Optional skill rule for 3.5

Published 2000 & 2003.
The Book-House: Find 3.0 Edition products, Find 3.5 Edition products.

Moderator: Blacky the Blackball

Post Reply
redking
Hobgoblin
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:11 pm
Gender: male

Optional skill rule for 3.5

Post by redking » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:24 pm

Sadly this part of the forum is languishing, but I hope this will gain some traction.

The way skill work in 3.5 doesn't allow for characters to have their own particular interests. Want a particular skill to be on your skills list? Then you will need to take a dip in a class that has that particular skill. Having to gain particular skills has also led to bizarre Frankenstein character builds just to get a set of skills to allow entry into this or that PrC. Lets do a simple fix for this. Lets allow for character interests.

----
Character interests: Every PC or NPC has interests that are particular to themselves. At 1st level, 5th level, and every 5 levels after that the character may choose any skill (with the exception of UMD, which may only be taken at 10 HD or above) as permanent skill that counts as a class skill for leveling up in any class. For example, Rolf is a 5th level fighter and thus has two character interest skills. Rolf has an interest in the balance skill because he would often do rope walking, and an interest in perform because he used to do rope walking performances in front of a crowd. Both of these skills are permanent skills to be counted as class skills whenever Rolf levels up, regardless of the class. If Rolf desired, he could have also selected a class skill already on his class list. In that case it becomes a permanent skill as described above.
----

There you have it. A simple way to resolve a long standing problem in 3.5e.

User avatar
ghendar
Cranky Grognard
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 8:11 pm
Gender: male
Location: Acererak's Rumpus Room

Re: Optional skill rule for 3.5

Post by ghendar » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:05 pm

Doesn't 3e already give players more options than they could ever want? Why add another layer on top of this? This idea can be taken to extremes.
Fifth registered member, bitches!

If the Unapproachable East was so unapproachable, how did anyone get there?

redking
Hobgoblin
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:11 pm
Gender: male

Re: Optional skill rule for 3.5

Post by redking » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:37 pm

ghendar wrote:Doesn't 3e already give players more options than they could ever want? Why add another layer on top of this? This idea can be taken to extremes.
No. As I explained in my post the desire to enter certain prestige classes led to very strange immersion breaking character builds. This rationalizes and streamlines, rather than add another layer of complexity.

Michael Silverbane
Hobgoblin
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:53 am
Gender: male

Re: Optional skill rule for 3.5

Post by Michael Silverbane » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:39 pm

ghendar wrote:Doesn't 3e already give players more options than they could ever want?
No. It does not.


More on topic.... I like Pathfinder's take on this Background Skills, where there are extra skills granted, but they are restricted to specific skills that are less directly applicable to adventuring.
It's a big world out there. Go tear it up.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18300
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Optional skill rule for 3.5

Post by Havard » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:59 pm

I don't want to come off as negative, but Ghendar does have a point as every subsequent edition has reduced the skill list.

Another way to rid the game of those "Frankensteinian" builds is to do what I do. I allow the PCs to redistribute skills or indeed make any number of changes to their characters between adventures. I let them know so in advance. That really kills alot of the "building" philosophy. I do require them to come up with some kind of explanation to the changes though. Maybe the guy had a personal crisis, or met a strange master who taught him new things, found religion etc. But that's it.

That said, I do think redkings option would work as well. The only potential problem I see is nerfing the Rogue class, since skill selection and skill points are really the main advantages of that class. Would you add other bonuses for Rogues to compensate for this?

Personally I think it could be interesting to rework the Rogue Class and Skills in general so that skills are removed from the balance between the classes. But that would require a bit more work.

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
dulsi
Storm Giant
Posts: 1816
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:20 am
Gender: prefer not to say
Contact:

Re: Optional skill rule for 3.5

Post by dulsi » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:59 pm

I don't have a problem with another layer but I'd handle it differently. I'd probably make background or regional feats for this purpose. Something like what the Forgotten Realms book had.

