Skills

Discussion of skills and feats in the e20 System, including their role in combat and noncombat encounters.

Moderator: GMSarli

Skills

Postby Shawn Burke » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:18 pm

It seems to me that the house rules topic is getting pretty big, so I'd like to suggest breaking it up into other tops.
I thought I'd start with Skills since its something I'm interested in.

Here's my idea of an ideal list.

Basic List

Athletics
Acrobatics
Bluff
Culture ? (includes linguistics maybe history?, religion?)
Endurance
Insight
Intimidate
Medicine
Perception
Persuasion
Survival
Sneak
Streetwise
Tactics

Modern/Sci-fi:
add...
Bureaucracy
Computers
Mechanics
Psionics (also works as general concentration skill?)
Pilot
Science
Space Exploration? (space, astronomy, galactic lore?)

Fantasy:
add...
Arcana
Religion
Thievery


We know it will be trained/untrained rather than skill points but I like the idea of having
several stages such as untrained/trained/expert/master/epic?
Another idea I had was having some uses of the skill be available only those with the expert rank, etc.

Thoughts?
Shawn Burke
 
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:33 am

Re: Skills

Postby j0lt » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:23 pm

Shawn Burke wrote:It seems to me that the house rules topic is getting pretty big, so I'd like to suggest breaking it up into other tops.

Good idea.

I'd actually like to see the skills be less consolidated than they were in SWSE/4e. Certain skills make sense together, such as Listen/Search/Spot going into Perception, but others such as Mechanics or Thievery contain many disparate abilities that someone shouldn't necessarily be good at all at the same time.
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Skills

Postby ronin » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:45 pm

j0lt wrote:
Shawn Burke wrote:It seems to me that the house rules topic is getting pretty big, so I'd like to suggest breaking it up into other tops.

Good idea.

I'd actually like to see the skills be less consolidated than they were in SWSE/4e. Certain skills make sense together, such as Listen/Search/Spot going into Perception, but others such as Mechanics or Thievery contain many disparate abilities that someone shouldn't necessarily be good at all at the same time.


I agree. Skills like repair allow you to repair just about anything, from a car to a jet which seems wrong.
ronin
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:48 pm

Re: Skills

Postby j0lt » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:10 am

There's a feat I've seen in both 4e and SWSE that I really liked: Jack of All Trades. I think we need such a feat in this game as well.
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Skills

Postby GMSarli » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:40 am

Here's an early list I came up with:

Nonweapon Skills
  • Acrobatics
  • Analytics (everything from research to crime scene investigation)
  • Athletics (possibly including Ride?)
  • Bureaucracy
  • Computers
  • Deception
  • Endurance (this is going to have some cool trained-only applications, like getting being able to draw from your reserve hit points more than once during a single encounter)
  • Focus (fills the Concentration and Use the Force niche, but will also be useful to more mundane characters)
  • Initiative
  • Intuition
  • Knowledge (no sub-skills -- instead, you automatically gain knowledge about different areas from your profession and background, and you can learn additional areas either through direct experience during play or by training behind the scenes -- also fills the general "trivia" niche)
  • Linguistics
  • Mechanics
  • Medicine
  • Perception
  • Persuasion (Diplomacy and Intimidation -- however, as I'm planning to de-couple skills from attributes, you can add your Strength bonus when intimidating someone, and it might go so far as adding your Intelligence bonus if you're trying to argue about something technical)
  • Pilot
  • Stealth
  • Streetwise (probably also includes stuff like Thievery in 4E)
  • Survival (possibly including Ride?)
  • Tactics

Weapon Skills
  • Archery
  • Chained Weapons (flails, chains, kusari-gama, etc.)
  • Gunnery (just about any weapon emplacement or vehicle-mounted weapon)
  • Hafted Weapons (axes, maces, hammers, etc.)
  • Heavy Blades
  • Light Blades
  • Longarms
  • Pole Weapons
  • Sidearms
  • Simple Weapons
  • Thrown Weapons
  • Unarmed
Rather than Exotic Weapons requiring their own feat for each one, I'd like to have a single "Advanced Weapon Training" feat that automatically makes you trained with all advanced weapons associated with a particular skill (e.g. bastard sword for Heavy Blades, 50-caliber sniper rifle for Longarms, etc.). Also, I'd like Progress Levels to play a role here -- if you're from a medieval setting, Gunnery teaches you about catapults and ballistae, not howitzers and particle cannons. Similarly, I'm thinking that Longarms might cover crossbows in the middle ages, muskets in the enlightenment, assault rifles in modern day, and blaster rifles in space opera.


This is by no means final, and I'm sure the weapon list is going to evolve quite a bit, but it gives you an idea of what I'm thinking of at the moment. :)
User avatar
GMSarli
Site Admin
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Denton TX

Re: Skills

Postby JuggernAlz » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:17 am

This is a grat list. Well done, but maybe you forgot "energy weapon" in your weapon list, otherwise where do you put a lightsaber? :mrgreen:
User avatar
JuggernAlz
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:15 am

Re: Skills

Postby GMSarli » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:52 am

JuggernAlz wrote:This is a grat list. Well done, but maybe you forgot "energy weapon" in your weapon list, otherwise where do you put a lightsaber? :mrgreen:


LOL

I'm currently planning on making "force blades" or "psi blades" or "fusion swords" or whatever -- I've never heard of this "lightsaber" of which you speak ;) -- a part of the "Light Blades" group. I think there should be some good crossover in fighting style if nothing else. :)
User avatar
GMSarli
Site Admin
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Denton TX

Re: Skills

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:13 am

GMSarli wrote:... I've never heard of this "lightsaber" of which you speak ;) ...

:lol: That's funny :lol:

BTW, did we want to include any armor or defense skills, or use feats and the like to allow characters to keep defenses balanced against attacks?
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Skills

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:59 am

With a thread on skills I'll post this here:

This is a number crunching exercise. The goal is to reach a number of static bonuses for skills so that a trained expert gets around +20 at level 20, and an untrained character gets around +10 (from level only). I am assuming that you get a number of skills that you can be trained in as a first level feature. Afterwards you take the following feats:

Skill Training:
+2 at level 1, +3 at level 7, +4 at level 13, and +5 at level 19.

Skill Focus feat, prerequistite: trained skill.
+1 at level 1, +2 at level 3, +3 at level 9, +4 at level 15.

Skill Mastery Feat, prerequisite: skill focus feat.
+2 at level 5, +3 at level 11, +4 at level 17

The following is a 20 level crunch table for best static skill bonus:
(This gives roughly a +1 bonus per level topping out at +23 at level 20)

Level 1 = +3 = +0 Level + 2 Training + 1 Focus
Level 2 = +4 = +1 Level + 2 Training + 1 Focus
Level 3 = +5 = +1 Level + 2 Training + 2 Focus
Level 4 = +6 = +2 Level + 2 Training + 2 Focus
Level 5 = +8 = +2 Level + 2 Training + 2 Focus + 2 Mastery
Level 6 = +9 = +3 Level + 2 Training + 2 Focus + 2 Mastery
Level 7 = +10 = +3 Level + 3 Training + 2 Focus + 2 Mastery
Level 8 = +11 = +4 Level + 3 Training + 2 Focus + 2 Mastery
Level 9 = +12 = +4 Level + 3 Training + 3 Focus + 2 Mastery
Level 10 = +13 = +5 Level + 3 Training + 3 Focus + 2 Mastery
Level 11 = +14 = +5 Level + 3 Training + 3 Focus + 3 Mastery
Level 12 = +15 = +6 Level + 3 Training + 3 Focus + 3 Mastery
Level 13 = +16 = +6 Level + 4 Training + 3 Focus + 3 Mastery
Level 14 = +17 = +7 Level + 4 Training + 3 Focus + 3 Mastery
Level 15 = +18 = +7 Level + 4 Training + 4 Focus + 3 Mastery
Level 16 = +19 = +8 Level + 4 Training + 4 Focus + 3 Mastery
Level 17 = +20 = +8 Level + 4 Training + 4 Focus + 4 Mastery
Level 18 = +21 = +9 Level + 4 Training + 4 Focus + 4 Mastery
Level 19 = +22 = +9 Level + 5 Training + 4 Focus + 4 Mastery
Level 20 = +23 = +10 Level + 5 Training + 4 Focus + 4 Mastery

Assuming a +2 ability score bonus (average), get the following bonuses (in 5 level increments):
(you can exchange any ability score bonus for the +2 bonus and "toggle" the results)
(average DC = bonus +10, assumes you hit ~50% of the time at that DC)
(high and low DC's are where this bonus comfortably "lives")

Skill low bonus = +2 ability + 1/2 level
Level 1 = +2 bonus -> average DC 12 (or 15 low)
Level 5 = +4 bonus -> average DC 14 (or 15 low)
Level 10 = +7 bonus -> average DC 17 (or 15 high or 20 low)
Level 15 = +9 bonus -> average DC 19 (or 20 low)
Level 20 = +12 bonus -> average DC 22 (or 20 high or 25 low)

Skill trained bonus = +2 ability + 1/2 level + training
Level 1 = +4 bonus -> average DC 14 (or 15 low)
Level 5 = +6 bonus -> average DC 16 (or 15 high)
Level 10 = +10 bonus -> average DC 20
Level 15 = +13 bonus -> average DC 23 (or 25 low)
Level 20 = +17 bonus -> average DC 27 (or 25 high or 30 low)

Skill focus bonus = +2 ability + 1/2 level + training + focus
Level 1 = +5 bonus -> average DC 15
Level 5 = +8 bonus -> average DC 18 (or 20 low)
Level 10 = +13 bonus -> average DC 23 (or 20 high or 25 low)
Level 15 = +17 bonus -> average DC 27 (or 25 high or 30 low)
Level 20 = +21 bonus -> average DC 31 (or 30 high)

