Ultimate Campaign: Retraining to Max Hit Points


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Zaister wrote:
I'm not giving it much thought, though, as I have completely eliminated randomness in character creation in my campaigns and always use average hitpoints, for PCs, NPCs, and monsters alike, so there really is no need to apply this rule.

Damn, take all the fun out of the game...


Just thought of a different way to use hp retraining:

I use average+1 per hit die for my games, so hp retraining isn't needed to fix poor rolling. But a character who wants to invest time in becoming more resilient should be able to do so (a little) without having to go out and adventure.

A character can use the hp retraining system only once per level under this variant. The amount of hp gained is dependent on hit dice rather than fixed at 1.

d6: 1; d8: 2; d10: 3; d12: 4

This variant increases downtime to 5 days.

EDIT: It shouldn't be a use it or lose it type of thing - if a character has never retrained hp and is level 3, they can train up hp a maximum of 3 times.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

I removed a post full of edition war snark.


Thanis Kartaleon wrote:

Just thought of a different way to use hp retraining:

I use average+1 per hit die for my games, so hp retraining isn't needed to fix poor rolling. But a character who wants to invest time in becoming more resilient should be able to do so (a little) without having to go out and adventure.

A character can use the hp retraining system only once per level under this variant. The amount of hp gained is dependent on hit dice rather than fixed at 1.

d6: 1; d8: 2; d10: 3; d12: 4

This variant increases downtime to 5 days.

EDIT: It shouldn't be a use it or lose it type of thing - if a character has never retrained hp and is level 3, they can train up hp a maximum of 3 times.

This seems like the level of power I would have expected!

That limitation allows players to achieve results on par with lucky rolling, not statistically incredible rolling.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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In development, the hp retraining system had you reroll your hit points, and if the new total was more than your old total, you'd increase your hp by 1. That system was helpful for characters who had below-average hp, as odds were they'd roll better. I didn't like that version because it meant there was a chance (increasing as your hp got above average) that retraining would have NO effect, wasting your time and money.

Liberty's Edge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
In development, the hp retraining system had you reroll your hit points, and if the new total was more than your old total, you'd increase your hp by 1. That system was helpful for characters who had below-average hp, as odds were they'd roll better. I didn't like that version because it meant there was a chance (increasing as your hp got above average) that retraining would have NO effect, wasting your time and money.

I think if it was set up that it only cost against WBL if you went over average, that would meet the concerns on all sides.

Contributor

Here's a question, Sean, do you think that characters should be able to train for more skill points? Wouldn't an unskilled character training for more skill points (or class skills) be as thematic as a weak character training to become stronger?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I'm kind of wondering why the 'opportunity cost' is not being more focused on, here.

First of all, this ability is clearly geared towards martial characters. Why? Because martial characters can't make magic items.

What is the wizard more likely to do, spend time and gold getting hp's, 1 by 1, or making magic items at 1000 gp/day?

It's a no brainer...they'll make the magic items, the items are more powerful.

While the wizard spends his downtime making magic items, the fighter types spend it getting tougher.

The martial characters SHOULD be tougher then the casters. If a caster wants to get tougher, fine...but he's giving up crafting time to do it, there's a clear cost to him.

Someone posted early the difference between a barbarian fully trained for hp and one not...the difference is 5.5 HP/level. A wizard can replicate 4 hp/level with False life and a +6 Con belt, and it will take much less time and money. The wizard, at 2.5 hp from max/level, average, is far, far better off making the con booster and just casting for max hp as far as time and gold investment go.

And Sean's comparison to a +2 Manual is the 'real cost'...the cost to make the thing for a character. So, no, Sean, don't recalculate to the +2. The 27.5k is the optimal cost to the character to get a +2 book.

And unlike HP training, which gets more expensive by level, the crafter ALWAYS gets the cheapest rate.

