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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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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?


My players choose the skill point about one fifth of the time. Alternative benefits for classes are much stronger. However they MUST be immediate, the 1/5th thing is worthless none of them ever want it, and I wouldn't want it either.

Liberty's Edge

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1 Skill Point.

I almost never take the HP, and neither does anyone I play with.

Racial FC stuff is another matter (and gets taken pretty commonly), and are often a better investment. But HP? Nah.

Frankly, optimization guides advise the HP because skills in general are overshadowed by spells in high level play, especially by the RAW, and maxing out a few skills is considered perfectly sufficient mechanically. That's true enough, but misses the desire to be at least adequate in a wider range of skills.

And, IME, the extra skills are most valuable at 1st-3rd level level, the same time the HP are since at that point they probably grant you the +3 for Class Skills.

Of course, games I run and play in use skills a lot. So maybe the solution is as simple as making skills come up more and possibly accomplish more.


I nearly always take the skill point.

This isn't dependent upon class or lv. It's about what'll help me best represent the character I have in mind. Or show them learning from the adventures they've been on. Gaining a skill, or another rank in one, helps me do that far better than another HP.


i usually take +1 skill point unless my racial Favored class gives an extra arcana/discovery/talent/so on


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It's almost entirely dependent on the character. It gets more complicated with the alternate racial favored class bonuses, half-elves (Arcane Training alternate racial trait), and humans (Fast Learner feat).

Skills are normally more useful overall than a handful of extra hp, though.

Scarab Sages

Chiming in along with everyone else: I always take the skill point. Just personal preference I suppose. Two characters I took a racial FCB (human cleric outsider SR bonus in Wrath of the Righteous, and a Tiefling paladin taking the extra healing points), but I've never taken the hitpoint across any of dozens of characters.


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.


Depends on class. Sorcerers, fighters, clerics and paladins (2 points/level and dumped Int) take at least some skill points. Others mostly take hp. But it can depend on con & int as well (what do they need?).

Toughness can give you hp, but there's no RAW equivalent for skills.

And some racial FCBs are fantastic, others useless.


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I never take either. Specialized FCB all day every day.


Aside from racial options, the players in my group always take the extra skill point. I've seen maybe one or two characters taking the HP option, but they were always one-trick martials that ended up feeling useless outside of combat.


It depends entirely on class. Clerics have terrible FCB but can use both the HP and skill point. 20 skill points plus an extra 3 for class skills that you might otherwise not be able to cover is probably slightly more valuable than 20 hps over the course of a campaign, but it's really a matter of balance, the type of campaign and classes.


I rarely take the HP. Its almost always the skill point, unless the FCB is just too good not to take.


I take hp if I want a beefy character. But in general I don't understand how hp is better than a skill point?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I'm usually starved for skill points so that's what I take. I might take the hit points if I've rolled a low Con or tanked a few hit point rolls.


Usually skill point or racial fc.


We just gave up on favored class bonuses altogether. I don't miss them.


It depends on the class. If I am playing a fighter, cleric, or other low skill point class, I will probably go with the skill point, more so if I am not playing a human. This also assumes there isn't an equally good alternate option as well.

Grand Lodge

My otherr characters always take the hit point. Grumio, however, is a halfling paladin (Core PFS) with INT 8. Grumio takes the skill rank. Two skill ranks per level hurts, but less than one skill point per level.

I usually play classes that get at least four skill ranks, so I have never felt quite so starved for skills as I do now.


I always take the skill points.


Oxylepy wrote:
My players choose the skill point about one fifth of the time. Alternative benefits for classes are much stronger. However they MUST be immediate, the 1/5th thing is worthless none of them ever want it, and I wouldn't want it either.

If you are talking about the 1/6 of a feat/talent options, they are usually well worth it. Consider that taking one hp per level is no different than a single feat, toughness. The good 1/6 options give you as much of a feat at level 6 as you would have gotten at 20 by just taking an hp every level.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Very typically, I select race for the racial FCB. It's not uncommon for me to take skill points, either.


Also, the character concept is a deciding factor. Do I have enough skill points to do what I want to be able to do (and as well as I want to do them)? If yes, hit points or class alternates, otherwise skill points all the way!


It really depends on the class, and the GM. I have used it for both depending on what I want the character to do.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
jorunkun wrote:


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 would judge it very differently. I find skill points are much more valuable at lower levels. So I am much more likely to swap out my 1st-5th fcb for skills than my 6th-20th.

After a given point you get a bigger boost to skills via magic than anything else. And get 1 point in a skill enables you activated the class bonus and allows you to make rolls for that skill so the 1st rank is by far the most valuable.

That said if you can get 1/6th a feat or class feature then that so much better than 6 skill points or 6 hit points its rarely even in the same ballpark.


I take the HP a little more often than the skill points, but it depends on the character. My barbarian had a bunch of HP, so he took the skill points.


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Melkiador wrote:
Oxylepy wrote:
My players choose the skill point about one fifth of the time. Alternative benefits for classes are much stronger. However they MUST be immediate, the 1/5th thing is worthless none of them ever want it, and I wouldn't want it either.
If you are talking about the 1/6 of a feat/talent options, they are usually well worth it. Consider that taking one hp per level is no different than a single feat, toughness. The good 1/6 options give you as much of a feat at level 6 as you would have gotten at 20 by just taking an hp every level.

Sorry, opinion based on my experiences as a player. Hitting 6th level in any game is pretty much the end. DM's tend to just end the games around then, for whatever reason


Depends on what I'm trying to do.

In order of preference, I usually go: Alt FCB > Skill > HP. However, if the alternative FCB is trash, like the Cleric ones (all of them), the skill is probably more important. When neither the FCB nor the skill are terribly useful, such as with Wizards, then I take the HP.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

1 Skill Point.

I almost never take the HP, and neither does anyone I play with.

