Are class skills picked before or after your character’s Background is selected?

In the Backgrounds section:

Each background gives a character proficiency in two skills. Skills are described in chapter 7. In addition, most backgrounds give a character proficiency with one or more tools. Tools and tool proficiencies are detailed in chapter 5. If a character would gain the same proficiency from two different sources, he or she can choose a different proficiency of the same kind (skill or tool) instead.

Could a Barbarian character being created, for instance, pick Athletics and Survival as his class skills, and then when selecting a background, pick Outlander (which grants proficiency in these two skills), and then using this rule, instead pick two skills from the whole skill list?

Or is your background chosen before class skill-proficiencies?

Nonviolent “social conflict” in Fate – which skills opposes rapport?

I’m running a campaign with a few nonviolent characters. I understand how to handle physical fights, but am a bit at a loss how to deal with "social conflict", where characters need to overcome some resistance from NPCs to achieve their goals.

As Provoke is intended to harm others, it doesn’t seem to be a good choice for nonviolent characters. Rapport seems to be a better fit for characters that try to convince the NPC to hand out that piece of information that was supposed to remain a secret. However, what would be the opposed skill? Empathy? And how would you make this into an interesting contest?

I feel like my DMing skills are making the game less enjoyable

I’m DMing a party of five, a rogue, cleric, wizard, fighter, and a ranger that comes every other week. Everything goes well for the first hour and a half, but then after that I can tell my narrations and stuff gets really bad. It’s the difference between ‘you shoot your bow, but your arrow had warped after that last river and you barely miss the knight’ and ‘you miss’. Since we play for about three hours a session and don’t come back together until the next week, the campaign always seems to end in a very bland spot, and sometimes the players have severely misinterpreted the surroundings(honestly, I don’t blame them when my descriptions turn into ‘you exit the building’). Another thing I can tell is that after while DMing, I get tired and my responses to the players get slower and slower and I have to consult the books more often. If it’s been a long day, sometimes I take fifteen minutes getting back to where we were and starting up again, and fall into the bland descriptions pretty quickly.

The players say they don’t mind much, but I feel bad for them since there is another group a table away whenever we’re playing, and the DM there is better than I am. I do give them a decent amount of loot and the occasional magic item and everything is balanced in the campaign. Still, I want to try and change my bad DMing so the campaign is less…wavy(if that makes any sense) in terms of detail. I’ve played with some rather bad DMs before, and know that it’s not fun when there’s little or no color to the adventure. I keep the action going though, plenty of mysteries and combat encounters, but again, it gets bland quickly.

Summary- Campaign is fine(mechanically), but I as DM get boring by the middle of the session and then everything slows down.

So I guess what I’m looking for a way to try and keep myself from getting boring by the end of the session and a way to keep the campaign going smoothly. Any suggestions?

In Pathfinder 2e, are ability modifier benefits to things like HP and trained skills retroactive?

In Pathfinder 2e, a character’s Constitution bonus affects HP total. A character’s Intelligence bonus grants training in additional skills and languages.

Are these benefits retroactive?

Examples:

  • If a character’s Constitution modifier increases from +2 to +3 as the result of an ability boost, does HP increase by 1 per character level? So a level 5 character going from +2 to +3 Con mod would gain 5 hit points for the ability score increase?
  • If a character’s Intelligence modifier increases from +1 to +2 as the result of an ability boost, does that character gain another trained skill and learned language?

Does adding multiple skills when combining creatures cause balance issues?

I’m creating a Svirfneblin Evil Mage by combining the stat blocks for each Evil Mage and Svirfneblin.

A Svirfneblin has the skills Investigation +3, Perception +2, Stealth +4. An Evil Mage has the skills Arcana +5, History +5 and saving throw proficiencies INT +5, WIS +3.

Does having 5 skills and 2 saving throw proficiencies cause major balance issues?

How does the skills section work?

I’m filling out the a pdf character sheet for my character who is a high elf wizard and I’m not sure how the skill box works. I’ve got all my saving throws done but I’m really just confused with the dots down the side.

Which dots do I fill in and how does that change the number beside it?

If this helps my saving throw totals are:

  • +1 Strength
  • +4 Dexterity
  • +1 Constitution
  • +6 Intelligence
  • +3 Wisdom
  • +3 Charisma

What are the ticks for when advancing skills?

In Troika! the numinous edition in chapter 11 Getting Better the rules suggest a tick next to the advanced skill on every successful skill roll (roll under) on the character sheet. After rolling for advancement of 3 skills (roll over) the rules state that all ticks have to be removed from the character sheets.

But what are ticks used for? How is the count of ticks relevant?

What’s the most effective way to maximize skills as a character of any class?

I feel like Pathfinder skills are very compact when compared to 3.5 skills, as a result that makes each individual skill point worth more than each individual point in 3.5, due to combining some skills to form others that perform multiple functions.

Since skill points are more valuable, what are the best ways to gain as many skill points as possible as a character of any class? What’s the best way to optimize a skills modifiers for each set of classes below without affecting combat stats?

I’d prefer if the answers were formatted in the following way, explaining how each group can more easily gain skill modifiers:

  • High skill point classes: Rogue, Bard
  • Medium skill point classes: Monk, Barbarian, Alchemist
  • Low skill point classes: Fighter, Magic-users, Paladins

Can Living Gloves combined with Remove Curse be used to gain access to multiple artisan tool skills?

Living Gloves (p278 ERftLW) Says:

While attuned to these gloves, you gain one of the following proficiencies (your choice when you attune to the gloves):

  • Sleight of Hand
  • Thieves’ tools
  • One kind of artisan’s tools of your choice
  • One kind of musical instrument of your choice

Symbiotic Nature. The gloves can’t be removed from you while you’re attuned to them, and you can’t voluntarily end your attunement to them. If you’re targeted by a spell that ends a curse, your attunement to the gloves ends, and they can be removed.

Can remove curse (p271 PHB) be used to end the curse, then you can put the gloves back on to attune once again and choose a different proficiency?

How do you handle monsters using social skills vs PCs?

I’ve checked the books and can’t find an answer by RAW other than the DM decides, so I’d like to know how people handle this in their games. What happens if a thug tries to intimidate/persuade the PCs? Do I roll vs the character’s skill (and which one) or set a DC based on how difficult I think it is? Most of the time I just describe the monster’s actions and let the players tell me how their character’s react, but the monsters have those skills listed in the Monster Manual for a reason.

What do you think is the best to handle these checks in order for the monster be effective, have the same fail chance as the PCs, and avoiding slowing down the play or making the players feel cheated?