I've been using a modified skill system to try to make skill less about just getting points and filling in the blank and instead about true character developement. I'll put my modified rules below, if you could please give me feedback or let me know if there are any balance issues. Thanks.
First, my system assumes that you can use any skill untrained, you essentially begin play with the "Jack of All Trades" Feat. From there, here it goes:
(Replaces "Skill Points and Skill Points per level" all classes receive a number of Primary skills that they normally would Skill Points per level that includes additional Primary skills due to higher intelligence.
The skills you select as primary skills "level up" faster than other skills. Each time you successfully use a Primary skill you have a 50% chance (minus -5% per 5 ranks gained) to a minimum of 25% to gain a skill rank. Failed Primary Skill attempts give you a 25% (-5% per 5 Ranks attained) to a minimum of 10% chance to gain a skill rank. If you make the check then you receive 1 Rank in the skill used. The GM will make this roll in secret (just in case you didn't want to know if they succeeded or failed).
All skills that are not Primary skills are Secondary skills. They level up slower than Primary skills. A successful use of a Secondary skill allows you a 25% (-5% per 5 ranks attained in the skill) to a minimum of 10% chance to gain a rank. Unsuccessful Secondary skill attempts have a 10% chance of gaining a rank up to Rank 5 then a 5% chance to gain further ranks thereafter. If you make the check then you receive 1 Rank in the skill used. The GM will make this roll in secret (just in case you didn't want to know if they succeeded or failed).
Primary skills and Secondary skills both have a maximum rank equal to 3 + your level.
PRIMARY SKILLS AT 1ST LEVEL
All Primary skills (selected at 1st level) receive the maximum of 4 ranks when you begin play.
Anyways, that pretty much covers it. I've gotten some good feedback from my players, but they helped me develop it, so I wanted some outside suggestions. I know this rids the system of "Cross Class" skills, but it also makes those skills much harder to receive ranks in. This could also mean that you could supplement the Human's Skill bonus by simply giving them an additional Primary Skill slot. Anyways, thanks in advance for your feedback.
Actually, this sounds very much like the skill system out of the Elder Scrolls games (Skyrim, Oblivion, etc.). It's definitely an interesting way to do the skill system, although it does create an issue with a couple skills that one could spam-practice during downtime.
I've never heard of this system being used in a D&D game though, sounds like a fun way to spice things up a little if the campaigns have gotten a little too cut-and-dry.
That's sort of what we were going for was an Elder Scroll's style skill leveling. As far as skill spaming...that's on the GM to allow it to happen or not. Personally, if I find people do that I just won't give them the rank. Or at least warn them then not give them the rank. But the mechanics look good overall? That's what I'm most worried about. You could even have rules similar to GURPS where if you practice for so long that you eventually just gain a rank, say I want to practice Stealth for a week, ok you get 1 rank to Hide and Move Silently checks, but it couldn't be something they got daily.
Ah, alright. That clarifies my issues then. All in all, very interesting setup, and you've clearly thought out the potential balance problems as well. I might have to try it out sometime.
I suppose you could always institute rules on that as well...say you want to train in a skill, well the time it would take to practice a skill and gain a rank could depend on the number of ranks they already have, their Key ability, and possibly who is training them. I haven't thought about it that much. Anyone have any suggestions for this. You could always go the GURPS route and assign difficulties to each skill also, then depending on the skill difficulty, you would need to practice for a certain amount of time befor gaining a rank.
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