Anyone Notice Wizards Get Less Skills?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Does anyone else find it strange that wizards get less trained skills than any other class? Most classes begin the game trained in 4 skills +int-mod, the Bard and Ranger get 6 skills +int-mod, and the Rogue gets 8 +int-mod. That makes sense to me, but for some reason the Wizard only gets 3 trained skills +int-mod.

Int is the key ability score for Alchemists too, but they still get 4 skills, so it can't be that. I just don't see the point in making Wizard the odd man out here.


Spells are just a smidge better than elixirs and bombs, maybe enough to justify two fewer skills. :P

Also, the alchemist was something of a skill monkey in 1e, what with being int based and 4+int skills, so partially a legacy thing maybe.


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Wizards were over nerfed in second edition. They needed it, but they did it too hard.


Wizards don't need more skills for Athletics but they do need more lores.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wizards don't need more skills, period. They can solve problems by altering reality, let's have those who can't cast spells be better at "mundane" ways of getting ahead.

Liberty's Edge

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Mechanically, even Alchemists are low on the Skills number list, but yes Wizards are lower than them or any other current Class. This was basically true in PF1 as well (okay, there they were tied...Alchemists still had more), and doesn't really cause them meaningful hardship.

Thematically, Wizards are academics. Their knowledge base is deep rather than broad, so fewer skills makes quite a bit of sense.


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if he is supposed to have less skills but with more depth, a wizard should have a bonus of proficiency in the skills he masters. As it is now, he only has less skills.

Liberty's Edge

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Hbitte wrote:
if he is supposed to have less skills but with more depth, a wizard should have a bonus of proficiency in the skills he masters. As it is now, he only has less skills.

Thematically, their depth is their magic itself (which, in universe, is a learned academic field) and maybe the Arcana Skill, not more Skills than that at high ratings.

Sovereign Court

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I believe the intention of the designers was to make sure skills are a bit spread around the group, to make sure everyone gets a turn to shine in skill challenges. Since wizards are likely to get a lot of bonus skills out of intelligence, they start with a lower base number.

I mean, most wizards will start with intelligence 18, or 16 if you have conflicting priorities. So that's 6-7 skills. Most other classes are going to have 4-6 skills based on build/Intelligence. The only other classes that routinely get that many skills are the other classes for which Intelligence or being skillful is a major theme.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Thematically, their depth is their magic itself (which, in universe, is a learned academic field) and maybe the Arcana Skill, not more Skills than that at high ratings.

What about buff wizards that cast Fist? *shows himself out*

Liberty's Edge

Ubertron_X wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Thematically, their depth is their magic itself (which, in universe, is a learned academic field) and maybe the Arcana Skill, not more Skills than that at high ratings.
What about buff wizards that cast Fist? *shows himself out*

They need Athletics and Arcana for that. What else would they ever need? They have Fist.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Wizards don't need more skills, period. They can solve problems by altering reality, let's have those who can't cast spells be better at "mundane" ways of getting ahead.

Okay, if you want to start down that rabbit hole though, Bard, Cleric, Druid, and Sorcerer all bend reality to their will while also having a normal number of skills.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Wizards don't need more skills, period. They can solve problems by altering reality, let's have those who can't cast spells be better at "mundane" ways of getting ahead.

Wizards are supposed to he a fountain of lore. Lores are skills.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

I believe the intention of the designers was to make sure skills are a bit spread around the group, to make sure everyone gets a turn to shine in skill challenges. Since wizards are likely to get a lot of bonus skills out of intelligence, they start with a lower base number.

I mean, most wizards will start with intelligence 18, or 16 if you have conflicting priorities. So that's 6-7 skills. Most other classes are going to have 4-6 skills based on build/Intelligence. The only other classes that routinely get that many skills are the other classes for which Intelligence or being skillful is a major theme.

So Wizards get punished for having int as their important score by removing the one thing int normally does for you. Can't they just have the one thing intelligence is supposed to do for you?


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Why are you couching it as "punishment"? It's how Paizo has chosen to balance the classes. And nothing is being removed from Int. Wizards get a trained skill per Int modifier like everyone else.

Why do people act like game balancing decisions are personal and vindictive? Yeesh


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Puna'chong wrote:

Why are you couching it as "punishment"? It's how Paizo has chosen to balance the classes. And nothing is being removed from Int. Wizards get a trained skill per Int modifier like everyone else.

