skill merging

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
I know they plan to merge certain skills into groups (which is a great idea).

Here are certain general skill groups I would like to see: (everyone has access to these)

Athletics (strength based physical activities like jumping, lifting, climbing, swim, etc.)

Acrobatics (dex. based physical activities like tumble, balance, escape artist, ride, etc.)

Perception (wisdom based like search, spot, listen, scent, sense motive, etc)

Persuasion (cha based social skills like diplomacy, bluff, intimidate, disguise, etc)

Knowledge (int based skills like history, religion, appraise, decipher script, forgery, disable device)

Endurance (con. based skills endurance and concentration)

Here are some specialized/limited skill groups: (limited to feats or class features)

Thievery (dex based stuff like pick pockets, open locks, etc; could be merged with the stealth)

Stealth (dex based stuff like move silently, hide, slight of hand, etc.)

Arcana/Divine/Marsh./etc. (int. based knowledge, spellcraft, use magic device; based on power source seperately)
I know they plan to merge certain skills into groups (which is a great idea).
Perception (wisdom based like search, spot, listen, scent, sense motive, etc)

I know they are making monsters different from PC, but the Spot in the Skills entry implies one of three things:
  • Spot is not being merged;
  • Spot is the name of the Perception group of skills;
  • Perception is the name of the group (top of the image), but this monster has an extra bonus exclusively when spotting stuff.

IMAGE(http://www.enworld.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=31115)
I know they plan to merge certain skills into groups (which is a great idea).

Here are certain general skill groups I would like to see: (everyone has access to these)

Athletics (strength based physical activities like jumping, lifting, climbing, swim, etc.)

Acrobatics (dex. based physical activities like tumble, balance, escape artist, ride, etc.)

Perception (wisdom based like search, spot, listen, scent, sense motive, etc)

Persuasion (cha based social skills like diplomacy, bluff, intimidate, disguise, etc)

Knowledge (int based skills like history, religion, appraise, decipher script, forgery, disable device)

Endurance (con. based skills endurance and concentration)

Here are some specialized/limited skill groups: (limited to feats or class features)

Thievery (dex based stuff like pick pockets, open locks, etc; could be merged with the stealth)

Stealth (dex based stuff like move silently, hide, slight of hand, etc.)

Arcana/Divine/Marsh./etc. (int. based knowledge, spellcraft, use magic device; based on power source seperately)

Some good ideas here, but you need to be careful not to over-generalise.

I can see why some people find it easier to group skills, but there should be some kind of overarching logic at work when doing so. Lumping skills together into seemingly arbitrary groups feels senseless, and kills verisimilitude.

For example:

Athletics: A person's ability to climb has no bearing on their ability to swim. Furthermore, just because said person learned how to climb does not mean they learned how to swim. Also, a perfectly good swimmer may be a useless jumper.

Acrobatics: An excellent equestrian does not necessarily make a good acrobat.

Knowledge: The fields of history and religion are not mutually interchangeable, nor should ability in these academic fields allow a person to be able to forge a painting (among other things). A master forger should not be able to automatically disable devices by the same token.

There are many more examples with regard to 'dangerous' skill grouping (in general); more than you could poke at with a staff. Skill groups are a good idea, but only if they make sense. If not, brows will furrow and heads will shake across the known world.
Athletics should be a skill that groups Jump+Swim+Climb because currently each individual skill is usually too specialized for a PC to bother taking. Each separate use of the skill could still have separate bonuses for each use (like UMD having special synergy bonuses for scrolls only), but ranks should probably just go into a single "base" skill that all three share.

