PDA

View Full Version : [3.5] Best skills?



Thurbane
2010-11-26, 11:38 PM
Hey all, I was just wondering...Human Paragons (and Experts) get to handpick a skill list. So what skills would you say make the top ten?

I realize it's fairly situational (what role your want your character to fill), but there some that are basically always considered worthwhile: Use Magic Device, Tumble, Auto-hypnosis, Iajutsu Focus etc.

Assume the character is a "generalist", not trying to excel at any one area...what ten skill would you pick?

Zonugal
2010-11-26, 11:45 PM
Craft
Diplomacy
Handle Animal
Knowledge (Arcana)
Knowledge (Nature)
Iajutsu Focus
Lucid Dreaming
Use Magical Device
Use Psionic Device
Tumble

Signmaker
2010-11-26, 11:46 PM
UMD
Tumble
Autohypnosis
Ride
Handle Animal
Balance
Listen
Bluff
Sense Motive
Spellcraft

Kelb_Panthera
2010-11-26, 11:47 PM
For a generalist character, I'm gonna go with
UMD
Hide
Move Silently
Spot
Listen
Bluff
Sense Motive
Spellcraft
Sleight of Hand
Tumble.

CubeB
2010-11-26, 11:59 PM
Intimidate (Particularly with the Never Outnumbered skill trick) is pretty useful.

You can demoralize someone in combat, which can debuff them (or render them useless). With Never Outnumbered, this is now a 10' Burst effect. And with Imperious Command...

You know what? Just Look at This. (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=3809.0)

Tome of Battle also has the Battle of Wills function for Intimidate, which can buff you and debuff your opponent if you can beat them in an Intimidation staredown. Unless your opponent also has Intimidate, the bonus will only last a round. But then again, get an early advantage...

Thurbane
2010-11-27, 12:03 AM
Tome of Battle also has the Battle of Wills function for Intimidate, which can buff you and debuff your opponent if you can beat them in an Intimidation staredown. Unless your opponent also has Intimidate, the bonus will only last a round. But then again, get an early advantage...
I believe that use of the skill is re-printed in the Rules Compendium.

CubeB
2010-11-27, 12:07 AM
I believe that use of the skill is re-printed in the Rules Compendium.

Ah! Probably. I don't have that book yet, so...

Ernir
2010-11-27, 12:13 AM
Hmm. For picking a class skill list for a jack of all trades, I'd (if picking in a vacuum) go with:
Use Magic Device Diplomacy Spot Listen Balance Tumble Knowledge (important stuff) Move Silently Autohypnosis Sleight of Hand

UMD is on the top of the list. There's no skill that can enable as many things as that skill can once the WBL starts really kicking in.

Diplomacy is broken as written, this we know. If your DM has gone through the trouble of nerfing it down to more sane levels, it means your DM expects you to find uses for it. USE IT. Friendly NPCs can be the most powerful tools puppets allies you can imagine.

Spot/Listen are really good, simply because every DM ever makes you keep rolling the things! And failing the checks usually means you're getting a knife to your flat-footed AC.

Speaking of flat-footed AC, Balance is vital to have precisely five ranks in. Without Balance as a class skill, you're not getting those five ranks until the 7th HD, and then at the cost of 10 skill points. So I want Balance.

Being able to reliably hit Tumble DC 15 is an amazingly powerful mobility tool, no matter who you are.

Knowledge: Your DM's favourite monster. Your DM likes dragons (or wants to run a campaign on dragons) = you want maximized Knowledge: Arcana.

Move Silently. Becoming Invisible is easy and useful, even if magical means to counter it exist. Becoming silent is less easy, and the stock spell for it renders you deaf as well. Get Move Silently, because the DC to pinpoint you with a Listen check isn't astronomically high.

Autohypnosis, but only if you can actually remember all the uses for it (there are many. Check out the epic ones too).

Sleight of Hand. Flat DC 20 = I now have your stuff. No save. Yes, I now have your spell component pouch, and no, you can not have it back.

Darrin
2010-11-27, 09:51 AM
Forgery. Can be more powerful than bluff or diplomacy, because you roll against the target's Forgery skill... and *nobody* put ranks in Forgery.

Balance is only important up to 5 ranks, and then it becomes meaningless.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-27, 11:36 AM
Balance is only important up to 5 ranks, and then it becomes meaningless.
Not so, if facing trippers. You can counter a tripper's STR check with a Balance check rather than STR/DEX check (see rules in Complete Adventurer). Since skill ranks will go up faster than STR mod, that means higher-level Rogues can be impossible to trip. Just Tumble through that spiked chain reach and the Rogue avoids any AoOs before attacking. When the tripper starts their full attack with a trip touch attack there's need to worry because Balance will prevent actually getting tripped. Thus the Rogue stays up and there's no follow-up attack from the opponent's Improved Trip. Later spiked chain attacks will be at lower AB, and may miss entirely as regular (non-touch) attacks due to the tripper's overconfident use of Power Attack. The Rogue can add the Acrobatic Backstab skill trick for sneaktastic goodness.