Why do people act like game balancing decisions are personal and vindictive? Yeesh

It wouldn't seem like Paizo singling out the Wizard class, but it got nerfed in so many other ways and it just happens to be the only class that has less skills than the others. It FEELS like a punishment of some kind.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If you want to play a wizard with exceptional lore skills, GREAT news! Additional lore is the skill feat for you. It is much better than getting an extra skill at level 1. It scales with your character and makes you very deeply knowledgeable about the thing you want to be wise about. Use your general feats on it too if the wise old wizard is going to be your shtick. The wise old wizard probably isn’t learning weapon or armor proficiencies any way nor is fleet or toughness really very thematic options for the sage.

The best part is, this is a choice you can make for your wizard ( that scales exceptionally well in comparison to other skill and general feats) but is not mandatory for all wizards.


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Let's see...

Arcana + 2 skills

Background skill + Lore

+ (usually) 4 skills from int.

9 from 17 skills trained at first lvl.

Enough for all the int skills, stealth and extra stuff.


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So a level 1 wizard will have 6-7 trained skills, depending on Int. Other 4+ skill classes will have 4-7 trained skills, likely trending lower.
A level 20 wizard will have 9-10 trained skills. Other 4+ skill classes will have 4-9 trained skills, probably trending closer to low-middle.

Where is the "punishment"?


Unicore wrote:

If you want to play a wizard with exceptional lore skills, GREAT news! Additional lore is the skill feat for you. It is much better than getting an extra skill at level 1. It scales with your character and makes you very deeply knowledgeable about the thing you want to be wise about. Use your general feats on it too if the wise old wizard is going to be your shtick. The wise old wizard probably isn’t learning weapon or armor proficiencies any way nor is fleet or toughness really very thematic options for the sage.

The best part is, this is a choice you can make for your wizard ( that scales exceptionally well in comparison to other skill and general feats) but is not mandatory for all wizards.

Your solution is to spend a feat to match everyone else? You have to see how that fails to fix the problem. You've traded a skill tax for a feat tax.


Kyrone wrote:

Let's see...

Arcana + 2 skills

Background skill + Lore

+ (usually) 4 skills from int.

9 from 17 skills trained at first lvl.

Enough for all the int skills, stealth and extra stuff.

This applies exactly the same to Alchemist, why is Wizard signaled out?


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Cyouni wrote:

So a level 1 wizard will have 6-7 trained skills, depending on Int. Other 4+ skill classes will have 4-7 trained skills, likely trending lower.

A level 20 wizard will have 9-10 trained skills. Other 4+ skill classes will have 4-9 trained skills, probably trending closer to low-middle.

Where is the "punishment"?

Purposefully reducing their skill pool to drag them down because they can't just have the one thing int gives a character is the punishment.


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

Let's see...

Arcana + 2 skills

Background skill + Lore

+ (usually) 4 skills from int.

9 from 17 skills trained at first lvl.

Enough for all the int skills, stealth and extra stuff.

This applies exactly the same to Alchemist, why is Wizard signaled out?

PF1:

Alchemist: 4+Int
Wizard: 2+Int

I wonder.


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Cyouni wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

Let's see...

Arcana + 2 skills

Background skill + Lore

+ (usually) 4 skills from int.

9 from 17 skills trained at first lvl.

Enough for all the int skills, stealth and extra stuff.

This applies exactly the same to Alchemist, why is Wizard signaled out?

PF1:

Alchemist: 4+Int
Wizard: 2+Int

I wonder.

Cleric had 2+int mod in PF1, but it still gets normal skills in PF2. If alchemist is supposed to be a skill class, shouldn't it be up with bard and ranger?


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

Let's see...

Arcana + 2 skills

Background skill + Lore

+ (usually) 4 skills from int.

9 from 17 skills trained at first lvl.

Enough for all the int skills, stealth and extra stuff.

This applies exactly the same to Alchemist, why is Wizard signaled out?

PF1:

Alchemist: 4+Int
Wizard: 2+Int

I wonder.

Cleric had 2+int mod in PF1, but it still gets normal skills in PF2. If alchemist is supposed to be a skill class, shouldn't it be up with bard and ranger?

Assuming alchemist has 18 Int, they match bards or rangers with 14. I suspect if we did a check of all the bard/ranger builds that have been created, those with 14+ Int would be a heavy minority.

So yes, it's up with bard/ranger, by likely having even more skills.


