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Skill Groups [Tome of Kaelik Feels Like It]

 
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:42 am    Post subject: Skill Groups [Tome of Kaelik Feels Like It] Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

D&D has a lot of fucking skills. And those range from the absolutely bullshit game breaking such as Diplomacy and UMD, to the essential such as Spot, Listen, Spellcraft, to the absolutely fucking worthless such as Craft, Forgery, and Appraise. To be precise, it has 36 fucking skills even before getting into things like Knowledge and Craft being 10 different skills, or Autohypnosis. Meanwhile characters may have somewhere between 1 and maybe 10 skills they can put ranks in. Unsurprisingly, appraise is rarely even given the time of day.

So this system 1) Gives people more skills. 2) Gives them skills distributed across different groups, so that the main change isn't that people that already had Spot and Listen add Spellcraft to their list.

You should probably use something like the Pathfinder, Class skills get +3 ranks at level 1, and non class skills have a cap equal to Character Level, but everything is one for one, because people are probably going to be putting a lot of ranks into non class skills. Or you could plausibly give everyone all skills as class skills, though it might make the results more samey.

Level 1 Skills

At level 1 you either get four times the number to put into each skill group like you always would as a 3.5 character, or you get a +3 training bonus to each skill you train at level 1. Adjust skill prereqs for classes if you do so.

Class skills

You should just assume that everyone has the same class skills, but that you either don't get the +3 training in things that are not class skills but can have the same ranks and cost the same, or you can have the non class skills have a cap three less than the class skills, and cost the same.

Skills on level up

The first thing to do is half their class based skill points, so Rogues go from 8 to 4, Bards from 6 to 3, Druids from 4 to 2, and Wizards drop to 1. This new number is then the number of skill ranks to get on level up in every single skill group.

After you have made your choices based on skill group, you then move on to Int based skill points, which are flexible across skill groups. If you have an Int penalty, find one or more skills you just put ranks in, and get rid of that(those) rank(s). If you have an Int bonus, you can assign those skill points to any skills, ignoring the skill groups.

This makes int penalties much less penalizing, because if the main disadvantage to having an Int of 6 is that you don't have any ranks in appraise or Craft or survival, you are going to care very little. On the other hand, Int bonuses remain important, because very few people can get ranks in Listen, Spot, and Spellcraft without an Int bonus.

The skill groups are as follows:

Perception:
Hide, MS, Spot, Listen, Spellcraft, Search, Sense Motive

Knowledge:
All knowledge skills, taken individually.

Skulduggery:
Sleight of Hand, Use Rope, Open Lock, Disable Device, Bluff, Disguise

Interaction:
Sense Motive, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Heal, Intimidate, Speak Language

Physical Fitness:
Balance, Concentration, Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, Ride, Tumble, Swim

Wilderness:
Handle Animal, Survival, Ride, Swim, Climb, Jump, Heal

Civilization:
Appraise, Craft (all skills taken individually), Decipher Script, Forgery, Perform (However you want to use Perform), Profession (all skills taken individually)

Not a skill group: UMD.

That's right, if you want UMD, better spend a precious Int bonus point on it.

Sample Characters

Wizard the Wizard

He is a filthy Grey Elf Wizard with an 20 Int at level 1, I apply retroactive skill points because I don't feel like doing math. At level 8 he has an Int of 22 inherent. Assuming you still care about class skills, but use a pathfinderish system he has the following ranks:

Spellcraft 11, Knowledge Arcana 11, Disguise 8, Speaks either 5 or 8 additional languages, Concentration 11, Ride 8, Craft (Alchemy) 11

One from each skillgroup.

Then, From his Int Bonus: Knowledge Religion 11, Knowledge Planes 11, Knowledge Nature 11, Knowledge Dungeoneering 11, Spot 8, Listen 8

Druid the Druid

He is an Anthopomorphic Bat Druid, or something else, it doesn't matter. He has an Int of 14, because he doesn't care about Str or Dex, because he is a Druid. He probably also has a Cha of 14, because again, why not, so he is more prone to Cha based checks than Mr. Wizard. He is level 10.

