In SWSE, trained/focused skills are always a constant margin above untrained skills. And this works well for the situation where a skilled and unskilled character are facing a challenge of the same DC. When the focused character has an 75% chance, the skilled character has a 50% chance, and the unskilled character has a 25% chance - no matter their level.

Disclaimer: I know SWSE is not the same as 4E. However, given that BAB and saves will all be 1/2 level with possibly a one-time class bonus, it seems likely skills will go the same way.

But the place this breaks down is "with one hand tied behind my back"* situations. That is, let's say we have a highly skilled thief, master of lockpicking. And then we have a warrior, veteran in combat, but no experience with locks. A lock the warrior can pick, the thief should be able to pick "with one hand behind his back".

This implies a significant difference in modifiers. For two people of equal skill, one would expect that a handicap of that magnitude would result in significantly lower success chance. If we say 70% vs 10%, that's a -12 modifier.

And the situation is magnified more when we consider that there may well be more than one degree of this. As far in Knowledge skills as the well-educated sage is above the literacy-hating barbarian, is the meta-genius inventor above the sage. That thief who was so cocky earlier may be getting schooled by the mechanical savant who designed the royal vaults.

Of course, maybe these people are just higher level. But if skills increase at 1/2 level, any significant skill difference requires quite a large level difference. Do we really want to amplify the "great artist means great fighting skills too" effect?

As far as solutions, here's mine. Start with the basic SWSE bonuses, but increase them as the character's tier increases. So that by the Epic tier, there's rather more than a 5-point difference. This could also vary by skill; while losing a little simplicity, it allows greater differential where it works, and relative parity where it's needed.

*This should go without saying, but "one hand behind my back" is metaphorical, and applies equally to skills not involving hands. For instance, swimming with one's legs tied together, or trying to follow a trail from inside a fast-moving coach.

Disclaimer: I know SWSE is not the same as 4E. However, given that BAB and saves will all be 1/2 level with possibly a one-time class bonus, it seems likely skills will go the same way.

But the place this breaks down is "with one hand tied behind my back"* situations. That is, let's say we have a highly skilled thief, master of lockpicking. And then we have a warrior, veteran in combat, but no experience with locks. A lock the warrior can pick, the thief should be able to pick "with one hand behind his back".

This implies a significant difference in modifiers. For two people of equal skill, one would expect that a handicap of that magnitude would result in significantly lower success chance. If we say 70% vs 10%, that's a -12 modifier.

And the situation is magnified more when we consider that there may well be more than one degree of this. As far in Knowledge skills as the well-educated sage is above the literacy-hating barbarian, is the meta-genius inventor above the sage. That thief who was so cocky earlier may be getting schooled by the mechanical savant who designed the royal vaults.

Of course, maybe these people are just higher level. But if skills increase at 1/2 level, any significant skill difference requires quite a large level difference. Do we really want to amplify the "great artist means great fighting skills too" effect?

As far as solutions, here's mine. Start with the basic SWSE bonuses, but increase them as the character's tier increases. So that by the Epic tier, there's rather more than a 5-point difference. This could also vary by skill; while losing a little simplicity, it allows greater differential where it works, and relative parity where it's needed.

*This should go without saying, but "one hand behind my back" is metaphorical, and applies equally to skills not involving hands. For instance, swimming with one's legs tied together, or trying to follow a trail from inside a fast-moving coach.