Skill mastery bonus = +2 ability + 1/2 level + training + focus + mastery
Level 1 = +5 bonus -> average DC 15
Level 5 = +10 bonus -> average DC 20
Level 10 = +15 bonus -> average DC 25
Level 15 = +20 bonus -> average DC 30
Level 20 = +25 bonus -> average DC 35

Given the above analysis, use the following DCs

DC 10 = average difficulty for an untrained/low ability low level character, an easy DC
DC 15 = average difficulty for a trained low level character, normal DC
DC 20 = average difficulty for a master moderate level character, difficult DC
DC 25 = average difficulty for a master mid level character, very difficult DC
DC 30 = average difficulty for a master high level character, hard DC
DC 35 = average difficulty for a master 20th level character, very hard DC
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Skills

Postby j0lt » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:11 am

GMSarli wrote:Weapon Skills
  • Archery
  • Chained Weapons (flails, chains, kusari-gama, etc.)
  • Gunnery (just about any weapon emplacement or vehicle-mounted weapon)
  • Hafted Weapons (axes, maces, hammers, etc.)
  • Heavy Blades
  • Light Blades
  • Longarms
  • Pole Weapons
  • Sidearms
  • Simple Weapons
  • Thrown Weapons
  • Unarmed
Rather than Exotic Weapons requiring their own feat for each one, I'd like to have a single "Advanced Weapon Training" feat that automatically makes you trained with all advanced weapons associated with a particular skill (e.g. bastard sword for Heavy Blades, 50-caliber sniper rifle for Longarms, etc.). Also, I'd like Progress Levels to play a role here -- if you're from a medieval setting, Gunnery teaches you about catapults and ballistae, not howitzers and particle cannons. Similarly, I'm thinking that Longarms might cover crossbows in the middle ages, muskets in the enlightenment, assault rifles in modern day, and blaster rifles in space opera.


I like the list so far, and I'm totally with you on the weapons groups. One thing that we have to think about for that is where to draw the line between the various weapon groups. Firearms for example: is the operation of a pistol different enough from that of a rifle to warrant a separate skill? Or weapons like the Kusari-Gama, does it belong in chains or light blades? Perhaps a skill for double-weapons?
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Skills

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:22 am

j0lt wrote:... One thing that we have to think about for that is where to draw the line between the various weapon groups. Firearms for example: is the operation of a pistol different enough from that of a rifle to warrant a separate skill? Or weapons like the Kusari-Gama, does it belong in chains or light blades? Perhaps a skill for double-weapons?

I think pistols and longarms are sufficiently different to warrant a different skill. For instance, you might be able to make opportunity attacks with pistol shots, where with a longarm it would be prohibitive at best.

I think for texturing of skills there would be associated feats and talents that give you access to more skill abilities and attacks off the standard skill set.

Example:

Longarms (skill)- Modern weapons - includes rifles and shotguns.

Assault Weapons (feat) - prereq: longarms (skil) - skill attack with assault weapons (autofire: attack all figures in an area)

Burst Fire (talent) - prereq: longarms (skill) and assault weapons (feat) - special attack, fire short burst with automatic weapon against a single target.
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Skills

Postby j0lt » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:37 am

JaredGaume wrote:I think pistols and longarms are sufficiently different to warrant a different skill. For instance, you might be able to make opportunity attacks with pistol shots, where with a longarm it would be prohibitive at best.

Have you ever used a firearm? I've got some experience with them, and the function, maintenance, and even use is nearly identical. The biggest real difference is barrel-length and outer range limits. There's no benefit to be had from creating a false difference between them. It's like making a separate skill for a long bow or short bow.
Attacks of Opportunity? I'd say they're no different except possibly within melee range. And that can be taken care of with a sidebar in the equipment section.

I think for texturing of skills there would be associated feats and talents that give you access to more skill abilities and attacks off the standard skill set.


Yeah, that works, but we really need to make sure that the rules reflect real function, otherwise anyone who knows something about these things will just get a headache when they see the rules.

Revision:
Firearms (skill) - Modern weapons - includes pistols, rifles and shotguns (possibly crossbows).

Advanced Firearms (feat) - prereq: firearms (skill) - you are now trained in using automatic weapons (autofire: attack all figures in an area - line/cone AoE)

Burst Fire (talent) - prereq: firearms (skill) and advanced firearms (feat) - special attack, fire short burst with automatic weapon against a single target.
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Skills

Postby Cyber-Dave » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:35 am

So, I was thinking this a little last night, and I thought I would post this up here in response to the math exercise. I actually like a more front loaded mechanic. I either like a starting Defense of 15 and a +5 for being trained in a skill, or a starting defense of 10 and a -5 for not being trained in a skill. As to why: because if you front load the difference, and make a big portion of the difference training instead of level, it becomes easier for lower level NPCs to hit higher level PCs. One thing I don't like about 4e is that low level NPCs pretty much can't hit high level NPCs. Level is the biggest contributor to your bonus to hit/miss and the calculation of NPC stats like to hit and defense/AC. As a result, you must use NPCs of within 5 levels of the character for the NPC to be worth including in an adventure at all. That works for a heroic fantasy game. In a heroic fantasy game you want the heroes to feel untouchable to mere peasants. It doesn't, however, work for a genre neutral game. In a genre neutral game you want to be able to run certain hard-boiled games where the street rat with a gun can and will pose a danger. Maybe not as much of a danger as a trained special ops soldier, but enough of a danger that you shouldn't let him shoot at you willy nilly because you know he will never hit. If you front load the largest part of the difference into training, and then have level contribute a smaller/equal benefit over the course of the start/end of the game, lower level NPCs become much more of a threat than they would using a more level oriented mechanic. The result, that street rat with a gun is still dangerous to higher level opponents, if not as much of a danger as a special ops NPC soldier.

I just wanted to post those 2 cents as food for thought...
Cyber-Dave
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:37 pm

Re: Skills

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:57 am

j0lt wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:I think pistols and longarms are sufficiently different to warrant a different skill. For instance, you might be able to make opportunity attacks with pistol shots, where with a longarm it would be prohibitive at best.

Have you ever used a firearm? I've got some experience with them, and the function, maintenance, and even use is nearly identical. The biggest real difference is barrel-length and outer range limits. There's no benefit to be had from creating a false difference between them. It's like making a separate skill for a long bow or short bow.
Attacks of Opportunity? I'd say they're no different except possibly within melee range. And that can be taken care of with a sidebar in the equipment section.

Hey, this is America. Everybody has guns.

You are right in terms of maintenance and care, a gun is a gun. Some are short, some are long, some are funny.

I guess we just have different experiences with using weapons.
Me, give me a rifle or a shotgun and I'll hit targets all day long almost without fail.
Give me a pistol and at 50 feet I'm hit or miss.

When I was talking about opportunity attacks with firearms, I was referring to using them against somebody right on top of you. Someone who could just as easily grab your weapon as they could hit you with their fist, knife, hammer, whatever. With a longarm it is easier for them to be "inside" and you will probably have better luck either kicking them off or smacking them with the weapon. With a pistol you can pull it close and still shoot them.

Opportunity attacks at range is an entirely different conversation. To date, none of the d20 systems (3.0/3.5, d20M, SWSE, 4e) incorporate ranged opportunity attacks.
I think we should remedy this :twisted:

Maybe, with the skill you get basic firearms use/care. But you can get feats and talents that let you do more than point and shoot.

j0lt wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:I think for texturing of skills there would be associated feats and talents that give you access to more skill abilities and attacks off the standard skill set.


Yeah, that works, but we really need to make sure that the rules reflect real function, otherwise anyone who knows something about these things will just get a headache when they see the rules.

Revision:
Firearms (skill) - Modern weapons - includes pistols, rifles and shotguns (possibly crossbows).

Advanced Firearms (feat) - prereq: firearms (skill) - you are now trained in using automatic weapons (autofire: attack all figures in an area - line/cone AoE)

Burst Fire (talent) - prereq: firearms (skill) and advanced firearms (feat) - special attack, fire short burst with automatic weapon against a single target.

Yes. Yes. and Yes.

[sarcasm]Or we could just have "magical" bullets that are invisible and non-interactive with the environment until they are supposed to hit something.[/sarcasm]

Cyber-Dave wrote:So, I was thinking this a little last night, and I thought I would post this up here in response to the math exercise. I actually like a more front loaded mechanic. I either like a starting Defense of 15 and a +5 for being trained in a skill, or a starting defense of 10 and a -5 for not being trained in a skill. As to why: because if you front load the difference, and make a big portion of the difference training instead of level, it becomes easier for lower level NPCs to hit higher level PCs. One thing I don't like about 4e is that low level NPCs pretty much can't hit high level NPCs. Level is the biggest contributor to your bonus to hit/miss and the calculation of NPC stats like to hit and defense/AC. As a result, you must use NPCs of within 5 levels of the character for the NPC to be worth including in an adventure at all. That works for a heroic fantasy game. In a heroic fantasy game you want the heroes to feel untouchable to mere peasants. It doesn't, however, work for a genre neutral game. In a genre neutral game you want to be able to run certain hard-boiled games where the street rat with a gun can and will pose a danger. Maybe not as much of a danger as a trained special ops soldier, but enough of a danger that you shouldn't let him shoot at you willy nilly because you know he will never hit. If you front load the largest part of the difference into training, and then have level contribute a smaller/equal benefit over the course of the start/end of the game, lower level NPCs become much more of a threat than they would using a more level oriented mechanic. The result, that street rat with a gun is still dangerous to higher level opponents, if not as much of a danger as a special ops NPC soldier.

