1D4+Int Skill points


Homebrew and House Rules


This is a pretty basic idea I came up with because I'm a lover of fighters and Paladins. But they get short changed on the skills rather hard even with a skill bump and use of background skills I often just feel like the big juicy meat for the skill monkey type to stand behind which in some RP events made me feel VERY left out. My fix? Easy

For anything that would get 2 skill per level plus int give them 1D4(or average round down, It would still be 2) And allow them to spend the same time they would training their HP up to train to their max skill dice. If you think this is unfair to the 4+int skill users easy fix, Give them a D6, Etc. Following this logic the rogue with the most skill points gets a mighty powerful D10+int and it would more than likely raise the powerlevel of the group but that is at the very least my fix to the problem...Or just bump all the 2+int to 4+int and call it a day.

Shadow Lodge

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Why? What benefits does this system provide over a simple point increase?

Rolling adds an unwelcome element of randomness to the proceedings. If you think being a Paladin with 2+int skills is difficult, try being a Bard/Rogue/Investigator (a class whose main selling point is their skills) that rolls a 1 or a 2 for skill points several times in a row. Or, imagine if the aforementioned Paladin rolls a 1, leaving them with fewer skills than if they had just taken the normal amount.


Just bump non-int based classes/archetyles to a 4 skillpoint base. Rolling is just needlessly complex.


Well here is my reasoning. Rolling is super fun plus it isn't like the Paladin is STUCK with that 1 with only nine days of down time he has his four. But the base idea is just allow people to pick from the base of what they would normal or allow to to at least train it up higher from there if their roll is same or lesser. It is just a thought.


Disk Elemental wrote:
Rolling adds an unwelcome element of randomness to the proceedings.

I personally agree, but I think it's an interesting idea to bring rolling of skill points into the mix alongside rolling of hit points. In my group, the DM usually goes "just take the average" if a hit point roll goes poorly at level-up, but for those who like more random and organic progression, I can see the appeal of adding a little variance to what your character learns over the course of their levels.


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Yeah, this proposal actually makes it worse. One time in four, your fighter will actually be weakened by this new rule.

The other issue is that, after about third level, skills are valueless, because any useful skill can be duplicated and exceeded with a potion or oil.

And a third issue is that randomness in character generation is generally not considered fun, which is why editions since the mid 80s have generally been pushing for reduced roles for random generation -- by which read, they've been incorporating the house rules that have been used all over the world because they make the game more fun, so your proposed rule will probably make the game less fun.

Let's see -- we're making the game less fun by unpredictably weakening characters that are already weak because they depend on skills. I think you may have hit the trifecta of suck there.

Shadow Lodge

Bigby FrostFire wrote:
Rolling is super fun

Guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that front.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Bigby FrostFire wrote:
Well here is my reasoning. Rolling is super fun plus it isn't like the Paladin is STUCK with that 1 with only nine days of down time he has his four. But the base idea is just allow people to pick from the base of what they would normal or allow to to at least train it up higher from there if their roll is same or lesser. It is just a thought.

I never met someone who thought rolling for hit points is fun. I doubt I'd ever meet someone who would feel the same about rolling for skill points.

My group does away with rolling for hit points entirely. Using a static value makes it easier to calculate hit points and audit character sheets. In addition, it removes an annoying formality to leveling up. I'd never want to do the same for hit points.


Orfamay Quest wrote:

Yeah, this proposal actually makes it worse. One time in four, your fighter will actually be weakened by this new rule.

The other issue is that, after about third level, skills are valueless, because any useful skill can be duplicated and exceeded with a potion or oil.

And a third issue is that randomness in character generation is generally not considered fun, which is why editions since the mid 80s have generally been pushing for reduced roles for random generation -- by which read, they've been incorporating the house rules that have been used all over the world because they make the game more fun, so your proposed rule will probably make the game less fun.

Let's see -- we're making the game less fun by unpredictably weakening characters that are already weak because they depend on skills. I think you may have hit the trifecta of suck there.

And potions and oils are just free in your games, are they?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
And a third issue is that randomness in character generation is generally not considered fun, which is why editions since the mid 80s have generally been pushing for reduced roles for random generation -- by which read, they've been incorporating the house rules that have been used all over the world because they make the game more fun, so your proposed rule will probably make the game less fun.

This is definitely a Your Mileage May Vary sort of thing. Many groups still enjoy the randomness that dice rolling provides, especially in more laid back games. I am not personally one of them, especially when it comes to hit dice, but I understand the appeal.

That said, this is just too complex. Prince Yyrkoon's suggestion is much more simple and elegant.


RDM42 wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

Yeah, this proposal actually makes it worse. One time in four, your fighter will actually be weakened by this new rule.

The other issue is that, after about third level, skills are valueless, because any useful skill can be duplicated and exceeded with a potion or oil.

And a third issue is that randomness in character generation is generally not considered fun, which is why editions since the mid 80s have generally been pushing for reduced roles for random generation -- by which read, they've been incorporating the house rules that have been used all over the world because they make the game more fun, so your proposed rule will probably make the game less fun.

Let's see -- we're making the game less fun by unpredictably weakening characters that are already weak because they depend on skills. I think you may have hit the trifecta of suck there.

And potions and oils are just free in your games, are they?

No, but they're cheap enough to be pocket change. At third level, wealth-by-level suggests you should have about 3000 gp to your name, of which 50 gp can buy you a potion of spider climb (or 15gp for a wand charge) and you will probably never need to make a climb check again.

Less, if the party wizard has taken the crafting feats.


PK the Dragon wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
And a third issue is that randomness in character generation is generally not considered fun, which is why editions since the mid 80s have generally been pushing for reduced roles for random generation -- by which read, they've been incorporating the house rules that have been used all over the world because they make the game more fun, so your proposed rule will probably make the game less fun.
This is definitely a Your Mileage May Vary sort of thing.

