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How Do I Spend Skill Points

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Skills are an important aspect of gameplay. While they are not critical for most classes, some of the classes rely on them for a living. Rogues for example are valued not just valuable for their sneak attacks but also for their ability to search and disarm traps. Bards often rely on their ability to use wands and scrolls through the use of using magical device skill to improve their versatility. In this topic, I will discuss the importance of the skills and some of their limitations. Due to the mechanics of the game, most skills are usually "all or nothing". Spreading skill points is highly ineffective as in the higher levels, you will be unable to use the skills effectively.

For some classes—Rogues, Rangers, and Artificers—and races—Humans and Half-elf—enhancements may be used to boost skills for a short period of time for critical situations. Additionally, most classes have the ability to take additional enhancements to increase class skills. Keep these in mind when designing characters because they can temporarily offset a deficit in a critical skill that may be resolved through added skill points leveling up later.

Balance (Passive)[edit]

When a character falls on the ground, it will make a balance check every 2 seconds to determine if it remains prone or stands up. Lying on the ground means you are unable to contribute to the party for the whole duration you are down and hence this skill is very important.

High dexterity characters need not put in many points but for the other builds with a low dexterity, my recommendation is to maximise the skill unless it is short on skill points and there are more important skills.

Bluff (Active + Passive)[edit]

When bluff is used in combat on a target, a character can cause a mob to stop attack at it. This opens up the mob to lose attention and thus vulnerable to sneak attacks. When used this way, there is a 6-second cooldown before it can be used again. In non-combat situations, bluff can be used in certain dialogues with non-player characters.

Additionally, Bluff may be used to individually pull an enemy to your location on a successful use. For rogues—when the initial bluff is done from stealth—the target may be successfully sneak attacked if hit before the enemy can attack the location the bluff was made from. This is best used by either bluffing and then moving forward slightly to hit with a melee weapon or by bluffing and engaging with a ranged weapon (short bow, repeating crossbow, etc.) once the enemy gets into sneak attack range. With enemy casters or ranged attackers, it's best to bluff around a corner to prevent the enemy from immediately attacking from range.

The use of this skill is less favorable than that of diplomacy for most players due to it affecting only 1 mob rather than a group. Its use in non-combat situations can be easily overcomed by use of spells and items. Thus, I do not recommend it unless you have skill points to spare or you are a ranged rogue (who typically has skill points to spare).

Concentration (Passive)[edit]

Concentration helps to prevent interruption of casting of spells. When hit, a caster will require a check (1d20 + skill modifier) versus the target difficulty check (10 + damage + spell level). Success means the spell will be cast without interruption. Concentration is also needed by monks to determine their starting Ki as well as the minimum amount they can store as they accumulate in combat.

Apart from casting classes and monks, the other classes has no need for concentration. Casting classes should maximise their concentration skill so their spells will have less chance of being interrupted. Monks usually have sufficient skill points to maximise their concentration skill.

Diplomacy (Active + Passive)[edit]

When diplomacy is used in combat, it will cause mobs within a radius, centered around the character, to stop attacking the user and shift their attention to others instead. If the skill is lower than the mob's diplomacy difficulty check, the mob is not turned away. When used this way, there is a 6-second cooldown before it can be used again. In non-combat situations, diplomacy can be used in certain dialogues with non-player characters.

Diplomacy is a good skill to have on healers and they should maximise the skill. Rogues, who thrive on sneak attacks, should use this skill to divert attention from themselves to increase sneak attack opportunities. However, it is important not to use this at random, especially when the non-combatants of the party is near.

Disable Device (Active)[edit]

Disable device allows a character to attempt to deactivate traps. If your attempt to disarm the trap (1d20 + skill modifier) is higher than the trap difficulty check, it will be safely disabled. Should your total score be 1-4 short of the trap difficulty check, the trap will remain active but allows you extra attempts. However, if your total score is 5 or more short of the trap difficulty check, the trap box is blown, the trap is not deactivated and there will not be additional attempts to disable it. In addition, you may be dealth with some damage from the trap box blowing up. Note that you need to have at least 1 rank in this skill to be able to use it.

