View Full Version : I was bored, so here is a skill system change [3.5, Core Rule change] PEACH

2011-04-06, 02:28 PM
Alright, first of all, I'm going to crib the following off of the user Leziad over on DnD-Wiki.

He suggested that you should cap the collective bonus to a skill (ie luck bonuses, competence bonuses, untyped bonuses, etc, etc) at HD +13.

Here is my variant on this:

Capped Skills

All skills can have a maximum bonus equal to the number of ranks that character has in that skill +10. This includes the skill ranks themselves. For example, a rogue with 6 ranks in Move Silently can have up to a +16 to any Move Silently check.

Skill synergies still give their bonuses, but also have the following effect: the cap on skill bonuses is increased by half the bonus derived from synergy to that skill. For example, a character who gets a +6 bonus just from synergies to Diplomacy would have their cap on diplomacy checks increased by 3, from a 16 to a 19, for example.

The Skill Focus feat increases the cap for any skill you have it for by 3, so a character with 6 ranks in Hide and Skill Focus (Hide) would have a cap of 19 instead of 16.

Those +2/+2 skill feats increase the cap on both skills by 2. So a character with 4 ranks in Hide and Move Silently with the Stealthy feat would have a cap of 16 for both, instead of 14.

Any feat that acts like Skill Focus for the purpose of requirements also has the same increase, restricted to the amount that the feat grants.

And now...

Casting (Spontaneous/Prepared Arcane Divine) (Special); Trained Only

Like the Craft, Knowledge and Profession skills, Casting is actually a collection of related skills. Casting represents study the character has undertaken in a particular magical discipline, such as wizardry, sorcery, or clerical.

Check: Casting a spell requires a successful check against DC 18+(3*Spell Level); failure causes the spellcaster to lose that spell/spell slot. If this skill is used, Arcane Spell Failure is replaced with a penalty equal to (failure chance/5) for all Arcane versions of this skill, unless that caster class has the ability to cast without penalty in armor of that type.

Action: Requires the length of time that it would normally take to cast that spell.

Try again: Yes, but only with a different spell slot.

Special: You may Take 10 or 20 with this skill only with a successful concentration check of DC 10+(2*spell level of the spell you are trying to cast); if you take 20, the spell's casting time is multiplied by 20. The ability score this skill is based off of is the same as the ability score that determines the spell DCs of the class that grants this skill; if multiple classes are taken with that given skill, they all use the ability score from the first class that grants that skill. No classes have this as a skill unless they explicitly state that they have every single skill; this includes classes that state that they have all skills as class skills.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in a particular Casting skill, you get a +2 to all Casting skills that share half of their descriptor with that particular Casting skill (for example, 5 ranks in Casting (Spontaneous Divine) would give a +2 to Casting (Spontaneous Arcane) and Casting (Prepared Divine)).

Trained only: You can not use this skill if you do not have ranks in it. No, not even with Jack of All Trades and the like.

Changes to classes, Core only for now

Assassins get Casting (Spontaneous Arcane) (Int)
Bards and Sorcerers get Casting (Spontaneous Arcane) (Cha) as a class skill.
Blackguards, Clerics, Druids, Paladins, and Rangers get Casting (Prepared Divine) (Wis)as a class skill
Wizards gain Casting (Prepared Arcane) (Int) as a class skill.

Design reasonings:
Ever since looking at the capped skill idea, I really liked it. It struck a chord, you might say. I decided to change it to ranks+10+cap raisers rather that HD+13+(1 reroll for any point of bonus over that amount) because I feel that it reflects more on the skill user being skilled than the original version. I mean, Frank the Fighter and Randy the Rogue would both get the same maximum for how skilled they can be in the original version. Some changes this brings about:
-Skill monkeys don't get replaced by casters with ****loads of buffs. It is far more effective to just buff the skill monkey when you need a skill done.
-Half Elves are useful for stuff beyond getting record diplomacy bonuses; there is a Half-Elf only feat that changes Synergy bonuses from +2 to +3, meaning that they effectively have a cap that is .5 to 1.5 points higher than anyone else.
-Skill Focus and those +2/+2 feats are useful for things beyond being road-bumps to getting into a PrC.
-You can tell, pretty easily, what kind of checks a character of a given level will be able to achieve. VERY useful.
As for the Casting skill... thanks to the capping on Skills, Casting isn't going to be trivial. Even with full synergies, a 9 is required to be rolled to cast a 9th level spell at 20th level; sure, you could take 10, which would require a trivial DC 28 concentration check.

-Casting Removed for now because it is imbalanced-

Next up will be messing around with spells so that auto-successes at skills (such as Knock) have some other effect, so that Skill Monkeys have something to do.

Please PEACH. I had no space in the title to ask for such.

Morph Bark
2011-04-06, 02:55 PM
While the capping of skill bonuses might be a nice idea, with it being raised under so many circumstances it becomes prettymuch irrelevant.

