skill proficiencies point buy
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  1. #1
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    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)



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    skill proficiencies point buy

    Many people complain about skills being imbalanced. I propose we create a point buy system for skills. Instead of being given X skill proficiencies you will be given Y points that you can spend on differently costed skills
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  2. #2
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    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)



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    I haven't found the skills to be unbalanced, with a few notable exceptions. Medicine is just terrible, since it's primary use can be done untrained with no check by using a Healers Kit. Performance didn't seem to fit, considering how many different tools duplicate the same effect, but XGtE helped solve that issue by encouraging doubling up. Some skills are situational, like Animal Handling, Slight of Hand, and the various Intelligence skills, but they have their usefulness. The only one I find unbalanced is Perception, and the easiest fix to that is to change several uses of it to be intelligence/investigation instead. Social skills are going to be needed by the social characters, but they're balanced among themselves. Stealth is a useful skill, but already balanced by the desire for Perception. Survival is almost necessary while traveling off-road, but you really only need one character with it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiroiken View Post
    I haven't found the skills to be unbalanced, with a few notable exceptions. Medicine is just terrible, since it's primary use can be done untrained with no check by using a Healers Kit. Performance didn't seem to fit, considering how many different tools duplicate the same effect, but XGtE helped solve that issue by encouraging doubling up. Some skills are situational, like Animal Handling, Slight of Hand, and the various Intelligence skills, but they have their usefulness. The only one I find unbalanced is Perception, and the easiest fix to that is to change several uses of it to be intelligence/investigation instead. Social skills are going to be needed by the social characters, but they're balanced among themselves. Stealth is a useful skill, but already balanced by the desire for Perception. Survival is almost necessary while traveling off-road, but you really only need one character with it.
    Yep, agreed wholeheartedly. That's why in my games I:

    Removed Animal Handling-- use CHA (Nature) instead
    Removed Acrobatics-- use DEX (Athletics) instead
    Removed Medicine-- use INT (Survival) instead
    Removed Perception for finding inanimate hidden things (like traps or doors)-- use INT (Investigation) instead
    Removed Performance-- use Tools or Persuasion as applicable
    Removed Sleight of Hand-- use DEX (Deception) instead
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  4. #4
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    It is not worth the effort. Rather than spending the time trying to fix the system, you would be well served to spend time seeking ways to use the existing ystem in a balanced way. It really does work well when used as suggested.

  5. #5
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



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    My view is rather different - based off years and years of point buy play which taught me - the points dont matter - or specifically any generic point values dont matter.

    The "value" is how often they are called for or seen in play and how critical those are. That will vary from campaign to campaign, setting to setting and so... pretty much i look at the players choices and offer up things that help make them seem worth it often enough. The ability check and proficiency rules are some of the looser sets of features in the game, to me showing the choices worthwhile is more flavor than anything else.

    Did the old collapsing bridge leave a long gap span requiring an extra long leap or a series of small sections requiring balance and deftness of feet? Are the clues to what happened here in the miscellaney of the scene or the nature of the wounds? is the eerie obelisk of divine magic origin or arcane? thousands of other options like this lets any Gm who cares about "balancing the PC skill choices" do so with trivial effort. For Gms that dont want to do this, balance wont happen anyway so its not important - as random needs don't match up with generic point buy costings except for randomly at best.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
    Yep, agreed wholeheartedly. That's why in my games I:

    Removed Animal Handling-- use CHA (Nature) instead
    Removed Acrobatics-- use DEX (Athletics) instead
    Removed Medicine-- use INT (Survival) instead
    Removed Perception for finding inanimate hidden things (like traps or doors)-- use INT (Investigation) instead
    Removed Performance-- use Tools or Persuasion as applicable
    Removed Sleight of Hand-- use DEX (Deception) instead
    THIS. This is a beautiful idea that I wish I had thought of first. Consolidate the skill list so that all of the choices are meaningful, while keeping the variety by emphasizing the parts that the characters are naturally good at (via ability scores).

    I've been doing part of that with the official variant of using different ability scores - for example using DEX (Performance) for dancing at a masked ball or a street contortionist using CHR (Acrobatics) to see how much money they took in when focusing on patter and working the audience.
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  7. #7
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



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    Instead of doing any sort of point system, I would just split the skills into two groups: one that can be attempted even when not trained, and ones that you have to have proficiency with in order to make an attempt. Like Medicine. You can't attempt it unless you have proficiency. Same with playing an instrument. I don't care that you rolled a Nat 20, you did not just play a song on the Lute because you've never picked up the instrument before.

    But Animal Handling, Athletics, or Investigation, those are things where you COULD succeed by accident even though you've never been properly trained with it, so I'd allow an attempt.

  8. #8
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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



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    The only one that I think is truly broken is Perception. In my experience, that gets rolled way more than any other skill (at some tables, it is rolled more than all other skills combined). And, it is super useful; it feels fun to spot an ambush/trap/clue, and it feels sucky to get surprised or walk face-first into a trap. Some of the weaker skills (Nature, Medicine, Performance) can be made useful by a creative or flexible DM, but it's very hard to make Perception less useful.

    I've been considering forbidding Perception as a background or racial skill pick unless it's part of your race or class list (limiting it to elves, barbarians, druids, fighters, rangers, and rogues). I've also considered making it cost double, so you need to burn two skill slots in order to pick Perception.

  9. #9
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



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    Part of the problem with Perception is how ubiquitous the idea of 'noticing stuff' is. That's a way bigger catch-all than any of the other skills. It sounds, to me anyway, like more of an ability or even game mechanic than a skill - at least when set next to the other skills. This big idea encompasses elements that might reasonably be described as being related to dexterity and intelligence as well as wisdom. So maybe make it not a skill and not tied to one stat. Dexterity already plays in to initiative, and doesn't need to be more important than it already is. But maybe a character's roll to 'notice stuff' could just be WIS plus INT mods with a DC target. No proficiency, no expertise, just the stat mods. The skill check leftovers can be covered with investigation and maybe insight.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    THIS. This is a beautiful idea that I wish I had thought of first. Consolidate the skill list so that all of the choices are meaningful, while keeping the variety by emphasizing the parts that the characters are naturally good at (via ability scores).

    I've been doing part of that with the official variant of using different ability scores - for example using DEX (Performance) for dancing at a masked ball or a street contortionist using CHR (Acrobatics) to see how much money they took in when focusing on patter and working the audience.
    Um... isn't this sort of thing what you're supposed to be doing in 5E? I know it is a variant option, but seems more like what most people do anyway. On the new character sheet I made, I removed the link between ability scores and skills so players don't get trapped into thinking you have to use them linked only one way.

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