The Skinny on Skinning
I wrote this text in order to clarify some of the mysteries surround the delicate surgery known as skinning. Skinning is an ability which can add to the purses of anyone who trains properly for it, and to those who specialize in it, it can become truly an amazing source of wealth.
Skinning works like this:
First, some terms:
Base: Dex bonus + First Aid (FA) skill.
Modifiers: Armor penalties (see the armor guide - my double is -8, full has no penalty)
Wound penalties - wounds and bad scars to the hands, arms, head, eyes and nerves all affect skinning, a LOT.
Skinning spell: adds 25 + 1 per level of caster.
These are all added up and then a random roll is figured in. If this roll is higher than each critters target, then you skin it. If not, then no luck.
So to sum up its: Dex Bonus + FA Skill - armor penalty - wound penalties + skinning spell + random roll VS Critters Target Threshold.
If you're higher than the threshold, you've got yourself a skin, if not you've got nothing. It should be noted that even the best of skinners can botch the pelt of a rat!
Some false rumors about skinning:
First, kneeling does not add to one's skinning chances, despite popular belief.
Second, what you're holding in your hands does not affect your skinning ability. Frayo can skin as well with his axe in his hand as Nevina can skin with her morningstar and as Hofgar can with his hunting knife, all other things being equal.
Now, the impression I have is that there are some bush league critters and some major league critters. In the long run, even fire cats and shadow mares are BUSH league, not major. The real money is from older critters on the moon, and I presume the Island. A 230 base and you're a very good skinner. With a 300 base you should only miss on a fumble.
My recommendation: Rangers and empaths are going to be the real cash generators if they train for a long time with that purpose in mind. Other professions will be able to add to their money pouches though off of easier skins such as fire cats, fire rats and warcats, if you single train often enough.
For an empath: Triple in skinning, and at level 50 you're a myklian skinning machine. By level 65, you're going to be able to get anything going. Whenever possible, try to stay wound free and scarless when seriously skinning.
For a ranger: Since you can learn your skinning spell, you do not need to study first aid so intensively. You would only need to train three times every two levels (One time the first level, and twice the second level, ad infinitum) At level 50, you should be very good, and at level 65, you should barely miss a skin.
Standex, Humble Collector of Pelts
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