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Since the effects of drain are far worse than damage, its important to know which Feeblemind counts as. Since Feeblemind is permanent until correctly removed its more similar to drain than damage which recovers slowly during rest.

If it is drain than having your Int drop to 1 (-4 mod) pretty much removes most characters complete skills (only bard, inquisitor, ranger, and rogue have more skill points gained than the negative mod).

If it counts as damage, then you keep your skill points and instead have your int & cha skills with some unknown penalty (not that they are usable) to those skills. Which is a far better fate as you could live off of survival.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the second answer of this question actually answers this? rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/90767/… \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 25 '16 at 3:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically no. Animals while having a feral intelligence still have perception and the ability to survive in the wild. While its likely that most animals have racial or HD bonuses to certain skills, theres no reason why there cant be skill ranks. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Dec 25 '16 at 5:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, but they get 1 skill rank per HD (the minimum), and with minimal int, their int-based skills are negative. They can do stuff based on instinct (wisdom). \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 25 '16 at 12:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had a memory of that and went looking but I cant find that rule online \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Dec 25 '16 at 15:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here is a thread talking about that: paizo.com/threads/rzs2korw&sort=0?Dumb-Humans-and-skills#10 \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 26 '16 at 10:50
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This isn't spam. Honest.

Would you trust the typical lizard or snake to prepare your taxes?

When the spell feeblemind causes the "[t]arget creature's Intelligence and Charisma scores each drop to 1 [and makes it so that t]he affected creature is unable to use Intelligence- or Charisma-based skills," that's the last the spell has to say about its effect on the creature's skills. While ability score damage and ability score penalties don't cause a loss of skill points, ability drain "might cause you to lose skill points [sic]," but the effects of feeblemind? Not a word.

This GM thinks it's okay if the creature affected by the spell feeblemind keeps its skill ranks intact. The spell's effect already prohibits the creature from using skills with Intelligence and Charisma as their key abilities, so the creature's limited to Acrobatics, Climb, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Fly, Heal, Perception, Profession, Ride, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Survival, and Swim. That's a tight enough list that's restricted further by the spell's effect that causes the creature to be unable to "understand language… or communicate coherently." That means, for example, no matter how many ranks the creature has in the skill Disable Device, it's liable to lick rather than disarm a symbol of death, and no matter how many ranks the creature has in Profession (accountant), the creature's days as an accountant are (ahem) numbered.

While allowing the creature to keep its skill ranks likely sacrifices verisimilitude on the altar of playability, the creature affected by the spell feeblemind is already essentially a useless, idiotic wallflower. This GM sees no need to rub it in by also taking away the creature's skill ranks.

Note: If it matters—and it really shouldn't—the GM would have a creature affected by the spell feeblemind recompute its Intelligence-based and Charisma-based skill modifiers for its new Intelligence 1 and Charisma 1, therefore a −5 penalty instead of its previous ability score bonus or penalty.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, i believe iv seen a post from James Jacobs explaining why ability drain or damage won't reduce your skill ranks, unlike INT increases. It's mostly so you don't have to deal with the trouble of figuring out who and what skill points should be removed and where they should go back when the situation is fixed. But RAW you won't lose any skill points. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 26 '16 at 10:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras O, yeah, determining how ability damage affects a creature in Pathfinder is supposed to be more convenient and streamlined than in D&D 3.5e, but ability drain--because it's permanent and actually reduces scores--remains a PITA, yet, luckily, drain is much rarer. However, I'm concerned: what's that to do with this answer? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 26 '16 at 15:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Was to enforce the answer, as the lead game designer also thinks you shouldnt have to recalculate your skill ranks everytime someone hits you with a -int effect. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 26 '16 at 15:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras Could you post a link to the source? \$\endgroup\$ – MikeQ Dec 26 '16 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will look it up. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 26 '16 at 16:12
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None of the above. Feeblemind is a unique spell effect. It is somewhat similar to a penalty or Ability Drain, but it is not the same thing. The victim's Intelligence and Charisma both "drop to 1", regardless of their normal values. This is neither damage, nor penalty, nor drain.

It's definitely not Ability damage, because damage doesn't actually change the value of your ability score. Ability damage is a temporary reduction that can be restored naturally. Ability damage is automatically healed by 1 per day, and can also be healed by spells like Lesser Restoration. Also, Ability Damage to Intelligence doesn't cause the victim to lose skill points.

The effect also is not a penalty, for similar reasons; penalties reduce the score by a specific amount, penalties have a limited duration, and penalties have the same effects as Ability damage.

You could compare Feeblemind's effects to those of Ability Drain, because the consequences are similar; that is, Intelligence and Charisma are reduced, potentially forever. Ability drain has a permanent decrease on the ability score, and all related statistics get recalculated accordingly:

Ability drain actually reduces the relevant ability score. Modify all skills and statistics related to that ability. This might cause you to lose skill points, hit points, and other bonuses.

Feeblemind similarly reduces the ability score, and so it would also cause a loss of skill points. However, Ability Drain can be healed through spells like Restoration, whereas Feeblemind cannot; only Heal, Limited Wish, Miracle, or Wish can remove it. Therefore, they are not the same effect, but have similar consequences on skill points. Note that a generous GM could hand-wave the loss of skill points for simplicity's sake, especially if the spell activates during combat.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Fine, but you failed to answer how it affects skills. Its not either drain or damage, but it does ACT like drain. But acting like isnt the same as being. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Dec 26 '16 at 5:54

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