Favored Class Bonus


Races & Classes


First off, I like the idea of changing the favored class bonuses. The 3.5 version seems a little arcane, adds a bunch of book work and might not even benefit you depending on how much multi-classing you plan on doing. One simple universal bonus each level seems like a more elegant and simple solution. I'm just not sold on the 1 HP bonus. I think that a 1 skill point bonus might be better. First off, an extra skill point is universally useful regardless of class. Sure, so is a hit point but I think that a skill point makes more sense in light of what is being represented. The time spent by others developing the basic abilities for a class that comes naturally to your race can be used to build other skills.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I agree with You 100%. In fact, in another post floating around on here, I too recommended that the Favored Class bonus take the form of +1 Skill Point.

I think it is a bit more believable for a race renouned for a particular class to have extra insight and training rather than being extra beefy — particularly if the favored class is not a martial class.


Seconded.

I dig it.


Sel Carim wrote:
First off, I like the idea of changing the favored class bonuses. The 3.5 version seems a little "arcane",..

Perhaps the word you should be using is "archaic".

In another thread on this very same subject, I suggested that favored class instead give access to special favored class feats. Not bonus feats, just the option to learn the feats.


I totally agree with the extra skill point(s). Makes much more sense. How many do you think would be "equivalent" to the extra HP? One or more?


Count me in.


Since humans get Favoured Class:Any, should they still get there extra skill point a level?

Scarab Sages

I agree. +1 skill point sounds better than +1 hp for favored class levels. Most characters could really use more skill points. I think the human's extra skill point would reflect his versatility with regard to favored class, so I wouldn't add the bonus twice.

BTW, archaic means old, arcane means mysterious, so the OP is right.

Scarab Sages

I am starting to agree with the idea of deleting favorite classes altogether. I don't want to place an inherent penalty on someone wanting to play a dwarven rogue, or a gnomish wizard (illusionist), or an elven fighter (all of which have been around since 1E). And it is a penalty, since making a rogue a halfling rather than a dwarf results in a benefit (minor though it now is).


player42 wrote:

I agree. +1 skill point sounds better than +1 hp for favored class levels. Most characters could really use more skill points. I think the human's extra skill point would reflect his versatility with regard to favored class, so I wouldn't add the bonus twice.

BTW, archaic means old, arcane means mysterious, so the OP is right.

That would eliminate the humans key ability and knock them down to the worst race, again instilling a penalty for not playing an optimal race. Thus no one will play a human, ever. It needs to be for everyone.

Count me in as well with this +1 skill point idea.

Liberty's Edge

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

I like the idea of the skill point bonus, but I also like the hit point. In Pathfinder's already clear tradition of such, I'd suggest both: let the player choose which benefit applies. That way, high-Int, low-Con elf wizards can get their bonus hit points, but average-Int human fighters can get all those skill points we all really think they deserve.


Why not both?

The humans bonus skill stack with favored class bonus skill, it's my opinion.

Sorry for my english


I still think an XP bonus every time you take a level in your FavCla might be a good one.

Well, anything might be better than +1 HP!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

We implemented the +1 skill point idea in our current Pathfinder campaign.

Players loved it, and it felt so much more appropriate than "you're level 4, you get +4 hit points". It let our underachiever fighter (int 9) take profession(butcher) AND profession(cook).


MisterSlanky wrote:

We implemented the +1 skill point idea in our current Pathfinder campaign.

Players loved it, and it felt so much more appropriate than "you're level 4, you get +4 hit points". It let our underachiever fighter (int 9) take profession(butcher) AND profession(cook).

I really like the +1 skill point for favoured classes idea for exactly that reason. I'll probably be doing the same in my home game too. It makes Favoured Classes a feature of the class, balanced out with a restriction and a benefit.

Chobbly

Shadow Lodge

quest-master wrote:
I suggested that favored class instead give access to special favored class feats. Not bonus feats, just the option to learn the feats.

My thought is very similar to yours. I feel favored class benefits should relate to the class not to the characters generic stats. Thus I'm not a fan of either +1HP or +1 Skill point.

Either a specific class related bonus feat (For example: halfling rogues get weapon finesse as a bonus feat at 1st level) or a non-feat class benefit which is unique to the race.

