Favored class interpretation problem


Rules Questions


Quote:


Each character begins play with a single favored class of his choosing—typically, this is the same class as the one he chooses at 1st level. Whenever a character gains a level in his favored class, he receives either + 1 hit point or + 1 skill rank. The choice of favored class cannot be changed once the character is created, and the choice of gaining a hit point or a skill rank each time a character gains a level (including his first level) cannot be changed once made for a particular level.

I've had problems interpreting this part. Okay, I give you two examples:

E.g. 1
Half-elf (receives extra fav. class)
lvl 1 barbarian (+1 hp/level)
lvl 2 fighter (+1 sp/level)

So should he choose either barbarian as his 3rd level, he'll get +1hp or alternatively fighter, he'll get the +1 sp. Others give nothing.

E.g. 2
Halfling
lvl 1 bard (+1 sp/level)
lvl 2 fighter (nothing)
lvl 3 bard (again +1 sp)

Like this? If not, can you give the "correct" examples?

Liberty's Edge

As I understand it, you can choose to take either the skill point or the hit point granted by your favored class(es) at each level, they do not need to be the same at every level, even in the case of the half-elf you mentioned. If you feel that you only wanted to get one rank in a trained only skill so you could use it, or if you later want to take ranks in a skill to qualify for a prestige class, you can take a few levels with the skill point bonus. If you find that you have been getting the crap kicked out of you on a regular basis, or if you get a low roll on hit points (for those groups that roll), you can take the hit point bonus, as long as you are taking levels in your favored class(es) you can mix and match. However, if you are taking levels in a non-favored class, you get neither. This includes prestige classes.

Shadow Lodge

Aamaxu wrote:


E.g. 1
Half-elf (receives extra fav. class)
lvl 1 barbarian (+1 hp/level)
lvl 2 fighter (+1 sp/level)

So should he choose either barbarian as his 3rd level, he'll get +1hp or alternatively fighter, he'll get the +1 sp. Others give nothing.

E.g. 2
Halfling
lvl 1 bard (+1 sp/level)
lvl 2 fighter (nothing)
lvl 3 bard (again +1 sp)

Like this? If not, can you give the "correct" examples?

Jerald is correct, you choose either a skill point or a hit point when you level up in a favored class. I will specificly answer your examples. In example 1, at levels 1 and 2, you took a level in your favored class, so at either level you could have chosen a skill point or a health point. In example 2, at levels 1 and 3, since you choose bard as your FC, you could have taken a HP instead of a skill point if you wanted. The part of the ruling you emphasized just states that A) when you choose your favored class/es at first level, you cannot change it; and B) that once you choose a skill point or hp when you take a level in your FC, you cant change that choice down the line, IE you cant decide once you hit level 10 that you wanted an extra HP at level 5 instead of that skill point you took, but at level 10 your free to take a HP instead of a skill point.


Jerald Schrimsher wrote:
As I understand it, you can choose to take either the skill point or the hit point granted by your favored class(es) at each level, they do not need to be the same at every level, even in the case of the half-elf you mentioned. If you feel that you only wanted to get one rank in a trained only skill so you could use it, or if you later want to take ranks in a skill to qualify for a prestige class, you can take a few levels with the skill point bonus. If you find that you have been getting the crap kicked out of you on a regular basis, or if you get a low roll on hit points (for those groups that roll), you can take the hit point bonus, as long as you are taking levels in your favored class(es) you can mix and match. However, if you are taking levels in a non-favored class, you get neither. This includes prestige classes.

This.

For example, I am playing a human cleric. At level 1, 3, and 5 I choose +1 HP. At level 2 and 4, I choose +1 SP. So from 5 levels of cleric I have +3 HP and +2 SP.


FWIW, remember that the favored class is "typically" the first class level, meaning that it's not always so. I could make a half-elf with favored classes cleric and wizard, and make him take a couple levels of Barbarian first.

That raises the question of simulationists vs. the others. When, at the character's creation, we plan more than a couple levels ahead, the game starts to lose it's role-playing aspect and turns into a war of numbers. It also makes high-level characters created from scratch much more refined than their experienced counterparts.

