Time to Break Your Chains!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Over a year ago, I went to talk to Erik about a book idea I had. The pitch was simple: "Let us do a book filled with whatever crazy ideas we have floating around in our heads". He said "no". I said, "Wait though, allow me to explain, our crazy ideas might make the game better." He said "tell me more", and Pathfinder Unchained was born.

This book is just about to be released and it is time for us to give you a good idea of the crazy ideas you will find inside. Pathfinder Unchained is a book full of rules tweaks and alternate systems you can use to mod your game, changing the way it plays. While we suspect that everyone will find their own favorite rules subsystem, just about everyone take a long look through Chapter 1, detailing alternate versions of the barbarian, monk, rogue, and summoner. So to kick off our previews, I've asked designer Mark Seifter to give you some of the juiciest tidbits about the Unchained variant classes!

Barbarian: From a game-balance perspective, the original barbarian serves her role admirably, but her mechanics are math-intensive, forcing you to recalculate numerous values once she enters rage and keep track of a bevy of once per rage abilities. Worst of all, she's the most likely character of all to die in a fight due to the way that ending rage lowers her current hit points. The unchained barbarian keeps the adrenaline-pumping fun of her former self but significantly simplifies the gameplay by adjusting the final mechanics instead of the stats themselves. For example, she gains temporary hit points instead of raising and later decreasing her current and maximum health (woo, no more dying at the end of rage!). Finally, she gains stronger versions of some of the mechanically weakest rage powers like raging climber (now you get an actual Climb speed instead of a small bonus!).


Illustration by Michael J. Penn

Monk: The original monk has many disparate abilities. While these abilities may be useful, they don't always synergize, and they are extremely inflexible. The unchained monk loosens up, gaining ki powers that allow you to customize your monk to fit your vision, whether it be a kung fu genius or wuxia mystic (my favorites are the ones like ki visions that let you gain divination powers that affect the narrative out of combat!). The unchained monk also has a full base attack bonus, an all-new flurry of blows, and some martial arts style strikes that help him reach his true potential (my favorite is flying kick, which lets you perform a leaping kick out to a distance equal to your extra monk movement speed once per flurry—mobile combatant for the win!).

Rogue: The original rogue has plenty of skill points and a damage increase in the form of sneak attack, but she needed a way to rule her own niche, especially with all the other classes that have things like big skill bonuses and accuracy boosts. The unchained rogue has a powerful debilitation ability that dramatically alters her ability to hit or dodge her foe, rogue's edge, which allows her to do unique things with her favorite skills (figure out surface thoughts with Sense Motive, Bluff so well you bypass truth-telling magic, use Disable Device reactively to protect yourself from a triggered trap, and much more!), and a significant boost to some of her rogue talents (For instance, minor magic? Yeah, you get that cantrip at-will). She also gets Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat and the ability to add her Dexterity to weapon damage!

Summoner: The original summoner has plenty of innovative features, but he also lacks focus and theme. As Jason was fond of describing it "You just have this amorphous blob with ten tentacles and two butts." The unchained summoner gains an eidolon that fits among existing outsiders, gaining additional abilities but also focus and theme (and if you want ten tentacles and two butts, we've still got that—go protean all the way my friend!). Some of these outsiders gain some pretty juicy abilities, like the angel's protective aura (that double strength magic circle against evil/lesser globe combo) or constant true seeing. Additionally, he possesses the spell list originally intended for the summoner.

So there you have it. We are confident that some of these classes will find a home at your game table, even if the Eidolon no longer has two butts. Tune in next week when we move on to look at some of the exciting new options in the Skills and Feats chapter!

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Balazar Barbarians Iconics Michael J. Penn Monks Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Rogues Summoners
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Shadow Lodge

The Rot Grub wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
I just sub'd so I could get the PDF asap :)

Don't hold your breath.

:(
I hope you get lucky, but, if you just subscribed, you will actually probably not get it until a few weeks after its actually available for purchase. I signed up for the Giants AP a month or two before it was out, and I am still waiting for part 1 that was out last month sometime.