-- Dennis


In my heart of hearts I would like to see conditional racial abilities that activate if they take their favored class. The whole idea behind favored classes is that once a certain race and certain class come together, that there's a certain awesome synergy from the two--I think a special power derived from that would be a lot of fun, and a bit more colorful that a +1 anything. I fully admit though that it's not a very subtle change.

That said, the idea of extra HP from a favored class makes very little sense. The idea of extra skill points suggests that certain races are able to get "a little extra" out of leveling up as their specialty class. I can really see that.


I am glad so many people like the +1 skill point per level idea. :)


When I run a playtest, I am going to offer both. I think this would be a better way to make up for giving up Prestige classes.


I've wondered at the purpose behind the favored class bonus. I figure it must serve one of two purposes. The first is to encourage classic archetypes (or, perhaps, stereotypes). If so, then I don't like the idea of a bonus at all, but if one is to be given, then 1hp seems as good as any other bonus. The second purpose I can think of is to either encourage folks to stick with a base class and/or to not go on massive multi-classing sprees solely to gain more power. Now, if it's the second, then I'm quite for it. However, I think giving a bonus when taking levels in the favored class will always cause the first purpose whether intended or not, and so I wonder if there isn't a different way.

What I came up with was the idea, then, of giving that bonus any time someone takes a level in the same class that they just took a level in. Heck, maybe even make the bonus grow if they do it enough times in a row. This, I think, would reward folks for sticking with a single class and being devoted to it. If that's not the real goal though...well, then please disregard this message. ;)

Kayn


I'd like to add two votes (mine and the guy reading over my shoulder at the game shop last Saturday) for the addition of a skill point at every level of a favored class (if we're still keeping favored classes, anyway).


Grimcleaver wrote:

In my heart of hearts I would like to see conditional racial abilities that activate if they take their favored class. The whole idea behind favored classes is that once a certain race and certain class come together, that there's a certain awesome synergy from the two--I think a special power derived from that would be a lot of fun, and a bit more colorful that a +1 anything. I fully admit though that it's not a very subtle change.

That said, the idea of extra HP from a favored class makes very little sense. The idea of extra skill points suggests that certain races are able to get "a little extra" out of leveling up as their specialty class. I can really see that.

I agree with Grim, favoured classes support the idea that certain races are good at certain things.

I think that a bonus (eg. extra skill point) is better than a penalty (eg. XP penalty) just because it's more positive but also because it reinforces the idea of race/class synergy.

The idea of racial abilities developing as play progresses was kind of reflected in the Racial Paragon classes in Unearthed Arcana. I don't think it was well developed but a good idea non-the-less and may be worth revisiting in some way.

Dark Archive

grotius wrote:

I agree with Grim, favoured classes support the idea that certain races are good at certain things.

I think that a bonus (eg. extra skill point) is better than a penalty (eg. XP penalty) just because it's more positive but also because it reinforces the idea of race/class synergy.

Shouldn't it be the features of the race that reinforce the idea of race/class synergy. The halfling gains a bonus to dex and cha, both (well, one more important than the other, but...) important rogue abilities. Additionally, its small size, as well as its bonus to acrobatics and climb checks all point to rogue. Does a halfling even need a bonus skill point per level to have better race/class synergy than say, a Dwarf, who gains no racial bonuses relevant to rogueing.

By giving the races that already have features pointing towards one class or another, it makes it even harder for a player to play a non-favored class character. I can see a dwarf Rogue who is adventuring to... maybe... return lost items and artifacts to his homeland, just as easily as I can see an off the streets halfling who has a compulsion to steal and a the capabilities to do so. So why does the halfling get more skill points when both races have synergies with the above concepts (The dwarven bonus to appraise and their stonecutting ability).

In short, favored class distinctions by the rules, whether they are bonuses or penalties, restrict player choice, and are the downfall of many an interesting character concept in favor of a stereotypical and often seen concept.


theinuit wrote:
grotius wrote:

I agree with Grim, favoured classes support the idea that certain races are good at certain things.

I think that a bonus (eg. extra skill point) is better than a penalty (eg. XP penalty) just because it's more positive but also because it reinforces the idea of race/class synergy.

Shouldn't it be the features of the race that reinforce the idea of race/class synergy. The halfling gains a bonus to dex and cha, both (well, one more important than the other, but...) important rogue abilities. Additionally, its small size, as well as its bonus to acrobatics and climb checks all point to rogue. Does a halfling even need a bonus skill point per level to have better race/class synergy than say, a Dwarf, who gains no racial bonuses relevant to rogueing.

