• Welcome to this new upgrade of the site. We are now on a totally different software platform. Many things will be different, and bugs are expected. Certain areas (like downloads and reviews) will take longer to import. As always, please use the Meta Forum for site queries or bug reports. Note that we (the mods and admins) are also learning the new software.

About using Traiblazer

ValhallaGH

Villager
I never, ever want a practical skill to get subsumed into a Knowledge. Knowledge is theoretical; Knowledge (Nature) covers species categorization, general habits and notable abilities, and other academic information. Survival is a practical skill, one that applies techniques to withstand the rigors of the world; constructing shelters out of native materials, starting fires under varied circumstances, hunting & gathering supplies, land navigation, and so forth.
While knowledge is important to successful survival, the techniques, habits, and practices of actual application is even more important. People who read up on a topic know about it; people who actually practice and train in the topic have a completely different skill set (and a better understanding even if their knowledge is scantier). Training and study lead to a complete understanding of both the "what to do" and the "why it works", which is the key to ultimate mastery of any subject.



In my observation, Architecture & Engineering plus Nobility & Royalty combined is about as useful as any of the 8 other knowledge skills. So combining them both under social / civics / academics is balanced.
 
Last edited:
Here's my regrouping of the Knowledge skills. I had four rules:
1. Three areas per knowledge
2. Every area appears twice. (I like the idea of the Cleric and Wizard arguing over some minor point concerning the Planes.)
3. No knowledge has more than 2 "creature knowledge" areas (because I've houseruled in a variation of the 4e "creature ID check").
4. No two Knowledges have more than one overlapping area.

Knowledge (anthropology): local, geography, religion
Knowledge (applied magic): arcana, architecture & engineering, Craft (Alchemy)
Knowldege (arcanities): arcana, the planes, Decipher Script
Knowledge (archaeology): dungeoneering, architecture & engineering, Decipher Script
Knowledge (civics): history, geography, nobility/royalty
Knowledge (divinities): religion, the planes, history
Knowledge (outdoors): dungeoneering, nature, Survival
Knowledge (peasantlore): local, nature, nobility/royalty

Thanks,
Ragnar
 

ValhallaGH

Villager
Interesting, Ragnar. Though dropping from 10 distinct knowledge skills to 8 muddy knowledge skills is not a direction I want to go. Still, a neat list.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
So I took a shot at grouping the Knowledge skills as well. I also expanded each list to be a bit more broad. I haven't come up with names of each group yet though.

This page was helpful:

Fields of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

architecture
chemistry
engineering
mathematics
physics

animals
astronomy
dungeoneering
geography
nature

history
local
nobility/royalty
politics
religion

arcana
dragons
mystical creatures
the planes
undead
 

Vespucci

Villager
I never, ever want a practical skill to get subsumed into a Knowledge. Knowledge is theoretical; Knowledge (Nature) covers species categorization, general habits and notable abilities, and other academic information. Survival is a practical skill, one that applies techniques to withstand the rigors of the world; constructing shelters out of native materials, starting fires under varied circumstances, hunting & gathering supplies, land navigation, and so forth.
While knowledge is important to successful survival, the techniques, habits, and practices of actual application is even more important. People who read up on a topic know about it; people who actually practice and train in the topic have a completely different skill set (and a better understanding even if their knowledge is scantier). Training and study lead to a complete understanding of both the "what to do" and the "why it works", which is the key to ultimate mastery of any subject.
This is a great distinction - for a modern setting.

But D&D is predominantly a medieval setting. Historically, medieval people didn't "read up on a topic"! :p While a lot of the assumptions are different in D&D, the folks with book-learning also have practical experience in their specialist fields (i.e. the wizard doesn't just read about arcane mysteries and the planes, the cleric has more than an academic interest in matters religious, etc). The only iconic exception is the bard - but his knowledge is of the folk tales and legends that form the substance of his trade.

After writing this, I think I'm way, way, on the opposite side of the fence. :lol: I would prefer to see knowledge skills removed altogether. Knowledge then becomes a function of character class (i.e. knowing about X is part of Y class's 'professional knowledge' - a character of that class can make a check using their class level + int modifier + half of their levels in other classes) or other skills. This removes player knowledge entitlement, which feels like an improvement.

Of course, bard characters are entitled to know a little about everything.
 
Last edited:

dark_mage

Villager
As to the Knowledge issue: I plan of leaving the Knowledge skill as is, but do plan on using the version of Bardic Knowledge from PF (use Knowledge untrained, add 1/2 level to rolls, min +1) since it seems simpler to me.

Appraise skill: I'm looking for ways to "reintroduce" it, since I've ignored it in previous games. Do any of you use it? How? Any ideas?
 

Vespucci

Villager
As to the Knowledge issue: I plan of leaving the Knowledge skill as is, but do plan on using the version of Bardic Knowledge from PF (use Knowledge untrained, add 1/2 level to rolls, min +1) since it seems simpler to me.
Fair warning: this means that anyone playing a bard has license to ask, "Can I roll a Knowledge to identify this?" in about two-thirds of combats and about half the non-combat situations. You may want to make the predictable rolls for them ahead of the game session and simply add the relevant information to your scene descriptions.