Psyren
2010-11-27, 11:42 AM
Iaijutsu Focus is one of those skills that's all or nothing, so I don't consider it a must-have even when it is available.

Lucid Dreaming is a feat, not a skill.

darbythegambler
2010-11-27, 12:29 PM
personally, i'd choose:
UMD
UPD
Spot
Listen
Spellcraft
Psicraft
Iaijutsu Focus
Bluff
Diplomacy
Sense Motive

but that's just me :smalltongue:

Zaq
2010-11-27, 01:44 PM
Not so, if facing trippers. You can counter a tripper's STR check with a Balance check rather than STR/DEX check (see rules in Complete Adventurer). Since skill ranks will go up faster than STR mod, that means higher-level Rogues can be impossible to trip. Just Tumble through that spiked chain reach and the Rogue avoids any AoOs before attacking. When the tripper starts their full attack with a trip touch attack there's need to worry because Balance will prevent actually getting tripped. Thus the Rogue stays up and there's no follow-up attack from the opponent's Improved Trip. Later spiked chain attacks will be at lower AB, and may miss entirely as regular (non-touch) attacks due to the tripper's overconfident use of Power Attack. The Rogue can add the Acrobatic Backstab skill trick for sneaktastic goodness.

It's worth mentioning that you can only use Balance to resist a trip if you have ten or more ranks in it, which means that this can't come online before level 7. If you're playing a low-level game, you might not be able to use this trick. If you're playing E6, don't even try.

Flickerdart
2010-11-27, 02:04 PM
It's worth mentioning that you can only use Balance to resist a trip if you have ten or more ranks in it, which means that this can't come online before level 7. If you're playing a low-level game, you might not be able to use this trick. If you're playing E6, don't even try.
You say that like it isn't trivial to break skill caps. When you're only one point short? It's not stopping anybody.

Ernir
2010-11-27, 02:13 PM
You say that like it isn't trivial to break skill caps. When you're only one point short? It's not stopping anybody.

Eh, I really think it stops most people. Circumventing it being Trivial is a bit of an overstatement, I'd say. :smallconfused:

Flickerdart
2010-11-27, 02:42 PM
There's literally a feat that gives you an additional skill rank in spite of skill caps. It doesn't get any more trivial than that.

Urpriest
2010-11-27, 03:12 PM
There's literally a feat that gives you an additional skill rank in spite of skill caps. It doesn't get any more trivial than that.

A two-feat chain actually. Trivial in E6, but in a low-level game quite the opposite.

Zeta Kai
2010-11-27, 03:19 PM
By RAW, it has been proven time & again that Diplomacy is by far the most powerful skill. It breaks the game by level 9-11, & is pretty cheap even before that.

Aron Times
2010-11-27, 03:19 PM
Diplomacy is overpowered in real life. Lucid Dreaming, not so much.

That said, I have several ranks in Lucid Dreaming in real life.

Thurbane
2010-11-27, 06:40 PM
I'm not familiar with Lucid Dreaming, where can I find it?

Jack_Simth
2010-11-27, 06:51 PM
Depends on what you're doing. See, if you need to be the party skillmonkey or the party face, you'll have a different list than what you'll want for self-defense. It's also very campaign-dependent - for instance: in a combat campaign, Sense Motive, Bluff, and Intimidate are useful for... little more than feinting or demoralizing opponents. In an investigative campaign, Sense Motive, Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Info, and Intimidate can be invaluable. Spot and Listen, on the other hand, are *always* valuable.

Togo
2010-11-27, 07:08 PM
I'm a great fan of spot, particularly at high levels of specialisation where you can simply ignore invisibility. But I have played in campaigns where it is completely and utterly useless.

Zonugal
2010-11-27, 07:18 PM
I'm not familiar with Lucid Dreaming, where can I find it?

Manual of Planes I believe, it is very powerful if used properly.

Psyren
2010-11-27, 07:21 PM
I'm not familiar with Lucid Dreaming, where can I find it?

Unless I'm grossly mistaken, it's a feat, not a skill. It's found in Hyperconscious.

EDIT: Imagine that, I was. Yes, it's in MotP after all, though it's part of a variant. The feat and skill do pretty much the same thing though (let you realize you're dreaming) but I kind of like it better as a skill.

Morithias
2010-11-27, 08:38 PM
Forgery. Can be more powerful than bluff or diplomacy, because you roll against the target's Forgery skill... and *nobody* put ranks in Forgery.

Balance is only important up to 5 ranks, and then it becomes meaningless.

Agreed, never ignore the fact that no one does that. So auto-win most of the time, since isn't forgery trained only?

CockroachTeaParty
2010-11-27, 10:03 PM
If you can get a bard (or better yet, a beguiler) to craft a wand of Zone of Silence, then you can replace Move Silently with UMD easily enough.

