"And why the simple mechanics? Two reasons: First, complex mechanics invariably channel and limit the imagination; second, my neurons have better things to do than calculate numbers and refer to charts all evening." -Over the Edge
I have not much criticism for the "skills" part. It works like a specific set of "feats". Advantage is possible diversity - disadvantage is a lot of things to write and remember.The main criticism would be that if a given "skill feat" allows something the "basic skill" don't - like helping team mates, for instance - rather than making it easier, it may be seen by players as something you must have - the legendary "feat tax"..
The underlying concept presented by Mearls is really very, very good. Balance would be crucial in making it work, but that's the case for everything 4e-ish.
It's a bit odd that he uses 5 feet instead of 1 square...I also wince thinking about exactly how massive the standard skill options chapter would be if done this way. The knowledge skills would at least (mostly) work the same. Constantly improving the skill's NUMBERS is also just going to lead to the same issues as in the current system regarding skill DCs.
I really like the example that Mr. Mearls posted. I want WotC to make this game...even if it doesn't turn out to be 5th edition D&D (WotC owns the rights to Dragonquest, right?).Skill ranks, ala' 3rd edition are boring. All they do is add another + to your roll and push the game numbers way out of the randomizer range. Skill ranks giving characters nifty little tricks instead...now THAT is interesting and exciting.I could really see running an exploration based campaign wherein characters just get the basic tactical options, but the full suite of skill options. That would be really cool.
I also wince thinking about exactly how massive the standard skill options chapter would be if done this way. The knowledge skills would at least (mostly) work the same. Constantly improving the skill's NUMBERS is also just going to lead to the same issues as in the current system regarding skill DCs.
It's a bit odd that he uses 5 feet instead of 1 square...
As long as we, the players, remain open to the idea of the game being a living and evolving system, we can hold course with 4E for as long as we like. -- We just have to accept the overhauls when the wash over us.I, frankly, invite them.
It's a bit odd that he uses 5 feet.
Member of the Axis of Awesome
..,The underlying concept presented by Mearls is really very, very good. Balance would be crucial in making it work, but that's the case for everything 4e-ish.
I agree, he should bring DnD into the modern days and use meters.
I agree, he should bring DnD into the modern days and use meters.Don't they exchange squares for metres when they localize outside the US? If they don't they should. But why use metres for the US versions?
It's a bit odd that he uses 5 feet instead of 1 square...
Not odd, it's glorious.
Wizards, shave and a haircut
You could just call squares "paces", and make a pace equal to about 2 meters.Why is the ASE standard system still a thing that exists, by the way?
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Skills have always felt tacked-onto D&D. And, skill systems are a perilous aspect of RPG design. What a skill system does is to create incompetence. That is, once you introduce a skill, everyone who lacks it has just been made /less/ capable. For instance, a OD&D character, lacking any skill system, says "I build a raft," and a while later, he's floating down the river. The AD&D character says it, and the DM asks "what's your secondary skill? Cooper? uh, close enough." The 2e character better have the right proficiency from the Wilderness Survival Guide. The 3e character had better hope his DM lets 'wilderness lore' slide, and has never seen anyone put ranks in Craft(shipbuidling) or worse Craft(raft). The more skills in the system, the less your character can do.Thus, the worst possible skill system is an 'open ended' one, in which the DM and/or players just make skills up, because every character will be getting more incompetent every time someone writes down a new skill. After D&D hit the scene, some of it's not-quite-immitators (I'm looking at you, RuneQuest) used a 'skill based' aproach rather than a class/level based aproach - and were praised for it. For most of the rest of D&D history, it grafted on skills that acted like they were in a skill-based RPG, advancing to some degree independently of level, and only barely connected to class. 4e hit upon the right idea by finally linking skills to level, and making the skill list finite and final. The combination of primary stat and training still created too great a gulf between the skill-specialist and the less-than-talented amature, though. This idea is similar in basic concept (assuming ability checks scale with level), but, seems like it's tending towards a large and or open-ended skill list - which would be a terrible mistake. Keep the list of skills small and the skills broad - allow additional actions under a skill to be detailed, but don't add character customization granularity below the level of a skill. That way lies madness and mass incompetence.Rather than having 'climb' or, worse, different kinds and styles of climbing, stick with something like Athletics. Better yet, allow several different skills to be candidates to aid the climbing task - Athletics, or Accrobatics, or Nature or Theivery (so Theives can finally have a good 'climb walls %' again).
Im still unclear about what your ideal skill system would look like.For example, how would you handle a specific “basic skill power” sotospeak, such as Sense Magic (Sense the Presence of Magic, the defacto Arcana skill power)? Ideally.
Why is the ASE standard system still a thing that exists, by the way?
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It is hard to judge the skill system presented, without knowing how feats, class, race, themes, etc. may affect it, but my biggest concern is offering to many choices for skills, like sure or fast climber, where one becomes the preferred option. The worse thing about climbing is falling or engadging in combat, so why not choose sure climber over everything else? I do like controlling the amounts and types of bonuses offered to skills, as this is a problem in the current system with the inflation of bonuses. I am also worried about adding to many abilities that affect climbing, like making the character choose between strength, dexterity, or wisdom. Strength still makes the most sense, since holding on or reaching for the next ledge is directly related to your strength when making these transitions and it keeps things simple.I think there is value in establishing a table for DCs the character may see over his or her lifetime, so climbing certain types of terrain always offers the same basic DC, and then add in modifiers for other conditions like sheerness, speed of climbing, etc.However, you could add in more skill features that would be available to the character by taking the skill bonus, let say +15, and dividing it by 3 or 5 for example, to determine if the character recieves additional abilities like increased speed, a sure grip, etc. that becomes available to all characters when they reach a certain proficiency. You could add on feats that may add in some additional flavor. So for every 5 levels of skills bonuses you unlock a new set of features. This would be the equivalent of classes leveling to unlock new class features.