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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    ABLE LEARNER [RACIAL]
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    You have a great aptitude for learning.
    Prerequisite: Human or doppelganger.
    Benefit: All skill ranks cost 1 skill point for you to pur-
    chase, even if the skill is cross-class for you. The maximum
    number of ranks you can purchase in a cross-class skill
    remains the same.
    This feat does not affect the skill point cost to learn a
    language or to gain literacy (for a barbarian or other illiterate
    character).
    Normal: Cross-class skills cost 2 skill points per rank.
    Special: This feat may only be taken at 1st level.


    I'm making a swordsage that will eventually become an assassin. It seems like I need a cross class skill to get there (disguise) and I need a few others for role playing (gather information and perform dance) is it worth the feat?

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    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Able Learner is a great feat for any Human who plans to multiclass. Do note, however, that the feat alone will not increase max ranks in a skill, just make it cheaper to buy.

    Another option would be levels in the Human Paragon class.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Able Learner is a great feat
    Fixed that for you.

    "Why yes, my wizard has ranks in Swim. Because he knows how to swim."

    And yes, definitely worth the feat in this case.
    Last edited by Guancyto; 2009-12-01 at 09:02 PM.
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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Able Learner is a great feat for any Human who plans to multiclass. Do note, however, that the feat alone will not increase max ranks in a skill, just make it cheaper to buy.

    Another option would be levels in the Human Paragon class.
    Although a level in factotum [+able learner] means all skills are class all the time!

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geesi View Post
    Fixed that for you.
    Well, yes, if it's a skill you don't need to max out. Point taken.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    Although a level in factotum [+able learner] means all skills are class all the time!
    Indeed.

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    Claudius Maximus's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    The only gripe I have about the feat is that you can't apply it to your skill ranks at first level, making it useless until level two. Otherwise, it's pretty neat.
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    Surgebinder in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius Maximus View Post
    The only gripe I have about the feat is that you can't apply it to your skill ranks at first level, making it useless until level two. Otherwise, it's pretty neat.
    That's what house rules are for. I expect most DMs would readily allow it to apply to level 1 skills if asked. Many might even be surprised to learn that it doesn't already apply to them by RAW and would require a detailed explanation of why.
    Last edited by Douglas; 2009-12-01 at 09:15 PM.
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Why not? You're supposed to apply bonuses and such in the most beneficial way to the character. As such, a 1st level character will have the benefit of Able Learner when spending skill points.

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    Claudius Maximus's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    There's a very explicit order for leveling up, which mandates that skills be bought before feats. This is why you for example can get Rapid Metamagic at level 9. Houseruling the feat to somehow change this is possible, but by RAW there's no changing the order.
    Last edited by Claudius Maximus; 2009-12-01 at 09:17 PM.
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    Surgebinder in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    Why not? You're supposed to apply bonuses and such in the most beneficial way to the character. As such, a 1st level character will have the benefit of Able Learner when spending skill points.
    For determining the combined effects of things after you already have them, yes. The character creation and levelup process has a specific order laid out, however, and skill point expenditure explicitly comes before feat selection.
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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius Maximus View Post
    The only gripe I have about the feat is that you can't apply it to your skill ranks at first level, making it useless until level two. Otherwise, it's pretty neat.
    The clear solution is to be a factotum at first level.

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    Devil

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geesi View Post
    "Why yes, my wizard has ranks in Swim. Because he knows how to swim."
    Everyone knows how to swim in D&D 3.5. There is no penalty associated with making a Swim check untrained. Apparently it's instinctual knowledge, because even Barbarians and monsters have it, so it can't be that everyone is also made to take swimming lessons as part of the same mandatory education where they learn to read and write.
    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    Abstract positioning, either fully "position doesn't matter" or "zones" or whatever, is fine. If the rules reflect that. Exact positioning, with a visual representation, is fine. But "exact positioning theoretically exists, and the rules interact with it, but it only exists in the GM's head and is communicated to the players a bit at a time" sucks for anything even a little complex. And I say this from a GM POV.

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    Everyone knows how to swim in D&D 3.5. There is no penalty associated with making a Swim check untrained. Apparently it's instinctual knowledge, because even Barbarians and monsters have it, so it can't be that everyone is also made to take swimming lessons as part of the same mandatory education where they learn to read and write.
    However, by the normal rules, the average player requires +2 water wings of puffedness (see Magic Item Compendium) to remain afloat in anything besides ideal conditions. Fighters at low levels sink like stones (and it doesn't help that Swim isn't on their class skill list).
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    Devil

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Swim is on the Fighter class skill list. As with Climb and Jump, Fighters can take ranks in it to help offset a high Armor Class Penalty.
    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    Abstract positioning, either fully "position doesn't matter" or "zones" or whatever, is fine. If the rules reflect that. Exact positioning, with a visual representation, is fine. But "exact positioning theoretically exists, and the rules interact with it, but it only exists in the GM's head and is communicated to the players a bit at a time" sucks for anything even a little complex. And I say this from a GM POV.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bibliomancer View Post
    However, by the normal rules, the average player requires +2 water wings of puffedness (see Magic Item Compendium) to remain afloat in anything besides ideal conditions. Fighters at low levels sink like stones (and it doesn't help that Swim isn't on their class skill list).
    You're joking, right? About the water wings? I'm terrible at recognizing stuff like that in print. (I'm probably going to end up looking like an idiot, but I just have to know)
    Just bear with me.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Thurlvin View Post
    You're joking, right? About the water wings? I'm terrible at recognizing stuff like that in print. (I'm probably going to end up looking like an idiot, but I just have to know)
    Flotation devices are described in Dungeonscape and the Arms & Equipment Guide, but they are not magical and are not "water wings".