I just wanted to post those 2 cents as food for thought...

Show it. Or I can do it later when I get the chance. Just what would be all of the ancillary static bonuses (-5 untrained, +5 trained, +3 focus, +?? expertise, +?? mastery)? And when would you get them?

It's easy to throw down bonuses and penalties, but as your work on Land of Nod shows, in SWSE there was an obvious gap between "good ideas" and "good execution". Hence the need to bump up to a base 15 defense (+ ability bonus + class/feat bonuses + other bonuses), plus some of the other good work you have done.

Gary indicated that he wanted to "steal" an idea from 4e, one-hit wonders (aka Minions, or Mooks if you like). This creates NPCs that are a threat to the players, similar bonuses and all, but go down easy (only 1 hit point).
Even in d20M and SWSE you (the players) were usually not facing anyone (NPCs) more than 4-8 levels higher than you anyway. And those were usually the "boss" fights.
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Skills

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:32 pm

I just joined the whole kickstarter thing to get in on this e20 book because it sounds exciting to actually be involved in the design process, and on the topic of skills... I think it would be really awesome to see an actualy d20 style game that uses combat skills, like those listed above, along with non combat skills, and put some divorce between using just a simple Bab that is so typical, and boring, for pretty much all of combat... if that makes any sense.

I think that this game can have enough versatility to have options regarding skills, based on the kind of campaign the GM wants to run. Kind of like the different levels of heroism in the other thread...some GMs might want a super detailed skills list, and others might want the cinematic, lets have some skills but not worry about the details, and be quite happy with a single skill for Ranged Combat, one for Melee, one for Unarmed, and one for Defense (Dodge skill). Then the moderately detailed group can have Pistols, Rifles, Machineguns, etc... and then finally for those who want the super detailed list, they can have their Longsword, Shortsword, Broadsword, Knife, Dagger, etc... skills list.

Having a variety of options would be best, using the middle ground as "Default" and going from there. Basically, you have your Savage Worlds skills list, your D&D3.5 type skills list, and then your Gurps level of skills list. All three play to different types of games, and each could be incorporated into the different levels of Heroism as listed in the other thread.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Skills

Postby GMSarli » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:37 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Having a variety of options would be best, using the middle ground as "Default" and going from there. Basically, you have your Savage Worlds skills list, your D&D3.5 type skills list, and then your Gurps level of skills list. All three play to different types of games, and each could be incorporated into the different levels of Heroism as listed in the other thread.

That is a really good idea. Something like that can be fit in a couple of "optional rule" sidebars, so it wouldn't even take up that much room!

I am totally doing this. :D
User avatar
GMSarli
Site Admin
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Denton TX

Re: Skills

Postby bone_naga » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:15 pm

The Analytical skill seems to me like it should be separate skills. Investigations could be handled with skills like Insight, Perception, etc. Research could be Computers or just a relevant knowledge skill. Why is Thievery not on the list? Shouldn't Thievery still be a valid skill in modern times?

For weapon skills, I agree with separating pistols and rifles. I also can hit targets all day long with a rifle, but with a pistol, well I'll hit you but I might empty the clip while doing so. And may I suggest an Explosives or Demolition skill?
User avatar
bone_naga
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Re: Skills

Postby GMSarli » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:32 pm

bone_naga wrote:The Analytical skill seems to me like it should be separate skills. Investigations could be handled with skills like Insight, Perception, etc. Research could be Computers or just a relevant knowledge skill.


Think of it like this: Perception finds clues, but Analytics interprets them. (A good crime scene investigator would be able to do both, but your forensics specialist back at the lab might only be good at the latter.)

Also, when I say "research," I'm not referring only to looking stuff up -- it's also the ability to do real research & development stuff, which could be anything from pure science to engineering a better car. (Being a total science nerd, I kind of like the idea of getting a skill that embraces this kind of geekocity. :D )

BTW, this won't be a purely non-combat thing -- for example, the Smart Hero (or whatever name we give the class) could have a talent that uses Analytics as an attack vs. an enemy's Fortitude to identify and exploit a design flaw.

bone_naga wrote:Why is Thievery not on the list? Shouldn't Thievery still be a valid skill in modern times?


Yes, but I want Thievery and Gather Information to be rolled into one Streetwise skill. Here's my reasoning: Not every person who knows how to find a ... ah, herbal specialist will know how to pick a pocket or open a lock, but virtually everyone who knows how to pick pockets and open locks will be able to hook you up. So let's make the "gather information" part usable untrained, and the "thievery" part trained-only. :)

bone_naga wrote:For weapon skills, I agree with separating pistols and rifles. I also can hit targets all day long with a rifle, but with a pistol, well I'll hit you but I might empty the clip while doing so.


That's been my experience, too.

bone_naga wrote:And may I suggest an Explosives or Demolition skill?


At the moment, I'm leaning toward making it a trained-only aspect of Mechanics.
User avatar
GMSarli
Site Admin
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Denton TX

Re: Skills

Postby ronin » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:58 pm

GMSarli wrote:
Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Having a variety of options would be best, using the middle ground as "Default" and going from there. Basically, you have your Savage Worlds skills list, your D&D3.5 type skills list, and then your Gurps level of skills list. All three play to different types of games, and each could be incorporated into the different levels of Heroism as listed in the other thread.

That is a really good idea. Something like that can be fit in a couple of "optional rule" sidebars, so it wouldn't even take up that much room!

I am totally doing this. :D


Stacie had another good idea on a similar thread on ENWorld concerning 4e Alternity-

Originally Posted by Stacie GmrGrl
It could work like Alternity, every so many skill ranks, and 4e Alternity would work better with more skills than D&D and use skill ranks, but every so many ranks a person can pick a Skill Power based on the skill, enhancing the use of that skill when you use it.

This sounds like something worth thinking about to me. I am not sure how many of these "skill powers" would be a good number for each skill but the idea is interesting to say the least.
ronin
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:48 pm

Re: Skills

Postby ronin » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:28 pm

GMSarli wrote:
Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Having a variety of options would be best, using the middle ground as "Default" and going from there. Basically, you have your Savage Worlds skills list, your D&D3.5 type skills list, and then your Gurps level of skills list. All three play to different types of games, and each could be incorporated into the different levels of Heroism as listed in the other thread.

That is a really good idea. Something like that can be fit in a couple of "optional rule" sidebars, so it wouldn't even take up that much room!

I am totally doing this. :D


Stacie had another good idea on a similar thread on ENWorld concerning 4e Alternity-

Originally Posted by Stacie GmrGrl
It could work like Alternity, every so many skill ranks, and 4e Alternity would work better with more skills than D&D and use skill ranks, but every so many ranks a person can pick a Skill Power based on the skill, enhancing the use of that skill when you use it.

This sounds like something worth thinking about to me. I am not sure how many of these "skill powers" would be a good number for each skill but the idea is interesting to say the least.
ronin
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:48 pm

Re: Skills

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:38 pm

ronin wrote:
GMSarli wrote:
Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Having a variety of options would be best, using the middle ground as "Default" and going from there. Basically, you have your Savage Worlds skills list, your D&D3.5 type skills list, and then your Gurps level of skills list. All three play to different types of games, and each could be incorporated into the different levels of Heroism as listed in the other thread.

That is a really good idea. Something like that can be fit in a couple of "optional rule" sidebars, so it wouldn't even take up that much room!

I am totally doing this. :D


Stacie had another good idea on a similar thread on ENWorld concerning 4e Alternity-

Originally Posted by Stacie GmrGrl
It could work like Alternity, every so many skill ranks, and 4e Alternity would work better with more skills than D&D and use skill ranks, but every so many ranks a person can pick a Skill Power based on the skill, enhancing the use of that skill when you use it.

This sounds like something worth thinking about to me. I am not sure how many of these "skill powers" would be a good number for each skill but the idea is interesting to say the least.


Wow totally cool, somebody who recognized my name. Sweet!! :) I'm making a mark in the world now ;)

Sorry, I got excited.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Skills

Postby bone_naga » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:39 pm

GMSarli wrote:Think of it like this: Perception finds clues, but Analytics interprets them. (A good crime scene investigator would be able to do both, but your forensics specialist back at the lab might only be good at the latter.)

Also, when I say "research," I'm not referring only to looking stuff up -- it's also the ability to do real research & development stuff, which could be anything from pure science to engineering a better car. (Being a total science nerd, I kind of like the idea of getting a skill that embraces this kind of geekocity. :D )

BTW, this won't be a purely non-combat thing -- for example, the Smart Hero (or whatever name we give the class) could have a talent that uses Analytics as an attack vs. an enemy's Fortitude to identify and exploit a design flaw.

Ok that makes a little more sense. I'm not sure about R&D. I definitely see how it could apply, but I just wouldn't want to see it worded in a way where someone develops something solely based on that skill, even if something else like Science or Mechanics should also apply (this coming from someone currently working in the R&D field; I'd be an example of someone with the Analytical skill but in some cases I would be completely useless without technical help from the various engineers I work with).

I also like the idea of using it to analyze enemy attacks. I've incorporated rules like that into games ever since playing 2e AD&D. I had assumed that would be a use of Tactics, although I can easily see how this skill would apply.

GMSarli wrote:Yes, but I want Thievery and Gather Information to be rolled into one Streetwise skill. Here's my reasoning: Not every person who knows how to find a ... ah, herbal specialist will know how to pick a pocket or open a lock, but virtually everyone who knows how to pick pockets and open locks will be able to hook you up. So let's make the "gather information" part usable untrained, and the "thievery" part trained-only. :)

I'm not sure if I agree with that. Thievery doesn't necessarily have to represent a thief, and therefore shouldn't necessarily be tied to Streetwise. Likewise, someone might have a strong background on the streets or just be very good at social networking, and thus might warrant being trained in the skill, but never fell in with the criminal element, or that sort of work was just never his forte.

