Intelligence Bonuses

Intelligence bonuses need some special care in Pathfinder. Skill points are now retroactive, and Headbands of Int come with a preset skill. However, this can cause loss of ranks (if the character already has ranks), which seems wrong.

Then, there are other Int-based things. Characters learn 1 bonus language per point of int. But Dragons gain int by aging, AND gain languages FOR that int, so it is reasonable to assume that any int bonus grants language.

And then for consistency, Witches and Wizards should gain extra level 1 spells for bonus int.

But this all breaks Headbands.

SO! Here is the solution we’ll be using:

Any time your intelligence modifier increases, for whatever reason, you make all the relevant choices (language, skills, spell). From now on, you will get those at that int modifier, regardless of how.

For example, a character with 15 int naturally wears a +2 headband of int to get to 17, and selects all the relevant items. They then lose the headband (returning to 15), and loses access to those items. They then level to a 4n level and push int to 16 (same bonus as 17). They then regain the exact same things they had with the headband. They then get their headband back (to 18), and select a new set of skills that they will always get at int 18 or 19.

NOTE: It takes 1 week to learn a language, or to re-learn it if your int decreases and re-increases.

RETROACTIVE CONSISTENCY CHECK: When adding skills/spells/languages, the following axioms must be obeyed at all times.:

  • At no level, past or current, may a character have more ranks in a skill than HD. That is to say, the skill points must be valid even if the character had started with their new int. This means that sometimes you have to get creative, but it should always be possible to max a new skill or fill up a partially-used skill. However, there is no guarantee that you can fill 2 partially used skills (for example, say that a character has 4 HD and 2 ranks in Skill X and 2 ranks in Skill Y, both taken at levels 1 and 2. They then increase their int by 2. There is no way to max both X and Y with the new int increase. They can max one, or add 2 to each, but they cannot max both). This means that characters that PLAN to increase Int (Wizards, Witches) are advised to think carefully when not taking full ranks in skills they may later want to max.
  • The new spell chosen must be a spell that the character could have learned at level 1 normally (that is, it must be on their spell list and not an opposition spell, etc.). In general, this is pretty easy. In the unlikely event that a witch or wizard manages to learn every single level 1 spell that they CAN learn and they increase their INT again, we can talk about off-list spells.
  • The new language chosen NEED NOT be a language they could have learned at level 1. This is different from all the others! When learning a language, treat it as if you had gained a rank in Linguistics (that is, you may learn any language except secret languages like Druidic, within reason). The reason this differs from the other is that many races have restrictive lists of starting languages that are not robust against arbitrarily high Int increases (that is, it is easy to “run out” of languages!), and also because languages are learned not spontaneously out of the blue, but rather from exposure. If exposed to Sylvan all the time, you should be able to learn sylvan, even if it isn’t on your racial list. Or to put another way, even if you don’t run out of languages ON your racial list, it is trivial to run out of languages that you could possibly have learned on your racial list! ((As a side note: Sylvan is added to the “racial list” of any creature that was born outside the city that has Common on their racial (or automatic) list)).

Intelligence Bonuses

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