Not really, no. The history of D&D and of RPGs generally is not a YMMV sort of thing. The changes that have been made in D&D are not a YMMV sort of thing. The reasons for those changes are not a YMMV sort of thing.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
PK the Dragon wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
And a third issue is that randomness in character generation is generally not considered fun, which is why editions since the mid 80s have generally been pushing for reduced roles for random generation -- by which read, they've been incorporating the house rules that have been used all over the world because they make the game more fun, so your proposed rule will probably make the game less fun.
This is definitely a Your Mileage May Vary sort of thing.
Not really, no. The history of D&D and of RPGs generally is not a YMMV sort of thing. The changes that have been made in D&D are not a YMMV sort of thing. The reasons for those changes are not a YMMV sort of thing.

They actually are. Hence why people still swear by AD&D or play retro-clones. The reason behind one system versus another are many and varied beyond "people do or do not like reducing dice rolls/randomness".


I hate rolling for HP. I hate rolling for stats. Heck, I hate rolling for most things, and prefer builds that force others to roll or that otherwise focus more on increasing flat bonuses than die rolled. I would particularly despise rolling for skills.

In my setting, I give my players 4 extra skill points per level, but they need to use downtime to "train" them (they don't come automatically per level up). Allows for those who care to be more skillful, without negating the usefulness of having a class that automatically grants a bunch.


Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Just bump non-int based classes/archetyles to a 4 skillpoint base. Rolling is just needlessly complex.

Were you planning on bumping the HP or bab or the int based classes.

You know, since you are penalizing them for investing in their primary stat.


Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Just bump non-int based classes/archetyles to a 4 skillpoint base. Rolling is just needlessly complex.

Were you planning on bumping the HP or bab or the int based classes.

You know, since you are penalizing them for investing in their primary stat.

I'm sure the guy who can use the laws of physics as a yo-yo and summon a devil to fetch him a beer just to remind it who's boss around here is going to feel mighty penalized that the fighter can assess his surroundings, bandage a wound, ride a horse, AND do a cartwheel instead of just two of those.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Just bump non-int based classes/archetyles to a 4 skillpoint base. Rolling is just needlessly complex.

Were you planning on bumping the HP or bab or the int based classes.

You know, since you are penalizing them for investing in their primary stat.

I'm sure the guy who can use the laws of physics as a yo-yo and summon a devil to fetch him a beer just to remind it who's boss around here is going to feel mighty penalized that the fighter can assess his surroundings, bandage a wound, ride a horse, AND do a cartwheel instead of just two of those.

What Black Waltz said. They're already rewarded plenty for investing in Intelligence, and are the most powerful classes in the game. They don't need anything to 'make up' for other classes getting a few extra skills.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Bigby FrostFire wrote:

This is a pretty basic idea I came up with because I'm a lover of fighters and Paladins. But they get short changed on the skills rather hard even with a skill bump and use of background skills I often just feel like the big juicy meat for the skill monkey type to stand behind which in some RP events made me feel VERY left out. My fix? Easy

For anything that would get 2 skill per level plus int give them 1D4(or average round down, It would still be 2) And allow them to spend the same time they would training their HP up to train to their max skill dice. If you think this is unfair to the 4+int skill users easy fix, Give them a D6, Etc. Following this logic the rogue with the most skill points gets a mighty powerful D10+int and it would more than likely raise the powerlevel of the group but that is at the very least my fix to the problem...Or just bump all the 2+int to 4+int and call it a day.

stop reading my mind I thought about this last night damn it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Yeah, this proposal actually makes it worse. One time in four, your fighter will actually be weakened by this new rule.

statistically it's actually WAY in favor of improving them, the statistics of having equal or better improve with level.

like even if you roll a 1 at first level, you get a 50% chance to come out even or better next level

after about a 6% chance of getting 2 1s in a row, it's still got a 25% chance to get even again.


Bandw2 wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Yeah, this proposal actually makes it worse. One time in four, your fighter will actually be weakened by this new rule.

statistically it's actually WAY in favor of improving them, the statistics of having equal or better improve with level.

like even if you roll a 1 at first level, you get a 50% chance to come out even or better next level

after about a 6% chance of getting 2 1s in a row, it's still got a 25% chance to get even again.

And the rogue? Would get shanked almost every time. Rogues are weak to begin with, and your suggestion makes them lose most of their skill points... On average you'd get about half of what they are supposed to get, and with my luck with dice I'd get a quarter.


Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Just bump non-int based classes/archetyles to a 4 skillpoint base. Rolling is just needlessly complex.

Were you planning on bumping the HP or bab or the int based classes.

You know, since you are penalizing them for investing in their primary stat.

Not getting a buff is not the same thing as a penalty. Look, for most classes int has no purpose except skill points. Asking a character to invest between 1/3-1/4 of their build points (1/5 with a generous GM), or be forced to play a human, for a functional amount of skill points is absurd. Meanwhile classes like the Wizard or the Magus are already going to put that 14, or more in most cases, in Int anyway. They gain powerful mechanical benefits, and skill points.

It isn't penalizing int based classes, it's removing a stat tax on on int based classes who want enough skill points for some basic competences.


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Trigger Loaded wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Just bump non-int based classes/archetyles to a 4 skillpoint base. Rolling is just needlessly complex.

Were you planning on bumping the HP or bab or the int based classes.

You know, since you are penalizing them for investing in their primary stat.

