How many skillpoints would it take for you to give up the favored class hp?


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HyperMissingno wrote:
It depends on my character. Skill monkeys take the skill point, but everyone else is taking the point of HP or an alternate racial trait.

I'm the opposite, actually. Skill monkey characters generally don't need the extra skill point because they have so many already, but if I'm playing something with 2 or 4 skills per level and a d10 hit die the skill point is more valuable to me.


Most of my players take the racial trait or skill point.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

This seems like one of those things where some people think it's common sense to always take one option but where other people have different opinions.

I was certainly surprised when my group created their first Pathfinder characters and everybody opted for the skill point option.


Unless I'm a low hd and not great con character, and the racial favoured class bonus isn't that good, I always go the extra skill ranks. I like having at least 1 rank in all my class skills (major exceptions being craft and profession, usually).


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My group has just houseruled that all FCBs are available to members of all races (provided they don't affect some mechanic unique to that race which other races lack access to), and even with this freedom, the bonus skill point (as well as the bonus hit point) tend to remain pretty popular.


Unless I am playing a low con character, I almost exclusively take skill points or racial.


I usually take the skill point. I like skills a lot, so I tend to take it even on my high-skill characters.


I have never taken the hp.

Racial bonus or Skillpoint has ALWAYS been the better choice for me. I mean, either I'm a class with so few hitpoints that 1 more per level isn't going to matter (oh yay, so I splat on the iterative attack instead of the primary, whoop de doo), or I have so many HP that 1 more per level is trivial.

Being able to pink up some extra Sense Motive, UMD, Perception, etc though? Now that is what keeps you alive, not trying to soak axe blows with your face!


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My APG Summoner in PFS takes the Skill Point... for his Eidolon. It helps deal with the 7 Int score. My Social Infiltrator Rogue takes the bonus Rogue Talent. Everyone else goes for the bonus Hit Point.

At the end of the day, it's about value. Toughness is a feat, so HP is as valuable as a feat. Racial Favored Class Bonuses tend to be better than feats. I've had the occasional moment in PFS where something angry just appears right next to you, and it's at that point you learn to regret starting with just 12 Con. Or maybe even 14. I have a Witch with 16 con AND the bonus HP, and she still almost died from an almost unavoidable hit from an encounter. And she had the most hit points in the party.

The skill point is a fun idea, but a bit of a band-aid to me. I love me some skills. Love love love. But if the class/race/stat combination doesn't give me enough skill points to fill out my character concept, nevermind my basic expectations of the class itself (Looking at YOU, Core Cleric/Paladin/Fighter) then I consider the whole thing a lost cause and drop it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, 2 + Int on a class that doesn't use Int as a primary stat is terrible in a game that's generally about adventuring.

Scarab Sages

The only time when it really makes sense to take the HP is when you are playing a kineticist, when it means you have a bigger burn buffer.

Lantern Lodge

jorunkun wrote:
Whoa, thanks for all the replies. I seriously wouldn't have thought so many people value sp more than hp.

I think those who favor skills are more likely to respond in the thread.

That said, I also tend to take skill points, because my play style tends to favor them.

On my half orc fighter, I took the hps.


I would observe that (if your DM includes it) you can retrain for extra hp. You can't do that for skills. Of course retraining costs money that could be spent on skill enhancers so maybe it's a wash, or maybe not.


Arachnofiend wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
It depends on my character. Skill monkeys take the skill point, but everyone else is taking the point of HP or an alternate racial trait.
I'm the opposite, actually. Skill monkey characters generally don't need the extra skill point because they have so many already, but if I'm playing something with 2 or 4 skills per level and a d10 hit die the skill point is more valuable to me.

Oh yes they do. Skill monkey characters need all the skill points they can get, unless they have as many skill points available as there are skills.

Likewise characters that get in the fray a lot want as much HP as possible. I know a lot of you guys look down on HP and think it's useless in every situation, but it's not, at least at my table it's not.


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I either take the racial FCB or the skill point. The extra hp is basically irrelevant, IMO. It scales too slowly to matter.

+1 hp at 1st level is insignificant. So is +10 hp at 10th level or +20 hp at 20th level. OTOH, maximizing another good skill can be really freaking useful.


