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Thread: 3e skills

  1. #1
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    The new skills listed in the 3e conversion should have been done a little
    different. Two of them are knowledge skills (arguably all Int skills are
    Knowledge skills by another name, and it`s not such a big deal), but
    another is blatent skill proliferation and shouldn`t exist.

    `Administrate` (stated to be a Wisdom skill on page 23, though listed
    correctly as Int in the Noble class for instance) should have been a use
    of Knowledge- Nobility, which in standard 3e includes law and government,
    and is the relevant skill for barristers and clerks. It`s more general
    than just knowledge about the rulers, but also includes knowledge about
    the rules and the ruling methods.

    This is much more explicit in the Modern version of the rules, where it is
    listed as Knowledge- Civics and includes "law, legislation, litigation and
    legal rights and obligations. Political and governmental institutions and
    processes."

    `Lead` is no more than a new use for Bluff and Diplomacy, and occasionally
    Intimidate, and there`s no reason to add another Cha skill that people
    have to buy. It would be better off as a "new uses for old skills"
    listing. This is the worst offender. I`m not going to go into the
    arguments against skill proliferation here, they`re easily found
    elsewhere, but I will if people have to ask.

    `Warcraft` is the same as Knowledge- Tactics, which is in d20 modern and
    will probably find its way back into 3.5e.

    Other notes from the newer versions are that Appraise is being folded into
    Knowledge- Business, Pick Pockets becomes Sleight of Hand, and Wilderness
    Lore will be Survival, but those are easy to fix in revision.

    If you take out the skill proliferation, the Noble class becomes
    redundant. It really already is, since it`s essentially an aristocrat
    with two more skill points and some bonus feats. It would be better off
    as a listing to the effect "BR encourages playing noblemen, so to make the
    aristocrat more playable as a PC class, we suggest adding bonus general
    feats at levels w,x,y, and z."

    On to the feats.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    One has to remember that knowledge skills are not the application of them in common use. I think that Skip did a work up on knowedge-nature versus wilderness lore in a sage advice awhile ago and covered this topic.

    Another example is the use of knowledge-arcana and spellcraft. The knowledge skill doesn't help in a field situation, spellcraft checks are used to determine what a specific spell being used is (and if it can be countered), etc.

    So knowledge is indicative of scholarly understanding whereas other skills are the practical application of the subject matter.

    Not to say your arguements aren't sound but we need to keep in mind that knowedge based skills aren't supposed to be used for practical application.
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
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    On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, irdeggman wrote:
    > One has to remember that knowledge skills are not the application of
    > them in common use. I think that Skip did a work up on knowedge-nature
    > versus wilderness lore in a sage advice awhile ago and covered this
    > topic.
    >
    > So knowledge is indicative of scholarly understanding whereas other
    > skills are the practical application of the subject matter.
    >
    > Not to say your arguements aren`t sound but we need to keep in mind
    > that knowedge based skills aren`t supposed to be used for practical
    > application.

    This is untrue, and if the sage said that he was wrong. There are many
    types of knowledge for which the application of said knowledge is
    insignificant if you have the knowledge itself. Mathematics is an
    example- if you know the rules, you can do it trivially.

    In gaming particular, Appraise is an example of how this has been
    rethought. It was originally its own skill, but they realized that the
    act of appraising something is pretty much exclusively dependant on
    knowledge of valuable stuff. Appraise has been put under
    Knowledge-business for the d20 modern version, and will be done similarly
    for 3.5.

    Knowledge- civics (nobility in 3e) covers law and governing. Knowledge-
    business covers running guild activity. Knowledge- tactics is directly
    equivalent to the warcraft skill.

    But all these new knowledges created in the BRCS aren`t even really the
    problem. `Lead` is the problem. It is already covered by Bluff (tricking
    someone to follow you), Diplomacy (convincing someone to follow you), and
    Intimidate (having someone follow you by threat of implied or overt
    force). These are perfectly good and useful charisma skills, and there`s
    no reason to create another one.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  4. #4
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    On Wed, Feb 05, 2003 at 12:06:07AM -0500, daniel mcsorley wrote:
    > The new skills listed in the 3e conversion should have been done a little
    > different. Two of them are knowledge skills (arguably all Int skills are
    > Knowledge skills by another name, and it`s not such a big deal), but
    > another is blatent skill proliferation and shouldn`t exist.

    Skill proliferation is a serious danger and one in which the team spent
    significant effort to avoid. Regent characters have a requirements
    for sets of skills which may be argueably different than the "Back to
    the Dungeon" character. Thus, some small number of new skills was felt
    to be both necessary and appropriate.