By giving the races that already have features pointing towards one class or another, it makes it even harder for a player to play a non-favored class character. I can see a dwarf Rogue who is adventuring to... maybe... return lost items and artifacts to his homeland, just as easily as I can see an off the streets halfling who has a compulsion to steal and a the capabilities to do so. So why does the halfling get more skill points when both races have synergies with the above concepts (The dwarven bonus to appraise and their stonecutting ability).

In short, favored class distinctions by the rules, whether they are bonuses or penalties, restrict player choice, and are the downfall of many an interesting character concept in favor of a stereotypical and often seen concept.

I can see what you mean. From a game design point of view it is more elegant if the race features promote the race/class synergy rather than "shoe-horning" players into making character development choices.

Although the ability to combine any two classes without penalty is one of the human race features along with bonus skill & feat. The removal of the favoured class negates a human advantage. It is possible to replace this in game mechanics terms but there is a loss of flavour for human characters who are supposed to be the ultimately adaptable race.

Liberty's Edge

I like the skill point idea, but the real issue we are addressing is the multi-classing rules. The idea behind the 'favored class', is a way to limit endless multi-classing (3.5) or incentivise someone for staying with certain class combinations....(Pathfinder)

I prefer the incentivise method myself, less bookeeping is always a good thing.

but the multi-classing rules need to be addressed in the same breath.

Adding a skill point or a hit point is not enough to keep someone from endless multiclassing..and without the experience penalty.....well you know whats going to happen.

Now in some cases the abilities you gain at levels will keep someone from jumping classes...but others will still look for the sweet spots to take on certain classes.

I dont favor the idea of 'special feats unlocked by taking a class...because that just encourages the 'class dipping, unless you put in a rule saying if you 'change classes' you lose those benefits.

Maybe thats what needs to be emplaced...a special ability each class gives to someone that has it as a favored class, that is lost if multiclassing occurs.

I think Id go that route...

so...

1. +1 skill point at each level a favored class is taken that stays

2. A Special ability that is unlocked when a player takes 'his' favored class, that disappears if he multiclasses.

Examples:

Fighter- Gets a +2 to his CMB for use with Special Manuevers (symbolizes his practice with his weapons, that wouldnt be there if his attention was split with more than one class)

Bard- Gains a +2 bonus on two social (Cha) skills....(symbolizes spending more time in front of people that wouldnt be there if he had to practice in an alternate class)

Sorcerer- Gains Spell Penetration as a feat (symbolizes focusing on the power of using his bloodlines magic that wouldnt be there if he was also focusing on an alternate class)

Wizard- Gains 1 metamagic feat from the feats that only modify spells 1 level that can be spontaneously applied without level adjustment 3Xday (symbolizes his study of magic that would be diluted if he was practicing in another class)

Druid- Gains ONLY the '1st level' domain ability from a second domain chosen from the list of domains available to a Druid (symbolizes his dedication to diety being rewarded)

Cleric- Gains The Selective Channeling feat (symbolizes the clerics ability to focus his channeling more through practice, that would be lost if he had to spend time practicing in another classs)

Barbarian- Gains 2 additional rage points (Symbolizes his getting more 'barbaric' that would be lost if he tried to civilize himself in another class)

Monk- Gains a +2 Bonus in any two physical (Str/Con/Con) Skills (symbolizes his ability to practice more that would be lost if he split his focus)

Ranger- Gains a +2 to Perception and Survival because of his ability to train in them more (that would be lost if he head to split his attention between more than one class)

Paladin- Gains a bonus +1 to his aura of good because of his increased dedication that (would be lost if his dedication wasnt so fervent...by taking additional classes)

Rogue- Gains Skill Focus in any two skills from his dedicated practice (that would be lost if he had to split his attention in another class)

As an idea....


I just had an idea. 3.5 already had a method of tying in races and classes in a synergistic manner that didn't force archetypes (stereotypes) on the character, even though this existed simultaneously with the favored class rules already in 3.5.

Racial Substitution Levels.

When the Halfling Rogue has alternate class features available to him by sole virtue of the fact that he's both a Halfling and a Rogue, then you have a connection between races and their usual roles without it being forced.

I'm still in favor of the +1 Skill Point idea, but I just had to toss this around.