I'm sure the guy who can use the laws of physics as a yo-yo and summon a devil to fetch him a beer just to remind it who's boss around here is going to feel mighty penalized that the fighter can assess his surroundings, bandage a wound, ride a horse, AND do a cartwheel instead of just two of those.
What Black Waltz said. They're already rewarded plenty for investing in Intelligence, and are the most powerful classes in the game. They don't need anything to 'make up' for other classes getting a few extra skills.

So, we apply a damage penalty to strength based characters then. Wisdom based classes should always have will as a poor save. Charisma based classes should never have social skills as class skills.

Can't have characters receiving full benefit from investing in their primary stat, i.e., intelligence based characters are penalized by being explicitly exempted from the rules change because they are intelligence based.

You see where this goes. Any time you penalize one class on the basis of their primary stat, you open the door to penalizing other classes for their stat choices.

Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Not getting a buff is not the same thing as a penalty.

Having base skills set lower than every single non-intelligence based class would be a penalty.

The base expectation is moved upwards when you buff all other 2+ skill classes, making a specific exception for intelligent characters.

Example: Federal minimum wage is increased for everyone. Except McDonalds employees, they can stay at the previous minimum wage. They have no right to complain, this is not a penalty, just a bonus for everyone else.


Snowlilly wrote:
Trigger Loaded wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Just bump non-int based classes/archetyles to a 4 skillpoint base. Rolling is just needlessly complex.

Were you planning on bumping the HP or bab or the int based classes.

You know, since you are penalizing them for investing in their primary stat.

I'm sure the guy who can use the laws of physics as a yo-yo and summon a devil to fetch him a beer just to remind it who's boss around here is going to feel mighty penalized that the fighter can assess his surroundings, bandage a wound, ride a horse, AND do a cartwheel instead of just two of those.
What Black Waltz said. They're already rewarded plenty for investing in Intelligence, and are the most powerful classes in the game. They don't need anything to 'make up' for other classes getting a few extra skills.

So, we apply a damage penalty to strength hased characters then. Wisdom based classes should always have will as a poor save. Charisma based classes should never have social skills as class skills.

Can't have characters receiving full benefit from investing in their primary stat.

You see where this goes. Any time you penalize one class on the basis of their primary stat, you open the door to penalizing other classes for their stat choices.

Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Not getting a buff is not the same thing as a penalty.

Having base skills set lower than every single non-intelligence based class would be a penalty.

The base expectation is moved upwards when you buff all other 2+ skill classes, making a specific exception for smart characters.

Wizards have no need to invest in strength to bave meaningful out of combat interactions with the game world.

Whys should Fighters have to heavily invest in int to do the same?

Int based classes already have a strong incentive to invest in int. A Fighter with 4 base skill points will still end up less skilled than a Wizard with 2, or even a Magus in the long run.

It's not a penalty, it's increasing parity.


Prince Yyrkoon wrote:

Wizards have no need to invest in strength to bave meaningful out of combat interactions with the game world.

Whys should Fighters have to heavily invest in int to do the same?

Int based classes already have a strong incentive to invest in int. A Fighter with 4 base skill points will still end up less skilled than a Wizard with 2, or even a Magus in the long run.

It's not a penalty, it's increasing parity.

You and I build very different fighters.

My fighters usually start with 7-8 skill points/level. About the same as my wizards, considerably more than the 5 skill points/level most of my magi start with.


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Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:

Wizards have no need to invest in strength to bave meaningful out of combat interactions with the game world.

Whys should Fighters have to heavily invest in int to do the same?

Int based classes already have a strong incentive to invest in int. A Fighter with 4 base skill points will still end up less skilled than a Wizard with 2, or even a Magus in the long run.

It's not a penalty, it's increasing parity.

You and I build very different fighters.

My fighters usually start with 7-8 skill points/level. About the same as my wizards, considerably more than the 5 skill points/level most of my magi start with.

8 skill pointts per level on a fighter? Seriously? Fighters get a base of 2... so human for +1, and favored class bonus for another +1, brings to 4 skill points per level... If your fighters usually start with 18 int then I think you play way above the powerlevel of most people... or play awfully unoptimized builds. Epic array is 25 points and an 18 is worth 17 points...


Goblin_Priest wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:

Wizards have no need to invest in strength to bave meaningful out of combat interactions with the game world.

Whys should Fighters have to heavily invest in int to do the same?

Int based classes already have a strong incentive to invest in int. A Fighter with 4 base skill points will still end up less skilled than a Wizard with 2, or even a Magus in the long run.

It's not a penalty, it's increasing parity.

You and I build very different fighters.

My fighters usually start with 7-8 skill points/level. About the same as my wizards, considerably more than the 5 skill points/level most of my magi start with.

8 skill pointts per level on a fighter? Seriously? Fighters get a base of 2... so human for +1, and favored class bonus for another +1, brings to 4 skill points per level... If your fighters usually start with 18 int then I think you play way above the powerlevel of most people... or play awfully unoptimized builds. Epic array is 25 points and an 18 is worth 17 points...

Maybe another 2 skills/level from Lore Warden, Pack Mule, or that 4-level casting archetype. Which means you *only* need a 14 INT, though this is still a considerable investment.

Magus with 5 skills/level could be a 16 INT character with FCB HP. Or a 14 INT human, or a 14 INT nonhuman with FCB skills, or 12 INT human with FCB skills.


My Self wrote:
Goblin_Priest wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:

Wizards have no need to invest in strength to bave meaningful out of combat interactions with the game world.

Whys should Fighters have to heavily invest in int to do the same?

Int based classes already have a strong incentive to invest in int. A Fighter with 4 base skill points will still end up less skilled than a Wizard with 2, or even a Magus in the long run.

It's not a penalty, it's increasing parity.

You and I build very different fighters.

My fighters usually start with 7-8 skill points/level. About the same as my wizards, considerably more than the 5 skill points/level most of my magi start with.