Assuming Pathfinderish system, he has ranks from class of:

Spot 13, Listen 13, Knowledge Nature 13, Knowledge Geography 10, Disguise 10, Bluff 10, Diplomacy 13, Sense Motive 10, Concentration 13, Escape Artist 10, Handle Animal 13, Survival 13, Craft Arms and Armor 13 (two different skills)

Then from Int: Spellcraft 13, MS 10.

Rogue the Rogue

He is a rogue, so he doesn't really have a lot in the way of spare points to put in Int, but he makes room for a 14, because fucking UMD and Spellcraft bby. He is level 15 because why not.

Perception: Hide 18, MS 18, Spot 18, Search 18
Knowledge: Local 18, History 15, Architecture 10, Planes 15, Arcana 5
Skulduggery: Disguise 18, Bluff 18, Disable Device 18, Sleight of Hand 18
Interaction: Gather Information 18, Diplomacy 18, Sense Motive 18, and All The Languages.
Physical Fitness: Escape Artist 18, Tumble 18, Balance 18, Climb 18
Wilderness: Ride 15, Swim 18, Survival 15, Handle Animal 15
Civilization: Appraise 18, Forgery 18, Decipher Script 18, Craft Traps 18
From Int: Spellcraft 15, UMD 18
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Last edited by Kaelik on Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:02 pm; edited 3 times in total
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I like it, giving people skills they can only spend in certain groups does 'force' variety so rangers have some kind of social skill and taking ranks in profession doesn't make you a worse swimmer.

But if I'm an int10 ranger I only get 3 ranks per level in perception, that's only enough to keep one skill out of hide/MS/spot/listen level appropriate. I'd need INT16 to get enough bonus skill points to keep just one other perception skill level appropriate. Is this what you intended from your skill system?

**Nevermind, just noticed that class skills all get +3 to start with, so you only need to put in 1 rank per level to keep it maxed out.

Pathfinder combines Hide/MS into "stealth", Spot/Listen/Search into "perception", but you're still using the 3.5 version of those skills, are they just better off as separate skills?


Last edited by OgreBattle on Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I like it enough that I'd be happy to try it out. Though I wonder if Abuse Magic Device should take the Wild Empathy route and just be turned into a class feature only available to "the classes that get it as a class skill".

OgreBattle wrote:
But if I'm an int10 ranger I only get 3 ranks per level in perception, that's only enough to keep one skill out of hide/MS/spot/listen level appropriate. I'd need INT16 to get enough bonus skill points to keep just one other perception skill level appropriate. Is this what you intended from your skill system?


How do you figure? The way I read it, if you have Int 12, you can spend that extra skill point per level in any category you like (and likewise, if you had Int 14 you could spend BOTH however you liked, even in the same category). Int 12 would mean you could cover all four.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Pathfinder combines Hide/MS into "stealth", Spot/Listen/Search into "perception", but you're still using the 3.5 version of those skills, are they just better off as separate skills?


There are obviously problems with Steal and Perception being one skill, most notably, that casting invisibility makes you super quiet.

The only "problem" with them being four skills in 3.5 is that you don't get very many skill points, so choosing to be good at those things usually costs you all your skill points. This system fixes that by not weighing your H/MS/S/L/Spellcraft against any other skills in the game.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I like it. I like the somewhat forced versatility. It seems the class getting the least benefit is the cleric, and they already get enough, anyway.

I can't see any problems with this breaking anything.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RobbyPants wrote:
I like it. I like the somewhat forced versatility. It seems the class getting the least benefit is the cleric, and they already get enough, anyway.

I can't see any problems with this breaking anything.


I suppose the could be cloistered and end up getting a great deal of benefit, but yeah, ultimately, skills have always been almost no balance concern at all, and so even if you just said "everyone gets triple the skill points" aside from everyone maxing everything in the perception category, it wouldn't change much for balance.

This was I think it better than that for at least providing some versatility and reason to take otherwise neglected skills.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik wrote:

This was I think it better than that for at least providing some versatility and reason to take otherwise neglected skills.
Agreed.

