Author Topic: Your grievances concerning skills  (Read 17947 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

SeekingKnight

  • Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 327
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #60 on: February 21, 2011, 03:38:53 PM »
After reading all of this thread I want to bring up a few points.  I agree some skills need to be put together because of a lot of overlap between them.  Also I agree that a more flexable system for determining success needs to be implemented.  As of now skills can become useless by third level if a party is smart in buying magic items as well as having a class that can cast spells that make skills useless.

A few fixes I can think of.  One is to not add in an attribute bonus to a skill.  As many have said make the skill ranks themselves mean more.  Beyond taking away multiple ways to get bonuses if someone uses a spell to temporarily increase the relative stat then it makes getting ranks meaningful.  White Wolf shows this in their unique way where a guy with a Dex of 3 and a Firearms skill of 3 has just an equal chance of hitting as a guy with a Dex of 1 and a Firearms skill of 5.  Shadowrun, to me, is a better example because the skill itself has meaning while the attribute to the skill can be used by default but only after the Target Number for succeeding has been increased.  Another fix is having the skill aid a spell or spell aid a skill.  Like how invisibility can aid a hide check but make it more then some large plus to a skill.

I have more but right now I can't think of them.

SneeR

  • Bi-Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 432
  • Sneering
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #61 on: February 21, 2011, 03:49:08 PM »
Sorry, SeekingKnight, but that doesn't even begin to touch on the problem, only nerfing skillmonkeys even more. It only makes sense that the most dexterous person alive can balance about as well as a klutz who practices at it everday at first level. Maybe if you make stat modifiers be competence bonuses we might be getting somewhere, but I think the issue here is that ranks are what should define the full power of a skill, no bonuses.
The answer to everything:
[spoiler][/spoiler]
SneeR
[spoiler]
I don't know if the designers meant you to take Skill Focus for every feat.
Sounds a little OP.

The monk is clearly the best class, no need to optimize here. What you are doing is overkill.

It's like people who have no idea what a turn signal is. They ruin it for everyone else.
When another driver brandishes a holy symbol and begins glowing with divine light, seek cover or get spattered with zombie brains. I do not see what is so complicated about this.
[/spoiler]

zugschef

  • Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 331
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #62 on: February 21, 2011, 04:40:08 PM »
the biggest problem with skills is that the skill system does not fit in with the d20 mechanics. everything depends on levels, yet the skill system uses point buy. why?

SeekingKnight

  • Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 327
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #63 on: February 21, 2011, 04:49:48 PM »
Sneer:  I think you misread my post.  I said I am all for skill ranks meaning something.  I was using WW examples of what Not to do.  If a skill has enough ranks in it then the character can do an action.  I think removing the bonuses from attributes to skills would make the skill itself more appealing else a player will just boost said attribute to get a bonus as a skill is left at minimal ranks.  Shadowrun has some good uses of this by way of their target number system as well as magic is not the be all for a group.

The_Mad_Linguist

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 8780
  • Simulated Thing
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #64 on: February 21, 2011, 04:51:09 PM »
Gear uses point buy as well.  Learning spells is a weird form of point buy as well.  The three-levels-feats aren't exactly level system based either.
Linguist, Mad, Unique, none of these things am I
My custom class: The Priest of the Unseen Host
Planetouched Handbook
Want to improve your character?  Then die.

Maat_Mons

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1041
  • What is a smile but a grimace of happiness?
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #65 on: February 21, 2011, 06:54:32 PM »
Are they truly compulsory or is it just the tropes assuming it?

My point is that spellcraft makes more sense as an automatic part of wizard than a familiar and scribe scroll.  Spellcraft makes more sense as an automatic part of wizard than many class features do for their respective classes. 

Would it be nice if classes weren't designed for specific archetypes and you didn't need alternate class features to deviate from the designer's specific vision of how a class is played?  Yes, but unless we're going to redesign the classes, I don't see why this proposed house-rule can't use the same standards as existing material. 

X-Codes

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 3941
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #66 on: February 21, 2011, 07:21:44 PM »
It could be used as a balancing point for classes that aren't meant to be skills-oriented, or are already great skill classes.

For example, if we were to give every class one extra skill point per level, some of them would simply apply to the skills (read: Rogues get 9+int skills) while others are free ranks in a specific skills (Bards get free Perform, Wizards get free Spellcraft, Clerics get free Knowledge (Religion), etc.).

Bauglir

  • Man in Gorilla Suit
  • *****
  • Posts: 2346
  • TriOptimum
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #67 on: February 21, 2011, 10:19:09 PM »
About the proactive/reactive thing; the problem is that there's no incentive to use them proactively, unless you have a really good DM. As a player, you can count on the really good DM to have lots of information available or improvised well enough to be as-good-as, and to come up with creative ways to let you implement your skill check. And that's fine, but "A good DM will do it" does not good design make.

