Very Confused on Skills Pathfinder RPG


Rules Questions


Question #1) On page 86, it says, "You can never have more ranks in a skill than your total number of Hit Dice." Can someone please explain to me what exactly that means? It that the number of hit points you have? The number of combined character levels? Your actual Hit Die (i.e. d4, d6, d8, etc.)? The way I'm reading it, it means you cannot have more Rank in any one skill than your Combined Levels, thus a level 3 Rogue 3 Fighter would have a combined level of 6 making his max rank 6. However at 1st level, some classes with a high Intelligence score will not even be able to use all of their Rank points with this cap in their class skills - which brings me to question#2;

Question #2) It also says, "You gain a +3 bonus on all class skills that you put ranks into." However, it does not mention a penalty for cross-class skills. Am I to understand Pathfinder did away with cross-class skills? If so, then I suppose you really wouldn't have to worry too much about having "too-many" Rank points left over, but to me, it really seems to dumb down the skill tree. One of the main reasons back in 3.0 and 3.5 that I never bothered taking some of the skills I really wanted for my characters was because of the steep penalty in Rank points just to get it. This was especially true for "trained-only" skills. In essence, this preserved certain skills for certain classes. But if all the skills are going to be free for any class, why not just make each class generic with a "point-buy" system for purchasing class abilities you desire instead of having actual classes at all? I don't personally like this method much, but if I'm understanding the way the skill points work, then this seems the natural progression for the next edition of Pathfinder.
EDIT - after a little bit of thought, there should at least be some sort of penalty for putting points into cross-class skills that are "trained-only", like 3-6 months of intense training costing "x" gold or something to that effect!

Thanks for any replies ahead of time.


I think the penelty is in the fact that if it is not a class skill you lose the +3 bump, which is sort of a big deal. It get a known class skill that high I would have to spend 4 ranks. Also those four points could be spent on class sills, giving me 4 skills at 4 ranks. That is a big differnce that makes me think people tend to stick to class skills. It is dumbed down maybe a little, but less of a head ache and I found it eaiser to explain to new players.

Shadow Lodge

Hello,

It does "oversimplify" things at low levels compared to 3.5 but as you go up levels (and possibly dip into multiple classes), you should be able to get a wide spread of skills that is easy to numerically check.

Getting rid of cross class skills (or simply defining skills as class or "not class") is a subtle distinction but one that seems to do some good things:
- It streamlines the mathematics
- It keeps things in line numerically with 3.5 in terms of compatibility
- There is still a vibrancy to the choices to be made during character creation

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

HD = combined levels, so your Rogue 3/Fighter 3 example is right on, HD = 6. High INT does not affect the max number of ranks you can have in a skill, but it does provide more skill points to spend and sometimes a bonus to your overall skill roll in addition to your skill ranks. Skill role modifier = ranks + ability mod + (maybe) +3 class-skills bonus.

Also correct, there are no "cross-class skill penalties" anymore, but there is a bonus of +3 when you chose skills that are class skills for you. Practically the same thing; penalize for going off-list or reward for staying on-list. +3 makes a BIG difference at low levels and it seems to motivate folks to put at least one point in each of their class skills to capture the +3 bonus. After that, spending skill points requires the same individual preference cost/benefit analysis as before.

I'd disagree that this dumbs down the skill tree as certain class will still be better at some skills than others. One thing it does do is makes the creation of higher level NPCs much easier, as you don't have to worry about what class they were when they bought ranks in which skill. All skills cost the same, regardless of class and level.


Mosaic wrote:
I'd disagree that this dumbs down the skill tree as certain class will still be better at some skills than others. One thing it does do is makes the creation of higher level NPCs much easier, as you don't have to worry about what class they were when they bought ranks in which skill. All skills cost the same, regardless of class and level.

I never thought about that for NPCs. Your right that is really easy and cool.

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Velvetlinedbox wrote:
I never thought about that for NPCs. Your right that is really easy and cool.

That is also why (permanent) increases in INT result in retroactive skill points and the once-a-class-skill, always-a-class-skill rule. All to simplify stats. The only complicating factor when creating high level NPCs is HP/skill points for favored classes, but that's really easy to add in.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Eran Olivas wrote:
However at 1st level, some classes with a high Intelligence score will not even be able to use all of their Rank points with this cap in their class skills

Did you notice that you also don't get 4x skill points at 1st level anymore?


