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Condensing the Skill List


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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Alright, so I've been attempting to condense the skill list for Pathfinder a bit and this is new set of skills is what I've constructed thus far:

Acrobatics – Balance, Tumble, Jump
Athletics – Climb, Swim
Bluff – Same
Craft – Same
Diplomacy – Same
Disable Device – Same
Disguise – Same
Escape Artist – Same
Intimidate– Same
Knowledge Arcana – same
Knowledge Dungeoneering – same
Knowledge Engineering – same
Knowledge Local – same
Knowledge Anatomy – heal, torture, poison cure, etc
Knowledge History – includes knowledge nobility
Knowledge Nature – same
Knowledge Planes – same
Knowledge Religion – same
Linguistics –same
Perception – same
Perform – same
Profession – same
Ride – same
Sense Motive – same
Spellcraft – same
Stealth – same (but improvements to using it in combat)
Survival – includes knowledge geography
Use Magic Device – Same

I was curious if anyone could help me condense or expand this list any further. Some things I've been thinking about eliminating are profession, craft, perform, disguise (and make it part of bluff), and maybe even knowledge history. Again, all help is appreciated.


I like it, specially the part about fusing Climb and Swim.

I'd allow Bluff to be used to realize when someone is lying, instead of Sense Motive, this way, Party Face characters like Paladins, Sorcerers, Rogues and other Cha-based classes can really excel at it.

Escape Artist could be done away with, IMO, its checks would usually fall into either Acrobatics or Sleight of Hands.

Survival could also include Knowledge(Nature), just like Spellcraft could include Knowledge(Arcana), (and possibly UMD, but that'd most likely make it too good).

Knowledge(Religion) and (Planbes) could possibly be fused into one. Since most religious people will probably know more about angels and demons than, say, water elementals and protheans.


Well, for starters, I forgot to add Appraise to the list, so I suppose that should be included as well.

I think Sleight of Hands could possibly be grouped with Stealth, though I'd like to retain the knowledge checks if possible (basically to help with identifying creatures and their weakness).

Or, now that i think about it, disguise could be grouped in with stealth as well.


I like combining Climb and Swim into Athletics. Maybe Jump should be included too?

I had been thinking of allowing (in proper context) some skills to substitute for a knowledge check at -5 Penalty, like your Survival for Knowledge (geography) or History for Nobility. I'm not allowing it for identifying monsters, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dot for later, maybe.


Well, I definitely see combining Sleight of hand and Escape artist into something like 'Finesse' just to make things simple (if anyone can think of a better word for it, let me know).

Also, I think jump is more along the lines of acrobatics honestly, especially since jump is determined by dex not strength.

but yea, my group uses the knowledge skills to gain small tidbits of information about a monster we encounter, but the main issue with the skill is that some of them are just insanely useless.

Handle Animal for example: I feel like the idea of teaching an animal tricks is sort of...well...silly. I would much rather prefer it if we treated an 'animal companion' like a summoned monster (it obeys your command, you don't need to teach it tricks).

I also feel like only certain classes (such as druids and rangers) should be able to have an ability that lets them use diplomacy with creatures (which is kinda what handle animal does to a degree).


I also use Knowledge skills to get informations about enemy creatures. I think that is the most common use for such skills.

But what is the difference between rolling Survival instead of Knowledge(Nature), besides the name of the skill?

After all, in a world like Golarion, even a simple lumberjack must know a thing or two about fey and magical beasts. It's not superstition, it's part of common sense.

Live long enough near a grove or forest and you'll learn a little bit about its inhabitants. Sure, commoners may not know as much as the adventuring druid or ranger, but still, they'll probably know enough to identify signs of fey presence. After all, noone wants to be turned into a frog by an angry forest spirit, right?

Spellcraft and Knowledge(Arcana) are part of the same skill. I can see the division between them, but it seems unecessary.

Also, if you gonna replace Disguise, I think Bluff would be a better candidate than Stealth. Stealth is the skill of not being noticed. Disguise is tricking someone into thinking you are someone/something you are not, ehich is essentially, bluffing.

Actually, Bluff/Disguise and Sense Motive (the "notice when someone is lying" use, I mean) could be made into a single skill, named "Trickery" or "Deception", something like that.


well, survival includes tracking and such, being able to live in the wild. knowledge nature can include things like the whether, and 'insightful' knowledge about certain enemies, which is one reason why I think it should be distinguished.

I mean, a fighter can KNOW how to survive/track...but that doesn't mean he KNOWS about the intricate nature of fey and magical beasts.

Also, I think Disable device, Sleight of hand, and escape artist could all be grouped under the 'Finesse' skill as well.


Duskblade wrote:

well, survival includes tracking and such, being able to live in the wild. knowledge nature can include things like the whether, and 'insightful' knowledge about certain enemies, which is one reason why I think it should be distinguished.

I mean, a fighter can KNOW how to survive/track...but that doesn't mean he KNOWS about the intricate nature of fey and magical beasts.

I see your point. I really do. I don't think it's necesary to make them one skill. (if you see my 1st post, I say Survival could include Knowledge(Nature), not that it necessarilly should.

But let me put it like this. You are a hunter. Your village is close to a forest, where you hunt deers and rabbits and whatnot.

