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SethFahad
2010-04-10, 12:16 AM
Is Apraise the most uselss skill ever???
I mean have ever used Apraise or invest ranks on it???

Flickerdart
2010-04-10, 12:19 AM
Forgery is more useless. Appraise at least lets you know when merchants are ripping you off (because "here are the books, pick items" is pretty lazy DMing) or how much your stuff is worth when selling. But Forgery? Only useful in one kind of campaign, really, and only with massive DM help.

sonofzeal
2010-04-10, 12:20 AM
Is Apraise the most uselss skill ever???
I mean have ever used Apraise or invest rank on it???
DM: "There's a guard at the castle door. He's got a halberd. What do you do?"
PC: "What level is he?"
DM: "How could you tell?"
PC: "Well... slaves have value based on their HD, right?"
DM: "....uh, yeah?"
PC: "And appraise lets me tell the value of things, right?"
DM: "....yeah?"
PC: "So if that guy were a slave - how much would he be worth?"

vanyell
2010-04-10, 12:20 AM
you have a nice DM then.

if the DM knows that there is no one with appraise skill in the group, he is free to pay you whatever he wants for that loot.

that diamond big enough to resurrect your dead party member? cut glass.

that 5000GP artwork item he rolled on the table? merchant will give you 100 GP for the "bad knockoff"

so as far as useless skills go, appraise is not as bad as say... forgery for example

ShneekeyTheLost
2010-04-10, 12:22 AM
Appraise can be used to determine if you have to worry about touching that black sapphire or not...

PC: So, how much is that thing worth?"
DM: 15,000 gp
PC: Whew... not big enough to trap me...

Thurbane
2010-04-10, 12:22 AM
I mean have ever used Apraise or invest ranks on it???
Yes and yes. It's heavily dependent on the style of the game. I've played under a couple of DMs where it is advantageous, to avoid being ripped off by unscrupulous traders (particularly in low-level games).

Admittedly, this isn't a situation which occurs in all (or even most) games...

SethFahad
2010-04-10, 12:26 AM
I found forgery much usefull during a visit in Cormyr... (didn't have the right spell to forge my papers...)
IMHO Forgery comes second, Apraise comes first by far...

TheOOB
2010-04-10, 12:26 AM
I'd vote for climb. By 3rd level spells it is completely useless, and 1st and 2nd level spells pretty much kill it prior. You can get discount magic items with spider climb on them.

appraise and forgery actually do things at high levels.

NiteCyper
2010-04-10, 12:26 AM
Forgery is more useless. Appraise at least lets you know when merchants are ripping you off (because "here are the books, pick items" is pretty lazy DMing) or how much your stuff is worth when selling. But Forgery? Only useful in one kind of campaign, really, and only with massive DM help.

On Forgery: a mini-guide. "Everything in this warehouse is ours now. See the seal?" - (by LogicNinja). Archived.

Nominee: Speak Language(s). Two skill-points = one language.

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-10, 12:29 AM
Profession. If you're an adventurer, and the best you can do is make 50 gp per week, you're doing it wrong.

Draz74
2010-04-10, 12:30 AM
Appraise isn't the best, but it's not the most useless either. I've been in groups where haggling over prices was somewhat roleplayed, and in that situation Appraise is an important "social" skill.

In my experience, it comes up more often than, say, the need for nonmagical linguistic abilities (via Speak Language). And for another example of a useless skill, I'm not sure I've ever seen a situation that required Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty), that wouldn't let you substitute a Know(history) or Know(local) check instead.

EDIT: If you can't find uses for a good Forgery check, you need to watch the TV show "White Collar" more. Yikes, it's amazing how much Forgery can get you away with. (Epic Bluff checks don't hurt either, of course.)

DragoonWraith
2010-04-10, 12:30 AM
Some classes get Speak Language in-class, and that's kind of awesome. Depends on the campaign, though.

Hmm, personally, I'm thinking Use Rope. Yes, it's nice to be able to tie people up, but... you get a free +10 bonus, and you could just get Manacles for a much better version. Grappling Hooks are cool but not really practical.

Truenaming.

SethFahad
2010-04-10, 12:34 AM
Profession. If you're an adventurer, and the best you can do is make 50 gp per week, you're doing it wrong.

Profession??? OMG!!! I forgot Profession completely!!! That's why...

Ladies and Gents, we have a WINNER!!! :smallbiggrin:

ShneekeyTheLost
2010-04-10, 12:39 AM
Some classes get Speak Language in-class, and that's kind of awesome. Depends on the campaign, though.

Hmm, personally, I'm thinking Use Rope. Yes, it's nice to be able to tie people up, but... you get a free +10 bonus, and you could just get Manacles for a much better version. Grappling Hooks are cool but not really practical.

Truenaming.

I disagree... assuming you can hit the 80+ DC on a consistent basis, you can pull off some interesting things...

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-10, 12:40 AM
Profession??? OMG!!! I forgot Profession completely!!! That's why...

Ladies and Gents, we have a WINNER!!! :smallbiggrin:It's purely an NPC skill, which is completely unneeded when the DM should either use Craft or just ad hoc an amount per week that seems appropriate. Why would any players care about what a non-player bean-counter made last week, and why should it vary based on a die roll from day to day and week to week?

It's not like a player character ever took this skill with a serious intent on making money with it.

sonofzeal
2010-04-10, 12:43 AM
It's purely an NPC skill, which is completely unneeded when the DM should either use Craft or just ad hoc an amount per week that seems appropriate. Why would any players care about what a non-player bean-counter made last week, and why should it vary based on a die roll from day to day and week to week?

It's not like a player character ever took this skill with a serious intent on making money with it.
I've seen mileage made out of "Profession: Sailor" and similar stuff that can actually come up in game. So not useless per se, but up to DM generosity which is almost the same thing.

PhoenixRivers
2010-04-10, 12:43 AM
I've used Profession(Sailor) to find my way to the helm of a pirate ship once.

absolmorph
2010-04-10, 12:48 AM
What about Heal?

sonofzeal
2010-04-10, 12:51 AM
What about Heal?
It's come up a few times for me. One of my first characters was a bitter angry Dwarven Fighter who liked torturing people and took ranks in Heal so he could keep them alive longer. Nice piece of work. It actually helped a few times though, when the party leader had an arrow sticking out of him while in the negatives, and again when we had blown through all our magical healing and the DC 15 "doubled natural healing from rest" thing ended up being pretty useful.

erikun
2010-04-10, 12:53 AM
I would like to volunteer Knowledge: Local. Most DMs have trouble getting the Knowledge skills involved for stuff like Dungeoneering and Arcana. Needless to say, the line "roll your knowledge check to see if you remember your neighbors" doesn't come up that often.

TroubleBrewing
2010-04-10, 12:55 AM
What about Heal?

Heal has a few good uses. Without a cleric in the party, anyone with the heal skill can attempt to cure non-magical diseases. Admittedly, that situation rarely occurs, but there is another reason: stabilizing. Again, sans cleric, you can attempt a DC 15 Heal check to stabilize a dying teammate.

If, however, you find yourself unlucky enough to be adventuring long-term without a healer of some kind, look forward to a basically inevitable death.


I would like to volunteer Knowledge: Local. Most DMs have trouble getting the Knowledge skills involved for stuff like Dungeoneering and Arcana. Needless to say, the line "roll your knowledge check to see if you remember your neighbors" doesn't come up that often.

Knowledge: Local also applies to basic knowledge about humanoid races. If you're running a Faerun game, I believe (but I'm not certain, so don't quote me on this) that it can tell you what region a given PC or NPC is from, thereby providing an advantage. Knowledge is, after all, power. :smalltongue:

Ponce
2010-04-10, 12:57 AM
Some classes get Speak Language in-class, and that's kind of awesome. Depends on the campaign, though.

Hmm, personally, I'm thinking Use Rope. Yes, it's nice to be able to tie people up, but... you get a free +10 bonus, and you could just get Manacles for a much better version. Grappling Hooks are cool but not really practical.

Truenaming.

Funny. By the way your post is, I can almost FEEL the bolt of inspiration that struck you, suddenly. Yes, Truenaming, indeed.