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    An average human can swim in calm water with no problems, assuming no distractions. Take 10+ 0(10 or 11 Str) = DC 10 check for calm water, no problem. Now, if there's a man-eating fish chasing you and you therefore cannot take 10... you might be in trouble.

    If you're wearing any armor with a ACP at all, you'll need a Str bonus or ranks in Swim to get anywhere. You can flounder just fine unless your penalty is -5 or more... failure by 4 or less just means no progress. So a person in a Chain Shirt (ACP -2x2 for swimming for -4) who has fallen off of a boat can just tread water until those on the boat help.

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Thurlvin View Post
    You're joking, right? About the water wings? I'm terrible at recognizing stuff like that in print. (I'm probably going to end up looking like an idiot, but I just have to know)
    He means that people are unrealistically prone to sinking in D&D and would need some sort of random magic item to even float, not that there are actual magic water wings.

    dang ninja'd, I didn't even know about the things in dungeonscape.
    Last edited by nyarlathotep; 2009-12-01 at 11:10 PM.

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    John Campbell's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    I dunno. I'm probably not as dense as your basic 16 Str Fighter, say nothing about your typical four-foot, 150-pound dwarf, but even still, I don't float. I sink in fresh water, unless I make an active effort at swimming.

    And that's without an armor check penalty. Though, one of these days, I'm going to try swimming in my hauberk just to see if I can actually do it...

    Of course, it's not like density has anything to do with swimming in D&D. Greater stone golems are awesome swimmers.
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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    The thing is, D&D skills are terrible at representing things. For example I, despite not being that strong, still have no problems swimming. I don't think people with below average strength are totally unable to swim (can't take 10 in calm water), are they? I mean, I can swim with my massive backpack on (I was pushed in the pool), which means that I've either got a ton of ranks in swim or, you know, D&D skills suck. I prefer the latter.

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Able Learner is a pretty good feat. I have only one real complaint about it:

    Cross-class skills shouldn't suck as much as they do anyway.

    And if you fix cross-class skills to not be so terrible, then Able Learner starts being a little weak. But yeah, with standard rules for class skills, it's a good feat (but not too good).
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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    I've known not-especially fit or good swimmers that could swim in chainmail. They were tired at the end, but it was doable, and they definitely weren't floundering.
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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    I'm overweight and quite weak, yet I have no problem floating without active effort and a solid swimmer. The DC isn't correct and thats it..

    In one of my former games I just ignored class skills at all.. They weren't optimizers so it didn't change much, but it is one of those rules that feels like favored classes.. Doesn't offer much, just takes away..
    A wise monk trains both mind and body, but a smart monk is actually a swordsage.

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Able LEarner is a patch. It tries to compensate pretty badly written rules in the first place, and while it is a pretty good feat, it would be a lot more sensible to grant the effect to every single charakter, so that the whole cross-class skills work properly for once.

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    Cross Class is one of the reasons the wizard has more chances to know about the favored soul's deity then the favored soul himself.
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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    I am currently building a Wizard/Swordsage/Abjurant Champion.
    With the high INT and being human i had a lot of skillpoints to spend, but i was missing some class-skills i would have like.

    3 levels of Human Paragon fixed the class-skill thing, it also netted me 2 spellcasting levels and 2 BAB and more hitpoints, which was nice to qualify for Abjurant Champion.

    But i was spending cross-class points in the skills at Abjurant Champion levels. Able Learner fixed that, netting me an extra 12 skillpoints.

    Yes, i like the feat.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    I like the Able Learner feat, I think it does something that's very necessary for many characters, and certainly nice to have for any character. I've played in games where certain skills were houseruled to be class-skills for everyone, regardless of class. In the games I run I've actually houseruled that there is no such thing as a cross-class skill, every character and monster can purchase ranks in any skill as though it were a class skill. It's never caused any problems, and has actually given quite a few characters a bit more depth, similar to Belkar's Profession: Gourmet Chef skill.

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    My first D&D character was a Druid. I just finished running an Artificer, and am currently a Summoner with access to SNA, SM, and SU. On one occasion, I spent a feat on Able Learner not because I needed the skills, but to make figuring out what I could and couldn't afford easier.

    The D&D skill system is busted. Unless you fix it, any character that does serious multiclassing needs that feat.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What's your opinion on the able learner feat?

    I really enjoy the feat for any multiclassed character or trying to squeeze in a few extra skill points for things like Knowledge Devotion and prestige classes. I also find that houseruling its bonuses to be the norm does wonders to alleviate some of the built-in issues of the standard skill point system in 3.5 for all the non-humans out there.

    The Pathfinder system does something similar with its system (and is one of the few changes I actually like), but it has some unintended consequences for getting into some PrCs and other effects, ruining the whole "backwards compatibility" thing they claim. That's neither here nor there.

    TL;DR: It's a great feat and I personally believe its effects either shouldn't be limited to human only or just given automatically to everyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
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