Redundant Skills

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Well, I was looking over the coming rules after finally hearing about this change. And it seems promising so far. Just an initial complaint I have regarding the skills that I wished to say after a brief stint searching the boards on the topic for a thread that might already be existing. Sadly I had no luck finding a relevant one. So my apologies for duplications.

Could you remove/combine a few skills which I found to be redundant or better covered elsewhere?

Climb - This should be combined with Escape Artist and Use Rope. Or attached to an ability like Strength.

Drive - seems to be something that should be covered by Ride, and the usefulness of this is not that appearant unless you are expecting a lot of chariot races? I don't recall any of the games I ran or played ever needing a cart driver on a professional level.

Disguise - In a high or medium magic campaign, this is one of the least used skills out there. Most players would revert to Bluff or Perform for a better mod in a skill that has more applications for the few levels they have to wait before they get thier first alter appearance magic item.

Escape Artist - is a skill I have never seen used except in rare circumstances when I might want to have a single player get out of bonds before freeing the others. I think it deserves to be added to another skill like Use Rope or vice versa so there is incentive to get this skill or that skill; with a bonus to climb as well.

Intimidate - Always an argument on this skill, but I think it deserves to be combined with Persuade as an option on the players part. Knights are just as intimdating as they are persuasive using the books example. Why diferentiate?

Knowledge (History) - This skill is already covered by Folklore, Occult, and all the other skills. I see no benefit to its existance. I saw the post from ages ago http://community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/view/75882/29147007/Trained_Skills?post_id=520250019#520250019 listing Commerce as a knowledge. This would be far more useful as you could concievably know currency origins, merchant routes, item values, artifact buyers, etc. I would like it brought back and put in the knowledge list. Especially considering that you could concievably know about sunken ships, lost convoys, etc.

Swim - I have never seen this used all that much. And on the rare occasion, it was more to slow down the players than it was to challenge them. No one wants to put their players in a save or die position, and that is really the majority of time that the roll was invoked. It would be much better to make this skills inherant to the abilities of Constitution.

Otherwise, I think I like the direction the game is going, and look forward to getting my feet wet comprehending the rules in play.
Intimidate needs to be tied to Strength, and in our games we have allowed STR or CHA to be applied to Intimidate

Drive and Knowledge History I agree with
Drive literally seems pointless and History feels far too 'catch all' at times
Well, I was looking over the coming rules after finally hearing about this change. And it seems promising so far. Just an initial complaint I have regarding the skills that I wished to say after a brief stint searching the boards on the topic for a thread that might already be existing. Sadly I had no luck finding a relevant one. So my apologies for duplications.

Could you remove/combine a few skills which I found to be redundant or better covered elsewhere?

Climb - This should be combined with Escape Artist and Use Rope. Or attached to an ability like Strength.

Climb, Escape Artist and Use Rope describe three separate and distinct trainings. 

Drive - seems to be something that should be covered by Ride, and the usefulness of this is not that appearant unless you are expecting a lot of chariot races? I don't recall any of the games I ran or played ever needing a cart driver on a professional level.

Spelljammer and Eberron provide ample opportunities for steering airships, lightningrail cars, etc.

Disguise - In a high or medium magic campaign, this is one of the least used skills out there. Most players would revert to Bluff or Perform for a better mod in a skill that has more applications for the few levels they have to wait before they get thier first alter appearance magic item.

Not all campaigns are high or medium magic.

Escape Artist - is a skill I have never seen used except in rare circumstances when I might want to have a single player get out of bonds before freeing the others. I think it deserves to be added to another skill like Use Rope or vice versa so there is incentive to get this skill or that skill; with a bonus to climb as well.

You can apply this skill in situations where you're wiggling through a crawl space, attempting to free yourself from a Web spell, or trying to escape a grapple -- all of which don't fall under the purview of Use Rope.

Intimidate - Always an argument on this skill, but I think it deserves to be combined with Persuade as an option on the players part. Knights are just as intimdating as they are persuasive using the books example. Why diferentiate?

Persuasion and intimidation are not one and the same.

Knowledge (History) - This skill is already covered by Folklore, Occult, and all the other skills. I see no benefit to its existance. I saw the post from ages ago http://community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/view/75882/29147007/Trained_Skills?post_id=520250019#520250019 listing Commerce as a knowledge. This would be far more useful as you could concievably know currency origins, merchant routes, item values, artifact buyers, etc. I would like it brought back and put in the knowledge list. Especially considering that you could concievably know about sunken ships, lost convoys, etc.

None of the other knowledges describe themselves as covering the extant kingdoms and long history of all humanoids. Folklore and the occult are specific to completely different things.

Swim - I have never seen this used all that much. And on the rare occasion, it was more to slow down the players than it was to challenge them. No one wants to put their players in a save or die position, and that is really the majority of time that the roll was invoked. It would be much better to make this skills inherant to the abilities of Constitution.

Entire campaigns take place at sea and among pirates, where water and Swim are guarantees.


Intimidate needs to be tied to Strength, and in our games we have allowed STR or CHA to be applied to Intimidate

None of the skills are tied to any specific ability score. Your description of your character's actions are what determine the appropriate score for the check called by the DM.