8 skill pointts per level on a fighter? Seriously? Fighters get a base of 2... so human for +1, and favored class bonus for another +1, brings to 4 skill points per level... If your fighters usually start with 18 int then I think you play way above the powerlevel of most people... or play awfully unoptimized builds. Epic array is 25 points and an 18 is worth 17 points...

Maybe another 2 skills/level from Lore Warden, Pack Mule, or that 4-level casting archetype. Which means you *only* need a 14 INT, though this is still a considerable investment.

Magus with 5 skills/level could be a 16 INT character with FCB HP. Or a 14 INT human, or a 14 INT nonhuman with FCB skills, or 12 INT human with FCB skills.

These archetypes look terrible... Losing that armor mastery is likely going to make the character need even more dex to compensate, further decreasing his ability to purchase a high int score. I'm guessing they each fit to just a few builds just to be on par...


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Goblin_Priest wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Yeah, this proposal actually makes it worse. One time in four, your fighter will actually be weakened by this new rule.

statistically it's actually WAY in favor of improving them, the statistics of having equal or better improve with level.

like even if you roll a 1 at first level, you get a 50% chance to come out even or better next level

after about a 6% chance of getting 2 1s in a row, it's still got a 25% chance to get even again.

And the rogue? Would get shanked almost every time. Rogues are weak to begin with, and your suggestion makes them lose most of their skill points... On average you'd get about half of what they are supposed to get, and with my luck with dice I'd get a quarter.

as far as i understand it, this has nothing to do with rogues... only 2+int mod.

if it did involve rogues it would be 1d4+6+intmod


Goblin_Priest wrote:
My Self wrote:
Goblin_Priest wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:

Wizards have no need to invest in strength to bave meaningful out of combat interactions with the game world.

Whys should Fighters have to heavily invest in int to do the same?

Int based classes already have a strong incentive to invest in int. A Fighter with 4 base skill points will still end up less skilled than a Wizard with 2, or even a Magus in the long run.

It's not a penalty, it's increasing parity.

You and I build very different fighters.

My fighters usually start with 7-8 skill points/level. About the same as my wizards, considerably more than the 5 skill points/level most of my magi start with.

8 skill pointts per level on a fighter? Seriously? Fighters get a base of 2... so human for +1, and favored class bonus for another +1, brings to 4 skill points per level... If your fighters usually start with 18 int then I think you play way above the powerlevel of most people... or play awfully unoptimized builds. Epic array is 25 points and an 18 is worth 17 points...

Maybe another 2 skills/level from Lore Warden, Pack Mule, or that 4-level casting archetype. Which means you *only* need a 14 INT, though this is still a considerable investment.

Magus with 5 skills/level could be a 16 INT character with FCB HP. Or a 14 INT human, or a 14 INT nonhuman with FCB skills, or 12 INT human with FCB skills.

These archetypes look terrible... Losing that armor mastery is likely going to make the character need even more dex to compensate, further decreasing his ability to purchase a high int score. I'm guessing they each fit to just a few builds just to be on par...

Pack Mule and that casting archetypes are bad trades, but Lore Warden is an excellent trade for CMB builds. +8 CMB on a full BAB class is nothing to scoff at.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:

Wizards have no need to invest in strength to bave meaningful out of combat interactions with the game world.

Whys should Fighters have to heavily invest in int to do the same?

Int based classes already have a strong incentive to invest in int. A Fighter with 4 base skill points will still end up less skilled than a Wizard with 2, or even a Magus in the long run.

It's not a penalty, it's increasing parity.

You and I build very different fighters.

My fighters usually start with 7-8 skill points/level. About the same as my wizards, considerably more than the 5 skill points/level most of my magi start with.

that's a lot of wasted build efficiency...

generally when I build fighters they get 3/level and I spread them around on class skills the first few levels then pump perception and a skill or 2 I want.


My Self wrote:
Goblin_Priest wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:

Wizards have no need to invest in strength to bave meaningful out of combat interactions with the game world.

Whys should Fighters have to heavily invest in int to do the same?

Int based classes already have a strong incentive to invest in int. A Fighter with 4 base skill points will still end up less skilled than a Wizard with 2, or even a Magus in the long run.

It's not a penalty, it's increasing parity.

You and I build very different fighters.

My fighters usually start with 7-8 skill points/level. About the same as my wizards, considerably more than the 5 skill points/level most of my magi start with.

8 skill pointts per level on a fighter? Seriously? Fighters get a base of 2... so human for +1, and favored class bonus for another +1, brings to 4 skill points per level... If your fighters usually start with 18 int then I think you play way above the powerlevel of most people... or play awfully unoptimized builds. Epic array is 25 points and an 18 is worth 17 points...

Maybe another 2 skills/level from Lore Warden, Pack Mule, or that 4-level casting archetype. Which means you *only* need a 14 INT, though this is still a considerable investment.

Magus with 5 skills/level could be a 16 INT character with FCB HP. Or a 14 INT human, or a 14 INT nonhuman with FCB skills, or 12 INT human with FCB skills.

Or, in other words "It's easy to get skill points as a fighter, if you use a certain race/archetype combo!". Very narrow, niche examples are poor evidence. And does nothing to adress the issue with other classes (Paladin, Sorc, Warpriest, Cleric.)


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Snowlilly wrote:
Trigger Loaded wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Just bump non-int based classes/archetyles to a 4 skillpoint base. Rolling is just needlessly complex.

Were you planning on bumping the HP or bab or the int based classes.

You know, since you are penalizing them for investing in their primary stat.

I'm sure the guy who can use the laws of physics as a yo-yo and summon a devil to fetch him a beer just to remind it who's boss around here is going to feel mighty penalized that the fighter can assess his surroundings, bandage a wound, ride a horse, AND do a cartwheel instead of just two of those.
What Black Waltz said. They're already rewarded plenty for investing in Intelligence, and are the most powerful classes in the game. They don't need anything to 'make up' for other classes getting a few extra skills.