Reply @Skill-Changes: The arguments made for the way Pathfinder does its skill system are compelling to say the least. I’d have to agree that the changes make a tremendous amount of sense not only for the DM to check players and NPC's alike, but to simplify things in the long run because later on, almost everybody will has more than one class, and those skills which were previously cross-class skills will become class skills.

I understand that the +3 to class skills offsets the Clvl+3 Rank, however my only gripe is that the penalty of only receiving half your ranks into a cross-class skill made some skills untouchable unless your corresponding Ability modifier was exceptionally high. The way I see it now, almost every player will try and maximize Perception for their character because of its huge boon on ones survivability. I realize that some classes may be more adept at certain skills, such as Perception, than others, however this does not take away from the fact that almost every class is likely to have some points into it, whereas in prior editions, the penalty was often too steep.

To be fair and perfectly honest, I just read through the book last week and haven’t even made an official Pathfinder character yet so my comments are only theory, not practical, hand-on experience. My group and I have decided to keep our 3.5 characters 3.5 and Pathfinder characters separate. Perhaps in the future as we delves deeper into Pathfinder, we will convert but for now, that is our decision. Also, I think part of me is waiting for the Bestiary to arrive before we start.

Quote:
Did you notice that you also don't get 4x skill points at 1st level anymore?

No, I failed to cite that on my first read through. That is very interesting. The more I understand this system, the more I enjoy it!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Eran Olivas wrote:


I understand that the +3 to class skills offsets the Clvl+3 Rank, however my only gripe is that the penalty of only receiving half your ranks into a cross-class skill made some skills untouchable unless your corresponding Ability modifier was exceptionally high. The way I see it now, almost every player will try and maximize Perception for their character because of its huge boon on ones survivability. I realize that some classes may be more adept at certain skills, such as Perception, than others, however this does not take away from the fact that almost every class is likely to have some points into it, whereas in prior editions, the penalty was often too steep.

See, that's a huge plus to me. It made no sense that all classes wouldn't have spot/listen as class skills in 3.5. I always added them both to all classes list of class skills in my games. It just made sense that anyone who adventured or explored for a living would have it. Town guards too. So I just made it an 'everyman' skill. I love the new way, Perception might be a class skill, but everyone can get good with it.

Eran Olivas wrote:


Quote:
Did you notice that you also don't get 4x skill points at 1st level anymore?
No, I failed to cite that on my first read through. That is very interesting. The more I understand this system, the more I enjoy it!

Yep, feel the same way. Haven't found anything yet I look at and go 'Ewwww'.


I really enjoy the new skill system.

Last weekend, I had a 15 year old Warhammer 40K player ask me to teach him about RPGs.

So, we did up a Pathfinder Character (Elven Rogue).

When we got to the skill section, it was very easy to do:

"Here are all of the skills. You have 9 skill points, so you can choose 9 different skills (he's Level 1). If you pick any of these skills (indicate class skills) you get a +3 bonus because you're a rogue."

2 minutes later and skills were done...

Quick, easy, simple to understand, and now he's chomping at the bit to get me to run a Pathfinder game (I told him he had to find 3-5 more friends who wanted to play...it might happen).

I love the new skill system!

Dark Archive

gigglestick wrote:

I really enjoy the new skill system.

Last weekend, I had a 15 year old Warhammer 40K player ask me to teach him about RPGs.

So, we did up a Pathfinder Character (Elven Rogue).

When we got to the skill section, it was very easy to do:

"Here are all of the skills. You have 9 skill points, so you can choose 9 different skills (he's Level 1). If you pick any of these skills (indicate class skills) you get a +3 bonus because you're a rogue."

2 minutes later and skills were done...

Quick, easy, simple to understand, and now he's chomping at the bit to get me to run a Pathfinder game (I told him he had to find 3-5 more friends who wanted to play...it might happen).

I love the new skill system!

It took skills from a chore, to a breeze.

I am Dissinger, and I endorse this message.

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