View Full Version : I have questions! (DnD in general...)

Lycan 01
2008-06-13, 12:47 AM
I have a few questions. They're just things I've been pondering as of late, and nobody ever completely helped me understand them...

1: When setting up your stats, you start with 8, plus or minus racial midifiers. You then proceed to add the number of points you've been given. I know how all that works... But can you take away points? Like... could I drop all my Int points, or at least a few, in order to get a few more points to buff up my Constitution or Strength? Plus, it'd make RPing a bit more interesting...

2: Skills. I've never quite gotten skills. I know you start out with access to most of them, with whatever stat mods you get. But how do you make them stronger?

I was instructed to give my first character, a human fighter, Swim, Climb, and Jump. Being first level, he would get 1+3 points in each skill.

So I've got 3 skills, with 4 points in each one. Next level, they all go up by one.

But what about my other skills?

Do they also go up by one? Or do I have to pick one in order to put points in it? And if so, how many points do I put in it?

Lets say I've got Jump, Climb, and Swim with 4 points in them. I go up to level 2, and they all go up to 5. When I get to level 3, lets say I put a point in Spot instead of Jump. So now I've got...

Jump - 5
Climb - 6
Swim - 6
Spot - 1

Or do I have a 4 in Spot?

I am sooooo confused...

Btw, I'm currently playing/learning 3.5e...

2008-06-13, 12:55 AM
1. No. Ask your DM to do this, but it'd be a houserule.

2. You were doing it right first. If you want to put your skills, it takes from the points you gained then.
Jump - 5
Climb - 6
Swim - 6
Spot - 1

Would almost be correct.

The almost is because...

The fighter’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).

You will notice that spot isn't on that list (stupidly, might I add..).
Spot costs 2 points to put up to rank 1 since it is a cross-class skill.

So it would work out to probably:

Jump - 5
Climb - 6
Swim - 5
Spot - 1

2008-06-13, 01:25 AM
SweetRein answered your questions directly. I just wanted to point out that more can be said about skills.

In DnD 3.5, Skills are how your character accomplishes tasks more mundane than swinging a sword, dodging arrows and explosions, casting spells, and the like, but more exciting and difficult than eating, breathing, walking, and talking. They're on a separate system, which you've probably noticed by now.

You get skill points. They go into a kind of... a kind of pool, if you will. So Joe Sneaky, Human Rogue, gets 8 + int modifier + 1 (human) points per level, except that he gets four times that at first level. Joe happens to have an intelligence of 16, so his total skill points will be, at all times (unless his intelligence changes), (his level + 3) X (12). So, at level 7, Joe has 120 skill points in his "pool."

Now, as for distribution. You can scan over your class skills and cross-class skills and try to find what you like, putting points in piecemeal. Most players I know, however, use a "quick and dirty" guide to distributing skill points. You see, for the most part, a character in a balanced party doesn't need skills that are not class skills - someone else has them.

So, take the number that is (your int modifier) + (your skill points per level) + (extra if you're human or have other special circumstances). In the case of Joe Sneaky this number is still 12. Pick that many class skills. (Again, 12 for Joe Sneaky). These class skills can always be maxed out, every level - the number of ranks in them is always equal to your level + 3. It's 100% legal, and makes skill distribution during character creation quick and easy. So for Joe Sneaky (Human Rogue 7), the skills of Bluff, Open Lock, Disable Device, Disguise, Forgery, Tumble, Search, Hide, Move Silently, Use Rope, Use Magic Device, and Climb are all class skills with 10 ranks in each. I just distributed all of his skill points to various rogue skills from memory in under a minute. It's not a bad skill layout either. You can do this too!

Of course, maybe Joe has an RP background that demands ranks in Knowledge: (Dirt Farming) or some such. That's ok, just decide which of the skills that you maxed you're willing to do with less in (or willing to do without). Joe can, for example, only put 5 ranks into Climb, and put 4 points (which equals 2 ranks, more on that below) into the cross-class skill Knowledge: (Religion), and toss the spare point into Appraise (another rogue skill).

Be sure to check the players handbook for "synergy" too. The whole concept of synergy is that if you're good at one thing, it makes you better at a related skill. What this means is that five ranks in skill X might give you a +2 miscellaneous bonus to skill Y.

Cross class skills are a bit trickier. IIRC, it takes 2 skill points to put 1 rank in a cross class skill, so 4 skill points put into spellcraft, for Joe Sneaky, nets him 2 ranks in the same skill, since spellcraft is a cross-class skill for rogues. Also, IIRC, you can't have more ranks in a cross class skill than half the max ranks for a class skill. In other words, Joe Sneaky can't have 6 ranks in Knowledge: (Obscure Modern Poets) even if he has 12 skill points to burn on that; he has to be content with 5 ranks and find a use for the extra 2 skill points.

Multiclassing with skill points becomes a bit trickier. Treat your skill points like you're making separate characters for the purposes of max ranks and such, then add it all together at the end - remember, though, that there's only one "first level" where everything is quadrupled, and that first level is your first level for everything.

Example: Joe Multiclass, Human Fighter 1 / Rogue 1, cannot take a free ten hit points for maxing the first hit die roll (as a fighter) AND have (8 + int modifier + 1) X (4) skill points as a rogue - he has to either have the rogue's hit die for his first one, or else take the drastic reduction to fighter skill points at first level. All the stats for your character have to line up when you multiclass.

There are two other things you can do with skill points, as well. The first of these is learning new languages, or if you happen to be a barbarian, becoming literate in your languages. All you do is "burn" two skill points and it happens - easy.

Then there's skill tricks, which is kinda new and laid out in detail in the Complete Scoundrel, if you're interested.

I hope this helps. I don't know if it will or if I just came off as patronizing, but I'm glad you're getting into the game. Have fun!

Edit: Final thing. Unlike hit points, when your intelligence goes up, you do not retroactively gain skill points. So if your Gnome Wizard decides to boost his intelligence at levels 4 and 8 from 18 to 20, then at level 8 and up only his skill points become 2(base) + 5 per level. Items, IIRC, do not help you with skill points. Again, this is all the opposite of Constitution and Hit points, where aquiring a magic item gives you hit points per total hit die.

Tempest Fennac
2008-06-13, 01:35 AM
I thought that if you were using Point Buy, taking 2 points from astat would give you 1 point to put into another stat (this was mentioned on another thread, but I can't remember who said it). The other points apear to be right about how it would work.

2008-06-13, 01:37 AM
1: When setting up your stats, you start with 8, plus or minus racial midifiers. You then proceed to add the number of points you've been given. I know how all that works... But can you take away points? Like... could I drop all my Int points, or at least a few, in order to get a few more points to buff up my Constitution or Strength? Plus, it'd make RPing a bit more interesting...
Actually if you are doing point buy they are at 8, then you buy them up. Once they have been bought then you apply the racial modifiers. Not before you buy.