    > `Administrate` [snip] should have been a use of Knowledge- Nobility
    > `Warcraft` is the same as Knowledge- Tactics

    These could certainly be legitimate approaches. I would personally
    argue that there is a lot more to either of these skills that simple
    "book knowledge"; being a book expert on theoretical military tactics,
    for example, does not make one necessarily able to be an able commander
    in the field.

    >From a more "Meta" perspective, however, there are some very
    fundemental reasons why using Knowledge skills might not be the best
    approach in this instance. Fighters and Paladins seems to be the sorts
    of characters who would find it easiest to develop skill in Warcraft
    (for example). Making Warcraft a Knowledge skill (and adding it to the
    Fighter/Paladin list, one would assume) would make this skill equally
    accessable to wizards (for example). Does it make sense that wizards
    would find it as easy (or even easier, given their relatively high
    number of total skill points with INT bonus) to lead troops into mass
    combat as a fighter-general?

    > `Lead` is no more than a new use for Bluff and Diplomacy, and occasionally
    > Intimidate, and there`s no reason to add another Cha skill that people
    > have to buy.

    Again, this could be a legitimate approach. All skill-based decisions
    are inherently tricky. Personally, I don`t see "too much" difference
    between Search and Spot or Bluff and Indimidate; certainly one could be
    used in place of the other in many circumstances - but there are very
    good reasons to have multiple skills.

    The meta perspective questions that must be addressed here include
    issues such as: Is a master diplomat likely to be able to rouse a mass
    of peasants against/for their leader? Would such a character be able
    to inspire soldiers under their command during times of strife? It was
    felt that Diplomacy and Bluff did not cover the "importance" of Lead in
    the BR campaign. Also note that the "Lead" skill has significant impact
    on several BR specific issues (such as mass warfare) which gives some
    real "bite" to the skill. Also note that Bluff and Diplomacy are not
    generally class skills for warrior-type characters; who are the amoung
    the most likely Regent characters to take "Lead".

    - Doom

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  5. #5
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    On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, Dr. Travis Doom wrote:
    > > `Administrate` [snip] should have been a use of Knowledge- Nobility
    > > `Warcraft` is the same as Knowledge- Tactics
    >
    > These could certainly be legitimate approaches. I would personally
    > argue that there is a lot more to either of these skills that simple
    > "book knowledge"; being a book expert on theoretical military tactics,
    > for example, does not make one necessarily able to be an able commander
    > in the field.

    Right, but that`s covered by other skills, notably the charisma ones
    which govern interactions between people.

    > From a more "Meta" perspective, however, there are some very
    > fundemental reasons why using Knowledge skills might not be the best
    > approach in this instance. Fighters and Paladins seems to be the
    > sorts of characters who would find it easiest to develop skill in
    > Warcraft (for example). Making Warcraft a Knowledge skill (and adding
    > it to the Fighter/Paladin list, one would assume) would make this
    > skill equally accessable to wizards (for example). Does it make sense
    > that wizards would find it as easy (or even easier, given their
    > relatively high number of total skill points with INT bonus) to lead
    > troops into mass combat as a fighter-general?

    Yes, because fighter is not equivalent to general. Fighters wield
    weapons. Generals do this very rarely. There`s not much overlap in
    domain expertise between the two, Musashi notwithstanding.

    > The meta perspective questions that must be addressed here include
    > issues such as: Is a master diplomat likely to be able to rouse a mass
    > of peasants against/for their leader? Would such a character be able
    > to inspire soldiers under their command during times of strife?

    Yes, since diplomacy involves "changing others` attitudes". Rousing
    peasants would be moving them from Indifferent to Helpful (to the
    diplomat, their attitude toward the leader would depend on the diplomat`s
    attitude). Pretty much the same for soldiers, though scared or
    demoralized soldiers might fall more under `unfriendly` in the terminology
    of D&D character attitudes.

    > It was felt that Diplomacy and Bluff did not cover the "importance" of
    > Lead in the BR campaign. Also note that the "Lead" skill has
    > significant impact on several BR specific issues (such as mass
    > warfare) which gives some real "bite" to the skill. Also note that
    > Bluff and Diplomacy are not generally class skills for warrior-type
    > characters; who are the amoung the most likely Regent characters to
    > take "Lead".

    Again, there`s no correllation between ability to wield a sword and
    ability to lead. Class- and theme-wise, aristocrat would be a better
    model for historical generals than fighter, and aristocrats do have these
    as class skills.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  6. #6
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "daniel mcsorley" <mcsorley@CIS.OHIO-STATE.EDU>
    Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 11:06 PM


    > (arguably all Int skills are Knowledge skills by another name,
    > and it`s not such a big deal),

    I think Knowledge skills are skills that can be grouped by the name
    "Knowledge (All Skills)", which convieniently excludes other INT skills,
    like Appraise, Decipher Script, Disable Device, and Forgery, which are class
    skills for discreet classes.