Personally, I'd house-rule the favored class away. It's a relic of ancient times, when non-humans were limited in their choice of classes (and the level they could attain in these classes, too). In the Middle Ages of role-playing games, they could take any class but got a XP penalty when choosing a class outside of their racial sphere of influence. In the Renaissance of D&D, they could take any class and got an advantage if said class belonged to their racial sphere of influence. Now, it's past Modern times, I'd say "get rid of this unnecessary complication". Seriously, if all characters started without this, it would be quite the same game, with less rules-lawyering.

And if you consider that it's too much to drop it, well... give it to every PC level, whatever the class.

$0.02


Similar question about Halfelves and Favored Classes with regard to Skills. At the time when making the Halfelf character you get to choose two Favored Classes, say Wizard & Rogue.

At this time, before picking which one to get first level skills in (4 or 8 plus bonus) the Class skills are acknowledged for the character.. so that if he chooses 1st Lvl Wizard, he can choose Perception, and get the Class Skill Bonus, Correct?

EDIT -> If not, then there is no benefit to having two Favored Classes at start-up for the Halfelf, until he chooses to take a level in another Class?

And if he did go 1st Wizard, 2nd Rogue.. then at the second level could he allocate a rank in a skill that was bonus'd in as his Wizard but was not a Rogue bonus skill but he's already a Wizard?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Scarpster wrote:

Similar question about Halfelves and Favored Classes with regard to Skills. At the time when making the Halfelf character you get to choose two Favored Classes, say Wizard & Rogue.

At this time, before picking which one to get first level skills in (4 or 8 plus bonus) the Class skills are acknowledged for the character.. so that if he chooses 1st Lvl Wizard, he can choose Perception, and get the Class Skill Bonus, Correct?

No. He has no levels in any class that grants him Perception as a class skill. When he does take a level in Rogue, he will be able to select a skill point or hit point and get all his class skills as normal, but until then he's just a normal wizard.


Louis IX wrote:

FWIW, remember that the favored class is "typically" the first class level, meaning that it's not always so. I could make a half-elf with favored classes cleric and wizard, and make him take a couple levels of Barbarian first.

That raises the question of simulationists vs. the others. When, at the character's creation, we plan more than a couple levels ahead, the game starts to lose it's role-playing aspect and turns into a war of numbers. It also makes high-level characters created from scratch much more refined than their experienced counterparts.

Personally, I'd house-rule the favored class away. It's a relic of ancient times, when non-humans were limited in their choice of classes (and the level they could attain in these classes, too). In the Middle Ages of role-playing games, they could take any class but got a XP penalty when choosing a class outside of their racial sphere of influence. In the Renaissance of D&D, they could take any class and got an advantage if said class belonged to their racial sphere of influence. Now, it's past Modern times, I'd say "get rid of this unnecessary complication". Seriously, if all characters started without this, it would be quite the same game, with less rules-lawyering.

And if you consider that it's too much to drop it, well... give it to every PC level, whatever the class.

$0.02

I just give the extra hp or sp to whatever class has the most levels including PrC for this reason, the two highest level classes for half-elf.


Paul Watson wrote:
Scarpster wrote:

Similar question about Halfelves and Favored Classes with regard to Skills. At the time when making the Halfelf character you get to choose two Favored Classes, say Wizard & Rogue.

At this time, before picking which one to get first level skills in (4 or 8 plus bonus) the Class skills are acknowledged for the character.. so that if he chooses 1st Lvl Wizard, he can choose Perception, and get the Class Skill Bonus, Correct?

No. He has no levels in any class that grants him Perception as a class skill. When he does take a level in Rogue, he will be able to select a skill point or hit point and get all his class skills as normal, but until then he's just a normal wizard.

If not, then there is no benefit to having two Favored Classes at start-up for the Halfelf, until he chooses to take a level in another Class?

And if he did go 1st Wizard, 2nd Rogue.. then at the second level could he allocate a rank in a wizard class skill that would be bonus'd (but was not a Rogue bonus skill) because he's already a Wizard, and now he gets both?


I've houseruled the favored class grants +1 hp AND +1 skill point. The skill point trumps the +1 hp in all ways. +1 hp isn't as useful.

