View Full Version : [3.5] Merging Skills...

2010-04-01, 04:35 AM
I'm trying to streamline the game and make skill points go farther, so I'm 'cleaning' up the game's skills.

"Acrobatics" is a common one, I believe, merging Tumble and Balance.

Beyond core, are there any skills I should add to the list before slicing, dicing, and... er... combining?

What skills do you think can be removed altogether?

Appraise will be cut. Relevant Craft, Profession, and maybe even Knowledge checks serve to fill its niche.

Some people like to merge Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate, but I'm not quite convinced.

I'm going to combine hide and move silently. This will also combine skill checks. Hiding, then moving would require a re-check. Large creatures would probably have a hard time moving silently, anyways.

Disable Device and Open Lock will become one in the same.

I don't know what to do with Use Rope. I get it, but it just seems obscure. Perhaps it should become a Craft or Profession?

Search, Spot, and Listen have similar functions. I'm sure at least two of them could be merged into "Awareness."

Concentration and Autohypnosis seem to have similar purposes.

2010-04-01, 07:17 AM
Here's what I do:

Listen + Search + Spot = Perception
Bluff + Disguise = Deception
Decipher Script + Speak Language = Linguistics
Hide + Move Silently = Stealth
Knowledge (history + nobility) = Knowledge (history)
Knowledge (dungeneering + nature) = Knowledge (nature)

Appraise and Use Rope are cut completely.
Appraise as a use of Craft seems a much better idea. I also make Architecture and Engineering a Profession skill and not Knowledge.

You could also merge Open Lock, Slight of Hand, and Disable Device, as well as Escape Artist, Balance and Tumble, but these are mostly Rogue skills and Rogues have so many skill points they don't need any further merged skills. You'd end up with less class skills than you have skill points per level, and I think that'd be too much.

2010-04-01, 08:06 AM
Climb + Jump + Swim = Athletics (Str)

Corporate M
2010-04-01, 02:17 PM
I have a version that hasn't been tried before. (Probably because it effects the game on a much larger scale...)

Skills are broken down into their respective key stat for bonuses. There are no "skills". Only strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma "skills".

Because of this broad generalization. To balance it, it costs 2 skillpoints to gain one rank in a stat skill. As well, you don't gain the x4 skillpoints at first level. So a rogue with 18 intelligence would only gain 12 skillpoints, and would only have six ranks to worth with.

Skill Focus would only be able to be taken once per stat skill. And those feats that used to get you +2 in different skills like "stealthy" feat are just ignored completely. Or perhaps changed to something like "can 1/day declare a 20 on a dexterity skillcheck used for hiding" or something like that.

Innitially I hadn't planned on there being stat skills a class is trained in, but it might help create better class balance. So you could have for example...

Trained Fighter Stat Skills: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution.
Trained Barbarian Stat Skills: Strength, Constitution, Wisdom.
Trained Rogue Stat Skills: All.

And perhaps if you use the variant with class skills (heh, a variant of a variant...) it costs 4 skillpoints instead of 2 to take a rank in an untrained skill.

All in all, the open-minded and skill focus feats will be much more attractive.

2010-04-01, 02:55 PM
I like....
Balance + Escape Artist + Tumble = Acrobatics (Dex)
Appraise + Decipher Script = Analyze (Int)
Knowledge Arcana + Spellcraft = Arcana (Int)
Climb + Jump + Swim = Athletics (Str)
Autohypnosis + Concentration = Concentration (Wis)
Bluff + Disguise + Forgery = Deception (Cha)
Sense Motive + General Wisdom = Insight (Wis)
Disable Device + Open Lock = Disable Device (Dex/Int)
Diplomacy + Gather Information = Negotiate (Cha)
Spot + Listen + Search = Notice (Wis)
Hide + Move Silently = Stealth (Dex)
Knowledge Nature + Survival = Wilderness Lore (Wis)

Drop Profession, keep Craft, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, the remaining Knowledges, Perform, Ride, Sleight of Hand, Speak Language, Use Magic Device and Use Rope the same. Possibly add Gamble from d20 Modern, along with Research and Investigate merged together into a single skill.

Zeta Kai
2010-04-01, 02:58 PM
Here's my version, which is reduced to 18; that is literally half the normal skill list, so everyone's points will go twice as far. I'd probably leave the skillpoints/level that same for most classes (except maybe Fighter or Monk). Anyway, here's my revised list:

Acrobatics (Balance/Escape Artist/Tumble)
Arcana (Spellcraft/Use Magic Device)
Socialize (Diplomacy/Intimidate/Sense Motive)
Deception (Bluff/Disguise/Forgery/Sleight Of Hand)
Investigate (Appraise/Decipher Script/Gather Information/Search)
Lore (Knowledge/Survival)
Mechanics (Disable Device/Open Lock/Use Rope)
Perception (Listen/Spot)
Stealth (Hide/Move Silently)
Tame (Handle Animal/Ride)

Geiger Counter
2010-04-01, 02:59 PM
survival+handle animal+knowledge nature/geography/dungeoneering= outdoorsmanship (Wis)
Open lock+disable device+slight of hand=thievery (Int)
balance+tumble+ride=acrobatics (Dex)
bluff+disguise+forgery=deception (Cha)
Jump+climb+swim=athletics (Str)

psicraft absorbed into spellcraft, use psionic device absorbed into use magic device, knowledge the planes absorbed into knowledge religion, knowledge nobility and royalty and knowledge local absorbed into knowledge history.

