character creation – If your class gives you a choice of skills to be trained in, can you choose a skill you’re already trained in to gain a free skill choice?

I know that if a class would make you trained in a skill you’re already trained in, you can select another skill to become trained in.

My question is about classes that let you pick between certain skills to be trained in, for example the Fighter lets you pick between Acrobatics and Athletics.

If I’m already trained in Athletics because of my background, can I choose Athletics as my Fighter skill, so that I gain another free skill choice, thus having 4+Int skill choices, instead of the usual 3+Int for a Fighter? Or would I be forced to choose Acrobatics?

pathfinder 1e – What is the reason to use the Heal skill assuming that other means of healing are not prohibited?

This answer is all about cost–benefit analysis. That is, how much good does Heal do you, compared to what costs you have to pay to get those benefits. For the most part, Heal costs skill points, which are not very valuable, but they are strictly limited and almost every character wishes they had substantially more of them than they do. Which is to say, we don’t necessarily need to get a lot from our skill points, but we definitely want to get something.

Speaking of, you cannot talk about how good anything is in a vacuum; you need to consider how else you could achieve the same thing. In this case, we have to consider magical healing, most notably a wand of cure light wounds. A caster level 1st wand of cure light wounds costs 750 gp, which is an affordable figure for a party of four before even reaching 2nd level. By mid levels, it’s pocket change.

The short answer is, Heal is useless because it cannot replace magical healing, and you can’t ever afford to go without magical healing. Since it has no use, there is no reason to invest in it—it provides no return on that investment. There are only three exceptions:

  • At 1st level, since you cannot afford a wand of cure light wounds yet.

  • With Healer’s Hands and Heal’s skill unlock—uniquely, good enough to replace magical healing, though the cost is immense and not worth it in most campaigns.

  • To torture people, specifically to erode their Will.

Using Heal to heal

The most basic application of the Heal skill is to heal people: treat deadly wounds, cure diseases and poisons, and assist in the body’s natural healing.

Basic usage: only worthwhile at 1st level

The first thing to note is that Pathfinder changes massively between the 1st and 2nd level. Many of your stats literally double, and your wealth grows quite substantially. Where a starting character almost-certainly has no gear of significant value, a 2nd-level character can have some basic masterwork and magical gear.

This matters a whole lot: you cannot afford a wand of cure light wounds at 1st level. That means the Heal skill has lost its primary competition.

It also means that magical healing from class features is fairly limited, and there may be only one person capable of casting even stabilize—so if that person gets hurt, someone needs to try to perform first aid to stop them from bleeding out.

So all-in-all, Heal has some utility at 1st level. A 1st-level character who has it as a class skill might want to invest a single skill point in it, since they get a +4 improvement in the check for one point and they may actually use it.

But at higher levels, the ubiquity and necessity of magical healing triumphs, and hard. Every single party ever absolutely requires access to magical healing; the game is designed around it. Magical healing is so much massively faster that higher-level characters, with far more hp than 1st-level characters, require it to actually be able to continue their adventures. Spending an hour (!) to heal a tiny amount of hp (!), and then having to wait an entire day before you can do it again (!!!) means treating deadly wounds is a waste of time and will not help an adventuring party in any way. And magical diseases and poisons—the ones that are real threats—are often resistant to mundane healing, so it isn’s useful for that either. If such a party finds itself without magical healing, the Heal skill is not a replacement, not even an inferior replacement: the party must have magical healing. You cannot adventure without it.

So magical healing means you will never use the Heal skill. If you have magical healing, there’d be no reason to use Heal, and if you don’t have magical healing, you need to get it.

That means characters will rapidly stop using Heal for anything, ever. As a result, any skill points in Heal after that first one—each point only giving you a +1 on the check—does nothing for you, as you won’t be using the skill in the first place. There’s also no reward for hitting higher DCs—the best you can do is hit DC 25 to treat deadly wounds and add your Wisdom modifier—so once you have a +15 modifier to hit that while taking 10, there is literally nothing to be gained from more Heal ranks. As established, while we don’t necessarily expect much from our skill points, we definitely expect something.

Heal Unchained: nice improvement, but does nothing about the big problems

Pathfinder Unchained allows you to “unlock” skills, Heal included, to allow greater effects. For Heal, this means substantially improving the effects of treating deadly wounds, though even six times as much hp healing still does not result in anything like “substantial” hp healing. The six healed points of ability score damage is more significant, but this is also at 20th level.

Anyway, as written, unlocking either means specializing in that skill as an unchained rogue, or taking the Signature Skill feat. Rogues only get to unlock four skills total throughout their careers, however, while Signature Skill can be taken only once—unlocking only one skill.

