One System to Rule them All

I like where the skill die in 5e is going, but I think it can be taken one step further.

I propose uniting all of the various 5e systems into a simple unified task resolution mechanic.  Instead of having attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks 5e should strive to have only ability checks.

If you want to attack someone with a weapon, roll an ability check.  If you want to sneak past a guard, roll an ability check.  If you want to resist being charmed by a witch, roll an ability check.

Now here is where the skill die mechanic comes in.  Any task that you are "proficient" at allows you to roll your skill die in addition to your d20.

A warrior proficient greatsword would roll a strength ability check and add his skill die when making an attack.

A wizard proficient with the the staff implement would roll an intelligence ability check when attempting to dominate his opponent.  His target would make a charisma ability check to resist. If the target has the "iron will" feat he might get his skill die added to this ability check.

A thief proficient with stealth attempting to sneak past the castle guard would roll a dexterity ability check and add his skill die to the result.

The system is streamline, intuitive, and easy to learn.  It works perfectly towards 5e's goals of a simple system.

Thoughts? 

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The Hero: A Modular 5e Class

I like where the skill die in 5e is going, but I think it can be taken one step further.

I propose uniting all of the various 5e systems into a simple unified task resolution mechanic.  Instead of having attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks 5e should strive to have only ability checks.

If you want to attack someone with a weapon, roll an ability check.  If you want to sneak past a guard, roll an ability check.  If you want to resist being charmed by a witch, roll an ability check.

Now here is where the skill die mechanic comes in.  Any task that you are "proficient" at allows you to roll your skill die in addition to your d20.

A warrior proficient greatsword would roll a strength ability check and add his skill die when making an attack.

A wizard proficient with the the staff implement would roll an intelligence ability check when attempting to dominate his opponent.  His target would make a charisma ability check to resist. If the target has the "iron will" feat he might get his skill die added to this ability check.

A thief proficient with stealth attempting to sneak past the castle guard would roll a dexterity ability check and add his skill die to the result.

The system is streamline, intuitive, and easy to learn.  It works perfectly towards 5e's goals of a simple system.

Thoughts? 



I like it.  Does it change D&D too much?  I don't know.   Using skill die and attribute rolls for everything would also make monsters/foes easy to run (and create from scratch) too.   If I know the level of the monster, I just use that level skill die to add to its check or attack (just assuming that monsters are proficient in their key skills/attacks).

I'd like to try this out.  Nice idea.   


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My god, that almost sounds like... *le gasp*... a simple core!

Laughing

Seriously though, it's not a bad idea at all.  Particularly as a base upon which to build.
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A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
it has an air of savage worlds to it.

Which I'd like. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Make ability the die and skill the static.
I skill level is static because if you are trained you can repeat the same task over and over with reasonable chance of success. Think of a marksman shooting at a bullseye. Someone with talent or ability (high Dex) has a better chance of success but can still miss. Someone with training will hit every time (static).
I like the idea of adding dice to the d20. Its just fun!

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

I'm confused.  Is an ability check still "d20 + ability modifier"?  If that's the case, then the only difference between your proposal and the current playtest is that you have a "skill die" for weapon attacks or magic attacks, rather than the flat class-based bonus.

I'm guess the size of the die would depend on the class, though, right?

I mean, I can't say anything bad about this idea, but it seems really ... minor.
The metagame is not the game.
I'm guess the size of the die would depend on the class, though, right?


Not OP, but I don't think so.  I mean, you'd differentiate with "proficiency" - some classes are proficient, some aren't.  If you needed more than that, you could do like the Rogue's Skill Mastery feature is, now - roll Skill Die twice and use higher result - for particular specialts.

I mean, I can't say anything bad about this idea, but it seems really ... minor.


Just consistent, and simple.  There would be, well, how many rules to remember for the "core" of the system?  Ability checks, Proficiency-and-Skill-Die, Attacks, Hit points and Damage?

It just sounds like a much better "rules-lite" system - which is what I expected Next's "core" to look like (and maybe it will, eventually).
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Good idea.  I like it, I'd be happy to see that as the core.

Not gonna happen, though. 
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It seems the d20+[skill die] formula is catching on. I'm  feeling that we might be able to eliminate ability mods altogether, and use the scores as defenses (with AC being a calculated "ability score"). Have the formulas based on (d20+[skill die]-DC), and use the balance as part of the final effect.

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Do you still add your ability modifier?