I seriously don't see the problem with this. Sooo many gamers note that not getting hit in the first place is better then HP, HP are a fallback, 'insulation'. Compare +25% hp to a cloak of displacement, that turns 25% of hits into misses, AND makes you immune to sneak attacks. WHich is better for avoiding damage?

Etc etc.

Let the melees have a nice thing.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Here's a question, Sean, do you think that characters should be able to train for more skill points? Wouldn't an unskilled character training for more skill points (or class skills) be as thematic as a weak character training to become stronger?

Here's another. Shouldn't a Lawful character be better at the training discipline then a Neutral, and especially a Chaotic character? Shouldn't fighters be better at this kind of thing then barbarians?

Heh.

==Aelryinth

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Here's a question, Sean, do you think that characters should be able to train for more skill points? Wouldn't an unskilled character training for more skill points (or class skills) be as thematic as a weak character training to become stronger?

Skill ranks are a fixed-rate resource that improve the exact same amount every level.

Hit points are a variable-rate resource that improve a random amount every level.

Two characters of the same race, class, stats, and level will have exactly the same skill ranks.
Two characters of the same race, class, stats, and level can have VERY different hit points... simply from lucky or unlucky rolls.

So, no, I don't think we need a way to train for more skill ranks, because your character is never randomly less skilled than another character with the same build.

If you gained a random number of skill ranks at each level, I definitely would want a way for characters who rolled low to make up for that.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

However, if you roll for you abilities, your INT (and therefore skill bonus) is sorta random [/Devil's Advocate]

But I certainly could see no real problem in adding rules for that. If you are a skill-monkey type spend your down time (whilst casters are making magic and warriors beefing their HP) to add to your skills. I am not sure as to the time and GP cost but something like:

You cannot increase any skill over your level maximum
You must already be trained in the skill
Spend your time and GP and broaden your skill range (rather than increase your skill max)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I would love a feat that gave skill points. I really really hate playing classes with few skill points (2-point classes make my teeth hurt when I play, even though I sometimes level dip). I always go for favored class skill points. So I would love some way to get more.

Having said that, I'm glad there's no 'retrain more skill points' like there is for HP. I agree with SKR that given it's fixed and not random, adding to it with money shouldn't be allowed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just a "throw out there" suggestion for anyone with a thought to retraining skill points: have it take a number of days equal to the class base skill point amount (so 2 days for fighters, and 8 for rogues, for example) to gain a single skill point. Normal cost of 10 gp x level x number of days. (I have not thought this through, it just popped into my head, and I thought I'd post it. I understand and agree with the reasons not to allow it.)


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Here's a question, Sean, do you think that characters should be able to train for more skill points? Wouldn't an unskilled character training for more skill points (or class skills) be as thematic as a weak character training to become stronger?

Skill ranks are a fixed-rate resource that improve the exact same amount every level.

Hit points are a variable-rate resource that improve a random amount every level.

Two characters of the same race, class, stats, and level will have exactly the same skill ranks.
Two characters of the same race, class, stats, and level can have VERY different hit points... simply from lucky or unlucky rolls.

So, no, I don't think we need a way to train for more skill ranks, because your character is never randomly less skilled than another character with the same build.

If you gained a random number of skill ranks at each level, I definitely would want a way for characters who rolled low to make up for that.

Why are HP the only variable-rate resources in levelling?

For arguments sake let's take the fighter. Every fighter who levels gets a bunch of fixed bonuses (BAB, saves, skill points, number of feats, etc). So every fighter progresses on many aspects at a fixed rate. So all level two fighters, for example, have the same base saves, BAB etc (then modified by ability scores etc), but their HP are random. Their base capacity to hit things (BAB), resist things (saves) are exactly the same across all fighters of the same level but their ability to soak up damage is random.

I think it is an unnecessary inconsistency. Why shouldn't base HPs for all fighters increase at the same rate when their other combat abilities (BAB, saves) increase at a fixed rate. There is enough flexibility in player choices (Toughness, favoured class bonus, stat boost gear, ability scores etc) to ensure not every fighter of a fixed level has exactly the same HP. Add in feat choices, archtypes etc and you get huge variations.

