1st Time DM


Advice


Good evening -

I'm likely to come back to this thread for obvious reasons from the title above. That said, I've been assembling my folks' stats and I've been stuck on advising how skill points are allocated. I've looked over my old D&D 3.5 CR and the skill points at 1st level seem to be different than PF rules. Am I insane or is this true? In the 3.5 - it was INT modifier + a class modifier X 4. For PF rules it simply looks like the equation is [static class modifier + INT modifier = starting skill points to be spent] . Needless to say, that's potentially a big difference. Any help would be EXTREMELY welcome. Thanks.


I'm not that familiar with 3.5, but in PF it's definitely [static class modifier] + [INT modifier], + [racial modifier] if human. No x4.


GM Arkwright wrote:
I'm not that familiar with 3.5, but in PF it's definitely [static class modifier] + [INT modifier], + [racial modifier] if human. No x4.

That's what I was thinking - but I wasn't sure and I want to ensure that I'm not scamming my folks out of potentially important skills. Thank you, sir!


It is different between 3.5 and Pathfinder. Everything you need to know is on this page. For this particular question, look at the section on Acquiring Skills.


Blueluck wrote:

It is different between 3.5 and Pathfinder. Everything you need to know is on this page. For this particular question, look at the section on Acquiring Skills.

Roger, I thought that this might be the case; thank you for the link and the advice!


Just remind them, that unlike in 3.5, "you gain a +3 bonus on all class skills that you put ranks into", which more or less ends up with the same modifier as the 4x skills did.


I got to thinking about it and I'd like to hear from other DM's out there with some helpful tid bits for someone about to do their first DM session. Things like 'Man I should have prepared for ___' or 'I wish I had surprised them with ___'. Anything will help and be much appreciated!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Grey56 wrote:
I got to thinking about it and I'd like to hear from other DM's out there with some helpful tid bits for someone about to do their first DM session. Things like 'Man I should have prepared for ___' or 'I wish I had surprised them with ___'. Anything will help and be much appreciated!

Print out or copy out monster/npc stats to separate sheets of paper from everything else, particularly if you are running a published adventure. It makes reference much easier and it makes it easier to be organized. Nothing is more jarring then the dm having to flip through the beastiary for 5 minutes when a fight is starting.

Second, run a published adventures. Paizo's modules and adventure paths are the best in the business. Use them. As a beggining dm they will be a godsend.

To start keep the players to the assumed power level of the game, PC races from the core rulebook, and 15 point buy. You allow additional options and stat generation as you get used to the game, but for the start, go with what the default.


GM Arkwright wrote:
I'm not that familiar with 3.5, but in PF it's definitely [static class modifier] + [INT modifier], + [racial modifier] if human. No x4.

Just to be clear though, I have a party member who has rolled a half-elf Fighter with a base INT of 9. That would mean she would have only 1 skill point to use, correct ?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes, aside from if he takes his favored class bonus for fighter as a skill point, which is also an option.


Correct. The negative intellect reduces the skill point allotment accordingly, to a minimum of 1 point per lvl.

Also, starting out it is very highly recommended that you "dumb down" a lot of mobs you use against your party. If you go through the bestiary and like something, write down it's hit points, ac, saves, CMB/CMD, and one or 2 abilities you like and forget the rest. Once you become more familiar with the nuances of combat and such you can start adding in the extras. If you want a slightly harder fight, don't focus on abilities, use the "advanced template". Basically add 2 to every thing for the monster, AC, saves, attack rolls, damage rolls, etc.

Also, its much more fun for you and your party to have more than one enemy at a time. If you put out a single big guy then your party will just surround and pound it. But if that big guy comes with a slew of goblins to support him, or a combat capable mount, illusions, etc, he will be much more interesting.


JustKhaos wrote:

Correct. The negative intellect reduces the skill point allotment accordingly, to a minimum of 1 point per lvl.

Also, starting out it is very highly recommended that you "dumb down" a lot of mobs you use against your party. If you go through the bestiary and like something, write down it's hit points, ac, saves, CMB/CMD, and one or 2 abilities you like and forget the rest. Once you become more familiar with the nuances of combat and such you can start adding in the extras. If you want a slightly harder fight, don't focus on abilities, use the "advanced template". Basically add 2 to every thing for the monster, AC, saves, attack rolls, damage rolls, etc.

Also, its much more fun for you and your party to have more than one enemy at a time. If you put out a single big guy then your party will just surround and pound it. But if that big guy comes with a slew of goblins to support him, or a combat capable mount, illusions, etc, he will be much more interesting.

Excellent. Also - thank you. So that 1 point - can that only be spent on one skill or can it be spent on multiple skills but as only 1 rank for each?

Lastly; what is the difference between the AC modifier versus AC costs?


That point can only be spent on a single skill for one rank in that particular skill. If spent in a class skill with no ranks then the character gets a +3 bonus on that skill every time they use it.

An AC modifier is any thing that boosts a players armor class. Armor, shield, dodge bonus, spell buffs, etc. It's very important to note that you cannot have 2 of the same bonus stack though. Using 2 shields would not give a person both bonuses, but using a shield with armor would allow each to protect him and stack.

AC cost? Not sure what you mean by that, I need you to put it in context. Where did you see something with an AC cost?


Quick conversion from what I remember from 3.5:
no x4 to begin with
no cross-class penalty on max number of ranks in a skill
any class skill with ranks get a one time +3 bonus
maximum number of ranks per skill is equal to number of HD (usually same as level)
each character gets 1, 2 for half-elf, favored class. When you gain a level in your favored class, you can chose 1 more skill point or 1 more hit point

For example: your level 1 fighter starts with 1 skill point and puts it into intimidate. He has chose fighter as a favored class, and choses to gain another skill point. He cannot put it into intimidate beacuse he has reached his limit of 1 rank, so he choses Knowledge (geography). His bonuses would look like this (assumes 10 Cha and 9 Int with no related feats or abilities).
Intimidate= 1 rank + 0 Cha modifier + 3 class skill = + 4 total
K(geography)= 1 rank - 1 Int mod = 0 total


JustKhaos wrote:

That point can only be spent on a single skill for one rank in that particular skill. If spent in a class skill with no ranks then the character gets a +3 bonus on that skill every time they use it.

An AC modifier is any thing that boosts a players armor class. Armor, shield, dodge bonus, spell buffs, etc. It's very important to note that you cannot have 2 of the same bonus stack though. Using 2 shields would not give a person both bonuses, but using a shield with armor would allow each to protect him and stack.

AC cost? Not sure what you mean by that, I need you to put it in context. Where did you see something with an AC cost?

I followed this link: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/basics-ability-scores/ability-scores and the top right box indicates Ability score 'costs' and 'points'. The modifier box below that is easy enough to understand - but the top right box thew me.


Oh, ability scores are different from AC. AC = armor class. The ability score cost system is based on a point buy system (i think page 16 of the core rulebook). The point buy is used to make every character created equally within set parameters. That way one person who is lucky with dice doesn't outshine the poor guy who rolls very badly. Thus you spend your points in a point buy to purchase ability scores above 10, with them growing increasingly more expensive.


Took some time over the long weekend and I read over the CR listing and finally got it. Just took some understanding over how Ability scores could be bought with the amount allotted to certain fantasy game types. Many thanks!


btw (I didn't see anyone mention above - edit, see where Nawtyit mentioned), the "favored class point" can be spent on a single skill rank OR on a single hit point, player's choice, as long as they level up in their favored class. I generally advise 1st level PC's to take the hit point. I'd rather them fail a skill check then go unconscious or die!

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