In the real world, you should know how to track these creatures, you should know to identify what creature is what (somethings a obivous, like knowing the difference between a bear and a deer, for example), you should probably know how to find north as well, so you don't get lost and what plants you can eat without risk of poisoning. Knowing to read the weather is necessary too. You don't want to go hunting when there is a storm coming.

But! In a fantasy world, knowing not to get too close to the home of the fey (even if you don't know exactly what they are) and knowing how to avoid their charms is something required of anyone who ants to enter the forest on a daily basis. It's a question of... wait for it... Survival! Survival in the wilds, I mean.

Hunters would be trained to not mess with these fickle spirits and not to harm enchanted creatures. They wouldn't know much about them, though, the knowledge check to identify a creature and its abilities is 10 + CR, IIRC, so unless that commoner is very high level (remember, most people don't even reach the 3rd level mark), there is little to no chance he knows anything about the creature other than "it's a spirit of the forest". Sure, he can roll a 20, but that is the "hey, I heard a story about something like that from my mother!" moment, it's not an usual case.

Survival and Knowledge(Nature) are very close to each other in pratical terms. So much that most classes that Survival as a class skill also have Knowledge(Nature).

All in all, what I mean is: There is a difference between these two skills, but they complement each other so much that they might as well be one.


Also, would it make more sense to perhaps combine spellcraft and use magic device in some way (I always thought use magic device should be an intelligence skill anyhow)


Duskblade wrote:
Also, would it make more sense to perhaps combine spellcraft and use magic device in some way (I always thought use magic device should be an intelligence skill anyhow)

I agree. But generally, the Int based classes are the ones that need UMD the least.

Wizards and Witches have nearly unlimited spells, anyway. Rogues on the other hand, have more need for UMD. And they also tend to use Cha (Bluff/Disguise/Dilomacy) more than Int.

So it being a Cha-based skill is mechanically a good thing, IMO.


I do agree that survival and knowledge nature are very close, but for me, I felt that knowledge geography was probably something that belonged with survival (if you can survive in the wilderness, you really should know how to navigate your way around).

In my experience though, any knowledge that can give you insight into a creatures weaknesses REALLY needs to be in a class of it's own. Again, i know the distinctions between the skills are small, but I don't think survival has the abilities to tell me what a 'creature' is weak against.

Currently my revision for the skills follows something like this, but as always, if anyone feels that it can be improved, just let me know:

Acrobatics – Balance, Tumble, Jump
Athletics – Climb, Swim
Appraise - same
Craft – Same
Deception – Bluff, disguise
Diplomacy – Same
Finesse – escape artist, sleight of hand, disable device
Intimidate– Same
Knowledge Arcana – same
Knowledge Dungeoneering – same
Knowledge Engineering – same
Knowledge Local – same
Knowledge Anatomy – heal, torture, poison cure, etc
Knowledge History – includes knowledge nobility
Knowledge Nature – same
Knowledge Planes – same
Knowledge Religion – same
Linguistics –same
Perception – same
Perform – same
Profession – same
Ride – same
Sense Motive – same
Stealth – same (but improvements to using it in combat)
Survival – includes knowledge geography
Use Magic Device – Same (except it uses intelligence)

The spell craft ability can probably be applied to the corresponding knowledge (nature for druids, arcana for wizards, and religion for clerics)


I like it.

I do believe Knowledge(Geography) is much more a part of Survival than Knowledge(Nature). Again, I only said that knowledge nature could be part of Survival, not that it should be.

I'd allow Deception to also be used to detect lies. Many scheming rogues may have no wisdom at all, but they can be very charismatic and know a good deal about lies, including how to spot one.

Diplomacy/Intimidate could be rolled up into "Coercion" or similar skill, after all, both of them are basically convincing someone to do something you want, even if that something is simply "believe what I say is a good idea".

Also, I think you forhot Handle Animal this time. (Although it could be argued that it's just a subset of Coercion).

All in all, I really like this list of skills.


the only problem with rolling up some skills is that u have to remember abilities like feinting and demoralizing, which adds a whole new spin on the skill list.

I do like Coercion a lot, but I'm hesitate to use it only because I'm trying to take into account the alternate used of skills while in combat (again, feinting and demoralizing)


In my previous post, I stated that Handle animal should probably just be scratched from the list entirely (personally, if have an animal like a mount or an animal companion, I'd rather it behave like a 'summoned monster' rather than having to teach it tricks and such...ya know, the animal essentially 'obeys' my command). I do believe that druids and rangers should have an ability to let them use 'diplomacy' on animals of course, but I don't really like the handle animal ability as a whole.

Cheliax

I don't know if this helps you, but in my games, Appraise, Craft, and Profession are rolled into one skill called Trade(X) which I feel allows a bit more leeway in what is allowed with the skill


Nice.

Though, I'm not sure I like Deception. Disguise might fit better with Perform.

What about Handle Animal?

Edit: Never mind. Saw your post regarding Handle Animal.


Ah, I read the part where you said you thought it should be removed, I just didn't think you had actually decided for it.

I don't think Handle Animal is silly, it's a real thing after all. You must train animals if you want them to obey you, they don't simply obey.

Hey, feinting is Deception, demoralizing is Coercion! Works just like the official rules, except it gives the characters more versatility out of combat and the skill names are different.

I'm really considering using this list of skill, although I'd probably keep Handle Animal, just in case.

Dunno, but Knowledge(Local) also always felt like it could include Knowledge(History). After all, if you know a lot about a place and its people, you're bound to know a bit of its history as well. But I can see the distinction between the 2 skills.


