View Full Version : Pathfinder Skill Point Mod: Physical & Mental

2019-03-02, 04:05 PM
I have been thinking of a skill point system based around using all stats rather than just intelligence and wondered what you all might think. This is not a proposed change to the skill system itself but rather to the way skill points are calculated for characters at each level.

I have thought of a couple versions but here is the one I am currently considering...

1. Separate stats into physical (str/dex/con) and mental (int/wis/cha).
2. Total the stat modifiers for each category
3. Give the character that number of skill points to be spent on skills whose primary attribute is in the same category. If the total for a category is negative, they get no points for that category.
4. Classes that typically get 2+int or 4+int, get 1 bonus point to spend on any skill. Classes that get 6+int, get 2 bonus points and those with 8+int get 3 bonus points.

Class Skills and all other restrictions / rules still apply.

Examples (25 pt. buy):
Bob the Fighter with S18/C16/D12/I7/W13/C7 gets 8 points for physical skills, 0 points for mental skills and 1 bonus point for any skill.

Joe the Wizard with S7/C14/D14/I18/W14/C7 gets 2 points for physical skills, 4 points for mental skills and 1 bonus point for any skill.

Bill the Rogue with S8/C14/D18/I12/W11/C12 gets 5 points for physical skills, 2 points for mental skills and 3 bonus points for any skills.

2019-03-02, 09:42 PM
Makes sense, but I feel like it'd starve characters for skill points. Why not let them keep their normal progression (2/4/6/8), plus the extra skill points for physical/mental skills according to your system?

Alternatively, perhaps grant bonus skill points for each ability modifier that can only be spent on relevant skills (e.g. Dex points can only be spent on Hide etc).

2019-03-03, 07:52 PM
Could you perhaps provide an example where a character might be point starved? I was hoping for the opposite actually. I hoped to see currently starved characters like low intelligence fighters get a bump without over-inflating others. My fighter example has 9 total points vs 1 point under the standard system. The Wizard gets 7 in my system vs 6 in standard and the Rogue gets 10 in my system vs 9 in the base system. All 3 of those seem to be higher under this system (which actually makes me wonder if I should reduce the bonus points).

Perhaps it is fair to note that my examples are based on 25 point builds. I haven't checked how it might work with other point buy amounts.

Regarding specific stat to skill matches, I had considered them but felt it was too restrictive, especially with how uneven the distribution of key abilities are across the skills. By grouping them, a high Con character for example can get points for physical skills even though there are no con skills.

Another thing I considered was allowing characters to pick a stat other than intelligence to base bonus points on with the caveat that they would have to be spent on skills in the same category as that selected attribute (physical or mental). Under this system, they would have the option to change their selection at each level or use the base system. My example fighter could select strength to get 6 skill points (2 + Str) but would have to spend 4 of them in physical skills. The Rogue could get 12 by picking Dex though which seems excessive.

2019-03-04, 01:14 AM
Actually I'll modify my comment, I was thinking your point 4 was too restrictive but your system is indeed more generous. However, it limits characters in how well-rounded they can be (e.g. a fighter with no mental points can't take ranks in Intimidate, without using up their 1 precious unaligned skill point per level).

2019-03-05, 11:04 PM
What if they could trade 3 points from a category for a bonus point?

Bob the Fighter could then trade 6 of his 8 physical points to get 2 more bonus points. That would give him 2 skill points for physical skills and 3 bonus points. Still 5 total which is stellar for a fighter with a negative modifier to intelligence.

Joe the Wizard could trade 3 of his 4 mental points for a bonus point. That would give him 2 physical, 1 mental and 2 Bonus for 5 total. The base system gives him 6 points so this system would reward him with an extra point (7 total) if he follows his natural inclinations but allows him some additional flexibility at the expense of getting 1 less point (5 total) than the base system would give him.

2019-03-06, 01:19 AM
That might be getting a bit complex, though flexibility is always good.