As an aside, I'm no prodigy, but I know how bardic knowledge works from memory. Have you memorised how all of the knowledge skills work? If you are constantly looking things up (e.g. DCs or proper fields - "Is that Knowledge (Local), Knowledge (Geography), or Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty)?") then you've adopted the more complicated rule.
 

dark_mage

Villager
Fair warning: this means that anyone playing a bard has license to ask, "Can I roll a Knowledge to identify this?" in about two-thirds of combats and about half the non-combat situations. You may want to make the predictable rolls for them ahead of the game session and simply add the relevant information to your scene descriptions.

As an aside, I'm no prodigy, but I know how bardic knowledge works from memory. Have you memorised how all of the knowledge skills work? If you are constantly looking things up (e.g. DCs or proper fields - "Is that Knowledge (Local), Knowledge (Geography), or Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty)?") then you've adopted the more complicated rule.
Well, I don't mind if they want to roll Knowledge checks to get information on foes; in fact, I expect them to, since I'm not going to tell otherwise :devil:

While I don't have ALL the knowledge skills memorized, I have a pretty good idea which checks are required to get info on some types of creatures, and as for the DCs, I ussually assing DCs of CR + 5,10 or 15, depending how "uncommon" I've determined the monster to be, and between 15 to 35 for other knowledge, depending how obscure it is.
 

Vespucci

Villager
Well, I don't mind if they want to roll Knowledge checks to get information on foes; in fact, I expect them to, since I'm not going to tell otherwise :devil:

While I don't have ALL the knowledge skills memorized, I have a pretty good idea which checks are required to get info on some types of creatures, and as for the DCs, I ussually assing DCs of CR + 5,10 or 15, depending how "uncommon" I've determined the monster to be, and between 15 to 35 for other knowledge, depending how obscure it is.
Are you going to tell your players which Knowledge they're rolling? In some cases, that tells them what type of creature they're fighting (a problem with 'stealth' undead and abberations). If not, then you'll need to do look-ups on their skills for each check.

Again, none of this is a deal-breaker. But you did say that it seemed like the simpler option.
 

dark_mage

Villager
Are you going to tell your players which Knowledge they're rolling? In some cases, that tells them what type of creature they're fighting (a problem with 'stealth' undead and abberations). If not, then you'll need to do look-ups on their skills for each check.

Again, none of this is a deal-breaker. But you did say that it seemed like the simpler option.
Yes, I see no problem with it personally :) My "Stealth" Monsters usually involve somewhat obscure templates from supplements or 3pp (like advanced bestiary), so I might be able to trick them into NOT making a check; ie, I put a dread mummy in the midst of several normal mummies. They might think it's just a thougher mummy with class levels, and get freaked out when it starts using its breath weapon ;)

What about the Appraise skill? Do you use it? I'm in the process of "codifying" the houserules for my next game, and am struggling with it presently.
 

dark_mage

Villager
Allright, so I ran the magic system throuh some of my players and they seemed interested in it. Thing is, I don't want to make changes in the base classes yet, but it seems to me the system was designed to work with the TB classes (and viceversa). I'm worried that by including the unified spell progression, including the bonus slots/ready spells gained by the different classes, I'll end up breaking the system/making them unbalanced compared to the other, unchanged clases. What do you reccommend? Should the USP be adopted only with the entire roster of TB classes?
 

ValhallaGH

Villager
I think you're worrying about nothing. TB magic that "many spells" casters actually have fewer spells per day than SRD casters.

Example: The Sorcerer only gets up to the SRD spells per day by having Bonus Spell Slot as a class feature. Without that feature, he's on the same spell progression as the SRD Wizard. Which is a significant power-loss for that most-potent of arcane casters.
By the TB Class Rebalance table, he'd drop down to on-par with the Ranger.

The only class that will give you trouble, using the Unified Magic, is the Bard. They were always an odd duck.
Thankfully, few players actually want to play Bards.


Best of luck.
 

ValhallaGH

Villager
I think you're worrying about nothing. TB magic that "many spells" casters actually have fewer spells per day than SRD casters.

Example: The Sorcerer only gets up to the SRD spells per day by having Bonus Spell Slot as a class feature. Without that feature, he's on the same spell progression as the SRD Wizard. Which is a significant power-loss for that most-potent of arcane casters.
By the TB Class Rebalance table, he'd drop down to on-par with the Ranger.

The only class that will give you trouble, using the Unified Magic, is the Bard. They were always an odd duck.
Thankfully, few players actually want to play Bards.


Best of luck.
 

Vespucci

Villager
If you're adopting the BMB, you're compelled to put the Paladin and Ranger on the Cleric and Druid spell list. From that, you'd need the Paladin class changes to preserve their distinctive class features (Bless Weapon & Holy Sword are now iconic). From there, I think it makes sense to avoid the double standard and adopt the whole of the Trailblazer classes.
 

Advertisement

Top