The Tygre
2010-04-10, 12:57 AM
I nominate 'Craft (Basketweaving)'. Not weaving, oh no. Basketweaving. And for the record, yes, that was an actual skill in the 3.5 PHB. You ask how I know this? It was a skill that my very first character ever took.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-04-10, 12:58 AM
I would like to volunteer Knowledge: Local. Most DMs have trouble getting the Knowledge skills involved for stuff like Dungeoneering and Arcana. Needless to say, the line "roll your knowledge check to see if you remember your neighbors" doesn't come up that often.

Knowledge (Local) covers humanoids, which can be useful for Knowledge Devotion and a few other things. It's less (local), really, and more (New York) or (Berlin).


Also, Profession (Sailor) gets love in both It's Wet Outside and Magic of Incarnum for ship-to-ship combat.

That being said, I've got to go Climb. Because alterself, and, really, levitate are enough.

Sinfire Titan
2010-04-10, 01:02 AM
If, however, you find yourself unlucky enough to be adventuring long-term without a healer of some kind, look forward to a basically inevitable death.

UMD>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Healbot. You don't need a dedicated healer to be able to heal your party.




I'd like to throw Open Lock in the ring. Disable Device to disable the door's bolt or lock, and you no longer need an entire skill.

Jokasti
2010-04-10, 01:02 AM
I would like to volunteer Knowledge: Local. Most DMs have trouble getting the Knowledge skills involved for stuff like Dungeoneering and Arcana. Needless to say, the line "roll your knowledge check to see if you remember your neighbors" doesn't come up that often.

That is not what Knowledge Local does. Knowledge Local is actually one of the most useful I can think of in the right game.

Coidzor
2010-04-10, 01:07 AM
Isn't forgery useful because even if you only invest about 2-3 level's worth of ranks into it, you'll have a better check than the rest of most campaign worlds?

Granted, it usually seems like it's a conjunctive skill with bluff... As in you have to bluff them in order to take you seriously enough to look at the forgery.

Truenaming for anyone other than a Truenamer, for certain, as they can't even make use of it.

The thing is, all skills are circumstantially useful... Even that one that determines how well you can manipulate your dreamscape is very useful, but only when asleep, all other times it's useless even if on the plane of dreams, IIRC.

Profession checks can be used to cover situations that would come up that aren't already laid out explicitly but can be inferred to be part of the tasks of a miner or farmer or sailor. As a money-maker though, yeah, they aren't good for PCs. Then again, real money made IRL is all about investments anyway.

AH, Open Lock being folded in with Disable Device. That is a popular one.

And once one can afford a disk of silence portal, or just a permancied item of silence and an adamantine arrow/weapon, open lock's places to be applied goes down, as a weapon attack takes less time, as even with a feat, open lock attempts are standard actions at best.

Starscream
2010-04-10, 01:31 AM
I'd say that balance is even more useless than climb. In the same situations that climb is worthless (you have fly spells) balance is just as useless. But even before you can fly, balance checks tend to come up far less often and the lower DCs mean that you are less likely to spend ranks on it, and more likely to simply rely on your Dex mod and a decent roll.

sonofzeal
2010-04-10, 01:34 AM
I'd say that balance is even more useless than climb. In the same situations that climb is worthless (you have fly spells) balance is just as useless. But even before you can fly, balance checks tend to come up far less often and the lower DCs mean that you are less likely to spend ranks on it, and more likely to simply rely on your Dex mod and a decent roll.
Without Balance, a Wand of Grease (or bag of marbles) makes you flatfooted. Five ranks in Balance can be a lifesaver against Rogues.

Ashram
2010-04-10, 01:34 AM
Things like this remind why I love Pathfinder over 3.5... Appraise is actually quite nice (Roll high enough and you can tell if an item is magical or not) and Forgery is lumped into Linguistics, along with Decipher Script and Speak Language. And Knowledge: Local in Pathfinder applies to ANY location... It basically involves you going to a tavern or somesuch place and finding out things about the town (Still different from Gather Information, which is combined with Diplomacy).

In my group anyway, Disguise is nearly useless as most of us only use it as a prerequisite for something else.

Ravens_cry
2010-04-10, 01:53 AM
Disguise can be a lot of fun in the right campaign, especially when combiend with Forgery.
'Yes, I am the Grand Duke of Westgate, and I have the papers to prove it, you witless cad!"

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-10, 01:58 AM
In my group anyway, Disguise is nearly useless as most of us only use it as a prerequisite for something else.Disguise, coupled with Bluff, can be incredibly useful, with the right character. A changeling telepath, for instance (or just one with a hat of disguise) can walk right through a lot of encounters, turning what would have been armies of hostiles into helpful friendlies with the turn of a word.

Infiltrating the castle to kill the king? It's a lot easier if they willingly open the doors for you and lead you to him because they think you're a visiting dignitary, than scaling the walls and trying to avoid everyone. As for actually killing the king? Making his head explode is always a nice option. "Oh. He seems to have a headache. I'll just be going now." :smallwink:

Thurbane
2010-04-10, 02:29 AM
It's not like a player character ever took this skill with a serious intent on making money with it.
In one RPGA group I played with, there was rules for generating cash in your PC's "downtime" (i.e. when other PC groups in the same world were catching up on time difference). Not that I ever bothered, but the rules were there...not sure if this is a standard RPGA thing, or specific to that group.

TheYoungKing
2010-04-10, 02:50 AM
I've played a few campaigns where Profession was used- but always in a way outside that described outside of the book. And it was always said up front that Profession would be useful.

And, to tell the truth, I've always played in games where the skills were so heavily house-ruled that almost none of these were useless (except Open Lock)

As a DM, I ignore Craft and Profession. The players have no interest in them. But I've expanded the uses for Appraise and others so....

T.G. Oskar
2010-04-10, 02:52 AM
Use Rope.

Yes, Use Rope.

Sure, it's meant to have some uses. But when you think about it, you pretty much waive those uses along with something else instead of, say, actually using the skill.

Some of the mentioned skills are actually worthwhile: Appraise tells you the price of items when there's not enough Identify (or Detect Magic), Forgery is the complement to Disguise and Bluff (fake papers, fake identity, and the skill to make those fakes "true"), and Knowledge (local), as mentioned, is required for humanoid enemies (which, as would be expected, be most of the BBEGs).

But Use Rope is useful for two things. One, to secure a grappling hook. By replacing an attack roll (since you're throwing the hook), you can expect to do the same thing; in any case, grappling hooks are mostly unused by the time you get some way to fly, teleport or whatnot (at least Climb is still useful when you're missing those, since you need Climb to move through the rope, which only serves as a bonus in most cases). Second, you use it to bind people...which you do better by animating rope, or using manacles, or using something a bit more worthwhile such as knocking the darn guy off to negative HP and keeping him that way with non-lethal damage!

Had they made Use Rope a bit more interesting, perhaps, but...those two uses...

Thus, Use Rope. Does this end the thread, or at least provides proper discussion?

Irreverent Fool
2010-04-10, 03:05 AM
..bind people...which you do better by animating rope, or using manacles, or using something a bit more worthwhile such as knocking the darn guy off to negative HP and keeping him that way with non-lethal damage!

Animate Rope only gives a +2 to Use Rope checks, which you still need to make to bind someone (though you do gain the benefit of entangling them).

A person knocked into negative HP needs to be carried. You can lead a prisoner around on a rope.

If we're not counting unlisted skills (like Truenaming), I think Open Lock is useless namely because there's hardly a case where you can not apply the description of Disable Device to locks. The Rules Compendium basically says, "Yeah, we only included it because it was in the previous edition, you can probably just use Disable Device. I mean, it's not like rogues are wizards. Give them a Nice Thing."

obnoxious
sig

Sillycomic
2010-04-10, 03:13 AM
Decipher Script. In my 9 years off and on playing D&D I have never been asked to roll this skill. It is fairly useless because it really only applies to magical scrolls and other weird writings. And that's easily taken care of with a 0 level read magic spell.