So unlocking Heal is a high cost—usually. Rogues rely a lot on their skills and Heal is unlikely to be a top contender, so using 25% of their unlocks on Heal seems quite dubious. Five levels in rogue to get an unlock on a healer is a non-starter: so much magical healing has to be given up for that to be a thing that you will never recover—and yes, you still need magical healing, because treating deadly wounds can still only be performed once per day per creature. And Signature Skill requires taking a feat—itself a large cost—and also locks you out of taking Signature Skill for any other skill. Considering all of the problems with treating deadly wounds (once per day, taking an hour, the numbers still being small), that would be a terrible use of extremely scarce and valuable resources.

On the other hand, Pathfinder Unchained also suggests that skill unlocks could just be opened up to anyone with the requisite skill ranks, as a variant rule. If that is in play, the cost is a lot less… but probably not high enough to justify the skill points. After all, even with it healing more and healing ability score damage, treating deadly wounds still takes forever and still can only be done once a day.

Healer’s Hands: finally competitive with magic, but the cost is high

This feat from Planar Adventures allows you to treat deadly wounds without regarding for a healer’s kit, as a full-round action, and as many times per day as you would like.

Can you say every problem with Heal gone?

With Healer’s Hands, the healing provided by treating deadly wounds is finally competitive with a wand of cure light wounds. That is a massively big deal. You could legitimately go without buying wands of cure light wounds if you have Healer’s Hands. And if you unlock Heal—allowing it to heal ability score damage—you can also skip the pricier wand of lesser restoration.

That still costs probably two feats (or a feat and a major class feature, if you are a rogue). Two feats is monumental in this game. Is eliminating the need for healing wands worth that?

From a strictly monetary perspective, no. The wealth guidelines tracks wealth—the value of the items you actually have in your possession. When you have consumed a wand, it’s worthless—which means you don’t count it as part of your wealth. In short, buying a wand is a temporary expense, not a permanent one. By the rules, you should recoup that expense in the course of your travels, simply because you will use it up and your wealth should recover.

Even if we ignore that—and in extremely abusive situations, the rules for wealth recommend you do, though standard usage of these wands shouldn’t be considered “extremely abusive”—the wand of cure light wounds is still extremely cheap. A feat is worth—minimum—10,000 gp. You can buy 13 wands of cure light wounds for that money and still have some left over. That’s 3,575 hp worth of healing, on average. How quickly are you likely to take 3,575 points of damage that will need healing, to make Healer’s Hands worth it (only considering hp healing for the moment)? There is an extremely good chance that you will never do so. Especially since you can buy wands of cure light wounds as you need them, but you have to “buy” the feat all as one big lump sum.

Now, if you unlock Heal, treating deadly wounds also heals ability score damage—and a wand of lesser restoration is more expensive (4,500 gp). Then again, ability score damage is also far less common. Will you actually go through all 50 charges on that wand? Will you do it twice? Depends a lot on your campaign, but still seems pretty unlikely. And now you’ve used two feats, which is immense.

The other major advantage of Healer’s Hands is it doesn’t run out or require any resources. While wands of cure light wounds or a wand of lesser restoration are probably less costly overall, that doesn’t help you if you need to buy one and you’re nowhere near anyone selling one. Proper preparation can largely alleviate this as a concern, but this is nonetheless a major advantage.

In short: where no one should ever invest in Heal without Healer’s Hands, there is enough return on the investment in Healer’s Hands to make it a valid choice in the right campaign for the right character. In most campaigns, it isn’t quite worth it, but it’s close enough to be argued, and the right campaign could easily tip the needle on that.

Finally, because Healer’s Hands makes treating deadly wounds a full-round action, you could consider doing it in combat. Please don’t—even with the skill unlocked, you are healing less than one attack’s worth of damage at a time. At best, if an ally is bleeding out next to you, it might save their life, but that’s a really unlikely scenario—and even in that case, it’s not actually helpful if the enemy is still there and just undoes it, and can still do other things besides. You are far better off clearing out the danger first. The only healing you should really be using in combat are stabilize—in emergency situations—and heal.

Using Heal to improve magical healing

This isn’t a thing. Magical and mundane healing are completely independent, and having skill in Heal does absolutely nothing for your healing spells.