By any chance is it bundled with another order of yours? That's what caused me to get a delay on one of my subscriptions once.

In your orders, if you de-link from other orders, I think that moves up the delivery date (both the PDF and the shipping date). It does mean you are paying for shipping for each order though.

No, its because if you jump on the subscription late, Paizo has already accounted for a certain number of early books being shipped, and everyone after that point is given a number. Its not until after the warehouse gets there next stock do those people begin to get their subscriptions, and you do not get your PDF until the physical book ships to you.

Giantslayer was additionally held up by some sort of local strike, I think. Not even sure that's over, but essentially parts 1 and 2 will ship together.

Because of this, Paizo automatically bunched them together for everyone. I can request it changed, but it will not speed anything up.

And I'm not saying don't do it. I'm saying that if you subscribed just to get this book early, you are probably going to be disappointed on that front.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
1) We heard back at GenCon and in various other interviews that an attempt was made at keeping the Unchained classes compatible with as many of those class's existing classes as possible. What's the status on this; does the Unchained Classes Chapter talk about how these classes interact with archetypes?

It does. (And that's about all we're going to say on that topic for the moment!)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
1) We heard back at GenCon and in various other interviews that an attempt was made at keeping the Unchained classes compatible with as many of those class's existing classes as possible. What's the status on this; does the Unchained Classes Chapter talk about how these classes interact with archetypes?
It does. (And that's about all we're going to say on that topic for the moment!)

Awesome! Glad to know that hopefully such questions should be addressed

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
1) We heard back at GenCon and in various other interviews that an attempt was made at keeping the Unchained classes compatible with as many of those class's existing classes as possible. What's the status on this; does the Unchained Classes Chapter talk about how these classes interact with archetypes?
It does. (And that's about all we're going to say on that topic for the moment!)

You tease! :-P


I'm pretty sure the new rage mechanics simply give a +x Morale bonus on attack and damage rolls, and give x times your level temporary hit points.

That way, rather than actually rebuilding your ability scores when you rage, you only get combat bonuses not unlike the other classes damage abilities like favored enemy or inspire courage.

I'm interested to see the summoner as a full caster, with it's eidolon nerfed.

AS For the rogue, if he doesn't get full BAB or inquisitor esque bonuses to hit, then a lot of his buffs won't matter.
If the new rogue tricks allow the rogue and only the rogue to use stealth to be treated as invisible so he can sneak and get his +2, then good. I am glad that either by reading one of my rogue rants or by their own discovery, they are giving the rogue talent finesse the additional effect of damage. Best possible thing would be to let them get a talent at first level.


Oh man, that would be a pretty crappy change. They'd no longer be able to benefit from things like heroism, though rage cycling would provide a refreshing shield of temporary hitpoints. They'd lose a bunch of offense and have slightly more hitpoints per fight, and complexity wouldn't really change at all.


It doesn't say anywhere that the unchained Summoner will be a full caster. Where are you getting this idea from master marshmallow?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is a full caster with a nerfed Eidolon. It's a Wizard with a Figment Familiar.


I didn't say it was, I said I was interested in seeing one. Apologies for the lack of clarity.

And barbarians natural damage out put wouldn't change. Instead of getting +4 Morale bonus to STR, he would instead just gain +2 on attack and damage rolls, which maths out the same, barring abuse from a courageous weapon.


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

OMG

Eric the half a bee eidolon!
<makes notes>
** spoiler omitted **

That's pretty cool!


master_marshmallow wrote:

I didn't say it was, I said I was interested in seeing one. Apologies for the lack of clarity.

And barbarians natural damage out put wouldn't change. Instead of getting +4 Morale bonus to STR, he would instead just gain +2 on attack and damage rolls, which maths out the same, barring abuse from a courageous weapon.

It actually doesn't.

+4 Str often maths to +3 damage, not +2.

Not to mention the previously mentioned problems of not benefiting from Good Hope or Heroism any more.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CalebTGordan wrote:
I have money just waiting to be taken.

