Why Use Rope deserves to be a skill

Since noone responded to this post I made on the Player Playtest Feedback forum nearly a week ago, and I think it's a topic worthy of discussion, I figured I repost it in its own thread here.

[quote author=56819448 post=526113753]
57925838 wrote:
The Skill List is a Train Wreck:

Besides, the Use Rope skill has more uses than just tying people up. Setting up a tent? Use Rope. Tossing a grappling hook at the top of a wall? Use Rope.  Climbing up the wall you just tossed a grappling hook at? Use Rope. Using pulleys to open a sealed stone door? Use Rope.

Everything should be a skill.  Nothing should be a skill.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
safely tying someone up is a lot harder than it looks, especially if you don't want them wiggling out of it.


A skill has to be more than difficult.  It also has to have broad use so that it is as valuable to take as any of the other skills.

the Use Rope skill has more uses than just tying people up. Setting up a tent? Use Rope. Tossing a grappling hook at the top of a wall? Use Rope.  Climbing up the wall you just tossed a grappling hook at? Use Rope. Using pulleys to open a sealed stone door? Use Rope.




None of those actions should require an Ability check.  Why on Oerth should you have to roll to see if you can set up camp?  Should Use Rope be used to determine if you can properly tie your bootlaces?  It seems like you are reaching to justify a skill that has very limited utility.

Moreover, the skills needed for tying someone up and for rappelling are different.  Rappelling would be learned as part of a general Climb skill, not Use Rope.  Using a pulley isn't even something one would learn as a skill.  You don't train in pulling.  Similarly, tossing a grappling hook as very little in common with knot-tying.  It's a function of your skill at throwing.

I imagine Use Rope as learning as learning a variety of knots like a sailor or Boy Scout.  But it really has very little practical application to the sort of tasks in which an adventurer engages.
I don't get the hate for the skill.
When we switched to Pathfinder, my players had a series of complaints about the lack of the skill. Especially, since the game right before it a character was known for her Use Rope skills. My players have a habit of tying up their captives. Often trying to hogtie them, especially if they are still conscious due to surrender. Which usually leads to the captives not letting them. 
safely tying someone up is a lot harder than it looks, especially if you don't want them wiggling out of it.


A skill has to be more than difficult.  It also has to have broad use so that it is as valuable to take as any of the other skills.


Sure, it does. Are you doing something involving rope in any capacity? Roll Use Rope.

the Use Rope skill has more uses than just tying people up. Setting up a tent? Use Rope. Tossing a grappling hook at the top of a wall? Use Rope.  Climbing up the wall you just tossed a grappling hook at? Use Rope. Using pulleys to open a sealed stone door? Use Rope.



None of those actions should require an Ability check.  Why on Oerth should you have to roll to see if you can set up camp?  Should Use Rope be used to determine if you can properly tie your bootlaces?  It seems like you are reaching to justify a skill that has very limited utility.


You're on top of a windswept mountainside. Roll a DC 14 check to set up the camp, or you're going to take damage from frostbite after it blows away!

Moreover, the skills needed for tying someone up and for rappelling are different.  Rappelling would be learned as part of a general Climb skill, not Use Rope.  Using a pulley isn't even something one would learn as a skill.  You don't train in pulling.  Similarly, tossing a grappling hook as very little in common with knot-tying.  It's a function of your skill at throwing.


Does it involve rope? Yes? Then it's Use Rope.

I imagine Use Rope as learning as learning a variety of knots like a sailor or Boy Scout.  But it really has very little practical application to the sort of tasks in which an adventurer engages.


Use Rope is more than just tying knots. It is doing anything at all that involves the use of rope in any capacity.
Sure, it does. Are you doing something involving rope in any capacity? Roll Use Rope.


That's a material, not a skill.  We don't define skills that way because it's nonsensical.  I wouldn't create a skill called "Use Paper" that includes origami, playwrighting, giftwrapping, and accounting simply because they all involve the material paper.  

You're on top of a windswept mountainside. Roll a DC 14 check to set up the camp, or you're going to take damage from frostbite after it blows away!


That's not going to depend on my skill with rope.  It's going to depend on my personal endurance and ability to drive a stakle into the ground with force while struggling against the power of the wind.  You're categorization is nonsensical and an obvious attempt to argue from your conclusion.

Does it involve rope? Yes? Then it's Use Rope.