All rogues (unless splash 1 or 2 levels just for using magical device or evasion) should maximise this skill and carry the highest level Thieves' Tools available.

Haggle (Passive)[edit]

Haggle, as the name implies, reduces the price when purchasing goods from brokers and vendors. In addition, it also increases the amount you get from selling items. Do take note that this skill does not affect auction house prices in any way.

This skill is recommended for bards which can be used to serve as main "haggle toon" for your characters. If you are skill starved, you can avoid this skill.

Heal (Active + Passive)[edit]

A successful check by a character with heal skill can bring an incapacitated friend back to 1 hit point. Characters with this skill increase the amount of hit points regained when resting at a shrine simply by standing near to the group. However, only non-warforged characters are affected.

There are much better ways to bring an incapacitated friend back up, i.e. spells which restore hit points or bestow temporary hit points. The amount of hit points gained from resting doesn't really account for much so there is not much use for this purpose. Avoid this skill and put your skill points into something more useful.

Hide (Passive)[edit]

Allows a character to sneak past mobs. Note that with every passing moment you are near the mobs, they have an increasing chance of discovering you. You also cannot bump into a mob without alarming it.

I recommend this skill to rogues and rangers due to their good class stealthing abilities.

Intimidate (Active + Passive)[edit]

When intimidate is used in combat, it will cause mobs within a radius, centered around the character, to stop attacking others and shift their attention to you instead. If the skill check (1d20 + skill modifier) is higher than the mob's intimidate difficulty check, the mob will turn its attention towards you. When used on a larger mob, there is a -4 penalty while you gain a +4 bonus when you intimidate a mob smaller than you. When used this way, there is a 6-second cooldown before it can be used again. In non-combat situations, intimidate can be used in certain dialogues with non-player characters.

This is a must have skill for all tanking melees as it is used well, it can keep the attention of the mobs to the tank thus reducing the amount of healing needed. I would also recommend all fighters to take this skill as it is their class skill and also due to the lack of good skills for fighters.

Jump (Passive)[edit]

The jump skill allows a character to jump higher. It allows the character to jump out when trapped between the bodies of mobs or onto unclimbable high grounds.

As this skill has a cap of 40 and can be boosted by spells, put skill points in it only if you have extra. However, I usually recommend melees to take the skills for them to be able to reach mobs up on ledges which would otherwise rain death on the party.

Listen (Passive)[edit]

Listen allows you to hear enemies that are trying to sneak. A successful attempt to hear sneaking mobs is identified by red flashing rings around the ground the mob is standing on. In addition, it will also allow you to hear subtle noises which others may not hear, i.e. mobs behind doors.

Much wonderful as it sounds, this skill is not really effective. The red flashing rings are easy to miss, unlike a high spot score which would allow the outline of mobs to be seen, and most parties do not really spend time listening for what is behind doors. The only classes I recommend to get this skill are rogues and rangers due to their relative higher number of skill points.

Move Silently (Passive)[edit]

Characters with this skill are able to reduce the noise they make while sneaking. This makes it harder for it to be detected by enemies. However, the chance of mobs hearing you will increase as the amount of time you spend near them increases.

This skill is very important especially if you want to bypass large numbers of mobs without increasing the dungeon alert status. Stealthy classes like rogues and rangers are highly recommended to invest in this skill.

Open Lock (Active)[edit]

Open lock allows a character to attempt to unlock doors, chests and other objects. If your attempt to unlock (1d20 + skill modifier) is higher than the lock difficulty check, it will be unlocked. Note that you need to have at least 1 rank in this skill to be able to use it.

All rogues should maximise this skill. Rogue splashes should also invest in this skill if they have extra skill points to increase their versatility.

Perform (Passive)[edit]

Perform is an important skill for bards as it allows the bard to use some of their unique class abilities. The ability to use these abilities is based on the raw, unmodified score in perform. At 3 ranks, the bard can use the fascinate and inspire courage songs, inspire competence at 6 ranks, suggestion at 9 ranks, inspire greatness at 12 ranks and inspire heroics at 18 ranks. In addition, the difficulty check of the offensive songs, such as fascinate, is also determined by the total score in perform.

