Narrow Skills, Cognitive Dissonance, and Usage

In the Google+ Hangout, Jeremy Crawford mentioned that in D&D, we are supposed to be using ability checks and not skill checks. Skill Checks are meant to be something different from the the two latest editions. He describes skills as "an area of very focused expertise where you get to apply a bonus when you make an abilty check in that area."

This is very different from other editions. In certain editions with skills, skills feel more like proficienies. You either had the skill and could do something, or you didnn't have the skill and you can't even attempt it. In other editions with skills, you were expected to roll skill checks all the time when in rolling attacks or casting spells.

To me the only way to make players and DMs not expect to roll skill check is to make them narrow.

Use Rope narrow
No more Perception and back to Spot, Listen, and Appraise.
Basically Knowledge ___ is usability.

Skill would have to be narrow enough to convince us that we wont be able to roll them often but broad enough to be applied to multiple ability checks. For Mr. Crawford's goal for skills to be reach, the skill system would have to trick us into thinking that we cannot weasel any check into one our 4 skills. No more "How do I turn this into a Intimidate check?" and more "Oh Snap, I could probably apply Use Rope to scale this wall."

Of course this wouldn't apply to skill based characters, they would have enough skills to be able to apply checks to many checks instead of once in a while like the rest.

This would also aid bounded accuracy as skill bonuses would not applied often thus making overpowering a check every once in a while a minor issue.

But how would you feel about it?

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I think this is a good thing that they have changed Skills, (they need a new name), in this way. I'm not sure how they could narrow the Skills for this but I like that these are bonuses that particularly clever players will take advantage
I still feel Listen, Search and Spot being lumped into Perception would be appropriate, even with this new paradigm for Skills.  
I personally would prefer that character's used their background in a free form manner to assist in ability checks when appropriate, and then as they level up be able to learn a few very narrow skills. And when I say "narrow" I'm talking about Burning Wheel-style where there are hundreds of very discrete skills, from Acting to Navigation to Weaving.

I like the free form manner because it is flexible and it requires you to roleplay and think about your character instead of just looking at a list on your character sheet, but I also understand the appeal of a granular approach so I would combine the two to get the best of both worlds. Trying to go for a middle ground just seems rife with problems.
If they don't want people to confuse how skills are relative to old editions, then they need to change the name.  As of right now, Skills are VERY different from how they functioned in the past two editions (which weren't incredibly different from each other, BTW), and that confusion will be in place until they do something meaningful to prevent it.  Rather than say we are interpreting things wrong, they either need to change Skills into something more like what they were in 3E and 4E (Read: the majority of their consumer base), or they need to rename them.  PERIOD.
If this is the case then non-casters need ways to interract with things out of combat besides skills. Because attribute checks don't improve. If a mundane character can do the same things at level 1 as level 20 there is a very big problem.
If this is the case then non-casters need ways to interract with things out of combat besides skills. Because attribute checks don't improve. If a mundane character can do the same things at level 1 as level 20 there is a very big problem.



QFT.

I know 50% of the posters hate everything 4th Edition produced with the burning strength of 1000 suns...

But maybe some of the Utility Powers and Skill Powers from 4th Ed could make for good inspirations to fix this. 

If this is the case then non-casters need ways to interract with things out of combat besides skills. Because attribute checks don't improve. If a mundane character can do the same things at level 1 as level 20 there is a very big problem.


Agreed, I think one of the reasons for the dissonance, is that only using ability scores doesn't make a PC feel particularly good at anything. The bonuses are too low, so it seems success or failure is mostly a 50/50 die toss. They either need to adjust how you use your ability scores for a check, or just bring back an actual skill system.


A +0 to +4 spread is an awfully small difference in ability between people who are supposed to be good at something and people who are supposed to be bad at something. You need that +3 bonus to real feel like your character is actually better at the things they're supposed to be good at, and four really narrow bonuses don't do a good job of enabling that.

At the same time i think Skills is an appropriate term for what this check bonus-type really is more than what the previous editions of D&D used it for. Skills are not task but expertise applied to task resolution in the form of a bonus. 