Danny

"Climb, Escape Artist and Use Rope describe three separate and distinct trainings"

Yes, but in a similar fashion, Heal describes biology, poisons, illness. I don't see either of those three as so important, or so useful, that they need their own listing when 90% of the other skills are a grouping of similar talents. Which was my main point. As a perfect example, Dungeoneering covers about 5 different skills. I do appreciate the differences in the skills, but it seems that the description doesn't match the feel of the other skills which are more groupings of 3-6 similar abilities. In that vein, I don't understand why these three are seperate. They seem wrong, and too specific.

"Spelljammer and Eberron provide ample opportunities for steering airships, lightningrail cars, etc."

I understand, but if you disgree with use rope and escape artist, would it be reasonable to encompass clipperships, airships and wagon trains in the same skill? I don't wish to argue, I'm just curious as to others thoughts because the skills don't seem completely intuitive to me yet.

"Not all campaigns are high or medium magic."

No, not at all, why I made a specific point to preface the concern with medium to high magic worlds regarding the skill which I believe is the bulk of the worlds people play in.

"Persuasion and intimidation are not one and the same.'

They are the same in the end. Getting someone to do something you want. A persuasive persone will just as easily threaten you and with as much skill. Why seperate them? I am exceedingly curious why they should be seperate.

"None of the other knowledges describe themselves as covering the extant kingdoms and long history of all humanoids. Folklore and the occult are specific to completely different things."

Heraldry covers humanoids and the extant Kindoms. I don't yet see a reason to have a History Knowledge that is handled in the other knowledges.

"None of the skills are tied to any specific ability score. Your description of your character's actions are what determine the appropriate score for the check called by the DM."

Jump is covered by Strength. Why not do this with Swim?

I appreciate the questions and disagreements. Hope my tone isn't one of abject disagreement. It's not.
Pathfinder did a good job with escape artist, letting you use it to get out of grapples and even bust out of quite a few etanglement spell effects (like web) a point that DDN isnt making.... they should adopt that
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758... This is a very similar topic. The search engine is appauling, its only becausr I rembered the topic name I found it.
Keendk,

Yes, thank you, that's the thread I expected to find out there. Shame I missed it initially.
4e converged Spot, Listen and Search into Perception

Perception became the best skill in the game, mandatory to have at least 1 person with it
4e converged Spot, Listen and Search into Perception

Perception became the best skill in the game, mandatory to have at least 1 person with it


ld say in 3.5 spot had the same effect. You could get by without listen or search, so maybe its just that what is important in most games is instant visual clues. Cant think of a way to get around that.
4e converged Spot, Listen and Search into Perception

Perception became the best skill in the game, mandatory to have at least 1 person with it


ld say in 3.5 spot had the same effect. You could get by without listen or search, so maybe its just that what is important in most games is instant visual clues. Cant think of a way to get around that.



Well, part of the problem is that senses are not always used independently.  I understand why 4e combined skills for Perception and Stealth, and, in many ways, that was a good idea.  However, the senses can be used independently in enough situations that it might be worthwhile to keep some separation.  IDK.
you could do the extraordinairy specialisation of the senses with feats/skill tricks/racials i guess. I quite liked the 3.5 skillsand your ability to branch out and differentiate, too bad it doesnt work well with bonded accuracy.
you could do the extraordinairy specialisation of the senses with feats/skill tricks/racials i guess. I quite liked the 3.5 skillsand your ability to branch out and differentiate, too bad it doesnt work well with bonded accuracy.



It could, but it would add a layer of complexity.  So, say we have the Perception skill to cover all the different uses of the senses.  A feat or race could give a small bonus to anything requiring sight, say a +1 or +2.  But then, when a DM calls for a Wisdom check, and says the players can use their Perception, he or she may also have to specify whether or not they'd get the sight bonus.  In addition, that's more math that would be necessary, adding d20 + WIS mod + skill die + sight bonus.  Another solution, using the skill die, would be that you'd step the die size up for sight, making the math easier, but the players would still have to grab the right die for that particular sense.  I don't know if that would be worth it, either.  For most groups, just having the Perception skill would probably be enough, and those races with keen senses would automatically be trained.  Keeping things that simple may be the best way to go.
you could do the extraordinairy specialisation of the senses with feats/skill tricks/racials i guess. I quite liked the 3.5 skillsand your ability to branch out and differentiate, too bad it doesnt work well with bonded accuracy.



It could, but it would add a layer of complexity.  So, say we have the Perception skill to cover all the different uses of the senses.  A feat or race could give a small bonus to anything requiring sight, say a +1 or +2.  But then, when a DM calls for a Wisdom check, and says the players can use their Perception, he or she may also have to specify whether or not they'd get the sight bonus.  In addition, that's more math that would be necessary, adding d20 + WIS mod + skill die + sight bonus.  Another solution, using the skill die, would be that you'd step the die size up for sight, making the math easier, but the players would still have to grab the right die for that particular sense.  I don't know if that would be worth it, either.  For most groups, just having the Perception skill would probably be enough, and those races with keen senses would automatically be trained.  Keeping things that simple may be the best way to go.

The elf racial trait Keen Senses offers free training in the Listen and Spot skills, which perfectly addresses the outcome you're trying to achieve.

