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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    xanendorf's Avatar

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    Default System for book reading 3.75

    So one of my characters has been non-stop reading books from the "grand library" of the city they are in. I have been giving misc. skill bonuses based on the topic of the book he was reading. Now he has gotten access to all the "secret" tomes as well.

    How should I manage him reading all these books? Should I keep giving skill bonuses? (how should I reward them?)

    I need to find a balanced way to reward him for studying while his party members are drinking at the inn.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    give him a level.

    a feat

    Rreally just spending time in a library to get skill boosts or whatever is kinda against the grain.

    But only becuase of the way the D&D mechanics are set up.

    also How is he managing to read and ENTIRE book let alone a series of books while the rest of the party is at the inn drinking.

    I had a similar even during one of my games once everybody else wanted to relax after taking out the ogre fortress, while i had this one guy who wnated to spnd his time at the library.

    He thought it was going to be liek real life you read a thermal dynamics for dummies and suddenly you are an expert at teh subject but I siad' i'll give you a +2 circumstance skill boost or a feat that is related to such topic but your not getting like a dozen skill point equivalents. he of course started griping nad making a scene . I pulled him aside and told him what I told you, the mechanics of the game just do not do want you are wnating from reading those books.

    Thats really all you can do. To really give anything more would completely disrupt the game. also your player might be thinking what my player was, so you might have to expalin how leveling, skill increases and feat gains are awarded in the game you are playing.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    I feel like if you give out an extravagant reward like that it might encourage other people to just say, "My character spends the next 23 hours pumping iron, +2 to Strength". I think you should give him a small competence bonus to a Knowledge check or two (nothing greater than +2 or +3 on the outside).

    If he complains about realism, the reality is that most people can't just sit down and consume an entire royal library (hundreds or thousands of texts, probably written in a myriad of languages or archaic forms of the dominant language) and retain all of that knowledge in its exacting detail in a few hours or even a few days.

    Will it be beneficial? Sure! But because it's something outside of the mechanics and because it's a little silly (who reads every single book in an entire library in one sitting? it kind of strains verisimilitude) I wouldn't be overly generous. A competence bonus to a knowledge check or two would be enough as a small treat that rewards the player without completely overwhelming the traditional skill system.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    xanendorf's Avatar

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post

    If he complains about realism, the reality is that most people can't just sit down and consume an entire royal library (hundreds or thousands of texts, probably written in a myriad of languages or archaic forms of the dominant language) and retain all of that knowledge in its exacting detail in a few hours or even a few days..
    This is a city based game, and whenever he isn't adventuring, he is at the library or reading the book that was brought with them. (he is currently on a week long boat trip with his books .) So he knows he isn't going to be reading all the books instantly.

    Also for reference, he is a level 7 wizard with an intelligence of 25.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Rather than giving him more skill bonuses and boosting his odds of remember things on the road, you could change the failure state of the checks instead. For example, if he failed a know (nobility) check and had read up on the topic in the library, instead of saying "you don't know" you could say "you remember reading something about that in X book in the library". It turns the default failure into a redirect to library, or hurries that along if failure was already a redirect to the library. Bonus points if he goes back to find the answer and the book is missing :-p

    If you wanted to write the "perk" up, it might look something like this: Whenever you fail a knowledge check for a topic you have read up on, you remember where to find the answer instead of simply not knowing it.
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    My skills rewrite - Making mundane a level range, not a descriptor

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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    I will second (third?) the competence bonus on various knowledge checks (and maybe perform or craft checks) based on what he is reading. I would also allow him to use the library as a "masterwork item" for all knowledge checks provided he can use it, and allow him to retry failed knowledge checks after so many hours spent in the library (if he can find the information there).