On the other hand, limiting the skill groups to 6 or 8 selections would probably end up boring. Not counting the things like Craft and Profession, it'd probably be best for diversity sake if there were at least 12-18 different skills (2-3 skills per stat).
Athletics should be a skill that groups Jump+Swim+Climb because currently each individual skill is usually too specialized for a PC to bother taking. Each separate use of the skill could still have separate bonuses for each use (like UMD having special synergy bonuses for scrolls only), but ranks should probably just go into a single "base" skill that all three share. QUOTE]

I agree, merging skills is your friend, and maybe have bonuses to specific applications of that skill is best. Maybe some of the skill groups are a reach for someone to justify putting together but certainly not impossible. After all, someone who is a jock (a person who is definately athletic based) is ususally better at other athletic activities then someone who has no athletic skills, even at a skill they personally never had experience at. The same can be said about someone with a formal education (lets say a ancient Rome professor). He/She has a greater fund of knowledge then someone with no formal education even if it is about a topic he/she is not formally educated about.

making 2 skills per attribute is not a bad idea, something like:

Str:
Athletics (swim, climb, jump)
Bend bars/Lift Gate? (feats of strength)

Dex:
Acrobatics (tumble, balance, escape artist)
Stealth/Thievery (hide, sneak, sleight of hand)

Con:
Endurance (feats of endurance)
Concentration (feats of concentration)

Int
Knowledge (general fund of information/knowledge)
Mechanics (disable device, craft, open locks, rope use)

Wis
Perception (spot, listen, search, sense motive)
Intuition? (like a danger sense)

Cha
Persuasion (diplomacy, bluff, intimidate, disguise)
Leadership?

Of course include bonuses to specific uses of skills based on feats, gear, etc.
I can already see some problems with merging skill sets.

Take stealth for example. If you combine move silently and hide into a single check, what would it be opposed by? You can't possibly suggest that spot and listen be combined as well.

It suggests that an eagle with excellent eyesight (but relatively poor hearing) can easily detect a rogue with good move silently checks (and spot checks are moot as he is invis or something), since all the checks are rolled into 1 bundle. For example, your skill set cannot make provisions for rogues who would excel in hide, but suck at move silently. Same goes for people who want high ranks in spot, but no ranks in listen.

So somehow, he can "see" the noise made by the rogue?:P

IMO, this represents an oversimplification of the game, a direction I for one would definitely not want to see...
I believe the idea of merging the skills, such as hide and move silently, is that people rarely improve one without the other. Furthermore, they are also both used for the same thing, ala sneaking. Therefore, for the sake of making things simple, merging them is a good idea.

As for your concerns with what skills to use in what situation (hide vs MS), it can simplely be solved by combining the perception-like skills into a Perception skill :P Therefore, when someone is stealthing, the opposed roll is a perception roll (which is a combo of listen and spot).

Eagles or other creatures with incredible eye sight can get a circumstance bonus when using the perception skill to spot something (involving vision alone).

Runestar, I think we had this duscussion a while back pre-announcement for 4th about this very same topic. I am going to see if I can find that thread...
My bad Runestar, it was not you, but someone else did use the eagle example in a previous thread that I had posted about this topic

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=808593
I can already see some problems with merging skill sets.

Take stealth for example. If you combine move silently and hide into a single check, what would it be opposed by? You can't possibly suggest that spot and listen be combined as well.

It suggests that an eagle with excellent eyesight (but relatively poor hearing) can easily detect a rogue with good move silently checks (and spot checks are moot as he is invis or something), since all the checks are rolled into 1 bundle. For example, your skill set cannot make provisions for rogues who would excel in hide, but suck at move silently. Same goes for people who want high ranks in spot, but no ranks in listen.

So somehow, he can "see" the noise made by the rogue?:P

IMO, this represents an oversimplification of the game, a direction I for one would definitely not want to see...

I think that the statblock posted answers that. He only has a +5 to Perception but a +10 to Spot (which, in SWSE, is part of Perception). So, if there's potential that the Devil can see the heroes, he gets an additional bonus to the Spot portion of his Perception check. It doesn't require skill points to be allocated separately, however (or, using projected 4e mechanics, it doesn't require multiple skills to be selected as trained).
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
making 2 skills per attribute is not a bad idea

I agree, although it's beginning to sound a lot like the old 2nd edition Player's Options rules in which each Ability was divided into two halves.

