A (Pretty Small) Thought on Phrasing

Lots of discussion on Fighters, Rogues, other classes, and skills, has made me really sit down and look at skills and "training".

I'm kind of curious why we have "trained" as the terminology for "skills-you-are-gooder-at", and if there's any interest in stepping back to the "proficient" terminology (akin to 2e's "Non-weapon Proficiencies", only we wouldn't call them that).

It's a pretty insignificant change overall, but "proficient" just feels more character concept neutral than "trained" when it comes to skills, because it doesn't suggest any answer to "Why is the character good at this skill?"

Just a thought.
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)
"Why is the character good at this skill?"


This must be answered by the player, not the system.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
"Why is the character good at this skill?"


This must be answered by the player, not the system.


That's what I'm saying though - the "Trained" terminology suggests an answer ("You have formal or informal training; it is a bonus for knowledge and experience"), whereas "Proficient" does not (I believe) carry anything similar.
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)
This is a question of language
I'm by no means a scholar of the english language (heck, it's not even my first language) but here goes:

To me the word skill implies a degree (dude A is more/less skilled than dude B)

some people are more skilled than others at certain things, but anyone that has had training can be said to be "proficient" be they novice or masters.
the word proficiencie lends itself better to a "binary" type of system (Is this dude proficient? yes he is/no he is not)

If we go back to a system of skills with independantly increasing bonus (which I would realy like, personally), skills seems more fitting of a term.
If the skill dice stays, and every "skill" is a "either you have it or you don't" thing, then I think proficiency would be a more suitable word.
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
You misread me, I think, chuck80.

I'm not suggesting we replace "skills" with "proficiencies", just replace "trained" with "proficient".

One would still choose Skills, but they would be choosing to be "proficient" with them rather than "trained".

As the title says, it's a pretty (incredibly) minor thing.
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)
Why not just use "skilled"?  When you choose a skill you are Skilled at those actions.  Otherwise you are Unskilled.
I like Proficient because it allows us to group in "weapon proficiencies" with skills and treat them them the same way. That is how you create a streamlined, simple, elegant core.
You misread me, I think, chuck80.

I'm not suggesting we replace "skills" with "proficiencies", just replace "trained" with "proficient".

One would still choose Skills, but they would be choosing to be "proficient" with them rather than "trained".

As the title says, it's a pretty (incredibly) minor thing.



oups Laughing silly me...

I think trained speaks better of what the choice represent: the skill die represent training, not proficiency. As a high ability but untrained person could effectively be more "proficient" than an average person with training.

If skills were to be renamed as proficiencies (which I still think would make more sense) then proficient would definitely be the better word as it would not matter HOW you got good at doing that: maybe it was training, maybe it's insight, maybe you have seen your master practice martial arts from your rat's cage and now can teach it to turtles... All that matters is that you CAN do it.
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
I like Proficient because it allows us to group in "weapon proficiencies" with skills and treat them them the same way. That is how you create a streamlined, simple, elegant core.


Maybe they should be called Non-Weapon Proficiencies. Wink
I like Proficient because it allows us to group in "weapon proficiencies" with skills and treat them them the same way. That is how you create a streamlined, simple, elegant core.


Maybe they should be called Non-Weapon Proficiencies. 



Where have I seen that before ? Wink
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
I like Proficient because it allows us to group in "weapon proficiencies" with skills and treat them them the same way. That is how you create a streamlined, simple, elegant core.


Maybe they should be called Non-Weapon Proficiencies. 



Where have I seen that before ? 


I have no idea!  But whatever it was, it might have had some good ideas.
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)
To me, "proficient" means a certain degree of competence. If you take a test, and score at least a 70%, then you get a certificate stating your proficiency. That proficiency could be due to natural talent, or specific training, but it's a binary thing - you either are proficient, or you are not.

To me, "trained" also means something specific. It means that someone has trained you, or maybe you trained yourself, but it was a deliberate course of study where you sought to increase your capability through instruction and practice. It should be possible to be trained but not proficient (if you show no natural aptitude), just like you could be proficient without being trained (if you do have natural aptitude).

I prefer "trained" over "proficient" because it tells you more of why you have this bonus. Why can the rogue pick locks really well? Because of practice, and instruction; it is the training which made her proficient.

To put it into 3E terms, because those mean more to me, I would say that anyone with any skill ranks is trained - you can get up to +23 from all of that training you go through - but anyone with a combined bonus of +10, from ability modifier and skill ranks (and synergy and whatever else) - is proficient. Nobody really cares whether you're trained or talented or just really lucky, as long as you're proficient enough to get results.
The metagame is not the game.
So, Saelorn, we agree on everything but preference.  Tongue Out
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)
I would prefer to do trained if they included a Fighting, Shooting, and Spellcasting skill to the game.