That's absurd and more than adequately explains why most people find the "skill" to be suboptimal.
I imagine Use Rope as learning as learning a variety of knots like a sailor or Boy Scout.  But it really has very little practical application to the sort of tasks in which an adventurer engages.



Knots and their uses are very much a needed skill in adventuring. As was pointed out above, tying up an opponent requires knots, tying yourself to a rope so you can be pulled somewhere, making lassos, nooses. There are uses and a need for Use Rope. If we have an abbreviated Skill List like in 4e, then I am OK with NOT having the skill, but if its a broader list, it should be included.
I don't get the hate for the skill.
When we switched to Pathfinder, my players had a series of complaints about the lack of the skill. Especially, since the game right before it a character was known for her Use Rope skills. My players have a habit of tying up their captives. Often trying to hogtie them, especially if they are still conscious due to surrender. Which usually leads to the captives not letting them. 


Just invest in some manacles and fetters (15 gp each).  If your skill can be effectiively obviated with about 1000 gp of materials, it's probably not a very useful skill.
Does a party need to make a Use Rope check to set up camp? Under normal circumstances, no, but what if they are trying to do so in 40mph winds ?


Anybody with experience in camping knows that has nothign to do with your skill with the rope!  That's just a post hoc justification for the skill!!  Gah!  That's frustrarting.

Tying someone up well can take skill.  But most other uses for knots do not require checks.  You either know how to tie a half-hitch or you don't.  You either know when a slipknot is appropriate or you don't.

The ability to tie someone up is insufficient a reason for an entire skill. All the other justifications for the skill are post hoc rationalizations, and not particularly informed ones.
Its pretty obvious this has turned into "I dont use this (whatever the skill/class/race/alignment) in my game, so nobody else should either."  I thought that DDN was supposed to be more modular and more free about leaving things out or putting things in to indivigual games.
Use Rope.
Use Shovel.
Use Pickaxe.
Use Pole.
Use Hammer.

Use _______.

Why not?
Rope use is a skill that shouldn't be a skill.  So what do you do?  You simply set a DC and have them roll a stat check to see if they do it right.  If you want, you can create a feat for them to take if they want to get a "trained" bonus.  Or you can simply add it as a free skill to appropriate backgrounds.  Rope use is just not good enough on its own to warrant taking the place of another useful skill.
Sure, it does. Are you doing something involving rope in any capacity? Roll Use Rope.


That's a material, not a skill.  We don't define skills that way because it's nonsensical.  I wouldn't create a skill called "Use Paper" that includes origami, playwrighting, giftwrapping, and accounting simply because they all involve the material paper.  



Don't forget map-reading!  Maps are made out of paper, too.  =)
Sure, it does. Are you doing something involving rope in any capacity? Roll Use Rope.


That's a material, not a skill.  We don't define skills that way because it's nonsensical.  I wouldn't create a skill called "Use Paper" that includes origami, playwrighting, giftwrapping, and accounting simply because they all involve the material paper.  



Don't forget map-reading!  Maps are made out of paper, too.  =)


Good point.  Of course, then I'd have to shave some points from my Use Metal skill.  That has like a thousand uses.
Sure, it does. Are you doing something involving rope in any capacity? Roll Use Rope.


That's a material, not a skill.  We don't define skills that way because it's nonsensical.  I wouldn't create a skill called "Use Paper" that includes origami, playwrighting, giftwrapping, and accounting simply because they all involve the material paper.  



Don't forget map-reading!  Maps are made out of paper, too.  =)


Shouldn't we individualize Reading and Writing and make them skills.  Adventurer one fails his reading check and says to adventurer two: "What's that sign say yonder good fellow?"
Adventurer two passes and says "Tiny's Tavern". 
I thought that DDN was supposed to be more modular and more free about leaving things out or putting things in to indivigual games.


Hey, I think the ability to tie people up can be represented as part of a background, that gives you a basic bonsus to that one action.  Or it can be folded into a broader skill that involves fine motor skills, as the "skill" of rope-tying is closely related to other fine motor skills.

But let's not encourage poor game design in the name of modularity.  There are ways to accommodate the ability to tie people up without creating a trap option in the mechanics. 
I thought that DDN was supposed to be more modular and more free about leaving things out or putting things in to indivigual games.


Hey, I think the ability to tie people up can be represented as part of a background, that gives you a basic bonsus to that one action.



Great idea!  I wish I had thought of that ;)

     

Shouldn't we individualize Reading and Writing and make them skills.



