I'm looking to get into the prestige class noble scion however all of the skill prerequisites

Skills: Bluff 2 ranks, Diplomacy 2 ranks, Knowledge (nobility) 5 ranks, Sense Motive 2 ranks.

can be acquired by second level apart from Knowledge (Nobility) 5. Because of that I would be forced to be a minimum of 5th level before i could acquire that. Is there anyway to ignore this, bypass it, or achieve it early?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Which class? It's entirely possible that early entry can be managed, but perhaps not via the solution you're assuming, so it would be easier to help you with a more complete description of your actual problem. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26, 2017 at 15:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I edited it to unclude what class and what the prerequisite that I'm missing is. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26, 2017 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, no. Your level is a hard limit on your skill ranks, and in fact the entire point of requiring 5 ranks in something is to force you to be at least 5th level before you can take it. Anything you can do to get around that is, by definition, pretty heavy abuse.

That said, said abuse does exist. D&D 3.5e that Pathfinder is based on had a few more options, but most of these were from non-OGL supplements, not the parts that Pathfinder is based on. But there is exactly one trick that works in both 3.5 and Pathfinder: inspire greatness.

Inspire greatness is a bardic music option that makes you count as 2 levels higher than you actually are. You don’t level up, so you don’t get new skill points or the opportunity to reassign your ranks, but if you happen level up while under the effects of inspire greatness, you are 2 levels higher—and so is your skill rank cap.

So say you happened to hit 3rd level while under the effects of inspire greatness: you would count as 5th level, and thus your skill rank maximum would be 5, not 3. You could put your skill points in Knowledge (nobility) for up to 5 ranks. And there is no rule that describes what happens when your level goes down, nothing that says you need to eliminate or redistribute those skill ranks, so you keep the 5 ranks. Then when you hit 4th level, you have 5 ranks (even though your maximum is 4), qualify for noble scion, and can take a level of it. Since your maximum skill ranks is 4, and you already have 5 in Knowledge (nobility), you would not be able to put more ranks in Knowledge nobility at 4th or 5th.

Notice the huge problem here, though: you have to level-up during inspire greatness. As a 3rd-level character, neither you nor any of your equal-level buddies have access to inspire greatness: you need to have a friendly high-level bard willing to do this for you. And then that bard has to be actually performing inspire greatness at the time, which is rough when bards only get, at best, less than 10 minutes of bardic music in a given day. When you actually receive XP and level-up is entirely up to the GM, which means the GM can easily just say you don’t level up at that moment. And that’s assuming an incredibly strict-RAW GM; most GMs won’t care when you do or don’t level up, they aren’t going to allow this. Because, like I said at the outset, it’s a huge abuse of the rules.

Instead, I recommend just asking your GM to lower the requirement. If your GM is OK with you entering noble scion early, then this should not be a problem. If your GM is not OK with you entering noble scion early, then abusing the rules isn’t going to make him OK with it.

Mind you, were it my game, both Leadership and noble scion would be banned to begin with, to say nothing of getting them early.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't counting as two levels higher also temporarily raise your XP required for next level? \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Aug 26, 2017 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fectin That’s a rather good point I haven’t seen come up. Presumably yeah, it would. Which raises all kinds of questions, since you would level up only once (in this case) between 2nd and 5th... and then lose two HD when inspire courage goes away... but you still have the XP of a 5th-level character... I have absolutely no idea how that would work. The short answer is, it shouldn’t work, and inspire courage being used in this manner is solely a theoretical optimization silliness. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 26, 2017 at 20:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @kryan Not to mention, you'd have to level up under Inspire Greatness, and then wait until you level up again before taking a level in the Prestige class... \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Aug 27, 2017 at 10:39

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