Or a first level Comprehend Languages spell (which does apply to writing)


Forgery. It's useless. Don't get me wrong, people did forge messages and whatnot back in the day, but why make it its own skill? It would have been easier to just roll it up into the Craft skillset. One of the craft skills is to craft forgery. There, done and done.

Use Rope. Are you kidding me? A rope is just one of those simple objects running around in the world. Why does it need its own skill? Use Lantern doesn't have its own skill. Use cup. Use shirt. Crap, I rolled a natural one on my Use Shirt. I guess it's on backwards today... What is the point of use rope? If you wanted to do anything useful with it, then it would be a weapon and you would treat it as such, not as a skill. However if you did want to have clever skill points in using a rope, making knots or tying people up... wouldn't that just be another craft skill, craft knot? Or perhaps profession seamen! If your character was just so into knots... that simple manacles which cost about the same to get in the game won't do, then you have other options.


Open Lock. Ahh, you may be saying, "SillyComic, I've been with you so far on these useless skills. I haven't used them, or put that many skill points in them when I game, but open lock? Come on. This is the do and and be all of a rogue's skill set. It's right up there with move silently and hide."

Well, I would agree with you. I'm not disputing that it's a great skill. There's only one problem, it's already on the character's skill set. Disable device. Are you trying to tell me a lock is not a device? Disable device is mostly used for traps that try to stop a person from getting whatever is inside, isn't that the very definition of a lock? Because a trap is sneaky and hidden it gets its own skill, while a lock which is plain out there and open must have a completely separate skill in order to disable? Hmmm, I say no... good, sir. Absolutely not. They should both be one skill.


Gather information. This skill is simply all over the map. Honestly, you could use bluff to get information. Dimplomacy to get information. Knowledge history or local would work with certain information. Even intimidate. Or, if there are other people talking, a listen check could do it. There are 5 different skills one can use to gather information, and yet it needs its own skill?

Then there's search and spot. I know there's a difference between actively looking for something and passively seeing something, but I don't see why it needs to be separate. If you actively search YOU roll your skill, if the GM thinks you can spot something, THEY roll the skill for you.

Hmmm, got a bit off topic about skills, but still I think Use Rope takes the cake.

Skill Focus: Seamen would be so awesome though. I am totally rolling that character up.

WildPyre
2010-04-10, 03:21 AM
As a DM if one of my players tried to pass off a disable device check for open lock I would probably laugh out loud at them. Yes it says you can use Disable device to jam a lock in the open or closed position... it however does NOT say you can use it to change a lock's position from closed to open.

Disable Device, disable devices and Open Lock, opens locks. They are what they say on the tin, making Open Lock a needed skill in any adventuring party.

Saying a skill is useless because once you get X level spells you don't need it anymore, seems odd to me. You could conversely argue that having a decent level in the skill keeps you from blowing that spell on something minor, either saving yourself a spell slot, or saving the spell for a more drastic occasion.

Personaly my vote goes to profession. The pay is lousy and it rarely comes up in play.


**EDIT**



Well, I would agree with you. I'm not disputing that it's a great skill. There's only one problem, it's already on the character's skill set. Disable device. Are you trying to tell me a lock is not a device? Disable device is mostly used for traps that try to stop a person from getting whatever is inside, isn't that the very definition of a lock? Because a trap is sneaky and hidden it gets its own skill, while a lock which is plain out there and open must have a completely separate skill in order to disable? Hmmm, I say no... good, sir. Absolutely not. They should both be one skill.


A few problems here. When you pick a lock you're not disabling it... the lock remains functional, you're simply tripping it from the closed to the open position without the use of the specific key that was designed to operate it.

A trap is DRASTICLY different from a lock. A lock is designed to render a object or door closed from anyone without the proper key... a trap tries to kill people.

You can lock a lock, you can trap a trap (double the death!), you can trap a lock and you can lock a trap... however a lock is not a trap and a trap is not a lock.

Dexam
2010-04-10, 03:24 AM
Personaly my vote goes to profession. The pay is lousy and it rarely comes up in play.

I disagree - one of my characters had several ranks in "Profession: Lawyer".

Best skill ranks I ever spent. :smallbiggrin:


(And yes, that character's alignment was Lawful Evil :smallwink: ).

OccultNino
2010-04-10, 03:28 AM
UMD

My DM won't let my party use magic. Do I win?

WildPyre
2010-04-10, 03:31 AM
I disagree - one of my characters had several ranks in "Profession: Lawyer".

Best skill ranks I ever spent. :smallbiggrin:


(And yes, that character's alignment was Lawful Evil :smallwink: ).

I always wanted to do that but none of my DMs will allow evil characters in their games.

Sillycomic
2010-04-10, 03:31 AM
I would rather have a 1st level spell in my spellbook that I would memorize the next day if I happen to get a piece of writing that I can't decipher than to waste precious skill points making sure that the very second I get said piece of writing I can understand it.

As for lock and device. I'll agree with you the skills themselves describe how they are used differently, but that still doesn't convince me than a lock is not a device... and that you aren't doing pretty much the same thing when you try either of them.

magic9mushroom
2010-04-10, 03:34 AM
Appraise can be used to determine if you have to worry about touching that black sapphire or not...

PC: So, how much is that thing worth?"
DM: 15,000 gp
PC: Whew... not big enough to trap me...

Trap The Soul's trigger item is NOT the gem. It can be anything.


I disagree... assuming you can hit the 80+ DC on a consistent basis, you can pull off some interesting things...

Only if you're a Truenamer.

Enguhl
2010-04-10, 03:40 AM
None of them? I find all skills pretty useful, some not as useful as others, but still handy to have for those rare occasions they come up.

WildPyre
2010-04-10, 03:42 AM
I'm not saying a lock isn't a device. I disagree that a trap is the same thing as a lock.

SAT version...

All traps are devices.

All locks are devices.

All traps are not locks.

It's like... a dog is an animal, and a cat is an animal but a cat is not a dog.

Saying a trap is the same as a lock only goes so far as both are devices and can be disabled. However if your party desperately needs to get through a locked door and your rogue uses Disable Device on the locked lock... they have just jammed the lock in a closed position.

Conversely using Open Lock on a trap... well you may as well refer to that skill check as "Spring Trap". I don't recomend either.

PhoenixRivers
2010-04-10, 04:06 AM
Note also: Beating a trap's DC by a certain amount, allows you to leave it functional with Disable Device.

So "disabling" isn't always "render nonfunctional". It IS always "defeat the intended purpose of this mechanism". That also could apply to locks.

AslanCross
2010-04-10, 04:08 AM
Profession (Siege Engineer) is the only Profession skill that an adventurer can actually use. There are a bunch of items that can be used with that.

Ravens_cry
2010-04-10, 04:13 AM
And people say Pathfinder did nothing to the game. . .
It hasn't 'fixed' it the way some fanboys claim, but it has made improvements in certain areas. Consolidating skills is one of them.

Enguhl
2010-04-10, 04:16 AM
Profession (Siege Engineer) is the only Profession skill that an adventurer can actually use. There are a bunch of items that can be used with that.

Profession (Pilot) and a few others. Not to mention strictly using it to make money on the side.

olentu
2010-04-10, 04:27 AM
And people say Pathfinder did nothing to the game. . .
It hasn't 'fixed' it the way some fanboys claim, but it has made improvements in certain areas. Consolidating skills is one of them.

Eh I still think they should have put in more movement skills, you know burrowing, walking, rolling, oozing, ice skating, and so forth.

WildPyre
2010-04-10, 04:28 AM
Note also: Beating a trap's DC by a certain amount, allows you to leave it functional with Disable Device.

So "disabling" isn't always "render nonfunctional". It IS always "defeat the intended purpose of this mechanism". That also could apply to locks.

Either way disabling the device is keeping it's mechanisms from tripping, either by keeping a trap from springing or keeping a lock from changing positions.

Semanticly when you're trying to bypass a lock, yes you want to disable it from performing it's intended function, but the skill "Disable Device" is used to keep mechanisms from tripping, while open lock is used in the reverse to trip a mechanism that you're not supposed to.

