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  1. #1
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Skills have become an important part of all DnD games, and perhaps especially so in non-dungeon-crawl settings like BR.

    Here are some optional rules that can be used with the existing skills system:

    1. Free skill selection for Intelligence (also found in Conan d20)

    When you level up under this rule ONLY those skill points derived from class are tied to your class skills. Any bonus skill points from high Intelligence or from racial features (such as for humans) can be spent on ANY skill at the more favorable 1/1 rate.

    This rule is intended to reward players with a high intelligence. This does of course mean that classes which already benefit from a high Intelligence (wizards and magicians comes to mind, and all humans also benefit from it), but should also make intelligence more attractive for other players.

    This option does not work too well with rule 2, but works reasonably well with rules 3-6.

    2. Flexible CC skills (from Don E)

    When you level up under this rule you are allowed to purchase ranks in CC skills at the more favorable 1/1 rate. However, your are now limited to a maximum number of ranks in a CC skill of (3+level)/2 - your class skills from any previous class HAVE NO EFFECT.

    This rule is intended to make every skill point count, but to only allow you to become really good at your class skills. So a fighter can now purchase spot at a resonable price, but he will never become as good at it as the ranger.

    This rule also encourages you to multiclass to enable you to max out your skill ranks. Incidentally, you also had to multiclass under the v.3.5 rules too enable you
    to purchase skill ranks in CC skills beyond the (3+level)/2 rank limit.

    This option does not work too well with rule 1, but works reasonably well with rules 3-6.

    3. Skill Dice and Training

    When you level up under this rule instead of getting fixed skill points per level, you get to roll a SKILL DICE to determine the number of skill points you get. The skill dice is similar to the hit dice, except you get to apply your Int modifier to the roll (minimum of 1).

    Your skill dice is determined by the number of skill points you would normally get; 2 pts = d4, 4 pts = d6, 6 pts = d8, and 8 pts = d10. You get four skill dice at first level, and elite characters get maximum skill points at first level (so a 1st level rogue would get 40 pts before adjustment for Int and race).

    The Skill Dice rule is ONLY intended for use together with rules for Training for skill ranks. By spending 1 month training, you can make a Training Check DC Variable to add one skill rank, but only up to the your maximum for your class/level (so a 2nd level human rogue with Int 13, could have a maximum of 60 ranks in skills).

    Reccomended - You can also decide to use fixed skill points with this rule, in which case characters get as many skill points as they would if getting fixed hps (d6 = 3, d8 = 4 and so on). In effect, characters are giving up a few skill points when they advance in level, in return for the potential to gain MORE skill points over time.

    This rule is intended to give this makes for a more gradual gain in skill points. It also offers the potential for more skill points, which is a good thing as characters have too few points as is IMO. It also makes skill gain similar to hp gain, which is kind of nice. Lastly it offers the opportunity for character development NOT tied to level, which is quite fitting in BR (but without really removing level gains as the primary road to prominence).

    In addition, training makes for a good activity during downtime between adventures (or quite periods for your domain). Maybe the wizard is spending time crafting magic items, but your fighter is actually doing something too - instead of just relaxing in the local tavern.

    Btw: I really liked the Training action from the BR box...

    This option works reasonably well with all the other options.

    4. Additional skill points

    When leveling up under this rule all classes get 2 extra skill points, giving fighters, clerics and wizard 4 each, and rogues a decent 10. Since characters are limited by max ranks for level, they will generally get more skills, but will not be better in the skills they would already choose.

    This rule is simply intended to provide characters with more skill points. I think all classes have too few skill points.Skills as cool, let characters have more of them.

    This option works reasonably well with all the other options, but if used with rule no. 3 above, increase the skill dice by one step instead (to d6 for fighters and d12 for rogues).

    5. Freeform Craft/Knowledge/Perform/Profession

    When leveling up under this rule all classes have all variants of the above skills as class skills - but only with the DM's approval (based on background, interests, study opportunities etc.).

    This option works reasonably well with all the other options.

    6. Trainable Craft/Knowledge/Perform/Profession

    This rule has no effect wehn leveling up. However, when Training in one of the skills above, the number of ranks in that skill does not count towards the maximum number of ranks for class/level.

    This rule is only intended for use with the Training rule.

    Having these skills are great for character-building, but VERY bad for most other purposes. The benefits of having many reanks in several profession and knowledge skills really won't affect your games very much...except to provide depth to characters withour taking away skill points from useful skills.

    Use any or all of the above...

    B
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  2. #2
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    I generally think that most of the suggestions you present here do not work overtly well with the current skill system; also, allow me to point out that your maximum ranks in a skill are defined by whether you have the skill as a class skill or not: raising a level in a class that has the skill as a cross-class skill only inhibits raising your ranks due to the 2-for-1 rule.