As you have said "your character is never randomly less skilled than another character with the same build" - why should the same not apply to HP. What makes HP so special or so different? Taking the point a step further, why aren't skill points random, or spells known, or spells per day, or saving throw increases?

I prefer to leave the randomness of dice rolling to actual adventuring - the thrill of a nat 20, failing a jump check to leap a spiked pit, remembering an obscure bonus to your will save so you just manage to resist the dominate person, or rolling high on the damage roll for a crit on the BBEG.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Gallo wrote:
Why are HP the only variable-rate resources in levelling?

The short answer is: backwards compatibility with D&D 3.5. (The same reason the "official" default method of *rolling* up a character is to roll your ability scores instead of using a standard array or point-buy.)

And I agree with you, it is an unnecessary inconsistency. It's not like you have a 50% chance every level to gain a feat... you just get a feat at odd levels and not at even levels.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Tell the D&D player base that HP are fixed now, no more rolling.

Hear the "YOU KILLED GARY JUST LIKE 4E DID!" yell.

Watch your sales graphs.

Wish very hard this all was just a bad dream.


Gorbacz wrote:

Tell the D&D player base that HP are fixed now, no more rolling.

Hear the "YOU KILLED GARY JUST LIKE 4E DID!" yell.

Watch your sales graphs.

Wish very hard this all was just a bad dream.

If people were to stop buying/playing Pathfinder if it ever changed to fixed HP I doubt there would be a mad rush for the exit. In 34 years of D&D/Pathfinder I have not played with a single person who vehemently defended rolling HP. At best people were ambivalent, at worst hated it.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Gallo wrote:
Why are HP the only variable-rate resources in levelling?

The short answer is: backwards compatibility with D&D 3.5. (The same reason the "official" default method of *rolling* up a character is to roll your ability scores instead of using a standard array or point-buy.)

And I agree with you, it is an unnecessary inconsistency. It's not like you have a 50% chance every level to gain a feat... you just get a feat at odd levels and not at even levels.

Thanks for taking the time to reply to me Sean.

On a slightly tangental topic...

At what point does Pathfinder not worry about backwards compatability? It has been around for a few years now and has a very mature rules set and product range. The range of Paizo produced rulebooks and supplements is very large so there is no need to use 3.5 material (ie when Pathfinder first came out we still used a lot of 3.5 material as there was no PF equivalent, now that no longer holds true).

Or is it a case of "we've been backwards compatible so far, we may as well stay that way until we do a full revamp of PF". Not that I want to start a discussion on whether there be a Pathfinder 2.0!


Not EVERYTHING 4E did was a mistake.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Not EVERYTHING 4E did was a mistake.

Of course it was everything caused by 4E turned to ash. I mean just look at this pathfinder thing that was created because of 4E. It's full of power creep and now even Max HP just so much brokenness.

Spoiler:
For those that missed it that was sarcasm.

EXPLOSIVE RUNES

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Gallo wrote:
At what point does Pathfinder not worry about backwards compatability?

The Core Rulebook was written to be backwards-compatible with 3.5, meaning you can easily use 3.5 material in Pathfinder and vice-versa.

All other things written for Pathfinder are written to be compatible with the Core Rulebook. If that means you can use that PF material in 3.5, great. If that means you can't use that PF material in 3.5, oh well.

For example, if we did a book of new rage powers, rogue talents, and sorcerer bloodlines, that's not compatible with 3.5 because those class features don't exist in 3.5... but it's obviously compatible with PF.


Well, there were Rogue Talents, they just called them Special Abilities and you only got three or four I think.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I wonder how the use of the OGL and making a non-backwards compatible version of Pathfinder would interact. Just a thought for when, far in the future, Pathfinder 2.0 arrives.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
In development, the hp retraining system had you reroll your hit points, and if the new total was more than your old total, you'd increase your hp by 1. That system was helpful for characters who had below-average hp, as odds were they'd roll better. I didn't like that version because it meant there was a chance (increasing as your hp got above average) that retraining would have NO effect, wasting your time and money.

