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In character-building/leveling-up, you take your class's skill points and add your Int bonus. So a Fighter gets 2 Plus their Int bonus. Say my fighter is really smart(16) he'll get 2+3 (int bonus) or 5 points per level.

But what if my fighter is dumber than a sack hammers? Let's say int 4. He levels up and gets 2+int mod. Int 4 carries a -3. So it's 2+(-3) which equals -1. How does a dumb fighter level up any of their skills if they have negative skill points?

Or is the int bonus only added if it's positive?

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Skill points can never go below 1 Per level. From the Pathfinder SRD:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/basics-ability-scores/ability-scores#TOC-Intelligence-Int-

  • The number of skill points gained each level, though your character always gets at least 1 skill point per level.

Edit: I should note that there is also a difference between Ability bonus and ability modifier. Bonus only applies when the attribute is positive, modifier applies regardless. Skill points apply the modifier, per the SRD.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, if I'm not mistaken, you apply favored class and human bonuses after you've calculated the per-level for your class, in case that is pertinent. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cthos
    Apr 25 '11 at 17:09

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