Danny

you could do the extraordinairy specialisation of the senses with feats/skill tricks/racials i guess. I quite liked the 3.5 skillsand your ability to branch out and differentiate, too bad it doesnt work well with bonded accuracy.



It could, but it would add a layer of complexity.  So, say we have the Perception skill to cover all the different uses of the senses.  A feat or race could give a small bonus to anything requiring sight, say a +1 or +2.  But then, when a DM calls for a Wisdom check, and says the players can use their Perception, he or she may also have to specify whether or not they'd get the sight bonus.  In addition, that's more math that would be necessary, adding d20 + WIS mod + skill die + sight bonus.  Another solution, using the skill die, would be that you'd step the die size up for sight, making the math easier, but the players would still have to grab the right die for that particular sense.  I don't know if that would be worth it, either.  For most groups, just having the Perception skill would probably be enough, and those races with keen senses would automatically be trained.  Keeping things that simple may be the best way to go.

The elf racial trait Keen Senses offers free training in the Listen and Spot skills, which perfectly addresses the outcome you're trying to achieve.




Not perfectly.  If you're trying to notice someone sneaking up on you, you might use both sight and hearing, because you could catch a glimpse of their movement, or you might hear their footsteps, breathing, or change jingling in their belt pouch.  Does how you noticed matter much to the fact that you noticed?  Should a sneaking character roll both a Move Silent check opposed by Listen, and a Hide check opposed by Spot?  Or can a Sneak versus Perception roll do close enough to the same thing that it's worth losing a little realism for simplicity?  And, if a character is hidin, and someone is actively looking for him, do we need a separate Search skill to model that?
Not perfectly.  If you're trying to notice someone sneaking up on you, you might use both sight and hearing, because you could catch a glimpse of their movement, or you might hear their footsteps, breathing, or change jingling in their belt pouch.  Does how you noticed matter much to the fact that you noticed?  Should a sneaking character roll both a Move Silent check opposed by Listen, and a Hide check opposed by Spot?  Or can a Sneak versus Perception roll do close enough to the same thing that it's worth losing a little realism for simplicity?  And, if a character is hidin, and someone is actively looking for him, do we need a separate Search skill to model that?

I guess I'm not seeing the issue.

There are no separate checks made to move silently or hide In this edition, there is only the blanket adjudication of stealth. The rules governing stealth state that "A creature can attempt a Dexterity check to sneak around, moving quietly and using cover and heavily obscured areas to avoid detection." (How to Play 8)

A single Dexterity check determines the success of a creature's attempt at stealth.

The ability used to oppose the Dexterity check of someone sneaking around is called for by the Dungeon Master based upon the player's description of what their character is doing in the game. If the character is not actively paying attention, then a Wisdom vs Dexterity contest is recommended. If the character is actively searching for signs of the creature's presence, then an Intelligence vs Dexterity contest is recommended. Based upon the player's description of the actively searching character's method, skill training may be employed to modify the Intelligence check.

Are you using your training in Spot to discern the shadows? Are you using your training in Listen to decipher the sounds? It sounds like you want to use your training in a single skill to discern the shadows, decipher the sounds, and notice any other sensory happening the Dungeon Master is attempting to slip past -- which is essentially what Perception amounted to in 4E.

Danny

Spot/Listen:
What I was trying to say was: Do we need both listen and spot, does it make the game better than having just perception?
With the current system as you say, stealth is countered by either (not both) so only 1 skill is necessary there, either is equally powerful.
Then there are all the other things, do you notice the buzzards in the sky, do you hear the distant rumble of scared buffalo. Do we really need to have 2 skills for this? Why is it important how it was perceived that the lion killed a buffalo if the intent of the Wisdom check was to alert people to the presence of lions?
Also the game master calls for an [attribute] check and the players then ask if they can use their listen skill...if I say no ive given away that its a visual clue (and ofc vice versa), and have thus spoiled some of the mystery.
The only real place I can think of where its important to differentiate is sensory status effects, blinded and deafened. (I even think ive mentioned this somewhere else, or Im experiencing a deja vu right now :p)

 So why have 2 skills that does the same thing in 95% of the cases and can NEVER be used at same time.

--------------------
Search/Spot:
Is a remnant of the past to give you the ability to spot things/clues with your INT stat. You can now spot things with your INT stat by default if the DM calls for that, and I see no reason why to differentiate spotting clues vs spotting clues (intentionally the same words twice) where one is "usually used with int" and the other "usually used with wisdom". The reason it still exists is a copy/paste error where the rest of the system has moved on but it has quietly been left behind. It has no place what so ever in a system where skills arent tied to a stat any more.
Searching with Wisdom and spotting with Int, why not? Its the same thing, its visually observing, the key to HOW its done is in the stat.
@Keendk:
Exactly. And hide and move silently have combined into stealth, so why still have two different skills which could oppose it?
I can understand search being it's own skill as you are using it in conjuction with physical touch, for instance searching for traps or secret passages, but spot and listen serve no real purpose being seperated. I agree with you.

If you take a blind character, they would chose listen as a skill forgoing an instant fail on spot checks. Do you lose anything by this mechanism being combined? Can't the DM decide that they can not apply the skill in that situation instead of asking the player to break apart the talents? The only value for seperating the skills is to limit character investment in skills so they aren't a "be all to everything" character. Which is an understandable goal for the design.