SwnyNerdgasm wrote:
I don't know if this helps you, but in my games, Appraise, Craft, and Profession are rolled into one skill called Trade(X) which I feel allows a bit more leeway in what is allowed with the skill

This is a great idea. Although it takes a lot of versatility out of the Appraise skill... I'd allow it to be used as the normal Appraise on any object, and if it's related to your Trade, you get a +2 or +4 bonus, depending on your skill ranks.

Cheliax

Lemmy wrote:
SwnyNerdgasm wrote:
I don't know if this helps you, but in my games, Appraise, Craft, and Profession are rolled into one skill called Trade(X) which I feel allows a bit more leeway in what is allowed with the skill
This is a great idea. Although it takes a lot of versatility out of the Appraise skill... I'd allow it to be used as the normal Appraise on any object, and if it's related to your Trade, you get a +2 or +4 bonus, depending on your skill ranks.

Just checked my notes, and I allow you to use appraise on any item and give a +2 till you have ten ranks in Trade then it becomes +4 with something related to your trade, I had to look that up because in the past few years my players have basically just had everything appraised by specialists in their camp


okay, here is where the current list stands (sorry for constantly posting this, but I am literally going back and re-reading the rules for each skill while compiling this list). I decided to go ahead and enter 'spellcraft' back on the list simply because it is the easiest way to incorporate the check without having to look up what spell list a spell comes from (just imagine having to make a 'spellcraft check' but first having to know which spell list it comes from...especially since some spells are located on both cleric, wizard, and druid lists).

I still am not convinced with handle animal, as I personally just like to simply the rules whenever I can. Besides, teaching an animal a 'new trick' takes about one week, and I honestly feel that if you get a mount for combat, u should be able to control that mount (same with animal companion). Summon monster pretty much explains it perfectly: u control whatever you summon. I find that to be the most effective method for dealing with mounted combat and animal companions (it just makes it simple). Anyways, here is the list of skills:

Acrobatics – Balance, Tumble, Jump
Athletics – Climb, Swim
Appraise – same
Coercion – Diplomacy, Intimdate, gather information, demoralize
Craft – Same
Deception – Bluff, disguise, feint
Finesse – escape artist, sleight of hand, disable device
Knowledge Arcana – same
Knowledge Dungeoneering – same
Knowledge Engineering – same
Knowledge Local – same
Knowledge Anatomy – heal, torture, poison cure, etc
Knowledge History – includes knowledge nobility
Knowledge Nature – same
Knowledge Planes – same
Knowledge Religion – same
Linguistics –same
Perception – same
Perform – same
Profession – same
Ride – same
Sense Motive – same
Spellcraft - same
Stealth – same (but improvements to using it in combat)
Survival – includes knowledge geography
Use Magic Device – Same (but uses intelligence)


quick note* I suppose u could find a way to combine Ride and handle animal together (just make it 'handle animal' I suppose) if you wanted to go that route, though I'm not sure which ability it would scale off of (after all, riding requires dex and handle animal requires charisma).

I don't know, I personally just don't like handle animal, especially since i've hardly ever seen the ability used outside of druids and rangers using it to 'diplomacy' animals.


I don't usually use the trick mechanics either... I just let the player give his mount/animal companion a general training of their choice and control the critter however he likes, but I understand why such skill exists. Maybe some player feels tempted to train a pack of wolves or tame a buffalo. What to do in that case? Just give him control over the animals for free? Or forbid them of doing it?

Also, I really think UMD should be based on Cha, mostly due to balance. Basing it on Int will be a big nerf to rogues and a big buff to wizards, which is not a desirable result, IMO.

But, if you absolutelly must make it based on Int, I recommend you go all the way and make it a part of Spellcraft. It'll be slightly less unbalancing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One other thing reference knowledge (geography) compared to, say, survival. I sometimes view knowledge (geography) as related to cartography - i.e. the study and knowledge of maps. In that way, I think that geographical knowledge could be split into survival (knowing the way nature works), knowledge (history) (hey, aside from traveler brochures and mapquest, that's where I see maps the most!), and knowledge (local) (to know the general lay-of-the-land, like city maps and routes).

Another note: perhaps instead of making a given skill completely over into another given skill, placing a similar function into two different skills. If a player takes both? They gain a +1/5 bonus to that check and/or they get to use either stat to help out! So jump could go into both acrobatics and athletics. You don't have to take both, but it sure is nice.

Also, if you're interested in combining skills, that craft/perform/profession -> Trade (X) idea was actually pretty good, especially since they're all variant ways of getting the same or similar benefits (more money*).

If you want, you could even do what I do: no matter what the PC class, they get two skills that can be one of those (or just two different "trades", if you want to combine them into the one skill). They can choose trade on top of that, but they automatically receive two for story and background purposes.

I'm also going to back Lemmy up a bit: if UMD is going to be INT-based, it should be placed into spellcraft, and (while powerful) it really seems that knowledge (nature) and survival should either be the same, or overlap very heavily. But I'm also going to say that it's totally up to you: I just really see how that idea works together.

Nifty stuff, so far!

* Note: I'm very aware of how different the skills are, but the underlying power of them is that they provide you with more wealth in order to have more customization in what you do.


One thing that's important to remember is that while condensing the skill list IS a good idea, if you condense it too much, it starts to really dampen the strength of the intelligence ability score.

