Poll: Would you support integrating combat completely into the skill system?

I made an entire blog post about this pretty much. Change +1 to a 1d4 and go from there where a +5 becomes a 1d12 and you get a very nice distribution and end up with a truely bound system where 32 and above is all but impossible and a 38 is impossible. The majority of all AC's will fall between 13 and 21 with the average AC being 17. A small number will be between 21 and 26 (a dwarf with a +3 plate and +3 shield has a 26 AC). Anything above 26  is god level defense.

The math works, even with (dis)advantage.

If people want to make opposed checks that can be modular, but I prefer static based DC's, or AC in this case.

I think that making a system that integrates combat with skills is a good idea, but it is not D&D. There are other systems out there that make combat more or less part of the skills system, and it works alright, but D&D has always been a little more gamist and treated combat as a sort of mini-game that sits outside the rest of the game.
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Authw8 makes a good point -- many people wouldn't consider that style of combat resolution to be D&D. So "as an Advanced module" might fit the bill, but it probably shouldn't be in the initial book(s).

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

I did suspect that the last option might be the most popular. I'd like to hear what makes this not a yes or no kind of question.

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They are already headed in the not D&D arena with skill dice, why stop?
I did suspect that the last option might be the most popular. I'd like to hear what makes this not a yes or no kind of question.




Actually, I would have prefered a simple yes option.  Something like:  Yes, either core or as a module.  


I don't really care which format, but since I can't see how to do it well as a module I chose as part of the core.    

I'm not sure that I understand the question. Do you mean to use the skill die in place of the weapon attack bonus?

Assuming you had asked the question back in the 3E days, I could have whipped up a quick module that calculated your BAB and Caster Level as a function of your skill in Strike (Str), Shoot (Dex), or Hex (Int). Obviously, rogues would have Strike and Shoot as class skills, while wizards would get Hex, and paladins would get Strike. It might make multi-classing too appealing, however.

The metagame is not the game.

I've played a few different systems where combat used skills to determine to hit bonus and bonuses to defense.  Generally, it works out well.  However, I don't see this as something either the game or the fanbase is ready for.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

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I've played a few different systems where combat used skills to determine to hit bonus and bonuses to defense.  Generally, it works out well.  However, I don't see this as something either the game or the fanbase is ready for.

My preference would be to introduce this as an advanced module, since it would likely change some core aspects. Mechanically, combat and skill checks are very similar (at its most basic is d20+mods > DC = success). This is the main reason I feel the concept is close enough to the current core rules and not need to rewrite combat entirely.

Attacks would essentially be d20 + [skill die] + [ability mod], and either be compared against a static AC or as a contest against a similar Defense skill check. The latter version increases the die rolls and makes the results a lot more unpredictable, which may or may not be a good thing overall. The latter would also mean that certain classes (like fighter) begin with a rank of Defense, where pure casters (wizard) wouldn't. I prefer a skill system that is a bit different than the current one in the playtest, but I would rather this combat rules module stay compatible with whichever skill system module the group is using.

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Our group has used a simple translation of static bonus to die type. We have found it fun. Attack bonus and dodge bonus can be converted. Add Ability mod to class attack bonus to get total.
+1=+1
+2=d4
+3=d6
+4=d8
+5=d10
+6=d12
anything past that you mix and match dice, so a +7 could be d12+1, d10+2, or d6+d8. The statistical variances are not enough to matter to us. Whatever feels right.
Where this is fun is dodge bonus! AC due to armor type remains static but that 18DEX Rogue feels extra cool when he rolls an 8 to dodge, but we get good laughs when he rolls a one!     

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 did suspect that the last option might be the most popular. I'd like to hear what makes this not a yes or no kind of question.

Actually, I would have prefered a simple yes option.  Something like:  Yes, either core or as a module.  


I don't really care which format, but since I can't see how to do it well as a module I chose as part of the core.


Same here.  Was looking for a "Yes, and I don't really care whether core or not."
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I'd like to integrate skills and combat to some degree, but not with the current skill system as it exists in the 5e packet, or really any of the previous packets. I'd want a bit more depth to the system, not only to run combat but to make the encounters based on other skills more interesting.
I've played a few different systems where combat used skills to determine to hit bonus and bonuses to defense.  Generally, it works out well.  However, I don't see this as something either the game or the fanbase is ready for.

Likewise, I have played a few such systems, but my experiences haven't been quite so positive. Invariably, anyone who wants to fight will throw everything they possibly can into the fighting skill, and the system isn't really designed to handle that.

Doubly so in any system where success is measured in degrees, (i.e. GURPS > weapon skill 30 > 95% chance to parry and 95% chance to stab someone in the eye; Shadowrun > max weapon skill and agility > kill anyone in one shot).

It's not even that the player is doing anything unexpected, most of the time. I mean, why wouldn't you put as much as possible into the skill that lets you not die?

The metagame is not the game.

Yes. And magic too. At least as optional modules.

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I voted:
No. Combat should be separate from skill checks

It's great for games that were designed that way from day 1. D&D is not one of those games.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

I voted:
No. Combat should be separate from skill checks

It's great for games that were designed that way from day 1. D&D is not one of those games.