2010-04-01, 03:00 PM
Tame (Handle Animal/Ride)

What key ability do you use for that?

2010-04-01, 03:35 PM
More or less the list we're using for my game, 50 skills condensed into 26:

Balance, Escape Artist, Tumble --> Acrobatics [DEX]
Knowledge (Arcana), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device --> Arcana [INT]
Climb, Jump, Swim --> Athletics [STR]
Bluff --> Bluff [CHA]
Knowledge (Local), Knowledge (Nobility) --> Culture [INT]
Appraise, Craft() --> Craft [INT]
Diplomacy --> Diplomacy [CHA]
Disable Device, Open Lock, Use Rope --> Devices [INT]
Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (Planes) --> Divinity [INT]
Knowledge (Dungeoneering), Survival [Underground] --> Dungeoneering [WIS]
Autohypnosis, Concentrate --> Focus [WIS]
Handle Animal, Ride --> Handle Animal [WIS]
Heal --> Heal [WIS]
Knowledge (History) --> History [INT]
Intimidate --> Intimidate [CHA]
Decipher Script, Speak Language --> Linguistics [INT]
Knowledge (Architecture), Martial Lore --> Military [INT]
Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (Nature), Survival [Aboveground] --> Nature [WIS]
Listen, Spot, Search --> Perception [WIS]
Perform() --> Perform [CHA]
Profession() --> Profession [INT]
Knowledge (Psionics), Psicraft, Use Psionic Device --> Psionics [INT]
Sense Motive --> Sense Motive [WIS]
Sleight of Hand --> Sleight of Hand [DEX]
Hide, Move Silently --> Stealth [DEX]
Disguise, Forgery, Gather Information --> Streetwise [CHA]

Rather than have subskills, when you place a rank into Craft/Linguistics/Perform/Profession, you gain access to a new language/appropriate subskill, with another every five ranks. You use your full skill for all subskills.

2010-04-01, 03:45 PM
I like Pathfinders (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/skills) with some extra changed (I like the lack of cross-class buying thing pathfinder does at well).

Gather Information is rolled into sense motives rather than diplomacy.
Know:Nobility, Know:History, Know:Geography, Know:Local -> Know:Geopolitical (all 4 aren't used that much and they all tend to be taught in the same courses).
Climb and Swim are folded into their own skill, or are both another part of acrobatics.
Use Rope is not included in the Pathfinder system, it fits best in Survival
Concentration and Auto hypnosis ->Concentration

2010-04-01, 04:54 PM
Random thought:

Speak Language, Decipher Script into...

Knowledge (Linguistics).

In addition, characters no longer start off with a lot of languages. Each rank in Knowledge (Linguistics) earns you another language, though... Knowing five or six languages as a noob adventurer is not too shabby.

Jack of Spades
2010-04-01, 10:32 PM
You could always just rip the 4e skills, merging existing skills was pretty much their intention there. Of course, a few mechanics are lost, but if you really felt like it they'd take all of five minutes to adapt into the new skillset.

2010-04-02, 01:16 PM
These are the changes I use for my campaign.

Appraise + Search = Notice
(Both are seeing details and are Int based. Plus who really takes Appraise?)
Listen + Spot = Perception
Hide + Move Silently = Stealth
Use Magic Device + Use Psionic Device = Use Esoteric Device
(Divine and arcane use the same skill, but psionics get there own?)

Autohypnosis becomes part of Concentration.
Psicraft becomes part of Knowledge (Psionics).
Spellcraft becomes part of Knowledge (Arcane) for arcane magic, or Knowledge (Religion) for divine magic.

I have also limited the list of the Craft, Knowledge, Perform, and Profession skills. They are the largest lists of skills, but no longer infinite.

2010-04-02, 05:57 PM
Hide + Move Silenty = Sneak / Stealth
Listen + Spot = Notice / Perception
Disable Device + Open Locks = Disable Device
Autohypnosis + Concentration = Focus / Meditation

I keep Search separate from Listen + Spot.

Listen + Spot applies to other senses as well, such as smelling something or noticing the taste of poison.

Use Magic Device includes Use Psionic Device as well.

I mostly ditched Use Rope, but if someone wanted it, they could have it.

In addition to Swim, Climb and Fly skills, I added one for Running, that could add a few squares of movement on a good roll on a move-and-attack or double-move (or run) action. There was one for Burrowing as well, but it was only relevant to critters with a burrow speed. :)