Thanks very much for sharing that insight into the process. More than anything, that answers my original question in the first post.

Another slight criticism that occurs to me is, as long as lucky-rollers have access to the same retraining system, you haven't really helped the low-rollers — especially if GMs adopt the new convention of NPCs retraining HP.

It's a tricky idea to implement.

Contributor

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Here's a question, Sean, do you think that characters should be able to train for more skill points? Wouldn't an unskilled character training for more skill points (or class skills) be as thematic as a weak character training to become stronger?

Skill ranks are a fixed-rate resource that improve the exact same amount every level.

Hit points are a variable-rate resource that improve a random amount every level.

Two characters of the same race, class, stats, and level will have exactly the same skill ranks.
Two characters of the same race, class, stats, and level can have VERY different hit points... simply from lucky or unlucky rolls.

So, no, I don't think we need a way to train for more skill ranks, because your character is never randomly less skilled than another character with the same build.

If you gained a random number of skill ranks at each level, I definitely would want a way for characters who rolled low to make up for that.

Right, but I'm talking more from a thematic standpoint than a game mechanics standpoint.

It sort of bugs me that there isn't a good way in the game to increase the number of skill points that you get at each level. The only real option is Favored Class bonuses, and its not a huge boost.

I get that skill ranks are fixed numbers, but what I'm asking if you thought that doing something like training additional skill ranks, up to, say, 10 skill ranks + Int per level, would be overpowered. For example, if a samurai works his butt off at trying to master new skills, shouldn't the GM be able to throw a few more skill points at him? I guess what I'm saying is that even after five years and over five player-based books, it is odd that there isn't a way to increase the number of skill points you get, even with significant time or monetary investment.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:


Thanks very much for sharing that insight into the process. More than anything, that answers my original question in the first post.

Another slight criticism that occurs to me is, as long as lucky-rollers have access to the same retraining system, you haven't really helped the low-rollers — especially if GMs adopt the new convention of NPCs retraining HP.

It's a tricky idea to implement.

Indeed, that's the problem of any remedial element added to the game to improve a weaker build or class - that remedial element is, by default, probably also available to the PCs who don't need it. Notice that wizards can probably train up to maximum hit points cheaper than the fighters and barbarians as mentioned above in the thread.

The answer to something like that, I think, is a GM with the strength to say No to his players. Maybe allow retraining of hp only until the PC has got his hit points up to mean die roll +1 or some similar level. Then PCs who were lucky may retain their distinction without being able to push it farther.
The bottom line with any game system with so many moving pieces and build options is that the GM should be actively involved in monitoring how the players are developing their characters and stepping in when the situation warrants it either via a PC getting too powerful or too weak.


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Or at least base the price on current HP somehow.

That'll give us some kind of curve toward max HP, rather than just a world where everyone who is allowed to have max HP does.

I cannot stress this enough: I'm not complaining about Paizo taking a shot at retraining HP, just discussing what I think GMs should think about before adopting it.


So where are the rules for retraining all of my ability scores up to 18?

The default character creation method requires me to roll my ability scores instead of giving me a fixed amount. As a result, I can get stuck playing a character with six ability scores of 14 or less while other lucky players get starting ability scores of 18 for free.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

For retraining ability scores -- if you actually rolled ability scores, then your DM should calculate the highest point buy equivalent in the party and let the players know what that value is.

Then, at the cost of changing a bonus ability score increase, any player whose character's point buy value is below the maximum can train up any ability score one point at a time, with the limitations that no ability score can be increased above 18 plus racial adjustment and that the total point buy equivalent cannot exceed the value announced by the DM.