Racial FC stuff is another matter (and gets taken pretty commonly), and are often a better investment. But HP? Nah.

Frankly, optimization guides advise the HP because skills in general are overshadowed by spells in high level play, especially by the RAW, and maxing out a few skills is considered perfectly sufficient mechanically. That's true enough, but misses the desire to be at least adequate in a wider range of skills.

And, IME, the extra skills are most valuable at 1st-3rd level level, the same time the HP are since at that point they probably grant you the +3 for Class Skills.

Of course, games I run and play in use skills a lot. So maybe the solution is as simple as making skills come up more and possibly accomplish more.

Pretty much this.


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


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

Generally speaking, having extra ranks to put into off-skills or to advance extra primary skills can vastly improve your character's adventuring potential. The skill point is also useful even if you have an Int penalty (because you get class skills-X, minimum 1 + bonus) so it's also really nice for characters with Int penalties or low skill points.

Generally speaking the extra versatility and options that skill points, even a single point, adds is usually worth more to me than +1 HP.


Racial FCB most of the time, usually skill ranks if none match up. I rarely feel the need to add hp due to the way I create my characters.


I usually take a half-elf character with the Fast Learner (get the +1 hp and +1 skill point) feat. I don't really care how under rated it is, I like that feat.

When I don't play a half elf, I still take the skill point

Liberty's Edge

I usually go Alt>HP>Skills. But skills and HP are tied, it depends on the character's roll and other factors (like how many base skills they get and how much I plan on using them).

I have a Human Hunter with a 13 Intelligence but a 12 Con (the Gods help me) so FCB is going into HP's.

My Aasimar Stalker whose meant to be kind of a Rogue... well he's getting skills.

My Human Barbarian -> He says no to spells.


Skills. I may take hp at level one for a slight buffer but only if I'm playing d8 or d10. A d6 character shouldn't be near combat enough to have it matter.

Spells may replace skills for some people, but that's at a much later point in the game.

I prefer bards so I love being able to try. An extra point turns try to success.


If there's no good racial FCB and I'm playing a melee character with survivability issues or if I really can't find another skill my character needs I'll take the HP.

Otherwise I pretty much always take the skill point.

Gaining an extra skill tends to open up fun options while the amount of HP you gain from that FCB is almost never significant enough to matter.

IMHO.

Dark Archive

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I take skills on anyone who isn't in melee and occasionally on characters who are in melee, especially if they already had a lot to begin with (such as Hunter or Slayer who both have 6+). I don't normally take the racial FCB - in our home games we don't restrict FCB by race because every spontaneous caster would be human, every magus would be an elf, etc. It has opened up character concepts and hasn't really increased overall power.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I take the skill point far more often than the hp.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Depends on the character, but in general hp is my last resort. My priority goes thusly:
Racial FCB - if it's useful and fits the concept, I take this. Often level dependent. For example, I find human sorcerer to be trash at levels 1-3 and indispensable at level 4+. If not taking the racial FCB, then...
Skill point - if I need more skills to realize my concept, I take the skill point. If I'm happy with my skills, and the racial FCB is junk, then, and only then, I take the
Hit point - this is my "nothing better to do, might as well take something." choice.

Liberty's Edge

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

Well, it's an active vs. passive thing. HP are useful, but all they do is help you not die, not actually accomplish anything. Skills let you do stuff, and are thus more fun IME...unless of course you die.

Brox RedGloves wrote:

I usually take a half-elf character with the Fast Learner (get the +1 hp and +1 skill point) feat. I don't really care how under rated it is, I like that feat.

When I don't play a half elf, I still take the skill point

Fast Learner is basically Toughness that lets you take Toughness again later. It's a fine Feat, if not particularly flashy or spectacular.


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I almost always take skill points over HP as the favored class bonus. Racial favored class bonus depends heavily on what the bonus is, I will sometimes take it over skill points. But many racial FCB are terrible and I wont bother, but some are exceptionally good so it just depends.

But if I'm only looking at hp vs skill point, skill point every time.

Why? Because it's very unlikely the extra 1-20 hp aren't going to make much difference to the overall survival of my character.

At level 10, 10 extra hp are unlikely to make the difference between dead and not dead just because of the way damage scales up in this game.

So I guess the answer to your question is 1. It only takes 1 skill point instead of 1 hp for me to choose the option.

I think your players overvalue the 1 hp per level.

The only thing that would make me reevaluate this is if for some reason wands of CLW and healing spells in general were not plentifully available.

Sovereign Court

Racial-HP-SP

I usually play combat oriented PCs and anything that broadens the distance between living and dying is a positive to me.


I usually, but not always, take the skill point over hp.

I don't use the advanced race guide, so racial favored class bonuses aren't available to me.


therealthom wrote:

I usually, but not always, take the skill point over hp.

I don't use the advanced race guide, so racial favored class bonuses aren't available to me.

For the record, many of these bonuses are available in the APG, as well as many other books (the ACG and OA both contain them for all the corebook PC races on the new classes therein, for example).

That certainly doesn't mean you have to use them, but they aren't restricted to that particular book by any means.

Scarab Sages

I usually take the skill point or the racial FCB. I almost never take the HP. If I need more HP, I'll either take toughness or tribal scars, or invest in more CON.


Usually skill points except for kineticist(HP) and spontaneous human casters I get the extra spells known after the first 3 character levels.


I nearly always choose skill point. If I need more hp I'll invest in more con as a rule.
So 1 skill point.


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One.


Aside from racial options, my group nearly always take the extra skill point. I've seen maybe one or two characters taking the HP option.


I never take the hp. I always go skill point or fcb.

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