HyperMissingno wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
It depends on my character. Skill monkeys take the skill point, but everyone else is taking the point of HP or an alternate racial trait.
I'm the opposite, actually. Skill monkey characters generally don't need the extra skill point because they have so many already, but if I'm playing something with 2 or 4 skills per level and a d10 hit die the skill point is more valuable to me.

Oh yes they do. Skill monkey characters need all the skill points they can get, unless they have as many skill points available as there are skills.

Likewise characters that get in the fray a lot want as much HP as possible. I know a lot of you guys look down on HP and think it's useless in every situation, but it's not, at least at my table it's not.

My skill monkeys also tend to mix it up in melee (I'm a big fan of melee Bards and Investigators) so the HP is pretty valuable.

I think trying to get every possible skill is pretty unreasonable and requires too many sacrifices in other areas of the game, so I prefer to focus on specific groups that I want to do incredibly well with rather than spread myself out too thin.


HP might be worth it if it were +1 for the first 5 levels, +2 for 6-10, +3 for 11-15, and +4 for 16-20. It would average out to be equivalent to toughness from 1-5, be 1.5x toughness from 6-10, be 2x toughness from 11-15, and be 2 1/3 toughness from 16-20.


I think it should be the other way around - how many HP before choosing it over skill points.


With the groups I've played with and GM'd for, everyone took the skill point, every time.

When the alternate FCB came out, I (being the GM at the time) looked through, found them... rather hit and miss (with some very big hits) and asked the group whether they'd mind if we simply didn't bother using them. The unanimous response was that they'd rather just have the skill point anyway, so not using the racial FCB was just cutting down on complexity they didn't need. This wound up being carried over into other groups when I'm not GMing... so yeah. Skill point. Every time.


I have an Elven Ranger that I am playing as mainly Melee TWF. Probably a mistake from the start, but the party is large [8] and had only 1 other character who can mix it up in hand-to-hand.

Anyhow, with 6 skills per level + Int (and a large enough party to specialize in skills), I took Toughness AND the Extra HP at every level, and I am still regretting not selecting more in Constitution.

I am level 5.

Would I trade out the 5 hp from leveling FCB for 5 skill points? No.
Would I trade out the 5 hp from leveling FCB for 10 skill points? No.

On characters with >= 6 skills, I would take the hp.
On characters with <= 4 skills, I would probably take the skills.


JoeElf wrote:

I have an Elven Ranger...

...Anyhow, with 6 skills per level + Int (and a large enough party to specialize in skills), I took Toughness AND the Extra HP at every level, and I am still regretting not selecting more in Constitution.

Emphasis mine. Yeah, those Con penalties can be killer. You know what they say: When you play an Elf, watch yourself.


I usually decide based on the character. My only complaint is that you can't take racial FCBs until you have the class feature they modify. That makes some of them not worth it at all.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I generally take the skill points or racial FCB, although I will occasionally take the HP. I always take skill points on Clerics, Paladins, Fighters, and Sorcerers. I just don't enjoy playing character with only 2 skill points per level.

We play that you have to identify the monster in order to know that it is fire immune, regenerates, has DR, or the other various special abilities. Knowing from the start that using Cold Iron prevents regeneration can do a lot more to kill a monster than a few more hit points.

I also tend to like my characters to be moderately competent at a variety of simple tasks. I don't want to be that character you have to help climb a rope or get across water because they can't swim.


jorunkun wrote:
Whoa, thanks for all the replies. I seriously wouldn't have thought so many people value sp more than hp.

The main point is that the amount of HP you get is rarely a difference maker.

The skill point gives you some more options and can help focus on a specific build you like (party face, a feint or intimidate build, knowledge master, crafter, etc.).

And some of the Racial FCB are really, really good. For example, the Human Sorcerer FCB (gain one spell from the Sorcerer list that is at least one level below the max level you can cast) adds so much flexibility and potential to the Sorcerer that it's probably better than either the HP or skill point.


Man now I feel lame about almost always taking the HP. I think almost all my characters except the priest I play as with Lemmy took the HP point.

I guess I feel like my characters always are just shy of being knocked out.