    > `Administrate` should have been a use of Knowledge- Nobility,

    I`d say thats fine for a normal 3e situation, but BR takes place in in
    courts, where you can either increase the the DC difficulties of tests
    (requiring spending more skill ranks) or you can create specialized skills
    and use more typical DC`s. The deciding issue for me is whether I think
    that low level characters of certain backround (represented by a specialized
    skill buy) can participate in any but the most routine DC`s. I would allow
    anyone with Knowledge (Nobility) to make checks about adminsitration and
    politics type skills, but I`d rather focus on Knowledge (Nobility) as the
    kind of things any courtier might know, such as how to dance the latest
    volta, how to dress fasionably, how to address an ambassador who is both a
    count and member of the Knights of Cuiraecen. This is especially true in
    cases where skills effect domain effects. I`d prefer people can`t walk off
    the street (or wander off the dance floor) and get reliable Agitate, Rule,
    or Espionage bonuses.

    > `Lead` is no more than a new use for Bluff and Diplomacy, and occasionally
    > Intimidate, and there`s no reason to add another Cha skill that people
    > have to buy. It would be better off as a "new uses for old skills"
    > listing. This is the worst offender.

    Lead focuses on public charisma, rather than personal charisma. I`d say it
    merits a different skill with the caveat that someone with Bluff or
    Diplomacy could make an attempt at a DC penalty. Because of the specific
    courtly nature of the BR setting, I have basically renamed Diplomacy as
    Bargain, and use the name "Diplomacy" for the specialized activity of
    inter-state negotiation.

    > `Warcraft` is the same as Knowledge- Tactics, which is in d20 modern and
    > will probably find its way back into 3.5e.

    Again, the real question is, is it a Knowledge skill (wizards, for example
    get all knowledge skills).

    > Other notes from the newer versions are that Appraise is being folded into
    > Knowledge- Business, Pick Pockets becomes Sleight of Hand, and Wilderness
    > Lore will be Survival, but those are easy to fix in revision.

    I think these also reflect the difference between how education is done in
    the modern world, where business and economics are just as easily learned in
    the academy as they are on the job. Things should only be Knowledge skills
    if they are routinely taught formally, by tutors, schools, etc. Other name
    changes are either cosmetic, or reflect social differences, that won`t
    neccesarily translate back into a fantasy world.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  7. #7
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    On Wed, Feb 05, 2003 at 12:09:39PM -0500, daniel mcsorley wrote:
    > On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, irdeggman wrote:
    > > One has to remember that knowledge skills are not the application of
    > > them in common use. I think that Skip did a work up on knowedge-nature
    > > versus wilderness lore in a sage advice awhile ago and covered this
    > > topic.
    > >
    > > So knowledge is indicative of scholarly understanding whereas other
    > > skills are the practical application of the subject matter.
    >
    > This is untrue, and if the sage said that he was wrong. There are many
    > types of knowledge for which the application of said knowledge is
    > insignificant if you have the knowledge itself. Mathematics is an
    > example- if you know the rules, you can do it trivially.

    I, for one, hope that this matter is addressed with more care in 3.5.
    The distintions between Knowledge (Mathematics) and Profession
    (Mathematician) are rather ill defined. As stated, one "knows of" math
    with the knowlege skill and can "make a living using" math with the
    profession skill. For many tests, either skill would seem to be
    equally applicable.

    The common theme on skills seems to be based on an effort to provided
    relatively equitable "bang for the buck". There certainly was no need
    for "Wilderness Lore" per se (as opposed to Knowledge(Nature)) but it
    was decided that Wilderness Lore was important enough (and provided
    enough utility, character-wise) to merit its inclusion as a stand-alone
    skill.

    - Doom

    - Doom

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  8. #8
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    > Again, there`s no correllation between ability to wield a sword and
    > ability to lead. Class- and theme-wise, aristocrat would be a better
    > model for historical generals than fighter, and aristocrats do have these
    > as class skills.

    Of course, in a fantasy world, people are gonna rally behind the guy in the
    armor who is raising his sword in the air and leading his men into battle
    before they will they guy who`s getting fat off of their taxes and has never
    seen combat in his life.

    Someone made reference to BR being "Arthurian"...and in Arthurian legends,
    Arthur was never portrayed as the kind of leader who hung way, WAY in the
    back...

    Tommy

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  9. #9
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Tommy Brownell" <tommyb@SSTELCO.COM>
    Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 4:53 PM


    > Of course, in a fantasy world, people are gonna rally behind the guy in
    the
    > armor who is raising his sword in the air and leading his men into battle
    > before they will they guy who`s getting fat off of their taxes and has
    never
    > seen combat in his life.

    That`s true, but you haven`t mentioned the Aristocrat. You don`t get a d8,
    +0.7 BAB per level, and full access to weapons and armor at the fat house.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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