For retraining hit points, I am surprised that nobody considered a system that made a one hit point increase the worst rather than the best possible result. Maybe the approach could have been to let a player who retrained hit points reroll a hit die and take the new value in place of the old, and increase hit points for that hit die by +1 if the new roll is not greater than the old roll. A system like that would definitely bias retraining hit points to be far more useful to players who rolled badly for hit points without making it pointless for characters who rolled any value up to one less than the maximum.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Right, but I'm talking more from a thematic standpoint than a game mechanics standpoint.It sort of bugs me that there isn't a good way in the game to increase the number of skill points that you get at each level. The only real option is Favored Class bonuses, and its not a huge boost.

There are several ways for you to get more skill ranks per level. Increase your Intelligence (or don't play a low-Int character). Or buy a cheap magic item that gives you +5 in a skill. Or favored class bonuses, as you mentioned.

I'm more interested in correcting a disparity between high-hp and low-hp characters (simply due to randomness of rolls, and which before Ultimate Campaign was insurmountable) than addressing the complaint of "characters don't get enough skill ranks," to which the answer is "if you deliberately tank your character's Intelligence, you're not going to get as many skill ranks as you'd like, you created that problem for yourself."


Devil's Advocate wrote:

So where are the rules for retraining all of my ability scores up to 18?

The default character creation method requires me to roll my ability scores instead of giving me a fixed amount. As a result, I can get stuck playing a character with six ability scores of 14 or less while other lucky players get starting ability scores of 18 for free.

I believe that paizo itself, while setting the default as the classic mode, currently endorses point buy, which does not allow for variation from rolls.

Contributor

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Right, but I'm talking more from a thematic standpoint than a game mechanics standpoint.It sort of bugs me that there isn't a good way in the game to increase the number of skill points that you get at each level. The only real option is Favored Class bonuses, and its not a huge boost.

There are several ways for you to get more skill ranks per level. Increase your Intelligence (or don't play a low-Int character). Or buy a cheap magic item that gives you +5 in a skill. Or favored class bonuses, as you mentioned.

I'm more interested in correcting a disparity between high-hp and low-hp characters (simply due to randomness of rolls, and which before Ultimate Campaign was insurmountable) than addressing the complaint of "characters don't get enough skill ranks," to which the answer is "if you deliberately tank your character's Intelligence, you're not going to get as many skill ranks as you'd like, you created that problem for yourself."

This will be my last post on skill points because I know that I'm rapidly veering off-topic, but its nice to get to pick the brain of a developer every now and then. :)

I don't really agree with you on your assessment on the ways to get more skill ranks. Buying a magic item gives you a competence bonus, but they don't give you ranks. If my fighter wore a cloak of elvenkind around and made no other investments into Stealth, he couldn't take levels in the Shadowdancer prestige class. Likewise, unless you're putting your natural ability score increases into Intelligence, your Intelligence score after character creature has very little influence on your total number of skill points.

For example, if I buy a headband of Intelligence +2, I don't get more skill points. Instead, the item is keyed to one specific skill and I get skill ranks in that skill equal to my character level while wearing the headband. So what if I find a headband that is keyed to a skill that I am already invested in? Ultimate Campaign has skill point retraining, so I could do that I suppose, but what if I am a Diplomat and I find a headband keyed to Diplomacy? Despite being my profession, I lose all of my proficiency in that skill as soon as I take my headband off? The headband clearly functions this way in order to make it less bookwork if you do loose your headband, but overall it leaves a very poor taste in my mouth personally.

This leaves Favored Class Bonuses as the only real way to gain more skill points after character creation (aside from stacking all of your limited ability score increases into Intelligence), and I would be fine with this if there was a way for me to actually gain more favored classes. So far you can get more from being a half-elf or taking a special feat as a human, which means I'm out of luck if my favorite race is kitsune, or I really wanted to try a dwarf character. That sort of stinks too.