I always take bonus skill points so I can have skills fitting my character's back story. Anything involving appraising goods is particularly demanding because the lowest possible check starts at a DC of 20. With every single skill being subjected to entirely different standards, it can take some incredible house rulings to get things to work right. I shiver at the thought of ever having an intelligence score below 10.


jorunkun wrote:

Is it just our group or does nobody ever take a skill point instead of the hitpoint as their favored class goodie? Certainly all the optimization guides for every class advise to always take the extra hp. Which made me wonder:

How many skill points would it take for you to not take the extra hp? Please specify if this would depend on class or level.

My impression is, that hp are worth most at first level, and decrease in value from there on out. I'd trade my 1st level hp for four skill points, although wouldnt ever trade it for a wizard or a rogue. I could see something like 3 at 2nd, 2 at 3rd and then one for one work. How about you?

Hmm, Dood? That question is contradictory, if a class get more skill points, it get less need for extra SP and probably can use the extra HP, and a class with bigger Hit Dice might need the extra SP more than the extra HP.


My base assumption is to take the hp. After that I check whether the FCB is worth it. If not I check whether I need this one more skillpoint. If both are no, I stick with the hp.


jorunkun wrote:

Is it just our group or does nobody ever take a skill point instead of the hitpoint as their favored class goodie? Certainly all the optimization guides for every class advise to always take the extra hp. Which made me wonder:

How many skill points would it take for you to not take the extra hp? Please specify if this would depend on class or level.

My impression is, that hp are worth most at first level, and decrease in value from there on out. I'd trade my 1st level hp for four skill points, although wouldnt ever trade it for a wizard or a rogue. I could see something like 3 at 2nd, 2 at 3rd and then one for one work. How about you?

I take the skill point when I have 2 skill points, aks the fighter. I mean I can usually bring my con to 14 from 12 by not 13 INT. So it works out the same. Just if I need combat expertise I take the FC hp.


I usually go extra hit point for melee and skill point otherwise. That is of course if there is not something like the human sorcerer FCB on the table.

Funnily enough this just came up for my group. :-)

I am playing an archer cleric and have been taking the skill point to put in diplomacy each level. Just hit Trial of the Beast in Carrion Crown and wow glad I have been doing that...


Myself, it depends on the race, class and other factors like crappy rolled hp.
Mainly:
Racial FCB if it's cool like extra spells but no if there are no good options. For instance, I find all but the elf summoner options pretty bad.
Skills are always welcome as I find I never have enough to take the skills I'd like to have.
HP are sometimes a necessary evil when rolls or con result in a total too low for my liking. [or as a kinetisist as you have to punch yourself to get you bonuses]

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varies by character.

FCB are very common. Humans spon casters for the extra spell. Paladins for at least a point in every resistance (immune to natural environmental extremes!).

Skill points for low skill classes. Hp for low HP classes with lots of skill points. A wizard is more likely to take HP, a fighter to take SP.

Basically it comes down to "What's one more maxed skill worth?" vs "What's one extra feat (Toughness) worth?"

==Aelryinth


Human + 13 Int + Fast Learner...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't use the racial FCB in my games.

My players always go for the hit point. Hit points are used every day, you last choice skill (the one you would take with a fcb) is used rarely and likely someone in the party can cover that for you anyway.

And you can but a headband with a built in maxed skill for only 4k. You can't buy a source of hitpoints that stacks with everything else for any price.


Dave Justus wrote:

I don't use the racial FCB in my games.

My players always go for the hit point. Hit points are used every day, you last choice skill (the one you would take with a fcb) is used rarely and likely someone in the party can cover that for you anyway.

And you can but a headband with a built in maxed skill for only 4k. You can't buy a source of hitpoints that stacks with everything else for any price.

How often do you use your last HP?

And buying a headband for a skill is the same as buying a belt for hp.
Third there is a feat for hp but not for skills. At least not from paizo.


Insane KillMaster wrote:
Human + 13 Int + Fast Learner...

Why not just Human + 12 Int + Skill point every time + Toughness?

It pays off a lot quicker, and doesn't require the extra stat points.

Scarab Sages

Dave Justus wrote:

I don't use the racial FCB in my games.

My players always go for the hit point. Hit points are used every day, you last choice skill (the one you would take with a fcb) is used rarely and likely someone in the party can cover that for you anyway.

