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How do skill checks work on 'difficult'?

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Is there documentation somewhere that says how skill checks are modified when playing on 'difficult' instead of 'normal'?


For example, the DC for recovering a minor mine on 'normal' difficulty is documented as 20. Out of combat you automatically roll 20, so you need an effective skill rank of 0 to be able to recover a minor mine. On 'difficult' difficulty this doesn't work, so obviously the difficulty setting must be changing skill checks somehow. But how much?


All I know is that my Guardian with an effective Demolition skill of 7 cannot recover a minor mine, and he cannot open a minor lock with an effective Security skill rank of 1. Both work on the 'normal' setting.

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you need at least 1 point in demolitions to be able to do anything.


Right, since it is a trained skill. But you can still have skill rank 0 even if you paid a point into the skill, if the governing attribute is left at 8. Which is not exactly uncommon, if the attribute in question is INT and the character is a Guardian. :cool:


Okay, I went and experimented a little.


Result: in order to recover a minor mine on easy/normal/difficult you need an effective Demolition skill rank of 0, 5 or 10 respectively. In order to open a simple lock you need effective Security 0, 1, or 6. Odd, innit?


So, let's see what we need in order open simple locks and recover simple mines without help while still on Peragus... Available boosts: the safety harness or whatsitcalled gives Demolition +1, and the Valor spell boosts any skill by one. This means 8 points Demolition and 5 points Security. There may be other goodies like Infiltration Gloves somewhere but we cannot count on that.


The last chance for touring the halls of first location freely is around level 5 or so, but when entering the dormitory section the character is probably level 4 and we don't want to backtrack later. So level 4 it is and this means a Guardian with 8 INT doesn't have a chance. Level 4 @ 8 INT means 7 skill points (4 at creation, 3 x 1 for level-up), and the -1 INT mod actually increases the number of skill points required. 10 INT doesn't help much because it removes only the -1 mod but does not increase skill points. So I think we need at least 12 INT. This gives a +1 INT mod and 8 skill points at creation, with 6 more skill points arriving until level 4 for a total of 14. If we account for the +1 INT mod this gives 14 - (13 - 2x1) = 3 skill points to spare, so we can even pay a little into Persuasion... A Guardian will need the Security cross-class feat and a Sentinel dito for Demolition, of course. Dunno about Consular.


So, INT 12 instead of 8 means two mods have to be stolen elsewhere at creation. STR and CON must get 14, and WIS should also be 14 (Force points), so DEX and CHA have to make do with lower mods (AC isn't terribly important if your character can dish it out). Sounds like a plan, doesn't it? :D


Note: this only applies to playing on 'difficult'. On 'normal' even a normally intelligent Guardian (INT -_- can get there without trouble. Valor will negate the -1 INT mod, so only 6 skill points total are needed (4 for Demo since there is a +1 item, 2 points to get 1 point Security as it is a cross-class skill).

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I don't seem to see any xp showing in Feedback section whenever I have an NPC do the activities.


Yes, that is strange. But you still get the XP - just look at the character stats before and after.


However, when I went to check this I noticed that the XP you get is commensurate with your level. I had a level 3 character open a simple lock on a footlocker and this yielded 30 XP. Then I levelled her up in order to try something and opened the other footlocker, which yielded 40 XP.


This is very strange indeed, as the DC of the lock was unchanged at 26 - so the XP awarded should have gone down, not up. Also, I think the same lock yielded 10 XP when I opened it with a level-1 character.


What's also strange is that the XP seems to be tied to the taken level (i.e. actually levelled up), not the level corresponding to your XP.


I think this bears some investigation ...

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