Truth be told, I find the stealth skills to be somewhat less useful. If your DM wants you to be found, you probably will be, regardless of what precautions you take or preparations you make.

Also, on Diplomacy being too powerful as-written:

I once read an NPC description in an Eberron book, with little blurbs about what he would do depending on his attitude, as described in the Diplomacy skill entry. He was a high-level lich, and pretty much every attitude made him a dangerous psychopath. Even when pushed to friendly, his reaction was to make your death more quick and painless. If made helpful, he offers to make you undead like him, and if you refuse he decides to kill you anyway.

Diplomacy is very powerful, no doubt about it, but it's ultimately up to the DM to interpret the attitude chart, and the actions of NPCs.

Anyway... my list would look something like this:

1. Use Magic Device
2. Spellcraft
3. Spot
4. Listen
5. Diplomacy
6. Tumble
7. Intimidate
8. Sense Motive
9. Autohypnosis
10. Search

Spellcraft is a big one, if you know how and when to use it. Identifying spells as they are cast, or even afterwards, can be a huge advantage. You can also use it to identify scrolls and potions without resorting to magic. And if you get into epic levels, well... Epic Magic functions off Spellcraft, so in the long run it becomes the most powerful skill in the game.

Greenish
2010-11-27, 10:13 PM
Agreed, never ignore the fact that no one does that. So auto-win most of the time, since isn't forgery trained only?Curiously enough, it's not, probably because it's used in the opposed check.

Still, that means that most middle to high level wizards could create a foolproof* forgery without a single rank in the skill.

*"Fool" being anyone with no ranks in forgery who'd lose to a wizard in an Int check.

Boci
2010-11-27, 10:16 PM
If you can get a bard (or better yet, a beguiler) to craft a wand of Zone of Silence, then you can replace Move Silently with UMD easily enough.

Most intelligent beings tends to get suspicious when all noise around them dies out.


Curiously enough, it's not, probably because it's used in the opposed check.

Still, that means that most middle to high level wizards could create a foolproof* forgery without a single rank in the skill.

*"Fool" being anyone with no ranks in forgery who'd lose to a wizard in an Int check.

It gets worse with a factotum. 1 rank + class level.

Jack_Simth
2010-11-27, 10:18 PM
Most intelligent beings tends to get suspicious when all noise around them dies out.
That mostly only matters if you get your Zone of Silence into an area where it blocks sound from reaching the person you're trying to sneak past (usually, if your zone overlaps the watcher). If you don't get that close to the person, he can still hear regular sounds just fine... just not those coming from where you are.

BenTheJester
2010-11-28, 12:12 AM
Don't forget Truespeak, the best skill there is.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-28, 04:27 AM
Still, that means that most middle to high level wizards could create a foolproof* forgery without a single rank in the skill.

*"Fool" being anyone with no ranks in forgery who'd lose to a wizard in an Int check.
Unless that Wizard's got an INT 38 points higher than the person they're trying to fool, it's not really foolproof. Remember, there's a d20 involved and no "take 10" option since the Forgery check isn't made until the document is being examined ─ definitely not a distraction-free situation.
As with Disguise, you donít even need to make a check until someone examines the work. Your Forgery check is opposed by the Forgery check of the person who examines the document to check its authenticity.

Coidzor
2010-11-28, 04:41 AM
How about that, and here I thought the DM rolled the forgery check in secret at the time of creation once for the resultant forged product and had characters roll against that. Kinda RAWtarded, that.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-28, 05:03 AM
Kinda RAWtarded, that.
Maybe not so much. Unlike the original documents, forgeries are always newer. That means they're more likely to have ink that smears or paper that changes appearance due to humidity, & c. Each time a forged document is handled (examined) there's a chance that it'll end up looking either more or less like the real thing.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-28, 05:05 AM
Kinda RAWtarded, that.
Maybe not so much. Unlike the original documents, forgeries are always newer. That means they're more likely to have ink that smears or paper that changes appearance due to humidity, & c. Each time a forged document is handled (examined) there's a chance that it'll end up looking either more or less like the real thing.

Coidzor
2010-11-28, 05:19 AM
Maybe not so much. Unlike the original documents, forgeries are always newer. That means they're more likely to have ink that smears or paper that changes appearance due to humidity, & c. Each time a forged document is handled (examined) there's a chance that it'll end up looking either more or less like the real thing.

Well, there's this statement that seems to suggest it's a static result.
Try Again

Usually, no. A retry is never possible after a particular reader detects a particular forgery. But the document created by the forger might still fool someone else. The result of a Forgery check for a particular document must be used for every instance of a different reader examining the document. No reader can attempt to detect a particular forgery more than once; if that one opposed check goes in favor of the forger, then the reader canít try using his own skill again, even if heís suspicious about the document.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-28, 06:12 AM
Well, there's this statement that seems to suggest it's a static result.
While the forger's side is set at the first examination, the examiner's side is always a new value. The forgery might fail and then later succeed, or vice versa. Opposed rolls are never a known quantity.