Rule: Skills Summary

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A character’s skills represent a variety of abilities. As a character advances in level, he or she gets better at using some or all of her skills.

Getting Skills: A character gets a base allotment of 2, 4, 6, or 8 skill points for each new level, depending on the class to which that level was added. If the character gaining his or her 1st character level overall (that is, gaining his or her first level in any class), add his or her Intelligence modifier to the base skill point allotment for the class and multiply the total by four; then add an extra 4 points of the character is human.

If you buy a class skill (such as Listen for a rogue or Spellcraft for a cleric), your character gets 1 rank (equal to a +1 bonus on checks with that skill) for each skill point. If you buy other classes’ skills (cross-class skills), you get 1/2 rank per skill point. Your maximum rank in a class skill is your character level + 3. Your maximum rank in a cross-class skill is one-half of this number (do not round up or down).

Using Skills: To make a skill check, roll:

1d20 + skill modifier (Skill modifier = skill rank + ability modifier + miscellaneous modifiers)

This roll works just like an attack roll or a saving throw—the higher the roll, the better. Either you’re trying to match or exceed a certain Difficulty Class (DC), or you’re trying to beat another character’s check result. For instance, to sneak quietly past a guard, Lidda needs to beat the guard’s Listen check result with her own Move Silently check result.

Skill Ranks: A character’s number of ranks in a skill is based on how many skill points a character has invested in a skill. Many skills can be used even if the character has no ranks in them; doing this is called making an untrained skill check.

Ability Modifier: The ability modifier used in a skill check is the modifier for the skill’s key ability (the ability associated with the skill’s use). The key ability of each skill is noted in its description and on Table 4–2: Skills of the Player's Handbook v3.5.

Miscellaneous Modifiers: Miscellaneous modifiers include racial bonuses, armor check penalties, and bonuses provided by feats, among others.