If so, it sounds like what D&DNext is using already, just without the different names for the different uses (Attack Roll, Skill Check, Saving Throw, etc.).
So we would unify the Skill system with the Proficiency system. I like it. My Rogue Rake with the Noble Background is simply Proficient in Simple Weapons, Crossbows, Bows, Swords, Thieves' Tools, Balance, Intimidate, Gather Rumors, Heraldry, Persuade, and Sense Motive.

Fighters would get Weapon Mastery, which lets them roll their Weapon die twice and take the highest. I like it more.

Wounds Module [updated for Basic]

Proficiency Module

Even better, a new Proficiency system could make leveling up exciting again! Every level, you learn two new Proficiencies from among the following categories: Armor, Language, Skill, Spell, or Weapon.

There should be some limits based on class and background, but I haven't figured those out yet...

Wounds Module [updated for Basic]

Proficiency Module

This idea is made of so much greatness!

Danny

Good idea.  I like it, I'd be happy to see that as the core.

Not gonna happen, though. 



I agree- it's not fiddly and convoluted enough to attract some of the dnd fans
the ability mod could be the base die and skill training could increase the die used. example. STR 16=1d6. Fighter weapon training rank 1, now the fighter die is 1d8. Elf weapon training, now the die is 1d10.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

It seems the d20+[skill die] formula is catching on. I'm  feeling that we might be able to eliminate ability mods altogether, and use the scores as defenses (with AC being a calculated "ability score"). Have the formulas based on (d20+[skill die]-DC), and use the balance as part of the final effect.



Kinda like:

1d20+1d4-AC - apply the difference to weapon damage.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

And the best part is?  With the higher potential on attack rolls, we can have AC scaling back with less of an issue of low level monsters falling out.  It's a small difference and only at the extremes, I know, but the reality is it was a pretty small difference and only at the extremes anyway so this would actually help.  

*hides in a bunker till the flame war is over. 
I think it's great. I think you could even change weapons so that they get static damage plus the skill die. 

so great sword is +6 dmg, then you do to hit = 14 [D20] + 4[d6]+ 3 [str] for to-hit
But you also just rolled your damage  14 [D20] + 4[d6]+ 3 [str]  = 7 +6 =13 dmg

Now your skill roll actually effects your damage.

My mind is a deal-breaker.

I think it's great. I think you could even change weapons so that they get static damage plus the skill die. 

so great sword is +6 dmg, then you do to hit = 14 [D20] + 4[d6]+ 3 [str] for to-hit
But you also just rolled your damage  14 [D20] + 4[d6]+ 3 [str]  = 7 +6 =13 dmg

Now your skill roll actually effects your damage.



It is like accuracy damage.  Now how to connect that to weapons/spells/whatnot damage?

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

This doesn't solve the current problem with the skill die, that it acts on a different axis to ability modifier. Currently the naturally talented but untrained character has a better minimum than the untalented but well trained character. I'd rather see them treated in the same way, even if one has more emphasis than another.
This doesn't solve the current problem with the skill die, that it acts on a different axis to ability modifier. Currently the naturally talented but untrained character has a better minimum than the untalented but well trained character. I'd rather see them treated in the same way, even if one has more emphasis than another.

All the more reason to drop the Ability Mod from the attack equation.

Ability Mods are for skills, damage and defense.

EDIT: In all honesty, if this system were to become universal, I would happily suffer Ability Mods being added to attack rolls in the name of unified systems and the simplicity therein.  

Danny

Is it really a problem that someone with great natural talent has a higher minimum, but someone with lots of training but no natural talent can still achieve greater heights more often?
Is it really a problem that someone with great natural talent has a higher minimum, but someone with lots of training but no natural talent can still achieve greater heights more often?


Well, once people start phrasing it that way, I'd be more comfortable with it being switched.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Rather than derail this thread, I totally borrowed this idea and took it here.

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Is it really a problem that someone with great natural talent has a higher minimum, but someone with lots of training but no natural talent can still achieve greater heights more often?



As someone else already commented, it seems like it should be the other way round. Training and experience makes you consistently good, unrefined talent gives you wild potential.
Yeah, I think strider is right that it actually makes more sense to have talent get you variable bonus and training get you consistency.  But it's a much bigger break to drop 3.x ability mods than it is to extend the skill die mechanic into attacks.  And ultimately IME people end up training the things they have high abilities for, so I don't think it matters much if you just stop thinking about it. 