I realize this argument could apply to a lot of skills. Thievery could be broken down into subskills, along with stealth, perception, and a host of other skills. However, Thievery and Streetwise each utilize entirely different skillsets. One relies partly on your technical knowledge of certain devices, and also on your manual dexterity. The other relies partly on knowledge of the streets and criminal or fringe elements and also on your ability to network with certain people. I don't see a strong relation between those skills other than that roguish characters are likely to take both of them. However, that to me is like saying diplomacy and intuition/insight should be one skill just because a lot of social-oriented characters will learn both, or that all guns should be the same proficiency just because an avid shooter will have all of them. Also, I think each of these skills is already strong enough to stand on their own, and so don't really need to be combined.

bone_naga wrote:At the moment, I'm leaning toward making it a trained-only aspect of Mechanics.

I would also recommend against that. Explosives and mechanics are slightly related but not enough so to combine them. You could just as easily combine it with Science because it deals with physics. However, you can learn either one and have next to no knowledge of the other. I guess this kind of comes across as the "guy who can't swim" argument against Athletics, but as someone that works with explosives on a regular basis, I strongly feel they should remain separate skills. I'm trying to look at this as a balance between realism and game balance/abstraction/ease of play, but I think it is useful enough to stand as a combat skill similar to various weapon skills. Otherwise you're going to have to wonder how the car mechanic is able to disarm bombs.
User avatar
bone_naga
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Re: Skills

Postby Cyber-Dave » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:27 pm

JaredGaume wrote:Show it. Or I can do it later when I get the chance. Just what would be all of the ancillary static bonuses (-5 untrained, +5 trained, +3 focus, +?? expertise, +?? mastery)? And when would you get them?

It's easy to throw down bonuses and penalties, but as your work on Land of Nod shows, in SWSE there was an obvious gap between "good ideas" and "good execution". Hence the need to bump up to a base 15 defense (+ ability bonus + class/feat bonuses + other bonuses), plus some of the other good work you have done.

Gary indicated that he wanted to "steal" an idea from 4e, one-hit wonders (aka Minions, or Mooks if you like). This creates NPCs that are a threat to the players, similar bonuses and all, but go down easy (only 1 hit point).
Even in d20M and SWSE you (the players) were usually not facing anyone (NPCs) more than 4-8 levels higher than you anyway. And those were usually the "boss" fights.


Ok, well, as a quick example: Star Wars Nonheroics in the Saga RAW have a BAB of 1/2 their level. Heroes in the RAW have a Defense bonus of their heroic level. That means that endgame you are talking about a base Defense of 30 vs. an attack bonus of +10. That assumes that both the hero and the non-heroic are both level 20. That means the nonheroic needs to roll a natural 20 to hit the hero. A level 10 nonheroic would not be able to hit the hero at all.

Now lets examine what I did with the Land of Nod. I shifted the numbers, frontloading attack and defense. Everyone gets a BAB of 1/2 their level. Training in a weapon gets you a +5 bonus to hit. Everyone starts out with a defense of 15. Everyone gains only 1/2 their heroic level as a bonus to defense. Endgame, assuming that a nonheroic doesn't ever take a weapon proficiency, its a +10 bonus to hit vs. a base Defense of 25. The nonheroic of equal level only needs a 15 or higher to hit. If the nonheroic takes weapon training it only needs a 10 or higher to hit. A much lower level nonheroic would be able to hit the party just as well as a 20th level noheroic in the Saga RAW. Meanwhile heroic characters have pretty much the same chance to hit/miss each other that they do in the RAW (assuming a similar investment in the attackers attack feats and the defenders defense feats). Of course, class bonuses to defense alter this a bit and make things more complicated. With possible bonuses to defense from classes factored in, endgame a characters base reflex defense will be between 15-19 (not counting stat modifiers) where a characters base attack bonus (again, not counting stat modifiers) will be 15-21 (that does take into account three possible feats used to boost ones attack bonus).

The basic rule of thumb is: the more the bonuses to hit come from level, the more a level gap between heroes and NPCs will render the lower level characters useless, and make them not worth the encounter. The more you frontload the bonus, the more the bonus comes from training/feats, then the larger the level gap can be between NPCs and heroes before the NPCs really shouldn't be included in the adventure at all. Which is something I like. In my ideal world, about 50% of the total endgame bonus to hit/defense would come from feats/skills, and 50% would come from level. So, say a total of +10 should be accumulated via feats and skills, and a total of +10 should be accumulated by levels, for example (both in terms of attacks and defenses). Which is pretty much how I have the Land of Nod set up. Not exactly. But I tried to get things as close as I could to that without totally borking the class balance of Star Wars Saga.

Which doesn't mean you have to start with a 15 defense. Things would work just as well if all defenses started at 10, and everyone took a -5 penalty to use any skill they are not trained in. Skill training wouldn't give you a bonus at all, it would simply remove the -5 penalty to skill use. Skill focus would give you a +5 bonus to your skill. A similar defense feat would give you a +5 bonus to a defense. Both defenses and skills would go up by 1/2 a characters level. That is the sort of ideal game mechanic that I personally would like... but I don't see that mechanic as being any different than starting out with defenses at 15, and having training grant a +5 bonus to hit. It is the same thing in the end...

Then again, something else I would like (and which I did with The Land of Nod) is I would like the base Saga Reflex Defense (or the equivalent in e20) to end up about 5 points lower than the base attack bonus. The difference should be made up by bonuses to Defense from cover. I am a firm believer that the game should reward players for seeking cover in a gunfight, and punish them for standing out in the open...

The way I did that with the Land of Nod was as follows: I did not create a feat that grants a bonus to Reflex defense to counter the bonus that can possibly be gained by "weapon master" or the skill focus weapon allegory. This means that the base endgame reflex defense that one can get is 25. Meanwhile, the base endgame bonus to attack one can gain is +20. That does not factor in class bonuses to Reflex defense or the weapon focus (+1 to hit) feat. The point is, I altered the math of the game slightly so that instead of it being slightly easier to miss an equal level heroic character it is slightly easier to hit an equal level heroic character. The difference needs to be made up with cover. Enough cover, and it becomes genuinely hard (if not virtually impossible) to hit a character of the same heroic level.

Again, class bonuses to defense can even this out a little. Things are more complicated than the base numbers. But I am just tossing out idea brainstorming here.

My point is: I actually LIKE frontloaded mechanics. I prefer about 50% of a characters total endgame bonuses to attack and defense to be granted by feats/talents which can be taken in the first few levels of the game. Then, over the course of the rest of the game, the other 50% grows by level. That is just how I like things. It is cool if no one agrees with me! I'm not saying everyone has to see things my way. But that is just how I prefer my game mechanics. The important thing for me is not that the game is not frontloaded, but that the game scales its defense, attacks, and skills, equally.
Cyber-Dave
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:37 pm

Re: Skills

Postby GMSarli » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:18 pm

bone_naga wrote:
GMSarli wrote:Think of it like this: Perception finds clues, but Analytics interprets them. (A good crime scene investigator would be able to do both, but your forensics specialist back at the lab might only be good at the latter.)

Also, when I say "research," I'm not referring only to looking stuff up -- it's also the ability to do real research & development stuff, which could be anything from pure science to engineering a better car. (Being a total science nerd, I kind of like the idea of getting a skill that embraces this kind of geekocity. :D )

BTW, this won't be a purely non-combat thing -- for example, the Smart Hero (or whatever name we give the class) could have a talent that uses Analytics as an attack vs. an enemy's Fortitude to identify and exploit a design flaw.

Ok that makes a little more sense. I'm not sure about R&D. I definitely see how it could apply, but I just wouldn't want to see it worded in a way where someone develops something solely based on that skill, even if something else like Science or Mechanics should also apply (this coming from someone currently working in the R&D field; I'd be an example of someone with the Analytical skill but in some cases I would be completely useless without technical help from the various engineers I work with).


The actual R&D stuff would presumably involve multiple skills rather than being Analytics or Mechanics alone; ultimately, it might look similar to a "complex skill check" in Unearthed Arcana or a skill challenge in 4E. (I seriously doubt that we'd be able to fit any substantial design/construction rules in the core rulebook because of how many pages such a system requires, but I'm trying to think ahead.)

bone_naga wrote:I also like the idea of using it to analyze enemy attacks. I've incorporated rules like that into games ever since playing 2e AD&D. I had assumed that would be a use of Tactics, although I can easily see how this skill would apply.


Actually, I'd like there to be something like that, too -- the Analytics one might be to spot a weakness (e.g. ignoring some DR, treating their massive damage threshold as if it were lower, or maybe just a straight damage bonus, etc.), but the Tactics one might be something that lets you anticipate actions (e.g. giving a straight bonus to defense or attack, or maybe letting you get some free movement as a reaction).

I want as many skills as possible to be used by at least one talent for a solid, useful combat application, and I think the real trick is to find ways to make each talent stand apart from all the others. (This is something 4E didn't get quite right, IMHO; at least on the surface, a lot of attack powers feel like clones of one another -- not 100% identical, of course, but the variations sometimes aren't enough to carve out a sufficient "identity space" to make a given power memorable.)

bone_naga wrote:
GMSarli wrote:Yes, but I want Thievery and Gather Information to be rolled into one Streetwise skill. Here's my reasoning: Not every person who knows how to find a ... ah, herbal specialist will know how to pick a pocket or open a lock, but virtually everyone who knows how to pick pockets and open locks will be able to hook you up. So let's make the "gather information" part usable untrained, and the "thievery" part trained-only. :)

I'm not sure if I agree with that. Thievery doesn't necessarily have to represent a thief, and therefore shouldn't necessarily be tied to Streetwise. Likewise, someone might have a strong background on the streets or just be very good at social networking, and thus might warrant being trained in the skill, but never fell in with the criminal element, or that sort of work was just never his forte.