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    xanendorf's Avatar

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Ok thanks guys.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Allow them to make an autohypnosis check per x amount read as part of their WBL to get masterwork knowledge tools. The library itself can grant a +1 circumstance bonus per hour (or two) spent doing research, up to a maximum depending on the library. For example:

    The Basilian Botanical Bibliotheque has an inherent +1 to questions regarding all maner of flora but a -2 to any other questions, min bonus +0).
    Specializes in mundane flora, so a max of +5 to kn. nature, it has a significant collection on magical herbs, horticultural charms, etc, so its max kn arcana bonus is +3. It also has detailed records on planar flora so, again, a +3 but to kn planes. It has some information on folklore, but not much +1, and is otherwise silent on most other topics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Player: I'll use a classic ploy. "Help! Guards! He's having a seizure!"
    DM: You're the only one in the prison.
    Player: I'm very convincing.
    DM: And there are no guards.
    Player: But there's masonry.
    DM: It's not even animate, let alone sentient.
    Player: That's ok. I'll take the penalty.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    I made libraries into a special item that grants a +n bonus on specific topics within their field, except that this bonus only lasts for one month, and requires a week of full-time study.

    I quite like the idea that a fail result becomes "you remember reading about it" rather than "nope. I got nothing". I might steal that.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Selenir's Avatar

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    In D&D, reading books in libraries has two purposes:

    1.) It provides a great way for the DM to go "You find an ancient journal which contains a map to a great treasure in _____ jungle" and hook them on an adventure.

    2.) It provides a +2 circumstance bonus to Knowledge Checks and allows you to retry a failed Knowledge Check once per library/book, to see if your research allowed you to find an answer you didn't know about before.

    Once upon a time, when I was a very new DM and didn't know smart from foolish, I had a player who had a large number of soldiers under his command say "I train my soldiers in the woods for however long it takes to get them all to level 20." And because I was new and hadn't ever thought about that before, I had no idea what excuse I could give to make that not happen, and so my campaign was utterly destroyed.

    Nowadays I would simply say "It doesn't work that way." Training/practicing is assumed to happen in the background for players to improve and learn skills. In story terms, the fighter doesn't get +1 Strength at level 4 because he just suddenly grew new muscles, he gets it because he's been constantly working out and improving his strength through combat and training. Same with skills and feats.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    This is relevant to something my Aasimar Tactician has been doing in Pathfinder, so I thought I'd also check in on your opinions for what my DM should do. I've been using Autohypnosis to memorize every piece of text I encounter. Taking 10 is sufficient for success so I've got a rate of 1 page per round, allowing me to easily cover absurd amounts of info with perfect accuracy. The only noteworthy thing I've had opportunity to memorize so far was an entire book, 1 of 8, of some Alchemist's personal notes on his unfinished Immortality Grand Discovery. However, I intend to memorize countless other books and will be using memorized tables of contents and indices to recall which pages of each book I need to check for any given topic. Furthermore , I'll be writing up and memorizing meta tables of contents that list every book I've memorized. So in under a minute I can check the mental library, pick out relevant books, and find the exact relevant pages. How would you recommend a DM handle that?

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    While the index thing is really very clever, I don't think it would wind up particularly strong. Memorization is not the same as comprehension after all. You could memorize whole physics / alchemy text books and still be unable to use the concepts inside to do new things, even if you could look up specific answers or recall and follow written procedures. There is a lot of secondary or assumed information in those things, and without proficiency in and knowledge of those other things reading and memorizing an advanced book just isn't going to help much.

    So I'd probably give you the +2 masterwork library bonus for memorized material, and maybe let you take 20 on common knowledge checks to represent the multiple rounds it would take you to go through your index and collected works to assemble a very complete answer to the question.
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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Ashtagon's Avatar

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    I'd say Autohypnosis only lets you recall the text as a string of words, not as actually assimilated knowledge. I wouldn't let it grant any bonus on a Knowledge check.

    Knowledge of a picture is like looking at it on a screen. Autohypnosis is like looking at the binary 1s and 0s that make up the data for it. You have exactly the same information, but not arranged in a way that lets you manipulate it fully.

    Another analogy would be like a history student memorising a long string of dates and events, and then being asked to explain the motives behind Caesar's assassination and why this event would ultimately lead to the fall of Roman democratic traditions. He lacks the depth of scholarship to answer the question, because the raw data hasn't had a sufficient level of thought applied to it to be processed into usable chunks.

    In campaign terms, you might use Autohypnosis to recall a long secret message perfectly as the ultimate courier, or as a spy to grab the contents of a document without having to take the original (and thus reveal you were there).