As D&D traditionally does weapon proficiencies instead of combat skills, I prefer proficiencies.

Either way I would like to see both skills and combat follow the same mechanics for the sake of simplicity and elegance. We don't need 12 unique susbsystems for "roll a d20 and add X to it".
I would prefer to do trained if they included a Fighting, Shooting, and Spellcasting skill to the game.

As D&D traditionally does weapon proficiencies instead of combat skills, I prefer proficiencies.

Either way I would like to see both skills and combat follow the same mechanics for the sake of simplicity and elegance. We don't need 12 unique susbsystems for "roll a d20 and add X to it".


Yeah, I agree.  I wasn't a huge fan of the idea originally, but transitioning combat to "combat skills" would make me much, much happier at this point.  "Skill Dice" and all.
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)
Fighters could replace their attack bonus with the skill dice and get advantage on the roll.
I would prefer to do trained if they included a Fighting, Shooting, and Spellcasting skill to the game.

As D&D traditionally does weapon proficiencies instead of combat skills, I prefer proficiencies.

Either way I would like to see both skills and combat follow the same mechanics for the sake of simplicity and elegance. We don't need 12 unique susbsystems for "roll a d20 and add X to it".


Yeah, I agree.  I wasn't a huge fan of the idea originally, but transitioning combat to "combat skills" would make me much, much happier at this point.  "Skill Dice" and all.



I'm trying something kinda like this in a game I'm just starting.  I explained it in another thread; here's a copy of that post (slightly editted):

The main problem is that the d20 is too variable.  I've seen encounters that ended in a TPK and those that were an unsatisfying non-challenge for the PCs, all because of a string of low or high rolls, and often times both at the same time from opposite sides of the DM screen (i.e. DM rolls consistently low while players roll consistently high and vice-versa).  Many times I've thought about running a game replacing the d20 with two d10, to help mitigate the swings, but, not only does that not "feel" like D&D to me, it will bring its own problems.

Inspired by the skill dice idea, I've just started a campaign using combat dice rather than a static attack bonus.  We haven't yet had a combat to even begin to test it, but here's what I came up with:

- All characters begin with a d2 attack die.
- Any time the class chart shows a bump to attack, the die steps up (i.e., first level fighter, rogue, monk, barbarian start with a d4)
- Eliminate the MDD (more on this later)
- Changed the step to damage from race to a step to attack die
- Added Weapon Specialization for the fighter (only) to chose any time it gets a maneuver or feat, which will step up the die for that one weapon
- Eliminated the -2 penalty for attacking with two weapons, to be replaced by dropping the die by one step on both attacks, still using the damage penalty on the off-hand weapon
- To make multiple attacks with a single weapon, with full damage bonus from ruling attribute on each, drop the die by two steps
- To get extra damage, drop the die by one step for each MDD
- Maneuvers are powered by dropping the die by one step for each MDD required.

*Note that dropping one step from a d2 (as well as dropping a d4 two steps) becomes a straight d20 roll plus attribute modifier, and dropping it two steps imposes disadvantage.

This system retains the option of any character fighting with two weapons, and adds in the possiblity of any character making a power attack or multiple attacks, though the classes with an attack bonus will obviously be better, as it should be.  As I said before, this is still to be tested, but my hope is that the more fighty types will suffer less from the vagaries of the dice (especially the elven fighter who specialized longsword, rolling a d20 plus d8 for a basic attack).  It is a little more complicated system, but I also wouldn't suggest it for the basic ruleset.
 
I'm also keeping attributes low in order to maintain balance with monsters in the bestiary, and slightly lowering DCs for skill-type checks.
i disagree that this needs to be made into some type of rule. true the dice are random but it swings both ways you can have a party fight for months of real time thru dungeons to get to the evil lord at the end only to have him fumble a to hit roll and fall allowing the fighter to beat him to death. its fair on both ends because things can go bad for both sides
An individual with a 20 dexterity might be proficient at tumbling even if they are untrained.

An individual with a 4 dexterity might be trained in tumbling but not necessarily proficient at it.

Training indicates a benefit of experience and learning which helps in the task but might not be sufficient for success if raw talent is lacking.

Proficiency indicates a good likelihood of success in a task that might exist regardless of a lack of training.
has anyone looked at the secondary skills system of 1st editon before the unearthed aracna and dungeneer and wilderness survival guide which the last 2 books i mentioned are really great reads if you want some great survival rules on weather ect. it kinda did what other editions went to when they started 3rd editon instead of picking a skill like rope use or swimming you could take seamenship which included skills a sailor needed like boat use swimming ect. that may be an option where some people hate a huge skill list but for guys like me who like non weapon proficiencies would love and every 5 or so levels you could take a new group or improve your skill in an existing group it would help get rid of dead levels
A shift in terminology might be useful, if only to divorce ourselves from the drama of the last two editions.
Lots of discussion on Fighters, Rogues, other classes, and skills, has made me really sit down and look at skills and "training".