Think of disable device as a skill that you use when a mechanism wants to function and you're preventing it from doing so. Such as a trap that wants to trigger, or a lock that wants to open for it's key.

Think of Open Lock as tricking a mechanism into tripping when it doesn't want to, such as opening a lock without using it's key.

Should they be converted into one skill? Certainly, I'd call it Manipulate Devices, but as a DM when I change any rule like that I have to look at the rogue's skill points and try to decide if they need to be adjusted since the two skills have been merged into one. Every action has a consiquence, and unless I'm going to sit down and inspect the ramifacations for a change like that, I'd play it as is. Disable Device can be used to jam a lock, Open Locks can be used to fool it.

magic9mushroom
2010-04-10, 04:38 AM
Profession (Siege Engineer) is the only Profession skill that an adventurer can actually use. There are a bunch of items that can be used with that.

Profession (Executioner)? You can use that as a PC, not that it does much.

Okay, yeah, I'm going to have to nominate Profession (Executioner) here. Basically, it allows you to kill helpless people with less squick.

WildPyre
2010-04-10, 04:39 AM
Profession (Executioner)? You can use that as a PC, not that it does much.

Okay, yeah, I'm going to have to nominate Profession (Executioner) here. Basically, it allows you to kill helpless people with less squick.

That should totally give a synergy bonus to intimidate checks.

JaronK
2010-04-10, 04:40 AM
A lot of these are really useful. There's a number of Profession skills listed with good rules, like Sailor and Siege Engineer and Pilot. Forgery is awesome, since it's opposed by Forgery and so few people have it. It's especially good on Factotums who are Int based anyway and get a lot of millage out of one rank. Disguise lets you look like a different type without magic, which is great for Necropolitans (or for humans who disguise themselves as Necropolitans, thus letting enemy Clerics waste time with Turn Undead). Knowledge Local works on all Humanoids.

I kinda agree with Use Rope. I've always wanted to make good use of that skill, but I've never really found a way. Other stuff (like manacles) works better, and the few places where I actually want to use the skill the DC is so low ranks don't matter.

JaronK

Ossian
2010-04-10, 04:41 AM
Well well, it really depends on the campaign. In defence of the profession skill I have to say that when my players were given a honorific title, the king of the land informally asked that they undergo some proper training in the skills that would become a fine gentleman in that particular land, one of them being how to be at sea. Ropeworks, sails, rudders, stargazing, rowing, basic carpentry, all the skills of a fine navy officer. The funniest part, since by then they all had ZERO skill points, was to see how the equivalent Lupin III, Elric of Melniboné and Bruce Lee would be called landlubbers and swabs (arrrh arrrh) and asked to go fetch a tin of tartan paint or to go get the skyhook :). Incidentally, pirates+loot+plunder = better be able to appraise your share of the loot ;)

O.

EDIT: in fact, appraise is useful to recognize items of plot-importance.

"Is that the kaydarin crystal the Protoss asked to steal?"
"Take back"
"Yes, take back. Is it the one?"
"Give me a second"
"We donīt have a second"
"And a magnifier...there...."
"What you looking for?"
"A pink vein of mysterite, shaped like a snowflake, radiating from the core"
"What if it is there?"

(beats a DC of 25)

"It is there"
"And?"
"And we came here for nothin'....the protoss threw a red herring at us"
"Itīs a fake?"
"Yes"
"Why are you taking it then!"
"Because it is damn near impossible to tell if you are not ME. This fake wonīt energize a psi-blade, but it is still worth 10 thousand credits as a rare gem"
"Worth it"
"Totally...."

Enguhl
2010-04-10, 04:53 AM
Should they be converted into one skill? Certainly, I'd call it Manipulate Devices,

Disable device has way more uses than just bypassing traps, common thing people forget all the time.
That's why I strongly dislike people always wanting to combine them. One of the examples in the book is making a wagon wheel fall off when used. That has nothing to do with locks *at all*, so why should one of many (pretty much a limitless amount) of uses for a skill get it combined with another skill?

WildPyre
2010-04-10, 05:03 AM
Disable device has way more uses than just bypassing traps, common thing people forget all the time.
That's why I strongly dislike people always wanting to combine them. One of the examples in the book is making a wagon wheel fall off when used. That has nothing to do with locks *at all*, so why should one of many (pretty much a limitless amount) of uses for a skill get it combined with another skill?

Not because of the limits of Disable Device, but because of it's myriad of uses and the limited uses of Open Lock. The way Disable Device is written one of it's uses is very close to Open Lock, while the skill of Open Lock, while very useful, has a very narrow use.

Adding the ability for Disable Device to open locks would in no way take away it's ability to sabotage a wagon wheel.

So yes, while Disable Device does have many, many uses, and one of them is NOT picking a lock... quite frankly it should be. It just isn't... mechanicaly... by the rules as they're written in 3.5, in my opinion it probably should be... it would just require a pass at the balance of a rogue's skill points.

Saph
2010-04-10, 05:09 AM
I think the thread you guys are looking for is this one (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33639).

Short version: I took a poll on it a while back and we had an 8-page discussion. In the end we came to a general consensus that Profession topped the list. Decipher Script took second place, Forgery came in third despite LogicNinja making a case for it, and Use Rope was fourth.

Enguhl
2010-04-10, 05:10 AM
Not because of the limits of Disable Device, but because of it's myriad of uses and the limited uses of Open Lock. The way Disable Device is written one of it's uses is very close to Open Lock, while the skill of Open Lock, while very useful, has a very narrow use.

But locks function *much* differently than most things disable device would be used for. Opening locks is such a specific skill that it shouldn't be lumped in with Disable Device, it covers the knowledge of the pins and how, where, and when to apply pressure. Disable device is simply the knowledge of making something stop functioning, as far as locks go (as stated earlier) you could jam them, but not pick them.

Sillycomic
2010-04-10, 05:17 AM
I'm not trying to argue that disable device and open lock aren't two different things entirely. I just think they're so similar there's no reason to have two different skill sets for them.

I agree with you saying one is used to manipulate a device into working while the other is specifically used for manipulating a device into not working...

However, to me that is just telling the GM how you want to use your "Manipulate device" check. You either want to open the lock, or jam the lock.

If we wanted to separate skills further out like that, then we would get into the ridiculousness of things. Such as... well climb should be 2 skills then.
Climbing up versus climbing down.
Or climbing an ice shelf versus scaling the walls of a castle.


One could argue those are two very different things, and you have to manipulate yourself and yours tools in different ways in order to acheive the outcome.

Then our character sheets would be filled with skills upon skills and sub-categories of skills, and it'd be all sorts of useless to figure anything out.

While I did like Pathfinder's conglomeration of a lot of these skills (including Disable Device and Open Lock into just one skill... hooray!) they separated other skills out into sub-categories that just make me angry inside.

Perception replaces spot and search. Which is good. Except every race now gets bonuses to specific kinds of perception. Sight, sound, taste, touch...

So, each time I ask for a perception check from my group, I am always asked what kind of perception it is? This means you just have to either know you have a bonus to this skill depending on which sense is used when perceiving it, or write down different perception skills on your character sheet.

Kobold-Bard
2010-04-10, 05:18 AM
I'd say that balance is even more useless than climb. In the same situations that climb is worthless (you have fly spells) balance is just as useless. But even before you can fly, balance checks tend to come up far less often and the lower DCs mean that you are less likely to spend ranks on it, and more likely to simply rely on your Dex mod and a decent roll.

Balance is a lifesaver when the Monk wants to beat the tidal wave back to land by surfing it on a 10ft pole.

Long story.

I've never seen Know (Architecture) or (Nobility) used, though I suppose they could have some minor uses. Never seen anyone use jump except for shenanigans purposes.

magic9mushroom
2010-04-10, 05:20 AM
Well well, it really depends on the campaign. In defence of the profession skill I have to say that when my players were given a honorific title, the king of the land informally asked that they undergo some proper training in the skills that would become a fine gentleman in that particular land, one of them being how to be at sea. Ropeworks, sails, rudders, stargazing, rowing, basic carpentry, all the skills of a fine navy officer. The funniest part, since by then they all had ZERO skill points, was to see how the equivalent Lupin III, Elric of Melniboné and Bruce Lee would be called landlubbers and swabs (arrrh arrrh) and asked to go fetch a tin of tartan paint or to go get the skyhook :). Incidentally, pirates+loot+plunder = better be able to appraise your share of the loot ;)

O.