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Basically, the rogue (and eventually the investigator) are the only classes meant to have a monstrous amount of skills. The rest of the classes are meant to have a roughly equal amount, with wizards and alchemists leaning towards the high end of that.

And having a higher number of skills is factored into the rogue's balance, so they aren't as effective in regular combat as a ranger or fighter.


Cyouni wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

Let's see...

Arcana + 2 skills

Background skill + Lore

+ (usually) 4 skills from int.

9 from 17 skills trained at first lvl.

Enough for all the int skills, stealth and extra stuff.

This applies exactly the same to Alchemist, why is Wizard signaled out?

PF1:

Alchemist: 4+Int
Wizard: 2+Int

I wonder.

Cleric had 2+int mod in PF1, but it still gets normal skills in PF2. If alchemist is supposed to be a skill class, shouldn't it be up with bard and ranger?

Assuming alchemist has 18 Int, they match bards or rangers with 14. I suspect if we did a check of all the bard/ranger builds that have been created, those with 14+ Int would be a heavy minority.

So yes, it's up with bard/ranger, by likely having even more skills.

So letting the alchemist have normal skills is a good thing, but punishing wizards for using int is also a good thing? That's completely unfair.


Salamileg wrote:

Basically, the rogue (and eventually the investigator) are the only classes meant to have a monstrous amount of skills. The rest of the classes are meant to have a roughly equal amount, with wizards and alchemists leaning towards the high end of that.

And having a higher number of skills is factored into the rogue's balance, so they aren't as effective in regular combat as a ranger or fighter.

That's fine, but I don't think that balance gets thrown out the window if you let wizards have one skill and just be normal like every other class.


krobrina wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Wizards don't need more skills, period. They can solve problems by altering reality, let's have those who can't cast spells be better at "mundane" ways of getting ahead.
Wizards are supposed to he a fountain of lore. Lores are skills.

This is a really cute solution actually, just give Wizards a free lore skill.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unicore wrote:

If you want to play a wizard with exceptional lore skills, GREAT news! Additional lore is the skill feat for you. It is much better than getting an extra skill at level 1. It scales with your character and makes you very deeply knowledgeable about the thing you want to be wise about. Use your general feats on it too if the wise old wizard is going to be your shtick. The wise old wizard probably isn’t learning weapon or armor proficiencies any way nor is fleet or toughness really very thematic options for the sage.

The best part is, this is a choice you can make for your wizard ( that scales exceptionally well in comparison to other skill and general feats) but is not mandatory for all wizards.

Your solution is to spend a feat to match everyone else? You have to see how that fails to fix the problem. You've traded a skill tax for a feat tax.

No, you are spending 1 feat to have a scaling skill that will advance all the way to Legendary. That is absolutely worth a skill feat slot or even a general feat slot if it is a skill you plan on using with any frequency/you want your character to be a true expert in. Want a wizard that will be patrolling the world wound and needs to be knowledgeable about demons? This one feat saves you 4 skill boosts and even better, it advances right at the minimum levels you'd be able to advance it. Dragon lore, undead lore, goblin lore, giant lore, depending upon your campaign are all amazing choices.

If the point is to have the wizard be capable of deep knowledge rather than broad, this feat is far and away the better option than another starting skill point or two.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
krobrina wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Wizards don't need more skills, period. They can solve problems by altering reality, let's have those who can't cast spells be better at "mundane" ways of getting ahead.
Wizards are supposed to he a fountain of lore. Lores are skills.
This is a really cute solution actually, just give Wizards a free lore skill.

I'd argue that giving a wizard a free lore skill at level 1 is actually just straining their skill resources more than helping fill in a character concept. A character is only going to become a true scholar on their lore by investing future skill boosts in it, which is really painful to do on lore skills, because you really want Arcana maxed out and then you only have a few other skills you are going to get to Master or Legendary.


Unicore wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unicore wrote:

If you want to play a wizard with exceptional lore skills, GREAT news! Additional lore is the skill feat for you. It is much better than getting an extra skill at level 1. It scales with your character and makes you very deeply knowledgeable about the thing you want to be wise about. Use your general feats on it too if the wise old wizard is going to be your shtick. The wise old wizard probably isn’t learning weapon or armor proficiencies any way nor is fleet or toughness really very thematic options for the sage.

The best part is, this is a choice you can make for your wizard ( that scales exceptionally well in comparison to other skill and general feats) but is not mandatory for all wizards.

