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Skill Focus: What and Why?


Advice


When have you used this feat and what skill and why?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Bluff, for feinting. Almost every rogue character I have that gets to around 12th level...

Plus Use Magic Device for low-Charisma characters.


This skill is 'great' for upping a Bards social abilities(among others) through versatile performance. Just skill focus the performance type in question and you're golden.

That said, I still have yet to properly fathom how a bard manages converting their ability to sing into, "I see through your lies fool, now lets see how well you perceive mine mwahahaha!"

Dancing as acrobatics and flight management makes sorta sense.


Perception - Because seeing everything is about the most powerful thing as a low lvl character.

UMD - the faster you can get to 20 the better.

Various other skills - usually because it is a pre-req for something.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Pawns Subscriber

Goblin rogue for Skill Focus (Stealth): Dex 16(bought)for Dex of 20, Size +4, Racial +4, Skill Focus +3, Class Skill +3, Trait Bonus +1 (chose trait to give +1 Stealth) for a Stealth of +20 at level 1, =)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Pawns Subscriber

Doh, and 1 rank for +21


I do use it fairly frequently. But mostly when I'm creating NPCs or very special monstrous BBEGs. I've applied it to various skills. It really depends on what I think is lacking in terms of what I need the NPC to be good at, mostly for background or plot reasons.

I guess it's because when I construct a character like that, I tend to be very good with economy of abilities and feats, etc. But I also construct organically, spending skill ranks in ways that accentuate what might have been the character's natural life progression. That might leave me in the end with some skill or skill-reliant feature that needs boosting for plot reasons, but also with an extra feat slot left over. So the two problems solve themselves.

I guess it's just a matter of personal style.


Every Rogue I make I feel it is their job to find traps and disable them. So find and disable device are two feats I always get, and if I get to the higher levels I top it off with Alertness and Deft Hands. Drives my GMs insane as I seem to JUST destroy all secrets, including ambushes.

"Oh never mind me, I have made a DC 40 check on perception with a 5 roll, at level 10; oh and that is automatic free action for traps."


I'm currently playing in Skull & Shackles as a Half-Elf Rogue.

I took Skill Focus (Perception) to help with trap-spotting and to make sure i could see far away. Then later on at 5th-level i got Skill Focus (Profession: Sailor) to increase my skill at piloting my ship.

I've also taken Skill Focus for Use Magic Device and Disable Device as a Rogue.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
When have you used this feat and what skill and why?

Intimidate.

Used for builds which employ Cornugon Smash and especially Dreadful Carnage. Of course, that's only when there's room for Skill Focus AND Untimidating Prowess.

I also use it as pre-requisites for Eldritch Heritage feats.


Knowledge _____ -> Eldritch heritage, Arcane.


I've taken Diplomacy because I was a Paladin who really wanted to avoid combat if possible, and was all about converting evil to good (or at least neutral) as much as possible. That same Paladin (of Shelyn) also took it in Perform (Dance). Fit her character.


Perception.

I have an empyreal sorcerer character with a +43 Perception modifier and the Eagle Eyes feat. That means, under normal conditions, he can hear a bow string being drawn from nearly 250 feet away without even needing to roll a check. If he rolls, on average, he will hear it from nearly 350 feet away.

He can hear the details of a conversation from over 250 feet distant, while sleeping behind a closed door, surrounded by party goers (severe conditions), and having lucid dreams (distracted), without needing to roll the dice.

Obviously, not much gets past his notice. Ever.


Intimidate
Stealth
Perception

I have made a character and used the feat twice.....


Acrobatics on a Lorewarden fighter because I love crushing critical hits with a skill check.


spellcraft. At least in an evil party. The guy who can identify all the magic items will rule any party where helping each other is a rare and jealously guarded commodity, rather than the norm.


Threeshades wrote:
spellcraft. At least in an evil party. The guy who can identify all the magic items will rule any party where helping each other is a rare and jealously guarded commodity, rather than the norm.

and get backstabed :p


Ravingdork wrote:

Perception.

I have an empyreal sorcerer character with a +43 Perception modifier and the Eagle Eyes feat. That means, under normal conditions, he can hear a bow string being drawn from nearly 250 feet away without even needing to roll a check. If he rolls, on average, he will hear it from nearly 350 feet away.

He can hear the details of a conversation from over 250 feet distant, while sleeping behind a closed door, surrounded by party goers (severe conditions), and having lucid dreams (distracted), without needing to roll the dice.