Now if it were +3 hp or +1 sp, now we're talking.

Dark Archive

Razz wrote:

I've houseruled the favored class grants +1 hp AND +1 skill point. The skill point trumps the +1 hp in all ways. +1 hp isn't as useful.

Now if it were +3 hp or +1 sp, now we're talking.

lol, my group views it the other way, 1 hp is invaluable, while 1 sp is meh

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

With the way I houserule max HP for all levels, +1 HP is worth less than +1 SP. But I don't use the favored class rules anyway. Too much bookkeeping for me.


Sorry, guys. Total newb here. Let me backtrack a bit. So, the half-elf with the favored class, he gets to pick two classes at the beginning; right off the bat? Say, for example, he's a fighter/rogue, he has skills/feats/etc. of both classes at the start? Or does he just build off the one class, say, for example, he's a fighter at first, then switches to a rogue 1st level to get the skills, etc? Maybe I'm not understanding this?


Dug wrote:
Sorry, guys. Total newb here. Let me backtrack a bit. So, the half-elf with the favored class, he gets to pick two classes at the beginning; right off the bat? Say, for example, he's a fighter/rogue, he has skills/feats/etc. of both classes at the start? Or does he just build off the one class, say, for example, he's a fighter at first, then switches to a rogue 1st level to get the skills, etc? Maybe I'm not understanding this?

At 1st level a half elf chooses two favored classes, let's just say fighter and rogue. He only has a level in 1 or none of them, but can't have a level in both. Let's say he took his 1st level in fighter. If at 2nd level he takes a 2nd level in fighter or the first level of rogue, he has just taken a level in his favored class and gains the bonus hit point or skill point, regardless of which one he got at 1st level.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Hi Dug.

Let's compare a half-elf with a human. Each wants to be a Ranger/ Rogue.

As a beginning character, the half-elf decides make both Ranger and Rogue her favored classes.

  • For first level, she chooses to take her first level as a Ranger. She gets 10 hit points, plus her constitution modifier. She also gets to put a single rank in 6 skills, plus a modifier for intelligence. And, because she's taking a level in one of her favored classes, she chooses to get either (a) an extra hit point) or (b) a rank in an extra skill.
  • At 2nd level, she takes another level in Ranger. She rolls 1d10 for hit points (plus Con modifier) and gets another 6 skill ranks (plus Int modifier). And because she's taking a level in a favored class, she takes either an extra hit point or skill rank, her choice.
  • At 3rd level, because the party needs some arcane muscle, she takes a level in Sorcerer. That's not one of her favored classes. So, she'll get 1d6 + Con modifier hp, and 2 + Int modifier skill ranks, but she won't get an extra skill rank or hit point.
  • At 4th level, she takes her first level as Rogue. She receives 1d8 + Con modifier hit points, and 8 + Int modifier skill ranks. And, because Rogue is also one of her favored classes, she can choose either another hit point or skill rank.

Let's compare that to her human friend, who also wants to be a Ranger/Rogue. He has to decide, up front, which class he favors. Let's say he favors Rogue.

  • So, at 1st level, he takes a level of Ranger. He gets 10 hp + Con modifier, and he gets 6 hp + Int modifier. Moreover, because he's human, he automatically gets an extra skill rank, every level. But he didn't take a level in a favored class, yet.
  • At 2nd level, he takes a level of Rogue. His hit points go up by 1d8 + Con modifier. His skill ranks go up by 8 + Int modifier + 1 (because he's human). And, because he's taking a level in his favored class, he gets either an extra hit point, or an extra skill rank.

The bonus skill ranks for favored class don't allow a character to exceed the hard ceiling of 1 rank in a skill per level.


Excellent, Chris! Thank you for making that clear.


Scarpster wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Scarpster wrote:

Similar question about Halfelves and Favored Classes with regard to Skills. At the time when making the Halfelf character you get to choose two Favored Classes, say Wizard & Rogue.

At this time, before picking which one to get first level skills in (4 or 8 plus bonus) the Class skills are acknowledged for the character.. so that if he chooses 1st Lvl Wizard, he can choose Perception, and get the Class Skill Bonus, Correct?