But is this skill worth the differentiation? Could you not limit the character in other ways that make more sense? I agree that there is no benefit to anyone for this choice in design.
I agree with OP that there are too many skills, too many redundancies, and too many confusing bits of legacy left in (especially to someone who has no experience with previous editions).

The differentiation between Spot and Search is too fine and not worth the page or two it takes to explain. This edition needs to clearly and simply explain skill usage. Instead, it has chosen to obfuscate matters by tying Search to Intelligence and Spot to Wisdom, all the while claiming that any skill might be linked to multiple attributes.

As for Search being used to search for traps... Why not Spot? I never understood why it works like this. If you're walking down a hallway with a concealed pit trap, why would Search help you locate the mechanism that pulls the floor out from under you? Shouldn't the trap be spotted (by a combination of intuition and good luck) rather than force the rogue to laboriously prod at every 5 foot square with a rod before he finds it?

In addition, there needs to be a core rule for group checks. If you say "only the group leader gets to roll" then multiple players who have taken Search/Spot will be useless. If the whole group gets a roll, then traps are much easier to locate through the power of sheer number of d20s alone.
Groups checks would be a good tool for the DM when rolling in secret to increase the odds of success. But for the party, if they fail, then they will want individual rolls just to be sure and game the system.
both 4e and pathfinder combined certain skills that were too closely related

Search + Spot + Listen = Perception
Hide + Move Silenty = Stealth
Survival + Track = Survival
for pathfinder, Gather Information got combined into Diplomacy

To me, these were welcome changes.  Since they are perfectly okay with combining Diplomacy and Bluff into Persuasion, they clearly get the concept. 
There is no functional reason to separate spot and listen, and with the limited number of skills available for training, these seem liek reasonable changes. 
Groups checks would be a good tool for the DM when rolling in secret to increase the odds of success. But for the party, if they fail, then they will want individual rolls just to be sure and game the system.



I give everyone their individual roll.... It's tough though, because more party members means a much higher chance of spotting something even if the check is hard.  

For pathfinder I give each player 10 + their perception bonuses for "passive observation".  I avoid rolls all together.  There was a small amount of concern about this initially, but everyone came around.  This, of course, doesn't include search rolls, or actively trying to listen for an invisible enemy combatant or listening at a door... this is just used for things they are not yet aware of.  It works quite well.  I have always hated asking players to roll spot checks.... the very act gives away that there is something to see.  At one point (back in 3e) I started just randomly asking for spot checks and telling everyone that they didn't see anything, just so I could keep them guessing.  But  this took time away from the game.

Unfortunately I don't think 10+ will really work in DDN.  Although I guess I could calculate their average total from feats and skill dice, skill mastery etc.  and use that..... far less elegant though. 
Spot/Listen:
What I was trying to say was: Do we need both listen and spot, does it make the game better than having just perception?

I think it makes the game better.

With both Listen and Spot, I can have a character with sharp hearing and relatively poor vision. With Perception, all of my senses are muddled together.

With the current system as you say, stealth is countered by either (not both) so only 1 skill is necessary there, either is equally powerful.
Then there are all the other things, do you notice the buzzards in the sky, do you hear the distant rumble of scared buffalo. Do we really need to have 2 skills for this? Why is it important how it was perceived that the lion killed a buffalo if the intent of the Wisdom check was to alert people to the presence of lions?

The Wisdom check used to determine whether the presence of lions is detected is a straight Wisdom check, which doesn't differentiate between the senses.

Also the game master calls for an [attribute] check and the players then ask if they can use their listen skill...if I say no ive given away that its a visual clue (and ofc vice versa), and have thus spoiled some of the mystery.

Don't say no. Just ignore the value displayed on the skill die.

Danny

that's my bad, they just renamed diplomacy....

I like your list.  I particularly like combining knowledge skills.
Profession.... yeah this is a tough one.  There are a few examples that I have used/seen that tended to work even before craft was taken out.  Profession: Sailor comes to mind.  It might seem like a good sailor would just be able to have good climb, use rope, drive and survival (nautical hazards are still natural hazards.  This also covers direction sense)

But there are other things like reading a map, estimating travel times over sea, knowledge of rough waters/reefs, dead-reckoning etc that could be placed into the profession skill for a sailor.

Profession: Soldier covers a lot of military tactics, logistics, general wages for mercenaries, knowledge of ranks and the chain of command, military protocol and lots of other useful things.

I actually love that the craft skill is gone.  Profession: Blacksmith covers crafting arms and armor but also metalurgy, knowledge of tempering methods, knowledge of cultural differences in the field (eg identifying the general origin of a weapon)

So now you can have profession: fletcher, alchemist, blacksmith, merchant, carpenter, stonemason etc.

Each craft skill is really a profession unto itself.  It always seemed silly to me that you could have craft alchemy, but ignore herbalism for example.  They seem pretty tied together.  I like profession, and I am glad that they have put more emphasis on it.
I didnt ask if you could distinguish the two, I asked if it was nesceserry to do so. For the X% who want to play deaf with super vision there is a Y% that just want a smooth game where the DM is not double checking and subtracting skill dice. If 1/10X > Y then maybe it is worth it. But from personal experience 1/11 of characters in my game is not audio/visually impaired.
 