Also, as far as UMD is concerned, I've rarely seen a rogue that didn't put a lot of power into their intelligence ability score, mainly because they did have access to SO many skills (hence, the reason why they are a skill monkey). Even with 8 skill points a level, a rogue nearly has almost 20 different class skills to choose from. Therefore, my argument would be that having UMD being intelligence based would actually boost the rogue in most respects.

The only one it would hurt would be Sorcerers (wizards don't even have UMD as a class skill).

And as far as Sorcerer's are concerned...well, I use them all the time, and I hardly ever rely on using a wand to do any of my spellcasting.

Of course, considering the fact that I'm also doing revisions for the classes, I can easily design an ability that lets sorcerers apply charisma to their UMD skill.

But yea, back to 'handle animal' again...that's still an ability that I REALLY question the use of. I mean, even if a player wanted to 'tame a buffalo' or something...as a GM, I'd kinda have an issue if the player just 'tamed anything he could find' and then sent it into a dungeon loaded with traps only to go back out and tame something else just to repeat the process.

I don't know, again, I think 'taming an animal' should just be a ranger/druid thing.


UMD:

Actually, it'd hurt rogues, ninjas, oracles, sorcerers, bards, summoners, paladins and clerics.

Oracles, Sorcerers and Summoners don't need much help anyway.

But rogues/ninjas usually have a higher Cha than Int, since they have more use for Cha-dependent skills than Int-based ones. So by making something Cha based into an Int-based skill, it reduces their modifier in that skill, and UMD is something Rogues need.

Bards and Paladins do not need it nearly as much, but they aren't OP either, so theres not need to stealth-nerf them.

Wizards, on the other hand, would be incredibly good at it, even without the class skill bonus (which is just a +3 anyway). And they are proabably the most powerful class already.

If it must be done, make it a part of Spellcraft, so at least when rogues/bards/paladins take it, they get a few extra benefits as well, like identifying spells and magic items.

Handle Animals:

Remember, taming animals is something real-life people do, and most (if not all) of us are 2nd or 3rd level commoners or experts. And taming animals is not exactly broken, at most you get a free horse with a couple HD. If the character wants to walk around with a bunch of wolves, chances are they'll be dead the 1st time they meet a Fireball.

It's more of a flavor ability, and it can be interesting to see PCs get a pet cat or some such and train it to do a few tricks. I see the point you make about removing the skill, I just think it's an unecessary action.

It's not one of those skills that someone in the party absolutelly has to take, so condensing/removing it doesn't simplify the rules or strengthens characters as much as it removes or difficults role-playing options.


in regards to 'handle animal' I can probably just see u grouping it in with Coercion if u really need to (again, it's basically diplomacy, so I really don't think it needs its own skill).

And again, back to UMD, the only thing in the rogue class that actually scales with charisma is the skills that are based around it. With the condensed skill list, there are now only 3 skills that scale off charisma: perform, deception, and Coercion.

However, there are tons of things that scale off intelligence, and at the end of the day, I really do question how much of a difference 2 or 3 points difference is actually going to make in regards to getting the most out of ur UMD check.

Again, it makes more sense to have UMD scale off of intelligence (essentially because a character uses her 'intelligence' to operate the device). At most, this new scaling can cause players to miss out on perhaps 3 or 4 points top in regards to the charisma based classes (again, that's not much of a hit).

Keep in mind also that the rogue's save DCs are all base off of intelligence anyway: Master strike, Major and Minor magic rogue talents, etc.


Those are good points. While I don't completelly agree with them, I can see it's more of a matter of preference than actual balance consequences.

I'll make another suggestion, not just make UMD a part of spellcraft (after all, if you use spellcraft to create magic items, it makes sense that you use it to operate them as well), but also let spontaneous casters use Charisma, like a sorcerer or bard using their innate magic to make the wand work (or build one).

Maybe create a homebrew feat to allow other people to do the same. A bit like Intimidating Prowess, but replacing Int instead of dding to it, so the skill check doesn't get too high.

I'm always in favor of making Charisma a more useful attribute, right now, unless you class has some powerful ability related to it, it amounts to little more than a bonus to a few skills (even fewer by these rules).

I think Kirth had the right idea when creating Kirthfinder, adding a 4th save based off charisma.

I really miss the Force of Personality feat... -.-'


Duskblade wrote:

Alright, so I've been attempting to condense the skill list for Pathfinder a bit and this is new set of skills is what I've constructed thus far:

Acrobatics – Balance, Tumble, Jump
Athletics – Climb, Swim
Bluff – Same
Craft – Same
Diplomacy – Same
Disable Device – Same
Disguise – Same
Escape Artist – Same
Intimidate– Same
Knowledge Arcana – same
Knowledge Dungeoneering – same
Knowledge Engineering – same
Knowledge Local – same
Knowledge Anatomy – heal, torture, poison cure, etc
Knowledge History – includes knowledge nobility
Knowledge Nature – same
Knowledge Planes – same
Knowledge Religion – same
Linguistics –same
Perception – same
Perform – same
Profession – same
Ride – same
Sense Motive – same
Spellcraft – same
Stealth – same (but improvements to using it in combat)
Survival – includes knowledge geography
Use Magic Device – Same

I was curious if anyone could help me condense or expand this list any further. Some things I've been thinking about eliminating are profession, craft, perform, disguise (and make it part of bluff), and maybe even knowledge history. Again, all help is appreciated.