So, we apply a damage penalty to strength based characters then. Wisdom based classes should always have will as a poor save. Charisma based classes should never have social skills as class skills.

Can't have characters receiving full benefit from investing in their primary stat, i.e., intelligence based characters are penalized by being explicitly exempted from the rules change because they are intelligence based.

You see where this goes. Any time you penalize one class on the basis of their primary stat, you open the door to penalizing other classes for their stat choices.

Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Not getting a buff is not the same thing as a penalty.

Having base skills set lower than every single non-intelligence based class would be a penalty.

The base expectation is moved upwards when you buff all other 2+ skill classes, making a specific exception for intelligent characters.

Example: Federal minimum wage is increased for everyone. Except McDonalds employees, they can stay at the previous minimum wage. They have no right to complain, this is not a penalty, just a bonus for everyone else.

Replace "McDonalds Employee" with "Hedge Fund Manager" and your analogy makes sense.


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Snowlilly wrote:
Prince Yyrkoon wrote:

Wizards have no need to invest in strength to bave meaningful out of combat interactions with the game world.

Whys should Fighters have to heavily invest in int to do the same?

Int based classes already have a strong incentive to invest in int. A Fighter with 4 base skill points will still end up less skilled than a Wizard with 2, or even a Magus in the long run.

It's not a penalty, it's increasing parity.

You and I build very different fighters.

My fighters usually start with 7-8 skill points/level. About the same as my wizards, considerably more than the 5 skill points/level most of my magi start with.

OK, for starters, this conversation's not moving forward until you acknowledge not everyone who plays a fighter wants to play your specific Human Lore Warden fighter you keep bringing up. Character Select Forcing is a load of crap.

Now, about the McDonald's employee being specifically excluded, someone above me has it right that it's more like raising minimum wage without giving an accompanying tax break to a hedge fund manager. It is taken for granted that an INT-based class will have at least three and often more like four or five bonus skill ranks from their focus stat even very early in the game, and so a lower base is established as a balancing factor. By their very nature, every class in the game that is INT-focused will reap enormous benefits from increasing it further beyond simple skills; additional spells/extracts per day and higher save DCs are an additional reward unto themselves, particularly since a number of spells and extracts completely negate the need for a skill check when used. Even without optimizing to the hilt, it is simplicity itself for many of these classes to hit +6 or even +8 intelligence over the course of their career, granting a whopping 8-10 skill ranks per level as well as a bonanza of bonus spells/extracts per day and a staggeringly high save DC.

This is compared to, say, the Sorcerer or the Cleric, who gain the additional spells and DCs for focusing on THEIR main stat but are still rationing their skill ranks like misers because they can't afford nearly the kind of intelligence investment the wizard and witch find trivial. No wizard anywhere has ever had to concern himself with how to arm himself with perception, spellcraft, several relevant knowledges, and a social skill or two. Sorcerers need a lot more work to do the same, and can be outperformed by the wizard that avails himself of the embarrassing multitude of options that make social skills intelligence-based, and naturally speaks a half-dozen languages the rest of the party can't.

The intelligence-based classes have absolutely no basis to go crying to mommy if the baseline for classes that aren't guaranteed to have 3-8 bonus skill ranks per level before FCB or racials are considered are moved up to 4+INT, and it nixes the double-standard that the fighter is half as skillful as the barbarian and a THIRD as skillful as the ranger in CRB-based analysis despite both the Barbarian and the Ranger being just as good if not better at fighting than he is. Hell, the barbarian actually needs much less strength investment in point-buy than the fighter does, thanks to Rage!

And even with ALL THAT aside, I now glee in being able to turn the old chestnut brought up in the wizard's defense around: "it's not a competition."

The Wizard's not entitled to be massively more skillful than the fighter, even though he will be when both are in the hands of players that focus on their most relevant attributes even if the fighter DARES ask for as much skill as the brawler, barbarian, bloodrager, monk, druid, oracle, cavalier, shaman, gunslinger, and skald get as their baseline despite not being INT-based. But beyond that, what punishment is it to the wizard that the fighter has more opportunities to contribute to the flow of the game outside of combat? It's not a competition! The three pillars are for everyone, not just the skill monkey and the INT-stacker. Who are you, wizard, to feel attacked that someone's gruff-but-wise dwarvish fighter is of only average (10-11) intelligence and yet can effectively climb, swim, look around, forage for food, and treat a wound or poisoning?

The design of later non-INT based martials acknowledges that the fighter's and paladin's design skill-wise was wrong and the barbarian's was right. Skill starvation contributes nothing to the game at all besides artificially inflating the importance of a single stat as a barrier to participation in many of the game's challenges, and one that unfairly biases people picking mental stats towards intelligence because they want to be able to do stuff even if being wise or charismatic is more fitting for what their character concept is.


Cyrad wrote:
Bigby FrostFire wrote:
Well here is my reasoning. Rolling is super fun plus it isn't like the Paladin is STUCK with that 1 with only nine days of down time he has his four. But the base idea is just allow people to pick from the base of what they would normal or allow to to at least train it up higher from there if their roll is same or lesser. It is just a thought.

I never met someone who thought rolling for hit points is fun. I doubt I'd ever meet someone who would feel the same about rolling for skill points.

My group does away with rolling for hit points entirely. Using a static value makes it easier to calculate hit points and audit character sheets. In addition, it removes an annoying formality to leveling up. I'd never want to do the same for hit points.

I love rolling for things. Static values are for video games.