Seconded.

Shut up and take my money


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dustin Ashe wrote:

The problem with a summoner in the hands of a new player is that they take 1 hour to level up and 10 minutes to take their turn in combat.

Okay, that was my action. Now my eidolon. *5 minutes later* Okay, now my summoned creatures...

And that is where you need to be creative.

In my games, I let the Summoner know this and say,"Hey, when you summon things beyond your Eidolon, can the other players take control of how those summons attack?" (And I say beyond Eidolon cause the time it takes to take a turn and a companion's turn is no different than animal companions and special mounts)

For example, the Summoner gives his summoned monsters an order, now hand those creatures over to the other players to control how they go about completing that order.

Problem solved. Everyone got enjoyment out of that.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Just curious... What are some souped-up rogue skills people would like to see? Super-acrobatics seems like it could be a good fit.

Not that I'm expecting all of these, but a few I'd like to see would be...

Ability to run up walls and across water with Acrobatics checks.
Ability to move something like half the rogue's speed as a swift action with Acrobatics checks.
Ability to identify magic items with Appraise checks.
Ability to trick someone into doing something ala command with Bluff checks, possibly only once per creature per encounter.
Ability to gain a climb speed and climb on ceilings with Climb checks.
Ability to destroy walls, or even weapons and armor with Disable Device checks.
Ability to restore hit points and cure ability damage with Heal checks.
Ability to gain bonuses on attack rolls and damage with appropriate Knowledge checks.
Ability to gain more detailed information on what someone is thinking with Sense Motive checks, ala detect thoughts.
Ability to get an insight or dodge bonus to AC against a single target with Sense Motive checks.
Ability to hit touch AC with a single attack as a standard action with Sleight of Hand checks.
Ability to steal items from enemies in combat with Sleight of Hand checks.
Ability to beat scent, blindsense, and other senses with Stealth checks.
Ability to boost the caster level and DCs of magic items with Use Magic Device checks.

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Luthorne wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Just curious... What are some souped-up rogue skills people would like to see? Super-acrobatics seems like it could be a good fit.

Not that I'm expecting all of these, but a few I'd like to see would be...

Ability to run up walls and across water with Acrobatics checks.
Ability to move something like half the rogue's speed as a swift action with Acrobatics checks.
Ability to identify magic items with Appraise checks.
Ability to trick someone into doing something ala command with Bluff checks, possibly only once per creature per encounter.
Ability to gain a climb speed and climb on ceilings with Climb checks.
Ability to destroy walls, or even weapons and armor with Disable Device checks.
Ability to restore hit points and cure ability damage with Heal checks.
Ability to gain bonuses on attack rolls and damage with appropriate Knowledge checks.
Ability to gain more detailed information on what someone is thinking with Sense Motive checks, ala detect thoughts.
Ability to get an insight or dodge bonus to AC against a single target with Sense Motive checks.
Ability to hit touch AC with a single attack as a standard action with Sleight of Hand checks.
Ability to steal items from enemies in combat with Sleight of Hand checks.
Ability to beat scent, blindsense, and other senses with Stealth checks.
Ability to boost the caster level and DCs of magic items with Use Magic Device checks.

At least one of these is already possible for all characters with the skills as presented in the Core Rulebook.

At least one of these is possible for a powerful enough Unchained rogue.

But I won't say for sure that they aren't the same one...at least not yet!


Why didn't they just introduce Skill Tricks? That's what these Rogue's Edge skills sound like. Obviously don't call it Skill Trick as it is copyrighted by WotC but keep the mechanic the same and call it something else.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Because the opportunity to make jokes abut how Rogues are the "edgy" class was too good to pass up, most likely.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Luthorne wrote:

Ability to identify magic items with Appraise checks.

Ability to restore hit points and cure ability damage with Heal checks.

These two are both at least semi-doable now. The hit points part is explicitly achievable with the basic skill, no rogue fanciness needed.