I will concede that offering a way to repair bad luck is more important to the game's health in the long run, but I do think that if a book focused on skills comes out, the huge disparity between the number of skill ranks a character can possess needs to be looked at too; at the very least, a skill point version of Toughness would be nice.


If you increase your int by +2 naturally that's +level worth skill ranks you can spend as you choose plus an additional one automatically going forward so 20 ranks potential. That's not a small number of skill ranks.

At any rate, you'll only be able to put up to your level worth of ranks in any skill so there's a point where extra ranks are only really worth it at mid and higher levels. So gaming more thanks early on has limited benefit.

I agree with Sean that in the world of choice between working more HP or SP out of the system then HP is a good choice. My GM is one of those "you get what you roll" types so I'm always kind of holding my breath when I roll a new levels HP. Now there's at least a system I can put to use when I roll low.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Alexander Augunas wrote:
I don't really agree with you on your assessment on the ways to get more skill ranks. Buying a magic item gives you a competence bonus, but they don't give you ranks. If my fighter wore a cloak of elvenkind around and made no other investments into Stealth, he couldn't take levels in the Shadowdancer prestige class. Likewise, unless you're putting your natural ability score increases into Intelligence, your Intelligence score after character creature has very little influence on your total number of skill points.

The parts of the game that care about your number of ranks, instead of your total modifier, are very few. And if your fighter wants to become a shadowdancer, he needs to put 5 ranks into Stealth to get it. If that means he put 5 fewer ranks into Perception, then there are feats and several cheap magic items he can find or buy that can give him an additional +5 to Perception rolls.

Alexander Augunas wrote:
For example, if I buy a headband of Intelligence +2, I don't get more skill points. Instead, the item is keyed to one specific skill and I get skill ranks in that skill equal to my character level while wearing the headband. So what if I find a headband that is keyed to a skill that I am already invested in?

Sell or trade it for another headband that has skill ranks in the skill you want. Or turn to page 172 of Ultimate Campaign, read up on Altering Existing Items, talk to your GM about allowing it, and find a wizard to "retune" the item's skill ranks into the skill you want.

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Ultimate Campaign has skill point retraining, so I could do that I suppose, but what if I am a Diplomat and I find a headband keyed to Diplomacy? Despite being my profession, I lose all of my proficiency in that skill as soon as I take my headband off?

If your character is a diplomat and a significant portion of your ranks in Diplomacy are from a magic item rather than your innate ability, you have made a poor choice for your character (just as a trapspringer rogue whose Disable Device ranks are all from an item has made a poor choice, or a fighter who made Str his dumb stat has made a poor choice). The game allows you to make poor choices.

Alexander Augunas wrote:
This leaves Favored Class Bonuses as the only real way to gain more skill points after character creation (aside from stacking all of your limited ability score increases into Intelligence), and I would be fine with this if there was a way for me to actually gain more favored classes. So far you can get more from being a half-elf or taking a special feat as a human, which means I'm out of luck if my favorite race is kitsune, or I really wanted to try a dwarf character. That sort of stinks too.

Favored class gives you +1 skill rank per level. That's as good as the human "skilled" racial trait. Increasing that amount just ends up devaluing the worth of the human "skilled" racial trait. Some classes only get 2 skill ranks per level, so your favored class allows you to increase that by up to 50%. If the favored class option for hit points increased your hp for that level by 50%, would you think it's a poor choice?

The fact is, you've read the rules, and you know what determines your character's skill ranks per level. If you want a character who has a lot of skill ranks, and you deliberately choose to (1) play a class that doesn't get many skill ranks, (2) play a race that doesn't give you a bonus to your skill ranks, (3) play a character with a low Intelligence, and/or (4) not compensate for #1-#3 with a favored class bonus or an Int-item with skill ranks in the skill you want, that is your choice and you have to deal with the consequences of that choice. It's like a fighter choosing Weapon Focus (greatsword) at 1st level and then complaining that you aren't able to use two-weapon fighting with your chosen weapon.