I would also not necessarily have a Con-based skill set. I always felt Concentrate was shoved into Constitution for little good reason. Nor am I crazy about "Endurance" as a skill.

Things should be grouped by how it would be most natural for an adventurer to learn them. I think Spot and Listen would be grouped, despite them being different skills, because an Adventurer would train to be more perceptive in general.

I'd also change the social skills altogether so it doesn't become a Charisma fest. Those should be handled in a separate Social Powers section. So I'm ignoring those, as well as Craft, Perform and Profession, which, we're informed, is not going to be included this time around.

EDUCATION: Appraise (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Spellcraft (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha)
EXPLORATION: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Jump (Str), Swim (Con)
KNOWLEDGE: Knowledge (all) (each taken separately) (Int)
LANGUAGES: Speak Language (each taken separately)
LEGERDEMAIN: Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Tumble (Dex)
MECHANICS: Disable Device (Dex), Forgery (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Use Rope (Dex)
NATURE: Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Int)
PERCEPTION: Listen (Wis), Search (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis)
SNEAK: Hide (Dex), Move Silently (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex)
Appraise definately needs to be rolled into another skill; it's a pretty worthless skill all by its lonesome that rarely sees use.

I've glanced over SW saga, and most of the skill groupings I saw there made sense, I'd probably go with those for the most part. Actually, I'd almost like to see skill groups like the old SW D6 system. You would have a "group" level, and then subskill or specializations underneath the skill group (perhaps something like having Cross-class values in all the skill groups, and getting to pick so many subskills in which you get Class level values in). You can improve the group slowly or specializations quickly in most cases. Many other game systems use this approach as well (Serenity, World of Darkness [if I remember correctly], Alternity, etc.)

Grouping skills (even if you pay for them seperately) would help in quick-building NPCs ("The warrior has Athletics +5 and Perception +3"), as they'd *most likely* have the same stat in all the substats.

Athletics (STR)
- Climb
- Jump
- Swim

Acrobatics (DEX)
- Escape Artist
- Ride
- Tumble (trained only)

Craft (INT)
- Individual Craft Skills
- Forgery

Stealth (DEX)
- Disguise
- Hide
- Move Silently

Thievery (DEX)
- Disable Device (trained only)
- Open Locks (trained only)
- Sleight of Hand

Knowledge (INT)
- Individual Knowledge Skills
- Appraise

Persuasion (CHA)
- Bluff
- Diplomacy
- Gather Information
- Intimidate

Perception (WIS)
- Listen
- Search
- Sense Motive
- Spot

Perform (CHA)
- Individual Perform Skills

Profession (WIS)
- Individual Professions
- Handle Animal (Husbandry/Animal Trainer profession)
- Heal (Healer profession)

Survival (WIS)
- Endurance
- Streetwise
- Wilderness Survival (current Survival Skill)

There's a couple of skills that don't easily fit under a subskill - Use Magic Device (which could be changed into some sort of Will save with a massively high DC) and Use Rope (asking for a Use Rope skill is like asking someone to make a roll to tie their shoes, IMHO, the skill should just be scrapped or maybe rolled under Thievery). Concentration should probably become some sort of Fort save, changing the DC for casting a spell under duress to 10 + Spell level (if using the 0-9 spell level system, 1/2 Spell level for the 1-30 spell level system), or to maintain concentration when struck to DC 5 + damage dealt.
Kill it with the Open Locks folks. It's a stupid skill. Disable Device can do anything Open Locks can do.

Also, I'd keep Search as being separate from Spot/Listen/Sense Motive. Search as is uses Int and the other three use Wis, which is kinda cool. Then an absent minded but intelligent dude can find the traps only to turn around and have ninja crossbows pointed in his face. Meanwhile, a stupid orc guard will be able to keep watch perfectly well, but be unable to find the secret door into the next room.

And also, if search and sense motive become the same, dwarven scouts who check for kobold traps become remarkably good in social situations without trying, which doesn't seem right at all.
Sign In to post comments