EDIT: in fact, appraise is useful to recognize items of plot-importance.

"Is that the kaydarin crystal the Protoss asked to steal?"
"Take back"
"Yes, take back. Is it the one?"
"Give me a second"
"We donīt have a second"
"And a magnifier...there...."
"What you looking for?"
"A pink vein of mysterite, shaped like a snowflake, radiating from the core"
"What if it is there?"

(beats a DC of 25)

"It is there"
"And?"
"And we came here for nothin'....the protoss threw a red herring at us"
"Itīs a fake?"
"Yes"
"Why are you taking it then!"
"Because it is damn near impossible to tell if you are not ME. This fake wonīt energize a psi-blade, but it is still worth 10 thousand credits as a rare gem"
"Worth it"
"Totally...."

That's an Evil act, mind you.

Enguhl
2010-04-10, 05:22 AM
Balance is a lifesaver when the Monk wants to beat the tidal wave back to land by surfing it on a 10ft pole.

Long story.

I've never seen Know (Architecture) or (Nobility) used, though I suppose they could have some minor uses. Never seen anyone use jump except for shenanigans purposes.

Ive used Knowledge (Architecture) myself, set up a trap to collapse a building :P
And jump is my favorite skill, so useful!

Kobold-Bard
2010-04-10, 05:25 AM
Ive used Knowledge (Architecture) myself, set up a trap to collapse a building :P
And jump is my favorite skill, so useful!

That's the kind of thing I could imagine, my groups just don't play that way. So fair enough.

What's Jump been useful for? Also was it in a low-magic/very low-level game? Bcause I guess that would make sense too. If not, then do tell, I'm intrigued.

Tetsubo 57
2010-04-10, 05:26 AM
Profession. If you're an adventurer, and the best you can do is make 50 gp per week, you're doing it wrong.

A house rule I have considered makes Profession more useful. It becomes a single skill point skill like Speak language. Say you have Craft (Weaponmaking) at Rank 10. You spend one skill point on Profession (Weaponsmith) and you automatically get a rank of 10 in it. It would continue to scale as your linked skill goes up. That way it stays relevant all the way up to level 20.

Enguhl
2010-04-10, 05:33 AM
That's the kind of thing I could imagine, my groups just don't play that way. So fair enough.

What's Jump been useful for? Also was it in a low-magic/very low-level game? Bcause I guess that would make sense too. If not, then do tell, I'm intrigued.

Jump is useful for getting places, whether it be for the purpose of getting there faster, or for tactical purposes, or just needed to get there for any plain old reason (such as a ledge with a lever up there).

As for the campaign, it was just standard, kinda low level, though I still use jump with my higher level characters too.

marjan
2010-04-10, 05:47 AM
For jump I have two words: Tiger Claw.

Ravens_cry
2010-04-10, 05:53 AM
Eh I still think they should have put in more movement skills, you know burrowing, walking, rolling, oozing, ice skating, and so forth.
You forgot bouncing (http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/War_is_the_H-Word).

Emmerask
2010-04-10, 06:32 AM
Disguise can be a lot of fun in the right campaign, especially when combiend with Forgery.
'Yes, I am the Grand Duke of Westgate, and I have the papers to prove it, you witless cad!"


Disguise combined with profession can be very useful but it depends on the campaign style.

Disguising oneself as a tanner (for example) and then not being able to tan correctly would be quite a fail :smallbiggrin:

But I agree profession is pretty narrow in its usage and moneymaking is of little concern to adventurers through this. Sailor however is quite a good profession to take.

I would say knowledge tactics (not a core skill though I think) if the dm himself has a worse understanding of tactics then the players is the most useless :smallbiggrin:

Kobold-Bard
2010-04-10, 06:35 AM
Disguise combined with profession can be very useful but it depends on the campaign style.

Disguising oneself as a tanner (for example) and then not being able to tan correctly would be quite a fail :smallbiggrin:

But I agree profession is pretty narrow in its usage and moneymaking is of little concern to adventurers through this. Sailor however is quite a good profession to take.

Kobolds can gat some mileage from Profession (Miner) I believe, IIRC it's also a pre-req for some PrC they can use.

olentu
2010-04-10, 06:38 AM
You forgot bouncing (http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/War_is_the_H-Word).

Luckily for me I can lazy my way out with and so forth.

Emmerask
2010-04-10, 06:38 AM
Kobolds can gat some mileage from Profession (Miner) I believe, IIRC it's also a pre-req for some PrC they can use.

Interesting I ahve little knowledge of kobold stuff in general so I take your word for it :smallsmile:

Sliver
2010-04-10, 07:52 AM
That's an Evil act, mind you.

Besides, for such a price, DC25 is something that anyone who can pay up will find worth passing. And manageable.

The Glyphstone
2010-04-10, 08:02 AM
Profession(Gambler) is a prerequisite for Fatespinner, a fairly decent wizard PrC.

Craft(Basketweaving), while the joke skill of the CharOp boards, is a prerequisite for the bufftastic War Weaver..

My vote goes for Forgery, honestly. It's theoretically useful, but after you pull it off once or twice, suddenly every NPC in existence will be spontaneously developing max ranks in Forgery to counter it.

deuxhero
2010-04-10, 08:11 AM
I always wanted to do that but none of my DMs will allow evil characters in their games.

Remember that binding a genie is only an [evil] spell. Clerics of Pelor have no issues using the [evil] Symbol of Pain, so why should a good wizard (not to mention it requires Protection from Evil, a [good] spell)?

marjan
2010-04-10, 08:19 AM
Craft(Basketweaving), while the joke skill of the CharOp boards, is a prerequisite for the bufftastic War Weaver..

Actually it's Craft(Weaving). Craft(Basketweaving) is used for Beget Bogun(SC spell).

shadow_archmagi
2010-04-10, 08:38 AM
Actually, I believe they were stealing it for it's value as an excellent forgery. As in

"Hello, merchant that is always trying to scam us! We know you love scams so we thought we'd offer to sell you this lovely trick"

The Glyphstone
2010-04-10, 08:40 AM
Actually it's Craft(Weaving). Craft(Basketweaving) is used for Beget Bogun(SC spell).

My bad. Still, that makes Craft double useful.

Johel
2010-04-10, 08:41 AM
DM: "There's a guard at the castle door. He's got a halberd. What do you do?"
PC: "What level is he?"
DM: "How could you tell?"
PC: "Well... slaves have value based on their HD, right?"
DM: "....uh, yeah?"
PC: "And appraise lets me tell the value of things, right?"
DM: "....yeah?"
PC: "So if that guy were a slave - how much would he be worth?"

Made of win :smallsmile:

DementedFellow
2010-04-10, 09:22 AM
I'm glad you guys aren't hating on Truenaming too much. Free identify? YES. Free repair? YES. Ability to make flying critters no fly? YES. Hold person? YES.
Spammable Gate? YES.

Sure the DCs for offense scale with challenge and increase with usage, but the perfected map and the crafted tool can make for some powerful non-combat usage.

Truenaming skill is actually useful, oddly enough.

Heliomance
2010-04-10, 09:24 AM
I nominate UMD, actually. It's the one skill which I've never used, nor seen anyone use. Even when I had a character with max ranks in it, I never found an opportunity to use it.

waterpenguin43
2010-04-10, 09:31 AM
Profession. If you're an adventurer, and the best you can do is make 50 gp per week, you're doing it wrong.

Some Proffesion skills, though, are used for doing the actual job, not for the money. Take Proffesion (sailor) for example. You can use it to command a ship, which is useful in some situations.

UglyPanda
2010-04-10, 09:32 AM
Truenaming is only useful if you're a Truenamer (Or took certain feats). It's not totally useless, but even then, you have to put a lot of work into it to get some use out of it. Light reading. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114269&highlight=truenamer)

UMD is gold. Any optimized character who has it as a class skill will use it. Wands and scrolls boost your versatility and out-of-combat usefulness so freaking much. By the way, it's pretty much a required skill for an Artificer or Warlock to craft most magic items.

