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Cross-class skills fixed?

Kerrick

First Post
I think I found a workable solution to the cross-class skills problem. To wit: there are no cross-class skills. All classes retain a skill list, but all skills, whether or not they're on your list, cost one point per rank, and the most you can have in any one skill is equal to your character level. For all skills that are on your list (for all classes), you gain a +3 bonus.

For example: Kurth is a Rog 3. He gets all the skills on the rogue list. If he takes a level in fighter, he gains all the skills on the fighter list also. If he has to make, say, a Handle Animal check, he can do so with a +3 bonus, because it's on the list of class skills. If he has to make a Spot check, or Search, or Listen - they're all +3 too. If he has to make a Survival check, he's out of luck - he might have 4 ranks in it, but since it's not on either of his class skill lists, he doesn't get a bonus.

The benefits of this system:

It's easy, especially for designers and editors - no more worrying about what ranks were taken cross-class.

It lets PCs (especially those with fewer skill points) be more useful (spending fewer skill points for the same result), while still allowing those who actually have the skills to stay ahead of those who don't.


The drawbacks:

It could encourage more dipping into classes/PrCs with greater skill lists. My take on this is that if the DM allows dipping in the first place, it likely won't matter anyway.

PCs who are heavily multiclassed (either from dipping, or legitimate multiclassing) will have a huge spread of skills... but this reflects the training gained from all those classes.

PrCs with skill requirements might need to be revised to take the changes into account - if a PrC requires, say, a multiclass PC, it may be easier to acquire.
 

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StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
I personally prefer making cc skills cost the same as class skills to buy up (1 for 1), but retain the cc limit for max ranks, so they can't be raised as high as quickly.
 

GreatLemur

First Post
Hell, I just got rid of the whole "class skill" distinction all together. Didn't regret it at all. Honestly, the class skill lists are up there along with racial favored classes, multiclassing XP penalties, and randomly rolled hitpoints on the list of things I'm amazed that everyone doesn't house rule out.
 

Kerrick

First Post
I personally prefer making cc skills cost the same as class skills to buy up (1 for 1), but retain the cc limit for max ranks, so they can't be raised as high as quickly.
I'd like to have done it like that, but I couldn't figure out how to make it work. The only thing I can think of is this:

If the skill is one that's common to all your classes, you can go to level +3. If it's not, you're limited to half the class level of the highest-level class that has the skill.

It's kinda clunky, though, because you have to know which classes have which skills. The main problem with cross-class skills, aside from the 2-for-1 thing, is that someone with cross-class skills is going to lag way behind someone who's got level +3 (and the difference increases as you go up in levels). Listen, Spot, and Search are big ones here, because the DM would either have to set the DC low enough for everyone to have a chance (meaning rogues/bards/etc. would make it all the time), or high enough to challenge those rogues/bards/etc., which means others would make the check rarely, if at all.

Hell, I just got rid of the whole "class skill" distinction all together. Didn't regret it at all. Honestly, the class skill lists are up there along with racial favored classes, multiclassing XP penalties, and randomly rolled hitpoints on the list of things I'm amazed that everyone doesn't house rule out.
Eh. I think the class skill list represents common skills for a given class. I can see where you're coming from, though - instead of imposing artificial limits on what a PC can and can't choose, let them take what they want. l think favored classes and the XP penalty are stupid, too - we've never used them - but I don't mind random hit points; we just reroll 1s (and sometimes 2s, if you're playing a d8 or d10 HD class).
 

Asurya

First Post
my own houserules get rid of the cross skills altogether too, therefore not "forcing" skill-happy player to begin with Rog1.

On top of that I cooked up an open ended progression where excellence comes at a price: each rank costs you its value in skill points
(i.e. 1 rank is 1 SP, improving it to 2 ranks costs 2 SP)
coupled with an improvement to the SP / level (obviously) so that you can still use the old X skill at best for my level (this is especially useful in regards with DC and pre-generated NPC)
I kept all the skill enhancements the same for ease of use and redefined Open minded feat to give you a flat 15 SP each time it's taken (as 15 is what is takes to raise a skill from 0 to 5 ranks).
The whole point is to allow players to dip in multiple skills, or, on the contrary, stick with a favored one ... and basically becoming a one trick pony (and I have my DM hammer at the ready just in case one of my player decides to go all-UMD).
The big advantage is customisation and the only drawback is the bookkeeping but a spreadsheet solve this neatly and the skills are handled out of game time anyway.
 