On the other hand, with Casting handled by this skill, you'd need to hit DC 21 at level 1 or lose the spell slot. If you have, say, a wizard (because due to their Int they could put enough points in that skill, as well as Concentration and Spellcraft) with 18 Int and 4 ranks in the skill, he'll hit 18 on average. He'll definitely need Skill Focus for it. A wizard might still be able to handle that, but a sorcerer is already sorely feat-starved, plus he probably has less Int so he might not be able to max the three necessary caster skills. Considering this is still at level 1, casters aren't that powerful yet and don't have that many spell slots and losing them half the time instead of casting the spell is pretty hard on them.

Then let's consider the top. A level 18 human sorcerer, 22 natural Cha, 10 Int. Maxed his three caster stats, so he couldn't take cross-class skills into Prepared Arcane and Spontaneous Divine casting to get a whole +4 in synergy bonuses on his Casting skill. 21 ranks mean that on average he'll hit at least 31. Level 9 spells have DC 45. With a +15 skill item he'll hit it 60% of the time or thereabouts. Non-epic skill items go up to... either +15 or +30, I forgot. But there's always Cha boosting items.

The thing is, it is very hit-or-miss. If a caster puts in a bit of effort, he won't be screwed over and still be a god, unless you are dealing with beguilers, dread necromancers and warmages, who don't need this nerfing. If a caster doesn't spend feats and 25% of his WBL on it, he'll lose a lot of his spell slots and probably at crucial moments, allowing for a TPK.

So either you aren't fixing anything or you're unnecessarily screwing someone over.

2011-04-06, 03:03 PM
So casting as a skill is a bad idea? I'll just get rid of failing removing slots, and instead have failure of the check give some other penalty... or just scrap it completely; it already serves to remove CAPing to replace skill ranks.

And remember, synergy not only gives a bonus, your cap would increase by 1 for each synergy bonus you get, so that piddling gain isn't that bad.

2011-04-06, 03:18 PM
Okay, the way you wrote this I can interpret it a few different ways:

1) The max bonus is considered the maximum bonus you can get on a d20 roll with this skill. This is the strictest interpretation, and makes it so that if you have say 23 ranks in Move Silently, and +10 dex mod, you have a +33 bonus, which is your cap. This is by far the most restrictive interpretation, but does a lot to curb the diplomancers and whatever.

2) The max bonus is the maximum bonus you can get to your skill modifier, skill ranks are not included. ie you have 23 ranks of Move Silently, you can get up to another +33 from other sources. This means your rogue with 30 dex can still get another +23 from other sources.

3) The max bonus is the maximum bonus you can get to your skill modifier, skill ranks and attribute is not included. ie with your 23 rank move silently and +10 dex mod, you have a base of +33 on the skill, and can get another +33 from other sources. This is the most lenient interpretation, but makes things like a +30 item not mostly useless.

2011-04-06, 03:39 PM
I was intending the first. Any ideas on a better way of writing the explanation out?

The actual maximum cap is actually between 13-18, depending on the skill.

2011-04-06, 03:58 PM
I was intending the first. Any ideas on a better way of writing the explanation out?

The actual maximum cap is actually between 13-18, depending on the skill.

Alright, with the first, I just want to point out that you are invalidating a whole slew of gear and buffs. Most skillmonkeys will have what is necessary to cap their skills without any outside assistance. I point this out because you do mention part of the intent is to make wizards want to put buffs on the skill monkey, to complement them, rather than supplanting them by using the buffs themselves. For example the +40 bonus to hide from invisibility becomes useless to everybody.

I'd also recommend looking hard at monsters' skill ranks, a lot of them have crazy high HD for their CR, which can make any of the opposed skills impossible to use against them.

As to a better way of explaining it, just giving a clearer example or two of the system in action, showing all of the modifiers, and how much more they can get, would be good.

I'd use two examples:

Example 1: A rogue using move silently. He is level 4, has 7 ranks in Move Silently, but no feats augmenting it. He has 17 dex, giving him a +3 bonus. This gives him a total bonus to Move Silently of +10. Since his skill rank is 7, and he has no feats or synergies, his maximum bonus is +17, so he can get up to +7 more from other sources.

Example 2: A half-elf bard using diplomacy. The bard is level 10, and has 13 ranks in diplomacy. He has 24 charisma, and a +2 racial bonus to Diplomacy. He has Negotiator (+2 and +2 to cap), Skill Focus (+3 and +3 to cap), and all 3 Synergies (+9, +5 to cap). So he currently has +36 diplomacy, and his cap is +33. Since his bonuses are higher than his cap, he is stuck at +33 diplomacy. Sorry Mr. Bard, should have invested less in that charisma!

2011-04-06, 03:59 PM
So you're saying this really isn't worth it?