 There is no such thing as a straight WIS check. If the player wants to roll in a skill he is entitled to ask if he can. Why would you deny him sensory input in the lion example? And if you allow him sensory input, why does it matter if its listen OR spot, rather than perception? The ninja tracker elf will EITHER see or hear the clues, you cant roll two skills at once...why? Or do I need to fudge that rule as well as a DM?
 
 So do we really need two skills just so a minority* can play with mild shortsightednes (not blind or with any stigmatism as you still get your D20 and your ability) for roleplaying puposes? Are there any mechanical benefits?
 

 *I think its safe to assume its a minority, and my guess is that it is rather tiny as well. The only times Ive seen people in dnd have either/or of listen and spot is when they have mechanically forced in to it....and THAT is limiting roleplaying.
Groups checks would be a good tool for the DM when rolling in secret to increase the odds of success. But for the party, if they fail, then they will want individual rolls just to be sure and game the system.



What you could do is take the best skill die of all the PCs, the highest appropriate attribute modifier, and roll with advantage for an overall group check.  Of course you'd want to add in any specials to that, like if there's a rogue, roll 2 skill dice and take the highest; if a PC has Skill Focus for the skill, then any roll under 10 would become a 10.  I don't know what you'd do if a character had Skill Supremacy, but I suppose you could roll 3d20 and take the highest, if you were really feeling generous.
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I didnt ask if you could distinguish the two, I asked if it was nesceserry to do so. For the X% who want to play deaf with super vision there is a Y% that just want a smooth game where the DM is not double checking and subtracting skill dice. If 1/10X > Y then maybe it is worth it. But from personal experience 1/11 of characters in my game is not audio/visually impaired.

You're using hyperbole to shoot down a point that was never made.

No one has asserted that they desire to play a sensory-impaired character. I submitted that it is not without reason that the archetypal archer would have keen eyes without having equally keen ears.
 
There is no such thing as a straight WIS check. If the player wants to roll in a skill he is entitled to ask if he can. Why would you deny him sensory input in the lion example? And if you allow him sensory input, why does it matter if its listen OR spot, rather than perception? The ninja tracker elf will EITHER see or hear the clues, you cant roll two skills at once...why? Or do I need to fudge that rule as well as a DM?

You misunderstand the rules. There is ONLY a straight Wisdom check, which a player may then modify with the application of an applicable skill (if and only if they happen to be trained in one).
 
So do we really need two skills just so a minority* can play with mild shortsightednes (not blind or with any stigmatism as you still get your D20 and your ability) for roleplaying puposes? Are there any mechanical benefits?

We need two skills to further enrich our storytelling. Our narrative is far more dynamic than wholesale 'notice' as a trained skill. There are countless examples where there is no opportunity to see, only to hear, and vice versa.

Ultimately, the elf has Advantage with their senses; able to roll once for Listen and once for Spot (if the narrative dictates that a sneaking creature is at risk of being both seen and heard).
 
*I think its safe to assume its a minority, and my guess is that it is rather tiny as well. The only times Ive seen people in dnd have either/or of listen and spot is when they have mechanically forced in to it....and THAT is limiting roleplaying.

You've never witnessed a scenario where a hidden creature has total cover (rendering them impossible to see)?

You've never witnessed a scenario where a skulking creature is using Silence to muffle all noise (rendering them impossible to hear)?

There are infinite examples where these skills may be employed separate from each other...

Differentiation affords me the opportunity to define my capability more finely. You don't see the same opportunity.

Danny

Writing from my phone it doesnt really like quotes :p I use the email me function to get updated.
 
 We want two different things I think. You want a narative (gurps as the extreme example) very detailed skill system with rules for different senses. I want boardgame like streamlined skills with wide uses for each skill. Each of us think the opposite is non productive for roleplaying or the mechanical game.

I understand the rules perfectly. DM asks for an atribute check, players ask if they can use a relevant skill, DM says yes or no (p1 background and skills). Hence no straight checks that players cant ask if they can use skills on. Dm calls for one such contest the player must chose wich skill to use...he does not get two rolls from what I can read, you might be able to guide me to where you read that? 

I cant have made myself clear enough: Ive not seen anyone in dnd3.5 with access to BOTH listen and spot deliberately take only listen to create a puposefully sensory lopsided character. That might happen in your games all the time.

As a side note I think its incrrdibly rude to accuse other of using logical falacies or manipulative retoric and then ignore what point they were trying to make. Its arrogant and just plain counter productive to any constructive discussion. Please keep the clevernes in check
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I didnt ask if you could distinguish the two, I asked if it was nesceserry to do so. For the X% who want to play deaf with super vision there is a Y% that just want a smooth game where the DM is not double checking and subtracting skill dice. If 1/10X > Y then maybe it is worth it. But from personal experience 1/11 of characters in my game is not audio/visually impaired.

You're using hyperbole to shoot down a point that was never made.

No one has asserted that they desire to play a sensory-impaired character. I submitted that it is not without reason that the archetypal archer would have keen eyes without having equally keen ears.
 