That said, strider's other idea was a good one too.  Why add die+die+modifier, it would be faster to just add die+bigger die.  Other than the whole problem of what you do when you pass d12, which has never been well handled IMO.  Mechanically speaking the best solution is 3d4, but then you're rolling a lot of dice.  And they're d4s, which I find terribly unsatisfying to roll.  And to count, with their silly numbers in the wrong place.  But now I'm just rambling.
I like d20+[ability die]+[static skill mod] best.  I think talent=swingy vs. skill=reliable makes the most sense, and leaving the skill bonus as a static mod rather than increasing the "base" die size means you don't have to worry about die size progression beyond d12.  Ability die size is also pretty intuitive, just Ability Score - 10 = Ability die size.

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Yeah, I think strider is right that it actually makes more sense to have talent get you variable bonus and training get you consistency.  But it's a much bigger break to drop 3.x ability mods than it is to extend the skill die mechanic into attacks.  And ultimately IME people end up training the things they have high abilities for, so I don't think it matters much if you just stop thinking about it. 

That said, strider's other idea was a good one too.  Why add die+die+modifier, it would be faster to just add die+bigger die.  Other than the whole problem of what you do when you pass d12, which has never been well handled IMO.  Mechanically speaking the best solution is 3d4, but then you're rolling a lot of dice.  And they're d4s, which I find terribly unsatisfying to roll.  And to count, with their silly numbers in the wrong place.  But now I'm just rambling.

Too many dice is a valid concern. It'll also get confusing when you're one of those efficient gamers (like myself) who rolls all of their dice (attack and damage) at once. (Although, color choices can help in this regard.)

Danny

I LOVE it. All checks should be stat checks (including attack rolls and spellcasting checks). All stat checks should be 1d20 + skill die (if proficient) + stat mod. 

I really like the idea of

[Skill Die] + [d20] + attribute = to hit
[Skill Die] + attribute = damage

Fighters could get advantage on the skill dice (like rogues with skills) as their special ability.
 

My mind is a deal-breaker.

I really like the idea of

[Skill Die] + [d20] + attribute = to hit
[Skill Die] + attribute = damage

The only thing with damage being calculated in this fashion is that it undermines the Maneuver system.

Fighters could get advantage on the skill dice (like rogues with skills) as their special ability.

Yup!

LEVEL 1: COMBAT MASTERY
When wielding a weapon in your hand, you always seem to excel beyond what is expected of you.
Benefit: When you roll your Skill Dice to attack, roll two of that die and take the higher result.

Danny

I really like the idea of

[Skill Die] + [d20] + attribute = to hit
[Skill Die] + attribute = damage

The only thing with damage being calculated in this fashion is that it undermines the Maneuver system.

Fighters could get advantage on the skill dice (like rogues with skills) as their special ability.

Yup!

LEVEL 1: COMBAT MASTERY
When wielding a weapon in your hand, you always seem to excel beyond what is expected of you.
Benefit: When you roll your Martial Proficiency Dice, roll two of that die and take the higher result.





the way I see it though is that the skil die becomes the weapon dice as for damage

so:

Londsword = Skill die + 3
Greatsword= Skill die + 5
Dagger = Skill die
 

My mind is a deal-breaker.

I really like the idea of

[Skill Die] + [d20] + attribute = to hit
[Skill Die] + attribute = damage

The only thing with damage being calculated in this fashion is that it undermines the Maneuver system.

Fighters could get advantage on the skill dice (like rogues with skills) as their special ability.

Yup!

LEVEL 1: COMBAT MASTERY
When wielding a weapon in your hand, you always seem to excel beyond what is expected of you.
Benefit: When you roll your Martial Proficiency Dice, roll two of that die and take the higher result.





the way I see it though is that the skil die becomes the weapon dice as for damage

so:

Londsword = Skill die + 3
Greatsword= Skill die + 5
Dagger = Skill die

Oh, I see it. -- And I think it's clean and awesome. -- But what would we sacrifice/trade for Maneuver usage?

Danny

I really like the idea of

[Skill Die] + [d20] + attribute = to hit
[Skill Die] + attribute = damage

The only thing with damage being calculated in this fashion is that it undermines the Maneuver system.

Fighters could get advantage on the skill dice (like rogues with skills) as their special ability.

Yup!

LEVEL 1: COMBAT MASTERY
When wielding a weapon in your hand, you always seem to excel beyond what is expected of you.
Benefit: When you roll your Martial Proficiency Dice, roll two of that die and take the higher result.





the way I see it though is that the skil die becomes the weapon dice as for damage

so:

Londsword = Skill die + 3
Greatsword= Skill die + 5
Dagger = Skill die

Oh, I see it. -- And I think it's clean and awesome. -- But what would we sacrifice/trade for Maneuver usage?