All bards should maximise this skill.

Repair (Active + Passive)[edit]

A successful check by a character with repair skill can bring an incapacitated friend back to 1 hit point. Characters with this skill increase the amount of hit points regained when resting at a shrine simply by standing near to the group. However, only warforged characters are affected.

There are much better ways to bring an incapacitated friend back up, i.e. spells which restore hit points or bestow temporary hit points. The amount of hit points gained from resting doesn't really account for much so there is not much use for this purpose. Avoid this skill and put your skill points into something more useful.

Search (Active)[edit]

Search allows a character to find the exact location of hidden doors, traps and other objects. Anything with a search difficulty check of above 20 can only be found by rogues. Search does not have a 1d20 roll to determine if you are successful. Your total skill score has to be the same or higher than the search difficulty check.

It is quite pointless for non-rogues to spend skill points on search as its most important function is to locate traps as hidden doors can be easily found with the detect secret hidden door or true sight spells. All rogues (unless splash 1 or 2 levels just for using magical device or evasion) should maximise this skill.

Spot (Passive)[edit]

A character with a high spot score will be able to sense, but not locate, nearby hidden doors, traps, objects and enemies. The presence of hidden doors, traps and other objects are denoted by a DM test and a hidden object icon on your screen. Hidden enemies are shown as faint outlines. Traps with a Spot Difficulty Check (DC) above 20 can only be spotted by rogues. Search does not have a 1d20 roll to determine if you are successful. Your total skill score has to be the same or higher than the search difficulty check.

All rogues (unless splash 1 or 2 levels just for using magical device or evasion) should maximise this skill. For other classes, especially ranged based, i.e. archers and casters, its a very good skill to have so that you can spot and kill hidden mobs even before they can be seen by the party.

Swim (Passive)[edit]

Characters with a high swim skill is able to swim faster and hold their breath underwater longer. Another effect is the ability to fly faster. This may be unintended.

As of this moment, this is absolutely the worst skill to put points in. Underwater action items or spells allow normal breathing underwater and there are no instances where fast swimming is needed thus eliminating any need for the skill.

Tumble (Passive)[edit]

While in blocking mode, moving will allow a character to tumble in the direction of the movement allowing the player to avoid attack or to move around quickly. The sideways and backwards tumbling animations will be replaced with sideways somersaults and back flips if the Tumble skill reaches 31 or higher. Front flips also become available at 36 or higher. Tumbling speed is not affected by movement restriction i.e. solid fog, chained, etc. and thus it is very effective in avoiding movement restrictive spells and effects. It can also help to reduce falling damage but this effect is seldom utilised due to the availability of feather falling items.

All you need is just 1 rank of tumble for it to work. Many players will go all the way to attain a high tumble so they can do the flips.

Use Magic Device (Active + Passive)[edit]

Characters with this skill will be able to equip or use items that their class, race or alignment would not be able to use. For using items, a skill check (1d20 + skill modifier) versus the item using magic device score is required. In order to equip gear, your raw using magic device score has to be higher that the item's for it to be equipped. Once equipped, the item stays equipped, even if your UMD score drops. This means—for equipping an item using UMD—you can use temporary boosts like Ranger or Rogue skill boost, Eagle's Splendor buffs or potions, or even equipping an item with the Command or Persuasion suffixes to temporarily boost your Charisma (which may boost your UMD score indirectly) or your Use Magical Devices skill directly. You need to have at least 1 rank in the skill for it to work.

This is perhaps the most useful skill in the game. Characters with a high skill have a tremendous amount of versatility by being able to take on various roles with the help of items, scrolls and wands. If you want to use this skill, aim for attaining 39 total score as this will allow the use of level 6 scrolls and, more importantly, heal scrolls without failure. Classes where use magic device is a cross class skill should aim for a minimum of 27 for them to use cure serious wounds wands. Of course, if you can go higher, higher is good.


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