Plus, that relies on the DM doing the work to put it together, and the rewards to the players are far from guaranteed even on a success. What I'm saying, really, is that you need to have a mechanical reason hard-coded into the system to be good at skills; "Succeeding on skill checks" isn't good enough, as the system stands. There are two options; you can give bonuses from being good at skills, purely from being good at them, or you can come up with better skill checks written into the system that the player can ask to make. Almost all of the good skills actually have these latter; Tumble relies on the character requesting to avoid attacks of opportunity, Use Magic Device relies on the character requesting to Use a Magic Device, Iaijutsu Focus relies on the character trying to catch people flat-footed. One of Intimidate's greatest uses relies on trying to demoralize opponents, and Bluff is at its greatest when the player is actively trying to make people believe ridiculous things (or has picked up enough action-reducers to Feint as a reasonable action).

Part of the reason these skills are considered good, aside from these raw mechanical effects, is because the player is in a position to make them useful, even if the DM doesn't particularly put the effort in. You're all but guaranteed to have a use for Tumble if you want it. You're only guaranteed a use for Forgery if the DM wants it, and that's why nobody puts ranks in Forgery (except the people who realize that nobody puts ranks in Forgery, but please don't let us get into the metacycle there). That's why Tiger Claw makes Jump a skill worth putting ranks into; you have a reason to start making Jump checks.
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.

veekie

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 9034
  • WARNING: Homing Miko
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #68 on: February 22, 2011, 04:34:23 AM »
Are they truly compulsory or is it just the tropes assuming it?

My point is that spellcraft makes more sense as an automatic part of wizard than a familiar and scribe scroll.  Spellcraft makes more sense as an automatic part of wizard than many class features do for their respective classes. 

Would it be nice if classes weren't designed for specific archetypes and you didn't need alternate class features to deviate from the designer's specific vision of how a class is played?  Yes, but unless we're going to redesign the classes, I don't see why this proposed house-rule can't use the same standards as existing material. 
Thing is, of the two criteria to fit a feature to a class feature, rather than a feat or a skill, the second is the key here.
-Should every member of the class have that feature. What should that feature be exchangeable for that fits within the sub-archetype that would not have said feature and does the variation justify a full alternate class? Does the class function at all without the feature?
-Can concepts that do not use that class make use of the feature, and are there ways for them to use that feature? Is the feature worth the effort input to get it outside the class? Obtain Familiar is one example.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

Maat_Mons

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1041
  • What is a smile but a grimace of happiness?
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #69 on: February 22, 2011, 05:31:45 AM »
You're talking as though someone has suggested that spellcraft cease to be a skill.  No one has.  I even reread the thread to make sure.  The closest thing I could find was Rejakor suggesting that concentration cease to be a skill. 

The fact that rangers get track as a bonus feat from a class feature doesn't stop track from being a feat, and it doesn't stop non-rangers from gaining track in the normal way.  If wizards were to get free ranks in the spellcraft skill from a class feature, it wouldn't stop spellcraft from being a skill, and it wouldn't stop non-wizards from gaining ranks in spellcraft in the normal way. 

Really, I can't see how your discussion of how other classes can make use of spellcraft has any bearing when nothing that has been brought up would impede those classes' access to spellcraft. 

veekie

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 9034
  • WARNING: Homing Miko
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #70 on: February 22, 2011, 05:33:40 AM »
For the wizard, what would a wizard taught by a primitive tradition substitute his 'free' spellcraft for, which he could already buy with his gazillion skill points from Int and to spare?
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

Maat_Mons

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1041
  • What is a smile but a grimace of happiness?
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #71 on: February 22, 2011, 05:49:40 AM »
Being primitive, survival would make sense.  I find it conceptually problematic that a primitive caster would use a spellbook and have the ability to scribe spells onto scrolls.  I think properly representing that concept would require more variants. 

I have already told you that the current standard for class design is not to make classes able to represent all possible variations on a broad concept.  I have also told you that I see no problem with a house-rule that contributes to this in a minor capacity.  So, you already know that you can't convince me giving wizards free ranks in spellcraft is a bad idea just by finding character concepts for wizards that wouldn't be skilled in spellcraft.  I'm at a loss as to what you seek to accomplish. 

As far as I'm concerned, you may as well be asking me what a high-strength, low-dexterity, low-intelligence swashbuckler is supposed to do with free weapon finesse and intelligence to damage. 

veekie

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 9034
  • WARNING: Homing Miko
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #72 on: February 22, 2011, 06:21:36 AM »
Thing is though, the wizard as conceptualized doesn't NEED spellcraft(and indeed would barely notice the loss), and if he does, he has far more skill points than he knows what the hell to use them on.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

X-Codes

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 3941
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #73 on: February 22, 2011, 06:28:15 AM »
At what point do we go...