Once upon a time, they were seperate. Being able to speak a language doesn't mean you can read/write in it. However, somewhere along the line all of this was incorporated into just Language. The most fantastical part of D&D is that there is a 100% literacy rate amoung all races that have a spoken and written language. Even the dumbest Kobold can read his written language perfectly.
Sure, it does. Are you doing something involving rope in any capacity? Roll Use Rope.


That's a material, not a skill.  We don't define skills that way because it's nonsensical.  I wouldn't create a skill called "Use Paper" that includes origami, playwrighting, giftwrapping, and accounting simply because they all involve the material paper.  



Don't forget map-reading!  Maps are made out of paper, too.  =)


Shouldn't we individualize Reading and Writing and make them skills.  Adventurer one fails his reading check and says to adventurer two: "What's that sign say yonder good fellow?"
Adventurer two passes and says "Tiny's Tavern". 


Sorry.  A sign would be made of wood, and would thus come under the Use Wood skill.  Use Paper only lets you read things written on paper.  Except the following sign...

 
That would be another place to Use Rope.  
People will argue the Use Rope skill, but nobody is arguing the Language skill
Shouldn't we individualize Reading and Writing and make them skills.



Once upon a time, they were seperate. Being able to speak a language doesn't mean you can read/write in it. However, somewhere along the line all of this was incorporated into just Language. The most fantastical part of D&D is that there is a 100% literacy rate amoung all races that have a spoken and written language. Even the dumbest Kobold can read his written language perfectly.


I think someone failed a Use Humor check.
I don't see why setting up camp would be the "Use Rope" skill.  It seems much more likely to be a subset of the "setup temporary structures in the wilderness" skill.  Or maybe the "Improvise shelter in extreme conditions" skill.   
Shouldn't we individualize Reading and Writing and make them skills.



Once upon a time, they were seperate. Being able to speak a language doesn't mean you can read/write in it. However, somewhere along the line all of this was incorporated into just Language. The most fantastical part of D&D is that there is a 100% literacy rate amoung all races that have a spoken and written language. Even the dumbest Kobold can read his written language perfectly.


I was joking.  I don't think we should individualize Reading/Writing.  Even some of the dumbest humans irl can read and write so let's not be so racist to kobolds okay?  Kobolds saved my life.  I'm just saying. 
I don't see why setting up camp would be the "Use Rope" skill.  It seems much more likely to be a subset of the "setup temporary structures in the wilderness" skill.  Or maybe the "Improvise shelter in extreme conditions" skill.   


Or possibly Use Canvas.
Shouldn't we individualize Reading and Writing and make them skills.



Once upon a time, they were seperate. Being able to speak a language doesn't mean you can read/write in it. However, somewhere along the line all of this was incorporated into just Language. The most fantastical part of D&D is that there is a 100% literacy rate amoung all races that have a spoken and written language. Even the dumbest Kobold can read his written language perfectly.


I think someone failed a Use Humor check.


lol
safely tying someone up is a lot harder than it looks, especially if you don't want them wiggling out of it.


A skill has to be more than difficult.  It also has to have broad use so that it is as valuable to take as any of the other skills.


No, it doesn't.  Skills don't have to be balanced.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Great idea!  I wish I had thought of that ;)


Well, that's either an example of "Great minds think alike" or "A stopped clock is right twice a day".  Not sure which. 
safely tying someone up is a lot harder than it looks, especially if you don't want them wiggling out of it.


A skill has to be more than difficult.  It also has to have broad use so that it is as valuable to take as any of the other skills.


No, it doesn't.  Skills don't have to be balanced.


If they are limited resource (and they are) they should be roughly balanced.  Otherwise you end up with trap options.  And Use Rope would definitely be a trap option (or at least a snare option because, you know, snares use rope).
I thought that DDN was supposed to be more modular and more free about leaving things out or putting things in to indivigual games.


Hey, I think the ability to tie people up can be represented as part of a background, that gives you a basic bonsus to that one action.  Or it can be folded into a broader skill that involves fine motor skills, as the "skill" of rope-tying is closely related to other fine motor skills.

But let's not encourage poor game design in the name of modularity.  There are ways to accommodate the ability to tie people up without creating a trap option in the mechanics. 



Pretty much this. Plus the fact that every single argument in defense of the skill sounds exactly like a player being like "My highest skill is endurance can I use that to haggle for a lower price on this axe?"