BTW, a skill rank version of Toughness is going to look really weak. Feats like Alertness give you a net +4, and Skill Focus gives you a net +3, so on one hand you can't make it less than 3 or 4 ranks because people won't want to take it instead of Alertness or Skill Focus.
On the other hand, those ranks are worth slightly more than that +3 or +4 because they count toward prestige class requirements and such, so maybe it needs to grant fewer than 3 or 4 ranks to compensate for that extra value.
Furthermore, putting 1 rank in a skill gets you the +3 bonus for it being a class skill, so depending on how you spend those ranks, you may be getting a net bonus of +9 or +12 for this feat, so maybe it needs to grant fewer than 3 or 4 ranks.
Even furthermore, allowing you to put ranks into any two skills of your choice is more valuable than being locked into the specific +2X/+2Y feats, so maybe it needs to grant even fewer ranks.
So now you're at the point where it grants you only 1 or 2 ranks total, or perhaps 1 rank per level... is that still worth spending a feat on?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
I wonder how the use of the OGL and making a non-backwards compatible version of Pathfinder would interact. Just a thought for when, far in the future, Pathfinder 2.0 arrives.

That is not a problem, if that is what you are implying, there are literally hundreds of OGL games out there, the majority are only slightly compatible with 3.x D&D, many which are not. The OSR (Old School Revival/Renaissance) is based on using the OGL combined with the fact games rules cannot be copyrighted, to create simulacra of all versions of D&D, like PFRPG is a simulacra of 3.x. But beyond that there are games which only bare the slightest resemblance to 3.x and are still published with the OGL included.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

BTW, a skill rank version of Toughness is going to look really weak. Feats like Alertness give you a net +4, and Skill Focus gives you a net +3, so on one hand you can't make it less than 3 or 4 ranks because people won't want to take it instead of Alertness or Skill Focus.

On the other hand, those ranks are worth slightly more than that +3 or +4 because they count toward prestige class requirements and such, so maybe it needs to grant fewer than 3 or 4 ranks to compensate for that extra value.
Furthermore, putting 1 rank in a skill gets you the +3 bonus for it being a class skill, so depending on how you spend those ranks, you may be getting a net bonus of +9 or +12 for this feat, so maybe it needs to grant fewer than 3 or 4 ranks.
Even furthermore, allowing you to put ranks into any two skills of your choice is more valuable than being locked into the specific +2X/+2Y feats, so maybe it needs to grant even fewer ranks.
So now you're at the point where it grants you only 1 or 2 ranks total, or perhaps 1 rank per level... is that still worth spending a feat on?

It would be balanced the other way a bit by the fact that alertness etc give you points beyond your maximum that allocating skill points can achieve. And in 3.x focusing your skill points is almost always 'better' than spreading them around.

In 3E there was that feat and it granted 5 skill points IIRC, which always seemed about right to me. I always allowed Rogues to choose that feat at every alternate level in place of backstab, not every Rogue is a murderous swine! A few of my players took that, but I have never played with an optimiser so it probably wasn't the greatest idea!


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Here's a question, Sean, do you think that characters should be able to train for more skill points? Wouldn't an unskilled character training for more skill points (or class skills) be as thematic as a weak character training to become stronger?

Skill ranks are a fixed-rate resource that improve the exact same amount every level.

Hit points are a variable-rate resource that improve a random amount every level.

Two characters of the same race, class, stats, and level will have exactly the same skill ranks.
Two characters of the same race, class, stats, and level can have VERY different hit points... simply from lucky or unlucky rolls.

So, no, I don't think we need a way to train for more skill ranks, because your character is never randomly less skilled than another character with the same build.

If you gained a random number of skill ranks at each level, I definitely would want a way for characters who rolled low to make up for that.

Right, but I'm talking more from a thematic standpoint than a game mechanics standpoint.

It sort of bugs me that there isn't a good way in the game to increase the number of skill points that you get at each level. The only real option is Favored Class bonuses, and its not a huge boost.