I'm kind of curious why we have "trained" as the terminology for "skills-you-are-gooder-at", and if there's any interest in stepping back to the "proficient" terminology (akin to 2e's "Non-weapon Proficiencies", only we wouldn't call them that).

It's a pretty insignificant change overall, but "proficient" just feels more character concept neutral than "trained" when it comes to skills, because it doesn't suggest any answer to "Why is the character good at this skill?"

Just a thought.


I like the word “proficient” better.

I would prefer to do trained if they included a Fighting, Shooting, and Spellcasting skill to the game.

As D&D traditionally does weapon proficiencies instead of combat skills, I prefer proficiencies.

Either way I would like to see both skills and combat follow the same mechanics for the sake of simplicity and elegance. We don't need 12 unique susbsystems for "roll a d20 and add X to it".


Yeah, I agree.  I wasn't a huge fan of the idea originally, but transitioning combat to "combat skills" would make me much, much happier at this point.  "Skill Dice" and all.



What really is the difference between an “attack” and a “combat skill check”? The higher one rolls, the better. The “Armor Class” (AC) means the same thing as the “Difficulty Class” (DC).

In terms of switching to a “combat skills system”, how exactly does the feel of the game change?
I hashed out the math on using combat skills here.

My numbers may not be perfect for some because I aimed for a 50% hit rate. What I discovered if you take the average ability bonus for a PC (+2) and the average skill die (none, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 which falls between d6 and d8) with a d20 and you get a 50% hit rate with an AC of 17. This becomes our average AC making our lowest AC 1 and the highest possible AC 33.

The majority of AC's will then need to fall between half a standard deviation of the mean, nearly all the rest within 1 standard deviation, and less than 1% outside of that.

So our marjority of AC falls between 13 to 21, the rest fall between 8 to 26, with nearly nothing falling outside of that. It works out well because a PC with full +3 Armor and Shield can reach a 26.

It basically changes the math so that people can actually see the bounds of the system.

I went ahead and copied the chart to show the math of this system. Assumed ability bonuses were raised for the fighter, rogue, and monk, with a +3 at level 1, a +4 at level 10, and a +5 at level 20 for their ability bonus. For the Cleric and Wizard, with a +2 at level 1, a +3 at levels 5 and 10, a +4 at 15 and a +5 at 20. For the wizard I am assuming they are upgrading their Dex and using a finesse weapon. None of them have a magical to hit bonus.





























































































































































1317212633
F/M/R
167.50%47.50%27.50%3.75%0.00%
572.50%52.50%32.50%8.33%0.00%
1082.50%62.50%42.50%17.50%0.00%
1586.00%67.50%47.50%22.50%1.50%
2091.25%77.08%57.50%32.50%6.25%
C
150.00%30.00%10.00%0.00%0.00%
555.00%35.00%15.00%0.00%0.00%
1067.50%47.50%27.50%3.75%0.00%
1577.50%57.50%37.50%12.50%0.00%
2082.50%62.50%42.50%17.50%0.00%
W
150.00%30.00%10.00%0.00%0.00%
555.00%35.00%15.00%0.00%0.00%
1055.00%35.00%15.00%0.00%0.00%
1560.00%40.00%20.00%0.00%0.00%
2065.00%45.00%25.00%0.00%0.00%


To me the numbers feel right.


pro·fi·cient 
adj.
Having or marked by an advanced degree of competence, as in an art, vocation, profession, or branch of learning.
n.
An expert; an adept.




Yeah I suppose the OP has a point.
Since they want skills to optional and not core, I suppose we need to assume that a person not having a skill dice in, say, Climb, doesn't necessary mean he never did some training in climbing.
Or else the interpretation would be that no character ever trained anything in his life other than hitting things and/or casting spells when skills are not used, which I suppose is not the case.
So, yea, maybe "Proficient" would hit the sweet spot.

pro·fi·cient adj. Having or marked by an advanced degree of competence, as in an art, vocation, profession, or branch of learning.
n.
An expert; an adept.


Proficiency is therefore linked to competency.  A person can be a very good swimmer without any formal training.  They may have developed the talent on their own or it might be a skill where raw strength or intelligence is sufficient.

Training is linked to experience and perhaps some formal learning in that skill.  It suggests competence but some people who are trained are not necessarily good at what they do.

The skill die should come from training.  A low ability score still indicates a low level of competency despite the training but a trained individual has an advantage over an untrained individual of the same level of raw talent.

Players should be trained in a skill.  That would be my preferred choice of words. 




I still don't know what's wrong with Skilled and Unskilled.  It keys right into the name of the mechanic, and does not imply training as one can be naturally skilled at a task. 
Skilled and Unskilled certainly work as well.
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)