There is no such thing as a straight WIS check. If the player wants to roll in a skill he is entitled to ask if he can. Why would you deny him sensory input in the lion example? And if you allow him sensory input, why does it matter if its listen OR spot, rather than perception? The ninja tracker elf will EITHER see or hear the clues, you cant roll two skills at once...why? Or do I need to fudge that rule as well as a DM?

You misunderstand the rules. There is ONLY a straight Wisdom check, which a player may then modify with the application of an applicable skill (if and only if they happen to be trained in one).
 
So do we really need two skills just so a minority* can play with mild shortsightednes (not blind or with any stigmatism as you still get your D20 and your ability) for roleplaying puposes? Are there any mechanical benefits?

We need two skills to further enrich our storytelling. Our narrative is far more dynamic than wholesale 'notice' as a trained skill. There are countless examples where there is no opportunity to see, only to hear, and vice versa.

Ultimately, the elf has Advantage with their senses; able to roll once for Listen and once for Spot (if the narrative dictates that a sneaking creature is at risk of being both seen and heard).
 
*I think its safe to assume its a minority, and my guess is that it is rather tiny as well. The only times Ive seen people in dnd have either/or of listen and spot is when they have mechanically forced in to it....and THAT is limiting roleplaying.

You've never witnessed a scenario where a hidden creature has total cover (rendering them impossible to see)?

You've never witnessed a scenario where a skulking creature is using Silence to muffle all noise (rendering them impossible to hear)?

There are infinite examples where these skills may be employed separate from each other...

Differentiation affords me the opportunity to define my capability more finely. You don't see the same opportunity.




From what's been posted in this thread, it seems Keendk and I have similar views on this. 

I see benefits in differentiation, but I'm not sure that those benefits outweigh the cost in complexity.  Is it possible that rolling closely related skills up into fewer skills would make for quicker, easier play, allowing for more fun in the process.  This has already been done with sneak, so that the sneaker isn't effectively at disadvantage while trying to sneak, yet what you propose effectively keeps the sneaker at a disadvantage because you aren't using a single perception skill roll.  And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but maybe it could be done better.  Is there another way to get to the differentiation you want besides having two different skills requiring two different skill rolls?  Some game systems have skill specialization, which makes a character better at a more focused part of a skill, while every other part of a skill is at some baseline ability, unless the character has multiple specializations (or concentrations).  I don't know if that's possible in DDN without overcomplicating it, but if it is, perhaps as an advanced rule, maybe that would give you the differentiation you want while giving those who want a more streamlined game what they want.

And I think that's what's being debated here: not whether or not you should get what you want, but whether or not it is worthwhile to streamline the skills for those who want it simpler, and how to make it work for those who don't.  And trust me, I want options!  Maybe there will come a time when I want a character who can hear a whisper originating on the dark side of the moon from his undersea fortress, while he can't see well enough to read, but right now I want a very quick, very efficient rule-set that can do a good enough job modelling the characters my group wants to play in the limited amount of time we have together.
Writing from my phone it doesnt really like quotes :p I use the email me function to get updated.
 
We want two different things I think. You want a narative (gurps as the extreme example) very detailed skill system with rules for different senses. I want boardgame like streamlined skills with wide uses for each skill. Each of us think the opposite is non productive for roleplaying or the mechanical game.

I don't think that the opposite of what I want is non-productive for roleplaying or the mechanical game. 

I understand the rules perfectly. DM asks for an atribute check, players ask if they can use a relevant skill, DM says yes or no (p1 background and skills). Hence no straight checks that players cant ask if they can use skills on. Dm calls for one such contest the player must chose wich skill to use...he does not get two rolls from what I can read, you might be able to guide me to where you read that?

The game assumes judicious employement of the Rule of Reason.

I cant have made myself clear enough: Ive not seen anyone in dnd3.5 with access to BOTH listen and spot deliberately take only listen to create a puposefully sensory lopsided character. That might happen in your games all the time.

Does it not make sense that not all senses are equal? Does it not make further sense that it doesn't matter which one you invest in? The character with exceptional hearing has the same chance to notice a sneaking creature that the character with exceptional sight does; all things being equal. In the event that the narrative dictates finer points, we can better determine your ability to notice (if it's even possible to see him, or hear him, etc.).

As a side note I think its incrrdibly rude to accuse other of using logical falacies or manipulative retoric and then ignore what point they were trying to make. Its arrogant and just plain counter productive to any constructive discussion. Please keep the clevernes in check

Turning 'I can have a character with sharp hearing and relatively poor vision' into '1/11 of characters in my game is not audio/visually impaired' is a huge jump that is blatantly manipulative leverage used to prove a point. Having vision that is poor in relation to exceptional hearing is not visual impairment.

Danny

Or maybe not.
From what's been posted in this thread, it seems Keendk and I have similar views on this. 