While combining climb and swim might be cool it doesn't make much sense a fish isn't an expert climber and a tree cat or a monkey doesn't swim very well. They are supposedly movement modes much like acrobatics is a skill to simulate landspeed.

knowledge anatomy seems mostly a name change really, it implies making heal an intelligence based skill, not that I particular feel like it should be wisdom over intelligence or vice versa, think I'd go towards intelligence more than wisdom really.

I am perfectly fine keeping knowledge geography and survival separate.


gaining bonuses for athletics checks is very easy to do: in the case of monsters, you can say that their athletic check only applies to either climb or swim. For magic items, it's the same thing: have a bonus apply when making an athletic skill check for climbing, and have another bonus for swimming.

Also, I'm very reluctant to combine spell craft and use magic device just yet, because I'm a little wary about giving the ability to make spellcraft checks or use magic device abilities to just about anyone.

Ur example of 'if u can make it, you can probably use it' does make sense with spellcraft, though keep in mind: just because a blacksmith can MAKE a sword doesn't necessarily mean that he's actually proficient with WIELDING it.

I guess what I don't recognize is how 'unbalancing' it would be to let UMD scale off intelligence. I mean, I don't think that breaks the game, and it actually encourages players to invest more in intelligence.

The sad truth about charisma is yes, it usually is a dump stat, but thankfully certain classes really do make it relevant: paladin, sorcerer, oracle etc.

I won't deny that keeping UMD as a charisma skill DOES add more relevancy to the charisma score in general, and in some ways you actually are selling me on that point. I guess I just need a little more convincing or something (or maybe I just have a hard time grasping how my 'confidence or force of personality' is actually making a magic item work).


Duskblade wrote:
Also, I'm very reluctant to combine spell craft and use magic device just yet, because I'm a little wary about giving the ability to make spellcraft checks or use magic device abilities to just about anyone.

Well, technically they already can, they'd just have a bit more of an incentive. It makes sense too. If I want to use a magic item, I might be interested in know how it works.

Duskblade wrote:
Ur example of 'if u can make it, you can probably use it' does make sense with spellcraft, though keep in mind: just because a blacksmith can MAKE a sword doesn't necessarily mean that he's actually proficient with WIELDING it.

Good point, but I feel that is the way it works with magic items. Remember, casters don't need UMD checks to use wands containing spells that are in their spell list.

Duskblade wrote:
I guess what I don't recognize is how 'unbalancing' it would be to let UMD scale off intelligence. I mean, I don't think that breaks the game, and it actually encourages players to invest more in intelligence.

Not game-breaking at all. Maybe a slight push in a direction I don't particullary like. Intelligence is already a pretty good stats, extra skill points, extra languages and bonus to skills like Spellcraft and Knowledge is nothing to overlook.

Duskblade wrote:

The sad truth about charisma is yes, it usually is a dump stat, but thankfully certain classes really do make it relevant: paladin, sorcerer, oracle etc.

I won't deny that keeping UMD as a charisma skill DOES add more relevancy to the charisma score in general, and in some ways you actually are selling me on that point. I guess I just need a little more convincing or something (or maybe I just have a hard time grasping how my 'confidence or force of personality' is actually making a magic item work).

From a fluff perspective, it really feels to me that to that UMD should use Int. Although I can see the point of using Cha in a few cases. Specifically, spontaneous casters. In my mind they'd be using their innate magical talents to "override" the wand or something like that. For a rogue or fighter, though, it's definitly more of a Int skill.

That's why I gave the idea of the Cha-to-UMD feat. It helps those Cha-based classes if they really want UMD. I'd suggest giving such feat to Bards, Ninjas, Oracles and Sorcerers at 1st level, as it makes sense that someone with natural mystical powers could use such abilities to better use magical instruments. I kinda like the visual of a sorcerer "overiding" a wand or a Oracle infusing a staff with divine power in order to make it work!.

I'm a bit biased, though, as I tend to really like Cha based classes, even if I'm a big fan of Magi. I also like wizards, but I get tired of preparing spells and/or waiting for people to do the same.

Again, using Int or fusing with Spellcraft is not something I'd say is horrible and shouldn't ever be done. While, IMO it's not the best way to go, it's not a bad way either. Just a matter of preference.

Overall, I really like what you did with skills.

My rangers might actually have more than 1 rank in Knowledge(Geography) now! And my Fighters can actually do something outside of combat other than just scaring people.

I think I'll ask one of my friends to make a modified sheet with this skill list.

Also, dunno if it's just me, but "Sense Motive" always sounded like a bad skill name. If someone is talking to you, bluff or not, you know their motive. They want you to believe them. Personally, I'd call it "Insight". Sounds cooler!


Hey there dusk!

About your skill list:

I am still voting for JUMP as part of ATHLETICS, since it was a STR skill back in 3.5.
I would keep "Soften Fall" in Acrobatics though.

I am not so sure about COERCION.
Rolling Diplomacy and Intimidate into one skill seems inappropriate (my POV).

I would rather detach "Gather Information" from Diplomacy and make it a "general social use" usable for Bluff, Diplomacy & Intimitdate.

I like DECEPTION, but I would remove FEINT from it, and make it the Combat Maneuver it should have been in the first place.