Eldariel
2010-04-10, 09:34 AM
I nominate UMD, actually. It's the one skill which I've never used, nor seen anyone use. Even when I had a character with max ranks in it, I never found an opportunity to use it.

Have you actually made an effort to acquire said items or use the skill? If not, that's not really fair.


Btw, I'm gonna vote for Use Rope. We've only rolled two of those in the LMG Campaign (basically every other skill has been rolled more).

Kobold-Bard
2010-04-10, 09:41 AM
Iajutsu Focus. Only two classes can use it, and one is never ever used. And only a specific type of Factotum build uses it.

Tavar
2010-04-10, 09:44 AM
Iajutsu Focus. Only two classes can use it, and one is never ever used. And only a specific type of Factotum build uses it.
Thats more a problem with availability than use. And from what i understand, if you can use it, it's fairly good.

Kobold-Bard
2010-04-10, 09:49 AM
Thats more a problem with availability than use. And from what i understand, if you can use it, it's fairly good.

It requires your enemy to be flat-footed, you to be drawing a melee weapon & have decent ranks in it.

For this you need either a constat supply of marbles, Grease Spells, or Invisibility (the ideal classes for this hurt your BAB so it might miss more often too). You also need a Gnome Quickrazor to be able to use it every round, which requires either a Proficiency Feat or being a Gnome. AND you need to be one of the two classes that can use it.

It's so specific it's just not worth the hassle. Maybe not as useless as Truenaming, but not great.

Eldariel
2010-04-10, 09:49 AM
Iajutsu Focus. Only two classes can use it, and one is never ever used. And only a specific type of Factotum build uses it.

Ahem, it's bonus damage. From a skill. Anyone can cross-class it; just, it's obscure enough to rarely be used. Rest assured though, it's an incredible skill if you do use it. Again, a skill is not bad if it's incredible for some characters. If a skill doesn't have good uses, then it's useless.

Ossian
2010-04-10, 09:54 AM
Iajutsu Focus. Only two classes can use it, and one is never ever used. And only a specific type of Factotum build uses it.

My previous post got cancelled....meh...

Anyway, what is the drawback of a massive bonus to initiative and a potential +9d6 damage? I think it is pretty sweet :)

Yora
2010-04-10, 10:31 AM
This thread is amazing. I never realized that so many people seem to play in games in which all characters only move by permanent fly spells and never encounter dead magic zones or npcs who can cast dispel magic.

Btw, I'm gonna vote for Use Rope. We've only rolled two of those in the LMG Campaign (basically every other skill has been rolled more).
That's two more than I've ever seen since 3rd Edition was published.

Just_Ice
2010-04-10, 10:35 AM
Guys... Profession.

Profession is totally more useless.

Sliver
2010-04-10, 10:37 AM
I'm sorry but you are all WRONG. My vote goes for Martial Lore.

DementedFellow
2010-04-10, 10:38 AM
Truenaming is only useful if you're a Truenamer (Or took certain feats). It's not totally useless, but even then, you have to put a lot of work into it to get some use out of it. Light reading. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114269&highlight=truenamer)


Other classes can use Truespeak though. Yes it does cost a feat and yes the spells are lackluster by far, but spells like Beckon Person/Beckon Monster and Scramble True Position can prove useful.

Kobold-Bard
2010-04-10, 10:43 AM
I'm sorry but you are all WRONG. My vote goes for Martial Lore.

Isn't that just Spellcraft for Maneuvers? Because that could be useful.

Sliver
2010-04-10, 10:47 AM
Isn't that just Spellcraft for Maneuvers? Because that could be useful.

For what? To know that the +2d6 extra damage that bypassed your DR was from that one maneuver, or that you have -4 to attack against a foe other then the initiator is from that stance, or that the quick guy that moved and the shadows around him grant a miss chance are from a different stance?

Knowing the spell that was cast is good when the spell isn't a flashy exploding poo, but a certain buff or something. Maneuvers grant instant straight forward bonuses that the opponent will know the effect of and gain no benefit from knowing the exact mechanic. IMO :smallwink:

Really, I would like to know what is useful here?

Tinydwarfman
2010-04-10, 10:47 AM
DM: "There's a guard at the castle door. He's got a halberd. What do you do?"
PC: "What level is he?"
DM: "How could you tell?"
PC: "Well... slaves have value based on their HD, right?"
DM: "....uh, yeah?"
PC: "And appraise lets me tell the value of things, right?"
DM: "....yeah?"
PC: "So if that guy were a slave - how much would he be worth?"

Is there actually a book listing that has slave's values based on HD?

senrath
2010-04-10, 10:47 AM
Isn't that just Spellcraft for Maneuvers? Because that could be useful.

It's only listed use, if I'm remembering right, is to identify Maneuvers as they're being used. So it's kind of like Spellcraft, only with fewer uses.

Tinydwarfman
2010-04-10, 10:49 AM
For what? To know that the +2d6 extra damage that bypassed your DR was from that one maneuver, or that you have -4 to attack against a foe other then the initiator is from that stance, or that the quick guy that moved and the shadows around him grant a miss chance are from a different stance?

Knowing the spell that was cast is good when the spell isn't a flashy exploding poo, but a certain buff or something. Maneuvers grant instant straight forward bonuses that the opponent will know the effect of and gain no benefit from knowing the exact mechanic. IMO :smallwink:

Really, I would like to know what is useful here?

Well actually, if the DM keeps rolls secret (like many do), knowing what stance an opponent is in could be fairly useful.

Kobold-Bard
2010-04-10, 10:56 AM
For what? To know that the +2d6 extra damage that bypassed your DR was from that one maneuver, or that you have -4 to attack against a foe other then the initiator is from that stance, or that the quick guy that moved and the shadows around him grant a miss chance are from a different stance?

Knowing the spell that was cast is good when the spell isn't a flashy exploding poo, but a certain buff or something. Maneuvers grant instant straight forward bonuses that the opponent will know the effect of and gain no benefit from knowing the exact mechanic. IMO :smallwink:

Really, I would like to know what is useful here?

Some of the Diamond mind ones provide subtle bonuses. Knowing about them might be useful (not sure, never use ToB).

Sliver
2010-04-10, 10:57 AM
Well actually, if the DM keeps rolls secret (like many do), knowing what stance an opponent is in could be fairly useful.

I might be wrong here, but any stance that directly effects you, as in penalties, it is written that the opponent knows what are the effects... Knowing that your opponent has an additional bonus to an attack you don't know the original bonus of, doesn't seem useful enough to me to waste skill points on. Other skills are really campaign dependent, but how is this one helps at all? More then -can be useful-, I would really like to hear a practical use, an example where it can help you somehow.

senrath: It can be used to decipher martial scripts, which is a foolish invention, or to know all the disciplines that are known to the indavidual, but not specific maneuvers.

^: Yes, some maneuvers give subtle bonuses, but if your DM doesn't roll publicly, you won't be knowing the original bonus, and knowing that it increased from X to X+2? Or you mean the concentration for save ones? Knowing that the opponent saved due to a great roll or a one time maneuver won't change anything. If you are described a fighter that is actually a warblade, you will try to target it's will more then once anyway, if you prepared for it and willing to spend the slots.

Eldariel
2010-04-10, 11:00 AM
That's two more than I've ever seen since 3rd Edition was published.

Weird. We usually tie prisoners we take. And we usually take prisoners. And they remain in one piece, even, at least until Eddie goes Jack the Ripper. But he's growing out of that.

Doug Lampert
2010-04-10, 11:11 AM
And Knowledge: Local in Pathfinder applies to ANY location... It basically involves you going to a tavern or somesuch place and finding out things about the town (Still different from Gather Information, which is combined with Diplomacy).
That's straight 3.5 Knowledge Local. It applies to EVERY town you visit, there's NOTHING in the skill description to imply that you can or should learn different versions for different cities, and it applies to ALL humanoids, even those with 0.0000 living in your actual hometown.