I realize this argument could apply to a lot of skills. Thievery could be broken down into subskills, along with stealth, perception, and a host of other skills. However, Thievery and Streetwise each utilize entirely different skillsets. One relies partly on your technical knowledge of certain devices, and also on your manual dexterity. The other relies partly on knowledge of the streets and criminal or fringe elements and also on your ability to network with certain people. I don't see a strong relation between those skills other than that roguish characters are likely to take both of them. However, that to me is like saying diplomacy and intuition/insight should be one skill just because a lot of social-oriented characters will learn both, or that all guns should be the same proficiency just because an avid shooter will have all of them. Also, I think each of these skills is already strong enough to stand on their own, and so don't really need to be combined.


This is one of those places where we have competing needs. From a pure simulationist perspective, you're absolutely right: These are sufficiently dissimilar that they should be separate skills, and the only reason why one group tends to know both is that they learn both skills separately, not because they're automatically linked.

But from a metagame, character-building perspective, there's an important question: Will the player think it's worth spending two skills on these two items? Thievery, certainly, is worth one ... but is Streetwise worth a second one?

Athletics is a great example of this thinking in action: The skills are functionally very different, but individually they're not particularly attractive. However, they're sufficiently thematically related that you can justify lumping them together, even if they're functionally dissimilar -- and when put under the name "Athletics," it's easy to justify (e.g. "Of course they have something in common! All of these are sports!"). :)

Using the same logic, I'm currently inclined toward putting these two together -- I'm certainly not set on that, and you do make valid points, but that's the way I'm leaning at the moment.

That said, one thing I'd like to do is build a skill system that has a little bit of redundancy in it -- not mechanically redundant, but methodologically redundant. The fact is that there's more than one way to solve the same problem: Streetwise might provide the ability to pick locks, but Mechanics provides the ability to disable/disassemble locks and Computers provides the ability to tell the security system to unlock the door for you. The same would go for "gather information" situations: Streetwise might involve literally bar-hopping, checking in with underworld contacts, etc., but Computers would let you search a database for that information, Analytics would let you examine existing clues to come to a conclusion, and even Bureaucracy might let you know who would have the answer (and what forms to fill out to get them to give it to you).

bone_naga wrote:
GMSarli wrote:At the moment, I'm leaning toward making it a trained-only aspect of Mechanics.

I would also recommend against that. Explosives and mechanics are slightly related but not enough so to combine them. You could just as easily combine it with Science because it deals with physics. However, you can learn either one and have next to no knowledge of the other. I guess this kind of comes across as the "guy who can't swim" argument against Athletics, but as someone that works with explosives on a regular basis, I strongly feel they should remain separate skills. I'm trying to look at this as a balance between realism and game balance/abstraction/ease of play, but I think it is useful enough to stand as a combat skill similar to various weapon skills. Otherwise you're going to have to wonder how the car mechanic is able to disarm bombs.


How about if it's a background-enabled specialization within Mechanics? (Earlier, I suggested having a single Knowledge skill, but your actual areas of knowledge are determined by background and profession, and then you can add more in play without having to buy a completely new skill.)

Actually, the "different specializations" (or "familiarity") thing could be used for a lot of different skills -- Mechanics, Computers, Pilot, and even all the weapon skills. You make it where experience in-game and down-time training both enable you to get more mileage out of the same skills without having to buy a new one. (And, for a simpler campaign where you don't want to deal with that level of detail, just assume you're familiar with everything of your progress level.)
User avatar
GMSarli
Site Admin
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Denton TX

Re: Skills

Postby bone_naga » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:39 pm

GMSarli wrote:That said, one thing I'd like to do is build a skill system that has a little bit of redundancy in it -- not mechanically redundant, but methodologically redundant. The fact is that there's more than one way to solve the same problem: Streetwise might provide the ability to pick locks, but Mechanics provides the ability to disable/disassemble locks and Computers provides the ability to tell the security system to unlock the door for you. The same would go for "gather information" situations: Streetwise might involve literally bar-hopping, checking in with underworld contacts, etc., but Computers would let you search a database for that information, Analytics would let you examine existing clues to come to a conclusion, and even Bureaucracy might let you know who would have the answer (and what forms to fill out to get them to give it to you).

Hmmm. While I still lean towards separate skills this could work, maybe incorporating your specialization idea below for explosives? I definitely like the idea of redundancy between skills. While each skill remains unique and one method will be more advantageous in some circumstances than others, it makes it easier for a party to get by even if there is a gap in their skillset. I ran a modified 3e game with lots of skill redundancy similar to what you described and I enjoyed that aspect.

bone_naga wrote:How about if it's a background-enabled specialization within Mechanics? (Earlier, I suggested having a single Knowledge skill, but your actual areas of knowledge are determined by background and profession, and then you can add more in play without having to buy a completely new skill.)

Actually, the "different specializations" (or "familiarity") thing could be used for a lot of different skills -- Mechanics, Computers, Pilot, and even all the weapon skills. You make it where experience in-game and down-time training both enable you to get more mileage out of the same skills without having to buy a new one. (And, for a simpler campaign where you don't want to deal with that level of detail, just assume you're familiar with everything of your progress level.)

That sounds like an interesting possibility. I like that idea of the system being as simple or complicated as the players desire. I am curious as to how this specialization works. Is it entirely RP based, are there slots or some form of mechanical aspect to this?
User avatar
bone_naga
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Re: Skills

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:43 pm

Just throwing this out there (bone-naga, Gary):

We have talked about combat skills (firearms, blades, etc...) giving you a basic scope. You take feats to get to the really exotic stuff, and talents to get special use out of it.

Maybe we can do the same thing here.

For example:

Mechanics (skill) - untrained - you can use technology, use tools, and make basic repairs.

Mechanics (skill) - trained - you can do the above, make advanced repairs, disable devices, etc...

Demolitions (feat) - prerequisite: mechanics skill training - you can use or disable explosives.

Grenadier (talent) - Prerequisites: mechanics skill training and demolitions - you make explosives (like grenades or placed devices) attacks using your Mechanics skill. Your explosives attacks affect a wider area (i.e. burst 1 (15' radius) becomes burst 2 (25' radius). (...or do more damage, I don't know which would be more appropriate).
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Skills

Postby JaredGaume » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:39 am

This is another number crunching exercise.
In this exercise I am putting Cyber-Dave's numbers on the board. If more explaination is needed, I defer to Cyber-Dave for clarification.

I am making a number of assumptions based on Cyber-Dave's previous posts:

Skill Training: Grants a +5 bonus

Skill Focus feat, prerequistite: trained skill.
+3 bonus

Skill "bonus" Feat: from something (race, class, occupation?)
+2 bonus??? @ level ??? ( I am assuming level 1)

The following is a 20 level crunch table for best static skill bonus:
(This front loads the character with a +10 bonus at level 1, topping out at +20 at level 20)

Level 1 = +10 = +0 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 2 = +11 = +1 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 3 = +11 = +1 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 4 = +12 = +2 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 5 = +12 = +2 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 6 = +13 = +3 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 7 = +13 = +3 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 8 = +14 = +4 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 9 = +14 = +4 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 10 = +15 = +5 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 11 = +15 = +5 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 12 = +16 = +6 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 13 = +16 = +6 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 14 = +17 = +7 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 15 = +17 = +7 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 16 = +18 = +8 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 17 = +18 = +8 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 18 = +19 = +9 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 19 = +19 = +9 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"
Level 20 = +20 = +10 Level + 5 Training + 3 Focus + 2 "bonus"

Assuming a +2 ability score bonus (average), get the following bonuses (in 5 level increments):
(you can exchange any ability score bonus for the +2 bonus and "toggle" the results)
(average DC = bonus +15, hitting between 25-50% of the time)

Skill low bonus = +2 ability + 1/2 level
Level 1 = +2 bonus -> average DC 17 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 12)
Level 5 = +4 bonus -> average DC 19 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 14)
Level 10 = +7 bonus -> average DC 22 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 17)
Level 15 = +9 bonus -> average DC 24 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 19)
Level 20 = +12 bonus -> average DC 27 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 22)

Skill trained bonus = +2 ability + 1/2 level + training
Level 1 = +7 bonus -> average DC 22 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 17)
Level 5 = +9 bonus -> average DC 24 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 19)
Level 10 = +12 bonus -> average DC 27 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 22)
Level 15 = +14 bonus -> average DC 29 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 24)
Level 20 = +17 bonus -> average DC 32 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 27)

Skill focus bonus = +2 ability + 1/2 level + training + focus
Level 1 = +10 bonus -> average DC 25 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 20)
Level 5 = +12 bonus -> average DC 27 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 22)
Level 10 = +15 bonus -> average DC 30 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 25)
Level 15 = +17 bonus -> average DC 32 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 27)
Level 20 = +20 bonus -> average DC 35 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 30)

Skill mastery bonus = +2 ability + 1/2 level + training + focus + mastery
Level 1 = +12 bonus -> average DC 27 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 22)
Level 5 = +14 bonus -> average DC 29 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 24)
Level 10 = +17 bonus -> average DC 32 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 27)
Level 15 = +19 bonus -> average DC 34 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 29)
Level 20 = +22 bonus -> average DC 37 (25% hit rate, 50% @ DC 32)

Given the above analysis, use the following DCs

DC 10 = not used, base DC = 15 (see below)
DC 15 = average difficulty for a trained low level character, easy DC
DC 20 = average difficulty for a trained moderate level character, normal DC
DC 25 = average difficulty for a focused mid level character, difficult DC
DC 30 = average difficulty for a focused and "bonused" high level character, very difficult DC
DC 35 = average difficulty for a focused and "bonused" 20th level character, hard DC
DC 40 = very hard DC for a focused and "bonused" 20th level character
Last edited by JaredGaume on Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Skills

Postby KingOfIllefarn » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:42 am

What about some kind of "proficiency" system within the skills. At first that sounds backwards and overly complex, but I think we could implement it smoothly. It would still fulfill the primary goal of avoiding the skill point/rank bog, while affording us a level of differentiation among aspects of a broad skill.