Bandw2 wrote:
Goblin_Priest wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Yeah, this proposal actually makes it worse. One time in four, your fighter will actually be weakened by this new rule.

statistically it's actually WAY in favor of improving them, the statistics of having equal or better improve with level.

like even if you roll a 1 at first level, you get a 50% chance to come out even or better next level

after about a 6% chance of getting 2 1s in a row, it's still got a 25% chance to get even again.

And the rogue? Would get shanked almost every time. Rogues are weak to begin with, and your suggestion makes them lose most of their skill points... On average you'd get about half of what they are supposed to get, and with my luck with dice I'd get a quarter.

as far as i understand it, this has nothing to do with rogues... only 2+int mod.

if it did involve rogues it would be 1d4+6+intmod

See OP:

Bigby FrostFire wrote:
(...) Following this logic the rogue with the most skill points gets a mighty powerful D10+int and it would more than likely raise the powerlevel of the group but that is at the very least my fix to the problem...

.

My Self wrote:
Pack Mule and that casting archetypes are bad trades, but Lore Warden is an excellent trade for CMB builds. +8 CMB on a full BAB class is nothing to scoff at.

Sure, the +8 CMB can be interesting, but combat maneuvers seem, overall, subpar to me. In most cases. Are the cases where they are useful (and actually worth the ton of feats they require) worth the price, though? Lore Warden looks like it would work for some concept, but I definitely wouldn't think of making most of my fighters take it.


Goblin_Priest wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Goblin_Priest wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Yeah, this proposal actually makes it worse. One time in four, your fighter will actually be weakened by this new rule.

statistically it's actually WAY in favor of improving them, the statistics of having equal or better improve with level.

like even if you roll a 1 at first level, you get a 50% chance to come out even or better next level

after about a 6% chance of getting 2 1s in a row, it's still got a 25% chance to get even again.

And the rogue? Would get shanked almost every time. Rogues are weak to begin with, and your suggestion makes them lose most of their skill points... On average you'd get about half of what they are supposed to get, and with my luck with dice I'd get a quarter.

as far as i understand it, this has nothing to do with rogues... only 2+int mod.

if it did involve rogues it would be 1d4+6+intmod

See OP:

Bigby FrostFire wrote:
(...) Following this logic the rogue with the most skill points gets a mighty powerful D10+int and it would more than likely raise the powerlevel of the group but that is at the very least my fix to the problem...

.

My Self wrote:
Pack Mule and that casting archetypes are bad trades, but Lore Warden is an excellent trade for CMB builds. +8 CMB on a full BAB class is nothing to scoff at.

Sure, the +8 CMB can be interesting, but combat maneuvers seem, overall, subpar to me. In most cases. Are the cases where they are useful (and actually worth the ton of feats they require) worth the price, though? Lore Warden looks like it would work for some concept, but I definitely wouldn't think of making most of my fighters take it.

Oh, I'm not saying that it's a better Fighter in most cases, just that Lore Warden is a worthwhile trade in a not-insignificant number of situations. It's definitely not a fix to skill problems or anything.

As for the rolling thing, my take is that any rolls made should only affect the player for a session or two. That way, bad rolls don't haunt the player forever, and good rolls are not a win-all sort of thing. Stat rolling is a necessary evil when point buy or arrays are not involved, but even then, I try to keep them within a certain range so no player starts off objectively worse by a large margin. I prefer average HD to rolled HD, since bad HD rolls can affect a party for a while, especially if there's no downtime. Similarly, a bad skill roll can affect you for a while. Saying that things average out doesn't necessarily hold true over the course of a short game.


Freehold DM wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Bigby FrostFire wrote:
Well here is my reasoning. Rolling is super fun plus it isn't like the Paladin is STUCK with that 1 with only nine days of down time he has his four. But the base idea is just allow people to pick from the base of what they would normal or allow to to at least train it up higher from there if their roll is same or lesser. It is just a thought.

I never met someone who thought rolling for hit points is fun. I doubt I'd ever meet someone who would feel the same about rolling for skill points.

My group does away with rolling for hit points entirely. Using a static value makes it easier to calculate hit points and audit character sheets. In addition, it removes an annoying formality to leveling up. I'd never want to do the same for hit points.

I love rolling for things. Static values are for video games.

Many (maybe even most) video games include an RNG in crucial places. I would imagine that most people like some element of chance to keep things interesting, without leaving so much to chance that strategy and tactics are often overruled by dumb luck.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Goblin_Priest wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Goblin_Priest wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Yeah, this proposal actually makes it worse. One time in four, your fighter will actually be weakened by this new rule.

statistically it's actually WAY in favor of improving them, the statistics of having equal or better improve with level.

like even if you roll a 1 at first level, you get a 50% chance to come out even or better next level

after about a 6% chance of getting 2 1s in a row, it's still got a 25% chance to get even again.

And the rogue? Would get shanked almost every time. Rogues are weak to begin with, and your suggestion makes them lose most of their skill points... On average you'd get about half of what they are supposed to get, and with my luck with dice I'd get a quarter.

as far as i understand it, this has nothing to do with rogues... only 2+int mod.

if it did involve rogues it would be 1d4+6+intmod

See OP:

Bigby FrostFire wrote:
(...) Following this logic the rogue with the most skill points gets a mighty powerful D10+int and it would more than likely raise the powerlevel of the group but that is at the very least my fix to the problem...

ah well, that's not how i'd do it, as I have shown.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Athaleon wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Bigby FrostFire wrote:
Well here is my reasoning. Rolling is super fun plus it isn't like the Paladin is STUCK with that 1 with only nine days of down time he has his four. But the base idea is just allow people to pick from the base of what they would normal or allow to to at least train it up higher from there if their roll is same or lesser. It is just a thought.

