View Full Version : [3.5 & d20] Skill point variant - DISCUSS

2009-10-20, 02:29 PM
It seems to me that the d20 system's elegance of setting all DCs essentially at the same level (or to look at it another way, setting the cost-per-rank the same for all cross-class and class skills) creates an inequality in skill usefulness.
By the RAW, it takes the same number of skill points for a bard to become perfectly proficient with writing and a speaking a language as it does for him to create the most rudimentary of crafted items.

Other games systems set different cost multipliers on harder skills, or different DCs for tasks. It would ruin d20's elegance top change the DCs... but I think there's a case for making some skills cost more to learn than a 1-for-1 points to ranks cost.
There'd need to be some way of factoring in the class-vs-cross-class bonus. Alternity (in many way a clear precursor of d20 Modern) set the cost profession skills (the equivalent of class skills) at 1 point less. Different skills cost between 1 and 4 points per rank (with the Feat-equivalent "broad skills" costing between 5 and 7 per rank).

Setting the cost multipliers would be quite a task - how to balance the realism of "difficulty to learn" with the usefulness of skills?

Such a system would obviously change D&D and d20 games a fair bit. Classes would probably need a few more skill points per level to be effective.

Anyway, these are just some ideas that have been rattling about in my head. I'm sure there's a good argument to leave it all alone, but I'm curious - could it be made to work, and what benefits might it bring?

2009-10-20, 02:57 PM
I think it is a very worthy cause... Something I would employ in my games willy-nilly no doubt... But yeah I've spun so many ideas in my head my brain is cotton candy... But I'm curious to see where this is heading... I hope someone has ideas :/

I wanted to search for this image for here....http://membres.lycos.fr/fredrichung/forum/i%20like%20were%20this%20thread%20is%20going.jpg

This is what I found while typing my search at first.... haha http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l155/therewillbeaway/ScreenHunter_01Oct201556.gif

2009-10-21, 01:26 AM
Ha ha!
(Great the only reply I got so far is from a crazy person... :smallwink:)

Here's a base line proposal, from which we can debate and discuss solutions:
As a default, skills cost 3 skill points for 1 rank Hard to learn skills cost 4 points for 1 rank Easy to learn skills cost 2 points for 1 rank Class skills cost 1 point less per rank. All classes gain double their base skill point allotment (because most skills cost more than 1 point per rank now)

Next step is to assign which skills are "easy", and which are "hard".
I'd also propose that some of the easy skills that are really, really useful in game remain as normal (i.e. 3 points per rank), so as to avoid breaking those skills.

Here's an example list based on the Pathfinder skills set:

Acrobatics - hard
Appraise - easy
Craft - easy
Diplomacy - easy
Disable Device
Disguise - hard
Escape Artist - hard
Fly - easy
Handle Animal
Intimidate - easy
Knowledge (arcana)
Knowledge (dungeoneering)
Knowledge (engineering)
Knowledge (geography)
Knowledge (history)
Knowledge (local)
Knowledge (nature)
Knowledge (nobility)
Knowledge (planes)
Knowledge (religion)
Linguistics - hard
Perception - hard
Sense Motive
Sleight of Hand
Stealth - hard
Survival - hard
Use Magic Device - hard

Obviously, I make no pretense that my selections are perfect. Discuss!