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Some Skills Consolidation

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Some Skills Consolidation

Postby kronovan » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:56 am

I did some searching, but couldn't find anything in particular that addressed this. Either that or my Search-Fu just isn't good enough. ;)

In light of what SRD based, or next gen, systems/editions have come since the last rules release of True20 -namely D&D 4e and Pathfinder- I've been considering the skill matrix in True20. While I can see that True20 was a big improvement over D&D 3.x and D20 Modern, and not the step back in oversimplification which IMO D&D 4e was, I still think there's some room for some skills consolidation in this system. I'm considering consolidating these skills in my campaign:

Acrobatics to include Jump
Notice to include Search

I'm also considering allowing Gather Information to effectively do the equivalent of Knowledge(current events), Knowledge(popular culture) and Knowledge(streetwise) rolls.

I realize for the latter it's allowing an active knowledge acquisition skill to mimic an acquired knowledge skill, but in gameplay terms it all comes down to the same d20 dice roll - just different RP'ing. I'm wondering if anyone else has considered any skill consolidations similar to this. Of if anyone can think of any pitfalls consolidating/broadening these 3 skills might cause?
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Re: Some Skills Consolidation

Postby kommisar » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:43 pm

In general I think that skills consolidation is a good idea. The only problem I see with it is that there were complaints that the expert role, with 8 skill points per level, runs out things to spend skill points on, negating one of the primary benefits of the role. I personally didn't feel that this was true but If you cut down the skill list too much it might become a problem. You might also look at Fantasycraft for another take on the d20 skill list.
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Re: Some Skills Consolidation

Postby kronovan » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:47 pm

Thanks for the feedback kommisar. I'm not too concerned about the Expert not having enough skills to put points into. Even an Expert with a max possible starting Intelligence of +6 would only be able to raise about half of the skills on the total list to 20+ by career end. And that's not even factoring in all the different specializations for Craft, Knowledge and Perform and assuming they'll increase their Intelligence at levels 6,12 and 18. Of course if they were to take Skill Focus or Skill Mastery as their feat ever level that might be different, but I really can't imagine any of my players doing that, let alone maxing their Intelligence that much.

The setting I'm using for my campaign adds an additional skill, so I'm more concerned about there being too many skills. With Jump and Search remaining separate skills, the list seems to be a bit too long. As well, the description for the skills and specializations I mentioned, read more like variations or functions of the other skills, so it seems logical to group them together. This means I'll almost certainly allow Acrobatics to be used untrained, but I've played that way with other SRD-based systems without it unbalancing or oversimplifying game play.
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Re: Some Skills Consolidation

Postby markwalt » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:46 pm

What I typically do, is when a player describes what he or she is trying to do, I then ask them to tell me which skill the player thinks fits the situation. I almost always say "yes" to what they propose. It doesn't matter how many or how few skills there are, really.

If a player thinks "Notice" is useful, then I let the player use notice. If the player thinks search is more appropriate, then I let the player use search. Or whatever skill is on hand whose use can be justified.

This is especially true if I want the players to get some crucial information to move on to the next part of the story.
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Re: Some Skills Consolidation

Postby kronovan » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:13 am

markwalt wrote:What I typically do, is when a player describes what he or she is trying to do, I then ask them to tell me which skill the player thinks fits the situation. I almost always say "yes" to what they propose. It doesn't matter how many or how few skills there are, really.


Mark, I can see that approach working. I have to admit I'm a bigger fan of shorter lists, as it in't uncommon for me to have less experienced players joining campaigns and building PC's for the 1st time. I've certainly experienced what you're describing in Pathfinder play, where some GM's I've played with allowed Climb to be used to perform a jump minus the RAW + 20 DC modifier. I'm going to reduce the skill list, but the fact is I'll probably due some of what you're suggesting in the name of fun gameplay.
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