Dr. Gradgrind wrote:
I am starting to agree with the idea of deleting favorite classes altogether. I don't want to place an inherent penalty on someone wanting to play a dwarven rogue, or a gnomish wizard (illusionist), or an elven fighter (all of which have been around since 1E). And it is a penalty, since making a rogue a halfling rather than a dwarf results in a benefit (minor though it now is).

I completely agree with you, Doctor. I don't want to feel that I'm missing out if I play a Dwarven Wizard.

Another inherent problem with favored classes is that as new core classes are introduced, humans and half-elves get better and better, since they have the unique ability apart from every other race to choose that as a favored class.

As far as fixing multi-classing by forcing favored classes, thats a problem with multi-classing, NOT favored classes.


theinuit wrote:
grotius wrote:
In short, favored class distinctions by the rules, whether they are bonuses or penalties, restrict player choice, and are the downfall of many an interesting character concept in favor of a stereotypical and often seen concept.

Don't mean to double post, but QFT.


Firstly, if your character does not get a bonus that a different character does, that's not being penalized. Humans don't have darkvision, are they being penalized? No. That idea is kind of petty. The GM may find it very easy to weave plot threads for the Dwarven rogue, compensating quite well for the not getting +1 skill point. Characters with high stats used to get an XP bonus, and if you didn't get it, it sucked, but in those days my characters' backgrounds were lame to non-existent. Playing a character with a deficient stat is not being penalized, as it does generate more characterization. (Sounds a little trite, but still true.)

Second, the bonus is small enough I am going to give the players both. I'm a softie.

Third, I intend to institute a bonus for single class characters. An extra feat at levels 4,8,12 and 16 that are lost if the character multiclasses. I also intend on restricting multiclassing to one additional class only, because multiclassing has become something it was not meant to be.

Last, (which ties back to #1) players that want to play characters that are not their races' favored will get some kind of incentive, I just have not decided what yet. Any ideas?


orcface999 wrote:
Firstly, if your character does not get a bonus that a different character does, that's not being penalized. Humans don't have darkvision, are they being penalized? No. That idea is kind of petty. The GM may find it very easy to weave plot threads for the Dwarven rogue, compensating quite well for the not getting +1 skill point.

Why should the DM have to do anything special for the dwarven rogue if he isn't being penalized?

It's not about getting bonuses that other classes/races have, my concern is that no one will ever find it effective to roll a dwarven rogue when they can pick halfing (which may be preferred regardless of the bonus) AND get +1 skill per level while doing it.

I don't see why it should be a trade off if I want to play a Gnome Wizard. I'm already passing up the Elf's Int bonus and the Human's bonus feat, and now I miss out on extra skill points?

orcface999 wrote:
Last, (which ties back to #1) players that want to play characters that are not their races' favored will get some kind of incentive, I just have not decided what yet. Any ideas?

Yeah, take away the +1 skill point for taking levels in a favored class. If anything, Orc Wizards and Gnome Fighters should be the ones to get an extra kick. But here's where the problem lies. If you're going to give everyone incentive for everything, why don't you just give a global incentive and leave it at that?

I'd love for everyone to forget favored classes ever existed. =D

Favored classes is the reason why Gnomes were shoved into the Bard role instead of the Wizard role. Please, think of gnomes!


I think the flat +1 hp or skill rank is good.
But I think there's an issue because not all classes are favored classes... so we are going to have some classes with more bonuses than others... it's not a big deal but it takes away from balance, methinks.

I think favored class should be just "fluff",
The race's features already show what classes suit them best.


The +1 Skill point seems like a good idea.
Humans with +2 skill points per level sound neat, but should it remain once the character multiclasses or takes a prestige class?
+11.1% xp may have be a huge bonus in other games but not in D&D.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I liked favored class when the concept was introduced but I'm beginning to doubt. So far my players have chosen only those race/class combinations that provides +1 hp/skill bonus, thus streamlining our game a lot :(

Maybe favored class rule could be tinkered so that it encourages more to stick with one class than to stick with race+favored class. As somebody mentioned earlier race features are already reinforcing some race/class combos.

Silver Crusade

As I've already discussed at some length in other threads, I very much in favor of keeping favored classes. If it was changed to just +1 skill point, that would be fine.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Roleplaying Game / Alpha Playtest Feedback / Alpha Release 3 / Races & Classes / Favored Class Bonus All Messageboards
Recent threads in Races & Classes