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    Default Retroactive Skill Points

    Are they really such a bad idea?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Innis Cabal View Post
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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    I don't think so. I houserule this all the time.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Yeah, except that you would have to keep track of how you spent your skill points at each level for when your intelligence is drained or damaged and you suffer retroactive skill point loss. Plus wearing an item or under the effect of a spell that temporarily boosts your intelligence would require you to spend retroactive skill points and then remove them whenever the item was removed or the spell ended.

    It sounds nice, but it's overly complicated for not much benefit.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Hadrian_Emrys View Post
    Are they really such a bad idea?
    Only for people whose math skills are so low that adding up their attack bonus is like integrals to them.

    A decent houserule that ensures that intelligence 16 at the start, but not improved, is as good as intelligence 15 at the start but improved to 16 at level 4.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by triforcel View Post
    Yeah, except that you would have to keep track of how you spent your skill points at each level for when your intelligence is drained or damaged and you suffer retroactive skill point loss. Plus wearing an item or under the effect of a spell that temporarily boosts your intelligence would require you to spend retroactive skill points and then remove them whenever the item was removed or the spell ended.

    It sounds nice, but it's overly complicated for not much benefit.
    This is why I don't allow the Item of Int to give skill points; Permanent increases do change how many skill points you have, but temporary ones do not.
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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Quietus View Post
    This is why I don't allow the Item of Int to give skill points; Permanent increases do change how many skill points you have, but temporary ones do not.
    Actually, the item of Int specifically does not grant skill points anyway.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    But that's how skill points work now. If you make them retroactive there is argument for the item to grant skill points.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by triforcel View Post
    But that's how skill points work now. If you make them retroactive there is argument for the item to grant skill points.
    Uhh no, there's a difference to permanently increasing your skill points and putting on a hat.. Upgrading your stat is permanent, any idiot can take off a hat, or have it dispelled.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    And there's a difference between permanently increasing your Constitution and putting on an amulet. But a temporary increase to Con retroactively increases your hit points for the period of time that the item is on and/or effective. Con is the only stat that has retroactive effects when increased so it's going to be the comparison point for making skill points retroactive.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Well, yes, that is how temporary Con boosts work. People are just saying that, if they make a rule about retroactive skill points at all, it seems obvious to make an additional house rule that differentiates between temporary and permanent Int changes!

    ... but personally the lack of realism involved makes me not like retroactive skill points anyway. You've grown smarter in a permanent, meaningful way ... so you suddenly have been a more clever, "handy" person your whole life?

    EDIT: Mechanically I can't deny that they make a lot of sense. It's a shame to have Int be different from other stats in this way. But in terms of "the game making sense" I unfortunately have to support the original ruling on this issue.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2007-10-19 at 12:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    So, it can't be explained away as you have a sudden knack for x because it just... clicked?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Innis Cabal View Post
    Toho has retroactive powers of awesome. He makes things that he hasn't done, and have already happened, better by his existence
    Quote Originally Posted by Ganurath View Post
    If anything, the term should be What Would Toho Do?
    Of course, in all situations the answer is Be A Badass.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    ... but personally the lack of realism involved makes me not like retroactive skill points anyway. You've grown smarter in a permanent, meaningful way ... so you suddenly have been a more clever, "handy" person your whole life?
    No, but with your new insight, you may come up with better, more efficient ways to do things that you've been doing for a long time. You might get more out of your off-screen between-level training thanks to your greater intelligence.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Iames Osari View Post
    No, but with your new insight, you may come up with better, more efficient ways to do things that you've been doing for a long time. You might get more out of your off-screen between-level training thanks to your greater intelligence.
    That might be sort of convincing if you had to spread out your new skill points over a bunch of skills that you already have ranks in. Not so convincing if the Rogue says, "Hey! I just got a permanent boost to my Int bonus! I think I'll ... suddenly be a grandmaster of Sense Motive, which I've never trained before!"
    Last edited by Draz74; 2007-10-19 at 01:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by triforcel View Post
    And there's a difference between permanently increasing your Constitution and putting on an amulet. But a temporary increase to Con retroactively increases your hit points for the period of time that the item is on and/or effective. Con is the only stat that has retroactive effects when increased so it's going to be the comparison point for making skill points retroactive.
    But my point is that as it stands, your intelligence when you level up does not determine your skill points. Your Int without your item determines your skill points. So the difference clearly exists as is, without retroactive, so changing retroactive would not change that.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    But the only reason that your total con modifier applies to your hit points each level is because hit points are gained retroactively from the item. The same thing would occur with skill points if they too were made retroactive.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    I retroactively apply skill points in my game, then again I also don't use class skills, any class can take any skill (except UMD, which is a class feature of rogues and bards, very similar to how animal empathy became wild empathy for druids and rangers).
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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    That might be sort of convincing if you had to spread out your new skill points over a bunch of skills that you already have ranks in. Not so convincing if the Rogue says, "Hey! I just got a permanent boost to my Int bonus! I think I'll ... suddenly be a grandmaster of Sense Motive, which I've never trained before!"
    Well, yeah. Can't help you there.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    That might be sort of convincing if you had to spread out your new skill points over a bunch of skills that you already have ranks in. Not so convincing if the Rogue says, "Hey! I just got a permanent boost to my Int bonus! I think I'll ... suddenly be a grandmaster of Sense Motive, which I've never trained before!"
    It's not all bad, all you need is a skill training montage.
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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    That might be sort of convincing if you had to spread out your new skill points over a bunch of skills that you already have ranks in. Not so convincing if the Rogue says, "Hey! I just got a permanent boost to my Int bonus! I think I'll ... suddenly be a grandmaster of Sense Motive, which I've never trained before!"
    Look at it as unlocking hidden potentials in the rogue's brain. From a fluff standpoint, the rogue has always been trying to do sense motive, but never really got the hang of it; then they read a book that makes them smarter, something goes click inside their head. Suddenly the solid wall they were battering themselves up against all this time trying to master sense motive is gone, and they understand it perfectly!

