log in or register to remove this ad

 

Return of Skill ranks - sort of - maybe...

Michael Morris

First Post
Writing this completely off the cuff - it's based off an idea Mearls kicked around shortly before the D&D Next playtest was announced. What I'm thinking on is a way to make diversify skills without sending ranks off to the moon. This is a set of thoughts in progress. Here goes.

There are five named skill ranks -- Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, Expert, Guru, or some other set of five names - the point is they are ranks. A 1st level characters proficiency translates to the first rank, and along with this optional rule they can give up a proficiency to start with a skill at second rank. A rogue's expertise is just a jump in rank.

Like skills, tasks are ranked. A character has advantage on a check one rank below his skill rank, and simply succeeds on a check two ranks below. Similarly, a character has disadvantage on something 1 rank above his skill and can't attempt something two ranks above. Situational and circumstance modifiers change up the rank of the task - so walking a tight rope for example would be rank III difficulty, doing it with a balancing pole rank II

Under this system the DC is locked to 20 (or some other number) and never changes.

At this point it's a thought to float around, not something concrete.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

dave2008

Legend
Writing this completely off the cuff - it's based off an idea Mearls kicked around shortly before the D&D Next playtest was announced. What I'm thinking on is a way to make diversify skills without sending ranks off to the moon. This is a set of thoughts in progress. Here goes.

There are five named skill ranks -- Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, Expert, Guru, or some other set of five names - the point is they are ranks. A 1st level characters proficiency translates to the first rank, and along with this optional rule they can give up a proficiency to start with a skill at second rank. A rogue's expertise is just a jump in rank.

Like skills, tasks are ranked. A character has advantage on a check one rank below his skill rank, and simply succeeds on a check two ranks below. Similarly, a character has disadvantage on something 1 rank above his skill and can't attempt something two ranks above. Situational and circumstance modifiers change up the rank of the task - so walking a tight rope for example would be rank III difficulty, doing it with a balancing pole rank II

Under this system the DC is locked to 20 (or some other number) and never changes.

At this point it's a thought to float around, not something concrete.

This sounds interesting. I will have to think about it and maybe give it a try. Thank you for sharing!
 

Xeviat

Hero
That's an interesting way of doing things. I've been thinking about doing this kind of thing myself.

Rather than tiering the checks, I'd be more apt to let people automatically succeed on tasks that are DC 5+skill mod; this way you don't have to roll for an easy task, you just succeed. Your idea, though, does offer an interesting solution; instead of getting more and more skill bonuses, you get more ways to get advantage.

What about DCs that are opposed checks? How would you, say, grant advantage when someone tries to intimidate someone? Would you count the difficulty as the opponent's rank in Insight? Say someone has 1 rank in intimidate and their opponent has 3 ranks in insight; does the defender automatically succeed?
 

JohnTitusRenzi

First Post
Under this system the DC is locked to 20 (or some other number) and never changes.
At this point it's a thought to float around, not something concrete.

I also think skills, while mathematically elegant, are boring and there is little room for improvement.
This should be easy enough to implement.

You can learn a new skill or go up a rank in a skill every 5 levels.

Beginner = no proficiency bonus added
Novice = +pro bon
Intermediate = +pro bon x 2 expertise
Expert = +pro bon x 3
Guru = +pro bon x 4

If the DC to succeed is 5 below 10+the ability mod+your skill rank, then you roll at advantage
If the DC to succeed is 10 below 10+the ability mod+your skill rank, you auto succeed
 
Last edited:


dave2008

Legend
13th age completely destroyed any love I had for skill systems. The game just does it so elegantly with backgrounds.

Well, don't tease - how does 13th age handle it?

EDIT: Nevermind, I see you included a link to the SRD. That is pretty cool. I think I will use that system in my game. However, since it is a skill system, I assume you intended to say ..."completely destroyed any love I had for other skill systems." - ???
 
Last edited:

Li Shenron

Legend
There are five named skill ranks -- Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, Expert, Guru, or some other set of five names - the point is they are ranks. A 1st level characters proficiency translates to the first rank, and along with this optional rule they can give up a proficiency to start with a skill at second rank. A rogue's expertise is just a jump in rank.

Like skills, tasks are ranked. A character has advantage on a check one rank below his skill rank, and simply succeeds on a check two ranks below. Similarly, a character has disadvantage on something 1 rank above his skill and can't attempt something two ranks above. Situational and circumstance modifiers change up the rank of the task - so walking a tight rope for example would be rank III difficulty, doing it with a balancing pole rank II

Under this system the DC is locked to 20 (or some other number) and never changes.

It's a nice idea! Here's my thoughts:

- The proficiency bonus can have 5 possible values: +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, so you could easily just equate each rank with the character level when you get an increase to the proficiency bonus.

- For skills you're not proficient at (assuming the DM will still let you roll checks) you could just have a rank lower than Beginner, called the "Unproficent" rank.

- If you treat Expertise as one rank more than normal proficiency, you may consider also treating Jack-of-all-Trades as one rank less than normal proficiency.

- Accidentally you also have 6 different typical DC shown in the PHB (p.174) as the baseline for the DM, so you could use those to define what rank a task belongs to. This translates to the following minimum rank in order to beat these DCs (or equivalently the maximum DC you can beat when you are one of these ranks):

Untrained -> DC 5, DC 10 with disadvantage
Beginner -> DC 10, DC 15 with disadvantage
Novice -> DC 15, DC 20 with disadvantage
Intermediate -> DC 20, DC 25 with disadvantage
Expert -> DC 25, DC 30 with disadvantage
Master -> DC 30, (DC 35 with disadvantage?)

But anyway in your system any task can effectively reduced in rank by favorable conditions, essentially equating to advantage, so I wouldn't worry if the DCs above look too low for example for Untrained and Beginner PCs. The whole point is that compared to trained PC they have to try and provide circumstances that decrease the rank of the task :)

---

Perhaps the critical point would be then to define what is the 'locked' DC value. I think here you have to go merely by considering what is the success rate you want to have in the game. If you decide that for example 50% is ok for a task of your current rank if you have a 0 ability modifier, then set the DC to 11, and remember that in the best case a PC will have a +5 modifier which will turn the success rate to 75%.

These are the success rates for some other DC values:

DC / success with 0 mod / success with +5 mod
10 / 55% / 80%
11 / 50% / 75%
12 / 45% / 70%
13 / 40% / 65%
14 / 35% / 60%
15 / 30% / 55%
16 / 25% / 50%
17 / 20% / 45%
18 / 15% / 40%
19 / 10% / 35%
20 / 5% / 30%

This locking of DC to a certain value has nothing to do with all the previous points, so a DM can freely decide this depending on her preferences on the rate of success.
 
Last edited:

Michael Morris

First Post
The comment about DC's being locked is a reference to having too many knobs syndrome as it where. The game just returned to a simplified state I rather like - I don't want to ramp up the complexity again. Conceptually this approach is a way of governing when skill checks get made and sets up boundaries for auto pass and auto fail.

After some thought - not all skills are going to merit multiple ranks. Athletics for example, is mostly a raw strength check at all times.

3rd edition had take 10 and take 20 rules. I still use those in 5e.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top