"Ok, this guy doesn't read, hasn't studied magic seriously, and comes from a primitive society that basically doesn't have *any* wizards.  Therefore, he's a Sorcerer."

veekie

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 9034
  • WARNING: Homing Miko
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #74 on: February 22, 2011, 06:36:10 AM »
Hey, you could make magic work without knowing the laws backing them sufficiently to analyze what another spellcaster is doing.
The spellbook is a set of rituals passed down the generations, that have been proven to work, given certain skills and aptitudes by the caster. WHY they work is a matter you hadn't explored yet.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

zugschef

  • Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 331
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #75 on: February 22, 2011, 10:31:55 AM »
Gear uses point buy as well.  Learning spells is a weird form of point buy as well.  The three-levels-feats aren't exactly level system based either.
you don't exactly understand what i mean.

feats, spellcasting, etc. do not scale with points invested in them. feats simply do not scale in 3.5, but your level is the factor in determining how many you get, and spellcasting per se is totally level dependent (caster LEVEL). and gear is totally level dependent: your level determines how much wealth you should have on average. you do not invest points to heighten up your wealth guideline.

yet skills are rank dependent. you can be level 20 and have 4 ranks in spot, 11 in listen, and so on... they do not depend on your level, they depend on your points invested in them. this is a major break with the other d20 mechanics (which are level dependent).

i know (at least to some extent) how flawed the 4e skill system is, but actually, i have to admit, it is much more in sync with the d20 base mechanics. further, it does help with one of the main problems of 3.5's skill system: you don't have to mess around with skill ranks. most characters with similar roles will allocate their skill ranks quite similar, if not exactly identical, anyway.

honestly, if there is a skill like spellcraft, why do you not get better at casting spells if you invest ranks in it, and why is there no such skill as sword-fighting, axe-fighting, etc.? that's what gurps does, what dsa does, and what a lot of other systems do. but they are based on these skills. d20, however, is not. and that's why the 3rd edition skill system is so awkward (apart from the fact that they obviously couldn't really let totally go of the so-called non-weapon proficiencies).

Brainpiercing

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1475
  • Thread Killer
    • Email
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #76 on: February 22, 2011, 10:43:51 AM »
It's true that Skills seem sort of tacked on to a pure combat game that doesn't actually need them.

If BAB were a skill, or proficiencies, then it would be a consistent system. But that's not the case.

Perhaps that's the other way to fix the system: Make people BUY BAB or base saves and weapon profs, all with skill points.

The_Mad_Linguist

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 8780
  • Simulated Thing
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #77 on: February 22, 2011, 10:53:04 AM »
your level determines how much wealth you should have on average. you do not invest points to heighten up your wealth guideline.
Your level also determines how much total skill you have.

Just like how you can invest 8000 of your wealth points into improving your AC or saves or attack bonus or whatever, and 14000 into something else.  The numbers are bigger, but it's the same principle.
Linguist, Mad, Unique, none of these things am I
My custom class: The Priest of the Unseen Host
Planetouched Handbook
Want to improve your character?  Then die.

zugschef

  • Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 331
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #78 on: February 22, 2011, 11:00:28 AM »
your level determines how much wealth you should have on average. you do not invest points to heighten up your wealth guideline.
Your level also determines how much total skill you have.

Just like how you can invest 8000 of your wealth points into improving your AC or saves or attack bonus or whatever, and 14000 into something else.  The numbers are bigger, but it's the same principle.
no it does not. it determines how many total skill points you have, but your level does not determine how good you are at picking locks, your invested ranks determine how good you are in in (apart from stupid bonuses of various sorts and from various sources).

and really, the example with money is ridiculous.

wotmaniac

  • Man in Gorilla Suit
  • *****
  • Posts: 2207
  • Emperor's Enforcer
Re: Your grievances concerning skills
« Reply #79 on: February 22, 2011, 11:06:18 AM »
well, in a round-about way, skill is level dependent -- that is, your potential is level dependent (with potential being represented by max ranks). 
so yes, your level does determine how good you can be at a skill.

lets extend that to casters ... for the purposes of analogy, think of the individual schools of magic as "skills" -- sure, you might be able to cast 7th level spells, but maybe your highest level evocation is 3rd level .... your "skill" in evocation is quite low compared to your "skill" in other schools.
(I know it's a weak comparison; but I think it's still one that can be made).
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 11:09:30 AM by wotmaniac »

[spoiler]
If you stop ignoring 289 pages telling what the intent is to stretch "more power" in your own god complexion of your interpretation trumps all to cover ability adjustments from aging then I will ignore a quarter page of rules that exist within a sidebar.
I think in this case the grammar is less important than whether the Str and Dex bonus provided to your created undead scales.

Greenbound Summoning RAI
Expanded Gestalt
More Savage Progressions[/spoiler]
Report any wrongs I have done here.