Not much of a fan for FINESSE either. I agree to simply drop ESCAPE ARTIST and roll it into Acrobatics and Sleight of Hand where appropriate.
Sleight of Hand and Disable Device have not much in common, except basing on DEX, so mashing those is not a good move.
Maybe put DISDEV & CRAFT (Traps) into one MECHANICS skill.

SoH is fine by its own. Or at least, I don't see any good pair up...

I would roll PROFESSION into KNOWLEDGE. It's basicly the same really.

How about merging SPELLCRAFT & UMD, BUT changing into to use the SPELL CASTING ABILITY (or either INT or CHA for non casters)?

I would merge Knowledge (Nature) & Survival instead of Knowledge (Geography).

Knowledge (Local) & Knowledge (Geography) can be merged perfectly.

I would change Knowledge (Anatomy) in a HEAL/MEDICINE skill.
(Don't see the benfit in making it a Knowledge skill except giving the bard more stuff).
You might wanna keep INT as the modifier instead of WIS.

I am okay with HANDLE ANIMAL & RIDE, since a GOOD rider has to have a feeling for his mount. My fiancee is an long-time rider, so I have some (sort of) insight into that. It's difficult to assign just ONE ability score to riding.
It's part STR (horses don't always do what you want them too! Who figured...),
part DEX (rhythm and body tension),
part CON (actually training with a horse is very tiresome),
part WIS (you have to "listen" to your mount),
part CHA (if it likes you, you'll have an easier way... sometimes...). :P

So either ability would be fine, I guess.


my only problem with merging knowledge nature with survival is the issue of identifying the weakness for monsters with the animal, fey, giant, monstrous humanoid, and plants type.

again, that's basically what 'knowledge checks' are for.

I can't very well say that 'survival' can help identify the qualities of a giant.

Alright, back to the issue of 'jump', I can see adding it to athletics if you add escape artist to the acrobatics skill set.

Furthermore, I can picture 'finesse' simply encapsulating both sleight of hand and disable device (you REALLY should be able to do both I think)

Spellcraft and UMD can probably be combined under intelligence as well.

Again, these are all options.

My goal is to still have an even number of skills (currently at 26), while still avoiding the possibility of 'condensing too much'.

If anyone has their own list they'd like to share (along with any changes to applied ability scores for any particular skill) please feel free to do so. Just be sure to list what each skill encapsulates so we can determine if every skill is being properly applied.


okay, after a lot of careful thought, here is where the list stands NOW (good god, I wonder how many times this list is gonna get revised)...

Acrobatics – Balance, Tumble,
Athletics – Climb, Swim, Jump
Appraise – same
Coercion – Diplomacy, Intimidate
Craft – Same
Deception – Bluff, disguise
Disable Device – same
Escape Artist – same
Knowledge Arcana – same/spellcraft arcane spells
Knowledge Dungeoneering – same
Knowledge Engineering – same
Knowledge Local – same
Knowledge Anatomy – heal, torture, poison cure, etc
Knowledge History – includes knowledge nobility
Knowledge Nature – same
Knowledge Planes – same
Knowledge Religion – same/spellcraft divine spells
Linguistics –same
Perception – same
Perform – same
Profession – same
Ride – same
Sense Motive – same
Stealth – same (but with improvements for combat)/Sleight of hand
Survival – same
Use Magic Device – same

I figured sleight of hand and stealth are 'literally' the same thing (again, all of them check against perception). I also took everyone's advice and incorporated spellchecks into the corresponding knowledges: arcane for arcane and religion for divine. the rest of the skills seem pretty unchangeable, but if anyone has suggestions, feel free to comment.


Still not a fan of having swim in there with athletics, the only real thing I see them combining is the strength ability to govern them.

Jump and climb are combined into athletics in my game, also added a rogue talent and a feat to be able to use athletics based on dexterity.

I wouldn't put coercion in a single feat, they both see alot of use and represent different ways of getting things done.

I allow craft, knowledge or profession checks for appraise depending on what you are trying to appraise, though I didn't actually remove the skill.

I am kinda ok with deception used like that.

knowledge anatomy could be profession, physician.

knowledge arcana and religion seems ok, I did consider to use it like that before myself, most thing still default to knowledge arcana if it is magic of an unidentified source though.

I don't like putting sleight of hand with stealth, I do not want every stealthy character to resort to sleight of hand, thematically it doesn't seem right to me.


Duskblade wrote:

my only problem with merging knowledge nature with survival is the issue of identifying the weakness for monsters with the animal, fey, giant, monstrous humanoid, and plants type.

again, that's basically what 'knowledge checks' are for.

I can't very well say that 'survival' can help identify the qualities of a giant.

Humanoids are under Local. Why shouldn't Monstrous Humanoids be there as well?


I also rolled Ride into Handle Animal -- as a Texan, I've been on horses, and force of personality (Cha) is a lot more important for riding than Dex is.

And then I went ahead and rolled Wild Empathy into Handle Animal as well, and just gave druids and rangers 1 free rank per class level, as a class feature.


Personally I am a big fan of Star War Saga Edition (SWSE) which was really 3.5 with the magic system strpped out and elements of 4th ed in it (defenses of ref/fort, will, skill system etc) and that had a condensed list in it. Athletics for example includes climb, jump, swim, Deception included bluff and disguise etc. Anyway some thoughts. 4th ed condensed the skills to far and SWSE did not have the craft or profession skills which I think are worth kepeing.

