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Building Blocks 41: Skills 7

Skills 7

Repair

Ability Modifier: intelligence

Active/Passive: repair has both active and passive uses.  Repairing someone/something is active, but the resting benefits are passive.

Class skill for: artificer, fighter, rogue, and wizard

Untrained use? Yes

Armor check penalty? No

Feat modifiers: self sufficient and mark of making +2

What it represents: your skill as a (natural, non-magical) mechanic.  This ranges from basic tinkering (low skill) to building a robotic exoskeleton complete with newly perfected technology in a cave (hopefully high skill if you don’t want to be scraped off the wall with a spatula).

How it affects gameplay: as an active skill repair can be used to stabilize a warforged character if they are incapacitated and, if successful, will boost them up to 1 hit point rendering them conscious.  The DC for this action is 20.

As a passive skill repair will give you extra hit points after shrining, provided you are a warforged character.  The amount of hit points regained is less than the equivalent heal skill as it does not take level into account.  When you shrine you benefit from the repair skill of character with the highest skill in the vicinity.

As of update 19, the repair skill adds to repair and rust spell power at the rate of 1 to 1.

Contrary to the character creation notes, repair cannot be used to fix your own gear.  This has been stated as a development goal, but was stated several years ago so don’t plan on it until you see it live.

Special considerations: reviving an incapacitated character requires a repair kit.  If the repair kit has a +# bonus then that is applied to the skill roll.

Who likes it: while every warforged likes to be well oiled, this is a world of magic and natural mechanics have other uses than putting warforged back together.  Only those with magical healing find this skill useful.

How much should you have? Unless you are a warforged character that can cast reconstruct, none. Not a single skill point.

Using the repair skill to revive an incap character during combat is rarely feasible and even when it is it only puts them at 1 hps.  Ay experienced adventurer will tell you that standing up from incap is an invitation to get hit some more, and when you only have 1 hps that usually ends in death since most attacks do more than 10 damage.  Even if you need to use this method, you can retry as many times as you please provided you do not run out of repair kits and your patient does not die.  Mercifully there is no critical fail on repair checks (though if you are a role player, make sure to play the pain involved with having an untrained mechanic poking you in your battle wounds and shoving your gears back in).

Additionally, it is much easier and faster to use some sort of healing on incap characters.  This would include scrolls, wands, spells and clickies. I actually always carry some sort of healing if my character is capable of this.  For UMD toons that’s a wand or a scroll.  For my paladin and ranger that means having a random cure spell prepared (I can almost always find a spell level where this is feasible) but if I can’t  manage that they can use wands too (which I also have in case they have no spell points left).  If these aren’t options the are 2 items that always drop as end reward lists from the Korthos Island explorer area quests: the curative cloak (cure light wounds clicky) and the bracers of aid (aid clicky).  You can even use spells that increase constitution (rage) or grant temporary hit points (aid and greater heroism) to give a character enough hit points to stand up.  None of these options require a timing bar which the repair skill does. Note also that most warforged can be healed with normal healing.  If they can’t be healed with normal healing they deserve to die and be removed from the population via survival of the fittest.

At shrines the healing derived from the repair skill pales in comparison of using potions or extra healer spell points and character abilities like lay on hands (that they would lose anyway when they shrine).  This benefit of the heal skill is at most the difference between 1-2 cure serious potions which are not terribly expensive (and every character should be carrying if they don’t have the reliable ability to cast heal spells – ie healing classes).

It is worth noting that you can use temporary boosts to skills to increase your repair skill before you shrine.  These temporary effects wear off after you regain hit points from shrining.  So feel free to use a skill boost or that extra heroism clicky you were saving.

Warforged artificers and wizards can get 23 spell power by spending skill points in repair.  Sorcerers can only get 11 and typically have fewer skill points.  My basic advice here is that unless you can cast reconstruct, 23 spell power isn’t likely to be that much of an impact on your self healing.  Unless you run with a lot of warforged consistently you won’t be carrying mass repair spells and other repair spells aren’t going to add much.  Reconstruct however, does 100 repair and will thus grant 23 extra hit points.  Artificers and wizards usually have a lot of skill points, though artificers likely have many other concerns (UMD and trapper skills) but both should look to pick up repair ranks when they have free skill points (assuming they are warforged).  Sorcs can consider it, but they have fewer skill points available and repair isn’t a class skill.  That said, if for some reason you have extra skill points this wouldn’t be a bad place for a warforged sorc to spend them, but I don’t expect these characters to have extra skill points.

