs disagrees, and no Paizo-published creature so far as I'm aware has multiple iterations of the rogue talent (combat trick). In fact, most creatures having the rogue talent (combat trick) have the talent listed in stat blocks as rogue talent (combat trick), with the feat in their feats section. Arguing that from a rules-as-written standpoint the designers here are wrong is something I totally support, but it may strengthen your position to explain why no published creature has seized the opportunity to take combat trick twice. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 26 '16 at 8:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ It looks like you've created multiple accounts. You can read how to resolve that here. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 30 '16 at 20:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you find just one Paizo-published example of, like, a ninja or rogue having more than once the ninja or rogue talent (combat talent (combat feat name)) or a slayer having more than once the slayer talent (rogue talent (combat trick (combat feat name))) . That is, is the argument This is true because this can be read this way, and it's of no consequence if the publisher opts to or not or something? Like I said, I'm okay with that—that's bold!—, but if that is the argument, it should be made clear it is. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 30 '16 at 21:42

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