Nothing. I think it works fine with manuevers.
Maybe I'm missing something give me example, of  problem it creates.

My mind is a deal-breaker.

I'm a big fan of Lawolf's other idea of using each weapon's damage dice and scaling it like MDD. It would preserve the Maneuver mechanic as it stands, make weapon selection meaningful in terms of damage output, and keep things simple. (We just need to slow down the progression and keep a sensible amount of dice on the table.)

If MDD reset every turn, then there's no need to have more than 5 in your hand at level 20. Rolling a d20, a Skill die, and 1-5 MDD in a single handful for an all-out assault at the highest level is pure, simplistic awesome.

Danny

I'm a big fan of lawolf's other idea of using each weapon's damage dice and scaling it like MDD. It would preserve the Maneuver mechanic as it stands, make weapon selection meaningful in terms of damage output, and keep things simple. (We just need to slow down the progression and keep a sensible amount of dice on the table.)

If MDD reset every turn, then there's no need to have more than 5 in your hand at level 20. Rolling a d20, a Skill die, and 1-5 MDD in a single handful for an all-out assault at the highest level is pure, simplistic awesome.  



I really like that also.

My mind is a deal-breaker.

How about we just take some die, say maybe a d6.  Or maybe a d10, those look fancier.  And some number on it, say maybe 8.  And then we split character traits between innate 'attributes' and trained or honed 'skills', and characters put points in these things.  And then, whenever you want to do something, you tell the DM what you want to do, and the DM tells you what attribute and skill are involved, and you roll as many dice as you have points in those things, and count how many times you hit the target number or more.  Maybe tens count twice.  Maybe each one removes the highest remaining roll.  More difficult tasks require more successes in a role.  botches are more ones than successes, critical successes double the needed number of successes.

More dice is more better, everything is pretty natural and intuitive, it has more moving parts than d20 DC checks (you could concievably modify the target number, or the number of successes needed, or the number of dice thrown), etc.

You could put combat / weapon abilities in the skills list.  Attacks could be opposed affairs.  weapon damage could be applied per success in excess of the targets 'dodge' or 'block' roll.  Magic powers could likewise require rolls to activate, with level of spell = number of successes required on some sort of 'magic attribute + occult skill' roll.  Counterspells could operate intuitively in such a system without having to be clunky add ons.  More powerful spells could require several more successes, but allow rolls to be made on successive turns until the spell was cast, etc.

I mean, this started off as a joke, but the more I talk about it, the more I sort of talk myself into preferring White Wolf's core mechanics.  Maybe not the games as written, but the basic dice pools mechanic itself.

One issue I am now seeing as a problem with this too much dice rolling. Especially when you throw in advantage, skill mastery, etc.

A possible solution:
Skill mastery and combat mastery could bump up your proficiency die 1 step instead of granting roll 2x take highest.

Advantage becomes: when you make a d20 roll with advantage, any value below 10 counts as a 10 instead.

Disadvantage becomes: when you make a d20 roll with disadvantage, any value above 10 becomes 10 instead.

Just brainstorming...
Not proficent/trained = no bonus.
Novice proficency/training = 1d4 (2)
Adept proficency/training = 1d6 (3)
Expert proficency/training = 1d8 (4)
Master proficency/training = 1d10 (5)
Grand Master proficency/training = 1d12 (6).

I'd kinda like a few more steps though, but there's no 1d14, or 1d16. 



Also training is slightly better then talent.

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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

One issue I am now seeing as a problem with this too much dice rolling. Especially when you throw in advantage, skill mastery, etc. A possible solution: Skill mastery and combat mastery could bump up your proficiency die 1 step instead of granting roll 2x take highest. Advantage becomes: when you make a d20 roll with advantage, any value below 10 counts as a 10 instead. Disadvantage becomes: when you make a d20 roll with disadvantage, any value above 10 becomes 10 instead. Just brainstorming...

I think I'm the most vocal stickler of anti-math and dice gratuitousness, and I'm perfectly fine with 2d20 (Advantage/Disadvantage) + 2dSkillDice (Mastery) + 5 WeaponDamageDice at Level 20.

Like, perfectly all the way fine. <3

EDIT: Assuming that 5 WDD is happening in the last five levels or so. Not cresting at 10th.

Danny