    Regarding giving / removing skill points for temporary bonuses, I can think of one major reason not to do that. It lets players reassign skill points on the fly, which they shouldn't be able to do. If my skill points changed every time I took off and put back on my Headband of Intellect +6, I could effectively max any six skills I want at any time. Even if you impose a delay of a day or so to gain skills from an int increase, it could still be easily abused. (Without at least that delay, it's totally absurd; they basically have every skill maxxed whenever they need it, including all cross-class skills up to half.)

    One way around this is to let players assign skill points only the first time their overall total reaches a certain point. When it drops, their most recently-assigned skills are temporarily lost; if their int goes back up to that point (or they gain a level), all their skillpoints must first go back into regaining the skills they had before.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    That might be sort of convincing if you had to spread out your new skill points over a bunch of skills that you already have ranks in. Not so convincing if the Rogue says, "Hey! I just got a permanent boost to my Int bonus! I think I'll ... suddenly be a grandmaster of Sense Motive, which I've never trained before!"
    You can just about do that anyway, until you get to high levels. An Int-based rogue, for example, could probably manage it at any level up to ten, say. Human with 18 Int places all of his skill points into a single skill, heretofore untrained. Now he's a master at it.

    Sure, it's not the smartest thing he can do with those skill points, but there's nothing that stops him from doing it.

    I don't really see a problem with it. It's like multiclassing into wizard, or some other highly trained class. You're presumed to have been studying the lore in your off-time. You studied/trained really hard at it. You had all the knowledge before, but now it all comes together, and you finally understand it.

    Not that I use retroactive skill points, since I think it works well enough as is. But it's easily justified.
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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    I usually houserule them into my games.(Anyone in my campaign should probably make a note of that) And I do it whenever I make a character that shall never see the light of day. I don't grant bonus skill points from magic items, only from permanent stat increases.
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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    I'd say that it's already factored, in a way. If you raise your INT score by whichever mean (NY Yankees cap of intelligence +3 or simple ability adj at IV, VIII and so on level), your INT bonus might go up, and this would give you a bonus to all the INT skills you have. For the ones you don't have, it's beneficial for the "untrained" skill checks (quicker and better analysis capacity, logical thinking and whatever makes a person intelligent). For the trained only skill checks, becoming a genius overnight (unless your INT becomes "divine" like above 30) should not make any difference. Even if I myself should get +5 INT points by typing this post, that would not make me able to solve non linear differential equations better than I already can. Surely, if I talked to a professor about that matter, I'd be able to follow what she says, but that would be it. If I then took a level (in mathematician, but not only), I'd benefit from extra skill points.

    I'd take the comparison between INT and CON boosts due to items pretty much like being on some kind of extra powerful drug. The CON boost would make me tougher and a real die-hard, with a higher pain threshold and so on. As the drug wears off, my abilities go back to normal (one should keep track of that). Same goes for the INT drug. My brain works 30 times faster, and I can work on a difficult project in less time and more effectively, but if the project is in biochemistry and I'm a Politician, I get no benefit other than, maybe, being able to appraise the project's worth or feasibility.

    This is even more true with 1st level INT bonus on skill points. You can't really reassign any of those, since they mirror a whole age, your youth and adolescence and young adult life. So, no, in my campaign I'd not allow skill points to work retroactively.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by triforcel View Post
    But the only reason that your total con modifier applies to your hit points each level is because hit points are gained retroactively from the item. The same thing would occur with skill points if they too were made retroactive.
    That makes no sense. The rules right now are:

    1)Con applies retroactively.
    2)Temporary Con affects HP.
    3)Int does not apply retroactively.
    4)Temporary Int does not affect skill points.