Drowbane

First Post
GreatLemur said:
Hell, I just got rid of the whole "class skill" distinction all together. Didn't regret it at all. Honestly, the class skill lists are up there along with racial favored classes, multiclassing XP penalties, and randomly rolled hitpoints on the list of things I'm amazed that everyone doesn't house rule out.

QFT
 

Crothian

First Post
GreatLemur said:
Hell, I just got rid of the whole "class skill" distinction all together. Didn't regret it at all. Honestly, the class skill lists are up there along with racial favored classes, multiclassing XP penalties, and randomly rolled hitpoints on the list of things I'm amazed that everyone doesn't house rule out.


I'm not :D
 

Kerrick

First Post
Neither am I. Paizo's gone back to skill ranks, after very heated discussion on their boards. And... they're using the same system I've described here. ;)
 

Arkhandus

First Post
GreatLemur said:
Hell, I just got rid of the whole "class skill" distinction all together. Didn't regret it at all. Honestly, the class skill lists are up there along with racial favored classes, multiclassing XP penalties, and randomly rolled hitpoints on the list of things I'm amazed that everyone doesn't house rule out.
But why? Does every Fighter have easy access to training in how to steal from the people they're supposed to protect, after going through state military training and guard training? Do they have easy access to books of magical lore and rare texts on extraplanar realms? Is there some universal, all-encompassing, multi-planar, supremely excellent education system available for everyone in every country, including kobolds underground and psychotic orcish tribes and even the slaves of the illithids and the aboleths and so on and so forth, to learn any skill they like from any place in the Multiverse?

The Fighters train with other Fighters, and learn Fighter-ish skills usually. Maybe they spend some time sneaking around and making mischief on their off-hours, and pick up a few ranks in Move Silently and Hide. Maybe they try to learn Diplomacy from watching and listening to the Duke they've been guarding for so long, picking up a few ranks in the skill. But they don't have first-hand training or education in these things. If they spend enough time learning such things instead of training their combat skills, then they take a level in Expert or Rogue or whatever's appropriate.

Some exceptions will exist, but that can be easily covered by a simple feat that grants a few extra class skills, or a variant class feature that covers a slightly different archetype of the class. Fighters in one country might receive serious training in stealth and subterfuge, and thus have a few different class skills, but probably at the expense of not being trained in certain other skills, such as Handle Animal, Ride, and Intimidate for example, in exchange for Hide, Move Silently, and Bluff. The same kinds of variations in training apply to other classes too, but Fighters are just easy to use as examples. Militaries generally do not train their warriors to be excellent negotiators, liars, thieves, or acrobats.


KERRICK: Your idea seems reasonable enough for anyone who wants to simplify class/cross-class skills. However, keep in mind that prestige classes and certain feats require a specific number of skill ranks; your change reduces maximum skill rank by 3, so you should reduce many of the associated prerequisites by 3 (at least, any of those that normally require at least 4 ranks in a skill).
 

Kerrick

First Post
The Fighters train with other Fighters, and learn Fighter-ish skills usually. Maybe they spend some time sneaking around and making mischief on their off-hours, and pick up a few ranks in Move Silently and Hide. Maybe they try to learn Diplomacy from watching and listening to the Duke they've been guarding for so long, picking up a few ranks in the skill. But they don't have first-hand training or education in these things. If they spend enough time learning such things instead of training their combat skills, then they take a level in Expert or Rogue or whatever's appropriate.
Yeah... and I think that's covered quite well with this system - a fighter can take a few ranks in Hide/MS, or learn some magical theory on the side, but he won't be as good as a rogue or mage.

KERRICK: Your idea seems reasonable enough for anyone who wants to simplify class/cross-class skills. However, keep in mind that prestige classes and certain feats require a specific number of skill ranks; your change reduces maximum skill rank by 3, so you should reduce many of the associated prerequisites by 3 (at least, any of those that normally require at least 4 ranks in a skill).
Yeah, I scan the Paizo boards occasionally, and they mentioned something similar for PrCs. Feats are good - the only one with a skill requirement is Ride, and that's 1 rank.

They also dispensed with the x4 skill points at 1st level, which I totally missed (no real need for it when you get the +3 bonus for class skills).
 

Jerrand Redband

First Post
what i did about skills

I kept the whole system the way it is cross class and all but what i did was add 2 pts to each classes base skill pts per level <---- did i spell that backwards?? it gave every class the same edge but now all fighters don t have the same two skills (i.e. swim and climb) i did not however give this bonus to npcs (less paper work and made the players fill special)
 


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