View Full Version : [4th] non-adventuring skills PEACH

2009-08-21, 05:08 PM
Dungeons & Dragons is not a game of Lawyers & Laymen. it's about brave and valiant heroes breaking into houses, committing murder & stealing stuff (wait that don't sound right...).

the core concepts the game was built on is about being a big damn hero doing things that would cause most people to drop their jaws.

managing an inn in an idyllic country village or making pottery... not so much. but hey, we all need hobbies, right?

each character starts with 5 points to put into skill training.

training has 3 levels: basic (+3), trained (+5), expert (+7). it takes one point to gain basic training, one point to be fully trained and it takes 2 points to go from trained to expert

this means a character can have dedicated his life to that of an expert in one field and a neophyte in another, or have jumped from job to job, gaining the core knowledge of 5 different ones.

each skill is governed by 2 associated skills, like dex+cha for dancing for example.

to find your skill = Stat mod 1 + Stat mod 2 + training

a check is made by rolling 3d6 equal to or under your skill, as modified by circumstance/difficulty. a proper set of craftsman's tools could add a +1 to your skill, while a masterwork set could give a +2

you are assumed to be able to do all the basics of a trained skill if not pressured, as well as make a living off it if it's a profession, but should you be rushed or whatnot, 10 is considered the 50% baseline for failure/success.

for an idea of the chance of rolling a given number on 3d6:

3 -0.4629%
4 -1.8518%
5 -4.6296%
6 -9.2592%
7 -16.2037%
8 -25.9259%
9 -37.5000%
10 -50.0000%
11 -62.5000%
12 -74.0740%
13 -83.7962%
14 -90.7407%
15 -95.3703%
16 -98.1481%
17 -99.5370%
18 -100.0000%

most skill difficulty rolls should fall between these you'll notice that the sweet spot is probably 8-12. lower and it becomes too difficult, higher and it's too easy.

rolling a 3-4 is considered a success & 17-18 a failure, regardless of skill or difficulty. for characters without even the most basic of training they cannot "auto-succeed"

1 to 3 - tough. a skilled practitioner will find it a bit difficult.
4 to 6 - difficult. even an expert will find himself challenged.
7 to 10 - good luck. this is the realm of luck and true talent.

reduce the character's effective skill number by the difficulty. so a character with a 13 total against a difficulty 3 requires a 10 or lower

most characters can be expected to have about +4-5 due to stats and maybe +6-8 if they happen to be associated class stats (like a sorceror having both high dex & charisma will naturally be a better dancer then the high str/con barb)

most characters can be expected to gain one or two points per tier on each skill, and if they have access to the proper tools or favorable circumstances, get a +1 or 2 on their skill.

the highest a starting character can have is 15 (2x4's+expert) while the highest an end-game pc can have is 23 (2x8's+expert).

additional skill points are awarded at DM's discretion, usually during downtime when you actually have time to train your craft/art/whatever. others can be given based in special circumstances, but most of the time, D&D characters are not meant to be super-trained, just naturally gifted (due to higher then normal stats).

retraining is allowed but only 1 "rank" at a time and at DM's discretion.

characters with even basic training can use these skills to determine someone else's skill or knowledge on other skills, as well as notice particular aspects of their techniques.

characters trained in Perception/Insight gain a +X circumstance bonus (1 per level of training) on the use of their skill when examining.

a character trained in perception can use his pottery skill to determine if a piece is valuable or not (which could in turn give him a bonus to diplomacy when haggling a selling price) or a painter can tell you if an art piece is real or a forgery.

on the flipside, the potter examining a piece can notice if the creator had a particular reason for doing it, maybe hiding a clue to an ancient treasure in the artwork, or if there is a certain meaning behind it.

another example available to anyone is that they can use insight to judge another person's skill, whether the GM tells you the exact number or a relative amount (his skill is 13/about as skilled as you) is left to the GM in question.

generally speaking, the perception bonus is used when checking skill, while insight is for intent.

i did soooo not steal & adapt GURPS's mechanics. nope. never. nada. didn't cross my mind. *innocently whistles a little tune*

why roll under? why, especially coming from someone who dislikes multiple subsystems and likes a conformed and streamlined system that works off the same base?

because adventuring skills go up each level since while you don't use them in particular, you still learn their things. the fighter might not roll Nature for each wolf, but as he fights them he learns a little more about them. this can come in handy against other wolf-like creatures. though he never rolls thievery, the fighter notices the rogue use it and picks up a few techniques. he's never used magic, but he's seen it done and be exploded enough times to figure "klaatu barata~" is never a good thing to hear and should be dealt with ASAP.

Skill: Pottery, not so much. most D&D characters are going to destroy the pottery by hucking it at a monster, or accidentally toppling it, then to sit down and examine the craftsmanship of the vase that holds the wilted flowers in the tomb.

another thing is that your daily tasks really won't change much. a fisherman's tasks are pretty routine, though difficult. sometimes it may be a bit harder if the weather turns foul, but generally, it's the same thing, day in day out. you won't be fighting harder and harder waves while the fish become nearly impossible until you need to go up against a tsunami while catching minnows using a crab pot.

the core of the skill stays the same, but the difficulty will change depending on how hard the given task is.

honest help & critiques and maybe play testing even.

if i knew a way to make a proper d20 version that wasn't totally random, i'd use it, but 3d6 allows for a nicer bell curve and better gauge of probability and success.

2009-08-21, 05:57 PM
It seems entirely pointless to me to make a non-adventuring skill system that barely even resembles the current skill system. I suggest rethinking your approach.

A simple way of having d20 work and address issues I think you have a problem with (Trained people failing at mundane tasks), simply say "For these skill checks, you roll 1d20+Mods. Rolling a natural 1 or a natural 20 has no effect on these skill checks."

2009-08-24, 02:49 PM
I really don't see what the fuss is about with dice rolls using multiple dice. Any realism advantage can also be obtained by carefully writing out your guidelines ('binomial' systems like Shadowrun get a break here, because they have other advantages).

I'm also not sure whether or not there is a need for the two ability scores rule.

It also doesn't make too much sense to throw the established core mechanic out of the window.

Using mod. + training bonus as opposed to mod. + 1/2 level + training bonus seems like a good way to handle things. Possibly allow the Training Bonus to add up to +10 as opposed to +7