For example: Disable Device and Open Lock (probably together) and Demolitions could be proficiencies of the Mechanics skill. (I DO NOT advocate calling them proficiencies; that is a tongue tangler that I have been glad to be rid of for almost ten years.) As far as the Sleight of Hand and Pick Pockets aspects go, they would be better (also together I think) as an aspect of the Stealth skill. You see this could be a way of enabling those skill use tie-ins in SWSA that don't quite ring true. Like Feint as part of the Deceive skill. (Or Demolitions as part of Mechanics.)

What I'm thinking is that you would get a number of "picks" (or some such) at first level that you could use to gain "proficiency" in various subskills. Some skills would come with certain intrinsic "picks" while others would allow a "pick" when acquiring the skill (such as Knowledge). It would be a neat way of dealing with such distinctions as Athletics (Ride) and Athletics (Swim), as well as the Knowledges Gary mentioned earlier. One can certainly make an argument for any "subskill" to be its own "pick" or "specialty", but practicality dictates minimizing this. So for instance, Athletics could come "out of the box" with the aspects Run, Jump, and "Climb". Meanwhile Ride, Swim, and Mountaineering could be "picks".

This could also go towards the idea of varying the detail level of skills. We could add in option language that the GM can ignore the aspects rule and just use the base skills, possibly with an intermediate step using the various "trained only" use rules. We would therefore have three degrees of grain for the skill system, while still avoiding (most) of the hassle of tracking skills.
User avatar
KingOfIllefarn
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:18 pm

Re: Skills

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:29 am

I vote that Feint be its own skill, or a Combat Action instead of being tied to the Bluff skill or Deceive skill. Feinting is a combat action and it should be considered as such. And definately not tied to a single Ability.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Skills

Postby j0lt » Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:02 am

JaredGaume wrote:You are right in terms of maintenance and care, a gun is a gun. Some are short, some are long, some are funny.

I guess we just have different experiences with using weapons.
Me, give me a rifle or a shotgun and I'll hit targets all day long almost without fail.
Give me a pistol and at 50 feet I'm hit or miss.

All of that can and should be taken care of in the weapon's stats via Range increments, etc...

When I was talking about opportunity attacks with firearms, I was referring to using them against somebody right on top of you. Someone who could just as easily grab your weapon as they could hit you with their fist, knife, hammer, whatever. With a longarm it is easier for them to be "inside" and you will probably have better luck either kicking them off or smacking them with the weapon. With a pistol you can pull it close and still shoot them.

Opportunity attacks at range is an entirely different conversation. To date, none of the d20 systems (3.0/3.5, d20M, SWSE, 4e) incorporate ranged opportunity attacks.
I think we should remedy this :twisted:

Maybe, with the skill you get basic firearms use/care. But you can get feats and talents that let you do more than point and shoot.

Yeah, there was a houserule I remember on the Gleemax d20 Modern boards that was done by backstabbist. He had made a feat called Reactive Shooter which allowed a ranged Attack of Opportunity with a firearm. I think it's definitely a good idea to incorporate something like that. As the rules in d20 Modern stand, having a firearm in combat under 60' is more of a liability than anything.

[sarcasm]Or we could just have "magical" bullets that are invisible and non-interactive with the environment until they are supposed to hit something.[/sarcasm]


lol, like the d20 System's autofire attack? :p
That is a rule that REALLY needs fixing!
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Skills

Postby Jimmy Plamondon » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:30 am

JaredGaume wrote:
j0lt wrote:... One thing that we have to think about for that is where to draw the line between the various weapon groups. Firearms for example: is the operation of a pistol different enough from that of a rifle to warrant a separate skill? Or weapons like the Kusari-Gama, does it belong in chains or light blades? Perhaps a skill for double-weapons?

I think pistols and longarms are sufficiently different to warrant a different skill. For instance, you might be able to make opportunity attacks with pistol shots, where with a longarm it would be prohibitive at best.

I think for texturing of skills there would be associated feats and talents that give you access to more skill abilities and attacks off the standard skill set.

Example:

Longarms (skill)- Modern weapons - includes rifles and shotguns.

Assault Weapons (feat) - prereq: longarms (skil) - skill attack with assault weapons (autofire: attack all figures in an area)

Burst Fire (talent) - prereq: longarms (skill) and assault weapons (feat) - special attack, fire short burst with automatic weapon against a single target.



I tend to think longarms and sidearms should be separate skills.

While the maintenance and general usage is similar (pull the trigger, and voilà!), the applications, ways to hold the weapon vs sight alignment vs grip is fairly different. Plus, in terms of range, a longarm and a sidearm are used in different contexts. Using a longarm - even a shotgun - in a close quarter fight puts you at a disadvantage as opposed to using a regular sidearm which you can tuck close to your body to avoid grappling or having the weapon pushed aside when its time to shoot. Plus, at close range, it is way easier to put the sidearm up and shoot instinctively. As such, I would say that a sidearm that is in the shooter's hands should provide attacks of opportunities as a melee weapon, and should not give attacks of opportunities if used in close quarters as a regular ranged weapon.

Longarms have obvious advantages. Generally speaking, more firepower, possibly more bullets, better accuracy, better range. And while the possibility to have it grabbed from you or to have your shot deflected by pushing the long barrel is somewhat higher than with a sidearm, pieces of equipment and training can help mitigate that.

The way a trained person should and can behave in combat is quite different with longarm vs sidearm. The tactics are different. Under no circumstances would I get involved in a long-range shootout with a sidearm...

So all in all... a different skill for longarm and sidearm makes perfect sense to me.
Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?
Jimmy Plamondon
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:27 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: Skills

Postby j0lt » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:54 am

Jimmy Plamondon wrote:I tend to think longarms and sidearms should be separate skills.

While the maintenance and general usage is similar (pull the trigger, and voilà!), the applications, ways to hold the weapon vs sight alignment vs grip is fairly different. Plus, in terms of range, a longarm and a sidearm are used in different contexts. Using a longarm - even a shotgun - in a close quarter fight puts you at a disadvantage as opposed to using a regular sidearm which you can tuck close to your body to avoid grappling or having the weapon pushed aside when its time to shoot. Plus, at close range, it is way easier to put the sidearm up and shoot instinctively. As such, I would say that a sidearm that is in the shooter's hands should provide attacks of opportunities as a melee weapon, and should not give attacks of opportunities if used in close quarters as a regular ranged weapon.

Longarms have obvious advantages. Generally speaking, more firepower, possibly more bullets, better accuracy, better range. And while the possibility to have it grabbed from you or to have your shot deflected by pushing the long barrel is somewhat higher than with a sidearm, pieces of equipment and training can help mitigate that.

The way a trained person should and can behave in combat is quite different with longarm vs sidearm. The tactics are different. Under no circumstances would I get involved in a long-range shootout with a sidearm...

So all in all... a different skill for longarm and sidearm makes perfect sense to me.


Except all those issues can and should be dealt with in the equipment section and have no bearing on skills whatsoever. If we really need to differentiate between the two, it shouldn't be at a basic proficiency level. After all, if you take a firearms training course, they don't ask you if you want to be trained in handguns or rifles, you get trained in all basic types of firearms. One place where they can be differentiated would be with a Weapon Focus/Specialization feat or talent.

Beyond that, how does it make sense to fold Hide and Move Silently and Sleight of Hand into one skill, which are all very different abilities, but keep two types of firearms separated into two skills despite them being fundamentally the same, save for length?
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Skills

Postby Cyber-Dave » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:38 pm

Thank you for the math Jarred!

On the sidearm/longarm skill deal, I am ambivalent (not apathetic). I can see both sides of the argument. As I read both sides of the argument, I swing from strongly feeling one way or the other.

I definitely think stuff like "weapon focus/specialization" should be differentiated between sidearms and longarms.
Cyber-Dave
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:37 pm

Re: Skills

Postby Jimmy Plamondon » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:46 pm

I agree weapons could be merged a bit more. It is true that the way a weapon behaves on the battlefield can very well be independent from the skill related. I like the fact that by putting weapons as skills, we mechanically enforce the fact that the e20 system is not necessarily geared towards combat, but more towards a storytelling experience. So it makes sense to "lighten" the system by having less skills and keeping it simple.

Having said that, to stay in the spirit of the proposed system, I still think (though I think jolt makes a point that I need to analyze more) longarms and sidearms should be separate skills. I'll try to explain why thru an example.

While a martial artist can concentrate on a specific weapon such as a jo, a bo, nunchuks, or cheesy katanas, the basic understanding of the opponent's movements, distance ratio and all that is very similar from weapon to weapon. Training with all the weapons available, he basically learns more about what could be called the art of war... (is this training a substitute for actual fighting experience is debatable, but not my point here). Basically, this knowledge of weapons could translate as base attack bonus.

I understand that by using weapon skills, we wanted the system to walk away from the BAB system. Keeping that in mind, I think we need to be careful about merging the weapons skills - otherwise, we almost go back to a BAB system.

I think that the list of weapons skills proposed by GMsarli is well rounded all things considered.