I see benefits in differentiation, but I'm not sure that those benefits outweigh the cost in complexity.  Is it possible that rolling closely related skills up into fewer skills would make for quicker, easier play, allowing for more fun in the process.  This has already been done with sneak, so that the sneaker isn't effectively at disadvantage while trying to sneak, yet what you propose effectively keeps the sneaker at a disadvantage because you aren't using a single perception skill roll.  And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but maybe it could be done better.  Is there another way to get to the differentiation you want besides having two different skills requiring two different skill rolls?  Some game systems have skill specialization, which makes a character better at a more focused part of a skill, while every other part of a skill is at some baseline ability, unless the character has multiple specializations (or concentrations).  I don't know if that's possible in DDN without overcomplicating it, but if it is, perhaps as an advanced rule, maybe that would give you the differentiation you want while giving those who want a more streamlined game what they want.

And I think that's what's being debated here: not whether or not you should get what you want, but whether or not it is worthwhile to streamline the skills for those who want it simpler, and how to make it work for those who don't.  And trust me, I want options!  Maybe there will come a time when I want a character who can hear a whisper originating on the dark side of the moon from his undersea fortress, while he can't see well enough to read, but right now I want a very quick, very efficient rule-set that can do a good enough job modelling the characters my group wants to play in the limited amount of time we have together.

The goal-post has moved from redundancy (which is the premise of the thread's original post), to efficiency. I moved solely to point out that the skills are not redundant, but there is an insistence to discuss their efficiency, which is a wholly separate issue.

Danny

Hey,

I deleted the stuff about the self deleted post so there wouldn't be any confusion in the future.

Carry on.

Monica

Monica

Wizards of the Coast Online Community Coordinator

A friendly dragon.

From what's been posted in this thread, it seems Keendk and I have similar views on this. 

I see benefits in differentiation, but I'm not sure that those benefits outweigh the cost in complexity.  Is it possible that rolling closely related skills up into fewer skills would make for quicker, easier play, allowing for more fun in the process.  This has already been done with sneak, so that the sneaker isn't effectively at disadvantage while trying to sneak, yet what you propose effectively keeps the sneaker at a disadvantage because you aren't using a single perception skill roll.  And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but maybe it could be done better.  Is there another way to get to the differentiation you want besides having two different skills requiring two different skill rolls?  Some game systems have skill specialization, which makes a character better at a more focused part of a skill, while every other part of a skill is at some baseline ability, unless the character has multiple specializations (or concentrations).  I don't know if that's possible in DDN without overcomplicating it, but if it is, perhaps as an advanced rule, maybe that would give you the differentiation you want while giving those who want a more streamlined game what they want.

And I think that's what's being debated here: not whether or not you should get what you want, but whether or not it is worthwhile to streamline the skills for those who want it simpler, and how to make it work for those who don't.  And trust me, I want options!  Maybe there will come a time when I want a character who can hear a whisper originating on the dark side of the moon from his undersea fortress, while he can't see well enough to read, but right now I want a very quick, very efficient rule-set that can do a good enough job modelling the characters my group wants to play in the limited amount of time we have together.

The goal-post has moved from redundancy (which is the premise of the thread's original post), to efficiency. I moved solely to point out that the skills are not redundant, but there is an insistence to discuss their efficiency, which is a wholly separate issue.




I guess I was mistaken that the goal of eliminating redundancy was to increase effeciency in this case.  So, what I've really been arguing for is a reduction in safety.
mrpopstar,

I understand your proposal and point, but it seems to not be keeping in theme with the rest of the skills changes. And the question of redundancy was also tied to efficiency in the rules. They are trying to reorganize the skill sets, but seem to have these hold-outs from 3.x regarding specific skills, that should be done away with in my opinion as several other systems have learned from.

The real question I have, in general terms, is does this serve a benefit to the game's atmosphere? Having spot and listen seperate seems to offer no benefit to the system in my opinion, much in the same way ride and drive serve no benefit to the game being seperate. Which if I read right, is the focal point of Keendk's replies.

The request to the general audience from me is why should this be done. It seems incongruous to the rest of the system. There's duplication and unnecessary divisions in the skills descriptions.

Persuasion and intimidation are the same exact description but from a different prospective. Why can't the player determine their method instead of the game breaking it apart? The system feels incomplete and wrong to me.
I had this argument with a friend a few years back.

He believes that having a multitude of skills (in that case GURPS older edition) helps to define what a char is good at and not good at. In the system I needed 6+ skills to basically be able to be a camera man. 
 
 I believe that havinv fewer skills (dnd) doesnt hold me back as much, I can take one skill to catch them all ( in this example proffesion) and that defined me.

 We both believe in defining the character. Just not the mechanical how.

I think gamewise many skills gets in the way. And if for mechanical reasons (limit on 4 skills for instance) it takes my friend one skill to achieve his concept (master sneaker) I would feel a bit cheated to have to spend 3 for mine (master perciever). He can then spend 3 more skills to define other things he can do. I have 1 skill to do so.

Me and my friend nevervagreed on this by the way. He wanted what he was good at also to symbolize what he wasnt good at. Just like the spot/listen/search vs perception above, the only reason to have them as 3 is to be able NOT to chose one of them. Its a question of what you want the system to portray I guess.
mrpopstar,

I understand your proposal and point, but it seems to not be keeping in theme with the rest of the skills changes. And the question of redundancy was also tied to efficiency in the rules. They are trying to reorganize the skill sets, but seem to have these hold-outs from 3.x regarding specific skills, that should be done away with in my opinion as several other systems have learned from.

What is the theme of the rest of the skill changes?