Your solution is to spend a feat to match everyone else? You have to see how that fails to fix the problem. You've traded a skill tax for a feat tax.

No, you are spending 1 feat to have a scaling skill that will advance all the way to Legendary. That is absolutely worth a skill feat slot or even a general feat slot if it is a skill you plan on using with any frequency/you want your character to be a true expert in. Want a wizard that will be patrolling the world wound and needs to be knowledgeable about demons? This one feat saves you 4 skill boosts and even better, it advances right at the minimum levels you'd be able to advance it. Dragon lore, undead lore, goblin lore, giant lore, depending upon your campaign are all amazing choices.

If the point is to have the wizard be capable of deep knowledge rather than broad, this feat is far and away the better option than another starting skill point or two.

Okay, but that applies to EVERY class, not just wizard. That feat is just as useful for every single class, so it still doesn't fix the problem of wizards being behind everyone else.


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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
So letting the alchemist have normal skills is a good thing, but punishing wizards for using int is also a good thing? That's completely unfair.

Are you personally a wizard? Are you part of a pro-wizard union? Why is this so personal to you?

It's just a couple trained skills. This really isn't game-breaking stuff.


Unicore wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
krobrina wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Wizards don't need more skills, period. They can solve problems by altering reality, let's have those who can't cast spells be better at "mundane" ways of getting ahead.
Wizards are supposed to he a fountain of lore. Lores are skills.
This is a really cute solution actually, just give Wizards a free lore skill.

I'd argue that giving a wizard a free lore skill at level 1 is actually just straining their skill resources more than helping fill in a character concept. A character is only going to become a true scholar on their lore by investing future skill boosts in it, which is really painful to do on lore skills, because you really want Arcana maxed out and then you only have a few other skills you are going to get to Master or Legendary.

If that's the case then Rogues should get less skills because they can only max out 6 of them anyway. They can only become a true master of 6 or 7 skills, why give them any more?


Puna'chong wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
So letting the alchemist have normal skills is a good thing, but punishing wizards for using int is also a good thing? That's completely unfair.
Are you personally a wizard? Are you part of a pro-wizard union? Why is this so personal to you?

Kuz I like Wizards. It's not personal, I'm not going to weep about it, it just seems off and I don't see why.

Puna'chong wrote:
It's just a couple trained skills. This really isn't game-breaking stuff.

That's kind of the point isn't it? It's just one single trained skill, why take it from wizards instead of just not doing that?


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It wasn't taken... Wizards aren't owed skills. In every edition of 3.P they've had low base skills/skill ranks and have relied mostly on their intelligence score for skills. It's a player class in a game, not a civil rights issue.

I think people have explained that it's part of Paizo's balancing decision. You can dislike it, you can houserule it even, but it is what it is.


Puna'chong wrote:

It wasn't taken... Wizards aren't owed skills. In every edition of 3.P they've had low base skills/skill ranks and have relied mostly on their intelligence score for skills. It's a player class in a game, not a civil rights issue.

I think people have explained that it's part of Paizo's balancing decision. You can dislike it, you can houserule it even, but it is what it is.

It FEELS like it's taken away just because there is a standard 4 starting skills system going on and wizards are the only class that has less than that. I don't know why you seem to think I'm religiously invested in this, and why you keep using that insinuation as a way to dismiss the discussion. If you don't care about it, why comment at all?


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Witch in the playtest had the same amount as the wizard, so it's pretty much the standard for Int Spellcasters.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unicore wrote:

If the point is to have the wizard be capable of deep knowledge rather than broad, this feat is far and away the better option than another starting skill point or two.

Okay, but that applies to EVERY class, not just wizard. That feat is just as useful for every single class, so it still doesn't fix the problem of wizards being behind everyone else.

But other classes have more of a general need of their skill feats than wizards, because they don't have access to the arcane spell list that gives access to many spells that cover the kinds of things that a lot of skill feats do.

Skill feats are a subtle way for wizards to be far more specialized in their knowledge skills than just having training in an extra 2 lore skills that will eventually fall behind the advantage lore skills have over the broader knowledge skills, which are the ones you will be spending your regular skill boosts on.

Liberty's Edge

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Wizards are prepared, Int-based, spellcasters from the best spell list in the game. That's not nothing, even as compared to prepared casters from other lists, or spontaneous Arcane casters.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:

Does anyone else find it strange that wizards get less trained skills than any other class? Most classes begin the game trained in 4 skills +int-mod, the Bard and Ranger get 6 skills +int-mod, and the Rogue gets 8 +int-mod. That makes sense to me, but for some reason the Wizard only gets 3 trained skills +int-mod.

