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4E Handling things like Riding and Craft with 4E Skills.

Melkor

Explorer
Hi folks,

I wanted to get a consensus of what 4E skills you guys are using to cover a couple of skills that were in 3.5.

Namely - Ride, and Craft.

I'm assuming that in 4E, you look at the action in question, and apply it as an application of another skills - Say Athletics or Acrobatics for Ride, depending on what the character is attempting to do on the mount...

I was just curious how you folks are handling this stuff in your games.

Thanks.
 

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Dalzig

First Post
With the Mounted Combat feat, your mount can use your Athletics, Acrobatics, etc. for itself. This is a close approximation to riding skill.

As for craft... haven't done anything with it yet, but I plan on doing a skill challenge. Dungeoneering, Nature, Arcana to find out how to build something. Athletics, Thievery, etc. to build it. Stuff like that...
 

Yeah, riding in my opinion falls under Nature ( Handle Animal ), and then once you have Mounted Combat, you can apply other skills as needed, as per the feat like Dalzig said.
 

defendi

Explorer
For craft, if they have a background that makes the crafty, I'll just let them do it, and judge the end results on their level. If I really need a skill roll, I'll just invent a floating skill for the purpose and make it trained or not based on character background. I think the intent here is to not make characters have to spend resources on stuff with no game effect. If a player says, "My character is a weaponsmith," then I'm not going to question that unless they try to do something really spectacular with it.
 


Jonathan Drain

First Post
Craft was a terrible skill. You spent valuable skill points to take a discount on a limited subset of mundane equipment. It's easier to make that part of your character's background detail.
 

erik_the_guy

First Post
There are no required skills for mounted combat, so there are no skills needed to ride a mount. If the PC encounters something difficult have them make a check appropriate to the situation. Acrobatics to stay on the horse if it falls, stuff like that.
 

Arbitrary

First Post
Craft was honestly just a terrible, terrible skill.

Ok, now that we are back in town I'm going to start crafting my bow. Look up the price, convert the price into silver pieces, find the DC, pay 1/3rd the price in raw materials, make a skill check to see how much progress I make in a week, multiple that number if it succeeds by the DC of the item.

Week One - I make progress 361/3000 on a Mighty Composite Longbow that can handle a +2 strength modifier.

Bleh. You know what? Forget it. I'll spend the 300 gold. Done.

I do not miss the mechanical component of Craft (or Profession for that matter). If someone wants to know the formula so they can spend ten weeks crafting an item to try and save a little cash I am going to be immediately concerned.
 

Toras

First Post
I think we made craft a worth while skill by allowing you to craft magical items using magical components. Leather armor crafted from the hide of the dragon will be far more impressive and its magical abilities will reflect the nature of the components.

I find that Craft also serves as a decent skill for making things like traps or siege weapons as well. Both can have a rather significant benefits if you need to take on orc encampments or large creatures, as well as defend villages.
 

Archus

Explorer
Ride I handle with Nature (understanding the beast), Athletics, or Acrobatics. Skills like Craft, Perform, Profession, etc. I've rolled into an optional "Profession/Skill X" skill available to all classes. A profession skill can be used to perform relevant actions or knowledge checks and is based on whatever stat the player can convince me is relevant. The skill should be a broadly useful as any other skill and while it may overlap part of multiple existing skills, it should not supplant them by overlapping all of them.

Examples:
  • Sailor
    • Actions - Navigation, tying knots, ship maintenance or simple ship building.
    • Knowledge - Sea legends, sea monsters, famous sailors.
  • Miner
    • Actions - Actually mining without cave ins.
    • Knowledge - Appraisal of mined ore/gems/etc. Knowing what might be mined in an area. Some limited knowledge of monsters that directly interact with miners but most miners should take Dungeoneering.
  • Entertainer
    • Actions - Singing, dancing, acting, playing instruments. Most actors would take some Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate to truly pull it off right.
    • Knowledge - Plays, poems, songs, other entertainers.
  • Smith
    • Actions - Making weapons, armor, horseshoes, etc.
    • Knowledge - Appraisal of same. Famous smiths and their creations.
  • Soilder
    • Actions - Setting up camp (digging latrines and the like) and standing watch (circumstantial perception).
    • Knowledge - Famous battles and tactics.
Overall I'm pretty happy with the skill list as it is. I think much of what I listed above could just be color and use an attribute check or covered by another skill (I argue that a performer often is using Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate through song to sway the audience). But some of my players really want it as part of their background and it does allow for some sense of skill specialization "Rolo the singing sailor knows naught of the monsters of the land". It is still a work in progress and intended to be a bit fuzzy.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
Basically it goes like this:

In 3.5 if your players were using the crafting skills as written, then they were doing it either
a) Purely for roleplaying reasons: there really wasn't any benefit to crafting something yourself. The money you saved was simply not worth the time.
b) Because the wizard had mandatory downtime, and you had nothing else to do with your time.
c) Because you wanted to get something that the DM wouldn't let you get out of the shops
d) Because you were cheesing out fabricate

a) isn't a good reason to have detailed craft mechanics. In fact, it's probably a reason to NOT have detailed mechanics, because nothing ruins a "I crafted this bow myself" story like someone saying "that's impossible - you can't possibly make those at level X without..."

b) isn't a good reason to have detailed craft mechanics because it would be better for all involved if the wizard didn't have mandatory downtime OR everyone had something worthwhile to do.

d) is a good reason to avoid having a detailed craft mechanic, because if it has mechanics it can probably be abused by someone.