Rather than change the name, i'd prefer if we'd change our perception of what they are now compared to what they used to be and just accept the difference. Just like a turn, a turn is not what it used to be but i think the term is a better fit for what it means now than what it was in AD&D for exemple.
At the same time i think Skills is an appropriate term for what this check bonus-type really is more than what the previous editions of D&D used it for. Skills are not task but expertise applied to task resolution in the form of a bonus. 

Rather than change the name, i'd prefer if we'd change our perception of what they are now compared to what they used to be and just accept the difference. Just like a turn, a turn is not what it used to be but i think the term is a better fit for what it means now than what it was in AD&D for exemple.



I really don't think asking people to change their perception on something is going to work out all that much.
I don't think anybody should ask. I think it should come naturally over time Wink
I don't think anybody should ask. I think it should come naturally over time Wink



They thought the same thing with 4E, look how that turned out.  I think changing the perceptions of the fandom is not only doomed to fail, but also attracts a negative response BECAUSE they want us to change our perceptions.
If this is the case then non-casters need ways to interract with things out of combat besides skills. Because attribute checks don't improve. If a mundane character can do the same things at level 1 as level 20 there is a very big problem.



Attribute checks DOES improve. If the progression remains the same you gain at lvl 20 +10 (total)to stats,max +5 to a single one. that's enough to raise  2-3 points a related skill or related substat.
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Out of curiosity, would you consider "Stealth" to be too broad for use as a skill, under this paradigm?

The metagame is not the game.

Lets see I'm 35, about 20 years from starting adventurer age. My narrow specific skill list is as follows:

Cooking
Cleaning
Knife making (wood handles for knives)
Computers
Programming
Web Design
Computer Repair
Driving
Political Discussions
Basic Survival
Basic Machinery Use
Factory Processes
Internet Usage
Video Game Playing
Video Game Programming
Animal Handling (Dogs and Cats)
Reading
Dewey Decimal System
Arithmetic
Algebra
Discrete Mathematics
Literature
History (World, U.S.)
Local Lore (Texas)
Street Wise
Internet Forum Tro...um Discussion
MMO Guild Mastery
Knots
Rope Use
Gardening
Farming
Ranching
Finances
Merchandising
Graphic Design (not very good)
etc...etc...

You get the point. If they use very narrow skills, then they are going to have to give each character like 50 skills. Its better if they generalize or give a large number of related skills all at once. The narrow skill thing is just not going to work...Smile
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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.
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Out of curiosity, would you consider "Stealth" to be too broad for use as a skill, under this paradigm?



Yes. Stealth is too easy to use for sneaking. It'll have to go back to Hide & Move Silently.

Thin 3.5 with no Int bonus to skills.

Lets see I'm 35, about 20 years from starting adventurer age. My narrow specific skill list is as follows:

You get the point. If they use very narrow skills, then they are going to have to give each character like 50 skills. Its better if they generalize or give a large number of related skills all at once. The narrow skill thing is just not going to work...



No, most of those would be a trait.
---

I think something like 3.5's skill list is needed... BUT characters only get 2-4 skills unless they are skill classes or skill specialist

Jump, Climb, Swim
Balance, Tumble,
Spot, Listen, Appraise
Hide, Move Silently, Forgery
Weaponsmith, Armorsmith, Alchemy
Arcana, Dungeoneering, Folkfore, Forbidden lore, Heraldry, History, Healing, Nature, Religion, Science, Warfare
Sense Motive,
...

So the Thief background might have Find/Remove Traps, Hide, Open Lock, & Sleight of Hand. A Thief character has a bonus to Hide but would have to rely on completely Dex to Move Silently, Tumble, and Balance.



Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

If this is the case then non-casters need ways to interract with things out of combat besides skills. Because attribute checks don't improve. If a mundane character can do the same things at level 1 as level 20 there is a very big problem.

??? You are allowed to improve your skill every other level to a max of +7.       That skill modifier is added to your ability check modifier.  So, your ability with skills can increase, quite a bit. 


