101 New Skill Uses takes the skills listed on the standard Pathfinder character sheet and makes them more useful and versatile for the Player and Game Master alike. The concept of developing new uses for skills is not new, but it still has merit. This 24 page book is full of rules crunch. This supplement addresses skills alphabetically from “Acrobatics” to “Use Magical Device.” Each of the skills addressed has at least one new or alternative use with a few having around 13. When introducing a book like this, it is important that the GM gets a chance to look over the new uses before a session. Some of the new of the alternative uses of skills replicate feats from the 3.5 ed.
101 New Skill Uses falls into the extra crunchy category when it comes to Mechanics, but below those mechanics are some interesting and innovative role playing uses for skills, that most players and GMs haven’t thought about or were forced to MSU (Make Stuff Up) because there were no written rules to support using your stealth score to hide above a door.
Publication Quality: 6 out of 10
The page borders look great and there is some good art in this book. The cover art looks like a screen shot from a video game and betrays the quality of the information inside of this book. Mr. Mcdevitts’s drawings look much better in black and white. In fact, all of the interior art should have stuck with black and white. Some of the art looked computer generated and there was no sense of cohesion. The print was easy to read and the charts were well placed in the text.
Mechanics: 10 out of 10
This book is focused on mechanics, but in the process, it can enable some outstanding role playing opportunities. Some of these “new” skill uses can negate the needs for some feats players may have taken and their use could cause some balance issues if all of the players at the table do not have access to them. Each new skill use is well thought out and well written. By placing the skill entries in alphabetical order, they are easy to find.
Value Add: 8 out of 10
This rating can increase or decrease depending on the players and the GM. If the GM is opposed to these new skill uses, then this book slides to a 6 or 7. Even if a GM will only allow a few of these new uses for skills, the ideas in this book are great adventure seeds or plot hooks. The Le Parkour use of the Acrobatics feat is a great inspiration for a citywide chase that has a cinematic feel to it. The new uses for many of these skills will allow players to fill in some of the functions that might normally be outside of their class or normal skill set.
Overall: 8 out of 10
Don’t judge this book by its cover! Not all of the “new” uses for skills were new, but they were all well written and well converted to the Pathfinder rules system. This book is a great resource for players and GMs alike. The 24 page length is enough to contain some outstanding information without overloading the reader. This book should be introduced carefully and in such a way as to give the GM and the gaming group time to adjust to some of the new mechanics. A cheat sheet with the rolling mechanics for each of the new skill uses would be a welcome page 25. This book is worth the price of admission and if used properly, it will add fun to your Pathfinder experience.
[4 of 5 Stars!]