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Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
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56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

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57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
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I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
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56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
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...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.
Shouldn't we individualize Reading and Writing and make them skills.



Once upon a time, they were seperate. Being able to speak a language doesn't mean you can read/write in it. However, somewhere along the line all of this was incorporated into just Language. The most fantastical part of D&D is that there is a 100% literacy rate amoung all races that have a spoken and written language. Even the dumbest Kobold can read his written language perfectly.


I think someone failed a Use Humor check.


lol



I cant, Wrecan said we cant have Humor as a skill. If he is right on Use Rope, he MUST be right on this too.
One man's trap option is another man's character choice.

Trap options aren't a problem in this circumstances.  We don't require skill usage to be balanced to anywhere near the degree that combat is.  It's okay if I make a character that has Use Rope because I want it to be good at using rope.  The tolerance on out-of-combat balance is just simply much looser.  Skills had to be balanced back when we had class lists, but in the absence of class lists where we can be trained in whatever the hell we want, we should be able to be trained in whatever the hell we want.

We've already gotten away from "Roll a (insert skill here) check" and into "Roll a (insert ability here)" check.  Which you then get a bonus to if you've got training in doing the thing that prompted the roll.


D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
It's obvious that Use Rope shoudln't be a skill; it has a stupid name that accurately describes the stupid idea it represents.

There are several situations in game in which use rope is applicable.     It's actually a very useful skill to have for dungeon crawling.    It is a trained skill as well since most people only know how to tie a very simple knot.   

I think players just don't know how to take advantage of the skill.    I've had a few players concoct all kinds of fancy slip knot mechanisms for various situations.  


 


OTrap options aren't a problem in this circumstances.


It think they are because asRPJesus says, it leads to people trying to make their skill more useful by inserting it into inappropriate places.  As we've seen in this very thread, Use Rope is particularly prone to this sort of issue, because Use Rope isn't really a skill.  It describes a material.

Now, if the "skill" were called "Hogtying", then it would probably be okay because it would be painfully obvious how limited a use it would have and most people would avoid it like the plague, except for those people who want someone who knows how to hog-tie people real well.  Those people would likely to be complaining, and rightly so, about having to spend an entire proficiency for such limited usefulness.  Which is why the better solution if to make it part of a Background and just give people a bonus to it.  (Heck, I'm not even sure it's useful enough to warrant includion as a feat!)
Indy was very well-trained in "Use Whip"
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I cant, Wrecan said we cant have Humor as a skill. If he is right on Use Rope, he MUST be right on this too.


I never said we can't have Use Humor as a skill.  Humor, unlike rope, is a skill and not a material, even though you use either to hoist yourself by your own petard.
You guys do realise that when you're simply resorting to mocking my point, rather than refuting it, you're basically conceding the argument, right?
Backgrounds list some jobs that are already use ropes to secure them or means to bind people.

Carpenter
Painter

Bounty hunter

Fisher (it depends on the specific profile)
Forester
Laborer (it depends of the specific profile, if he works with animals for example)
Sailor
Serf (they are enslaved laborers, I don't understand why they are in the commoner list. They should have their own background as most free serfs are escaped ones)
Trapper

Guide 

Guild thief

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

"Use ropes" could be useful, but I don´t imagine "cabuyeria" (cordage would be the closer English word) like a skill with X levels like it was a degree course. It should be free with a skill point of Proffesion (sailor).

My opinion is it should be only a skill point, like speaking languages...(or it could be with automatic bonus by leveling up, like 4th ed).

 Hojojutsu, Japanese martial art restraining a person using cord or rope (only by samurais) isn´t the D&D skill "Use ropes" but it could be a skill with different degrees. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

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You guys do realise that when you're simply resorting to mocking my point, rather than refuting it, you're basically conceding the argument, right?


Since we've already refuted the point many posts ago, and that refutation has been met by nonsense, all that's left is mockery.
You guys do realise that when you're simply resorting to mocking my point, rather than refuting it, you're basically conceding the argument, right?


Oh don't be so serious!  Our mocking contained the refutation therein.  IMO skills don't need to be so granular as Use Rope.  However I do agree with Mand12.  Skills don't need to be as balanced as combat.  I'll go further and say the existence of Use Rope, like alignment, has no bearing on my games.  If the devs provided a list of 80 skills I'd take out all the ones I didn't like.  Alternately if they don't include Use Rope and a player really wanted to have it then, after some gentle ribbing, I would let them.
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