Considering how much the mechanics of combat have changed (THAC0, BAB, AC flipped from lower is better to higher is better, etc), and that skills have been all over the map as well (NWP, skill ranks, skill training), I'd say D&D has become sucessful despite its mechanics, not because of them. Therefore, the mechanics of D&D have never been the "soul" of D&D to me. For that very reason, I feel few mechanics are sacred, save the the use of the polyhedrals (all of them).

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I did suspect that the last option might be the most popular. I'd like to hear what makes this not a yes or no kind of question.

I answered "not so simple" because it depends how they integrated it.  If the end result was fun, I'd like it.  If the end result was not fun, I wouldn't.  Without a bit more detail than "integrate it" (and I don't think replacing static bonuses with skill die is more than a tiny tiny step towards integration), I couldn't possibly guess whether a hypothetical integration would be fun.
I answered "Yes it should be core," but I don't mean as separate skills.  To keep it simple, start all PCs with a d2, and anytime a class gives a bonus to attack, step it up one die type.
Therefore, the mechanics of D&D have never been the "soul" of D&D to me.

I respectfully disagree.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

I've played a few different systems where combat used skills to determine to hit bonus and bonuses to defense.  Generally, it works out well.  However, I don't see this as something either the game or the fanbase is ready for.

Likewise, I have played a few such systems, but my experiences haven't been quite so positive. Invariably, anyone who wants to fight will throw everything they possibly can into the fighting skill, and the system isn't really designed to handle that.

Doubly so in any system where success is measured in degrees, (i.e. GURPS > weapon skill 30 > 95% chance to parry and 95% chance to stab someone in the eye; Shadowrun > max weapon skill and agility > kill anyone in one shot).

It's not even that the player is doing anything unexpected, most of the time. I mean, why wouldn't you put as much as possible into the skill that lets you not die?


That can be easy to fix though.  You can put caps on how high skills can be at character generation or put limits by level (which seems a natural extension for level-based games like D&D).  Or you could up the cost of the skill beyond a certain point (e.g. BtVS, which uses skill-based combat with degrees of success that increase damage done, triples the cost of all skills above the 5th rank in those skills).

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

The number of systems that do this are many. I don't see why D&D couldn't do it too and preserve weapons based on class.
In a moment of inspiration, let's assume this kind of skill breakdown:

Martial Skills*
Melee (Str or Dex)
Archery (Dex or Wis)
Thrown (Str or Dex)
Defense** (Dex or Con)
*Combat styles won't use skills directly. Instead they impact other aspects, such as damage dealt and/or available maneuvers.
**Essentially the Parry maneuver with a better name and different mechanics. The simple version would allow you to roll your Defense skill as a reaction, and if you beat their attack roll the attack is negated. Only usable vs melee attacks, with the exception of shields. Shields allow vs ranged attacks, but with disadvantage. Other weapons might also provide similar bonuses.

Magical Skills
Abjuration* (Int or Wis)
Conjuration* (Int or Cha)
Divination (Wis or Cha)
Enchantment (Wis or Cha)
Evocation (Int or Cha)
Illusion (Int or Cha)
Necromancy (Wis or Cha)
Transmutation (Int or Cha)
Elemental - Air (Dex or Int)
Elemental - Earth (Con or Wis)
Elemental - Fire (Str or Cha)
Elemental - Water (Wis or Cha)
*Traditionally, the Cure x Wounds/Neutralize Poison/Remove Disease spells have been conjuration. I'd rather see them in the Abjuration school which feels more appropriate.

I included what I feel would be the appropriate relevant ability to add as a mod to the check. These would be for directed attacks. Area/indirect attacks make more sense to use a different mechanic (ie saves) by having the defender roll against a DC (TBD).

Having the spell schools as skills might create some serious flak, but schools are fairly well defined (an exception IMO is conjuration and healing), and very iconic to D&D. The real trick is to make none of them too strong (like Transmutation with its ginormous spell list), while allowing for some crossover (especially true when comparing the elemental schools with the non-elemental schools, which is mostly just a reclassification).

What kind of skill check for spells would be needed? Well, I've thought that every spell should have a chance of failure, just like martial attacks. This usually is represented by saving throws, but I've feel that should be saved for the indirect/area spells, and let the directed attack spells be rolled by the caster. So Charm Person would have the caster rolling vs the target's defense (TBD), but an area spell like Sleep or Fireball would have those in the area of effect roll a saving throw vs a DC (TBD). It should be fairly intuitive which mechanic should be used for any given spell.

Now to the real stickler issue: how to translate spell levels into a skill system. Well, all things being modular, that will potentially change based on the skill system being used. My current favorite would be to use a skill rank of 0-5, which corresponds to a die of d4 - d12. You could cap the max rank based on character level (e.g.: minimum level for spell level is [spell level * 2 - 1]). This handles spell levels up to 5. For the 6+ spell levels, that starts entering fuzzyland and I haven't liked any solution I've come up with yet, so I guess stay tuned

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