Dust
2010-04-10, 11:18 AM
DM: "There's a guard at the castle door. He's got a halberd. What do you do?"
PC: "What level is he?"
DM: "How could you tell?"
PC: "Well... slaves have value based on their HD, right?"
DM: "....uh, yeah?"
PC: "And appraise lets me tell the value of things, right?"
DM: "....yeah?"
PC: "So if that guy were a slave - how much would he be worth?"
I'm so using this.

Yora
2010-04-10, 11:31 AM
Weird. We usually tie prisoners we take. And we usually take prisoners. And they remain in one piece, even, at least until Eddie goes Jack the Ripper. But he's growing out of that.
Stuff gets tied up all the time, but somehow never anyone remembers that that's supposed to be a skill check.

Eldariel
2010-04-10, 11:59 AM
Stuff gets tied up all the time, but somehow never anyone remembers that that's supposed to be a skill check.

Doesn't your tied-up stuff ever try to escape? O.o

sonofzeal
2010-04-10, 12:34 PM
Is there actually a book listing that has slave's values based on HD?
You know, I can't seem to find it. Fiend Folio lists the cost-per-HD of Maug mercenaries though (5 gp/day, +2 for every class level), and I'm sure I've seen it around somewhere.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-10, 12:39 PM
Arms and Equipment guide?
It has prices for hirelings/Mercenaries (pg 60+).
Meduim foot soldies usually = city guards according to book.

imperialspectre
2010-04-10, 12:43 PM
Not sure if it's been said, but Open Lock is the most useless skill in 3.x. The reason is that a lock is a "device" per the Disable Device (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/disableDevice.htm) description, and therefore 100% of the function of Open Lock is duplicated by a skill that does other stuff too. Therefore, Open Lock is entirely redundant.

hamishspence
2010-04-10, 12:48 PM
Depends on if you interpret the lock's job as sealing doors, or as simply being openeable by a key.

If you used Disable Device on a lock- would it open, or would it jam, making it impossible to open it normally with a key?

Kylarra
2010-04-10, 12:50 PM
Depends on if you interpret the lock's job as sealing doors, or as simply being openeable by a key.

If you used Disable Device on a lock- would it open, or would it jam, making it impossible to open it normally with a key?I've always ruled the latter personally. It's really easy to jam a lock so it can't be opened, thus DC 10, but a lot harder to pick the lock (min DC 20).

Ranger Mattos
2010-04-10, 12:51 PM
I personally say Decipher Script. I've never seen anyone in one of my groups use it. And you can effectively do the same thing with magic.

Tiki Snakes
2010-04-10, 12:53 PM
Depends on if you interpret the lock's job as sealing doors, or as simply being openeable by a key.

If you used Disable Device on a lock- would it open, or would it jam, making it impossible to open it normally with a key?

Given that you can either break, activate, stop from activating or even temporarily deactive in such a way that the device starts working again shortly after passing using Disable device...yeah.

It's not like Disable Device just breaks things. And if you can use it to stop a pseudo-magical rube goldberg machine full of incomprehensible inter-related and redundant mechanisms with an appropriate check, it seems like a very small stretch to say that you can jiggle a couple of tumblers around.

NB, the 'skill' used for simply 'disabling' devices by making them non-functional is actually a feat. It's called 'Power Attack', if I remember.

Eldariel
2010-04-10, 12:58 PM
I personally say Decipher Script. I've never seen anyone in one of my groups use it. And you can effectively do the same thing with magic.

Really, I think this highlights an important point; in a high-magic settings, many skills are obsoleted by few simple spell effects in just about every point of the game except for dead magic zones (which, let's face it, are pretty rare and it's even more rarely necessary to read that ancient Egyptian scroll right then and there; not impossible, mind you, but rare enough that you can't afford to spend your precious skill points in some of those scenarios and e.g. fail a Knowledge- or a Spellcraft-check).

LMG like the one we've been playing now though has given skills a whole new dimension. Suddenly every single one of them has their uses and indeed, many are very hard (and expensive) or plain impossible to replicate. Some are rather easy, but too much trouble still. Like, just last session Decipher Script and Use Rope saw plenty of use and Forgery would be incredible in our present predicament.


LMGs are really a totally different experience; I'd say every D&D player should play one at a point. It's honestly...so much of D&D is written for low-magic and never used in high-magic settings it's a real pity.

hamishspence
2010-04-10, 12:59 PM
Thing is, when aplied to a lock, several of those can be interpreted in a fashion that doesn't involve opening it.

"Activating" a lock might mean locking an unlocked door without the key.

"stopping a lock from activating" might mean putting something it it that will prevent it from locking when someone else uses a key on it.

"temporarily deactivating it"-- doing the same, but what you are using will deteriorate- a bit of wax, that slowly melts once exposed to the air.

tyckspoon
2010-04-10, 01:03 PM
NB, the 'skill' used for simply 'disabling' devices by making them non-functional is actually a feat. It's called 'Power Attack', if I remember.

See also "adamantine dagger", with which one can usually just remove the offending lock in a much more precise fashion.

Ranger Mattos
2010-04-10, 01:05 PM
LMGs are really a totally different experience; I'd say every D&D player should play one at a point. It's honestly...so much of D&D is written for low-magic and never used in high-magic settings it's a real pity.

Sorry for going a little off topic, but what's an LMG?

Eldariel
2010-04-10, 01:06 PM
Sorry for going a little off topic, but what's an LMG?

Low-Magic Game. I'm specifically referring to ones where PCs don't have access to caster classes.

Milskidasith
2010-04-10, 01:06 PM
Anybody saying Profession isn't useful doesn't play enough it's wet outside games. Yeah, ships aren't terribly useful to begin with, but the flavor of having, say, a +40 to my ability to move a ship and use it allows many tactical options; for instance, dropping a gale force hurricane or a small whirlpool in ship to ship combat will wreck most ships, but I can steer the ship with my feet and avoid the obstacles I create.

Optimystik
2010-04-10, 01:12 PM
I think the thread you guys are looking for is this one (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33639).

Short version: I took a poll on it a while back and we had an 8-page discussion. In the end we came to a general consensus that Profession topped the list. Decipher Script took second place, Forgery came in third despite LogicNinja making a case for it, and Use Rope was fourth.

Needs more Truenaming.


I'm sorry but you are all WRONG. My vote goes for Martial Lore.

Wow, I never even saw that one. Add another vote here.

Eldariel
2010-04-10, 01:37 PM
Wow, I never even saw that one. Add another vote here.

I've gotten plenty of mileage out of it in warrior arena. Knowing whether you counter opponent's maneuver and with which counter, and which stance they assume can be the difference between life and death.

Sillycomic
2010-04-10, 02:14 PM
Deciphering script is also MAD.

Let's say you are a level 4 adventurer with an 18 intelligence. You want to put some ranks in decipher script... just so any scripts you come across you can decipher.

So you would have 7 ranks in it, with your +4 inteligence bonus and a masterwork item giving you another +2.

That's 13.

So with an average roll of 10, you're able to decipher all but the most bizarre, exotic and old writing. And with a very very good roll of at least 17 you can decipher even that.

Now. let's say you are with your adventuring buddies and you come across a cave entrance. Above the entrance is exotic old writing. Your allies want to know what it says.

Decipher script to the rescue. So you tell the gm, "hey, I'm going to be deciphering." And you pick up your dice to roll.

this is when the DM says, "Nope. I make that roll for you."

He rolls in secret, looks around a little bit, gives you a knowing smile and then asks, "What is your wisdom modifier?"

What? You ask...

If you fail a Decipher script check, you have to make a straight wisdom check to determine whether or not you totally misconstrued what the writing said.

Decipher script is only a class skill for bards, rogues and wizards. All three of those have Wisdom as a dump stat. With the possible exception of Wizards, but even then it's fairly low on the list useful stats.

So... at BEST your wisdom modifier is a +0. Let's hope it's not in the negatives. The DC is only 5, but with no modifiers to this roll, that means you will fail 25 percent of the time.