I never met someone who thought rolling for hit points is fun. I doubt I'd ever meet someone who would feel the same about rolling for skill points.

My group does away with rolling for hit points entirely. Using a static value makes it easier to calculate hit points and audit character sheets. In addition, it removes an annoying formality to leveling up. I'd never want to do the same for hit points.

I love rolling for things. Static values are for video games.
Many (maybe even most) video games include an RNG in crucial places. I would imagine that most people like some element of chance to keep things interesting, without leaving so much to chance that strategy and tactics are often overruled by dumb luck.

RNG is actually more common in video games, since the chance of a computer forgetting what it rolled for height is substantially smaller than a human's.

seriously, play dwarf fortress.

Scarab Sages

Honestly, you could give every class +2 skill points and nothing would break. You could give every class that isn't INT based with 2 + INT SP 4 + INT skill points and you won't break anything.

I'd even go so far to say you could give paladins and fighters 6 + INT SP and nothing bad would happen.

So, a straight +2 bump for certain classes will certainly end up better, seem more fair and make your players happier than a random dice roll.

(Before anyone calls me crazy, remember that most skills are CHA, INT or DEX, and only a couple are STR or WIS based based)


Lorewalker wrote:

Honestly, you could give every class +2 skill points and nothing would break. You could give every class that isn't INT based with 2 + INT SP 4 + INT skill points and you won't break anything.

I'd even go so far to say you could give paladins and fighters 6 + INT SP and nothing bad would happen.

So, a straight +2 bump for certain classes will certainly end up better, seem more fair and make your players happier than a random dice roll.

(Before anyone calls me crazy, remember that most skills are CHA, INT or DEX, and only a couple are STR or WIS based based)

Honestly, you could give every class max ranks in all their class skills and keep skill points as a thing for non-class skills.

With a handful of exceptions(*cough* perception, UMD *cough*), skills just aren't that powerful. Overall class balance isn't much of a concern.

Scarab Sages

Snowblind wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:

Honestly, you could give every class +2 skill points and nothing would break. You could give every class that isn't INT based with 2 + INT SP 4 + INT skill points and you won't break anything.

I'd even go so far to say you could give paladins and fighters 6 + INT SP and nothing bad would happen.

So, a straight +2 bump for certain classes will certainly end up better, seem more fair and make your players happier than a random dice roll.

(Before anyone calls me crazy, remember that most skills are CHA, INT or DEX, and only a couple are STR or WIS based based)

Honestly, you could give every class max ranks in all their class skills and keep skill points as a thing for non-class skills.

With a handful of exceptions(*cough* perception, UMD *cough*), skills just aren't that powerful. Overall class balance isn't much of a concern.

Pretty much. In home games I give out extra skill points like they are candy and have only had a richer experience for it.


Ventnor wrote:
Replace "McDonalds Employee" with "Hedge Fund Manager" and your analogy makes sense.

No it doesn't. The hedge fund manager isn't working minimum wage. He's analogous to the rogue with his 8 free skill points he doesn't have to do anything extra for.

The wizard is just another guy working at a minimum wage job, but he's putting in 80 hour work weeks. The magus is the guy putting in 60 hour work weeks.

Excluding int casters from a general increase in the skill point floor is like raising the minimum wage but only for people who don't work overtime.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Atarlost wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Replace "McDonalds Employee" with "Hedge Fund Manager" and your analogy makes sense.

No it doesn't. The hedge fund manager isn't working minimum wage. He's analogous to the rogue with his 8 free skill points he doesn't have to do anything extra for.

The wizard is just another guy working at a minimum wage job, but he's putting in 80 hour work weeks. The magus is the guy putting in 60 hour work weeks.

Excluding int casters from a general increase in the skill point floor is like raising the minimum wage but only for people who don't work overtime.

That doesn't' seem analogous at all, given that in this situation int-based characters are REWARDED for hyper-optimizing around their primary stat with a buttload of bonus skill ranks on top of their increased spell slots and higher casting DCs. By comparison, the non-int based characters are PUNISHED for focusing on their primary, secondary, and tertiary stats over INT meaning a fighter has to specifically avoid optimizing the stats that make him good at his job to have a comfortable amount of skill ranks per level while the wizard gets to optimize the crap out of the stat that makes him good at HIS job and gets skill ranks for free on top of that.


Disk Elemental wrote:
Rolling adds an unwelcome element of randomness to the proceedings.

That is exactly what a point-buy lover would say!

1d4 is a bit too little though. I'm not a fan of giving out less than 4 ranks/level either, 1d4+3+Int would be much more in my taste.

But I'd rather keep skill ranks at a static, plan-able level. Gaining less than average at one level simply means that you don't progress in one or two skills that level. Gaining more than average means that you need to waste a skill rank in a skill you won't be able to fully support with more skill ranks or that you can catch up in skills you had to prioritize down earlier.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Replace "McDonalds Employee" with "Hedge Fund Manager" and your analogy makes sense.

No it doesn't. The hedge fund manager isn't working minimum wage. He's analogous to the rogue with his 8 free skill points he doesn't have to do anything extra for.

The wizard is just another guy working at a minimum wage job, but he's putting in 80 hour work weeks. The magus is the guy putting in 60 hour work weeks.

Excluding int casters from a general increase in the skill point floor is like raising the minimum wage but only for people who don't work overtime.

That doesn't' seem analogous at all, given that in this situation int-based characters are REWARDED for hyper-optimizing around their primary stat with a buttload of bonus skill ranks on top of their increased spell slots and higher casting DCs. By comparison, the non-int based characters are PUNISHED for focusing on their primary, secondary, and tertiary stats over INT meaning a fighter has to specifically avoid optimizing the stats that make him good at his job to have a comfortable amount of skill ranks per level while the wizard gets to optimize the crap out of the stat that makes him good at HIS job and gets skill ranks for free on top of that.