The point they made in the Google+ hangout was that the ability comes first.  The skill just applies the modifier to qn ability check (and it doesn't need to be the same ability every time you use the skill), instead of the ability modifier apply to the skill check.  they even mentioned that possibly changing the name would help.
Lets see I'm 35, about 20 years from starting adventurer age. My narrow specific skill list is as follows:

Cooking
Cleaning
Knife making (wood handles for knives)
Computers
Programming
Web Design
Computer Repair
Driving
Political Discussions
Basic Survival
Basic Machinery Use
Factory Processes
Internet Usage
Video Game Playing
Video Game Programming
Animal Handling (Dogs and Cats)
Reading
Dewey Decimal System
Arithmetic
Algebra
Discrete Mathematics
Literature
History (World, U.S.)
Local Lore (Texas)
Street Wise
Internet Forum Tro...um Discussion
MMO Guild Mastery
Knots
Rope Use
Gardening
Farming
Ranching
Finances
Merchandising
Graphic Design (not very good)
etc...etc...

You get the point. If they use very narrow skills, then they are going to have to give each character like 50 skills. Its better if they generalize or give a large number of related skills all at once. The narrow skill thing is just not going to work...

I think you can do both.  You have a broad list (let's use the 4e list of skills).  And then a narrow list below it.  Like:

Athletics:  Make an Athletics check to attempt physical activities that rely on muscular strength, including climbing, escaping from a grab, jumping, and swimming.
      Climb:  Scale difficult surfaces
      Jump:  Jump in difficult conditions or great distance
      Swim:  Swim in difficult currents or other daunting conditions

Your are trained in athletics (+3), but you can only improve your training in the narrow speciality skills.  Thus, you would have a +3 in all athletics (Climb, Jump, Swim and anything else it applies to), but could get a +7 in Climb through improved training.


For those who don't like narrower skills, an optional role could easily eliminate the specialty skills (or add them) and just apply the improved training bonus to the broad categories.     

I think you can do both.  You have a broad list (let's use the 4e list of skills).  And then a narrow list below it.  Like:

Athletics:  Make an Athletics check to attempt physical activities that rely on muscular strength, including climbing, escaping from a grab, jumping, and swimming.
      Climb:  Scale difficult surfaces
      Jump:  Jump in difficult conditions or great distance
      Swim:  Swim in difficult currents or other daunting conditions

Your are trained in athletics (+3), but you can only improve your training in the narrow speciality skills.  Thus, you would have a +3 in all athletics (Climb, Jump, Swim and anything else it applies to), but could get a +7 in Climb through improved training.


For those who don't like narrower skills, an optional role could easily eliminate the specialty skills (or add them) and just apply the improved training bonus to the broad categories.     





This is sort of what I want I was thinking.

You take a broad 4E style skill and implant narrow 3E style skills into them.

Then backgrounds would give you 2 broad skills or 4 narrow skills (double for rogues)

Soldier
Skills: Choose 2 of Athletics, Heal, Intimidate, and Survival OR 4 of Avoid Natural Hazard, Climb, Demoralize, First Aid, Gather Food,  Jump, Surgery, Swim, Theaten Person, and Track.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Yep, I'm in the process of doing that right now for my Next campaign.  It's taking a little longer than I thought to get the list broad skills and put the narrow skills under them though.
If they don't want people to confuse how skills are relative to old editions, then they need to change the name.  As of right now, Skills are VERY different from how they functioned in the past two editions (which weren't incredibly different from each other, BTW), and that confusion will be in place until they do something meaningful to prevent it.  Rather than say we are interpreting things wrong, they either need to change Skills into something more like what they were in 3E and 4E (Read: the majority of their consumer base), or they need to rename them.  PERIOD.