The real question I have, in general terms, is does this serve a benefit to the game's atmosphere? Having spot and listen seperate seems to offer no benefit to the system in my opinion, much in the same way ride and drive serve no benefit to the game being seperate. Which if I read right, is the focal point of Keendk's replies.

I have submitted numerous ways in which having them separate benefits the game's atmosphere. Talamare submitted an example of how combining them is damaging to the game's atmosphere. Keendk linked to another thread that contains a handful of submissions that make a case for keeping them separate, as well.

These submissions are being ignored in favor of already solidified opinions. We can agree to disagree, or you can make a case for them being combined that has more debatable substance than claiming redudancy. -- Offer scenarios and show us how collapsing differentiation is beneficial to the game.

The request to the general audience from me is why should this be done. It seems incongruous to the rest of the system. There's duplication and unnecessary divisions in the skills descriptions.

Persuasion and intimidation are the same exact description but from a different prospective. Why can't the player determine their method instead of the game breaking it apart? The system feels incomplete and wrong to me.

The issue is one of approach. It occurs to me that you are viewing skills as a measure of general capability, when they only serve to describe aspects of exceptional talent or education. Your ability scores mean far more than your skill trianing. A highly perceptive character is defined by his Wisdom and Intelligence, not his skill choices.

Danny

Someone said my name, thus I appear!

I on the fence on this issue because I want both
I want storytelling possibilities and I want a streamlined gameplay

I felt 4e was perfectly mechanical, but at the same time I felt it has become a bit TOO mechanical
At the same time I dread returning to 3.5 skill system, We need to streamline as much as possible without gutting it completly

Tho I feel everyone already realizes this


On another note that is very important for me, Intimidate should NOT be converged into Persuasion, if all else fails toss Intimidate into Strength!
Someone said my name, thus I appear!

Like a genie!

I on the fence on this issue because I want both
I want storytelling possibilities and I want a streamlined gameplay

I felt 4e was perfectly mechanical, but at the same time I felt it has become a bit TOO mechanical
At the same time I dread returning to 3.5 skill system, We need to streamline as much as possible without gutting it completly

Tho I feel everyone already realizes this

In 5E, all tasks are resolved using ability checks, with skill training modifying the roll.
In 3E and 4E, all tasks were resolved using skill checks, with ability scores modifying the roll.

The difference is nuanced, but it changes everything.

We've gained the narrative richness of differentiation, as well as the streamlined efficiency of pared-down mechanics. 

On another note that is very important for me, Intimidate should NOT be converged into Persuasion, if all else fails toss Intimidate into Strength!

Depending upon the narrative, and the description of your character's actions, you could couple any ability with your skill in intimidation.

You could menace with your physical might (Strength), make a convincing threat (Charisma), outsmart systematically with an ultimatum (Intelligence), etc. -- Skills are not tied to ability scores.

Danny

Ref: "-- Offer scenarios and show us how collapsing differentiation is beneficial to the game."
Mr. PopStar,

Yes, good point. Sorry I've been absent from the internet for a few days.

Let me start from here then. I'm a professional cowgirl. I ride the range, play on my guitar, russle cattle or drive them depending on my hat color, can lasso a rope around calf to bring it in for questioning, and can drive a wagon through open terrain and across rivers without any trouble.

What skills should I have to do my job? While they are not dependent on having the skill itself, still, I would have unquestionable greater skill at these things then someone in the caravan on their way to California who's just along for the ride.

Myself, as a cowgirl would have Profession Cowgirl, Use Rope, Ride, Animal Handling, Drive, Perform Guitar, and Survival. This seems like a lot of skills to do my job, and this is my prospective.

Now say that Profession Cowgirl would automatically include talent in using ropes, which is how I feel the rules are geared. If that is the case, when would you not have use rope tied to another skill? If you are a professional sailor, you would know rigging and tying down loads to the desk. If you were a mountain climber, you would know ropes for safety, climbing, attaching them to outcroppings, bringing up supplies, etc. There are lots of examples for reasons that use rope is already covered by another skill, but I can't fathom a reason that it should be separate and on its own.

This ties into my view on Drive and Ride, Intimidate and Persuasion, History and Folklore/Heraldry... But I want to keep this simple.

Maybe if you would, I would like to understand what I'm missing from your understanding.
Maybe if you would, I would like to understand what I'm missing from your understanding.

Skills reflect areas of expertise, not areas of general capability.

Your cowgirl's ability to use a rope, ride a horse, handle an animal, drive a cart, perform with a guitar, and survive on the plains are defines by your contribution to the narrative and adjudicated by her ability scores. Skill training in any of these specific areas is indicative of raw talent or education above and beyond her general capability as a cowgirl.

Using your skill die is specific to certain tasks, not an expression of broad competency.

Your cowgirl employs skill training when performing a task related to one of her exceptional skills, not when performing any and all actions related to her story within the narrative. As such, differentiation better leverages the narrative by allowing specific descriptions to evoke specific ways in which our characters exceed expectation.

You do not gain passive checks by virtue of being present, you only gain a check when engaging with the narrative and taking action. As such, skill training is explicitly defined in a way that augments the story that we're telling; bringing it to life; not merely to modify any and all checks we make mechanically.

Danny