If you are taking repair with the intent of increasing your reconstructive abilities then reroll and reconsider your build.  You are pursuing a spell that only affects a small number of monsters instead of investing in spells that damage a much, much, wider variety.

 

Search

Ability Modifier: intelligence

Active/Passive: active – unlike other skills (jump and performing) searching is the actual action.  This distinction allows for the rule guys to appear smarter than the rest.

Class skill for: artificer, ranger and rogue

Untrained use? Yes

Armor check penalty? No

Racial and feat modifiers: drow, dwarves and elves +2

Half-elves +1

Mark of finding and mark of warding +2

What it represents: how good you are at finding things while actively looking

How it affects gameplay: search can be used to find secret doors, trap boxes, and traps themselves.

Special considerations: if you are looking for traps you must have the trapfinding feat to find traps with a DC of 20 or higher with the search skill.

Magical traps typically have a higher DC to find than mechanical traps.

Searching does not use a die roll, only your modifier score.

Who likes it: trappers and people who lose their keys regularly.

How much should you have? If you are a trapper, max it.  With disable device you have a little bit of leeway in that you can repeat your attempts to disarm until you blow up the box or succeed.  With search there is no die roll and thus no wiggle room.  You either can find it or you can’t.  If you can’t then you have no ability to use the rest of your skills.  As with other trapper skills, most players will carry the highest item they can find to swap in for trapping.

If you aren’t a trapper then you dont really need this skill.  Any secret doors that are crucial to a quest can be found with trueseeing or secret door clickies.  However, these do not automatically find secret doors anymore so if you want to find all the secrets you may want to invest in this skill.

 

Spellcraft

Ability Modifier: intelligence

Active/Passive: passive

Class skill for: artificer, bard, cleric, Druid, favored soul, sorcerer, and wizard

Untrained use? Technically yes, but you wouldn’t be getting much benefit

Armor check penalty? No

What it represents: your talent with magics

How it affects gameplay: your skill modifier for spellcraft adds to your acid, cold, electric, force, radiant and untyped spell power.  Basically, everything other than positive, negative, sonic, repair and rust spells which benefit from other skills.

Special considerations: this is a newer skill to the game.  As such, named items existing before update 19 do not have spellcraft on them, though random loot and newer items can have bonuses to spellcraft.

Who likes it: anyone who casts spells of these types, but in particular arcane casters who rely more on damage spells.

How much should you have? If you are a sorcerer or a wizard, as much as you can get.  Damage spells are your bread and butter and while we are only talking about a difference of 23 spell power, this is how you most often contribute to a party.  There aren’t a lot of skills that these classes are really interested in anyways and wizards tend to have plenty of skill points with their high intelligence.

Artificers can also get some good use from spellcraft between their blade barriers and their rune arms.  Artificers do get a load of skill points with their intelligence, but they also have many skill concerns between their trapping skills and UMD.  If you have room to get spellcraft then that would likely be very beneficial, but at the same time spells represent much less of what they do compared to wizards and sorcerers.

Clerics, favored souls, and Druids may be interested in spellcraft but this will depend more on their builds.  Clerics and favored souls don’t have a great deal of spells to benefit from this skill, but blade barrier and light spells are the choice spells of these classes for damage.  Casting Druids will find more of their spells benefiting from this added spell power. Like artificers, these classes do not rely as heavily on damage casting for their primary abilities, but many of the builds from these classes will rely on these damage spells to kill stuff.  Those that don’t will typically be battle healers.  Skill points are an issue however, and these classes don’t get many to begin with and will probably first be sinking points into concentration and heal since their primary contribution to a party is healing

Bards will find almost no use for this skill.  They don’t have much in the way of damage spells to begin with and they are almost exclusively sonic based, which is covered by the perform skill.

In any case, remember that the greatest difference here is only 23 spell power.  That is the maximum number of ranks you can take in a skill.  Skill increases from items, your stat modifier, feats and items will take effect regardless of ranks for an untrained skill. Spell power only affects the spell’s base damage before all the other spell power.  When you are looking at skills, if you are choosing between this skill and others, keep this in mind.

If you don’t cast spells that this skill boosts, move along, you have no need for this skill (and its not a class skill anyways). 

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