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I'm looking forward to be a player in one on one adventure. Character concept I've been toying with is False Priest (Sorcerer archetype) Kitsune. Deceitful nature of the race and class seems to work good together, at least from the storytelling point of view.

My problem, however, are skills. To make False Priest work, I simply have to max out the Use Magic Device and Bluff. I need one skill for the adventure, as the one scenario we found for lvl 1 forces you to invest in Profession (gambler). And here goes my base and favored class bonus.

Now, what about Knowledge (religion), (arcane)? What about Spellcraft? Disguise would work so well with kitsune shapechanging and with disguising as priests of particular religions? Perform (oratory) for preaching would be a nice "cherry on the cake", too, but this one I can give up. Still, that's 4 more than I am guaranteed to have.

Normally I would just give up some things other characters in the party are likely to have, but here there is no redundancy. Putting 18 in Int would do the job, but also it would hamper my spellcasting — assuming I'll even have an 18 at all, I can't realistically expect to have two, and Int would at best be my second-highest roll.

So can I make this character really work? And if so, how?

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You don't need to max out everything.

There are skills that matter to your character - things like Bluff and Use Magic Device. They're core to how you do things, they're going to be central to your most awesome moments, and you absolutely need max ranks in them.

Then there are skills that... don't matter as much. Profession(gambler) is something you need a bit of, but there's no need to invest heavily. Knowledge(religion) you'll want at a decent level, and Knowledge(arcane) you'll want some of, but your actual core need is "enough to sound like I know what I'm talking about", not "sage of the ages". Spellcraft is something that you might want to keep more or less maxxed, so that you can continue to use it against level-appropriate threats, but as I understand your character, Perform(Oratory) is the sort of thing that you want to be able to do reasonably well, but don't need to excel at. The character you describe seems like an infiltrator, rather than a demagogue.

That's just one (very rough) distribution, but the general point stands. You'll have to decide which skills are which, but I guarantee that you can figure out some of them that aren't as important and can afford to lag behind. At that point, you don't need the 18. It's a lot more plausible that your second-best stat would be a 14 or so, which is a solid halfway there. With a bit of frugality, that should be plenty.

Level 1 is a bit of a special case because you can't split the difference in quite the same way, but you can still pick and choose the things that are immediately useful. In your case, you need Bluff and UMD, because they're core to your concept. You might want Knowledge: Religion to support your bluffing attempts, but you could probably skate by without it for a level or two. You already have access to the Detect Magic cantrip, which means that you might want Knowledge:Arcana and Spellcraft ASAP for item identification. Obviously, you need that Profession(Gambler) from the very beginning, but you probably don't need Perform(Oratory) quite as much immediately out of the gate, and Disguise is another one of the things you can probably afford to add later. For level one, look specifically at level 1. Figure out the skills you'll absolutely need, and then the ones that would be especially useful, and the ones you can afford to let go for a level or two.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Excellent answer. If I may add, I often play skill-monkey and thus, I have a lot of skills to invest points in. What I do is rank them by importance, and assign them tiers. The first tiers get a 1/1 progression, second is 2/3, third is 1/2 and so on. The skill ranking being already done here, you only have to determine the progression for each, if this method is to your liking. It cut down a lot of planning at each level, once you set up your "leveling plan" and you can always adjust if you need during the course of the campaign. \$\endgroup\$ – Nyakouai Mar 6 at 15:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ For 1st level maxing pretty much equals to investing a bit. Otherwise great answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Mar 6 at 16:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth noting that, due to how Pathfinder does class skills, the first rank in a skill is worth roughly the same as the next 4 ranks (going from 0>1 in a class skill bumps your check by 4, going from 1>5 bumps your check by 4 as well). If you don't need to keep something "as good as possible", the first rank is by far the most important (in addition to 1 skill rank being required for some skills to work at all, a la Knowledge). \$\endgroup\$ – Delioth Mar 6 at 16:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Delioth Thanks! Edited accordingly. (I admit, I'm mostly coming from 3.x, with comparatively limited exposure to Pathfinder specifically.) \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Mar 6 at 16:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ In Pathfinder there is no x4 skill points at first level. It's one skill point per skill per character level and you get +3 class skill bonus if you have at least one rank and it's a class skill. So really no way to divide anything, with 14 int that's 4 skills and that's it. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Mar 6 at 17:16
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You'd need to consult your DM if he will allow it, but you can take the Sage bloodline from the Wildblooded archetype to make Int your main stat. As Wildblooded only replaces the bloodlines, and False Priest doesn't touch those, I think these archetypes can be taken together.

That would make important Cha-based skills (UMD, Bluff) less effective on lvl 1, but will solve your skill point problem.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Not ideal, for sure, but looks like a workable solution. Still, I hope for alternatives not cutting two main skills that much :( \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Mar 6 at 11:10

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