And you can but a headband with a built in maxed skill for only 4k. You can't buy a source of hitpoints that stacks with everything else for any price.

A wand of False Life or Defending Bone disagrees.


My Self wrote:
Insane KillMaster wrote:
Human + 13 Int + Fast Learner...

Why not just Human + 12 Int + Skill point every time + Toughness?

It pays off a lot quicker, and doesn't require the extra stat points.

Because you can go Human + 13 Int + Fast Learner + Toughness? That pays off twice.

EDIT: toss on Tribal Scars while your at it for an extra 6 hp...

Lantern Lodge

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Just a Guess wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:

I don't use the racial FCB in my games.

My players always go for the hit point. Hit points are used every day, you last choice skill (the one you would take with a fcb) is used rarely and likely someone in the party can cover that for you anyway.

And you can but a headband with a built in maxed skill for only 4k. You can't buy a source of hitpoints that stacks with everything else for any price.

How often do you use your last HP?

And buying a headband for a skill is the same as buying a belt for hp.
Third there is a feat for hp but not for skills. At least not from paizo.

Skill Focus


I always go for the skill point or the racial FCB for my PCs.

I only go with the HP when designing NPCs whose skills don't matter to me.


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Deadmoon wrote:
Just a Guess wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:

I don't use the racial FCB in my games.

My players always go for the hit point. Hit points are used every day, you last choice skill (the one you would take with a fcb) is used rarely and likely someone in the party can cover that for you anyway.

And you can but a headband with a built in maxed skill for only 4k. You can't buy a source of hitpoints that stacks with everything else for any price.

How often do you use your last HP?

And buying a headband for a skill is the same as buying a belt for hp.
Third there is a feat for hp but not for skills. At least not from paizo.
Skill Focus

You mean that completely different feat that is in no way a Toughness-equivalent feat for skill points?


Deadmoon wrote:

Skill Focus

Skill focus is good for improving an existing skill, but for the purpose discussed (adding new skills), it can't compete with the FCB if you're 4 or higher.

Lantern Lodge

Lemmy wrote:
Deadmoon wrote:
Just a Guess wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:

I don't use the racial FCB in my games.

My players always go for the hit point. Hit points are used every day, you last choice skill (the one you would take with a fcb) is used rarely and likely someone in the party can cover that for you anyway.

And you can but a headband with a built in maxed skill for only 4k. You can't buy a source of hitpoints that stacks with everything else for any price.

How often do you use your last HP?

And buying a headband for a skill is the same as buying a belt for hp.
Third there is a feat for hp but not for skills. At least not from paizo.
Skill Focus
You mean that completely different feat that is in no way a Toughness-equivalent feat for skill points?

I mean that feat that augments your skills in such a way that you are being weird and/or pedantic if you suggest that it "in no way" augments skills.

No, it doesn't give you "more skill points" because it's even better than that, it lets you boost a skill beyond what your ranks would normally allow. If you want to spread them them thin among multiple skills, then yeah, you may have a semblance of a point, but you could accomplish the same thing by investing less ranks in a single skill and making it up with skill focus. And missing the opportunity to exceed what your ranks allow on their own.


Deadmoon wrote:


I mean that feat that augments your skills in such a way that you are being weird and/or pedantic if you suggest that it "in no way" augments skills.

No, it doesn't give you "more skill points" because it's even better than that, it lets you boost a skill beyond what your ranks would normally allow. If you want to spread them them thin among multiple skills, then yeah, you may have a semblance of a point, but you could accomplish the same thing by investing less ranks in a single skill and making it up with skill focus. And missing the opportunity to exceed what your ranks allow on their own.

While you're correct, that kind of has absolutely nothing to do with the question about FCBs.


graystone wrote:
My Self wrote:
Insane KillMaster wrote:
Human + 13 Int + Fast Learner...

Why not just Human + 12 Int + Skill point every time + Toughness?

It pays off a lot quicker, and doesn't require the extra stat points.

Because you can go Human + 13 Int + Fast Learner + Toughness? That pays off twice.

That.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The great thing about the FCB hitpoint is that is stacks with toughness and con belts and temp hit points. FCB skills will give you more skills, but not ones with higher ranks.