Int is the key ability score for Alchemists too, but they still get 4 skills, so it can't be that. I just don't see the point in making Wizard the odd man out here.

Wizards got 2+Int modifier Skill points in PF1 and in D&D 3.5, so I think it's just a legacy thing. If it's that big a deal to you, give Wizards an extra trained skill.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
krobrina wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Wizards don't need more skills, period. They can solve problems by altering reality, let's have those who can't cast spells be better at "mundane" ways of getting ahead.
Wizards are supposed to he a fountain of lore. Lores are skills.

Where does it say that they're supposed to be fountains of lore? I've just checked the PF2 CRB and there's nothing about fountains of lore there. Care to show me where you got this?


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Gorbacz wrote:
krobrina wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Wizards don't need more skills, period. They can solve problems by altering reality, let's have those who can't cast spells be better at "mundane" ways of getting ahead.
Wizards are supposed to he a fountain of lore. Lores are skills.
Where does it say that they're supposed to be fountains of lore? I've just checked the PF2 CRB and there's nothing about fountains of lore there. Care to show me where you got this?

Standard fantasy trope. You picked a weird hill to die on. Some positions just aren't defensible.


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Is that not what Arcana is for? I think wizards are usually famous for knowing about magic, not "ah yes, I happen to know everything about castles..."


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Unicore wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unicore wrote:

If the point is to have the wizard be capable of deep knowledge rather than broad, this feat is far and away the better option than another starting skill point or two.

Okay, but that applies to EVERY class, not just wizard. That feat is just as useful for every single class, so it still doesn't fix the problem of wizards being behind everyone else.

But other classes have more of a general need of their skill feats than wizards, because they don't have access to the arcane spell list that gives access to many spells that cover the kinds of things that a lot of skill feats do.

Skill feats are a subtle way for wizards to be far more specialized in their knowledge skills than just having training in an extra 2 lore skills that will eventually fall behind the advantage lore skills have over the broader knowledge skills, which are the ones you will be spending your regular skill boosts on.

If the wizard has less skill because he must use more magic to solve problems then the wizard must have more magic or he simply has less resources.


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Hbitte wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Unicore wrote:

If the point is to have the wizard be capable of deep knowledge rather than broad, this feat is far and away the better option than another starting skill point or two.

Okay, but that applies to EVERY class, not just wizard. That feat is just as useful for every single class, so it still doesn't fix the problem of wizards being behind everyone else.

But other classes have more of a general need of their skill feats than wizards, because they don't have access to the arcane spell list that gives access to many spells that cover the kinds of things that a lot of skill feats do.

Skill feats are a subtle way for wizards to be far more specialized in their knowledge skills than just having training in an extra 2 lore skills that will eventually fall behind the advantage lore skills have over the broader knowledge skills, which are the ones you will be spending your regular skill boosts on.

If the wizard has less skill because he must use more magic to solve problems then the wizard must have more magic or he simply has less resources.

Wizards are less powerful in PF2E, But they're still really good. I resent the idea that people want Wizards to have any more skills than they already have. If you're a 1st level Wizard you already are able to Charm people, conjure water, Slow fall, Lock, create Alarms, etc.

They have so much out of combat utility. Giving them any more skills than they already have just goes back to the issue of wizards being better than everyone.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Maybe other class were given more starting skills to be on par with the wizard... or not.


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I think something like "Esoteric Polymath" where you get lots of lores would be a reasonable arcane thesis.


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Hbitte wrote:
If the wizard has less skill because he must use more magic to solve problems then the wizard must have more magic or he simply has less resources.

But Wizard already *does* have more magic then any muggle class...


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think it makes a decent amount of sense for Wizards to not get a lot of skills. They're learned, but they're specialists and academics. You'd expect Wizards to be really good at a few things but not broadly trained.

You could argue that Wizards could get a bonus to their specialized fields to represent that, but Starfinder tried class-based skill bonuses and it ends up being significantly to the game's detriment, so... no.

I do wish there was a little more flexibility in modifier choice, because it feels weird to me you can't really encapsulate an academically minded religious scholar or biologist because religion/nature/medicine are Wisdom based, but that's minor and not really Wizard specific.

I like PossibleCabbage's idea of a lore/skill focused Thesis though.

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