View Full Version : A Skills Discussion [3ed]

2010-01-06, 08:50 AM
Ahoy, the purpose of this thread is to address the perceived issues of the skill list in overlaps and size in one place. I hope to get the differing views so that decision is more considered than if it were done alone for anyone who wishes to use it.

I have seen in the forums numerous threads on reducing the amounts of skills by combining them; some changes ratified by 4ed and saga ed star wars, as well as other systems. The three foremost changes are:

Open Lock + Disable Device := Disable Device (or Mechanics)
Listen + Spot = Perception 1
Move Silently + Hide = Stealth 1

Now on the surface these all seem reasonable with the first even stated to have been kept due to legacy and not any mechanical reasons, but three reasonable counter-arguments have been made against them.

1. If Move Silently and Hide are merged, what benefit does invisibility give?
2. Making the skill list smaller gimps the rogue as other classes can pick up on the skills easier.
3. The skills points per level would have to be reduced to take in to account the reduced skill list size (not so much a counter argument as a point but a good one nonetheless)
4. Skill tricks have greater accessibility (I know little of skills tricks ty Latronis)

Possible answers to questions 1 and 3 are:

1. Just give the benefits of a listen check only if they are invisible
3. Well that's obvious

For counter-argument 2 I fail to see the point personally and wish to be enlightened

Other rebirthed skills that I have seen on these boards and others:

Athletics: Climb + Swim + Jump
Survival 1: Survival + Use Rope
Survival 2: Survival + Heal
Know Nature: Know Nature + Heal
Perception 2: Spot + Listen + Search
Stealth 2: Hide + Move Silently + Sleight of Hand
Acrobatics 1: Tumble + Balance + Escape Artist
Acrobatics 2: Tumble + Balance
Animal Handling: Animal Handling + Ride
Deception 1: Disguise + Bluff
Deception 2: Disguise + Bluff + Sleight of Hand
Deception 3: Disguise + Bluff + Sleight of Hand + Forgery
Persuasion: Intimidation + Diplomacy
Socialise: Diplomacy + Gather Infomation
Negotiation: Diplomacy + Sense Motive
Linguistics: Forgery + Decipher Script
Streetwise: Gather Information + Intimidate
Thievery: Disable Device + Escape Artist + Open Lock + Sleight of hand
Infiltration: Forgery + Disguise
Bluff: Bluff + Intimidate

Well that is kind of a Monsterous List so I apologise

I would also say something of the number of skills a rogue gets with their expected skill must-haves and my opinions on the skill merges but I'll leave it to another post in this thread cause I'm tired and to keep things neat.

Please state which you think is best and why, which is bad and why and don't hesitate to add any I've missed. Thank-you.

2010-01-06, 08:58 AM
You can also make a greater use of skill tricks with combined skills without reducing the skill points.

2010-01-06, 09:11 AM
My opinions on the skill merges.

Athletics: I like - people who practise the physical parts of life tend to know them all, downside harder to make a char who cant swim
Survival 1: dont like - thieves guild have lots of people who can tie ropes but dont know squat about finding berries and such
Survival 2: dont like - heally people dont neccessarily know how to find their way in the wilds just what certain plants do
Know Nature: like - most medicine at this level is plant based, problem is in the ruling attribute though WIS instead of INT
Perception 2: dont like - spot and listen are about noticing stuff - search is about connecting what you see together - I prefer perception 1
Stealth 2: indifferent but prefer Stealth 1
Acrobatics 1: indifferent but prefer acrobatics 2 as balance and tumble are both about your body's position whereas escape artist is about squeezing it
Acrobatics 2: like - see above
Animal Handling: dont like - riding is about your position on the animal whereas animal handling is about communication with it hence the CHA and DEX stats - and yes i know communication is involved in riding as well but most of what the actual skill deals with is staying on the horse when jumping and such, hence its more self positioning
Deception: Dont like any of these - none of these skills have anything in common except use, it doesnt make sense for them to be together
Persuasion: Like but not enough
Negotiation: dito
Socialise: i like it less than the previous 2 but dito nonetheless
Linguistics: dont like - Forgery has to copying nuances of the hand and other such like artwork whereas decipher script is more solving puzzles
Streetwise: dont like - you can be intimidating and have no idea who to talk to
Thievery: HATE - they have nothing to do with each other other than the profession that uses them
Infiltration: Indifferent - similar in use and skill but are they similar enough?
Bluff: Like - Intimidation is more than simple threats and is closer to deception than diplomacy, its making your opponent think you can do things - even if you can its making them think it thats important

2010-01-06, 09:15 AM
Honestly I don't like any of them. When you really get down to it none of the mergers are that logical. It's better looked at as a convenience thing

2010-01-06, 09:26 AM
This is what i'm using at the moment

Acrobatics : Escape Artist + Tumble
Animal Affinity : Handle Animal + Ride
Athletics : Climb + Jump + Swim
Awareness : Listen + Search + Spot
Decipher Script
Diplomacy : Diplomacy + Gather Information
Disable Device : Disable Device + Open Lock
Legerdemain : Forgery + Slight of Hand
Sense Motive
Speak Language
Stealth : Hide + Move Silently (Invisibility isnt an issue when spot and listen are combined in one aswell)
Survival : Survival + Use Rope (Use rope isn't useful enough to stand alone)
Thaumaturgy : Spellcraft + Psicraft + Scry
Use Device : Use Psionic Device + Use Magic device

2010-01-06, 09:33 AM
Crack open a copy of Fantasy Craft. They did a dramatic reworking/merging of skills along these lines just for starters...

2010-01-07, 03:42 AM
Ok I have looked at fantasy craft though that doesnt seem to help much, just the some more ways of merging the skills with no explanation as to why it's better.

I was wondering would it be advisable to have the skills grouped into normal and lesser skills. The skill list would stay the same and all classes would get the same amount of skill points but they could only be spent on the normal skills (spellcraft, spot) but you could exchange skill points for lesser skills points at an exchange of 1:2 to purchase ranks in the lesser skills (jump, climb, swim, balance, craft, profession)

2010-01-07, 03:51 AM
normal/lesser skills sounds a lot like class/crossclass skills, which is a mechanic I'd really like to avoid. I dn't mind having different caps depending on it being a class skill, but different costs is generally confusing for most players, and its hard to track down a miscalculation with such a system.

2010-01-07, 04:35 AM
1. State problems existing in the current system.

2. State solutions that you think would solve these problems.

3. State arguments for these solutions.

4. State arguments against these solutions.

5. State counter-arguments.

6. State an implementation that answers as many as possible of the issues raised.

Do that, in that exact order, and you'll find what you're looking for much sooner.

2010-01-07, 06:00 AM
I really don't like merging skills together, give me less oppertunities to make a special kind of character. And also to many off game commentaries from each player about what they feel like is better suiting for eachother. Not that A GM can't just over rule them, but the point is that none of them in my own way feel like they are similar enough to be merge.....

2010-01-07, 02:40 PM
I think a useful ting to do is distinguish between skills and tasks. Survival is a skill. Determing which direction is north is a task; finding food is a different task which under RAW is also governed by the Survival skill.

I think some tasks could logically be governed by more than one skill, and teh character would use the most advantageous skill. 3e sort of tiptoed toward this, with the knowledge checks for knowing lore about certain prestige classes being determined by either Knowlkedge (X) or Knowledge (Y). But this could be made far broader. Tracking (if you have the feat, of course) could reasonably be governed by either Survival or Search.

This idea isn't devloped yet, but I'd love for someone to run with it.