Obviously, not much gets past his notice. Ever.

Must be hard for him to fall asleep. Or does he have one of those sensory-deprivation tanks like Daredevil?

Taldor

I just took Skill Focus (Sense Motive) with my social-rogue, because Sense Motive is actually pretty tough to raise compared to many of the other skills I care about. I can't cast perceive cues unless it's from a scroll or wand, and the Sense Motive-boosting items are for the most part quite expensive, because of their additional effects beyond a +5 competence bonus to Sense Motive, additional effects I don't really care about.

-Matt

Andoran

I can see skill focus being useful in a few ways.

First, obviously, to push one of your scores "over the top." Have fun removing an element of challenge from your game, lol.

Second, adding a boost to otherwise non-central skills that your character would like to use, and maybe have some ranks in, but not burn points on every level (some skills work just fine at 10 ranks; experiment and pay attention to your campaign style.)

Third, as an element of flavor, similar to Bruunwald's suggestion. To rationalize it, you could explain it as a talent of your character that he never really devoted himself to mastering, but is still gifted in. Could come in handy at times when just a successful, though not outstanding, check would work, or would give the DM enough storytelling meat to make something interesting happen. This is my preferred application of skill focus.


I have chosen it twice. Once with intimidate for a halfling fighter, and the second with profession lumberjack for another fighter. Granted, the second fighter was not altogether a serious character. His name was Lincoln Logg. Fortunately, the DM let me have some fun by using my profession skill in place of some other skills when we came across a lumberjack camp.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Both Perception and Stealth on scouty companion-critters. If you have, say, a Summoner with a reduced-power eidolon [such as the Broodmaster or Master Summoner], you can tack on the Skilled evolution for those two skills and end up with a virtual ninja companion at 10th level. Keep the critter Small or smaller for the size bonus to Stealth, and you're golden.

As long as you're not using the little guy for combat, why not make him the best little scout he can be? Add Scent and Tremorsense or Blindsense, and you have one heck of an alarm system.


only for eldritch heritage. i always think about it but then realize there is a better feat to take to make my character more effective at whatever it is he does.

but i MIGHT take it on my rogue for a +6 bonus to sleight of hand (post lvl 10) when he eventually gets to use sleight of hand as a replacement for CMB checks to disarm people, but he will already be very good at it by then (he already has +19 at level 4 with items)


Stockvillain wrote:

Both Perception and Stealth on scouty companion-critters. If you have, say, a Summoner with a reduced-power eidolon [such as the Broodmaster or Master Summoner], you can tack on the Skilled evolution for those two skills and end up with a virtual ninja companion at 10th level. Keep the critter Small or smaller for the size bonus to Stealth, and you're golden.

As long as you're not using the little guy for combat, why not make him the best little scout he can be? Add Scent and Tremorsense or Blindsense, and you have one heck of an alarm system.

Sadly, it vanishes when you sleep :/

Grand Lodge

I can see as many uses for this feat as there are character concepts. I've only ever used it twice. Once on a fighter for acrobatics. I pretended it made acrobatics a class skill, with an added bonus once I hit 10 ranks. The other time was on an item crafting wizard for spellcraft. I wanted to make anything regardless of how many spells it required that I didn't or couldn't know.


The two most useful skills in the game are perception and use magic device. They are really about the only two that are worth boosting with a feat unless you have some very specific concept in mind and really want to pump up some other skill for that character. In that case I don't think you would be asking the question of when it would be used and why.

Personally the only time I have ever used a feat for skill focus was for Use Magic Device.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

The two most useful skills in the game are perception and use magic device. They are really about the only two that are worth boosting with a feat unless you have some very specific concept in mind and really want to pump up some other skill for that character. In that case I don't think you would be asking the question of when it would be used and why.

Personally the only time I have ever used a feat for skill focus was for Use Magic Device.

I seriously think people underestimate feats like Cornugon Smash and Dreadful Carnage - a free action to inflict the Shaken condition with every attack... the penalty to saves alone is worth it.

Grand Lodge

Acrobatics and UMD are my top uses for this feat.

Acrobatics because now acrobatics isn't a given anymore (which is a GOOD thing) so I take this for characters that want to do this.

UMD because...well it's UMD. Being able to use giantform 2 scrolls as a fighter kicks ass.


a rogue with use magic device can use scrolls and wands ect, being able to cast up to 6th lv spells is pretty good imo. give or take a lv or two

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