open locks and FARTing

Finding And Removing Traps - so step 1, the name has to go. Step 2 - why is this a seperate skill to picking locks? It just seems to unnecessarily pad out the number of specialist rogue backgrounds. Make a single skill called tinkering (or some such), base it off of intelligence and be done with it. The rogue's +3 stat bonus and automatic take 10 makes him the premier trap remover regardless, simply because he won't trigger them by failing to disable them. There's no need to arbitrarily tie the skill to dex as well, and there's no need to split up two skills that are obviously identical in everything but the name of the thing that you're messing with. It also gives you a skill to use in the Trapper background.

Intimidate - another edition with a description that stops the skill being used for most scenarios one would normally consider intimidation and might actually use it in. It was going fine up until it suggested that the only way to intimidate the sneering vizier was with a broken bottle. Intimidation should cover threats of any kind, not just direct physical ones.
At present we're left in a situation where intimidation is usually not useful in any situation that actually calls for a social solution (ie - if you can threaten the vizier with a broken bottle, you can usually just beat him to death or unconsciousness instead, at which point him refusing to give over crosses into the realms of sillyness), and at the same time there are any number of classic scenarios that have no skill to use in adjudicating them (the standard "well, we'll just release you without charge and publicly thank your for your cooperation if you don't cooperate" threat you find on many cop shows, for example. Or "nice place, perhaps you should consider taking out some insurance with us? Shame if something were to happen to it.")

Lore - these are just generally horrible. They overlap massively, and are often only going to be worthwhile if they let you DO something. Professional lore, local lore(dump it and roll it into streetwise) and heraldic lore are all the sort of skills that are highly redundant purely because they're lores.

Charlatan - suggests that noone without this background can create a disguise or forge a document. Hi Spy!
Most of the Lore skills should be put into a few skills:

Rumor and Speculation - You've heard rumors about what vampires are weak against. You've often speculated about beholders and their weaknesses.

Books - You know all kinds of factual knowledge that is stored in books. If you don't know the specific answer you know how to find it by searching libraries and other sources of books.

Experience - Due to having faced multitudes of different enemies you have a feel for how they work. For instance though you've only encountered blue and red dragons, you know that all dragons attack with bite/claw/claw/tail/breath weapon or something similiar.
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1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
If nothing else... yeah, that's a pretty unfortunate acronym. Maybe "Finding and disabling traps"?
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Was there anything really wrong with "Disable Device"? I think it can be explained that if you have a locked container that doesn't belong to you, and you want to open it, you will always be paranoid enough to check for traps...Just increase the DC by the trap rating (keeping that number fairly small, like 1-5). Failure by 5 or more sets off the trap. KISSing doesn't have to be exclusive to your partner.

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What's wrong with "Tinkering" to find, disable, and build traps and other mechanical constructs?
The metagame is not the game.
What's wrong with "Tinkering" to find, disable, and build traps and other mechanical constructs?

I'd be fine with Tinkering, since knowing how to disassemble something often requires knowing how it got built in the first place.

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Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.
What's wrong with "Tinkering" to find, disable, and build traps and other mechanical constructs?

I'd be fine with Tinkering, since knowing how to disassemble something often requires knowing how it got built in the first place.




Yeah, as long as they fold them all into one skill it works great...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I could see that although DC for making them would need to be higher than disabling them in this setup.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I am fine with calling it "FARTing" as long as eating a serving of beans grants a +1 bonus.
Another aspect of Tinkering would be the equivalent of "Lore: Engineering". I am still not a fan of knowledge skills in general, unless they are separate from the more "active" skills, and are not competing for the same slot. Shadowrun does this, although I think they went overboard with the skill list. WotC needs to include multiple skill list modules, so those that want a ton of narrow skills vs fewer broader skills can both get what they want.

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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.

Intimidate - another edition with a description that stops the skill being used for most scenarios one would normally consider intimidation and might actually use it in. It was going fine up until it suggested that the only way to intimidate the sneering vizier was with a broken bottle. Intimidation should cover threats of any kind, not just direct physical ones.
At present we're left in a situation where intimidation is usually not useful in any situation that actually calls for a social solution (ie - if you can threaten the vizier with a broken bottle, you can usually just beat him to death or unconsciousness instead, at which point him refusing to give over crosses into the realms of sillyness), and at the same time there are any number of classic scenarios that have no skill to use in adjudicating them (the standard "well, we'll just release you without charge and publicly thank your for your cooperation if you don't cooperate" threat you find on many cop shows, for example. Or "nice place, perhaps you should consider taking out some insurance with us? Shame if something were to happen to it.")


The diplomacy/intimidate division has been around for a while, and I've never had a problem with it. The vizier thing is indeed a weak example, but I think you're extrapolating too much from it. It's clear that Initimation is used when you are making overt threats of hostile actions. If you told the vizier, "Give us what we want or our army of orcs will swarm your city!" that would seem to be covered. The mob extortion example is also clearly covered... you're obviously threatening the target.

Your cop show example is a little murkier, I think a case could be made for either diplomacy or intimidate. I'd use diplomacy if you're just pointing out that the target needs your protection, and initimidate if its more of a blackmail situation where you're threatening to reveal information that would lead to the target being endangered.


I've never noticed FARTing before, but now that I see it, I never what it to go away!