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Quote Originally Posted by Selenir View Post
    Once upon a time, when I was a very new DM and didn't know smart from foolish, I had a player who had a large number of soldiers under his command say "I train my soldiers in the woods for however long it takes to get them all to level 20." And because I was new and hadn't ever thought about that before, I had no idea what excuse I could give to make that not happen, and so my campaign was utterly destroyed.
    Haha... I bet the other commanders felt stupid for not figuring that one out

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Well, I'm an Int-based Manifesting class starting with 20 Int, and I have access to the Power Call to Mind, so I'm already fairly ahead of the curve when it comes to general and specific knowledge, comprehension, etc. And the courier/spy thing were already in my repertoire of potential uses.

    I didn't know it when I was memorizing, but it turns out the alchemical notes may be useful for helping the alchemist complete his work and restore himself (currently a semi-undead ooze-man about to be reaped by "The Collector" after drinking his unfinished product to recover from his assassination wounds). My party's attempts to help him finish his work and ultimately survive the ordeal actually turned out to be a pretty significant plot derail, but I digress. I never intended for notes that complex to be recalled as general knowledge that I understand. I feel like the DM should just improv some values for a d% roll to determine whether a given piece of comprehensible encyclopedic information was present in the books and how many paragraphs or pages worth of info he should summarize for me.

    Ashtagon, you have to admit that, if I memorized A Priest's Field Encyclopedia of Planar Beings: Vol. IV: The Upper Planes, and I know which pages the illustrations are on, I should be able to spend a few minutes comparing with something I saw to get the name for that type of being and then cross reference to the encyclopedic entry about it.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Their is a 1 level spell to read 1 book/round in Races of destiny. So boom, reading a library.
    Avatar by Szilard, thank you sir for the fine work!

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    there.

    And Master's Touch doesn't provide in-depth comprehension. It's good for skimming, not analyzing and synthesizing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Player: I'll use a classic ploy. "Help! Guards! He's having a seizure!"
    DM: You're the only one in the prison.
    Player: I'm very convincing.
    DM: And there are no guards.
    Player: But there's masonry.
    DM: It's not even animate, let alone sentient.
    Player: That's ok. I'll take the penalty.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Give him a Bardic Knowledge-like ability. Call it Lore as in the Loremaster prestige class.
    Make it so the bonus equal his INT modifier plus the number of days he has spent on the library (either consecutive or in the last 30 days or so), but not greater then his character level. If he spends too much time without going to the library, the ability becomes inactive.
    Just explain that the ability is result of a life long habit of going to the library, so that everyone else doesn't suddenly resolves to go into the library for a 20 days before every knowledge test.

    If the other complain too much (they probably will), give them a +4 bonus vs ingested poison or something for all the nights drinking.

    Home i could help :)

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    bobthe6th's Avatar

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Quote Originally Posted by Guigarci View Post
    there.

    And Master's Touch doesn't provide in-depth comprehension. It's good for skimming, not analyzing and synthesizing.
    Scholar's Touch, I mean, if you can get down to correcting minor grammar, you should look up the name.

    Master's Touch is two entirely different spells(different from each other and Scholar's Touch), from PHBII and complete adventurer. The first provides a +4 to a skill check as a 2nd level spell, and the latter is basically "skillful x" the first level spell.

    and while it doesn't give an in-depth understanding "This is equivalent to a solid reading but not deep study. The character does not gain perfect recall of the information, just whatever he would have gotten from reading it completely once."... Generally, I wouldn't assume the character is reading the books more then once unless it is really relevant. So, when I am just reading through a library it is probably the same effect in order of magnitudes less time.
    Avatar by Szilard, thank you sir for the fine work!

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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Mea culpa.
    Was AFB when that got typed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Player: I'll use a classic ploy. "Help! Guards! He's having a seizure!"
    DM: You're the only one in the prison.
    Player: I'm very convincing.
    DM: And there are no guards.
    Player: But there's masonry.
    DM: It's not even animate, let alone sentient.
    Player: That's ok. I'll take the penalty.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: System for book reading 3.75

    Give him the Research Feat from the Eberron Campaign Setting as a temporary feat (good for 1d4 days after reading the tomes) or just give him a temporary +2 Circumstance bonus to his knowledge skills. Unless you are in the habit of giving rewards to all your players for their skill uses, don't make a big deal of it. But make sure you aren't playing favorites within your group.

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