View Full Version : Class Skills as Proficiencies

2007-02-20, 06:41 PM
I have never been perfectly comfortable with the way Skills are capped at [3 + Level]. It always seemed a bit too arbitrary to me.

So, I was considering an alternative, which was to treat Skills as Proficiencies that you invest points in. Basically, if a Skill is a Character's Class Skill, he is Proficient in that Skill. If not, then he has a -4 Penalty when trying to use that Skill (since he isn't Proficient in it). A Character would be able to invest Skill Points in Cross Class and Class Skill, but the number of points would be limited by Level (i.e. 1 Point per Level). A Character could become proficient in one or more skills via a Feat of some sort or Multi Classing or whatever.
Obviously, some DCs might have to be altered, but I don't think that is too big a deal. So, does anyone see any other problems with this approach for 3.x?

2007-02-20, 06:49 PM
I'm not sure I fully understand, let me see: you're saying, in this system, one could buy ranks in all skills for the same cost, but non-class skills would have a permanent -4 penalty, no matter how many ranks you had? And there would be no max ranks...but you could only put in 1 point/level?

It seems to me that this isn't a big enough change to go to the trouble. But maybe I'm not understanding what you mean?

2007-02-20, 06:52 PM
The max Ranks would be [Level]. Skills a Character isn't Proficient in would be -4, instead of the half ranks, half max thing.

2007-02-20, 06:55 PM
Hmm, I see. At first blush, it seems like that would work fine...although as you say, some DCs might have to be adjusted since a character is going to have a slightly harder time using a skill at a given level.

The other thing to consider is, at level 1, the cross-class penalty is a really big deal...but at level 20, not so much. Whereas in the current system, a cross-class skill is always going to be only half as good.

2007-02-20, 06:56 PM
Monsters. They get (X + int modifier)xHD skill points anyway. This might not be large problem but it does favour monsters.

This is from players point of view.

2007-02-20, 06:59 PM
Err...how does it favor monsters? A player still gets (x+int)xlevel points in this system, as far as I can tell...they're just distributed differently.

2007-02-20, 07:07 PM
Err...how does it favor monsters? A player still gets (x+int)xlevel points in this system, as far as I can tell...they're just distributed differently.

Because monsters , if I'm correct, get (X+INT)xHD and classes get (X+INT)x(3+HD) so they have (X+INT)x3 less skill points.
If you do it like Matthew suggests then both get (X+INT)xHD skill points.

2007-02-20, 07:09 PM
Ohh, I see what you mean, yes. The players are usually ahead of the monsters, and now they're not anymore. I'm not sure that would be that big of a deal, but I guess it could in some situations. PLAYTESTING!

2007-02-20, 07:13 PM
Sorry about that. I thought that monster HD doesn't give you x4 skill points at first HD, but they do.
Conclusion: I'm not correct.:smallbiggrin:

2007-02-21, 10:27 AM
I agree with SpiderBrigade - it seems perfectly fine at low levels, but there might be problems at higher level; a flat -4 isn't much of a penalty when you've got 20 ranks. In essence, there isn't enough of a drawback to a cross-class skill at high level to make it "feat-worthy". At low level, the -4 is very significant.

If you changed the scale to a flat +1 per level (as opposed to level+3), you'd need to lower all the DCs by around 3 or so, but that's doable, even on the fly.

Switching all skill acquisition to 1:1, though, isn't a problem for me. I find it encourages a little bit more versatility, and having a fighter have a couple of ranks worth of Spot isn't a bad thing.

2007-02-21, 01:58 PM
That's a good point, and it would be a bit strange to have a 20th Level Player Character Fighter being able to achieve 16 Ranks in a Skill which he is not proficient. On the other hand, he would have a BAB of 16 with a weapon with which he was not proficient. Hmmn. Have to have a think about this.