Skills are a 100% need to have for me since I love to have a mental picture of what my characters can do, how good at it they are and to see them increase their ability in those areas were I via roleplaying has ensured they have obtained experience. I really liked the thought process on deciding "were to place new skill ranks when gaining a level in 3.5"
If they don't want people to confuse how skills are relative to old editions, then they need to change the name.  As of right now, Skills are VERY different from how they functioned in the past two editions (which weren't incredibly different from each other, BTW), and that confusion will be in place until they do something meaningful to prevent it.  Rather than say we are interpreting things wrong, they either need to change Skills into something more like what they were in 3E and 4E (Read: the majority of their consumer base), or they need to rename them.  PERIOD.



Skills are a 100% need to have for me since I love to have a mental picture of what my characters can do, how good at it they are and to see them increase their ability in those areas were I via roleplaying has ensured they have obtained experience. I really liked the thought process on deciding "were to place new skill ranks when gaining a level in 3.5"



Skills ARE still going to be there (maybe in a different name).

In 2nd with nonweapon proficiencies, skills were thought to be needed to attempt certain actions.
In 3rd and 4th, skill checks were thought to be needed to succeed certain actions


In Next, skills are being "flipped, turned upside down."
In Next, ability checks were thought to be needed to succeed certian actions. Skills are just bonuses.

To do this, we might need to

  1. Make sure ability checks can let characters succeed these actions.

  2. Make sure characters do not often have a skill appropriate to most action.


If the Thief is the only background with Hide and Move Silently,  the the conversation goes from...

"We need someone with Hide and Moe Silently for our scout."

To

"We need someone with High Dexterity for our scout."

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

The next approach is completely destroying my immersion ability in the story because it runs 180 degrees different to my lifeexperience, that is.

In order to be good at something do you have to invest lots of time obtaining knowledge and expertise  in specific skills.
That is very different from the life philosophy of younger generations there are basically saying "specific knowledge is not critical" because it is just a question of having a good general ability and knowing were to locate the information in a book or upon the internet.
The next approach is completely destroying my immersion ability in the story because it runs 180 degrees different to my lifeexperience, that is.

In order to be good at something do you have to invest lots of time obtaining knowledge and expertise  in specific skills.
That is very different from the life philosophy of younger generations there are basically saying "specific knowledge is not critical" because it is just a question of having a good general ability and knowing were to locate the information in a book or upon the internet.




Next is doing nothing different except for switching the order.

You add your skill bonus to you ability check instead of add skill ability bonus to your skill check.

A thief will still be good at sneaking and picking locks. And he'll still get better as he levels.
The only difference is he will have to be a rogue, have high DEX, or be a skill specialist in order to be good at sneaking, picking locks, stealing purses, and disarming traps.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

The next approach is completely destroying my immersion ability in the story because it runs 180 degrees different to my lifeexperience, that is.

In order to be good at something do you have to invest lots of time obtaining knowledge and expertise  in specific skills.
That is very different from the life philosophy of younger generations there are basically saying "specific knowledge is not critical" because it is just a question of having a good general ability and knowing were to locate the information in a book or upon the internet.




Next is doing nothing different except for switching the order.

You add your skill bonus to you ability check instead of add skill ability bonus to your skill check.

A thief will still be good at sneaking and picking locks. And he'll still get better as he levels.
The only difference is he will have to be a rogue, have high DEX, or be a skill specialist in order to be good at sneaking, picking locks, stealing purses, and disarming traps.



The critical part is, what DC is required. Basically, it is a total turn off for me if many tasks are having so low DC that they can be succesfully fulfilled with a person just having a good ability score
The next approach is completely destroying my immersion ability in the story because it runs 180 degrees different to my lifeexperience, that is.

In order to be good at something do you have to invest lots of time obtaining knowledge and expertise  in specific skills.
That is very different from the life philosophy of younger generations there are basically saying "specific knowledge is not critical" because it is just a question of having a good general ability and knowing were to locate the information in a book or upon the internet.




Next is doing nothing different except for switching the order.

You add your skill bonus to you ability check instead of add skill ability bonus to your skill check.

A thief will still be good at sneaking and picking locks. And he'll still get better as he levels.
The only difference is he will have to be a rogue, have high DEX, or be a skill specialist in order to be good at sneaking, picking locks, stealing purses, and disarming traps.