I will also note that buying a headband for a skill is not at all like buying a belt for hitpoints. First off there is the stacking thing mentioned above. Secondly any and each skill I want can be had for 4k. If I want to appraise today, put on that headband. Tomorrow I might grab my riding headband. A caster will have a dedicated band for adventuring, but on off days they can have their research bands or crafting bands or other specialized functions. Generally speaking, skills are easy to get in the system, and to a large degree there are only a few you need on a day to day basis, and except for perception, often only one person in the party needs to have a particular skill.

And I have certainly seen many characters either die or go unconscious for lack of a few more HP.


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Deadmoon wrote:
I mean that feat that augments your skills in such a way that you are being weird and/or pedantic if you suggest that it "in no way" augments skills.

1- I didn't say it doesn't augment skills, only that it's in no way an Toughness-equivalent feat for skill points... Because it really isn't.

Deadmoon wrote:
No, it doesn't give you "more skill points" because it's even better than that, it lets you boost a skill beyond what your ranks would normally allow. If you want to spread them them thin among multiple skills, then yeah, you may have a semblance of a point, but you could accomplish the same thing by investing less ranks in a single skill and making it up with skill focus. And missing the opportunity to exceed what your ranks allow on their own.

Skill Focus and a Toughness-equivalent feat for skill points serve very different purposes. Whether or not one is better than the other is completely dependent on what you're trying to accomplish. One increases an existing bonus (and is really only useful if you plan to max that skill anyway, since a lonely +3 will rarely matter in the long run), the other gives you more skills.

There's a huge difference in spending a feat to increase your Perception score and spending a feat to have skill points in Stealth.

If you're seriously arguing is that "Skill Focus" is like Toughness, but for skills, then I'd say you're the one being weird and/or pedantic.


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Dave Justus wrote:

The great thing about the FCB hitpoint is that is stacks with toughness and con belts and temp hit points. FCB skills will give you more skills, but not ones with higher ranks.

I will also note that buying a headband for a skill is not at all like buying a belt for hitpoints. First off there is the stacking thing mentioned above. Secondly any and each skill I want can be had for 4k. If I want to appraise today, put on that headband. Tomorrow I might grab my riding headband. A caster will have a dedicated band for adventuring, but on off days they can have their research bands or crafting bands or other specialized functions. Generally speaking, skills are easy to get in the system, and to a large degree there are only a few you need on a day to day basis, and except for perception, often only one person in the party needs to have a particular skill.

First off... FCB does stack with skills from your Headband of Vast Intelligence, so that's the same for both FCB options... But I don't think switching headbands is that viable... It's pretty expensive, specially if you want another attribute in it (most classes will prefer Wis or Cha).

Dave Justus wrote:
And I have certainly seen many characters either die or go unconscious for lack of a few more HP.

Sure... But how often does that happen in comparison to how often you'd be able to use an extra skill? 1 hp at first level will rarely, if ever, make a difference on whether or not you fall unconscious... The same goes for 20 hp at 20th level.

Stacking with toughness make it more likely, but now you sacrificed not only having full ranks in an extra skill, but also a feat, the scarcest resource in the game.

In the long run, I think having an extra skill point to maximize Acrobatics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Knowledge(something useful), Sense Motive or Stealth will help you much more than a few extra hp.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
HyperMissingno wrote:
It depends on my character. Skill monkeys take the skill point, but everyone else is taking the point of HP or an alternate racial trait.

Usually the opposite for me, my skill monkeys are usually high int/high base class skill point and low hit dice, so they usually take the hp, and the non-monkeys take the skill point.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I have a friend who loves rogues, usually runs with a 14-16 Int, and always puts his FCB in skill points and still complains that he doesn't get enough skills.

Similarly I've seen someone build a 20 Con barbarian with Toughness just to see how high they could get their hp. 23 hp at first level raging barb laughs at your puny critical hit! Even the infamous power-attacking-orc-with-greataxe-critical is only a coin flip to kill this guy, otherwise he's just down. (average damage on 3d12+21=40.5). At 10th level this guy averages 170.5 hp without raging if he keeps up to Con/hp focus.

I'm just saying that there likely isn't a good generalization about who "needs" hp or skill points more.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I choose skill points when I don't like the racial option.

You can use the retraining rules to increase your hp if it is low. You don't have that option for skills.

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