I would possibly change the skill set based on the era of play. Having a medieval archer character with the longarms skill does not have much flavour. And short bows and longbows have basically no difference in usage (making the sidearm skill not very likely to appear in medieval settings).

***Disclaimer... I am french and tired, so my writing skills kinda suck right now... please don't troll me on that***
Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?
Jimmy Plamondon
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:27 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: Skills

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:48 pm

I think that skills can be thought of in three modes of play... Abstract skills (Savage Worlds like), Normal (Pathfinder like), and Detailed (Gurps like).

Take using guns for example, since that seems to be the big one. In Abstract mode, all Ranged Attacks could use a skill called Firing (or Guns, or Ranged, or whatever) and all Ranged combat falls into that single skill.

In Normal mode, the Ranged skill could be split into Bows, Guns, Heavy Weapons, Thrown, Energy Weapons (although you can put the different Energy Weapons into the other skills).

In Detailed mode, you have Guns further split into Pistol, Rifle, Machinegun, Missle Launcher, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Automatic Piscol, Energy Pistol, Energy Rifle, etc...

Of course these are examples, but I think that if the game can be designed around this idea from the ground up, then we can have all sorts of fun because we are then aiming at a larger crowd of people...people who want the easy, simplified Abstract can use them for their style of game, and people can pop in the Normal mode into their game.

Maybe if we thought of each type as a seperate Module. Tie this into the Heroism modes, which can be their own Modules. You can have your Gritty Module of play, plop in whichever Module of skill mode you want, and BAM...suddenly you have a game where GMs can pick and choose from a simple list any number of combinations they want.

Gritty + Detailed and Gritty + Abstract would alone have totally different type of game play because of the focus on skills.
Or Super Heroic + Normal and Super Heroic + Detailed ... then if we have the different Modules for Magic, Supers, Psionics, Cybernetics, hmmm..maybe talking about various Modules should be in its own thread :)

But you get what I mean.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Skills

Postby GMSarli » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:04 pm

j0lt wrote:Beyond that, how does it make sense to fold Hide and Move Silently and Sleight of Hand into one skill, which are all very different abilities, but keep two types of firearms separated into two skills despite them being fundamentally the same, save for length?


That is a very good point -- one could certainly argue that Hide and Move Silently (or Climb, Jump, and Swim) are much more different than pistols and rifles.

However, that's not why those skills are grouped together. They're grouped that way for balance from the point of view of a player weighing different options. Put simply, Climb and Jump are skills that are almost never bought because (1) they can be used untrained and (2) even if you're a cat burgler or a ninja, they just don't come up that often compared to other skills. Meanwhile, Hide and Move Silently got lumped together because (1) they were almost always trained/untrained in conjunction with one another and (2) they're almost always used at the same time, too, and having to make two separate rolls just slows down the game. (The reason the rogue got so many skill points in 3.0/3.5 was that Climb, Disable Device, Open Lock, Hide, Move Silently, etc. were separate skills, but they were all things the rogue/thief could do all the way back to the earliest versions of D&D, so they had to make sure the rogue could afford them all.)

Given that, let's think about Sidearms and Longarms from the point of view of player alternatives.
  • Longarms have better range, do more damage, (usually) have more ammunition, and include more fully automatic weapons.
  • Sidearms are easier to conceal, can be used to make attacks of opportunity (yes, I'm borrowing that idea from Saga -- but I'm the one who wrote that rule, dammit, so I get to keep it ;) ), and definitely don't provoke attacks of opportunity (not set on this one yet, but I'm inclined to make it where ranged weapons that much be used in two hands -- bows, rifles, crossbows, etc. -- provoke attacks of opportunity, but one-handed weapons don't).
Looking at those two competing sets of advantages, is it worth a skill slot to buy each of these separately? In my opinion, yes. Would this skill be substantially better than other weapon skills if grouped together? In my opinion, yes, which would mean we'd need to substantially broaden all the weapon groups to compensate. For these reasons, I'm in favor of keeping them separate. (I could see making some sort of meta-grouping for weapons -- e.g. firearms, bladed, explosive, energy, etc. -- that would allow some of the cross-over knowledge you're talking about, at least for maintenance and repair purposes.)

Now, that said, an awful lot of weapon skills will be handed out as freebies from your profession/background. As you point out, a lot of people would indeed be skilled with both weapon types -- law enforcement, military, survivalists, etc. Given this, I'd say that just about any profession that automatically gives Longarms should also give Sidearms. (You might argue this point for sportsmen and/or survivalists, but still.) Meanwhile, I can see some professions that would give Sidearms training but not Longarms: criminals, security (as opposed to "real" law enforcement), old west gunslingers, pulp action heroes (like private detectives or archaeologists who carry whips and fight Nazis), etc.



For what it's worth, Saga Edition has a pistols and rifles separated into two groups similar to the setup I'm using here, and I don't recall anyone objecting to it. (I don't read every post on the WotC message boards, obviously, but I don't recall getting any email about it in Jedi Counseling, either.) So, at the very least, it's not a terrible idea. :)
User avatar
GMSarli
Site Admin
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Denton TX

Re: Skills

Postby JaredGaume » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:48 pm

Cyber-Dave wrote:Thank you for the math Jarred!

Thanks :D

GMSarli wrote:Now, that said, an awful lot of weapon skills will be handed out as freebies from your profession/background. As you point out, a lot of people would indeed be skilled with both weapon types -- law enforcement, military, survivalists, etc. Given this, I'd say that just about any profession that automatically gives Longarms should also give Sidearms. (You might argue this point for sportsmen and/or survivalists, but still.) Meanwhile, I can see some professions that would give Sidearms training but not Longarms: criminals, security (as opposed to "real" law enforcement), old west gunslingers, pulp action heroes (like private detectives or archaeologists who carry whips and fight Nazis), etc.

So how do we feel with a game model that does this:

Starting Occupation: Gives you your initial skills to choose from (e.g. choose 4 of the following skills, you are now trained in the use of those skills...), along with a few other background benefits (income, standard of living, starting money, etc...)
Race: Gives you ability score modifier(s) and access to race feats and talents to choose from.
Class: Gives you your up-front bonuses (defenses, hit points, etc...) and access to class feats and talents. You may get some skill related feats and talents unique to the class, a synergy between some classes and skills.
General: Everyone has access to a basic list of feats. E.g. The Skill Training feat lets you take training in any one skill (Focus and Mastery as well to improve your skill use). Training in a skill may give you access to some associated feats and talents.
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Skills

Postby j0lt » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:25 pm

GMSarli wrote:Given that, let's think about Sidearms and Longarms from the point of view of player alternatives.
  • Longarms have better range, do more damage, (usually) have more ammunition, and include more fully automatic weapons.
  • Sidearms are easier to conceal, can be used to make attacks of opportunity (yes, I'm borrowing that idea from Saga -- but I'm the one who wrote that rule, dammit, so I get to keep it ;) ), and definitely don't provoke attacks of opportunity (not set on this one yet, but I'm inclined to make it where ranged weapons that much be used in two hands -- bows, rifles, crossbows, etc. -- provoke attacks of opportunity, but one-handed weapons don't).
Looking at those two competing sets of advantages, is it worth a skill slot to buy each of these separately? In my opinion, yes. Would this skill be substantially better than other weapon skills if grouped together? In my opinion, yes, which would mean we'd need to substantially broaden all the weapon groups to compensate. For these reasons, I'm in favor of keeping them separate. (I could see making some sort of meta-grouping for weapons -- e.g. firearms, bladed, explosive, energy, etc. -- that would allow some of the cross-over knowledge you're talking about, at least for maintenance and repair purposes.)

Now, that said, an awful lot of weapon skills will be handed out as freebies from your profession/background. As you point out, a lot of people would indeed be skilled with both weapon types -- law enforcement, military, survivalists, etc. Given this, I'd say that just about any profession that automatically gives Longarms should also give Sidearms. (You might argue this point for sportsmen and/or survivalists, but still.) Meanwhile, I can see some professions that would give Sidearms training but not Longarms: criminals, security (as opposed to "real" law enforcement), old west gunslingers, pulp action heroes (like private detectives or archaeologists who carry whips and fight Nazis), etc.

For what it's worth, Saga Edition has a pistols and rifles separated into two groups similar to the setup I'm using here, and I don't recall anyone objecting to it. (I don't read every post on the WotC message boards, obviously, but I don't recall getting any email about it in Jedi Counseling, either.) So, at the very least, it's not a terrible idea. :)


I agree, it's not a terrible idea, but Star Wars is an archetype-based class system and in that context makes sense. My point stands, however, that anyone who knows how to use either a pistol or rifle can use the exact same knowledge to operate the other. In d20 Modern, there was simply the Personal Firearms Proficiency, which covered the entire smallarms category and it didn't cause any balance issues. I've played several characters who didn't have it and were at no noticeable disadvantage.
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Skills

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:47 pm

j0lt wrote:
GMSarli wrote:Given that, let's think about Sidearms and Longarms from the point of view of player alternatives.
  • Longarms have better range, do more damage, (usually) have more ammunition, and include more fully automatic weapons.
  • Sidearms are easier to conceal, can be used to make attacks of opportunity (yes, I'm borrowing that idea from Saga -- but I'm the one who wrote that rule, dammit, so I get to keep it ;) ), and definitely don't provoke attacks of opportunity (not set on this one yet, but I'm inclined to make it where ranged weapons that much be used in two hands -- bows, rifles, crossbows, etc. -- provoke attacks of opportunity, but one-handed weapons don't).
Looking at those two competing sets of advantages, is it worth a skill slot to buy each of these separately? In my opinion, yes. Would this skill be substantially better than other weapon skills if grouped together? In my opinion, yes, which would mean we'd need to substantially broaden all the weapon groups to compensate. For these reasons, I'm in favor of keeping them separate. (I could see making some sort of meta-grouping for weapons -- e.g. firearms, bladed, explosive, energy, etc. -- that would allow some of the cross-over knowledge you're talking about, at least for maintenance and repair purposes.)