This is also the important difference between the Heal skill and, say, the example of a mundane weapon. “Mundane” weapon skills are “free” for someone who gains “magical” weapon skills, because of course there is no such thing as “mundane” weapon skills or “magical” weapon skills. Weapon skills are weapon skills, whether the weapon is magical or not. But mundane and magical healing are completely separated, and your skill with one doesn’t affect your skill with the other in any way. You don’t get any benefit at magical healing for having skill at the Heal skill—and having magical healing ability doesn’t make you any better at using Heal.

So unlike a non-magical weapon, which a warrior would use in a pinch because all his feats and class features he intended to use with a magical weapon also work with a non-magical weapon, a magical healer deprived of magic isn’t automatically also good at healing. In order to be good at mundane healing, he has to independently invest resources in the Heal skill. Doing this does not aid him in any way when he can use magic, and as discussed, magical healing is necessary.

Using Heal for diagnosis or anatomical knowledge

This isn’t a thing either. The rules give zero indication that you would use a Heal check for this—everything to do with knowing something about a creature falls under the appropriate Knowledge skill, as the rules are written. A few published adventures give custom uses of the Heal skill for particular set-piece challenges that work this way, but those cannot be generalized outward to the rest of the game, barring a houserule. Technological Guide mentions something about Heal being used to identify drugs and pharmaceuticals, but zero information is given about how that works—and Technological Guide is fairly unusual in a Pathfinder game anyway.

So while being able to diagnose problems would be a useful thing, the Heal skill doesn’t actually cover that. You would need Knowledge, local for most humanoids, nature for animals, and so on.

Using Heal to torture people

Villains: Rebirth gives a new usage of Heal for torturing people. Most of the options are garbage—and torture is not a reliable means of extracting actionable intelligence, which the rules reflect by not making it so in the game. As GM, I would give anyone massive circumstance bonuses on their Bluff check, since the incredible stress of torture make detecting any “stress” one might feel from lying undetectable. I recommend other GMs do the same.

However, one of the things you can do with torture is wear down a target’s Will save. That can be terrifyingly effective, since it can allow you to then use magic on them. There are probably quicker, easier ways to do it, but if you have the luxury of time and a secure, private location to perform the torture, it could be worthwhile for a high-value, high-Will target.

Or, if you want to do this as a large-scale, continuous operation, it scales phenomenally: if your evil tyrant makes a habit of imprisoning people in cells that erode their Will for a month before dealing with them, then even a low-level minion could spend each day casting charm person on several people, with all-but-guaranteed success. You could therefore have a facility capable of dealing with dozens of political prisoners per day, manned by only a few low-level spellcasters. Without eroding their Will, each prisoner would probably require a high-level spellcaster, and/or several wasted spell slots getting the spell to stick, before they could be dealt with, so this approach is very efficient.

system agnostic – Preventing character skill from impeding player enjoyment

This exact setup happens all the time in movies, so let’s examine how they handle it.

If they are the only character, then as a GM, completely tune the story to them. They shouldn’t have to do hacking, or at best they have to shoot their way in to where the Russian hacker who already knows stuff is. James Bond doesn’t use keyboards. Avoid his minimums except for once in a while for dramatic effect, or to introduce Bond Girls who have that skill set. As for addressing his strength – he’s an expert shooter, but is always having to go places where he doesn’t have a gun, or just has a pistol when others have machine guns, or has a machine gun when they have tanks. Or places where you can’t just shoot the heck out of everyone (like a public casino) without having long term consequences.

If they are not the only character, the other characters are in danger. What do The Killer and Hard Boiled have in common? Lots of OTHER people who get killed. The chick who’s along that’s in danger. Or your buddy movies with one killer type and one intellectual (or even just not a killer, take Rush Hour) – the killer has to spend a lot of their time protecting/coaching/handling the less combat oriented person. One of the big risks of having a min-maxed PC in the group is the min-maxed bad guys the GM has to toss on, who can often terminate the non min-maxed PCs in a round. It becomes the combat monster PC’s job to avoid that, or else the whole party dies and they say “new game, and be less of a goon this time please.”

This is of course advice for in-play. You should try to head this off ahead of time by disallowing (GM)/forgoing (player) total min-maxing by choice of system or GM guidance. Because as you note it ends up being unsatisfying even in your maxed area.

dnd 5e – Is the Wisdom (Survival) skill used for both tracking and finding tracks?

There are no skill checks in D&D 5e

Don’t feel bad if you missed it, the Player’s Handbook sucks at explaining it.

The first question to ask is which ability score is the correct one for tracking and finding tracks?

Strength, Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma don’t immediately suggest themselves, although I can see circumstances where they would – tracking someone through a crowd by reading disturbances and asking questions, could use Charisma for sure. Or Dexterity if you are tracking someone across rooftops perhaps?

You are generally left with:

  • Intelligence “when you need to draw on logic, education, memory, or deductive reasoning”, or
  • Wisdom “how attuned you are to the world around you and represents perceptiveness and intuition.”

Now, consider the task of tracking or finding tracks in the particular circumstances: is it primarily analytic, or primarily intuitive?

There is no correct answer and different circumstances can give one answer one time and the other answer another time.

You’re the DM, you make the call.

Once you’ve decided on the ability; is there one or more applicable skills?

If the PC has a skill that is applicable then they can apply their proficiency bonus to the roll.

For tracking: is Survival applicable? Of course, it is.
Perception? Yes.
Insight? Definitely.
Arcana? If the thing being tracked is magical, why not?
Following a wild animal? Nature is applicable.

There are no off-limits skills. If your player can convince you why it should apply; be convinced.

At my table, my call is “Make an [ability] Ability Check?” and I expect and encourage “Can I apply [skill]?”

I highly recommend these “no skill” character sheets to emphasise this.

dnd 5e – Is Wisdom (survival) skill used for both tracking and finding tracks?

There are no skill checks in D&D 5e

Go back and read your Player’s Handbook again … I’ll wait. Don’t feel bad if you missed it, the Player’s Handbook sucks at explaining it.

So the first question to ask is which ability score is the correct one for tracking and finding tracks?

Strength, Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma don’t immediately suggest themselves, although I can see circumstances where they would – tracking someone through a crowd by reading disturbances and asking questions, could use Charisma for sure. Or Dexterity if you are tracking someone across rooftops perhaps?

So you are generally left with:

  • Intelligence “when you need to draw on logic, education, memory, or deductive reasoning”, or
  • Wisdom “how attuned you are to the world around you and represents perceptiveness and intuition.”

So, consider the task of tracking or finding tracks in the particular circumstances: is it primarily analytic, or primarily intuitive?

There is no correct answer and different circumstances can give one answer one time and the other answer another.

You’re the DM, you make the call.

Once you’ve decided on the ability; is there one or more applicable skills?

If the PC has a skill that is applicable then they can apply their proficiency bonus to the roll.

So, is Survival applicable? Of course, it is. Perception? Yes. Insight? Definitely. Arcana? If the thing being tracked is magical, why not? Following a wild animal? Nature is applicable.

There are no off-limits skills. If your player can convince you why it should apply; be convinced.

At my table, my call is “Make an [ability] Ability Check?” and I expect and encourage “Can I apply [skill]?”

I highly recommend these “no skill” character sheets to emphasise this.

dnd 5e – How does the Cleric’s Blessings of Knowledge feature interact with the rules for gaining proficiency when already proficient in a skill?

The quoted rule is intended to apply only to backgrounds

Rules designer Jeremy Crawford unofficially addressed a related question in a May 2018 tweet responding to a question about the Scout rogue’s 3rd-level Survivalist feature (which grants double-proficiency in the Nature and Survival skills):

In PHB, it specifies that if you gain the same proficiency from two different sources, you may choose a different prof of the same type (skill or tool) instead. Does the survivalist rule for the Scout Rogue in XGE contradict this by stating”-if you don’t already have it”?

The proficiency rule for backgrounds applies when you gain your background at 1st level. It has no relevance outside that context.

Per this ruling, any skill proficiencies gained beyond choosing your background at 1st level may not be substituted, unless the feature description specifically allows you to replace the redundant proficiency with a different one.

This matches the placement of the rule you quoted and the sentences immediately preceding it. Your quoted text appears in the “Proficiencies” subsection below the “Backgrounds” header, and says, in full:

Each background gives a character proficiency in two skills. (…)

In addition, most backgrounds give a character proficiency with one or more tools. (…)

If a character would gain the same proficiency from two different sources, he or she can choose a different proficiency of the same kind (skill or tool) instead.

As can be seen from the context, the rule allowing a character to replace one proficiency that would be redundant with another of the same type is specifically a rule that applies to proficiencies granted by backgrounds. It’s not a general rule that applies whenever a skill or tool proficiency might be redundant; if it were, it would probably appear in a more general rules section.


In this specific context:

If you were starting in the class at character level 1, since Knowledge clerics gain that subclass feature at level 1, you could simply plan ahead when choosing the background so that you’re able to choose your preferred skills for the expertise (or rather, double proficiency) granted by Blessings of Knowledge.

However, if you don’t plan ahead, you can not substitute the skills you get proficiency/double proficiency in past level 1.