The critical part is, what DC is required. Basically, it is a total turn off for me if many tasks are having so low DC that they can be succesfully fulfilled with a person just having a good ability score



Simple. They playtest (sorta) explains that.
Those DCs are oer 20. Untrianed and Untalented can't roll high enuogh.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

If this is the case then non-casters need ways to interract with things out of combat besides skills. Because attribute checks don't improve. If a mundane character can do the same things at level 1 as level 20 there is a very big problem.



Attribute checks DOES improve. If the progression remains the same you gain at lvl 20 +10 (total)to stats,max +5 to a single one. that's enough to raise  2-3 points a related skill or related substat.

Hey, wow! In 4E, at level 20 you will have gained +14 total to all attributes with a max of +5 to any one attribute.

And have little to no access to attribute-increasing magic, which is somewhat more common in 5E. With existing 5E magic items, some characters can raise a primary attribute by +13 in 20 levels.

It's funny how their determination to not be like 4E keeps producing results like 4E but not quite as good at what 5E is supposedly focused on.

(4E's soaring bonuses are real, but mostly are not attribute bonuses.)

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Personally, I think we should dump the term "skills" and save that for optional skill modules more akin to skill systems from earlier editions. 

Instead, the current system should just be "proficiencies". It's a term that has a history in the game and is applicable. They're not a "skill", they're just an area the character is proficient in. Any time rope is involved, be it tying someone up or preparing for a climb or tossing a grappling hook the proficiency bonus comes into play.

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Proficiencies would be an appropriate term to avoid "skill" use in later editions. The only remaining sticking point is what ability checks apply to different acts, and that is where they could get specific to mimic later editions where climb is a strength ability check modified by your mountaineer proficiency, move silently is a dexterity based check modied by your theivery proficiency, appraise is an intelligence based check modified by your merchant proficiency, etc.
Personally, I think we should dump the term "skills" and save that for optional skill modules more akin to skill systems from earlier editions. 

Instead, the current system should just be "proficiencies". It's a term that has a history in the game and is applicable. They're not a "skill", they're just an area the character is proficient in. Any time rope is involved, be it tying someone up or preparing for a climb or tossing a grappling hook the proficiency bonus comes into play.



Proficiencies would be an appropriate term to avoid "skill" use in later editions. The only remaining sticking point is what ability checks apply to different acts, and that is where they could get specific to mimic later editions where climb is a strength ability check modified by your mountaineer proficiency, move silently is a dexterity based check modied by your theivery proficiency, appraise is an intelligence based check modified by your merchant proficiency, etc.



Count me in for supporting the idea of renaming skills as proficiencies.
As they are now it make more sense.
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If there is a skill/proficiency list, perhaps it should be restricted to activities you can only do beyond ability checks if you are trained by a professional or practice it yourself with the same obsession as a professional would do.

Lockpick, Pickpocket, and [Track/Cover Tracks] would be skills/proficiencies, whereas sneaking and hiding would be mere ability checks, because even children can sneak and hide.  Train Animal would be a skill/proficiency, whereas Ride and Drive would be mere ability checks.  Artisanry(Cooking) would be a skill/proficiency (for let's not besmirch homemakers by saying they don't devote professional-like attention to their cooking), but basic craftiness and aesthetic taste would be mere ability checks.  Swordfighting and monk fu would be a weapon proficiencies, but pub brawling would be a mere ability check.
No skill is needed. Leave it freeform and malleable. Everyone but ridiculous optimizers will have fun
My two copper.
If this is the case then non-casters need ways to interract with things out of combat besides skills. Because attribute checks don't improve. If a mundane character can do the same things at level 1 as level 20 there is a very big problem.




Skill dependent characters are hosed unless Expertise Dice.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Yeah.

Like I said, rogues would get double skills and skill mastery.