So that leaves us with c) - the DM wants you to work for the item in question.

Personally I can think of more interesting things to make a player do than to roll their craft skill 238 times if they want something crafted.

The ride skill is a bit similar: players wanted a good ride skill because of
a) roleplaying reasons - being able to ride fits their character's image
b) riding is, for some reason, a campaign necessity
c) they're a halfling paladin on a riding dog with a rack of charge-related feats who one-shots equivalent level monsters

a and b are good reasons against having a mechanical cost to being able to ride (ie - it's bad to force people to make their character worse to roleplay, and it's also bad to have a campaign force people to spend character resources that are supposed to differentiate characters). In either case "just let them be able to ride" works just fine.

c is a good reason against it, because again: it takes a lot of effort to make and maintain mechanics that cannot be exploited.

Profession skills are a little bit like riding - it tends to be either a roleplaying choice or a campaign necessity, and personally I don't think it's a great idea to charge someone for either.

That said, if you can come up with a feat that is purely beneficial to the character that ALSO helps with flavour, that's a totally different kettle of fish.

Finally - you mentioned that you allowed craft checks to produce magical items from magical components - well, that's pretty much what the enchant item ritual does. If you're willing to tinker with it a bit (ie - if you require that the PCs get specific items to perform enchantments), then there's no reason that you can't remove it's level restriction and use it to fuel quests (as I presume you're doing when you send the PCs to get components). I think the default level restriction on it is there simply to make players appreciate the magic items they find more in the first few levels of play.
 

Neil Bishop

First Post
You could always do what Savage Worlds does. SW has a "catch-all" skill called Common Knowledge. You can use this for anything related to your character's background.

This would be easy to implement in 4E because there are no skill points. Just give everyone a Common Knowledge skill with the +5 bonus for being trained. Another name might be Background Knowledge or Background Skills.
 

seusomon

Explorer
ride: 4e DMG has rules for mounted combat. I use those, and find there is no need for any additional detail.

craft: it's part of character background, with no need for mechanical trappings. If a characters wants to be able to make something that's reasonable, they can.
 

Stalker0

Legend
For appraise my group uses streetwise. Afterall, an object is only worth as much as what people will pay for.

We use dungeoneering for architecture/engineering, as that seemed the most appropriate.
 

DM_Blake

First Post
With the Mounted Combat feat, your mount can use your Athletics, Acrobatics, etc. for itself. This is a close approximation to riding skill.

So when the princess wants to hop on her silver charger and go galloping through the clover fields, she needs the mounted combat feat?
 

DM_Blake

First Post
Yeah, riding in my opinion falls under Nature ( Handle Animal ), and then once you have Mounted Combat, you can apply other skills as needed, as per the feat like Dalzig said.

Hey, don't let that guy who trains lions, tigers, bears (oh my) for the circus know that if he dies in an unfortunate circus accident, they can replace him with any coachman, teamster, charioteer or stableboy.
 

DM_Blake

First Post
For craft, if they have a background that makes the crafty, I'll just let them do it, and judge the end results on their level.

I hope this doesn't mean that a level 10 warlock who, at one time, 2 decades ago, used to practice carpentry in his father's workshop, is better at crafting furniture than a carpenter who has been working the trade for the last 20 years, just because the warlock is level 10?

And, another decade later, when that warlock is level 20, is he now 2x as good at crafting furniture, even if he never touched a woodworking or carpentry tool in that entire decade?
 

FadedC

First Post
So when the princess wants to hop on her silver charger and go galloping through the clover fields, she needs the mounted combat feat?

Only if the princess wants the horse to be able to use her athletics score instead of it's own. I have a hunch that the horse's might be higher anyway :)
 

DM_Blake

First Post
Hmm, another use for the Jack of trades feat.

That is counter-intuitive to what Jack-of-all-Trades generally means.

A JoaT is someone who is naturally good at anything he tries. Today he tries carpentry for the first time, and he's pretty good at it. Tomorrow he tries blacksmithing, and he's good at that too. Next week he might try scuplting, or picking pockets, or healing the sick - he'll be good at those, too.

It doesn't necessarily mean he's an expert at any of those things, just that he's naturally competent at the stuff he tries.

Applying that to crafting skills, it suddenly means that every baker can also forge armor, every carpenter can also carve marble scuptures, every wagonwright can also whip up serviceable swords and bows and other weapons of war.

Extending that, it means all those guys might also be able to pick pockets, heal the sick, and sneak/bluff/diplomat their way into the king's private parties on a moment's notice, too.
 

DM_Blake

First Post
Craft was a terrible skill. You spent valuable skill points to take a discount on a limited subset of mundane equipment. It's easier to make that part of your character's background detail.

You're right.

What should have been done in 3.x, and probably also in 4e, was to have a set of craft/profession skills into which you put a certain number of points in character creation, and for which you get a small number of points as you level up.

These points would be separate from other skill points and could not be used to learn adventuring/survival skills - you couldn't spend your crafting points to learn stealth or thievery or any other primary skill, but you could, if you wanted to, spend your regular skill points on the crafting skills (which of course was what you had to do in 3.x anyway).

This way, crafting is available for those who want it, and they would be able to use it without depleting their valuable skill points.
 

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