Skills Why Are They ALL Int Based

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For awhile now with the releases of 3.5 and and especially the Pathfinder's books I've always wondered why skills are always Int based.  For example, why do I have to be smarter to be able to progress at my abillity to climb high walls, swim upstream, or jump across that pit of acid.  To me those systems above of giving classes skill points based solely on a solid number + Int seems to me an inefficient and wasteful system that doesn't portray real dungeon characters. Of those classes that get a predominant number of skill points, Rogues/Wizards  Rogues are really the only class where any fun is derived from those skill points and thats only because of the shear number that they get.  Why can't we make the skill points system something fun and interesting for all classes.  I know what your saying.  "Thats why there are class skills."  I'm sorry, but class skills are only a crude way to distinguish one class from another.  Making a skill point 50% easier to get doesn't mean anything if the pool I have in which to buy those ranks in those skill points is pretty pathetic.  As a fighter its insulting that I can't even afford a decent array of ranks in my own class skills!  Half the time since I can't get the satisfaction of pooling points in a skill enough to make a adventurously heroic action I just disregard them into something pointless like learning languages.  Heck wizards with their high intelligences get more skill points and most of the time I see them its maxxed out spellcraft checks and multiple knowledge checks.  As a wizard who needs a jump/swim/acrobatics skill point when you got spells so why then do they get all these skill points to buy ranks in those skills with.   Imagine if you will a 20th level fighter at 0 Int mod..  well  have fun spending those 2 skill points a level my friend.   Since you only get 2 skill points a level you really won't become anymore adept at any of your physical class skills. You critics say stack more intelligence.   I say, why should I have to be smarter to be able to jump farther.  Sure intelligence would help but not as much as physical prowess.  I know there is the Strength  bonus to making physical skills but that doesn't cut it for 20 levels of progression when you have other classes earning a lot more skill points.  Every time I play a fighter I think to myself "Why do I have to be smarter to make up for the negatives that the encumbrance of armor imposes protecting all you @$@#$"!  However, a wizard who has enough to take care of most any of his knowledge and spellcraft concerns(assuming he has the intelligence score he's supposed to) has armor especially suited for him that can provide nearly as much af a balanced ac as a fighter, and still has spells to fill the gaps in his skill points.

Basically what I'm proposing is this.  Why can't we split the skill points into "physical" skils and "mental" skills.  You can leave in class skills if you will in these subsets.  Those class skills still define a class and seperate one physical class form another. You decide and debate on how to split the skills into these two pools.  Of course, instead of one base allotment of skill points in all the class skills, we now have 2: one for mental skills, one for physical skills. .  
So instead of seeing just
Class Skills: 2+Int for a fighter we could see something like

Class Skills:  PHYSICAL: 4+Str      MENTAL: 2+Int  
(I don't care if these numbers don't seem balance the point is there is a seperation.)

In this sense at least a fighter can give himself some more personality by building up say his acrobatics check even if he isn't the smartest tool in the shed. He would actually be able to grow in these physical areas instead of being able to do slightly better then nothing as they currently are. Doing this can also create opportunnity for more backstory since you can pick more skills. It also will allow your currently lowskill point pooled classes to have more fun because they will be able to roll the die, actually succeed on some of their skill checks more, and achieve some outstanding feats of strength in those areas that has been otherwise expensively denied to them by having the skill point pool only intelligence based.  Why bother even including skill points to a figher right now as it currently stands.  They provide little to no improvement.  Whether I succed or fail on a check is almost entirely reluctant on the die roll.  These are the problems that I strive to solve.


Feel free to disagree with me but this is one area I hope that the next release of D&D takes into account before they release it.
For awhile now with the releases of 3.5 and and especially the Pathfinder's books I've always wondered why skills are always Int based.  For example, why do I have to be smarter to be able to progress at my abillity to climb high walls, swim upstream, or jump across that pit of acid.

Because Int affects your ABILITY TO LEARN the skills, not the skill checks themselves.  Int has nothing to do with climbing a wall, swimming upstream, or hurdling a pit of acid.  What it does affect is your ability to learn how to do all those things well.  And check the skill points again.  Wizards don't get a lot of skill points, they get a high Int mod... which affects their ability to learn how to do multiple things well.  The rogue and bard get more because their class is more of a "jack-of-all-trades" type than concentrating on one thing (spellcasting for sorcerors, wizards, and clerics; swinging a weapon for fighters).
Feel free to disagree with me but this is one area I hope that the next release of D&D takes into account before they release it.

Maybe you should post this in the D&D Next forums.
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I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
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Say what?