Fighters have Might Expertise and possibly one for Dex and Con.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

So having a really narrow range of skills means that fighters with Mighty Exertion become even more awesomer if they can justify using strength for a lot of ability checks (especially if they have a skill bonus) as you can see below:

Disable Trap (generally Dex but in this case Str): Disable Trap that trap? Step aside, Rogue.  I'll disable it with my FRIKKEN MASSIVE HAMMER AND MY LIFETIME OF STEROID ABUSE! 
Pick Locks (again, usually Dex but again, Str): Pick that lock? Step aside, Rogue.  I'll pick it with my FRIKKEN MASSIVE HAMMER AND MY LIFETIME OF STEROID ABUSE!
Diplomacy (Cha, maybe Wis, or Int... but could be Str): Cleric, stand aside before I break you... My lady, I- we... can handle anything for a shot at the title... just look at my godlike physique and bulging muscles. It comes from a lifetime of hefting my FRIKKEN MASSIVE HAMMER AND MY LIFETIME OF STEROID ABUSE! 
Bluff or Intimidate (again Cha or Wis... but again Str could work): I need to get inside that club... Yes, of course I have the proper credentials, you can see it right here on my FRIKKEN MASSIVE HAMMER AND MY LIFETIME OF STEROID ABUSE!
Streetwise (it's a longshot but if the fighter did tattoo it on his arm when he was using Mighty Exertion): We need to find a tavern to stay for the night? Well, I have a map drawn right here on my FRIKKEN MASSIVE HAMMER AND MY LIFETIME OF STEROID ABUSE!
The next approach is completely destroying my immersion ability in the story because it runs 180 degrees different to my lifeexperience, that is.

In order to be good at something do you have to invest lots of time obtaining knowledge and expertise  in specific skills.
That is very different from the life philosophy of younger generations there are basically saying "specific knowledge is not critical" because it is just a question of having a good general ability and knowing were to locate the information in a book or upon the internet.



so you want that being trained in somthing has a bigger effect, personaly I think the being trained in somthing should mean you can do it well more consistantly then sombody is not trained.

somthing like :
you automaticly sucseed on ability score checks if the DC is lower then 10+the bonus you have from skill training.
so a scaracter with a +3 bonus from skill training would automaticly sucseed on any check upto DC 13.
while a character that has a 16 in the apropriate ability score (but no bonus from skill training) would still have to roll with the chance of failure.

The next approach is completely destroying my immersion ability in the story because it runs 180 degrees different to my lifeexperience, that is.

In order to be good at something do you have to invest lots of time obtaining knowledge and expertise  in specific skills.
That is very different from the life philosophy of younger generations there are basically saying "specific knowledge is not critical" because it is just a question of having a good general ability and knowing were to locate the information in a book or upon the internet.



That's ok, wait until they can just pop a jump drive into their heads and be able to know any skill...Smile
"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.
The next approach is completely destroying my immersion ability in the story because it runs 180 degrees different to my lifeexperience, that is.

In order to be good at something do you have to invest lots of time obtaining knowledge and expertise  in specific skills.
That is very different from the life philosophy of younger generations there are basically saying "specific knowledge is not critical" because it is just a question of having a good general ability and knowing were to locate the information in a book or upon the internet.



That's ok, wait until they can just pop a jump drive into their heads and be able to know any skill...


Skillsoft. It's the way of the future.
My two copper.


This is sort of what I want I was thinking.

You take a broad 4E style skill and implant narrow 3E style skills into them.

Then backgrounds would give you 2 broad skills or 4 narrow skills (double for rogues)

Soldier
Skills: Choose 2 of Athletics, Heal, Intimidate, and Survival OR 4 of Avoid Natural Hazard, Climb, Demoralize, First Aid, Gather Food,  Jump, Surgery, Swim, Theaten Person, and Track.



I second Dave2008's system. You could do the same with a Ranger class. How else can you make a Ranger?


Ranger:



  • Handle Animal:

  • Ride:

  • Swim:

  • Track:

  • Spot: 

  • Survival:

  • Sneak:




 
If this is the case then non-casters need ways to interract with things out of combat besides skills. Because attribute checks don't improve. If a mundane character can do the same things at level 1 as level 20 there is a very big problem.