If you wanted something with less work, I'd be more inclined to allow the swapping of one skill from the class skill list. That way they don't increase the number of class skills they get. But I wouldn't allow this randomly, they need to have a background to explain it.
Dennis Payne -- Identical Games
Support Roon's Raccoon Sprintladder on Lego Ideas.
ImageImage

User avatar
Angel Tarragon
Dawn Dragon
Posts: 8379
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:39 am
Gender: male
Location: Athas

Re: Optional skill rule for 3.5

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:28 pm

dulsi wrote:I'd probably make background or regional feats for this purpose. Something like what the Forgotten Realms book had.

If you wanted something with less work, I'd be more inclined to allow the swapping of one skill from the class skill list. That way they don't increase the number of class skills they get. But I wouldn't allow this randomly, they need to have a background to explain it.
Pathfinder has traits that twerked the idea of regional feats...I love traits because they don't force a character to give up a feat for more customization.

redking
Hobgoblin
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:11 pm
Gender: male

Re: Optional skill rule for 3.5

Post by redking » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:52 am

Havard wrote:I don't want to come off as negative, but Ghendar does have a point as every subsequent edition has reduced the skill list.
Think about what you are saying. The skills LIST is reduced, which means that each skill, individually, covers a wider array of activities (like Pathfinder), but the number of skills remains the same.

I can't speak for Pathfinder or other 3PP, but what I propose works just fine for 3.5. Michael Silverbane points out that Pathfinder does something similar, implemented differently.
Havard wrote:That said, I do think redkings option would work as well. The only potential problem I see is nerfing the Rogue class, since skill selection and skill points are really the main advantages of that class. Would you add other bonuses for Rogues to compensate for this?
The rogues will also benefit from this. Skill points don't change, and rogues will receive the additional skills just like any other character. Because you only get the additional skills at fixed levels, the rogue will not be overshadowed.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23187
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Optional skill rule for 3.5

Post by Big Mac » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:01 pm

redking wrote:The way skill work in 3.5 doesn't allow for characters to have their own particular interests. Want a particular skill to be on your skills list? Then you will need to take a dip in a class that has that particular skill. Having to gain particular skills has also led to bizarre Frankenstein character builds just to get a set of skills to allow entry into this or that PrC. Lets do a simple fix for this. Lets allow for character interests.
----
Character interests: Every PC or NPC has interests that are particular to themselves. At 1st level, 5th level, and every 5 levels after that the character may choose any skill (with the exception of UMD, which may only be taken at 10 HD or above) as permanent skill that counts as a class skill for leveling up in any class. For example, Rolf is a 5th level fighter and thus has two character interest skills. Rolf has an interest in the balance skill because he would often do rope walking, and an interest in perform because he used to do rope walking performances in front of a crowd. Both of these skills are permanent skills to be counted as class skills whenever Rolf levels up, regardless of the class. If Rolf desired, he could have also selected a class skill already on his class list. In that case it becomes a permanent skill as described above.
I'm not sure I agree that 3.5 is broken here, but your idea sounds internallly self-consistent.
dulsi wrote:I don't have a problem with another layer but I'd handle it differently. I'd probably make background or regional feats for this purpose. Something like what the Forgotten Realms book had.

I like this idea. The Regional Feats system, from FRCS, was a lot of fun. :)
dulsi wrote:If you wanted something with less work, I'd be more inclined to allow the swapping of one skill from the class skill list. That way they don't increase the number of class skills they get. But I wouldn't allow this randomly, they need to have a background to explain it.
Tlhat also sounds logical. You would probably need to do that at 1st Level.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
willpell
Black Dragon
Posts: 3030
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 pm
Gender: male

Re: Optional skill rule for 3.5

Post by willpell » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:29 am

I have very mixed feelings about this. I think it would lead to a lot of abuses, people getting powerful skills like Tumble and Bluff on characters whose class features complement these too much. But then, many of the beneficiaries are classes that need the help. The real question is whether this makes human wizards with Leadership, and CoDzilla thaumaturgists, and so forth any more broken than they already were.

Post Reply

Return to “D&D 3rd Edition”