The problem with INT-based characters is twofold- INT-based characters effectively start at a higher skill baseline, and their total skills grow exponentially, instead of linearly.

INT-based characters generally start 2-5 skill points higher than non-INT-based characters. A Magus might have 14 INT, whereas a Wizard is likely to have 18-20. Non-INT-based characters will typically have +0, or maybe +1 if they roll well, need INT 13 (for feinting, maybe?), or prefer skill points over will saves while point buying. Possibly another +1 or 2 if they're human or they put their FCB into it. So really, INT-based characters already basically have 4-7 skill ranks/level at low levels. Fighters and Paladins will probably have 1-4 skill ranks/level, (INT 7-13, possibly Human or FCB skill points). At 1st level, INT-based 2+skill ranks/level classes are really more on par skillwise with non-INT-based 4+skill ranks/level classes. However, all INT-based nonarchetyped classes are 2/3 casters or better. A well-timed application of Vanish means that your Stealth ranks are often irrelevant. Disguise Self gives you a bigger bonus to Disguise than you can casually get at 1st level. Expeditious Retreat makes you an instant +12 Acrobatics jump check athlete. These 1st level effects can duplicate skill ranks, and often go entirely beyond what skills can accomplish. So INT-based characters with 2+INT skill ranks really are more comparable to 4+INT characters, or higher-skill characters after you account for spells.

INT-based characters will almost certainly improve their INT as they level, just as martial characters generally improve their STR or DEX. Say an INT-based and a STR-based 2+INT skill rank class both start with 13 INT. So at 1st level, they have 3 skill ranks. At 2nd, they have 6, 3rd, 9. At 4th, the STR-based class will boost his STR and have 12 skill ranks, while the INT-based class will boost his INT to 14 and have 16 ranks. By 5th, they probably both buy stat boosters if they haven't already. The STR-based one will boost his STR and have 16 skill ranks, while the INT-based one will boost his INT and have 25. By 8th level, the INT-based class will probably have +6 INT from gear and level-up bonuses. The INT-based classes end up with an even higher amount of skill points without sacrificing the smallest bit of combat competence.

To go to the work metaphor, let's say money represents skill ranks and your primary stat is your effectiveness at your job. The Fighter would be a McDonald's worker. He needs his primary stats (STR, DEX, CON) to stand up at attention for hours (not have to lean/clean), avoid grease spills, and put up with ungodly hours. And while he'd very much like to study hard, get smarter, and make more money, he can't, since he's devoting all his stat boosts to keeping up with increasingly ugly McDonalds work so he doesn't get fired (Killed in PF terms). He would very much appreciate a minimum wage boost. The Barbarian is a midlevel office manager. His primary stats (STR, CON) help him coerce his subordinates into getting their job done, and putting up with them when they don't. Being especially smart doesn't really figure into it. He makes an acceptable amount of money and could make a bit more with a higher INT, but since the company is under pressure, if his team stops getting their work done, he'll be fired. Meanwhile, the Wizard is an engineer. His primary stat is INT, so he can develop things and solve complex logical problems. By the nature of his job, he needs to be smart to be effective. If he weren't smart, he'd neither make money nor be effective. But since he's smart and employed, he makes a pretty hefty sum of money. As he levels, he will put his stat boosts into INT so he can be more effective and make more money.


Bigby FrostFire wrote:
And allow them to spend the same time they would training their HP up to train to their max skill dice.

Um... what.

So if you roll a 5 on a D10 for your Hit Points, you can train up the other 5?

Where can I find this rule?


Dr Styx wrote:
Bigby FrostFire wrote:
And allow them to spend the same time they would training their HP up to train to their max skill dice.

Um... what.

So if you roll a 5 on a D10 for your Hit Points, you can train up the other 5?

Where can I find this rule?

Retraining, from Ultimate Campaign.

Even if you could do this, it is relatively more expensive for people with more skills, like Rogues, and less expensive for people with larger INT modifiers, like Wizards.


Lorewalker wrote:

Honestly, you could give every class +2 skill points and nothing would break. You could give every class that isn't INT based with 2 + INT SP 4 + INT skill points and you won't break anything.

I'd even go so far to say you could give paladins and fighters 6 + INT SP and nothing bad would happen.

So, a straight +2 bump for certain classes will certainly end up better, seem more fair and make your players happier than a random dice roll.

(Before anyone calls me crazy, remember that most skills are CHA, INT or DEX, and only a couple are STR or WIS based based)

This. Absolutely, this. There is nothing worse than getting to a spot in a published adventure and finding out none of the PCs took Knowledge (nobility) or Linguistics to be able to make the DC 25 check and move the story forward. More skills for PCs = good.

The only way additional skill points can hurt a game is if there are lots of players. With 6 PCs and +2 skill points for every class, you might get a few "roll off" situations due to skill duplication.


A Lot of People wrote:

Why? What benefits does this system provide over a simple point increase?

Rolling adds an unwelcome element of randomness to the proceedings.
I never met someone who thought rolling for hit points is fun.

I wonder if AD&D had point buy for statistics then introduced Rolling for stats later what the out cry would have been like?

That said I actually like the idea of rolling for skills, but I parrot many people's concerns that the original post's suggestion may make many classes weaker. Of course that does not mean you shouldn't try for random skill stats. Just refine it a little.

For instance every player rolls a d8. You can't roll lower than your class's "skill stat" Thus fighters will always have at least 2. Rangers's at least a 6, and rogue's still get to be super special because no matter what they roll they will always get 8.

Change variables as needed. Maybe drop the ranger's skill-stat down to 4, increase the monk's to 5, make the Skill roll a d6, or d10. Basically adjust as needed.

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