No. He has no levels in any class that grants him Perception as a class skill. When he does take a level in Rogue, he will be able to select a skill point or hit point and get all his class skills as normal, but until then he's just a normal wizard.

If not, then there is no benefit to having two Favored Classes at start-up for the Halfelf, until he chooses to take a level in another Class?

And if he did go 1st Wizard, 2nd Rogue.. then at the second level could he allocate a rank in a wizard class skill that would be bonus'd (but was not a Rogue bonus skill) because he's already a Wizard, and now he gets both?

Correct. The half-elf doesn't get any benefit from their second favored class until they actually take a level of a second class. Some half-elves will never benefit from it. Personally, I'd rule that they only need to choose one of their two at first level, and can keep the other until they start taking levels in a new class. But that's just me.

And once a skill is a class skill, you get the bonus from it being a class skill, regardless of how or when you put skill points into it. So you could take a level of wizard, put all your skill points into skills that are class skills for rogues, and get no class skill bonuses. Then you take a level of rogue, and all those skills suddenly get the bonus, and you can put your rogue skills into your wizard class skills to get those bonuses.


Am i the only one that was incredibly confused by the wording in the book? For some reason, I assumed until recently corrected that once you chose your bonus (SP or HP), you got that at every level.

Why would there be any reason to clarify that you can't change it once you choose it? My understanding is once you level and roll HP/spend skill ranks, you can't change any of that.


JDDyslexia wrote:

Am i the only one that was incredibly confused by the wording in the book? For some reason, I assumed until recently corrected that once you chose your bonus (SP or HP), you got that at every level.

Why would there be any reason to clarify that you can't change it once you choose it? My understanding is once you level and roll HP/spend skill ranks, you can't change any of that.

I read it the same way, and this part was a big reason for that:

"the choice of gaining a hit point or a skill rank each time a character gains a level (including his first level) cannot be changed once made for a particular level."

I don't understand the purpose of that text if the intended meaning is that a character can choose for each level. When would you be able to change the choice for a level you've already taken?

Note: I have no problem with characters choosing SP some levels and HP at other levels (and run it as such in my games), but the wording leaves a lot to be desired for that to be the case, IMO. If that entire sentence was removed, everything would be fine.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Some people want to think that they could basically "respec" all of these favored class points at every level, like you can occasionally with fighter bonus feats or sorcerer spells. This is dumb and wrong, but they want to do it (usually because they're trying to cheat). I think that's what this sentence is trying to forestall, but I agree that it could have been worded better.


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I've not played D&D for years so I'm not sure what the point of a Favored Class is. Is it just to give an advantage to someone that sticks to the one class?


Pluto wrote:
I've not played D&D for years so I'm not sure what the point of a Favored Class is. Is it just to give an advantage to someone that sticks to the one class?

Pretty much. It also provides an avenue for allowing certain race/class combinations to do something special (see the alternate favored class bonuses in the APG).

Liberty's Edge

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I believe it was worded like that to show that once the choice is made (HP, SP, Racial), you cannot change it for that level.

Example:

Human Fighter is level 4 and he put all favored class into hit points. At level 5, he thinks he needs more skill points, so he tries to change all those previous ones to skill points. The wording prevents that. Once it is selected, it stays that way. The choice between skill, hitpoint or racial is always there for the favored class

@pluto: Pathfinder has made several advantages to sticking with one class. This is a big change from 3.5, where the optimal character had 3-4 classes and dips everywhere. I personally prefer the Pathfinder way.


IMHO half-elves only really benefit from having two favored classes if they multiclass. Hey, at least favored class does something useful in Pathfinder. All it really accomplished in 3.5 was to try and ward folks away from min-maxing their character. Later this mechanic fell out of effective range when PRC dipping produced the highest quality cheese, not mixing base classes.

A thought: if you are having problems finding the value of possessing 2 favored classes, then don't look at the Multitalented Mastery feat on pg. 47 of the Advanced Races Guide, hehe!


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sorry to necro this thread, but I was looking for an official ruling on this question and haven't been able to find one. I believe it's a choice made at every level, and that seems to be the prevailing view around here, but I'd love it if we could get an official clarification. Does anyone know if such a post/message/FAQ exists?

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