  3. #3
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RaspK_FOG@Feb 14 2005, 11:41 AM
    I generally think that most of the suggestions you present here do not work overtly well with the current skill system
    OK...anything in particular the would not work overtly well?
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  4. #4
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RaspK_FOG@Feb 14 2005, 11:41 AM
    also, allow me to point out that your maximum ranks in a skill are defined by whether you have the skill as a class skill or not: raising a level in a class that has the skill as a cross-class skill only inhibits raising your ranks due to the 2-for-1 rule.
    Yes, which is why I put in a change for rule no 2 so that only the class you are advancing in counts - otherwise the would be no difference between class and cross-class skills at all...
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  5. #5
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    That's for the worse! The system currently allows one to reach a point of expertise of the level he desires despite paying an awful lot to reach there, yet you went the whole way around! To mention a major design flaw, tell me exactly what happens when someone maxed out his ranks in a class skill in one level and in the next level the skill is considered to be a cross-class skill for that class?

    The idea of using Int-garnered skill points seems good at first glance, but having already seen it in Conan from a friend who purchased the book, I can tell you there is a flaw here as well: why should the wizard be as good a skill user as the rogue? This way, a very clever character beats all else.

    The whole thing boils down to: "Why should this be done?"

    The rule I have the most problem with are the die rolls: you did not even factor in how buffling can it be for a player to have his precious (and particularly important as a whole) 8 + Int skill points per level rounding down to 1 + Int... Why roll 1 die only and not more (say, 4d3)?

  6. #6
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RaspK_FOG@Feb 14 2005, 12:39 PM
    That's for the worse! The system currently allows one to reach a point of expertise of the level he desires despite paying an awful lot to reach there, yet you went the whole way around!
    I disagree - it is not worse, but it is certainly DIFFERENT. As you say this rule turns the system pretty much 180 degrees around. I really haven't seen many players buy any cross-class skills...they are too expensive to justify it...but by using this optional rule you work around that problem.

    I'm also pretty certain that under the standard v.3.5 skill system, a player who wants to be really good at a skill periodcally multiclasses over to a class which has that skill as a class skill. Multiclassing would have the same benefits under this system.
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  7. #7
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RaspK_FOG@Feb 14 2005, 12:39 PM
    To mention a major design flaw, tell me exactly what happens when someone maxed out his ranks in a class skill in one level and in the next level the skill is considered to be a cross-class skill for that class?
    Not a flaw at all - intentional rule design...

    You would not be able to purchase any ranks in that skill, since you would be limited to lvl+3/2 ranks in it.

    The only way to get around it would be for you to level up in a class which has it as a class skill...which is how this rule was intended to limit people from maxing out everything regardless of class/cross-class!
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  8. #8
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RaspK_FOG@Feb 14 2005, 12:39 PM
    The idea of using Int-garnered skill points seems good at first glance, but having already seen it in Conan from a friend who purchased the book, I can tell you there is a flaw here as well: why should the wizard be as good a skill user as the rogue? This way, a very clever character beats all else.
    I think this rule has a lot of merit (but it doesn't work very well with option no 2, so the two should not ).

    It gives added flexibility to skill selection, much like option no 2, only in another manner. I does make Int a slightly more desirable stat, which will of course benefit classes with already high Int the most.

    Anyway, a mid-clever rogue will still have way more skills than a smart wizard, and will likely have very different skills as well...so while it is certainly a slight gain for the wizard, it really doesn't tip the balance of power too much (the wizard is still mostly about spells and not skills).

    I'd even go as far as to claim that the wizard become not more powerful, but only more interesting as he now can pick a few skills ouside concentration, spellcraft and knowledge.

    B
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  9. #9
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RaspK_FOG@Feb 14 2005, 12:39 PM
    The rule I have the most problem with are the die rolls: you did not even factor in how buffling can it be for a player to have his precious (and particularly important as a whole) 8 + Int skill points per level rounding down to 1 + Int... Why roll 1 die only and not more (say, 4d3)?
    This rule is indeed the most radical departure from the norm.

    However, if you ready the entire option 3, this rule is intended for use with the Training option from the BR box. You give up a fixed number of skill points for a chancy dice roll, BUT you can eventually train until you get MORE skill points than with the fixed pts option. Which was the whole idea behind the option - a more gradual gain in skill points.

    The new skill dice is similar to the hit dice; hit points are also random (but could also be trained).

    B
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  10. #10
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RaspK_FOG@Feb 14 2005, 12:39 PM
    The whole thing boils down to: "Why should this be done?"
    Why not?

    These are optional rules only - posted in the homebrew forum to give players and DM ideas about how to do things in a different manner, hopefully adding to the play experience.

    B
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

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