Like I'd said earlier, I don't really see your system hurting anything. The "biggest loser" here is the guy who still gets a bump from the normal rules, but not as much of a bump, but still has full casting and is a solid class with solid splats. He'll do just fine at the table.
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FatR
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

That's a pretty fine idea, even is I might not agree with individual grouping. Skills in 3.5 as written are bullshit because the effort spent on distributing skill points is generally wholly disproportinal to their impact on the game... except for those few crucial skills like Spot/Perception that migh end up mandatory for not dying, or provide massive benefits like UMD.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I added a section on level 1, and class vs not class skills. Just to clear things up a bit because some people where being confused.

Any advice on better wording or whatever would be appreciated.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks for this Kaelik, I've been playtesting this in the RHoD campaign I've taken over with the previous DM of this campaign's new PC, a RoW Fighter.

I also made the edits to the 3.5 Character Sheet to accommodate the new skill arrangements.

I'm hosting this on my Facebook page in a public image album, so anyone else who wants to use it can.

https://scontent-yyz1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlp1/t31.0-8/12973308_10156697956105212_2729798488991396681_o.jpg

[edit]

Cleaned up some straggling commas, changes MS and UMD to Move Silently and Use Magic Device. Also; I've compressed Disable Device & Open Lock into a single skill entry based on what has been said in earlier [Tome] discussions by Frank & Kieth.

https://scontent-yyz1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/12967987_10156698005595212_1389430624327333169_o.jpg
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Last edited by Judging__Eagle on Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:09 pm; edited 2 times in total
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I made this a while back while trying to learn jquery: https://cdn.rawgit.com/radthemad4/KaelikSkillGroups/master/Kaelik%20Skill%20Groups.html

It doesn't have any validation or anything, but should help keep track of ranks. I might make a better version someday.


Last edited by radthemad4 on Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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CatharzGodfoot
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks, Kaelik. This is a really smart way of dealing with 3e skills.
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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Are you hammering this into your 3E game or using it for a 3e inspired design?

If the latter, why not just consolidate it all and make Perception, Knowledge, Skullduggery, Interaction, Physical Fitness, Wilderness and Civilization the skill list?
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hiram McDaniels wrote:
Are you hammering this into your 3E game or using it for a 3e inspired design?

If the latter, why not just consolidate it all and make Perception, Knowledge, Skullduggery, Interaction, Physical Fitness, Wilderness and Civilization the skill list?


About a thousand reasons? Let's start with because THAT WOULD COMPLETELY DEFEAT THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE SYSTEM!

The system is that everyone has to be competent in some way at ALL OF THOSE THINGS, and that everyone has to be not competent in some specific way at ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

Making everyone have Ranks in the "Perception" skill that is clearly the best because it now does hide, spot, ms, listen, and spellcraft, while literally zero people ever put a single skill point into Civilization because it'a collection of garbage tier abilities would be the exact opposite of what it is meant to do.

Wholly shit I didn't know someone could completely misunderstand the point so hard.
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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik wrote:
Hiram McDaniels wrote:
Are you hammering this into your 3E game or using it for a 3e inspired design?

If the latter, why not just consolidate it all and make Perception, Knowledge, Skullduggery, Interaction, Physical Fitness, Wilderness and Civilization the skill list?


About a thousand reasons? Let's start with because THAT WOULD COMPLETELY DEFEAT THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE SYSTEM!

The system is that everyone has to be competent in some way at ALL OF THOSE THINGS, and that everyone has to be not competent in some specific way at ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

Making everyone have Ranks in the "Perception" skill that is clearly the best because it now does hide, spot, ms, listen, and spellcraft, while literally zero people ever put a single skill point into Civilization because it'a collection of garbage tier abilities would be the exact opposite of what it is meant to do.

Wholly shit I didn't know someone could completely misunderstand the point so hard.


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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You got your first Kaeliking. You're officially a full-fledged member of the Den. Welcome.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik is our Sir Kay? That... would explain a lot, actually.
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