Honestly though, I agree that 3ish had it good with Disable device.  4 may have gone too far with Thievery, (which could add in pickpocketing, or just about anything thiefy a thief thieved.)  I wouldn't mind seeing slight of hand folded into escape artist to cover anti-grapple, pocket nicking, palming, ledgermain, and maybe even quick drawing.  (ditch improved initative and instead allow the slight of hand skill to sub for initiative rolls?)

Lores definately need to be merged.  There are currently too many with not enough skill points to go around.  I would also ditch professional Lore.  Maybe just have a free lore that every class has at a flat +3 + trained skill bonus.  Fighters know weapons, armor, tactics.  Wizards know components, herbs, arcana.  Priests now religion, undead, etc etc.
Finding And Removing Traps - so step 1, the name has to go. Step 2 - why is this a seperate skill to picking locks? It just seems to unnecessarily pad out the number of specialist rogue backgrounds. Make a single skill called tinkering (or some such), base it off of intelligence and be done with it. The rogue's +3 stat bonus and automatic take 10 makes him the premier trap remover regardless, simply because he won't trigger them by failing to disable them. There's no need to arbitrarily tie the skill to dex as well, and there's no need to split up two skills that are obviously identical in everything but the name of the thing that you're messing with. It also gives you a skill to use in the Trapper background.

Intimidate - another edition with a description that stops the skill being used for most scenarios one would normally consider intimidation and might actually use it in. It was going fine up until it suggested that the only way to intimidate the sneering vizier was with a broken bottle. Intimidation should cover threats of any kind, not just direct physical ones.
At present we're left in a situation where intimidation is usually not useful in any situation that actually calls for a social solution (ie - if you can threaten the vizier with a broken bottle, you can usually just beat him to death or unconsciousness instead, at which point him refusing to give over crosses into the realms of sillyness), and at the same time there are any number of classic scenarios that have no skill to use in adjudicating them (the standard "well, we'll just release you without charge and publicly thank your for your cooperation if you don't cooperate" threat you find on many cop shows, for example. Or "nice place, perhaps you should consider taking out some insurance with us? Shame if something were to happen to it.")

Lore - these are just generally horrible. They overlap massively, and are often only going to be worthwhile if they let you DO something. Professional lore, local lore(dump it and roll it into streetwise) and heraldic lore are all the sort of skills that are highly redundant purely because they're lores.

Charlatan - suggests that noone without this background can create a disguise or forge a document. Hi Spy!

FaRT is a throwback to thieves from AD&D when Thieves had percentage skills for all of thier thiefy stuff. You had:
OL- Open Locks
FaRT- Find and Remove Traps
PP- Pick Pockets
MS- Move Silently
HiS- Hide in Shadows
CW- Climb Walls

I reckon it's an appeal to the Old School style. Disable Device would be a bit less specific, and would endear fewer purile chuckles around the table.

Intimidate - I generally take that as any sort of persuasive attempt with threat of consequence, i.e. coericon. So veiled threats, blackmail attempts, overt threats, etc.

Diplomacy - They could rename it persuasion. It's social good cop to intimidate's bad cop.

Lores - I agree. The proliferation of lores is vexing. They could be reduced to - Forbidden, Religious, societal and artisinal, I wager. I can understand giving a sense of flavor or depth to various knowledges, but that's waaaay too many lores.
Like tinkering.

Also ought to have "deft hands" to cover sleight of hand, pick pocket, etc.

-Brad

I kind of liked the old use of "Thievery" to combine any kind of thieving activity (slight of hand, pick pocket, find/remove trap, disable trap, open locks).

This is kind of like using "Stealth" to include hide and sneak.


  

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I can't agree with traps and locks being the same. It's not. However I agree one can shorten the name for finding and disabling traps into 'traptinkering' or some such. But keep lockpicking out of it!

I guess I'm the only one who love the lore skills then. I always loved the knowledge, perform and profession skills as they add flavour to the characters and each time you make a lore-heavy char you pick different lores. This makes re-playing a class more interesting as they never will be exactly the same twice. THAT is something none of you others have considered. I also think that if the rogue get only one skill that character will become dull, just as the fighter is.


What I'd like to see is separating the Profession skills from the lore and add perform as well like it was in 3.5ed.
      

 
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Opened this thread expecting a discussion about how thieves fart to increase their chances of picking locks.

Left disappointed. 
Your suggestion to combine those skills into Tinkering works well in pratice.  My 3.5e group did that a while ago, and it worked great!  People also got really creative with it and used it to throw together improvised tools, weapons, etc.
I like tinkering, but maybe security is better.  Tinkering has more of a profession sound to it, not that this is a bad thing, but it implies craftsmanship when this seems to be something that DDN is relegating to the craftsman trait in character backgrounds.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

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I can't agree with traps and locks being the same. It's not. However I agree one can shorten the name for finding and disabling traps into 'traptinkering' or some such. But keep lockpicking out of it!
 



How are traps and locks differentiated to you, in terms of what one would do to overcome them? I have a hard time thinking of a step in picking a lock that might not also be a step in disarming a trap, and vice versa.

I like tinkering, but maybe security is better.  Tinkering has more of a profession sound to it, not that this is a bad thing, but it implies craftsmanship when this seems to be something that DDN is relegating to the craftsman trait in character backgrounds.


The main problem with security or mechanics is that they sound too modern. That might just be me though....