I get that skill ranks are fixed numbers, but what I'm asking if you thought that doing something like training additional skill ranks, up to, say, 10 skill ranks + Int per level, would be overpowered. For example, if a samurai works his butt off at trying to master new skills, shouldn't the GM be able to throw a few more skill points at him? I guess what I'm saying is that even after five years and over five player-based books, it is odd that there isn't a way to increase the number of skill points you get, even with significant time or monetary investment.

Make a feat for it similar to Toughness.

Quote:

Well-Trained

You are trained in a wide variety of skills.

Benefit: You gain +3 skill points. For every Hit Die you
possess beyond 3, you gain an additional +1 skill point. If you
have more than 3 Hit Dice, you gain +1 skill points whenever
you gain a Hit Die (such as when you gain a level).


I'm with Sean on the skill points thing. Pathfinder made this so, SO much better, in SO many ways:

- Combined a bunch of common skills
- Eliminated the 2-point cost for cross-class skills
- You get your +3 trained bonus even if you don't buy it at 1st level
- Skill points from INT increases are retroactive
- favored class skill points

That first one is especially nice. With Hide & Move Silently combined into Stealth, and Listen, Search, and Spot combined into Perception, the ability to be sneaky and observant effectively costs 2 skill points per level instead of 5 the way it did before. That's a major discount.

After all that, skill points just are nowhere near as much of a problem as they were before. And that's before you add Fast Learner from the ARG (for humans and those with Racial Heritage [Human]), and Human Spirit for half-elves.


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I agree that Pathfinder fixed many problems, but I still feel that Skills are the forgotten rules in Pathfinder. They receive little attention or expansion because they're not as sexy as spells and feats, and I think that's a shame.

A few of them could use some serious work/rewording, and there's a lot that can and should be added to skills instead of getting locked behind a feat paywall.

That said, I did a dance of joy when Ultimate Campaign finally gave us a workable framework for the Appraise skill. More of that skill love, please.

Silver Crusade

Evil Lincoln wrote:
I agree that Pathfinder fixed many problems, but I still feel that Skills are the forgotten rules in Pathfinder. They receive little attention or expansion because they're not as sexy as spells and feats, and I think that's a shame.

Solution?

Skill Tricks!

Y'know! From Complete Scoundrel! Just update, revise and expand them. The principle is great!

Ever since that book came out we've been using skill tricks in all our 3.5 campaigns!

Contributor

Evil Lincoln wrote:
I agree that Pathfinder fixed many problems, but I still feel that Skills are the forgotten rules in Pathfinder. They receive little attention or expansion because they're not as sexy as spells and feats, and I think that's a shame.

I would say that the problem (and simple truth) is that skills by default don't have much combat utility. There are exceptions (Bluff, Escape Artist, and Intimidate are the big three that come to mind), but most of the other combat applicable ones only function if the GM goes out of his/her way to include them. Such as Acrobatics to move across difficult terrain or Swim checks when you're fighting underwater.

That was my favorite part of the Book of Nine Swords; it tried very hard to make several skills more applicable in combat, and some of the disciplines succeeded in doing so. (One of the disciplines had an ability that used your Acrobatics check to determine the damage it dealt.)

Liberty's Edge

I love it.

If you don't, it's not for you, so arguing against it is FAIL. It's for people who do like it, like me. If you don't, don't implement it.

Now...I run a game where NPCs are rarely over 5th or 6th...and there is a smattering in any area over 10th...so controlling it is easy. Not all those higher level NPCs are there for training PCs in any way.

This screams to me special schools of martial training...and if the highest level trainer they have is 12th, you can max hp up to the 11th level...and the rest are random. That means the guy that rolled poorly can still play an awesome character...but can't buy perfection.

I love it.

I was to the point where I was using average +1 hp...but that's too much sameness for me. Thank you. Now I can get back to random rolls again.

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