Saturday, November 10, 2012

Converting D&D 3.0 to Pathfinder - Skills

As I warned in the last post, we're going to throw out old skill set and re do it from scrtach.  Before we do let's compare the skill blocks from eTools and Pathfinder.

eTools and Pathfinder Skill Blocks

The layouts are similar and many of the names are the same, but there are significant differences.  Search, Spot and Listen are gone, Pathfinder rolls them into a Perception Skill.  The changes are laid out in the Conversion Guide, so I won't rehash them in detail here.

A even bigger change is in Class vs Cross Class skills.  As you can see from the Pathfinder Skill block, the concept of Class Skills still exists, but Cross Class skills have gone away.  If you want your Paladin to be good at Picking Pockets, then throw some skill points into Sleight of Hand.  Each skill point buys you on rank of any skill you want.  So what's the purpose of having Class Skills?  Now you get a bonus for putting a skill point into a Class Skill instead of being penalized for purchasing Cross Class skills.  The first skill point you place in a Class Skill gets you a three point bonus to that skill. You can see the bonus reflected in the scores for Appraise, Heal and Profession - Brewer.

The impact of these changes is so great, that I recommend you recalculate your total skill points and start over from the beginning in buying Ranks.  If there is a skill you're using a lot (such as Graven looking for traps and opening locks - the "strange rituals" referred to in the Expedition posts), I doubt that you'll forget to put points into them.

 The way I've read the rules, this is a bonus to the skill, not additional ranks, so I've entered it into the right hand column.  This is an important distinction for Linguistics, as you get an additional language for each Rank you have in the skill. 

I'm also assuming that even though I haven't put ranks into all of the Class Skills, the character has been trained in them.  His modifier of -1 in the various Knowledge skills reflects his low intelligence, presumably he skipped class a lot.

I've used parentheses to indicate conditional values, in both the Total Bonus and Miscellaneous Modifier columns.  The actual conditions are listed at the bottom of the Skill block.

Skills and Advancement - Pathfinder contains a statement that when you add a level to your Favored Class (which is no longer restricted by race) you may either add an additional hit point OR add an additional skill point.  As our DM has ruled that you get 1/2 a hit die +1 for each level I'm unsure if that +1 refers to this bonus or not.  We'll need to get clarification on that.

Maximum Skill Ranks - One of the statistics removed from Pathfinder's Skill Block is the Maximum Ranks.  As there's no longer a difference between Class and Cross Class skills for purchasing ranks,  You can never have more Ranks in a Skill than you're total number of Hit Dice.  Which is the reason that I determined that the Class Skill bonus is not added to your actual Ranks in the Skill.

That wraps up Skills and the front page of the Pathfinder character sheet.  I still have Feats, Special Abilities, Spells and Encumbrance on the back page to cover in later posts.

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