Now, that said, an awful lot of weapon skills will be handed out as freebies from your profession/background. As you point out, a lot of people would indeed be skilled with both weapon types -- law enforcement, military, survivalists, etc. Given this, I'd say that just about any profession that automatically gives Longarms should also give Sidearms. (You might argue this point for sportsmen and/or survivalists, but still.) Meanwhile, I can see some professions that would give Sidearms training but not Longarms: criminals, security (as opposed to "real" law enforcement), old west gunslingers, pulp action heroes (like private detectives or archaeologists who carry whips and fight Nazis), etc.

For what it's worth, Saga Edition has a pistols and rifles separated into two groups similar to the setup I'm using here, and I don't recall anyone objecting to it. (I don't read every post on the WotC message boards, obviously, but I don't recall getting any email about it in Jedi Counseling, either.) So, at the very least, it's not a terrible idea. :)


I agree, it's not a terrible idea, but Star Wars is an archetype-based class system and in that context makes sense. My point stands, however, that anyone who knows how to use either a pistol or rifle can use the exact same knowledge to operate the other. In d20 Modern, there was simply the Personal Firearms Proficiency, which covered the entire smallarms category and it didn't cause any balance issues. I've played several characters who didn't have it and were at no noticeable disadvantage.


And then you have those people who know that there is a distinct difference between a pistol, a rifle, a shotgun, a submachinegun, and different ways of using them, how to hold them, proper ways of shooting them so you don't blow your own head off, all that good stuff. Sure, for all guns, you have the barrel pointing away from you, but just because they all have the same effect, namely blowing away somebody else before you get blown away, they all work differently enough so that one person might be highly skills at pistols but give them a shotgun they might not be so good at it.

d20 Modern really abstracted weapon proficiencies for me, pretty much making them all the same to me (same for most d20 games) and for some people that's a style they like...just not mine on a personal level.

This game can cater to all comers though if its designed that way :)
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Skills

Postby bone_naga » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:00 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:And then you have those people who know that there is a distinct difference between a pistol, a rifle, a shotgun, a submachinegun, and different ways of using them, how to hold them, proper ways of shooting them so you don't blow your own head off, all that good stuff. Sure, for all guns, you have the barrel pointing away from you, but just because they all have the same effect, namely blowing away somebody else before you get blown away, they all work differently enough so that one person might be highly skills at pistols but give them a shotgun they might not be so good at it.

+1

That right there is why I am awesome with rifles, and yet have trouble qualifying with a pistol. It's more than just ranges and combat statistics (qualification ranges are designed with the capabilities of the weapons in mind). The handling of the various weapons is completely different. And that's part of why I feel they should be separate (the other part being that from a game balance perspective, I think each one stands on its own and won't suffer from being separated).
User avatar
bone_naga
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Re: Skills

Postby j0lt » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:03 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:And then you have those people who know that there is a distinct difference between a pistol, a rifle, a shotgun, a submachinegun, and different ways of using them, how to hold them, proper ways of shooting them so you don't blow your own head off, all that good stuff. Sure, for all guns, you have the barrel pointing away from you, but just because they all have the same effect, namely blowing away somebody else before you get blown away, they all work differently enough so that one person might be highly skills at pistols but give them a shotgun they might not be so good at it.

That's all techical minutia that shouldn't be connected with the basic skill of using them. As for someone highly skilled at pistols, but not so hot with a shotgun, they'd still know how to use a shotgun. The difference would be that they'd invested a feat or talent into specializing in pistols.
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Skills

Postby bone_naga » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:27 am

j0lt wrote:That's all techical minutia that shouldn't be connected with the basic skill of using them. As for someone highly skilled at pistols, but not so hot with a shotgun, they'd still know how to use a shotgun. The difference would be that they'd invested a feat or talent into specializing in pistols.

Not necessarily. If you've never handled a pistol before and don't know the correct way to handle it, it doesn't matter how many times you've fired a rifle or shotgun. If you're talking about basic knowledge as in "point barrel towards bad guy and pull trigger" then my nine year old daughter has been able to manage that for several years but that doesn't mean I'd count her as proficient.
User avatar
bone_naga
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Re: Skills

Postby JaredGaume » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:30 am

j0lt wrote:... As for someone highly skilled at pistols, but not so hot with a shotgun, they'd still know how to use a shotgun. The difference would be that they'd invested a feat or talent into specializing in pistols.

Maybe use a Weapon Focus feat instead of a general skill focus feat for firearms.

That way you can be trained to use firearms (a general bonus), but you take Weapon Focus for specific sub-groups (handguns, shotguns, rifles, assault weapons, etc...). You are then quantitatively better with your focused weapon in relation to all weapons. This rule could apply generally across all weapons, not just firearms.

j0lt, we use one Firearms Skill that lets you use and maintain firearms in general. Everyone else, we get that toggle of being better with some types of weapons over others.

...Just sayin'...
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Skills

Postby Jakinbandw » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:57 am

Out of curiosity. If my character users something a spell or power like force bolt, that comes out of my hand, and goes 100 feet, what skill do I use to make my attack roll?
Jakinbandw
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:50 pm

Re: Skills

Postby GMSarli » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:52 am

Jakinbandw wrote:Out of curiosity. If my character users something a spell or power like force bolt, that comes out of my hand, and goes 100 feet, what skill do I use to make my attack roll?


It would depend on the spell or power in question, but Focus is a good default for a lot of magic and/or psionics. Other skills could be used for different types of powers, though: Intuition would be good for some clairvoyant powers, Endurance could be used for channeling and/or psychometabolic powers, Analytics might be used for extremely complex alchemical transmutations, etc.
User avatar
GMSarli
Site Admin
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Denton TX

Re: Skills

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:12 am

Jakinbandw wrote:Out of curiosity. If my character users something a spell or power like force bolt, that comes out of my hand, and goes 100 feet, what skill do I use to make my attack roll?


That would depend on the genre and "module" used for the game. Maybe in someone's game it uses a generic, more Abstract skill like Focus or Power Use skill for all powers related to the game, as GMSarli said above, which would be similar to how SWSE works with Use the Force. On the other hand, maybe the module adds in the skills option that each power would be its own skill. In this case, your Power Bolt power would be its own skill, and when you use your power, you make the power skill check to see if it works, spending whatever energy points or power points along with it...if you want to use power points to keep track of them. Some may want to, others probably not.

It would really depend on just how modular we make this game. The idea of having a core system and then adding various modules to it, for different game experiences, is really exciting. Someone might create a fantasy world where they have a single Spellcasting skill for all magic skills, while another could set it up to where (and lets use D&D as an example) each spellcasting skill is its own school: Evocation, Conjuration, Necromancy, Transmutation, etc... and if you want to cast a Magic Missle spell you'd use the Evocation skill, for example.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Skills

Postby Ferro » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:09 am

- What about skills in more social than action oriented champaigns? Like Diplomacy with its sub-skills (skill-stat).
- I miss Command/Mass interaction skill. Ej. Command+INT= logistics ("shopping" for a explorer expedition, quitting malus or giving bonus to an army movement, etc.) Command+CHA= giving morale bonus or populist speaking, Command+DEX= Small groups tactical deploy bonus, etc.
- Classes are going to give train levels in skills, sub-skills (skill-stat) or both?
Ferro
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:00 pm

Re: Skills

Postby j0lt » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:23 am

Ferro wrote:- What about skills in more social than action oriented champaigns? Like Diplomacy with its sub-skills (skill-stat).
- I miss Command/Mass interaction skill. Ej. Command+INT= logistics ("shopping" for a explorer expedition, quitting malus or giving bonus to an army movement, etc.) Command+CHA= giving morale bonus or populist speaking, Command+DEX= Small groups tactical deploy bonus, etc.
- Classes are going to give train levels in skills, sub-skills (skill-stat) or both?


Command? I'm afraid I'm unfamiliar with that. What game is it from?
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Skills

Postby Ferro » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:39 am

j0lt wrote:
Ferro wrote:- What about skills in more social than action oriented champaigns? Like Diplomacy with its sub-skills (skill-stat).
- I miss Command/Mass interaction skill. Ej. Command+INT= logistics ("shopping" for a explorer expedition, quitting malus or giving bonus to an army movement, etc.) Command+CHA= giving morale bonus or populist speaking, Command+DEX= Small groups tactical deploy bonus, etc.
- Classes are going to give train levels in skills, sub-skills (skill-stat) or both?


Command? I'm afraid I'm unfamiliar with that. What game is it from?


Sorry, it is a home rule.
I have not found any system with a good PC <-> Army/political structure interection. All seem to me like "after design adds".
So I add Command and evolve Diplomacy skills.
Ferro
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:00 pm

Re: Skills

Postby Shawn Burke » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:00 am

I think the skill list looks great. I completely agree on the line of thought in keeping the list small and putting balance ahead of realism (For example splitting rifle and pistols into two skills, putting demolitions into mechanics etc.) and having skill uses overlap to a certain extant.

The only think I really don't get is having a knowledge skill. What does it cover?
We already have Mechanics (covering technology), Bureaucracy (covering well bureaucracy), Medince (which would cover some biology), Linguistics (language and to some extent culture), and Streetwise (covering local knowledge, etc.) What's left for the Knowledge skill? The so-called humanities (history, social science, culture, etc...) and hard science? Or would hard science overlap to much with mechanics and medicine...
Shawn Burke
 
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:33 am

Next

Return to Skills & Feats

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests