Skills

Ashtagon's homebrew rules set.

Skills

Postby Ashtagon » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:32 am

One thing I've noticed in d20-based game design is a trend to merge skills. This is, on the face of it, an attempt to give martial characters (who traditionally dump Int) a boost, by making it easier for them. However, in reality, it gives everyone a boost, since it makes it easier for everyone to buy skills. I think instead, a more nuanced approach to skil merging is needed: Merge physical skills, and split up mental ones further. I'm not entirely happy with this list; in particular, the social skills need refinement, not least because the SRD rules for social skills were lacking in depth.

My current list is as follows:

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Re: Skills

Postby Havard » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:24 pm

Ashtagon wrote:One thing I've noticed in d20-based game design is a trend to merge skills. This is, on the face of it, an attempt to give martial characters (who traditionally dump Int) a boost, by making it easier for them. However, in reality, it gives everyone a boost, since it makes it easier for everyone to buy skills. I think instead, a more nuanced approach to skil merging is needed: Merge physical skills, and split up mental ones further. I'm not entirely happy with this list; in particular, the social skills need refinement, not least because the SRD rules for social skills were lacking in depth.


I don't disagree with what you are saying here, but I also think there could be other reasons for having a reduced skill list. Overall it makes the system less complicated and I personally prefer shorter skill lists simply because of this. Of course, if you reduce the skill list, you might also have to reduce the number of skill points awarded, either from level advancement Int bonus or both.

Overall I like your skill list. I think the biggest problem with social skills is the misunderstood(?) notion some players have that instead of roleplaying, they can simply say "I attempt to use Diplomacy on the guard". This could simply be solved by the rulebooks stating that not roleplaying will increase the DN by +80 or something.

I am not sure if it suits your design intents, but I would consider merging Slight of Hands and Escape artist. Escape Artist is not a very useful skill in my experience. I might also rename Sense Motive to Empathy to make it clear that it also allows a character to understand the emotions and feelings of the target, not just his immediate motives.

Just a couple of ideas. :)


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Re: Skills

Postby shesheyan » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:08 pm

I have to agree with Harvard. A condensed skill list makes it also easier for GM to create NPCs. Creating a high level NPCs took too long in 3E with all the point distribution per level. Also, with granular lists I find characters can't do much. The number of skills they have are very limited even at mid-levels. I found that to be more of a problem with Modern and Sci-Fi games were the average person can do a lot in real life but not in game. Condensed lists solves that.
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Re: Skills

Postby Big Mac » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:23 am

I think that one of my personal issues with skills is that the SRD gave us "class skills" and "cross class skills" and had a rule where 2 points in a cross class skill turns into 1 point. While that sounds logical, if you have a PC that has two classes, and they buy the same skill as both a class skill and a cross class skill, it starts getting impossible to reverse-engineer.

So if you make a mistake, while levelling up a PC and want to recalculate, it's a pain.

I've considered some sort of house rule, where all PCs/NPCs get a +1 or +2 bonus to the "class skills" and the cross class mechanic is ignored. But that might push things up near to 20 ranks too quickly.

I've also considered some sort of use for the cross class skill points being worth half a point (like maybe the half point being a deciding factor if there is a tie).
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