Monday, November 7, 2011

Who Does it Better? Skill Focus: Haggle

Yeah, it's like that.

A while ago a reader commented on "Haggle, is it worth it?" and stated that he thought the artificer might be better suited to a haggle build. I decided to take a look at the three classes which use Haggle and see which one could get the highest.

The three classes which have Haggle as a class skill are the Artificer, Bard, and Rogue. Assuming each one is trying to excel at Haggle they’d all want a Charisma of at least 18.

Here the Bard has an advantage. Charisma is the key ability for his spellcasting. However, that is the only advantage as even though Charisma enhances Use Magic Device, that is also a skill shared by all three classes. With a high enough Use Magic Device and some willingess to utilize items spellcasting doesn’t bear as much weight in this argument.

So let’s assume each of our prospective haggle masters has a Charisma of 18, takes maximum ranks in the skill at every level and has taken the feats Skill Focus: Haggle and Negotiator.

So, at first level, without enhancements they should all have a Haggle of +13. Now let’s take a look at how they can increase their haggle even more by level 20.

First off let’s start by taking all the Improved Haggle enhancements for a bonus of +4. Next we’re going to take all of the Artificer Skill Boost enhancements, which will give a +5 bonus to the skill for 20 seconds, certainly long enough to click the sell button. The Artificer also gets access to the Eagle’s Splendor spell, so he can easily give himself a +4 to charisma, which corresponds to a +2 bonus to the check. In addition he will raise his charisma every 4 levels which will give him and additional +2 to the check. If we tally these up the Artificer will have a haggle of 41 (5 from feats, 23 from ranks, 4 from passive enhancements, 5 from active enhancements, and 4 from Charisma) at level 20.

That is without items which can be used universally by any of the classes and so won’t be analyzed here.

Now we take a look at the Bard. Like the artificer before him, and the rogue to follow we will start by taking all the Improved Haggle enhancements for a bonus of +4. Also, similar to the others he will raise his Charisma every four levels but unlike the other two he will continue this at level 20. But he, unlike the other two, can raise his Charisma three times through enhancements, in addition his capstone enhancement raises Charisma by an additional two for a +1 to the check. Combine all of this into a higher Charisma gives him a +3, adding on the spell Eagle’s Splendor that he can cast gives an additional +2 to the check. Speaking of spells, the bard also has access to the spell Focusing Chant, he also has access to Greater Heroism which grants an additional +4 to the check. Adding all this together gets us a Haggle bonus of 47 (5 from feats, 23 from ranks, 4 from passive enhancements, 5 from spells, 10 from Charisma).

Finally we’re going to take a look at the rogue. Right off the bat he gets +4 from Improved Haggle, he like the artificer can get a skill boost so there is +5. He raises his charisma at each chance and uses Eagle’s Splendor for a total of +4. All told we get the same here as we did for the Artificer above.

So, with the breakdown complete, the Bard is still victorious at Haggle. Even if I add in the ability for Rogues and Artificers to use Greater Heroism items, the Bard still has two points on them. It is a close match, so the question you have to ask yourself is--is two points in Haggle enough to suffer through 20 levels of Bard?


  1. if it was 3.P bard (ie not useless) then it would be worth it, otherwise, no, I would rather just get a bard friend to gimme bard buffs

  2. But if everyone did that Bryzen there would be no bards to give buffs.

  3. you get the masochists like yourself that have a bard ;D

  4. Those first few levels were pretty hellish I'll admit. But once I prestiged things got a lot easier and I'm actually starting to enjoy Ahshoka...just not as much as I enjoy my flame wizard, Piecemeal the artificer, and my kensai.

    I just hope I can find some other "masochist" to use Inspire Competence on me when I go to sell stuff.