Shisumo wrote:
Luthorne wrote:

Ability to identify magic items with Appraise checks.

Ability to restore hit points and cure ability damage with Heal checks.
These two are both at least semi-doable now. The hit points part is explicitly achievable with the basic skill, no rogue fanciness needed.

Healing hitpoints or ability damage with Heal is not possible to any degree that's useful in an adventuring context. It's great for doctors healing NPCs over long periods of time, but adventurers need a way to recover from serious wounds in (at the most) minutes.


Shisumo wrote:
Luthorne wrote:

Ability to identify magic items with Appraise checks.

Ability to restore hit points and cure ability damage with Heal checks.
These two are both at least semi-doable now. The hit points part is explicitly achievable with the basic skill, no rogue fanciness needed.

Ah yes, because being able to heal 1 HP using 1 hour of time and expending a consumable item is definitely worth the points in Heal.


Rynjin wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

I didn't say it was, I said I was interested in seeing one. Apologies for the lack of clarity.

And barbarians natural damage out put wouldn't change. Instead of getting +4 Morale bonus to STR, he would instead just gain +2 on attack and damage rolls, which maths out the same, barring abuse from a courageous weapon.

It actually doesn't.

+4 Str often maths to +3 damage, not +2.

Not to mention the previously mentioned problems of not benefiting from Good Hope or Heroism any more.

Of course I understand the difference, naturally the previous class remains superior. The point was to make the class easier to play, and saying you get +2 to rolls is a lot easier than rebuilding your stats then recalculating your damage. For this reason, I believe the barbarian will be the least used of the unchained classes, with the rogue literally replacing itself along with the monk.

The summoner I think will get mixed responses. I guess we'll have to see on that one.


You can make a class easier to play without weakening it needlessly.

Simply making it an untyped bonus that is multiplied by 1.5 when wielding a 2-H weapon keeps the math the same.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reading the blog makes me want to get this as soon as it comes out but the rational part of me is saying wait about a year or so because before I buy it I want to know two things

1. How much of the book will be PFS legal
2. How badly the new monk will be nerfed a year from now


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
Luthorne wrote:

Ability to identify magic items with Appraise checks.

Ability to restore hit points and cure ability damage with Heal checks.
These two are both at least semi-doable now. The hit points part is explicitly achievable with the basic skill, no rogue fanciness needed.

Appraise lets you tell if it is magic, but not what the actual properties are, currently.

And yes, I suppose I should have specified, 'can heal a reasonable amount of hit points more than once a day'.


Someone somewhere (don't remember if it was comments on a blog, thread or on a Facebook group etc) claimed that the Unchained Rogue was announced as PFS legal...

Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

There is no confirmation of anything in Unchained being PFS legal yet.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Here's a link to what Mike and I have said about this book's role in Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Luthorne wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Just curious... What are some souped-up rogue skills people would like to see? Super-acrobatics seems like it could be a good fit.

Not that I'm expecting all of these, but a few I'd like to see would be...

Ability to run up walls and across water with Acrobatics checks.
Ability to move something like half the rogue's speed as a swift action with Acrobatics checks.
Ability to identify magic items with Appraise checks.
Ability to trick someone into doing something ala command with Bluff checks, possibly only once per creature per encounter.
Ability to gain a climb speed and climb on ceilings with Climb checks.
Ability to destroy walls, or even weapons and armor with Disable Device checks.
Ability to restore hit points and cure ability damage with Heal checks.
Ability to gain bonuses on attack rolls and damage with appropriate Knowledge checks.
Ability to gain more detailed information on what someone is thinking with Sense Motive checks, ala detect thoughts.
Ability to get an insight or dodge bonus to AC against a single target with Sense Motive checks.
Ability to hit touch AC with a single attack as a standard action with Sleight of Hand checks.
Ability to steal items from enemies in combat with Sleight of Hand checks.
Ability to beat scent, blindsense, and other senses with Stealth checks.
Ability to boost the caster level and DCs of magic items with Use Magic Device checks.