    Changing one rule does not mean you have to change another. The temporary/permanent difference already exists for skill points without them being retroactive, that wouldn't change.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelik View Post
    That makes no sense. The rules right now are:

    1)Con applies retroactively.
    2)Temporary Con affects HP.
    3)Int does not apply retroactively.
    4)Temporary Int does not affect skill points.

    Changing one rule does not mean you have to change another. The temporary/permanent difference already exists for skill points without them being retroactive, that wouldn't change.
    But if Con didn't apply retroactively then a temporary increase to Con wouldn't affect HP. And the only reason that Temporary increase to Int doesn't affect skill points is because Int doesn't apply retroactively. You can't say that a person who grows smarter with age should suddenly benefit as if he had been that smart all along and not allow the same to be true for someone who grows smarter through wearing a magical hat.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    We always houseruled where if you have a temporary increase to INT for the majority of a level, your intelligence counts as the modified INT when you gain skill points for the next level. It doesnt work retroactively, but we reasoned, if your intelligence is higher, you'd pick up more along your travels, which equates to more skill points.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    I don't see the constitution/hit point and intelligence/skill point relationship as being so close. The bonus hit points from a high constitution are level-dependent, but not in a "you gain X at each level, and retroactively gain more for those levels if your Con later goes up" way. Rather, as you level, you gain a certain number of HP based on your class, and in addition at any given time you have bonus hit points based on your current Con score and level. It's much more like power points than skill points - again, power points are gained according to class and level, and then you get bonus points added in according to your current ability score and level. The point is that the classes in which you took those levels matter not at all to your Con and the hit points it gives you, and only a little to your bonus power points.

    In contrast, skill points are gained according to class and must be allocated at each level according to what skills are class skills for that level. They're not like hit points or power points, which are a single pool independent of source which are depleted and restored over time. Working out what happens to skills points already allocated if your Intelligence drops, or how you can gain ranks in a skill (representing training or study) just for a temporary boost from an item or spell (which, depending on the skill, may already be granting you a bonus anyway!) is a pointless quagmire. The equivalence is false and there's no point trying to force it.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by triforcel View Post
    But if Con didn't apply retroactively then a temporary increase to Con wouldn't affect HP. And the only reason that Temporary increase to Int doesn't affect skill points is because Int doesn't apply retroactively. You can't say that a person who grows smarter with age should suddenly benefit as if he had been that smart all along and not allow the same to be true for someone who grows smarter through wearing a magical hat.
    No! If your Int is 10 you get X+0 skill points. If your Int is 10 and you are wearing an item you get X+0 skill points. Temporary Int does not effect skill points even when you level up. If this were not a separate rule from retroactively gaining skill points then an item would increase your skill points when you leveled. It does not, they are two separate rules that are not tied to each other at all.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    You can just about do that anyway, until you get to high levels. An Int-based rogue, for example, could probably manage it at any level up to ten, say. Human with 18 Int places all of his skill points into a single skill, heretofore untrained. Now he's a master at it.
    Sure, it's not the smartest thing he can do with those skill points, but there's nothing that stops him from doing it.
    Yeah, well, I think that's dumb too. Just because this is a (small) problem with the way the game works doesn't mean I'm going to expand the nonsensical rule in my games.

    I don't really see a problem with it. It's like multiclassing into wizard, or some other highly trained class. You're presumed to have been studying the lore in your off-time. You studied/trained really hard at it. You had all the knowledge before, but now it all comes together, and you finally understand it.
    The difference is that skill ranks are more granular. If fractions of wizard levels existed (and thank goodness they don't!), it would make sense to require that you would have to have, say, 1/2 of a Wizard level already trained before you could take a level in Wizard. That's why the assumption that you have already been working "behind the scenes" on Wizardry isn't as bad as it could be.

    If you've already been "working on Sense Motive behind the scenes," shouldn't that be represented by at least some skill ranks before you "jump" to having 16 ranks?
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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    If you've already been "working on Sense Motive behind the scenes," shouldn't that be represented by at least some skill ranks before you "jump" to having 16 ranks?
    Not if there's some 'trigger event' that suddenly lets you break through and become an expert... like, say, reading a book that boosts your intelligence. Think of it more like this: Your character has learned, by rote, the mechanics of sense motive, but until now wasn't quite smart enough to understand them (and therefore couldn't apply them.) They were getting some essential part wrong. Then, when they read the book of intelligence, everything suddenly starts to make sense and they can finally apply the things they've learned.

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    Default Re: Retroactive Skill Points

    I prefer to apply them retroactively [i.e. permanent Intelligence increases garner additional Skill Points from previous levels]. Temporary increases generally don't result in additional skill points, but I can see an argument for allowing them. The Skill System is borked anyway, so as long as it doesn't further unbalance the game, I won't shed any tears either way.
    Last edited by Matthew; 2007-10-19 at 01:02 PM.
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