Difference between masterwork tools and skill boost item?

I have a player who wants to buy masterwork tools as opposed to buying magic items that boost his skills.

The reason being, masterwork tools grant a +2 bonus to a skill and cost 50gp.

Magic items that grant bonuses to skills cost (bonus) squared x 100, meaning a +2 magic item costs 400gp.

So i guess my question is…. what is the difference between a masterwork tool and a magic item that grants the same bonus? Are there certain skills you cannot have tools for? Was that the intent?

How do aliens without the Medicine Skill stop the bleeding condition?

According to Starfinder’s bleeding condition rules:

You take the listed amount of damage at the beginning of your turn each round until this condition ends. Your bleeding can be stopped with a successful DC 15 Medicine check as a standard action, or through the application of any ability that restores Hit Points.

Some aliens have innate capabilities that allow them to restore hit points and can stop the bleeding in this way. Other aliens have the Medicine skill (or an ally with the Medicine skill) and can thus stop the bleeding that way. But what about unintelligent monsters, or aliens that simply have no medical training? Are they doomed if they get the bleeding condition and don’t have some capable healer at hand to stop the bleeding?

Players are “double dipping” on skill checks

The system we are using is Call of Cthulhu, which focuses heavily on investigation. My players will “line up” to re-do skill checks/rolls when they want to achieve something a certain way. In practice that means that when they’re facing a challenge like opening a certain door, they will try to break it one by one so they all can do a strength roll once. While in that situation it’s not that big of a problem (after all, that’s probably the way they’d do it in real life too), there are situations in which it is worse:

CoC makes heavy use of a skill called “Spot Hidden”, which is used when searching an area, person, etc. A passing check will reward the players with information, finding evidence or at least the absolute knowledge that there is nothing of interest to find there.

This leads to my players’ investigators lining up to search each room one by one, and on our last adventure I made the mistake of granting each of them the roll. This quickly proved to be detrimental to the challenge and atmosphere.

I am not sure how to best approach this, although I already have an idea or two:

  • Talking to my players about better differentiating between player knowledge and character knowledge. The character does not know a roll failed, he simply missed something – thus other characters shouldn’t automatically be inclined to check every spot twice.
  • Penalizing repeat searches. This could be either done implicitly by having the character be busy for some time, or explicitly by making use of the CoC rules for forced rerolls – the second try must be justified with a special effort and will have immediate negative results if failing.
  • Not allowing re-rolls (by other characters), unless it’s a forced reroll.
  • Doing these kind of rolls as the Game Master behind the screen, not letting the players know if the roll succeeded. This can keep the excitement up, and will probably more efficient if the GM sometimes rolls the dice without a skill check actually being made, just to keep the players guessing. But it also feels wrong to make player character skill rolls as the GM.

Answers to this question should adhere to Good Subjective, Bad Subjective – it needs to be something you’ve tried or seen tried. Don’t just toss out “ideas” for me to try, I already have ideas. Explain how the thing you’re proposing worked out for you/whatever you’ve observed in play.

Familiars and Skill Tricks

The rules for Familiars state that they use either the master’s skill ranks or their own, whichever is higher. However, skill tricks did not exist when these rules were written. If a master spends skill points to purchase Skill Tricks, is that the same as the master putting a "rank" into a skill trick that the Familiar can then also use?

For example, if the master has Swift Concentration and the feat Spell-Linked Familiar, can he give the familiar the Augment Familiar spell and allow the familiar to cast it on itself and concentrate on it as a swift action every round for as long as the familiar wants the spell to be active (or until it takes damage and fails a Concentration check)? Augment Familiar normally has a Duration of Concentration + 1 round per caster level. Or if that does not work (because the familiar does not have a familiar of its own to target), any other spell with a duration of Concentration?

Where are the rules for crafting Skill Enchantment bonus items?

I have been looking at guides for dramatically boosting a character’s potential with a single skill. In addition to toolkits, I have found mention of Competence bonuses and Enchantment bonuses (or “Enhancement” maybe?), but I cannot find the actual costs of making the skill enchantment bonus items. I have seen many references to these bonuses but am failing to find the information needed to craft them.

What skill applies to a player handling a domesticated monstrosity?

This question is prompted by this answer, which argues that Animal Handling is a wrong skill for managing an INT 3 monstrosity, a Grick tamed by some goblins.

A more common example case of this might involve handling a Griffon mount.

If a player wants to handle (approach, pacify, tame) such a monstrous mount/beast of burden/pet, what ability check should a DM call for?

How might one permanently change the key ability for a specific skill from a mental to physical stat?

How might one permanently change the key ability for a specific skill from a mental to a physical stat?

Specifically the Craft skill, and from INT to DEX, relating to a character that can carve whatever they see but doesn’t use intellect to do so as they are something of the classic Savant type which does not interface with the world through intellectual logic or thinking patterns.

I am ideally looking for a rule or mechanic that supports the concept, rather than just home-brewing something, if possible. If such a rule or mechanic doesn’t exist, then knowing that is helpful too. And something that can be taken at as low a level as possible, be it feat, trait, feature, item, or power.

I am aware of the Void Disciple ability of Void Release which swaps primary stats for all purposes temporarily, however, taking 10 levels of a prestige class for a 3/d ability is very suboptimal, and does not meet my requirements. The Variant rule for alternate ability skill checks is DM dependent, therefore it may not work when moving the character between different groups and thus is likewise not what I’m looking for.

WotC officially approved materials only please; such as Dungeon, Dragon, Rokugan, Dragonlance, Kingdoms of Kalamar, official co-owned sites, etc..

If your class gives you a choice of skills to be trained in, can you choose a skill you’re already trained in to gain a free skill choice?

I know that if a class would make you trained in a skill you’re already trained in, you can select another skill to become trained in.

My question is about classes that let you pick between certain skills to be trained in, for example the Fighter lets you pick between Acrobatics and Athletics.

If I’m already trained in Athletics because of my background, can I choose Athletics as my Fighter skill, so that I gain another free skill choice, thus having 4+Int skill choices, instead of the usual 3+Int for a Fighter? Or would I be forced to choose Acrobatics?

What is the point of having a different skill for Persuasion and Deception?

2 skills related to Charisma are Deception and Persuasion. A character could be proficient in any of the two. I know that a Cha (deception) check is made when a character attempts to convince someone else of a lie, while a Cha (Persuasion) check is made when arguments are used to convince someone of something.

To me the important distinction was always: is the arguments you are making based on a truth or a lie?

  • Trying to convince a guard that the king is in danger (a truth) and you need to get in the castle, with the intention of saving him? Persuasion.
  • Trying to convince a guard that the king is in danger (a lie) and you need to get in the castle, with the intention of stealing from the treasures? Deception.

But in the end, you’re still just trying to convince someone. The arguments that you use would be the same whether or not you are lying about them.

I’ve seen people say that Cha (deception) checks involve arguments that are harder to defend/prove. Yet a case where the party is ambushed by ghosts, in the middle of the city, would have a better chance convincing the guards that come asking about the commotion that it was simply a few drunks (Deception), than ghosts (Persuasion).

Why then is there a need for 2 different skills?