The GM finally looks up at you and says, "The ancient exotic writing says everything is safe inside. There is a party and ice cream and lots of lewts... come on in!"

Oh, and all the three classes who can Decipher script can also use the level 1 Comprehend languages spell, either via UMD, or simply being on their spell list.

Mark Hall
2010-04-10, 02:32 PM
Nominee: Speak Language(s). Two skill-points = one language.

Only if you chose the wrong class.

Not bard = wrong class.

Vizzerdrix
2010-04-10, 02:35 PM
Decipher Script


/Thread.

deuxhero
2010-04-10, 02:46 PM
Only if you chose the wrong class.

Not bard = wrong class.

Or Loremaster (who unlike bard has a class ability that RAW and per flavor can get Druidic).

Radiun
2010-04-10, 03:07 PM
Metamorphosis
(http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/metamorphosis.htm)

"If you attempt to take the form of a complex object, you must make an appropriate skill check.. If you fail the check, your manifestation of the power does not succeed. Likewise, you cannot take the form of a complex mechanical mechanism unless you have some sort of skill associated with the object."

I therefore propose that Craft(anything) and Profession(anything) are as useful as you make them. Sure profession(submarine operator) may not come up everyday, but that one day you need to be a submarine... or Profession (Cook) to sneak into the castle as delicious roast turkey.

Craft isn't left out in the rain either. Craft(spyglass) can turn you into a useful, expensive tool, or Craft(Money) to sneak into the king's vault

Optimystik
2010-04-10, 03:11 PM
I don't think anyone is saying Craft isn't useful. Generally though, Craft relates to goods, and Profession to services. There aren't many services that can give you good Metamorphosis forms.

After all - why sneak into the king's castle as his turkey, when you can be his fork?

Sinfire Titan
2010-04-10, 03:28 PM
I don't think anyone is saying Craft isn't useful. Generally though, Craft relates to goods, and Profession to services. There aren't many services that can give you good Metamorphosis forms.

After all - why sneak into the king's castle as his turkey, when you can be his fork?

Craft is broken, not useless.

JaronK
2010-04-10, 03:37 PM
It requires your enemy to be flat-footed, you to be drawing a melee weapon & have decent ranks in it.

For this you need either a constat supply of marbles, Grease Spells, or Invisibility (the ideal classes for this hurt your BAB so it might miss more often too). You also need a Gnome Quickrazor to be able to use it every round, which requires either a Proficiency Feat or being a Gnome. AND you need to be one of the two classes that can use it.

It's so specific it's just not worth the hassle. Maybe not as useless as Truenaming, but not great.

Or you can, you know, go first before they can act. Considering the main class this is used for (Factotum) that's pretty easy. Blurstriking Weapons get the job done too. As does Sapphire Nightmare Blade (a first level maneuver). And who doesn't like being a Whispergnome on a Factotum? This is like saying Shadowcraft Mages are useless because you have to be a gnome and be in the class. Sure, the skill is hard to get, but if you've got it it's amazing.

Of course, Iajuitsu Master makes this insane. +9d6+9*Cha mod to damage on every attack? I think I will, thanks much.

JaronK

Tiki Snakes
2010-04-10, 03:54 PM
Thing is, when aplied to a lock, several of those can be interpreted in a fashion that doesn't involve opening it.

"Activating" a lock might mean locking an unlocked door without the key.


So you're saying that Disable device can allow a suitably trained fellow to manouver the tumblers that form a simple lock quite well.

But only clockwise? :smallbiggrin:

JaronK
2010-04-10, 04:03 PM
Disable Device simply makes something not activate, or not activate for a short period. That's not going to change a lock's state, only make it fail to lock or fail to unlock.

JaronK

shadow_archmagi
2010-04-10, 04:07 PM
I'd say once we've accepted that somehow you can become the master of manipulating tiny unseen mechanisms, a door is not going to baffle you.

Tavar
2010-04-10, 04:09 PM
So, one can disarm a complex trap or sabotage a clockwork mechanism, but they can make a couple gears/tumblers line up?

JaronK
2010-04-10, 04:11 PM
Just like hiding and moving silently are different, and deciphering script is different from figuring out a forgery. Yeah.

JaronK

Starbuck_II
2010-04-10, 04:16 PM
So that means you should disable the lock after locking the door?

Tavar
2010-04-10, 04:16 PM
Just like hiding and moving silently are different, and deciphering script is different from figuring out a forgery. Yeah.


Those actually make some sense, though. For the forgery, you're not try to break a code, you're looking for clues that the document is fake. And hide/Move Silently, well, those take very, very different skills, and different things affect how successful you are(bigger doesn't mean worse at MS, but it does make hiding harder).

Of course, I am of the opinion that you should shorten the list a bit, as 3.5 isn't nearly enough of a simulation to justify having those skills be different.

JaronK
2010-04-10, 04:26 PM
So that means you should disable the lock after locking the door?

If you never want to go through it again, sure. Then I imagine it couldn't be opened unless repaired or forced. Of course, at that point we wonder why you're using a door at all... you're just trying to create a wall (since you can't go through it again) and a door is pretty easy to smash down.

JaronK

hamishspence
2010-04-10, 04:28 PM
or, if you want to gain a bit of time- you're being pursued, the enemy are at the door- so you disable the lock so that they have to spend time breaking it down, while you use that time to set up an ambush.

Heliomance
2010-04-10, 05:33 PM
UMD is gold. Any optimized character who has it as a class skill will use it.

I had it on a highly optimised Bard character. And when I say highly optimised, I mean hitting 12d6 on my Inspire Courage, 9th level spellcasting, and social skill checks through the roof - my Bluff was mid-80s. And I never used UMD. You see, casters don't need to make a check to activate a spell-trigger item if the spell's on their spell-list. And as most parties have at least one arcane and at least one divine caster, that means they can just use the vast majority of spell-trigger items without having to make the check. UMD has a reputation outside the CO crowd as being horribly dangerous and unreliable, so that offering to try to UMD something will be met with a reaction of "No, you fool! It could do anything! Just give it to the caster!"

Volthawk
2010-04-10, 05:34 PM
I had it on a highly optimised Bard character. And when I say highly optimised, I mean hitting 12d6 on my Inspire Courage, 9th level spellcasting, and social skill checks through the roof - my Bluff was mid-80s. And I never used UMD. You see, casters don't need to make a check to activate a spell-trigger item if the spell's on their spell-list. And as most parties have at least one arcane and at least one divine caster, that means they can just use the vast majority of spell-trigger items without having to make the check. UMD has a reputation outside the CO crowd as being horribly dangerous and unreliable, so that offering to try to UMD something will be met with a reaction of "No, you fool! It could do anything! Just give it to the caster!"

Eh, my Artificer finds it useful. In the Skype game I'm playing now, just used it to let my sword cast Knock.

I love Spell-storing Item...

Scorpions__
2010-04-10, 10:41 PM
Is there actually a book listing that has slave's values based on HD?

Um, well, Lords of Madness has one based on CR... The neogi sell their slaves for (2 x CR)^2. I've used that in game before too...





DM[F]R

Sillycomic
2010-04-11, 12:32 AM
It just seems like both Disable device and Open Lock skill are basically... trying to figure out how something mechanical works, and then bypassing it.

You examine how a wagon works, and you can figure out if you pull this pin here and mess with that thing there, in a mile or so the wheel will fall off.

You use your lockpicking tools to root around in a lock to try and figure out which tumbler goes where, and a few seconds later it snaps open.

DaedalusMkV
2010-04-11, 01:46 AM
UMD has a reputation outside the CO crowd as being horribly dangerous and unreliable, so that offering to try to UMD something will be met with a reaction of "No, you fool! It could do anything! Just give it to the caster!"

I played a Warlock recently that made excellent use of UMD. Because by 4th level I could activate any wand with no chance of failure, I could use a variely of 1st and 2nd level wands to massively expand my bag of tricks, not to mention scrolls for those rarer spells. Admittedly, I was our arcane caster, and Warlocks are roughly the best class in the game at UMD, but the point stands. Other classes barring Artificer don't get as good at it until level 7-10, but it's still a very high-value ability.