2 skill points is still not enough. Only the Jedi had this and they kinda suffered for it even though they had class abilities that could let them feed multiple skills off use the force (pilot, computer use, diplomacy, deception etc. The scoundral (rogue) had 4 but really needed 5, and the Scout had 5 which was about right. If you condensed the lists I would give the fighter 4 skills and revamp his skill list (in Saga the Soldier they had 3, PF has more skills though), and most classes should have 3 or 4 with maybe the exception of the primary spellcasters although Druid can retain the 4 skills.

You could make a thievery skill which included disable device and pick pockets (borrow from 4th ed here). My revised skill list would look like this.

Acrobatics – Balance, Escape Artist,Tumble,
Athletics – Climb, Swim, Jump
Craft – Same
Deception (bluff, disguise)
Diplomacy – diplomacy, intimidate
Disable Device – Same
Knowledge Arcana – same
Knowledge Dungeoneering – same
Knowledge Engineering – same
Knowledge Local – same
Knowledge Anatomy – heal, torture, poison cure, etc
Knowledge History – includes knowledge nobility
Knowledge Nature – same
Knowledge Planes – same
Knowledge Religion – same
Linguistics –same
Perception – same
Perform – same
Profession – same
Ride – same
Sense Motive – same
Spellcraft – same
Stealth – same (but improvements to using it in combat)
Survival – includes knowledge geography
Thievery- pick pocket, sleight of hand etc
Use Magic Device – Same

And you could fold survival into knowledge nature if you were really keen IMHO. With a skil list like this the 8 skill point classes woud probably have to be scaled back to 6, bump fighters to 3 or 4 skill points, bards to 5 or 6 maybe and tweak here and there.

Silver Crusade

Duskblade wrote:

Alright, so I've been attempting to condense the skill list for Pathfinder a bit and this is new set of skills is what I've constructed thus far:

Acrobatics – Balance, Tumble, Jump
Athletics – Climb, Swim
Bluff – Same
Craft – Same
Diplomacy – Same
Disable Device – Same
Disguise – Same
Escape Artist – Same
Intimidate– Same
Knowledge Arcana – same
Knowledge Dungeoneering – same
Knowledge Engineering – same
Knowledge Local – same
Knowledge Anatomy – heal, torture, poison cure, etc
Knowledge History – includes knowledge nobility
Knowledge Nature – same
Knowledge Planes – same
Knowledge Religion – same
Linguistics –same
Perception – same
Perform – same
Profession – same
Ride – same
Sense Motive – same
Spellcraft – same
Stealth – same (but improvements to using it in combat)
Survival – includes knowledge geography
Use Magic Device – Same

I was curious if anyone could help me condense or expand this list any further. Some things I've been thinking about eliminating are profession, craft, perform, disguise (and make it part of bluff), and maybe even knowledge history. Again, all help is appreciated.

Comments:

Pathinder doesn't have Balance, Tumble, Jump; those are already built into Acrobatics.

I like Combining Swim and Climb

I don't really see the point in Knowledge Anatomy, it's basically the Heal skill but based on Int rather than Wis, unless that's your goal.

I like survival including knowledge geography

Suggestions:

I would consider combining the following skills: Handle Animal and Ride; Bluff and Sense Motive; Escape Artist and Disable Device; and Diplomacy and Intimidate.

I would also try to find a way to tie every "Non-Monster Knowledge (Engineer, Nobility, Geography, History)" to a "Monster Knowledge" or some other "useful" skill. I find that players don't often take these skills because they are perceived as being not as useful.


I won't deny that knowledge engineering has come up several times in my groups (we use it to figure out what a trap can do, and also how to effectively destroy things like a bridge). History doesn't come up that often, though it can be used to identify certain factions (like a group of soldiers who serve under a particular noble, or basically helps to give us tidbits of information regarding certain locations...such as making a knowledge history check to learn if a particular mansion was haunted or something like that).

Again, my only concern with giving classes more skills points is that I don't want to end up making the intelligence score irrelevant. For example, with my newly revised list, here are the Fighter class skills that I've compiled thus far...

The fighter’s class skills are Athletics (Str), Craft (Int), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Engineering) (Int), Perception (Wis), Persuasion (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Ride (Dex).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

I won't lie, this seems pretty fair, but do u guys really think that the fighter needs MORE skill points (persuasion is basically Coercion by the way). I mean, now that skills encapsulate more, giving the fighter more skill points almost seems unnecessary.


Elamdri wrote:
I don't really see the point in Knowledge Anatomy, it's basically the Heal skill but based on Int rather than Wis, unless that's your goal.

Knowledge Anatomy basically encapsulates more than just healing, and essentially implies that characters can use an 'anatomy check' for more than just 'healing a person hitpoints or treating diseases and poison'. Furthermore, it seems to make more sense to have the 'heal skill' as intelligence based anyway.

One of our GMs actually created a very fun scenario where the party stumbled across a wounded hero with an arrow sticking out of his chest. The hero was still alive, but the arrow was dangerously close to his heart. Therefore, our cleric had to make a 'heal' check in order to remove the arrow without piercing the man's heart.

It was a very creative idea, which is why I really do support knowledge anatomy.

