Just thought I would give a quick update as I have been rather quiet for the past week or so. Work on release 3 is proceeding apace and it has kept me from engaging in many discussions here. I have been reading threads, however, good stuff across the board.
Release 3 will hopefully be ready next week. Keep your eyes peeled.
More to come soon.
It is now closing on the end of the week, any more information?
One thing that I saw a lot of as a DM and a Player is the regular choice of rogue for 1st level to get all the skill points. By making that choice a person had to give up his max hit points at 1st level as a trade off. Now with the current system a person does not get skill points x 4, so characters will take their high hit point classes first for extra hit points, or whatever class feature they want to start with. Then take their rogue level getting effectively the same skill level as they would have had in the 3.5 SRD system without a trade off.
I am of the opinion that you get a +1 to all skills at those dead levels you mention. It equates to a +5 total through the course of a characters career and gets rid of a major bone of contention for me with the rank system. 20th level characters who can't do basic adventuring things. (Ie. Climb, Jump(Acrobatics), Swim, and the like)
I agree with much of what people have said about the bard, but I do not think they need a wholesale rewrite. A few minor tweaks would make a lot of sense and make the Bard a much better class.
1) First, make their perform checks = to class level + 3 + Charisma modifier. I hate that they have to spend a skill to get their basic bardic abilities - I feel the same way about ranger and survival.
2) Next allow their inspire courage, competence, greatness, and heroism to be just that. Inspirations that are in effect whenever the bard is nearby. Similar to the Marshall class the bard chooses one of the inspirations to have going at any one time and he can act normally while that inspiration is in effect. All of these inspirations would last 5 rounds after the bard switches and it takes a standard action to change during combat.
3) Next give them songs that they can play, sing, recite, whatever in addition to their inspirations. Add a couple of songs that have appeared as feats in various books, but have fascinate, suggestion, freedom, and mass suggestion at least. They can play these songs 1 time per day per level of the bard. These songs last for a number of rounds equal to the time the bard plays + 5 rounds thereafter.
4) Bards will get d8's so this is a mute point.
5) Add one or two sonic based spells per level that a bard can do damage with. Sound Burst as a 2nd level spell just doesn't cut it.
6) Finally get rid of the 0 spells per day and add 1 to each level and 1 known to each level as well.
Some of these things have been mentioned and people may recognize some from games they have played, but combined I think it would be a fix that would bring it in line with other 3.5 classes. How Pathfinder would tweak this I do not know.