I'd definitely like to see a skill-based healer class option, getting more out of the Heal skill than another person (just as the Rogue can get more out of Disable Device and Perception).

Handle Animal, Use Magic Device, Diplomacy, Craft, etc. all have potential for a class built around enhanced skill options.

Some have already been toyed with, from as earlier as 1st edition with a 'Blacksmith' class in Dragon magazine, to as relatively recently as 3rd edition, with the Archivist (which had increased applications for Knowledge skills).


Did Paizo say that the Barbarian's new bonuses to combat stats will be Morale typed bonuses? If not then maybe they'll be untyped bonuses or bonuses of some new type like a "rage bonus".

I was thinking about the new Monk a little and decided that Paizo probably would have kept the 1st and 2nd level bonus feats to help make the new class backwards compatible with as many PC builds as possible. On the other hand, part of the buzz on Unchained was that it wouldn't necessarily be backwards compatible. I guess I won't know what's up for sure until the book hits the shelves though. I'm interested in trying the new rules if they can fit my existing PCs. If not it might take literally a year or two before I'm playing a new PC.

Skill based healing might work best in out of combat situations, helping to replace the "Wand Tax" for wands of CLW. This doesn't seem like a big deal at this point, but it might be a nice touch.


I wonder if Shadow Strike will be given to the rogue so human rogues can shank people in dark alleys without spending a feat.

Also a rather random question that probably won't be able to be answered until after the book is out but...
with the new eidolon base forms being outsiders instead of random hodgepodge, what would Balazar's (iconic summoner) eidolon based on? Protean?


Kage_no_Oukami wrote:

I wonder if Shadow Strike will be given to the rogue so human rogues can shank people in dark alleys without spending a feat.

Also a rather random question that probably won't be able to be answered until after the book is out but...
with the new eidolon base forms being outsiders instead of random hodgepodge, what would Balazar's (iconic summoner) eidolon based on? Protean?

Protean


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I got four butts:
I got four buts but you can't deny
My C.M.B. is in the sky
when six swords swirl and my summie poppin haste
I ground em into paste
That boss' done
Ain't you had enough?
'Cause I picked my stuff without the fluff

Took the best without caring
That the lack of a theme was glaring
oh maybe I wana hit with claw
and make em whip ya

My players tried to warn me
spare parts lot you got
make em so phony


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looks nice. I just hope that the unchained Monk does not need to be Lawful Something. If the class includes ways to focus yourself mostly on martial arts, then the alignment restriction is unneeded.

And before anybody comes with the usual "you need to be disciplined to be a Monk", you also need to be disciplined to be a Wizard, but they don't get the holdover alignment restriction.

Anyway, looking forward to this book.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Did wizards ever have an alignment restriction?
That would be funny actually.
Lawful wizards, neutral arcanists, chaotic sorcerers.

Scarab Sages

Okay. Sold! This looks like it will be fun to examine and try out the twists and changes offered.

Scarab Sages

Hayato Ken wrote:

Did wizards ever have an alignment restriction?

That would be funny actually.
Lawful wizards, neutral arcanists, chaotic sorcerers.

Not that I recall, but the training background published in some editions suggested to me and my friends alignment leanings - predicated on the notion that bookishness and self-discipline tends to favour personalities with lawful values, I suppose stemming from an assumption that values and temperment correlate? Thus sorcerous power was linked to emotion, and therefore chaotic values. YMMV

While I would not want official alignment restrictions, I think a brewed up society or dominion where all wizards are lawful, arcanists neutral, and sorcerers chaotic, has fun RP potential - especially for a PC who breaks the mold/violates the prevailing law/customs...


Hmmm...was kinda hoping for a revision of the Fighter class but revisions of the Barbarian, Rogue, and Summoner are always welcome. ^_^


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The Fighter is supposedly getting it's revision by changes in the mechanics that influence the Fighter. That is the claim I'm most tentative about, to be honest; no change in combat mechanics is going to make the Fighter more capable of participating out of combat.


