I'm thinking of making a minor change to the skill focus feat. I don't think it would cause problems elsewhere but thought it might be worthwhile checking.
Firstly I apologise if this has come up before, I’ve had a look using search and not found anything but if I’ve missed it please feel free to ignore me.
One of the problems we have been having with Starfinder characters is the difference in effectiveness between a character with a class bonus to a skill (Mystic’s Channel Skill ability for their two connection skills, Technomancer’s Techlore with Computers and Mysticism) and one that does not have a class bonus.
This has hindered players who have wanted to have their characters be highly skilled in something that isn’t already part of their class (For example having a charming Technomancer, an Ace Pilot Envoy, or Soldiers with any skill). At lower levels this can be worked around with the Skill Focus Feat, which allows a character without a skill bonus from their class to keep up because it grants an insight bonus which duplicates the insight bonus from the class abilities. However, at the higher levels they start to lag behind as this bonus never increases beyond +3.
In order to allow characters without a class bonus to keep up even at higher levels I am considering changing the Skill Focus Feat to instead read (The bold sentence is the change):
Choose a skill. You gain +3 insight bonus to checks involving the chosen skill. This bonus increases to +4 at 11th level and by a further +1 every 4 levels thereafter.
You can take this feat multiple times, its effects don’t stack. Each time you take this feat, it applies to a new skill.
I have considered allowing the feat exactly as it stands in the current Pathfinder rules (which provides a +6 bonus once you have ten ranks in a skill) but felt that that allows characters to have a skill higher at certain levels than currently possible within the game which may well create other difficulties. I also thought about an Improved Skill Focus feat to provide a larger boost but felt that two feats were unfairly expensive for the benefits gained.
Anyway. As far as I can tell this doesn’t create any potential problems further down the line but I was interested to see if there is something that I’ve not taken into account. Hence posting it here.
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Setting aside that someone doesn't have to be the Best Ever at something to be good at it. . . the big issue that sings out to me is Envoys. Envoys get Skill Focus by default, and have a number of abilities that let them trade away their Expertise dice. This becomes an automatic buff for them.
Thanks for the feedback. The Envoy Expertise Talents are exactly the kind of thing I was worried I had missed. Oh well, they will just have to settle for being nearly as good.