Your ability to learn skills and improve technique (add ranks) is determined by your INT but when it comes to performing many skills INT is NOT the raw ability that they are based on.  When you improve your DEX you'll see a bigger jump in your raw potential then an increased INT provides until you can but that to use.

Now I can see where some of your complaints are coming from.  In a lot of ways I like what SWSE did with skills (and I think it's what 4e does) where you are either trained in a skill or not which provides a bonus but then every time you level your ability to use any skill improves.  Admittely a 1st-level character can be as good at a skill as a 20th-level character or even better but it isn't like 3.5 where a character's ability with a skill may never improve.   
Draco's got it. As the Skills chapters of the PHB and the Pathfinder core rules clearly point out, your Intelligence affects your number of skill points because smart characters learn things faster. Given two characters identical in all ways except Intelligence, one would expect the smarter character to have learned things faster than the dumber one - meaning he wouldn't need to spend as long to master the concepts and basic techniques implied in buying skill ranks. The difference in skill points between classes reflects the degree to which training in that class emphasizes skills - wizards and paladins presumably have to spend all their time doing spell research or practicing combat/prayer, for instance, while training as a rogue includes picking up the diverse aspects of the rogue skill list. (In fact, the manual Wizards put out to aid in converting from 2e to 3e explicitly says that rogues gain extra skill points to purchase ranks in the old "thief skills" that they got for free by virtue of having levels in thief.)

For example, let's take Jump. Imagine two characters levelling up together, Jesse Jock and Gregory Geek. Both are pressganged into athletics training for Reasons Which Don't Matter For This Narrative, meaning they'll be gaining a rank in Jump this level. As any veteran of a track team can tell you, training in Jump includes all sorts of techniques beyond raw muscle power - that's why it's a skill to begin with - although muscle power still works just fine (it's a Strength skill). Although Jesse is far stronger than Gregory - which means he can jump further and higher - Gregory is smarter. Thus, Gregory picks up the techniques faster, and over the time it takes Jesse to gain that rank in Jump, Gregory's already mastered the technique, and has probably been able to train in another area as well. This doesn't mean that Gregory's a better jumper than Jesse - he's weaker, so assuming the two have the same ranks, Jesse will outperform him (and if Greg wants to catch up, he'll have to do some strength training first). It does mean Gregory's a faster learner than Jesse.

This is also the explanation behind the human bonus skill point. What sets humans apart from the other races in D&D is their ability to learn quickly (short lifespans, high ambition, and generally flexible mindsets tend to result in that). This means that a human with 10 Intelligence is able to master as many skills as a halfling with 12 Intelligence in the same amount of time, because the human is naturally more adept at learning (even though he's not actually smarter than the halfling).

Finally, any discussion on skills is incomplete unless you calibrate your expectations first

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RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

All very good explanations for how skills and skill advancement work in 3.5
Finally, any discussion on skills is incomplete unless you calibrate your expectations first

That article is one of the best analyses of the basic mechanics of 3.5 I have ever read.  I make all my players read it.
I understand that intelligence means you learn faster. But that doesn't mean a wizard should be able to learn to jump faster than a fighter.  In some cases int isn't really a factor as much as physical capabillities and iteration.  A bulked out fighter head to toe wearing no armor should still have the edge on any typical int based caster.
I understand that intelligence means you learn faster. But that doesn't mean a wizard should be able to learn to jump faster than a fighter.  In some cases int isn't really a factor as much as physical capabillities and iteration.  A bulked out fighter head to toe wearing no armor should still have the edge on any typical int based caster.

You may want to take a look at class skills vs. non-class skills and also take a look purchasing non-class ranks.

A fighter who actively trains in the Jump skill will almost certainly do better then a Wizard in that skill.  Even if the fighter doesn't train in the skill he may still do better then the wizard who focuses his skill training into Jumping.  A Fighter can have level +3 ranks in Jump and pays one skill point for each of those ranks; a wizard can only have half that many ranks and pays TWO skill points for each of those ranks.  A wizard may be able to learn many things easier because of a higher INT score but it still doesn't learn how to Jump very well.

A first level Fighter who's put the maximum number of ranks (4) into Jump and has STR 16 has a modifier of +7 before looking at anything else.  For the STR 8 Wizard (why would a wizard put anything into STR) to match that he would need to devote 16 skill points towards the task and would also need to be 13th-level. 

Intelligence determines how much you can learn but what classes you take determines how easy it is to learn something and how deep your learning can go.  Until you take a class that knows how to Jump (has Jump as a class skill) you will not know how to maximize your potential and unless you practice more (by taking levels in classes with Jump as a class skill) you are going to need to devote a lot more effort into getting better.
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