Feats will be the help for Fighters, from what I have been led to believe.

Contributor

GM Hills wrote:
Feats will be the help for Fighters, from what I have been led to believe.

In various interviews and from other sources, its been stated that the book will have something called a "fatigue pool," which allows martial characters to spend "fatigue points" to somehow get more from their feats. The pool will recharge by taking a break between combats, giving the party the choice of "burn on before our buffs wear out" and "give me a second to replenish my fatigue points.

I believe it was said that Unchained will include rules that involve giving this ability to the fighter at no cost, whereas other classes will be required to spend feat resource(s) on it.


Arachnofiend wrote:
The Fighter is supposedly getting it's revision by changes in the mechanics that influence the Fighter. That is the claim I'm most tentative about, to be honest; no change in combat mechanics is going to make the Fighter more capable of participating out of combat.

The poor fighter, definitely needs a reworking to compete with the old and new classes.

However, the barbarian, rogue, monk and summoner classes also needed reworking, so it's a case of one miracle at a time.

Looking forward to seeing the fine details of Pathfinder Unchained.


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I have never, before this product was announced, heard anyone suggest the Barbarian needed reworking.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
I have never, before this product was announced, heard anyone suggest the Barbarian needed reworking.

I have. Mostly in the context of rage-cycling being a really weird thing. And I've certainly felt how cumbersome it can be to math everything out when I've had new players go for Barbarian or Bloodrager.


I'm pre-ordering. Gambling that Paizo has learned from the disappointment that was the ACG, and is ready to implement ideas (co-?)generated from these very threads (even if there is a signal to population size disproportion) proving once again that this company actually listens to it's fan base. Which, companies don't.

Fighter still needs 4 skill points and a good Will save though. Stamina pool or no stamina pool. Just sayin'...


QuidEst wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
I have never, before this product was announced, heard anyone suggest the Barbarian needed reworking.
I have. Mostly in the context of rage-cycling being a really weird thing. And I've certainly felt how cumbersome it can be to math everything out when I've had new players go for Barbarian or Bloodrager.

Why cant they just have a sheet of paper with raged stats or unraged stats in place before the game starts. As for rage cycling it is a class feature at higher levels.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
rainzax wrote:
Fighter still needs 4 skill points and a good Will save though. Stamina pool or no stamina pool. Just sayin'...

While we're at it, let's just give everybody an extra two skill points. Lol.

Actually, that's exactly what they're doing, just that those extra two cant be "adventuring" skills. Whatever those are. I'm hoping face skills don't count as adventuring skills though. I'd like to see a fighter actually able to diplomacy.


I am thinking the extra skills would have to go into crafting, profession or perform. Those are mostly what people calls "background" skills.

Dark Archive

Lanitril wrote:
While we're at it, let's just give everybody an extra two skill points. Lol.

I don't really think the folk who already have 4, 6 or 8 skill points really need any more than that. It's just the Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Sorcerer, etc. with their 2 skill points per level that seem to be falling short.

It was even more off-kilter in 3.X, where a Cleric with the Trickery Domain gained three additional class skills, which he'd never be able to use anyway...

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
Lanitril wrote:
While we're at it, let's just give everybody an extra two skill points. Lol.

I don't really think the folk who already have 4, 6 or 8 skill points really need any more than that. It's just the Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Sorcerer, etc. with their 2 skill points per level that seem to be falling short.

It was even more off-kilter in 3.X, where a Cleric with the Trickery Domain gained three additional class skills, which he'd never be able to use anyway...

Personally, I think that skill point progressions should mirror Hit Die progressions. 6 (cleric/fighter/etc) is lowest, 12 (rogue) is highest.

Contributor

wraithstrike wrote:
I am thinking the extra skills would have to go into crafting, profession or perform. Those are mostly what people calls "background" skills.

Except, you know, its not really fair when the bard is using those "extra, non-combat skills" to do combat things via versatile performance.

If there ever was a class that did not need help with skills, it is the bard.

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