Silver Crusade

Duskblade wrote:

I won't deny that knowledge engineering has come up several times in my groups (we use it to figure out what a trap can do, and also how to effectively destroy things like a bridge). History doesn't come up that often, though it can be used to identify certain factions (like a group of soldiers who serve under a particular noble, or basically helps to give us tidbits of information regarding certain locations...such as making a knowledge history check to learn if a particular mansion was haunted or something like that).

Again, my only concern with giving classes more skills points is that I don't want to end up making the intelligence score irrelevant. For example, with my newly revised list, here are the Fighter class skills that I've compiled thus far...

The fighter’s class skills are Athletics (Str), Craft (Int), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Engineering) (Int), Perception (Wis), Persuasion (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Ride (Dex).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

I won't lie, this seems pretty fair, but do u guys really think that the fighter needs MORE skill points (persuasion is basically Coercion by the way). I mean, now that skills encapsulate more, giving the fighter more skill points almost seems unnecessary.

If you are collapsing skills in on each other, giving players more skill points is the last think you want to do. Instead, you need to probably take some skill points away from some classes like Rogues and Wizards so they don't wind up having every skill in the game.


Currently, I picture the structure of skill points per class to break down to something like this...

8 class skills = 2 skill points per level (Fighter, Barbarian)
12 class skills = 4 skill points per level (Gunslinger, Magus, Paladin)
14 class skills = 6 points per level (Monk, Ranger)
18 class skills = 8 points per level (rogue)

With a total of 26 skills, this seems like a pretty fair trade off, and also still makes adding more points into intelligence relevant.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally, I'd still give 'em each two free skills, but limit what those extra skill points can be spent on: craft, perform, or profession. It makes an interesting character. But that's just me. :)


Well, I figured that once you add in the fact that every character gets 2 free traits (which can basically add more class skills to the character) then it pretty much balances out (especially since some traits already give u a boost to the skill in addition to making it a class skill as well).


I would make only Wizards, Witches and other Int-based full casters the only classes with only 2 skill points per level. Maybe half-casters (like Magi and Alchemists) too, but probably not.

The rest of them should have at least 4.


Lemmy wrote:

I would make only Wizards, Witches and other Int-based full casters the only classes with only 2 skill points per level. Maybe half-casters (like Magi and Alchemists) too, but probably not.

The rest of them should have at least 4.

I honestly can't agree to that. With the skills being condensed to such degree, I feel that adding more skill points to certain classes will simply make the intelligence ability utterly pointless.

In the example I gave with the revised Fighter skill list, the fighter only had 8 class skills, and what you're wanting to do is give the fighter the ability to place skill points into HALF his class skills without even investing a SINGLE point in his intelligence.

Hence the reason why 4 skills points per level is unnecessary.

A fighter is not a skill monkey, but the skill he has access to DO make him more useful. In essence, he doesn't need more skill points now, because the skills he has encapsulate so much.

At least, that's my take on it.


Gwaihir Scout wrote:
I like combining Climb and Swim into Athletics. Maybe Jump should be included too?

Jump is part of Acrobatics, though.

I really like how Intimidate and Diplomacy are rolled into the same thing. That'd help so much, since my characters sometimes are either party face or party intimidator. I can cover both roles with just one skill that way.


Part of the problem a fighter has is a lack of out of combat options. Personally I would add to the fighters skill list.

Acrobatics, Diplomacy Knowledge (architecture and engineering, geography, nobility), Perception,

That would give the fighter around 14 odd skills give or take and you could bump the fighter up to 3 or 4 skill points a level and let it have out of comabt options, and let it semi function as a swashbuckler type fighter as well without having to multiclass as a rogue.

Perception IMHO needs to be a class skill for everyone. SWSE had this and it didn't exactly break the game.Most casses under a condensed list should have 3/4/5/6 skill points a level with maybe a handful on 2 (Wizard, Cleric, maybe Paladin but you could probably give them 3).

The classes that get 5/6 skill points a level and the better skill lists (Rogue, Monk, Bard etc) still beat everyone else. 3.0-PF skills are kinda all or nohting for more than a few classes. SWSE skill ponits by comparson.

Soldier 3 (read fighter)
Scout 5 (Rogue/Ranger type)
Noble 6 (Bard type)
Scoundral 4 (Rogue needed 5)
Jedi 2 (needed 3, soldier made a better Jedi)

PF would still have a few more skills than Saga though and Saga didn't use skill points (more or less the same as 4th ed) so skill training feats were often used by my PCs. Having a soldier tanking around on 5-6 skills once int, human and feats doesn't exactly break the game. "skill monkey" soldier types were usually pilots so they needed pilot, mechanics, use computer, perception and initive as skills (wasn't a fan of initiative as a skill as it was a no brianer skill to take).


The thing about Pathfinder is that I like how they tied together HD per level with BAB, which definitely made things more consistent (cept with the Barbarian who gets 'special treatment' for good reason).

So lets say, for example, we bumped the skill list per level as follows:

8 class skills = 3 skill points per level (Fighter, Barbarian)
10 class skills = 4 skill points per level (Cleric, Paladin)
12 class skills = 5 skill points per level (Magus, Gunslinger)
14 class skills = 6 skill points per level (Monk, Ranger)
16 class skills = 8 skill points per level (Rogue special treatment)

Would that be more effective?

Again, I think the thing to keep in mind is that not every class SHOULD be able to max out all the skills, so I don't mind it if certain classes struggle with skills while others excel.

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