DMs may (and often will) house-rule otherwise

That said, this is simply an interpretation of the written rules. The DM can always house-rule otherwise, unless you’re playing in the Adventurers League organized play system (which does not allow such house-rules).

In such a situation, if you’re already proficient in a skill/tool and then a class feature tells you that you gain proficiency in that skill/tool (and possibly that you double your proficiency bonus), I suspect most DMs would allow you to reallocate your proficiencies so that the benefit of the feature is not wasted (as Garrett Rooney says he’d allow in his answer).

Especially when the feature is not gained at 1st character level, it can be strange/immersion-breaking for the character to be subpar/average at something, and then suddenly be amazing at it. For instance, this has sometimes occurred to me when playing a rogue that I planned on taking the Scout subclass with; I’d intentionally chosen not to be proficient in Nature or Survival at 1st level, because the subclass grants both proficiency and a doubled proficiency bonus (“expertise”) in those two skills at 3rd level when the subclass is chosen.

That said, you shouldn’t simply assume that every DM will allow this; if you’re thinking of doing something like this, make sure to ask your DM first.

Is there a career other than penetration testing where your CTF skill is really valuable? [closed]

I used to enjoy CTFs back in school. It was/is a great way to learn about different ways one can test what you build.

But off late, I have lost interest in CTFs. Maybe due to saturation or just because I may have hit my ceiling with it. At my day job, I focus more on developing secure products that general population uses. So I am more like a security minded software developer. Not even a proper blue teamer.

I wonder, if I switch jobs eventually, what kind of jobs would I be at a disadvantage. That will help me decide if I should kinda take a break and come back or should I just move on to another topics that I enjoy.

For example, I can see that I can apply for jobs like software engineer in Auth platform but not their infrastructure security engineer

dnd 5e – What is the highest average charisma skill check a solo character can get, without using magic?

I was building a character that had levels in Feywanderer ranger, that gains Otherworldly Glamour which allows you to add wisdom to charisma checks, and then I noticed Samurai fighters get Elegant Courtier which has the same bonus.

Emboldened by the fact they stack, I started to look for other class features that let you reroll failed intimidation checks or gain advantage.

It made me wonder, what is the highest possible charisma skill check by a solo character?

(This means no spells, or magic items and no outside assistance except by summoned/created creatures, e.g. a familiar using the help action is ok, but a party member using flash of genius is not.).

pathfinder 1e – Is there any official (or semi-official) clarification on how often Psychic Virtuoso allows a character to use occult skill unlocks?

The description of the Psychic Virtuoso feat from Occult Adventures states “You can use all of your occult skill unlocks more often and you are more talented at using them.” However, the Benefit section only lists a bonus for using them, nothing about using them more often. I cannot find any errata or clarification for this feat indicating either it doesn’t actually let you use occult skill unlocks more often or, if it does, how often it allows a character to use them.

Which skill is the most profitable in Old School RuneScape?

There are many profitable skills in Old School Runescape, such as mining, fishing, Runecrafting, Fletching, farming, Hunter, Smithing, etc. However, only a few skills can make real money. So which skill will enable you to get the most benefit from levels 1-99?

Hunter – Black Chinchompas

Hunter is a more practical profitable 99, which will allow you to get approximately 110,000,000 through Black Chinchompas from level 73 to 99. You will need to capture about 38,000 black golden roosters from levels 73-99. However, since they are in the wilderness, this method is a bit risky. For example, XP is much faster than Smith Cannonball.

Fishing – Anglerfish

Fishing Anglerfish is a very profitable and safe method in Old School Runescape. When you reach level 99, your income will exceed 140 million, to be precise, 143 million. However, XP is almost as slow as a cannonball, increasing your speed to over 30,000 XP per hour.

Runecrafting – the most profitable skill

Compared with the above skills, Runecrafting must be the most profitable skill in Old School Runescape, making your income far more than 400 billion, reaching level 99. The 3 most profitable runes you need to make are Cosmic Runes, Astral Runes and Nature Runes. Much faster than Smithing.

The 3 most profitable runes to make are Cosmic Runes, Astral Runes and Nature Runes because you can make double runes for them at a certain level. You can use Cosmic Runes to start making double runes at level 59. Astral Runes doubled at level 82, and Natures doubled at level 91. NatureRunes is the most profitable method in the game.

Players may make more money by doing missions, Slayer, and other combat skills, depending on the boss you killed and the monsters killed in Slayer. But the rewards it drops are always random, and will not reward you for what you lack.

Thank you for reading and buy osrs gold from RS3gold.com all the time, thank you again. Good luck!

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