Attribute checks DOES improve. If the progression remains the same you gain at lvl 20 +10 (total)to stats,max +5 to a single one. that's enough to raise  2-3 points a related skill or related substat.



Unless something changed this packet that I missed, attributes are capped at 20 (barring magic). A character rolling stats can start with a 20. A character with point buy can start with an 18. Neither of these is hard to attain or particularly likely to be uncommon. Your primary attribute plateaus at +2 to his primary stat by level 8. That +2 to your stat gets you a +1 on your rolls. So that means in whatever you are good at, the difference between a level 1 and a level 20 character is +1 on your rolls out of combat. Please go on to explain to me how this is a meaningful increase in capability.


If this is the case then non-casters need ways to interract with things out of combat besides skills. Because attribute checks don't improve. If a mundane character can do the same things at level 1 as level 20 there is a very big problem.

??? You are allowed to improve your skill every other level to a max of +7.       That skill modifier is added to your ability check modifier.  So, your ability with skills can increase, quite a bit. 



Ring ring. The original post called, it wants you to read it. In case you don't feel like scrolling back up, this topic was started on the premise that attribute checks are the main driving thing in the game, with skills being niche situational bonuses that you only apply once in a while when they are relevant. My post was directly responding to that idea, so skill scaling in the game is completely irrelevant to what I said.

But since you brought it up, lets look at that. Every other level you get to gain +1 to a single skill. And thank you for pointing out that it caps at 7, apparently since the playtest packet they have nerfed this by reducing the cap by 1 (I'm 99% sure it was 8 before). So your skill plateaus at level 8, at which point you have +7 to your skill. By level 16 you can have this applying to two skills. By level 20 you have a +5 bonus in a third skill.

Now lets consider this. This means that the absolute best in the world at one of these niche skills has a +12 modifier (+7 from skill +5 from attribute). This means on a test with DC16, he will still fail 20% of the time! In fact, if you put a guy who is the best in the world alongside someone who is absolutely unskilled (no training, -1 attribute), the guy who is best in the world can potentially fail the check, then the guy who has absolutely no skill or talent in the same task can make the check 15% of the time. And this is taking the position of the two most extreme ends allowed by the system, while using a task with a skill which is supposed to be very niche and not used often, and of which you only have as many as two trained at this level by the time you hit level cap.

Seriously, go on, keep trying to say this is perfectly okay. I know some of you people enjoy a game where the entire span of 20 levels is the equivalent of about 5 levels in older editions, because that's all you've ever played in those editions anyway. But for everyone else? This is completely unnacceptable. It is not something that can be relegated to a module, or that can continue to be ignored if they want to be successful. Half of the characters in the game right now have no meaningful way to interract with the world outside of combat that gets any better past the earliest levels. Right now the only thing in the game that has potential to fix it is throwing lots of magic items at those players. 
When I look at my job, I think of it in terms limited range skills and wide ranged skills.

For limited range skills I would have the following
Assessment
IV Insertion
Medication Administration
Dealing with Families
Dealing with Physicians
Dealing with Pharmacy
CPR
ACLS
Dressing Changes
Restraining Patients
Catheter Insertion
Wound Care
and more and more and more...

Or, if I did it with wide range skills, it becomes
Diplomacy
Heal

I just find doing the limited range skills with an open ended skill list leads to neverending lists of skills.  They need to reign in skills and make them more like they were in past editions.  Someone brought up the idea of calling the "Skill System" in DDN a Proficiency system, which would make more sense, but then it doesn't really capture the Skill system feel of 3E and 4E.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Ring ring. The original post called, it wants you to read it. In case you don't feel like scrolling back up, this topic was started on the premise that attribute checks are the main driving thing in the game, with skills being niche situational bonuses that you only apply once in a while when they are relevant. My post was directly responding to that idea, so skill scaling in the game is completely irrelevant to what I said.




In case you missed it, I mentioned how noncasters do noncombat thing.

Rogues have double skills which double their chance to apply their skill bonus to ability checks.

Fighters have Mighty Exertion (And hopefully Agility and Tough Exertion) to add to Str (and Dex and Con) checks.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

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